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Among Pakistan's awe-inspiring architectural gems, Chiniot – a historic city of Punjab – is a true treasure of magnificent palaces, mosques and dazzling buildings.

Here is a list of places you must see in Chiniot:

Umer Hayat Palace

Standing proud in the heart of the city, Umer Hayat Palace is one of the famous 'mahals' of Pakistan. With a touch of Mughal architecture, the facade of the building is adorned with a fine inlay of bricks. The dazzling shine of marble and exquisite interior adds to its beauty.

A successful trader, Sheikh Umer Hayat decided to construct the palace for his son in 1923 for which he gathered famous artisans who worked day and night to complete the palace.

The work on the structure finished by 1935 but sadly, Sheikh died the same year, a few months before the gorgeous palace was complete.

It's a tremendous piece of art with stucco work, finest carving and patterns of wood in the form of jharokas, doors and window panes, which makes it looks like the “Taj Mahal” of Chiniot.

Shahi Masjid

Built by Nawab Saad UlIah Khan during the regime of Emperor Shah Jahan (1628-58), Shahi Masjid is another attraction of Chiniot.

It is said to be a replica of Mughal constructions in the region like Jamia Masjid Dehli, Dehli Fort and Laal Qila Fort in India due to its wooden interior and art work.

Chillah gah of Shah Sharaf Boo Ali Qalandar

Sheesh Mahal

Saeen Sukh Shrine, also known as the 'Sheesh Mahal' of Chiniot, stands adjacent to the Shrine of Shah Ismail Shah Bukhari

#sheesh #mahal #chiniot #chiniwat

A photo posted by Ahmad Basil (@ahmad.basil) on

Sheesh Mahal is beautifully decorated with intricate designs made from mirrors.

#Chiniot #SheeshMehal

A photo posted by Shahrose Khan (@shahrose_khan36) on

#interior #chiniwat #chiniot #palace #motif #colors #work #old #design #pakistan #ahmadbasil #photography

A photo posted by Ahmad Basil (@ahmad.basil) on

#SheeshMehal #Chiniot

A photo posted by Shahrose Khan (@shahrose_khan36) on

The Big Temple

The classic Hindu temple also known as big temple was built by Maharaja Gulab Singh.

The impressive temple is believed to have been built amid the second Anglo-Sikh war.

Shrine of Ismail Shah Bukhari

The tomb of Hazrat Sheikh Ismail Bukhari is another charm in Chiniot that manages to lure hundreds of travelers and backpackers annually. Sheikh Ismail was a famous saint of Chiniot and his excellent way of teaching provoked many non-Muslims to convert to Islam.

These pictures were collected through various users from Instagram. Do you have pictures that you would like to send us? Tag them with #dawndotcom on your Instagram account and get a chance to be featured on @dawndotcom and also our website dawn.com


Comments (28) Closed



Ahmed USA Feb 24, 2016 11:39am

Wow... Beautiful Pakistan... Matchless!!!

Arya Putra Punjab Feb 24, 2016 11:42am

As John Keats said : A thing of beauty is a joy for ever. Our rich Punjabi heritage constantly keeps surprising new generations of Punjabis.

Khwarezmi Feb 24, 2016 12:45pm

Thank you Dawn - this made my day.

Chiniot here I come!!

Zaid Feb 24, 2016 01:04pm

Amazing pictures they are ...

Adeel Feb 24, 2016 02:34pm

Wow wow Wow such an refreshing and amazing architecture

Surya Kant Feb 24, 2016 02:45pm

Beautiful Masjid. I say my prayer from here right now....

Sarfraz Feb 24, 2016 02:52pm

Stunning - as these are! The point is (1) how to project these gems world over (2) how to convince tourists to visit these places (security concerns)? (3) Does Chiniot offer Safe & comfortable rest houses for foreign tourists?

Hafiz Muhammad Waqas Feb 24, 2016 03:06pm

Mr Sarfaraz has put very valid questions. Time and again it has been reminded to the concerned authorities to attract tourists but in vain. With any local person all of these places can be visited in a single day. Tourists can reside either in Chiniot or in Faisalabad. Moreover Chanab river is a beautiful attraction. Marvelous wooden furniture is pride of Chiniot. A chair lift is being installed on the mountains at the bank of chanab, it will be a good addition for tourists.

Musleh Uddin Ahmad Feb 24, 2016 03:54pm

UBLIEVABLE sites of chiniot. Why our Tourist Department does not promote this and may other similar places? Improving and developing new tourist place could be a source of Foreign Exchange earning and at the same time change the local economy for better.

Saad Feb 24, 2016 04:02pm

Just a suggestion - if you do pieces like this on tourism in Pakistan, it would be a good idea to include further details like how to get to these places, where they're located and any local hotels.

I think Dawn is doing a great job in promoting tourism in Pakistan but it would be so much better if we could get more details!

Harmony-1© Feb 24, 2016 04:54pm

There is a stark difference in the brightness and colours of mosques.

Syed Hussain Akbarii Feb 24, 2016 05:36pm

@Arya Putra Punjab My dear this is not Punjabi heritage. This is Indo Pakistani heritage. Will you call the Shahi Masjid of Tatta in Sindh built by Shah Jehan as Sindhi heritage ? No it is also a part of Indo Pakistani heritage.

AnilD Feb 24, 2016 06:07pm

Thanks, a very good job of compiling the photographs of Mahals of Chiniton area. I have read many articles on Natures wonders in Pakistan in Dawn. Is it possible for any travel agency in Pakistan to organize the tours so that travelers from all over the world also get to see and enjoy. Dawn Publishing Co: Please publish a list of travel agencies and places to visit, visa procedure, hotels, authentic local accommodation like Sarai, security etc. it will be a great help. Thanks

arsh Feb 24, 2016 07:52pm

Reminds me of my childhood. I will, some day, go back and visit these places.

Goga Nalaik Feb 24, 2016 09:02pm

Beautiful pictures!

Paklander Feb 24, 2016 09:20pm

Simply Awesome! God bless our Pakistan!!!

Jaiser Abbas Feb 24, 2016 09:51pm

@Khwarezmi Lemme know will entertain you with beautiful historical places ;)

Jaiser Abbas Feb 24, 2016 09:53pm

@Musleh Uddin Ahmad Govt. 's department in action in Chiniot to renovate the old buildings. I am here in chiniot and will share the updated pictures with #DawnDotCom :)

Aly Alp-Ercelan Feb 24, 2016 10:31pm

Wah! Hope I live long enough to visit!

K.Shah Feb 25, 2016 04:20am

Earlier rulers have left plenty of palaces, mosques and shrines but no educational institutions and universities as they had no interest in education.

L.Ahmad Feb 25, 2016 06:33am

I would have liked to see some photos of Rabwah as well which lies next to Chiniot.

Rajeev Feb 25, 2016 07:39am

My God these buildings are so beautiful. May be someday I would be able to see them and feel blessed. My salute to the artisans.

Nomi Feb 25, 2016 09:07am

Simply Amazing, I wish GOP preserve all those marvel pieces to its best original form

Saeed Masood Feb 25, 2016 12:59pm

Beautiful..These articles and photos awaken the love for Pakistan...Dawn very good job done by you...Shabash..keep it up...

Kazim Khan Feb 25, 2016 01:11pm

@K.Shah rightly so, education was never a priority for the rulers therefore not a single university was built to match their palaces.

Kamil Sanaulla Feb 25, 2016 11:08pm

I did not know these beautiful architectural buildings exist in Pakistan. These are breathtaking marvelous and one hopes he has the time and opportunity to visit these wonderful things that exist in Pakistan.

Shahzada Abdul Aleem Feb 26, 2016 02:42pm

Excellent information given here

Shahzada Abdul Aleem Feb 26, 2016 02:43pm

Excellent information given here