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Explore Pakistan
 
FAITH BELEIVERS OR SPERITUAL TOURISM IN PAKISTAN
| The Best Tourist Attractions of Pakistan |
| Photo Galleries of Beautiful Pakistan |
| Weather Forecasts of Pakistan |
| Religions In Pakistan | Islam | Sufism |
| Sikhism | Buddhism | Hinduism |
| Welcome to Pakistan | Hotels In Pakistan | City Distances In Pakistan |
| Suggested Eco Tours In Pakistan |
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Religions In Pakistan

Religions In Pakistan:
Pakistan is important for many religions of the world. The Indus Valley gave rise to one of the first great civilizations. Mahayana Buddhism also developed here as did the Sikh religion under Guru Nanak. Pakistan was created in the Indus Valley specifically to provide the Muslims of South Asia with a state of their own, and there are very few countries where religion plays such an important role in the lives of people.

Being mostly Muslims, the people of Pakistan are culturally homogeneous. Islam; Muslims are about 95% (80% Sunni & 20% Shia); Christians are 02% of the total population whereas rest of the 03% covers Hindus, Sikhs, Parsees, Bahas, Buddhists and tiny group of Kalash living in Chitral Valley. Punjabi, Sindhi, Pashtun (Pathan), Baloch, Muhajir (immigrants from India at the time of partition and their descendants).

All are of composite racial stock although the majority are of Aryan’s extraction.
Mostly nomads living in the South account for less than 1%. In Karachi, Lahore, Rawalpindi and Quetta there are small communities of Buddhists and there are a tiny group of animist Kalash living in Chitral on the Afghan border.

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Islam

Islam ('submission to God'):
Islam ('submission to God') plays a very important role in the lives of Pakistani people, in fact, it prevails in every aspect of society. The muezzin's call to worship from the minarets of the mosques; men bowed in prayer in the fields, shops and airports; qibla (Urdu for 'the direction of Makkah') is marked in every hotel bedroom; the veiled women in the streets - all constantly remind you of the devotion and passion of the Pakistanis for their religion.

The message of Islam was brought by the Prophet Muhammad (Peace Be Upon Him)in the Arabian city of Makkah. He saw himself as God's messenger and taught that all human beings are equal in the sight of God. It is also believed by all Muslims that he was the one who God sent the Qu'ran so that its word may be spread among the masses. The Qu'ran is believed to be infallible and the words of God.

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Sufism

Sufism:
Sufism is Islam's mystical tradition, the Sufis being Muslim holy men who develop their spirituality through prayer and meditation. Sufi comes from the Arabic 'safa' meaning purity, so Sufis are those whose hearts and souls are pure. The first Sufis wandered through Persia and Afghanistan and into the South Asia, preaching love, peace and brotherhood. Some of Pakistan's finest music and literature were written by Sufi saints; verses set to music that tell of the love of God, and stories in which virtue receives its reward. Sufi saints portrayed life at its most perfect. The shrines of the great saints draw many who come to pray and make offerings.

Each shrine has a festival (Urs) each year on the death anniversary of the saint's death. The shrine then becomes a fairground, with musicians playing traditional instruments and singers performing mystical folk songs while dancers dance themselves in to a devotional frenzy. Trade fairs, sports competitions and traditional martial arts also take place such as fighting with daggers and riding.

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Sikhism

Sikhism:
The founder of the Sikh religion, Guru Nanak, was born near Lahore. He took elements from Hinduism and Islam and combined them with new ideas. They controlled an empire centered on Punjab, with Lahore as their temporal capital and nearby Amritsar (in India) as their religious capital.

At partition, all the Sikhs migrated to India where they are now asking for a separate Sikh state in the Indian part of Punjab. Their shrines in Pakistan are maintained by the government and are visited at festival times by Sikh pilgrims.


See More Holy Sikh Places & Fmous Sikh Gurdwaras in Pakistan


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Buddhism

Buddhism:
Birth of Buddha
The evidence of the early texts suggests that the Buddha was born in a community that was on the periphery, both geographically and culturally, of the northeastern Indian subcontinent in the 5th century BCE. It was either a small republic, in which case his father was an elected chieftain, or an oligarchy, in which case his father was an oligarch.

According to the Theravada Tipitaka scriptures (from Pali, meaning "three baskets"), The Buddha who is the founder of the Buddhist religion is called Buddha Shakyamuni “Shakya” is the name of the royal family into which he was born, and “Muni” means “Able One.” Buddha Shakyamuni was born as a royal prince in 563 BC Or 624 BC in a place called Lumbini, in what is now Nepal. His mother’s name was Queen Mayadevi and his father’s name was King Shuddhodana and raised in Kapilavastu.

According to this narrative, shortly after the birth of young prince Siddhartha Gautama, an astrologer visited the young prince's father—King Śuddhodana
—and prophesied that Siddhartha would either become a great king or renounce the material world to become a holy man, depending on whether he saw what life was like outside the palace walls.

Śuddhodana was determined to see his son become a king, so he prevented him from leaving the palace grounds. But at age 29, despite his father's efforts, Siddhartha ventured beyond the palace several times.

Buddhism:
Buddhism (Pali/Sanskrit: बौद्ध धर्म Bauddha Dharma) is a religion and philosophy encompassing a variety of traditions, beliefs and practices, largely based on teachings attributed to Siddhartha Gautama, commonly known as the Buddha (Pāli/Sanskrit "the awakened one"). The Buddha lived and taught in the northeastern Indian subcontinent some time between the 6th and 4th centuries BCE. He is recognized by Buddhists as an awakened or enlightened teacher who shared his insights to help sentient beings end ignorance (avidyā) of dependent origination, thus escaping what is seen as a cycle of suffering and rebirth.

Two major branches of Buddhism are recognized: Theravada ("The School of the Elders") and Mahayana ("The Great Vehicle"). Theravada has a widespread following in Sri Lanka and Southeast Asia. Mahayana is found throughout East Asia and includes the traditions of Pure Land, Zen, Nichiren Buddhism, Tibetan Buddhism, Shingon, Tiantai (Tendai) and Shinnyo-en. In some classifications Vajrayana—as practiced mainly in Tibet and Mongolia —is recognized as a third branch, while others classify it as a part of Mahayana. The are other categorisations of these 3 Vehicles or Yanas.

While Buddhism remains most popular within Asia, both branches are now found throughout the world. Estimates of Buddhists worldwide vary significantly depending on the way Buddhist adherence is defined. Lower estimates are between 350–500 million.

Main Buddhist School of Thoughts:

Hīnayāna (हीनयान) is a Sanskrit and Pāli term literally meaning: the "Inferior Vehicle", "Deficient Vehicle", the "Abandoned Vehicle", or the "Defective Vehicle". The term appeared around the 1st or 2nd century.

Hīnayāna is contrasted with Mahāyāna, which means the "Great Vehicle." There are a variety of interpretations as to who or what the term "Hīnayāna" refers to.

The word Hīnayāna is formed of hīna (हीन): "poor", "inferior", "abandoned", "deficient", "defective;" and yāna (यान) "vehicle", where "vehicle" means " a way of going to enlightenment".

Mahāyāna (Sanskrit: महायान, mahāyāna, literally the "Great Vehicle") is one of the two main existing branches of Buddhism and a term for classification of Buddhist philosophies and practice. Mahāyāna Buddhism originated in India.

The Mahāyāna tradition is the larger of the two major traditions of Buddhism existing today, the other being that of the Theravāda school. According to the teachings of Mahāyāna traditions, "Mahāyāna" also refers to the path of seeking complete enlightenment for the benefit of all sentient beings, also called "Bodhisattvayāna", or the "Bodhisattva Vehicle.

According to Jan Nattier, the term Mahāyāna ("Great Vehicle") was originally an honorary synonym for Bodhisattvayāna ("Bodhisattva Vehicle") — the vehicle of a bodhisattva seeking buddhahood for the benefit of all sentient beings. The term Mahāyāna was therefore formed independently at an early date as a synonym for the path and the teachings of the bodhisattvas. Since it was simply an honorary term for Bodhisattvayāna, the creation of the term Mahāyāna and its application to Bodhisattvayāna did not represent a significant turning point in the development of a Mahāyāna tradition.

In Pakistan:
Pakistan, the crucible of many cultures and civilizations from the Stone Age to the British Rule, has remains of ancient civilizations scattered all over the country. However, the most popular are the Indus Valley and Gandhara Civilizations. Almost all the major museums of the world has pieces of Gandhara Art exhibited in their galleries.

Gandhara, the ancient Peshawar Valley and the cradle of Buddhist Civilizations, gave birth to the famous Gandhara Art, is first mentioned in the Rigveda, and remained one of the provinces of the Achaemenian Empire as per Darius inscription of the 6th century BC. Pushkalavati (Balahisar – Charsadda), its first capital from 6th century BC till 1st century AD, was invaded in 327 BC by Alexander of Macedonia, ruled by Mauryans, Indo-Greeks, Scythians, Parthians and Kushans who established their capital at Pushpapura or Peshawar in 1st century AD. In 7th century AD, the Shahi Dynasty established the capital at Hund, which remained their capital till the invasions of Ghaznavids in 998 AD, thus ending the rule of Gandhara.

Famous Buddhist Sites in Pakistan:
The sites and antiquities of Takht-e-Bahi, Sahri Bahlol, Jamal Garhi, Rani Gat, Aziz Dheri, Butkara, Saidu Stupa, Andan Dheri, Chat Pat, Dam Kot, Khanpur and the monasteries in the Taxila Valley provided the richest collection of Gandhara Art to the Peshawar, Taxila, Swat, Dir and Peshawar University museums through the excavations by British, Italian and Pakistani scholars.


See More Details about Heritage Tourism in Pakistan


See More Details of Famous Archaeological Sites in Pakistan


Best time to visit: November to March
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Hinduism

Hinduism:
Pakistan has played an important role in the historical development of Buddhism and Hinduism, the latter taking its name from the Indus river. About 4 million Hindus left Pakistan during the partition, and 1.5 million remain today.

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Karachi Elev. 22 m
Multan Elev. 122 m
Lahore Elev. 217 m
Islamabad Elev. 508 m
Murree Hills Elev. 2126 m
Kaghan Valley Elev. 2134 m
Swat Valley Elev. 975 m
Hunza Valley Elev. 2500 m
Kalash Valley Elev. 1670 m
Skardu Valley Elev. 2500 m
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