Ahmed Sajjad Zaidi

Entrepreneur, trekker, and photographer based in Pakistan
Architecture

Baha-ud-din Zakariya Mausoleum Doorway

Sheikh Baha-ud-din Zakariya was a 13th century sufi saint and the father of Shah Rukn-e-Alam. His mausoleum is located in Multan, close to his son’s grander and more famous tomb. Although relatively small, it is covered in intricate artwork and calligraphy. Here is the side door to the complex:

Baha-ud-din Zakariya mausoleum

An excellent blend of sandy bricks and azure geometric patterns.

Inside Noor Mahal

Noor Mahal, or “Palace of Light”, was built in 1872, during the British Raj, by the Nawab of Bahawalpur. It combines elements of Corinthian, Islamic and Indian architecture. The palace was eventually purchased by the Pakistani military and is currently maintained as an officer’s mess. However, it is mostly kept open to the public.

Noor Mahal interior fisheye

Seen here is the main hall, inside the palace. Shot with a fisheye lens.

Kalyan Minaret of Bukhara

Shot from the base of the Kalyan Minaret in Bukhara, Uzbekistan. The tower is covered with intricate designs, made even more amazing by the simple, sandy color.

Kalyan minaret Bukhara

The 12th century structure was the only one left intact, due to its beauty, after Genghis Khan’s conquest and destruction of Bukhara. It was later used to execute prisoners by throwing them from the top.

Rohtas Fort

View of one of the 68 bastions of Rohtas Fort. Over 10 meters (32 feet) in height, 5km (3 miles) long and thick enough to withstand all sorts of attacks, the outer wall is an amazing feat of engineering.

Rohtas Fort bastion framed

The surrounding inhospitable terrain would have made it even harder to conquer the fort. No wonder it was never besieged.

Golden Gate of Rohtas

Rohtas Fort was built in the 16th century by King Farid Khan, also known as Sher Shah Suri, to block the advance of the ousted Mughal Emperor Humayun and his allies towards India.

The fort is situated about 8km from Dina, close to the city of Jhelum, which itself is said to be founded by Alexander the Great. The Battle of the Hydaspes River (River Jhelum) is also said to have been fought somewhere nearby.

Rohtas fort Shah Chandwali gate

With a circumference of 5km, a 10-15 meter thick outer wall and three baolis (stepwells) to supply the residents, the fort was built to sustain a prolonged siege. Able to house an army of 30,000, it would have posed quite a challenge to anyone who laid siege to it. However, it never came under attack and passed to Humayun’s allies, the Gakhars, after Sher Shah Suri’s death and the former’s return to the throne.

The Shah Chandwali gate pictured here, acts as the link between the citadel and the rest of the fort and is one of the most exquisite and intact structures within the fort.