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Day Excursions : Rohtas Fort to Mohenjo Daro 

    Rohtas Fort
     
    Rawat Fort
     
    The Salt Range
     
    Kallar Kahar Lake
     
    Khewra Salt Mines (Largest Salt deposit in the world)
     
    TAXILA
     
    WAH GARDENS
     
    MOHENJODARO

Rohtas Fort

Rohtas Fort is 109 km from Rawalpindi. It is located about 6 km south-west of Dina Town. Going from Rawalpindi/Islamabad, you have to turn right from G.T. Road after Dina on a newly limit ludge. The fort is visible from this point. The fort is one of the most impressive historical monuments in Pakistan. It was built by Afghan ruler Sher Shah Suri, between 1540 and 1547 AD. It served as a huge fortified base for military operations against Gakkhars by Sher Shah Suri. It was later used by Mughal emperor Akbar and Sikhs. Within the huge terraced rampart walls with robust bastions and twelve gates, is located another fortress, palaces and ancillary buildings.

Rawat Fort

Rawat Fort is located 17 km east of Rawalpindi, on the Grand Trunk (G.T) Road leading to Lahore. Gakkhars, a fiercely independent tribe of the Potohar Plateau built the fort, in early 16th century. The grave of a Gakkhar Chief, Sultan Sarang Khan is located inside the fort. He died in 1546 AD fighting against the forces of Sher Shah Suri. If one dares to climb the broken steps inside the tomb, one may get a panoramic view of the plateau and the Mankiala Stupa.

The Salt Range

The Salt Range runs from Jhelum city on the G.T. Road and west to Mianwali and Kalabagh along the Indus River. There are many places of historical and archaeological interest in the Salt Range. Salt Range seems to have formed part of a powerful Hindu Kingdom of Kashmir in 10th century AD. Most of the forts and temples concentrated in and around the Salt Range date from that period. Mahmud of Ghazni, in the early eleventh century and Mughal Emperor Babur in the 16th century visited the area after their invasion of the sub-continent. The Janjua tribe, the most important in the central parts of the Range, were then converted to Islam.

Kallar Kahar Lake and Ketas Temples

The main attraction of the eastern Salt Range are the shrine of Saidan Shah at Choa Saidan Shah, the lake and the Hindu Temple Complex at Katas. Kallar Kahar is located about 135 km from Rawalpindi. The TDCP has built a six-room motel and restaurant overlooking Kallar Kahar with boating facilities. The Temple of Shiva at Katas (10th century AD) and other temples around Katas are valuable pieces of architecture and history and one reverend as a very Holy place for Hindus.

Khewra Salt Mines (Largest Salt deposit in the world)

The main centre of mining is Khewra in the Salt Range where the world's largest salt mines are located. Khewra salt mines are 154 kms away from Rawalpindi. The route is Mandra-Dudyal-Chakwal-Bhaun-Choa Saidan Shah-Khewra. A longer route is through Kallar Kahar-Katas. The nearest hotel accommodation is at TDCP resort Kallar Kahar. For permit to visit the mines and to book the accommodation at the PMDC Rest House at Khewra, you may contact their office in Islamabad at Plot No.13, H-9 (Manager Salt Tel: 2250928-30) through PTDC Tourist Information Centres in Rawalpindi or Islamabad, at least 4 days in advance.

MARGALLA PASS

This small pass is located 26 km west of Islamabad on G.T. Road. There is an obelisk right on top of the pass, which was built in 1890 in memory of Brig. Gen. John Nicholson (died on 23rd Sept.1857) of the British army, by his colleagues. A small part of the ancient Shahi (Royal) Road can be seen just across the pass, left of G.T.Road. This road was first built by the Persians in 516 BC and is believed to have been further developed by the Afghan King Sher Shah Suri in 1540s.

TAXILA Pakistan

The modern town of Taxila is 35 km from Islamabad. Most of the archaeological sites of Taxila (600 BC to 500 AD) are located around the Taxila Museum. For over 1000 years, Taxila remained famous as a center of learning for the Gandhara art of sculpture, architecture, education and Buddhism in the days of the Buddhist glory. There are over 50 archaeological sites in the radius of 30 km around Taxila. Some of the most important sites are: Dhamarajika Stupa and Monastery (300 BC - 200 AD), Bhir Mound (600 – 200 BC), Sirkap (200 BC - 600 AD), Jandial Temple (250 BC) and Jaulian Monastery (200 – 600 AD). A museum comprising various sections with rich archaeological finds of Taxila, arranged in chronological order and properly labeled, has been established close to the site. It is one of the best and well-maintained site museums of Pakistan.

WAH GARDENS

Once a major campsite of Mughal rulers, Wah Gardens is located 12 km west of Taxila on G. T. Road. The gardens were developed with magnificent trees and water channels by successive Mughal emperors. Tapering cypress trees, loved by the mughals, line the canals through which cool waters once flowed between elegant Romanic pavilions and cascaded into large reflecting basins.

MOHENJODARO

The archaeological site of Mohenjodaro was excavated for the first time in 1922; with it is associated the name of renowned British scholar- archaeologists like Sir John Marshal and Sir Mortimer Wheeler. The site of this excavation dates back to civilizations that flourished 4,500 years ago. Mohenjodaro was one of the most important centers of the remarkable Indus Valley civilization. The museum, located close to the site of the excavations, houses interesting relics of antiquity such as engraved sculptures, pottery, etc.