This is my DocuVlog about travelling to Hiran Minar Tomb, Khewra Salt Mine and the wonderful Katas Raj Temples. This is the perfect detour when travelling from Lahore to Islamabad, or vice versa! Read more about the trip here.
Check out some of my travel pictures at: www.instagram.com/travelling_the_unknown/
Above is my Lahore vlog, where I cover my visits to Anarkali Bazaar, Badshahi Mosque, Lahore Museum, Wagah Border, Wazir Khan Mosque, Jahangir’s tomb, Lahore Zoo, Ichra Bazaar, The Old City – and a brief introduction to Paan!
Music credits go to Kuljit Bhamra (first song), Surjit Bindrakhia (second song), Amar Singh Chamlika & Amaryjot (third song), and Alam Lohar (fourth song).
Roughly half way between Lahore and Islamabad, these two sites make for a wonderful detour from a journey between the two cities.. The town of Sheikhpura, near Lahore, is also on the way, and is home to Hiran Minar, a beautiful complex built by Mughal Emperor Jahangir. Khewra is home to the world’s second largest salt mines (and the world’s oldest!), but what really blew me away was the nearby Katas Raj temples, a little visited holy Hindu complex which happened to end up on the Pakistani side of the border following partition.
Following our trip to Lahore, we left the city in a car with faulty AC, which was such a struggle in 40+°C heat, but we managed it until reaching Islamabad! Our first stop was Hiran Minar, built to commemorate Jahangir’s pet antelope!
We then drove to the Khewra Salt Mine, which was roughly a 3 hour drive. The mine is supposedly more than 2000 years old, and was apparently discovered by Alexander The Great’s horse. This place was certainly fascinating – not only its history but also the various salt formations inside. Getting into Khewra Salt Mine also proved fun: on a train into the mining tunnels!
The way I like to put it, Lahore is an explosion of colours, sounds, smells and more. For someone living in Europe, North America, or perhaps even most of the world’s countries, coming to Lahore is overwhelming. Bypassing the chaotic (but somehow moving?!) traffic can be challenging. As a noticeably foreign face, you’ll get a lot of locals wanting to talk/take selfies – this may also be overwhelming to those who haven’t experienced it. But don’t let any of this put you off an adventure to one of the Indian subcontinents most vibrant cities, and the hub of Punjabi culture. Also, you can check out my Lahore travel vlog where I go into the top sites in detail.
1) The Wagah Border
If seeing only one site in the Lahore area, this should be it. The daily joint border ceremony with India provides a climatic nationalistic experience to those on both sides of the border. The must see flag ceremony starts just before sunset in the summer (earlier throughout the rest of the year), requires no ticket, and truly is a fantastic experience.
With summer approaching, holiday planning is beginning to take root for many. Instead of travelling to the tourist-packed beaches of Spain or the theme parks of Florida, why not try something more unique. Here’s my list of my top 5 “off the beaten track” destinations to travel to this summer:
1) Northern Pakistan
While the visa is a little expensive and tricky to obtain (you have to be a national/ permanent resident of the country you’re applying in), the effort is most certainly worth it. The northern valleys of Kalash, Hunza, Neelam, Skardu, among others, offer some of the world’s most spectacular mountain scenery. Summer weather is also perfect for outdoor activity, at between 15 and 25 degrees Celsius depending on the area and altitude.