Royal Palaces in Pakistan

Exploring the Majestic Royal Palaces of Pakistan: A Journey Through History and Elegance

Pakistan, with its rich cultural heritage and diverse history, is home to several magnificent royal palaces that stand as testaments to the country’s royal past. These palaces, scattered across various regions, offer a glimpse into the opulent lifestyles of the rulers who once inhabited them. Let’s embark on a journey to discover some of the most notable royal palaces of Pakistan.

1. Shahi Qila and Shalimar Gardens:

Nestled in the heart of Lahore, the Lahore Fort (Shahi Qila) and Shalimar Gardens are UNESCO World Heritage Sites that showcase the grandeur of Mughal architecture. The fort, built during the reign of Emperor Akbar, served as the seat of power for many Mughal emperors. Within its walls, visitors can explore the lavish palaces, including the iconic Sheesh Mahal (Palace of Mirrors) adorned with intricate mirror work.

After the fall of the Mughal Empire, Lahore Fort was used as the residence of Emperor Ranjit Singh, founder of the Sikh Empire. The Sikhs made several additions to the fort. It then passed to the control of the East India Company after they annexed Punjab following their victory over the Sikhs at the Battle of Gujrat in February 1849.

2. Mohatta Palace, Karachi:

Located in the bustling city of Karachi, Mohatta Palace is a striking example of Indo-Saracenic architecture. The Mohatta Palace is a museum located in Karachi, Pakistan. Designed by Ahmed Hussain Agha, the palace was built in 1927 in the posh seaside locale of Clifton as the summer home of Shivratan Mohatta, a Hindu Marwari businessman from what is now the modern-day Indian state of Rajasthan. The palace was built in the tradition of stone palaces of Rajasthan, using pink Jodhpur stone in combination with the local yellow stone from nearby Gizri. Mohatta could enjoy this building for only about two decades before the partition of India, after which he left Karachi for the new state of India. Built in the early 20th century by a wealthy businessman, the palace later served as the residence of the founder of Pakistan, Muhammad Ali Jinnah. Today, it stands as a museum showcasing art and artifacts from the region’s history.

3. Peshawar Fort (Qila Bala Hisar) Peshawar:

Peshawar Qila, Qila Bala Hisar or the Peshawar Fort, is an ancient citadel that has witnessed centuries of history. Originally built by the Mughals, it was later expanded and fortified by Afghan rulers. Within its walls lie remnants of royal palaces, mosques, and gardens, offering visitors a glimpse into the region’s turbulent past.

4. Faiz Mahal, Khairpur:

Situated in the city of Khairpur in Sindh province, Faiz Mahal is a stunning example of Sindhi architecture. Built in the late 18th century by the Talpur Mirs, the palace boasts intricate blue tile work, ornate balconies, and spacious courtyards.

This historical attraction in Sindh is found within the heart of Khairpur district, which was also known as the princely state of the province once. It’s a majestic structure, spanning acres over the prime real estate of the region of Khairpur (Mirs). The palace is a flashback of the memories of the stronghold of Talpurs in the area, hundreds of years ago. 

The darbar, the guns from the 18th century mounted on bricked walls, it seems like every inch of the palace reflects royalty. Now, let’s find out more about the location of Faiz Mahal in Sindh before we further dig into the history of this magnificent structure.

5. Noor Mahal, Bahawalpur:

Noor Mahal, Located in Bahawalpur, this palace is immensely beautiful with high, colourful and tastefully decorated ceilings with massive chandeliers, aesthetically marbled, tiled floors and spacious halls. It’s a majestic work of architecture that would attract any history loving traveller to it. The building’s facade is well complemented by its equally stunning interior. Today, it serves as a museum and tourist attraction, offering visitors a glimpse into the royal lifestyle of bygone eras.

Nawab Sir Sadiq Muhammad Khan Abbasi-V, who was one of the loyal friends of Quaid-e-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah and who extended all out support during the creation of Pakistan. Born in 1907, he succeeded his father at the age of three years only. However, he was enthroned in 1924, at Noor Mahal. He re-organized the Bahawalpur State army and was bestowed with many medals by the British, in acknowledgement of his contributions in World War II. He was the first ruler to accede to Pakistan after independence on October 05, 1947.

6. Derawar Fort, Bahawalpur:

In Cholistan, forts which erected 800 years ago are fast becoming ruins owing to a dearth of maintenance and renovation work by relevant authorities. One of them is Derawar Fort. Originally built by a Hindu Rajput ruler, the fort was later captured and renovated by the Nawabs of Bahawalpur. During the tenure of Nawab of Bahawalpur, the fort was properly preserved and renovated from time to time. However, the later negligence of rulers turned this massive structure into ruins.This fort was the seat of Nawab of Bahawalpur, Sadeq Mohammad Khan I, for around 15 years until it fell into British hands

7. Pharwala Fort, Rawalpindi:

Pharwala Fort is a historical fort located in the Gujar Khan region of Pakistan, near the city of Rawalpindi. The fort is a remarkable piece of architecture and history, attracting many tourists and history enthusiasts to visit it every year. Pharwala Fort is an ancient stronghold with a history spanning over a millennium.

The Pharwala Fort dates back to the 15th century, during the Mughal period when it was built by a Rajput ruler. Later, in the 16th century, the fort came under the control of the Gakhar tribe, who were known for their bravery and warfare skills. The fort served as a defense structure during the Sikh period and was later used as a military base by the British. Constructed during the Gakhars’ rule, the fort has seen numerous rulers, including the Mughals and Sikhs. Its strategic location and commanding views make it a fascinating destination for history enthusiasts.

8. Khaplu Palace, Gilgit-Baltistan:

Khaplu Palace is the best example of royal palaces in the Karakoram in Gilgit-Baltistan region of Pakistan. Tucked away in the serene town of Khaplu in Gilgit-Baltistan, Khaplu Palace is a hidden gem of the region. Built in the mid-19th century by the Raja of Khaplu, the palace reflects a blend of Tibetan and Balti architectural styles. The palace, built in the 1840s by Raja Yabgo and renamed as Khaplu Palace and Residence (KP&R), won the Virgin Holidays Responsible Tourism Awards in poverty reduction on November 7, 2012, according to a press release. The palace, managed by the Serena Hotels, embodies Tibetan, Balti and Kashmiri styles, and welcomes guests to experience an upscale authentic heritage. Its ornate wooden carvings, intricate frescoes, and scenic surroundings make it a favorite among travelers seeking tranquility and cultural immersion.

9. Saidu Sharif Palace, Swat Valley:

Located about 13 kilometres southward from Saidu Sharif, Swat Valley, Saidu Sharif Palace is a charming relic of the region’s princely past. Seeing the gorgeous landscape, there is little surprise that the first ruler of the modern Swat state, Miangul Abdul Wadood alias Badshah sahab, had decided in 1935 to construct a royal summer house here. The 35-feet high stature was first named the Swati Taj Mahal, but presently, it is the known as the Sufaid Mahal. Built in the early 20th century by the ruler of Swat, the palace boasts a distinctive blend of British colonial and Islamic architectural elements. Surrounded by lush gardens and snow-capped peaks, it offers visitors a glimpse into the leisurely lifestyle of the Swati royals.

10. Shigar Fort, Gilgit-Baltistan:

he Shigar Fort  means The Fort on Rock is an old fort of Baltistan and Pakistan located in the town of Shigar. Shigar Fort is a marvel of Balti architecture and craftsmanship. Dating back to the 17th century, the fort was once the residence of the Raja of Shigar and served as a strategic outpost on the ancient Silk Route. Today, it has been lovingly restored into a heritage hotel, allowing guests to experience the splendor of its royal heritage firsthand.

11. Sadiq Garh Palace, Bahawalpur:

Another architectural gem in Bahawalpur, Sadiq Garh Palace is a sprawling complex that exemplifies the opulence of the Nawabs of Bahawalpur. Constructed in the late 19th century, the palace features intricate marble carvings, lush gardens, and ornate fountains, offering visitors a glimpse into the lavish lifestyle of the Bahawalpur rulers. The palace was built more than 100 years ago by Nawab Sadiq Muhammad Khan (IV). Approximately Rs15 million were spent constructing the architectural marvel. Reportedly, 15,000 labourers toiled for 10 years in order to construct the palace.

12. Ranikot Fort, Sindh:

Dubbed as the “Great Wall of Sindh,” Ranikot Fort is one of the largest fortifications in the world, spanning over 26 kilometers in circumference. Located in the Kirthar Range of Sindh province, the fort dates back to ancient times and has been attributed to various rulers, including the Sassanians, Arabs, and Talpurs. The great fort was built under the Talpurs during the administration of Prime Minister Nawab Wali Muhammed Leghari in the 17th century. The extensive structure was reinforced around 1812 at the massive cost of 1.2 million rupees, and formed the last capital of the Amirs of Sindh before they were bought under the control of the British Empire who invaded the fort. Its imposing walls and strategic location make it a fascinating destination for history buffs and adventurers.

13. Altit Fort, Gilgit-Baltistan:

Perched atop a hill overlooking the picturesque Hunza Valley, Altit Fort is one of the oldest surviving forts in the region. Dating back to the 11th century, the fort served as the residence of the Mirs of Hunza and played a crucial role in the defense of the valley. Today, it has been meticulously restored and offers visitors a glimpse into the cultural heritage of the Hunza people.

14. Baltit Fort, Hunza:

Majestic Baltit Fort is located in Karimabad Hunza Gilgit Baltistan, Northern Areas of Pakistan. It takes 1.5 hours from Gilgit to reach Baltit Fort. It is the old remaining of the fort that founded in 8th CE. It is the most popular tourists spot in Karimabad Hunza.Baltit Fort was the home of Ayashkutz royal family of Hunza for 700 years. Formerly known as Kanjut, Hunza was an independent principality ruled by a hereditary monarch named Mir Tham in the local Burushaski language.

These royal palaces, scattered across Pakistan’s diverse landscape, serve as reminders of the country’s vibrant history and cultural heritage. From the majestic forts of Punjab to the ancient strongholds of Sindh and the remote palaces of Balochistan, each architectural marvel has its own story to tell, beckoning travelers to embark on a journey of discovery through the annals of time.

Syed Haseeb
Author: Syed Haseeb

Sponsored : Professional Plus

Related Posts

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *