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Museums Of Pakistan
NATIONAL MUSEUM OF PAKISTAN, KARACHIThe National Museum of Pakistan at Karachi, Pakistan. It was established in Frere Hall Building on April 17, 1950 replacing the defunct Victoria Museum. The historic building of Frere Hall itself was built in 1865 as tribute to Sir Bartle Frere, Commissioner of Sind in the last century. The basic objective of establishing National Museum was to collect, preserve, study, and exhibit the records of the cultural history of Pakistan and to promote a learned insight into the personality of its people. Once the Museum was inaugurated then the Government of Pakistan deemed it wise to constitute an Advisory Council in 1950 with a primary duty to counsel the Museum on the issues of enriching its collection through new acquisitions and purchase of antiquities and works of Arts.
The Museum was shifted to the present premises (located in Burns Garden, Dr. Zia-ud-din Road) in 1970. At that time there were only four galleries in the Museum. However, at present there are a total of 11 Galleries in the Museum including an exquisite “Quran Gallery”. As a matter of fact National Museum has more than 300 copies of the Holy Quran, out of which around 52 rare manuscripts are on display in “Quran Gallery”. The Museum also contains an important collection of items relating to Pakistan's Cultural heritage. Some other galleries display Indus Civilization artifacts, Gandhara Civilization Sculptures, Islamic Art, Miniature Paintings, Ancient Coins and Manuscripts documenting Pakistan's Political History. There is also an interesting Ethnological Gallery with life size statues of different ethnicities living in the four provinces of Pakistan.
The Museum has a collection of 58,000 old coins (some dating from 74 Al-Hijra), and hundreds of well preserved sculptures. Some 70,000 publications, books and other reading material of the Archeology and Museums Department were also shifted to the National Museum so that general public could see them.
Every year National Museum holds around a dozen exhibitions on National Days and other occasions. The Museum premise also has an auditorium with 250 seating capacity.
PAF Museum, KarachiPAF Museum, Karachi is an Air Force museum and park situated between PAF Base Faisal and Awami Markaz on main Shahra-e-Faisal at Karachi, Pakistan.
The museum is open throughout the year for seven days a week. Pakistan Air Force Museum is known for its well-organized displays, rides and greenery. The main museum is located inside the park and features all major fighter aircraft that have been used by the Pakistan Air Force are on display. The museum houses the aircraft used by Quaid-e-Azam Mohammed Ali Jinnah, founder of Pakistan.
Many aircraft are also on display outside in the park and some in the hangar as well, along with photo and weapon galleries. There is also a souvenir shop where miniature jet models, key chains, shirts and other Air Force related merchandise is available. A mosque and restaurant also cater the park.
Pakistan Maritime Museum, KarachiPakistan Maritime Museum is a naval museum and park located in naval estate on Habib Ebrahim Rehmatallah Road, Karachi, Pakistan.
The main museum building is located inside the park. It comprises of six galleries and an auditorium. The museum is based on modern concepts of presentation and interactive education. Different artifacts of maritime and naval heritage have been incorporated through attractive dioramas, relief sculpture, murals and miniature paintings, touch screen computers, taxidermy and ancient weapons. A computer based maritime information retrieval system has also been incorporated to facilitate the visitors and students for easy access.
Pakistan Maritime Museum is known for its well-organized displays, rides and greenery. The museum is open throughout the year for seven days a week. There is also a souvenir shop.
MULTAN MUSEUMThe Multan Museum located in Multan, Pakistan contains a fine collection of coins, medals, postage stamps of the former State of Bahawalpur, manuscripts, documented inscriptions, wood carvings, camel-skin paintings, historical models and stone carvings of the Islamic and Pre-Islamic periods.
WAZIR MANSIONWazir Mansion is a building, located in Kharadar neighborhood of Karachi, Sindh, Pakistan. Wazir Mansion is the birthplace of Quaid-e-Azam, Mohammad Ali Jinnah, the founder of Pakistan. It now serves as a museum and national archive. The house has been declared a protected national monument by the Government of Pakistan.
LOK VIRSA MUSEUMLok Virsa Museum is situated in Islamabad Pakistan. It displays the cultural heritage of Pakistani people. The living style of the different areas of Pakistan is exhibited here in statues, pictures, pottery, music and textile work.
LAHORE MUSEUMLahore Museum was established in 1894 in Lahore, Pakistan, and is one of the major museums of South Asia. Lahore Museum is also known as Central Museum, and is located on The Mall. Rudyard Kipling's father John Lockwood Kipling, was one of the famous curators of the museum and the novel Kim was set in the vicinity of the Lahore Museum.
It is located opposite the old University Hall, a Mughal style building on the Shahrah-e-Quaid-e-Azam. The Museum contains some fine specimens of Mughal and Sikh door-ways and wood-work and contains a large collection of paintings dating back to Mughal, Sikh and British era.
It has also a collection of musical instruments, ancient jewellery, textiles, pottery and armory. There are relics from the Graeco-Bactrian times as well as well as some Tibetan and Nepalese work. The museum has a number of objects of Greco-Buddhist sculptures, Mughal and Pahari paintings on display. The Fasting Buddha is one of the unique collections of the museum.
PESHAWAR MUSEUMPeshawar Museum situated in the historical city of Peshawar, North-West Frontier Province, Pakistan.
Situated between Deans Hotel and the Old city, about five minutes walk from Jail Bridge and the Railway station. The museum currently has 14,101 items in the museum which range from Gandhara sculptures, coins, manuscripts and copies of the Holy Quran, inscriptions, weapons, dresses, jewellery, Kalash effigies, paintings of the Mughal era and later periods, household objects and local and Persian handicrafts.
The main hall of the museum was built in 1906-07 in memory of Queen Victoria at a cost of Rs 60,000; Rs 45,000 was donated by the public and the rest by the Indian Director General of Archaeology. The Museum was originally called Victoria Memorial Hall.
The two-story building, an amalgamation of British and Mughal architectural styles, originally consisted of a main hall and two side aisles on the ground and first floor. The side aisles were surmounted by four elegant cupolas and small pinnacles on all corners. Another two halls were added in the eastern and western side of the building in 1969-70. Four years later, a second floor was added to the side halls. In 2004-2005 construction was completed of an Islamic Block with two galleries, a conservation laboratory, two halls for the reserve collection, offices for the provincial directorate of archaeology and a cafeteria. As well as a remodeling of the existing building by replacing the show cases, lighting, labeling and displays in all the galleries of the main building, as well as the revamping of the floor and ceiling.
Peshawar Museum has the largest collection of Gandhara Greco-Buddhist art in the world. In total, there are 4247 Gandahara pieces including Buddhist stone sculptures and panels, stucco sculptures, terracotta figurines, relic caskets and toiletry objects. The subject matter of Gandhara Art in the main hall includes Buddha’s life stories, miracles, worship of symbols, relic caskets and individual standing Buddha sculptures.
The gallery exhibits wooden facades of mosques, Arabic and Persian inscriptions, Multani tiles and ceramics, and the dresses and weapons of Syed Ahmad Shaheed Barailvi. Some of the best works are the Islamic metal artefacts in bronze and silver and calligraphic specimens as well as scrolls from as far back as 1224 AD.
This section exhibits the culture and life of the major tribes of the NWFP and the Kalasha of Chitral. It presently exhibits 348 items including twelve commemorative effigies of world famous Kalasha figures. Swords, daggers, spears, bows, arrows, shields, muzzle loaded guns, revolvers, pistols and gunpowder boxes are also exhibited.
The Me you have always known, the Me that's a stranger still.
First Bt Cotton Grown in Pakistan
Cotton is an important cash crop for Pakistan known as “white gold”. It accounts for 8.2 percent of the value added in agriculture and about 3.2 percent to GDP; around two thirds of the country’s export earnings are from the cotton made-up and textiles which adds over $2.5 billion to the national economy; while hundreds of ginning factories and textile mills in the country heavily depends upon cotton. Life of millions of farmers is dependent on this crop, in addition to millions of people employed along the entire cotton value chain, from weaving to textile and garment exports The area under the cultivation of cotton crops has been increased significantly in the last 30 years - around 7.85 million acres in 2005-06 as compared to 7.2 million acres in 2002-03. Beside being the world’s fourth-largest cotton producer and the third largest exporter of raw cotton and a leading exporter of yarn in the world our yield per acres ranks 13th in the world; as a result Pakistan annually imports around 1.5-2.00 million bales of cotton to meet growing demand from local textile mills; therefore it has become vital for Pakistan to increase its yield per acre.
Agriculture biotechnology is helping today to provide people with more and better crops, food and holds even greater promise for the future. Green revolution farming methods are coming to an end with declining yields due to environmental and soil degradation, loss of seedling varieties and high input costs. So, many farmers around the world are turning to genetic engineered varieties (GE) to confront with new challenges. Many Asian countries including China, India, Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines, Thailand, Pakistan and Vietnam are giving high priority to plant biotechnology research in the hope of addressing the pressing challenges related to improving productivity, farmers livelihoods, driving rural development, and meeting food security demands. Many of these countries focus their biotechnology research on food crops and non food crops and crops of high commercial value in the hope of meeting increasing food requirements and reducing use of pesticides and poverty alleviation in rural area.
Farmers, who cultivated these Bt cotton varieties at heart of cotton growing regions in Punjab - Bahawalpur, Multan, Muzaffer Garh and Karor Pakka; observed and evaluated independently its resistance and susceptibility to different pests including factors like abiotic stress and yield than compared it with non Bt cotton varieties grown in the same locations. A large number of farmers have visited these fields, and become aware of the benefits of the locally developed Bt cotton.
Today, all major cotton producing countries are benefiting from the cultivation of Bt Cotton. In the last season 54 percent of cotton crops grown in USA, 76 percent in China and 80 percent in Australia were with “single” or “double” Bt gene technology. India, the world’s third-largest cotton-grower has cultivated 1.36 million acres of Bt cotton crops. It is expected that within two years more than half the world’s cotton may be grown from genetically modified crops.
Pakistan also realizes the significance of Bt Cotton, and the top political leadership including the Prime Minister Shaukat Aziz himself has said to a delegation of farmers that government would allow farmers to grow Bt cotton soon, which confirms government’s policy of being open to genetically modified crops in the near future. Other ministers have also spoken in favor of adopting the Bt Cotton.
In May 2005 PAEC provided 40,000.00 Kg basic seed of Bt cotton (insect resistant) varieties “IR-FH-901”, “IR-NIBGE-2”, “IR-CIM-448” and “IR-CIM-443”; which have been grown over 8,000 acres of land in season 2005-06. Its encouraging outcomes have surprised every one from seed companies to the farmers who cultivated these varieties. These early users of Bt cotton have been tightly screened and evaluated by PAEC on the bases of their capacity to follow Bio-safety rules.
Gates OF Walled City of Lahore
The Walled City of Lahore, also known as the "Old City", or "Anderoon Shehr", is the section of Lahore that was fortified by a city wall during the Mughal era. Much of the wall remains intact today and is a popular tourist spot in Lahore.
ORIGINS OF WALLED CITY OF LAHOREOur search for the origins of the original Lahore has immense twists and turns. It's time period can be anything starting 2,000 BC onwards... at least carbon dating evidence of archaeological findings in the Lahore Fort do suggest this time period.
We learn from various sources that Lahore had many names, all of which changed over time. But the one name that does warrant research is 'kacha kot'.
One of the two most probably sites of the 'original' Lahore is Mohallah Maulian. Let us explore this area in this brief piece. If we focus on Sootar Mandi - the yarn market - inside Lohari Gate, we can get a feel of what we are looking for. Sootar Mandi was once called Mohallah Chaileywala Hammam, and is located in what was once called Machli Hatta Gulzar, which is just off Chowk Chalka, Lahore's original red-light area.
As late as 1864, according to one source quoting Mufti Tajuddin, son of the well-known Mufti Imamuddin, the Lohari Mandi area was known among the old folk of the Walled City as 'kacha kot' - the mud fort. Why was this area called a 'mud fort' when we know that the original walls of the Lahore Fort, before Akbar the Great's days, were also made of mud? This is the question that must be explored.
To determine this it is important that one visits the old Walled City, observe the gradient of the land, the water (nullah's act as excellent guides of gradient and direction) flow and observe how 'mohallahs' and 'kuchas' and 'kattrahs' are structured. Standing at Chowk Sootar Mandi, if you observe the curve of Gali Pir Bola as it merges with Waachowali Bazaar, and then also the Lohari Bazaar where it merges with Chowk Lohari Mandi, and, lastly, where Chowk Mati where it merges with Papar Mandi, you can well imagine. If you close your eyes and transport yourself 3,500 years back, a small mud fort with a small dwelling. The setting is perfect. Once you open your eyes, it is time to observe, or look for, some evidence of a mud fort.
If you walk along Lohari Bazaar, just a short distance from Chowk Chakla (Imagine, this beautiful name has been changed to a pious Chowk Bokhari!) to the right you will see the street open a little, for on the right is a half-buried archway of 'pucca' bricks and mud. Could this be from the era when Lahore was a mud fort? The evidence certainly does suggest that this could be an archway, or gateway, of the small original 'kacha kot' way back in time, a place that was to grow one day to become Lahore.
It is also possible, for we must not exclude any possibility, that this was the famous mud fort that was built by Malik Ayaz, the very first Muslim governor of Lahore. This is very probably because it is recorded history that Lohari Gate was the main entrance to Ayaz's mud fort. So no matter how you analyze recorded evidence, one thing is for sure, and that is that Chowk Sootar Mandi was one important centre of Kacha Kot. The lay of the streets also suggest the boundaries.
In an earlier piece we had followed a similar theory, and come up with the proposition that during the times of Mughal Emperor Akbar, the original wall of the Walled City of Lahore was, on the western side, to the right of Bazaar Hakeeman in Bhati Gate, and on the eastern side to the left of Shahalam Gate, which then curved eastwards and formed a 'kidney shaped' city that depended on the flow of the curving River Ravi. Thus the Lahore of the 'kacha kot' era has continued to expand in three major leaps of expansion, each with an almost 400-year gap. The eras of Raja Jaipal of Akbar and of Maharajah Ranjit Singh mark the high points of this expansion.
But the expanding bubble definitely has its origins in three factors, they being (a) the way the Ravi has flown and how and when it has been changing its course, (b) the existence of the Lahore Fort and how power has flowed from the rulers, and (c) the manner in which the population and economy of the old original Walled City has changed over time, grown, or even shrunk, depending of invasions, droughts and famines in the countryside. The story of 'kacha kot' has been determined by these factors.
When walking through these streets, it is not hard to make out that the oldest buildings in the entire Walled City exist in this area. As one passes the old exquisite mosque known even now as Masjid Kohana Hammam Chaileywala, one is reminded that the area was named similarly once. There must have been a huge 'hammam' here once. The tomb of Pir Bola exists after which is named the 'gali'.
It is sad that we tend to change the names of streets and areas, and even cities, at the drop of a hat as if to stamp some sort of moral authority on time. All rulers love to block out history. It would be best to let history rest and emerge as times dictate. It would not be a bad idea to declare the entire Walled City as a protected area. Let us keep for the future the little that is left of 'kacha kot' - the mud fort that ultimately became the Walled City of Lahore.
THE AKBARI GATEThe "Akbari Gate" is named after the great Mughal emperor Akbar who rebuilt the town and citadel. Close to this gate the Emperor also founded a market, which is named after him "Akbari Mandi" (Akbari Market). It is the biggest retail market of Lahore, in which food grains of all kinds are available.
THE BHATI GATEIt is named after the Bhattis, an ancient Rajput tribe, which invaded the quarters in old times. The "Bhati Gate" entrance is located on the western wall of the old city. It is one of the two oldest entry points into the Walled City which controlled the only major north-south thoroughfare during Ghaznavid period. When the Emperor Akbar expanded the city eastward and divided it into nine districts or Guzars, Bhati Gate and its bazar marked the boundary between Guzar Mubarak Khan (east) and Guzar Talwarra (west). The area inside the gate is well known throughout the city for its food. Just outside of "Bhati Gate" is the Data Durbar, the mausoleum of the Sufi saint Ali Hajweri (also known as Data Sahib Ganjbaksh). Every Thursday evening musicians gather here to perform Qawwali music.
The most popular market here is the Hakiman wali bazar as the name suggests there are a number of Hakim shops here. A museum is also located near Bhatti gate, where there are a number of ancient remains of different old times.
Old house of famous poet and philosopher (Allama Mohammad Iqbal ) is also located in Bhatti gate. He used to live here when he was doing his graduation. An old school named Victorian school is also located here; it is given the name Victoria after the name of Queen Victoria. People of Bhatti gate are lively and they love to eat heavy and good food mainly Sri pai, halva puri and lasi. The favorite sport among the people here is wrestling. Famous wrestler Kala Maro also belongs to Bhatti gate.
THE DELHI GATEDelhi Gate was built during the Mughal period and is one of thirteen gates of the Inner City. The Delhi gate is named as Delhi gate because of its opening on the high road from Delhi to Lahore. The gate suffered many incidents during the riots during independence. However, the gate has been renovated and today is in its former glory.
The area near the gate is a historical place, in which a number of old buildings, havelis and markets are located. The Wazir Khan Mosque can be accessed from this gate. A big cloth market is located around Delhi gate. It is a big retail market of clothes. A variety of other shops are also located near the Delhi gate, known as "Chota bazar".
THE KASHMIRI GATEThe "Kashmiri Gate" faces the direction of Kashmir. Inside there is a shopping area called "Kashmiri Bazaar". A big retail market of children shoes is located in this gate. There is a big beautiful girl's college is also located here. This college is built in an old haveli of a shah which is a beautiful example of Mughal architecture.
THE LOHARI GATEThe "Lohari Gate" is very close to "Bhati Gate" and it was built, like many other gates, to keep the enemies out. When Malik Ayaz rebuilt the city during the time of Mahmud, the quarter of the city first populated was about this gate, which together with Lahori mandi was named after the city.
Lahori and the bazaar behind it comprise the oldest arterial route in the Walled City built by Akbar the great. Qutbuddin Aibak, the first muslim ruler of the Subcontinent is buried just outside this gate. Caravans & travelers coming from Multan used to enter the city from this gate. Behind Lohari Gate also, once stood a brick fort called Kacha Kot probably the first fortified city of Lahore founded by Malik Ayyaz. Among the few city gates, which British Government cared to reconstruct, only Lohari Gate retained its original form. During Mughal period, the two famous divisions of the Walled City, namely Guzar Bahar Khan and Guzar Machhi Hatta, were served by this Gate. During the anarchic rule of the 18th century, all the city gates, except Lohari Gate & two others were walled up.
Now, it is surrounded by shops and has significance of great architecture. In Urdu "loha" means "iron" and the gate is named Lohari because many lohars (blacksmiths) had their workshops just outside this gate. A beautiful mosque named as Muslim Masjid is also located near this gate. Biggest optical market of Lahore is also located here. Many flower shops are situated here, in which flowers of every kind and specie are available. The people here are co-operative and lively. They love to eat heavy food
THE MASTI GATEMasti Gate is located within Walled City of Lahore in Lahore. The "Masti" name comes from the word "masjidi", relating to a mosque. The mosque of Mariam Makhani, the mother of Akbar, is in its immediate vicinity. It is located on the east side of the fort. The area of the city named after it is known for its many wholesale shoe sellers. Wholesale shoe sellers, or both traditional and Western style shoes dominate this area. Further down the street is located one of the city's oldest mosques, the Mosque of Mariyam Zamani Begum, named after the mother of Jahangir, Mariyam Zamani.
The people here love to eat heavy food and there are many shops of foodstuffs located here. Milk shops of this area are very famous and the milk available here is full of taste as they add many things to it, which make its taste a lot better then the original milk.
THE MOCHI GATEThe "Mochi Gate" is a historical gate build during the Mughal period. It is located at the entrance of Mochi Bagh. There is also a bazaar around the Mochi gate.
According to a legend it is named so after the name of Pandit Moti Ram, an officer of Akbar, a guard of the gate during the Mughal era, who guarded and looked after the gate all his life and who resided here at that time. Later on, the name was distorted and became Mochi.
Now the bazaar around the Mochi gate is renowned for its dry fruits, kites and fireworks. Mochi gate is also the entrance to the Mochi Bagh (Mochi garden). All renowned leaders of Pakistan and pre-independent era have delivered speeches here.
The most popular place of Mochi gate is the Lal Haveli. Mochi gate is known to be the "Heart of the Lahore city". It is the biggest political place of Lahore and many political processions have taken place here.
The people of this area love to fly kites. Among the foods available here "Kabab's“ of this area are a real specialty.
THE MORI GATEThe "Mori Gate" is the smallest of the gates of the walled city. It was an outlet for the refused, waste and disposal material and sweepings of the city. It is known for its big fish market and surgical goods, that is the biggest surgical market of Lahore. Another specialty of this gate is furniture polish commonly known as "Lakh". It is the best polish for wooden furniture and the one produced here is known for its quality. People of this gate love to fly kites, and a big kite market is also located here. During the Basant season there is a tough competition among the shopkeepers about the quality and sale of kites.
THE ROSHNAI GATEThe Roshnai Gate is located in North within Walled City of Lahore in Lahore, Punjab, Pakistan. The "Roshnai Gate", also known as the "Gate of Lights", is located between the Lahore Fort and the Badshahi Mosque. As the gate was one of the main entrances into the city, Umarahs, courtiers, royal servants and retinues constantly visited it. In the evenings, the gate was lit up, hence its name. The gate was also referred to as the "Gate of Splendour". It is the only gate which is in good condition and retains its original looks. The gate has extraordinary height and width because it was designed for the passage of the Emperor's caravan of elephants.
There is a very famous gali / street commonly known as the shahi mahala. The name shahi has been given after the Shahi Qila. People living here are simple. There are various food shops located around the gate. Now-a-days people are making good use of gate as they have established a public call office under the gate.
THE SHAHALMI GATEThe "Shahalmi Gate" is named after the one of the sons of the Mughal emperor Aurangzeb, Shah Alam I. However, before his death, the gate was called the "Bherwala Gate". During independence, the gate was burnt and only the names exist today. Today one of the biggest commercial markets, named "Shah Alam Market", exists near the gate.
This is the biggest electronic market in Lahore. This is the known to be the biggest retail market of electronic goods. Rang Mehal is situated in this gate and in Rang Mehal "Sua bazar" is located which is well known for its jewelry shops.
The Sonheri Masjid is also located in this area, the name soneri has been given to the Mosque as the tombs of this beautiful mosque are Golden (sonehri) in color. Lal Masjid is also located in this area. The ‘Kulfis’ of this area are really delicious in taste and are very famous among the Lahoris. 'Pokoras' of this area are well known for their taste and quality.
THE SHERANWALA GATEThe Khizri Gate or Sheranwala Gate, located within Walled City of Lahore, is one of the four gates which once opened on the riverfront north of the Walled City. The river in former times followed by the city walls and the ferry was near this part. It was named after Khawaja Khizr, the patron saint of running waters and rivers. The Gate & its neighbourhood were so named because there was a ferry on the River Ravi in front of it. This gate was made by Maharaja Ranjit Singh. It is also known as Sheranwala Darwaza or "gate of the lions" because Ranjit Singh is said to have kept two lions in cages in front of this gate as a symbolic gesture to warn any invader. The Italian traveler Niccola Mannuchi, who visited Lahore in 1667, has named it as Qadri Gate but gives no reason for this.
THE TAXALI GATEThe "Taxali Gate", also known as the Taxal, or Royal mint, was built in its neighborhood during the period of the Mughals.
There is a very famous shoe market located here known as Sheikupurian Bazar. There are a variety of foodstuffs available in and around this gate. In which most famous are Sri Pai of Fazal Din commonly known as " Phaja". Among sweet stores Taj Mehal and Shahbudin Halwi are famous.
THE YAKKI GATEThe "Yakki Gate" was named after the martyr saint called "Zakki". The original name "Zaki," was a martyr that fell fighting against the Mughal invaders "Tataraies“ from the north, while defending his city.
Zaki Pir fought them with great courage and bravery. During the fight his head was cut off from his body at the gate but his body kept on fighting for some time, and at last fell in the quarter of the city closed by. One tomb of this great saint is build where his head fell and the other tomb is where his body fell.
There is school for blinds situated near Yakki Gate. There are a number of havelis located in and around the gate. A number of temples are also located in and around Yakki Gate.
The Me you have always known, the Me that's a stranger still.
BOAT BASINBoat Basin is located in Karachi. Boat Basin has the trendiest restaurants and considered one of the main Food Street in Karachi. The Boat Basin is a section of Clifton beach.
CLIFTON BEACHClifton Beach, on the Arabian Sea, is a beach in Clifton, Karachi. Clifton Beach is the most popular beach in Karachi is always a buzzing with various activities to keep the visitors to the beach busy. The beach has attractions for families and tourists, including beachside horse and camel rides, amusement parks, restaurants, and swimming in the Arabian Sea. Old and the young alike can have fun at this lovely beach.
HAWKE’S BAY BEACHHawke's Bay or Hawkesbay is a beach in Pakistan situated a couple of kilometers away from Sandspit Beach near Karachi. Hawks Bay, a must see beach in Pakistan is a wonderfully sunny and sandy beach. The water is clean and if you need a tan, it is the beach to go to. The huts allow total privacy and the view is magnificent. It is a non rocky area portion of the coast and it is the breeding ground for green turtles. Visitors here enjoy swimming and camel riding.Hawkesbay is one of the beaches in the world, where green marine turtles comes to lay eggs. It is one of the rare reptile species found at Hawkesbay.
MANORAManora or Manoro is a small island (2.5 km²) located just south of the Port of Karachi, Sindh, Pakistan. The island is connected to the mainland by a 12 kilometre long causeway called the Sandspit. Manora and neighbouring islands form a protective barrier between Karachi harbour to the north and the Arabian Sea to the south. The western bay of the harbour contains endangered mangrove forests which border the Sandspit and Manora island. To the east is Karachi Bay and the beach towns of Kiamari and Clifton. The island is located at 24°48′00″N, 66°58′00″E (24.800000, 66.970000).
Manora is also a popular picnic spot because of the long sandy beaches along the southern edge of the island, which merge into the beaches of the Sandspit and then extend several kilometers to the beaches at Hawkesbay. At the southeastern end of Manora island is the tallest lighthouse (28 m or 91 feet high) in Pakistan. The island lies approximately 15-20 minutes by boat ride from mainland Karachi but there are no good hotels available for an overnight stay. For this and other reasons, the Government of Pakistan has been considering developing the island into a tourist destination. The island has been envisioned as an exotic location with natural landscapes such as the beaches and the mangrove forests, and secluded beauty with an upgrade for the lighthouse to add to the quaint feel of the island.
PARADISE POINTParadise Point, on the Arabian Sea, is a beach in Karachi. Paradise Point is a sandstone rock promontory with a natural arch. The beach has attractions for families and tourists, including beachside horse and camel rides, amusement parks, restaurants, and swimming in the Arabian Sea.
SANDSPIT BEACHSandspit Beach is situated north west of Karachi. It is a very famous tourist spot. The sea at Sandspit is very calm and quiet from October to March and very rough during the monsoon. Remarkable variety of marine life-algae, and crabs are found here. The shallow water here is ideal for swimming and sunbathing. It has an unusual rocky formation. Sandspit beach is quite a popular hangout and relaxation spot in Karachi. Facilities at the Sandspit Beach include boating and camel riding.
The Sandspit Beach is also a nesting ground for Green and Olive Ridley Turtles, implemented by the Sindh Wildlife Department over the past two decades. In recent years the WWE-Pakistan has also become actively involved in turtle conservation activities by establishing a Wetland Centre at the Sandspit beach.
SEAVIEW, CLIFTON BEACHSeaview is a beach in Karachi. The Seaview beach is a section of Clifton beach located in Clifton. It is one of the most popular entertainment sites in Karachi. The beach needs serious attention and consideration of city government. As water becomes populated many times, events like sinking of oil tank of a ship are toxicating the water. Lighting arrangements are only good thing of beach. Beach also has a number of restaurants. Clifton Beach, or Sea View is the only cheapest and easily accessible picnic point of Karachi. World's second largest Fountain is also built there. A little bit of more attention of government can make this beach as beautiful as the beaches of other developed countries.
THE FRENCH BEACHThe French Beach, located half way between Hawks Bay and Paradise Point, is in fact a small fishing village known to the locals as Haji Abdullah Goth. Surrounded by a boundary wall, it has some 20 huts constructed by villagers for hire. There are no facilities of running water or electricity. But the visitors to this beach can just carry with them whatever is required for them as none could miss out this beach. French Beach is a fabulously beautiful beach where the water is clean and the air is crisp. There are gorgeous rocks embedded in the ocean. The waves splashing against them are quite a lovely sight.
The Me you have always known, the Me that's a stranger still.
Valleys of Pakistan
ALLAI VALLEYAllai is a valley in District Batagram, NWFP, Pakistan. Allai valley is bounded by Kohistan on the north and east, by the Kaghan valley, Nandhiar and Deshi of Deshiwals on the south, and by the Indus on the west. The October 8th 2005 earthquake badly affected this valley as well. The valley of Allai is divided from Kohistan on the north by a range of mountains rising to over 15,000 feet, and from Nandhiar and Deshi by another range running from the Afghanistan border to the Indus above Thakot. The average breadth of the Allai Valley is about 15 miles, and the total area 200 square miles. Wheat, barley, corn and rice are grown, and the mountain slopes at the eastern end covered with forest. Cis-Indus Swatis are the dominating tribes of the Allai range. Khan culture is dominant in Allai valley.
BANDALABandala is a valley in Jammu & Kashmir located about 26 kilometres from Bhimber. The valley is stretched from river Tawi in the east to the Samahni valley in the west. The Reech Pahari (bear mountain) runs parallel on the northern side and the Baghsar Mountain on the southern side. The valley is about 10 kilometers long and about 1.5 kilometers wide.
It joins the valley of Samahni at Sara-e-Saadabad and Chitti Mitti. Many streams flow through the valley producing cascades, rapids, falls and natural swimming pools. These pools are very popular among the local youths not only for the swimming but also for fishing. The fertile land and mild climate can produce a variety of crops or trees but the valley contains many mango trees. Farming is still the major source of staple food for the area with two crops grown annually i.e. wheat and Corn. The high literacy rate has improved the overall living standards of the people. With most of the people working for the government or going overseas especially to the Middle East and Europe, dependence on farming for income has greatly reduced but people still cultivate the land for the food.
Many birds and animals are found in the valley including Peacocks, Partridges, Quail, Birds of Paradise, Falcons and Eagles etc. The enclosing Reech Pahari serves as the sanctuary for many animal species like Tiger, Hyena, Wolf, Jackal, Foxes, Python, Monkey, Deer, Stag and Impala etc. The valley is home to many hamlets, of which Bandi, Piana, Parati, Ghawalian are more famous.
CHITRALChitral, or Chatrāl, 35°52′52″N, 71°47′53″E, is the name of a town, valley, river, district, and former princely state in the former Malakand Division of the Northwest Frontier Province of Pakistan.
Chitral Town, capital of the Chitral District, is situated on the west bank of the Chitral (or Kunar) River. The town is at the foot of Tirich Mir, the highest peak of the Hindu Kush, 7,708 m or 25,289 ft high. It has a population of about 20,000, while the District (of 14,833 km² or 5,727 sq mi), has a population of about 300,000. The altitude of the valley is about 1,100 m or 3,700 ft.
GeographyThe easiest access to Chitral is in the southwest along the Chitral/Kunar valley towards Jalalabad. This route is open all year and provides direct access to Kabul. However the Pakistan-Afghanistan border prevents this being used as an internal route to Peshawar and the south.
The other routes are over mountain passes. To the south, the Lowari Pass (3,200 m or 10,499 ft) leads 365 km (227 mi) to the region of Peshawar; this is now a road road. In the north, the easiest route during summer (it is closed by snow in the winter), and the only one which allows the use of pack animals, runs over the Broghol Pass (3,798 m or 12,460 ft) to Afghanistan's Wakhan Corridor. To the east, there is a 405 km (252 mi) route to Gilgit over the 3,719 m (12,201 ft) Shandur Pass. And in the west, the Dorah Pass provides an additional route to Afghanistan. The territory is home to rare falcons and the snow leopard, and is cut off by snow from the rest of the country for six months a year.
The main tribe, the Khos, speak Khowar (or Chitrali), one of the Dardic languages, which is also spoken in parts of Yasin, Gilgit and Swat. Pashto is also spoken and understood by few in the city. Chitral is known for the famous Kalash tribe that resides in three remote valleys west of Ayun, which is ten miles down from Chitral town.
The culture is Islamic. Women are nearly invisible except to their male relatives and other women. They do not walk the streets of town, so men or children do the shopping. Travel requires the company of a close male relative and sometimes the wearing of a burqa.
Polo is a popular sport in Chitral and an annual polo festival take place between Gilgit and Chitral at the highest polo ground in the world, at the Shandur Pass every year.
A British garrison, sent from Gilgit to oversee the smooth transition of power to the heir apparent after a ruler was murdered, was besieged in Chitral Fort for over a month in 1895.
HUNZA VALLEYHunza Valley is a valley near Gilgit and Nagar vallies in the Northern Areas of Pakistan. The Hunza valley is situated at an elevation of 2,438 metres (7,999 feet). The territory of Hunza is about 7,900 km² [3,050 sq, miles]. Karimabad is the main town which is a popular tourist attraction in Pakistan because of the spectacular scenery of the surrounding mountains like Rakaposhi 7,788 m (25,551 ft), Ultar Sar (7,388 m), Bojahagur Duanasir II (7,329 m), Ghenta Peak (7,090 m), Hunza Peak (6,270 m), Darmyani Peak (6,090 m) and Bublimating (Ladyfinger Peak) (6,000 m).
Hunza was formerly a princely state in the northernmost part of the Northern Areas of Pakistan, which existed until 1974. The state bordered the Gilgit Agency to the south, the former princely state of Nagar to the east, China to the north and Afghanistan to the northwest. The state capital was the town of Baltit (also known as Karimabad). The area of Hunza now forms the Aliabad tehsil of Gilgit District.
Hunza was an independent principality for 900 years. The British gained control of Hunza and the neighbouring valley of Nagar between 1889 and 1892. The Tham (Chief) of Hunza escaped to China.
The British retained Hunza's status as a 'principality' until 1947. According to Habib R. Sulemani, the people of Hunza were ruled by a local Mir for more than 900 years, which came to an end in 1974.
Although never ruled directly by neighbouring Kashmir, Hunza was a vassal of Kashmir from the time of Maharaja Ranbir Singh of Jammu and Kashmir. The Mirs of Hunza sent an annual tribute to the Kashmir Durbar until 1947, and along with the ruler of Nagar, was considered to be among the most loyal vassals of the Maharaja of Kashmir.
The Hunza valley is situated at an elevation of 2,438 meters (7,999 feet). For many centuries, Hunza has provided the quickest access to Swat and Gandhara for a person traveling on foot. The route was impassable to baggage animals; only human porters could get through, and then only with permission from the locals.
Hunza was easily defended as the paths were often less than half a meter (about 18") wide. The high mountain paths often crossed bare cliff faces on logs wedged into cracks in the cliff, with stones balanced on top. They were also constantly exposed to regular damage from weather and falling rocks. These were the much-feared "hanging passageways" of the early Chinese histories that terrified all, including several famous Chinese Buddhist monks.
The temperature in May is maximum 27 C (81 F) and minimum 14 C (57 F) and October maximum is 10 C (50 F) and 0 C (32 F). Hunza's tourist season is from May to October, because in winter the Karakoram Highway is often blocked by the snow.
Today, the famous Karakoram Highway crosses Hunza, connecting Pakistan to China via the Khunjerab Pass. Traveling up the valley from the south, Hunza is the land to the left, and the former state of Nagar to the right of the Hunza River. Regular bus and van services operate between Gilgit and Karimabad. PTDC Office at Gilgit and Islamabad arranges tours and transport for visitors.
Hunza is one of the most exotic places in Pakistan. Several high peaks rise above 6,000 m in the surroundings of Hunza valley. The valley provides spectacular views of some of the most beautiful and magnificent mountains of the world which include Rakaposhi 7,788 m (25,551 ft), Ultar Sar (7,388 m), Ghenta Peak (7,090 m), Hunza Peak (6,270 m), Darmyani Peak (6,090 m) and Bublimating (Ladyfinger Peak) (6,000 m). Hunza Valley is also host to the ancient Baltit Fort and Altit Fort. Baltit Fort stands on top of Karimabad whereas Altit Fort lies at the bottom of the valley.
The valley is popularly believed to be the inspiration for the mythical valley of Shangri-la in James Hilton's 1933 novel Lost Horizon.
People of Hunza
As much as the valley is famous for its beauty, the people of Hunza are noted for their friendliness and hospitality. The local language is Brushuski but most people understand Urdu and English. The literacy rate of the Hunza valley is believed to be above 90%, virtually every child of the new generation studies up to at least high school. Many pursue higher studies from prestigious colleges and Universities of Pakistan and abroad.
Most of the people of Hunza are Ismaili Muslims, followers of His Highness the Aga Khan. The Hunza region is home to people of three ethnicities:
The people of Hunza are collectively termed Hunzakuts, while Burusho refers only to the speakers of Burushaski. The majority of the people are Ismaili Shia Muslims who are followers of the Aga Khan. The present Aga Khan has provided a lot of funding for the area to help with agriculture and the local economy.
Hussaini or Sisoni is a rockey valley in Gojal upper Hunza of the Northern Areas of Pakistan. Hussaini is 145 km north of Gilgit, the capital city. Hunza River flows in to the east while the Karakoram Highway (KKH) passes to its west. According to Ali Rehmat Musofer, a Geographer of the village, Hussaini is situated on 74*.54' and 03" East longitude to 36*.26' and 53" North latitude at an altitude of 2556 meters (Source-GPS) above sea level. South of Hussaini is Gulmit, Ghulkin is to the southwest, while Passu is in the north with famous Batura glacier. Hussaini glacier is located to the west with famous Shisper peak, 7611 meter. The newly irrigated land, called Zarabod is on the left bank. The total population is 545 persons, living in 75 households.
KAGHAN VALLEYThe Kaghan valley is a valley in the Mansehra District of the North-West Frontier Province of Pakistan. It has a reputation as a place of great natural beauty. This valley also suffered from the earthquake disaster on 8th of October 2005 last year.
A vacation in the Kaghan Valley, the Himalayan hide-away, located northeast of the Hazara district of Pakistan's North West Frontier Province, is an unforgettable experience. The Kaghan valley is named for the town of Kaghan rather than for the Kunhar River which flows to the length of the valley. The Valley extends for 155 km rising from an elevation of 2,134 metres to its highest point, the Babusar Pass, at 4,173 metres. The local population is friendly and easygoing and speaks Hindko (a language spoken by the hill people in Hazara), Pushto, and/or Urdu. The region is Alpine in geography and climate, with forests and meadows dominating the landscape below peaks that reach over 17,000 feet.
Its mountains, dales, lakes, waterfalls, streams and glaciers are still in an unbelievable pristine state. It is indeed an unspoiled paradise! This is why it can be a deeply satisfying experience to spend a few days in Kaghan. Kaghan is at its best during summer (months ranging from May to September). In May the temperature is: maximum 11 C and minimum 3 C. From the middle of July up to the end of September the road beyond Naran is open right up to Babusar Pass. Movement is restricted during the monsoon and winter seasons. The Kaghan area can be reached by road via the towns of Balakot, Abbottabad and Mansehra. In Balakot, one may find buses and other transports to reach Kaghan or Naran.
The road from Balakot ascends along the Kunhar River through lovely forests and the villages of Paras, Shinu, Jared and Mahandri. The valley is somewhat narrow along this stretch and the views are limited but as you ascend, the surrounding peaks come into view. One spot that is quite famous for its spectacular view and scenery is 'Shogran'. This village, sorrounded by peaks and forests, is east of the main Kunhar River. It hosts the famous Siri-Paya Mountain with breathtaking views at its top.
Fishing is the chief sport in Kaghan. Brown Trout and Mahasheer are stocked in pure silvery waters between Kaghan and Naran. The Kunhar river trout is considered to be the best throughout the sub-continent. Fishing licenses are issued by the 'Fisheries Department at Naran' or by the 'Trout Hatchery' at Shinu.
Most visitors to Naran pay a visit to Saiful Muluk Lake (10,500 feet) 6 miles east of town. If the road is open you can arrange transportation by jeep. If the road is closed, it is an easy, gradual three-hour walk, and the lake is a lovely spot for a picnic.
If you are walking directly up-valley from Naran to Babusar "Top" the loveliest spots to camp on this trail is at "Lulusar Lake". Located just before the final grade to Babusar Top and surrounded by tall peaks, Lulusar is just one many high elevation lakes that sit along the crest of the ridge.
One of the most interesting features of the Kaghan area is the Gujar (herder) families you'll see along the way bringing their animals up to the summer pastures. The Kaghan valley is one of their most popular destinations in Pakistan, and you'll find them camped along the road in their tents or moving up the valley with their goats, sheep and pack animals. For those with time and interest, this peaceful, lovely valley offers an interesting and enjoyable destination.
KUNAR VALLEYKunar Valley or Chitral Valley is a valley in Afghanistan and Pakistan. Main geographic features are jungles and mountains.
KURRAM VALLEYThe Kurrum River flows through the Kurrum Valley across the Afghan-Pakistani border west to east (crossing from the Paktia Province of Afghanistan into the Kohat border region of Pakistan) at 33°49′N 69°58′E, about 80 km southwest of Jalalabad.
The Kurram Valley in ancient times offered the most direct route to Kabul and Gardez. The route crossed the Peiwar Pass 3,439 m (11,283 ft) high, just over 20 km west of modern Parachinar, but was blocked by snow for several months of the year.
The valley is highly irrigated, well peopled, and crowded with small fortified villages, orchards and groves, to which a fine background is afforded by the dark pine forests and alpine snows of the Safed Koh. The beauty and climate of the valley attracted some of the Mogul emperors of Delhi, and the remains exist of a garden planted by Shah Jahan.
In the early 19th century the Kurram Valley was under the government of Kabul, and every five or six years a military expedition was sent to collect the revenue, the soldiers living meanwhile at free quarters on the people. It was not until about 1848 that the Turis were brought directly under the control of Kabul, when a governor was appointed, who established himself in Kurram. The Turis, being Shiah Muslims, never liked the Afghan rule.
During the second Afghan War, when Sir Frederick Roberts advanced by way of the Kurram Valley and the Peiwar Kotal to Kabul, the Turis lent him every assistance in their power, and in consequence their independence was granted them in 1880.
The administration of the Kurram Valley was finally undertaken by the British government, at the request of the Turis themselves, in 1890. Technically it ranked, not as a British district, but as an agency or administered area.
Two expeditions in the Kurram Valley also require mention: (1) The Kurram expedition of 1856 under Brigadier-General Sir Neville Chamberlain. The Turis on the first annexation of the Kohat district by the British had given much trouble. They had repeatedly leagued with other tribes to harry the Miranzai valley, harbouring fugitives, encouraging resistance, and frequently attacking Bangash and Khattak villages in the Kohat district. Accordingly, in 1856 a British force of 4,896 troops traversed their country, and the tribe entered into engagements for future good conduct. (2) The Kohat-Kurram expedition of 5,897 under Colonel W. Hill. During the frontier risings of 1897 the inhabitants of the Kurram valley, chiefly the Massozai section of the Orakzais, were infected by the general excitement, and attacked the British camp at Sadda and other posts. A force of 14,230 British troops traversed the country, and the tribesmen were severely punished. In Lord Curzon's reorganization of the frontier in 1900-1901, the British troops were withdrawn from the forts in the Kurram Valley, and were replaced by the Kurram militia, reorganized in two battalions, and chiefly drawn from the Turi tribe.
In recent years the Kurram Valley has once again assumed a very strategic position and has been an area of intense military activity between the Taliban and American and allied forces.
MIRANZAI VALLEYThe Miranzai Valley, also Hangu, is a mountain valley situated in the Kohat and Hangu districts in the North-West Frontier Province of Pakistan. It is made up of two valleys, draining from the southwest into the Kunam and northeast into the Kohat Tai. It is divided into upper and lower Miranzai. It extends from the Zaimukht and Orakzai hills to the Khattaks. It is 40 miles in length and is 546 square miles in area. East of Hangu is made up of numerous smaller valleys. To the west of Hangu, consisting of the entire upper portion of the valley, is a broad and open plain, bare of trees. There are many ravines in this area. The area surrounding the valley has many inhabitants, mostly comprising the Bangash and Orakzai peoples.
British military expeditions occurred in the area when it was still part of India in the late 19th century due to disturbance.
The portion of Miranzai east of Hangu village consists of numerous small and well-cultivated valleys. To the west of Hangu, including the whole of Upper Miranzai, the country is a broad, open valley. The country is full of ravines towards Thal. Miranzai forms the meeting place of many different tribes, but its chief inhabitants are the Bangash and Orakzais.
NAGAR VALLEYNagar Valley is a valley near Gilgit Valley and Hunza Valley in the northern areas of Pakistan.
The Nagar valley is situated at an elevation of 2,438m (7,999 feet). Nagar Khas is the main town and the capital of the former Nagar state. The Spantik peak (Golden peak) can easily be seen from here.
Gulmet is the popular tourist attraction in Nagar because of the spectacular scenery of the surrounding mountains like Rakaposhi at 7,788m (25,561), and Diran.
Nagar was formerly a princely state in the northernmost part of the Northern Areas of Pakistan, which existed until 1974. The state bordered the Gilgit Agency to the south, the former princely state of Hunza to the east, China to the north and Afghanistan to the northwest. The state capital was the town of Nagar Khas (also known as uyum Nagar) The area of Nagar now forms the Nagar 1 upper Nagar and Nagar 2 lower Nagar and forms two tehsils of the Gilgit District.
Nagar was an independent principality for 1200 years. The British gained control of Nagar and the neighbouring valley of Hunza between 1889 and 1892. The Tham (Chief) of that time Azur Khan sent in exile to Kashmir.
The British retained Nagar's status as a principality until 1947. The people of Nagar were ruled by a local Mir for more than 1200 years, which came to an end in 1974. Although never ruled directly by neighbouring Kashmir or the British, Nagar was a vassal of Kashmir from the time of Maharaja Ranbir Singh of Jammu and Kashmir. The Mirs of Nagar sent an annual tribute to the Kashmir Durbar until 1947, and along with the ruler of Hunza, was considered to be among the most loyal vassals of the Maharaja of Kashmir.
Nagar and Hunza were collectively called buroshall and their capital was capal dosuk. But after the reign of the Miyor Khan his sons divided Buroshall into Nagar and Hunza and declared the river as the border: Muglot became the king of Nagar and Kirkis became the king of Hunza.
On 25 September the state was dissolved.
List of Nagar kings
The climate of Nagar remains pleasant from the mid April to the end of September. The maximum temperature in summer during the day is 13C. The weather becomes very cold during the winter, mainly from the October to end of March. The minimum temperature can be -14C.
Nagar is a town in near Gilgit and Hunza valleys in Northern Areas of Pakistan. It is a part of the Gilgit District. Nagar was the capital of the former State of Nagar.
Today, the famous Karakoram Highway crosses Nagar, connecting Pakistan to China via the Khunjerab Pass. The road follows the Hunza river for some distance through Nagar and into the Hunza region.
NARAN VALLEYNaran Valley is located in North-West Frontier Province, Pakistan. The Kunhar River, swollen by glacier melt, meanders its way through the Naran Valley. Makra Peak, Malka Parbat, and Saiful Muluk are the main attractions.
RUPAL VALLEYRupal Valley, 35°13′38.76″N, 74°42′26.60″E, is a valley in the Astore District of Northern Areas of Pakistan. It lies in the south of Nanga Parbat. It is popular for Nanga Parbat treks from the south which start in the Rupal Valley.
SKARDU VALLEYSkardu the capital of Baltistan is part of Northern Areas along with Gilgit Region - and Skardu is one of the districts of Northern Areas. Skardu borders Kargil district in east, Astore in South, Kashmir in southeast, and Gilgit district in the west. It is located in the wide (10 km) and long (40 km).
Skardu Valley, in the very place in which the Indus River receives the Shigar River waters. Indus River flows from tibet, passes through Ladakh and then enters Pakistan through Baltistan. Skardu is also a district of Baltistan. Situated at nearly 2500 m (8,200 feet), the town is surrounded by gray-brown coloured mountains, which hide the 8,000 metre peaks of the nearby Karakoram Range.
Major hub for expeditions
Skardu is one of the two major hubs of all trekking expeditions in Northern Areas, a region that includes four of the fourteen Eight-thousander peaks (8,000m and above) of the world. The other hub is Gilgit. The tourist season is from April to October.
From Skardu two roads lead to the Askole and Hushe Valleys, main doorgates to the snowy giants, and to the huge glaciers of Baltoro, Biafo, and Trango. Here begins the way for climbing legendary mountains such as K2, Gasherbrums, Broad Peak and the Trango Towers. This makes the town a major summer tourist hotpoint, which results in many hotels and shops in the area, and in the trekking season, expensive prices. Treks to the highest plains in Pakistan, Deosai Plains either start from Skardu or end at Skardu. At a height of about 4,100m (13,500 feet), these are the second highest plains of the world, second only to Tibet. In local Tibetan language, Deosai is called Byarsa which means the 'summer place'. Approximately 5000 square kilometer in area, the plains extend all the way to Ladakh and provide habitat for snow leopards, ibex, brown Tibetan bears and wild horses.
The town is built up along the main road, and both sides of this grow up the New Bazaar (Naya Bazaar) in which hundreds of shops offer almost everything. To the west one finds Yadgar Chowk, with an ugly monument, and from there, the quarter behind Naya Bazaar, in the right hand side is Purana Bazaar, the old one. Following west from Naya Bazaar, there is a polo ground, and next Kazmi Bazaar. Skardu appears as a dusty town, but its people are colourful. Streets are full of men (almost no women), mainly Balti Tibetans, but many other ethnicities pack the streets of the bazaars: Pashtun, Punjabis, Hunzakuts, and even Uyghur, due to the close proximity of Baltistan to these regions. Since Pakistani occupation, advent of Pathans and Punjabis is on rise, threatening livelihood and cultural identity of the local Tibetan Baltis. Some of the names of the mohallahs in Skardu town are Khache-drong, Khar-drong, Olding, Kushu-bagh, Pakora, Thsethang, Sher-thang, Nagholi-spang etc.
Climate of Skardu
The tourist season is from April to October. The maximum temperature is 27C and the minimum (October) 8C. However, in December-January, the temperatures can reach below -10C. The Skardu valley is snowbound during the winter months. Often the road blocks at Karakoram Highway cut the road link (Karakoram Highway) of areas like Gilgit, Skardu and Hunza from the rest of the country. Although Baltistan is connected with Ladakh and Kashmir with four or five routes, it has only one road connection with Pakistan. Once this road is blocked, you are cut off from rest of the world. Sometimes blockades are for weeks, but more often, opened within 2 - 5 days time. The local people are demanding from Pakistan to open roads towards India so tourists do not remain stuck and Pakistan is reluctant to do that. The air travel is also disturbed by the unreliable weather of Skardu and on some occasions flights are be delayed by several days because of weather. Further, air travel is very expensive nowadays.
Skardu Fort (Kharpochhe Fort)
Skardu Fort or Kharpochhe Fort is a fort that lies on the eastern face of the Khardrong or Mindoq-Khar ("Castle of Queen Mindoq") hill 40 ft above Skardu city. There is an old mosque inside the fort as well. The fort dates from the 8 century CE. A view from these monuments brings into vision the entire valley, the Indus River and the settlement below. Rmakpon dynasty rulers of Baltistan built the fort and it was a seven-storey building. Sikhs burned it in the 18th century AD. It resembled the Ladakh fort of Leh which is 9 storey tall. The Potala of Lhasa Tibet, Leh fort and Skardu fort are all built on same designs. The name Kharpochhe means the great fort. Khar in Tibetan means castle or fort and Chhe means great.
Lakes in Skardu
There are three lakes in Skardu:
Katsura Thso Lakes
There are two Katsura Lakes; the Upper Katsura lake and the Lower Katsura Lake. The latter is also known as the Shangrila Lake. The Upper Katsura Lake is not as famous as the Shangrila Lake.
There is resort at Lower Katsura Lake that is known as Shangrila Resort. It is another popular destination for tourists in Pakistan. The resort has a unique kind of restaurant that has been set up inside the fuselage of an aircraft that crashed nearby.
Satpara Thso Lake
Satpara Thso Lake or Sadpara Lake is the main lake in Skardu Valley which supplies water for the town of Skardu. It is one of the most picturesque lakes in Pakistan. In 2002, the Government of Pakistan decided to build a dam on the Satpara Lake. The Government allocated Rs. 600 million ($10 million) for Satpara Dam project in 2004's financial year. The progress on the project, however, has been slow
Soon Valley or Soon Sakesar is located in Khushab, Punjab, Pakistan. Soon Valley starts from Padhrar village and end to Sakesar that is the highest peak of Salt Range. Sakesar is 5010 feet high from the sea level. Soon Valley is situated in the north west of Khushab. The length of Soon Valley is 35 miles and average width is 90 miles. There are some special features of this valley that distinguish it from other areas, without knowing about them it is very hard to understand its importance. Sabhral, Khoora, Nowshera, Kufri, Anga, Ugali, Uchali and Bagh Shams-ud-Din are important towns in soon valley. Kanhatti Garden, Sodhi Garden, Da'ep and Sakesar are resorts to visit. Awan tribe is settled in Soon Valley.
Well-known personalities like late literary giant Ahmed Nadeem Qasmi and columnist Abdul Qadir Hassan belong to this land.
Soon Valley is accessible through public transport from Islamabad (M2 Balkasar Interchange), Lahore (M2 Kalar Kahar Intrechange), Sargodha, Khushab and Mianwali.
There are two well-renowned Uchhali Lake and Khabikki Lake lakes in soon valley, which now a days are effected badly and drained due to pollution and shortage of natural water resources.
The most dignified cast of the AWAN tribe settled in Soon valley with Malik as sub cast is used by the locals. Majority of the people are serving in the armed forces of Pakistan. Other professions like education, business and agricultural are also adopted by the locals.
SWAT VALLEYSwat is a valley and a district in the North-West Frontier Province of Pakistan. The capital is Saidu Sharif. With high mountains, green meadows, and clear lakes, it is a place of great natural beauty, and a popular destination for tourists. It was a princely state in the NWFP until it was dissolved in 1969.
His valley and the other areas along the banks of the river Swat, earliest known as Shrivastu, later Suvastu and currently the present name, is also the place of origin of the Shrivastava sub-clan of the Indo-Aryan Kayastha clan.
Swat has been inhabited for over two thousand years and was known in ancient times as Udyana. The first inhabitants were settled in well-planned towns. The independent monarchs of this region came under Achaemenid influence, before reverting back to local control in the 4th century BC. In 327 BC, Alexander the Great fought his way to Udegram and Barikot. In Greek accounts these towns have been identified as Ora and Bazira. By 305 BC, the region became a part of the Mauryan Empire. Around the 2nd century BC, the area was occupied by Buddhists, the Indo-Greeks, and the Kushans who were attracted by the peace and serenity of the land. Swat is thought to be the probable birthplace of Vajrayana Buddhism. There are many archaeological sites in the district, and Buddhist relics are common, testimony to their skills as sculptors and architects.
Buddhist Heritage of Swat
The Swat museum has the, the footprints of the Buddha which were found in the Swat valley and, now can be seen in the Swat museum. When the Buddha passed away, His relics (or ashes) were distributed to seven kings who built stupas over them for veneration.
The Harmarajika stupa (Taxila) and Butkarha (Swat) stupa at Jamal Garha were among the earliest stupas of Gandhara. These had been erected on the orders of king Ashoka and contained the real relics of the Buddha.
The Gandhara School is probably credited with the first representation of the Buddha in human form, the portrayal of Buddha in his human shape, rather than shown as a symbol.
As Buddhist art developed and spread outside India, the styles developed here were imitated. For example, in China the Gandhara style was imitated in images made of bronze, with a gradual change in the features of these images. Swat, the land of romance and beauty, is celebrated throughout the world as the holy land of Buddhist learning and piety. Swat acquired fame as a place of Buddhist pilgrimage. Buddhist tradition holds that the Buddha himself came to Swat during his last reincarnation as the Guatama Buddha and preached to the people here.
It is said that the Swat was filled with fourteen hundred imposing and beautiful stupas and monasteries, which housed as many as 6,000 gold images of the Buddhist pantheon for worship and education. There are now more than 400 Buddhist sites covering and area of 160 Km in Swat valley only. Among the important Buddhist excavation in swat an important one is Butkarha-I, containing the original relics of the Buddha. Source *Indo Pak Hist till 1951
Sethana family’s influence started with the advent of their fore father Hazrat Pir Baba Syed Ali Tirmzi in Swat. From 1820, Sethana became place of resistance against the Sikhs and fight continued for 26 years till 1846. In fact, Sethana family dominated the political scene in Usafzai area for 200 years. In 1824, Maharaja Ranjit Singh attacked Sethana itself with 1,00000 soldiers. Syed Akbar Shah CAST (Syed) was born in 1793- ruled Swat till 1857. His total period of rule on Hazara and Swat lasted for 12 years. His capital was at Ghalegai in Abakhel area of Swat. His great grand father Syed Zaman Shah went from Buner to Sethana and after that the family extended from Buner, Malka and Swat to Sethana. In 1841, the great Indus flood destroyed Sethana followed by burning and destruction of Sethana by Sikhs and British and ultimately in 1973 it submerged under Tarbela Dam Lake. In 1852, Syed Akbar Shah fought the British at Malakand. In 1856, a mutiny supported by Nawab of Dir was crushed. In 1856, five hundred British native Infantry soldiers defected to Badshah Sahib Syed Akbar Shah but Akhund Sahib was against them and recommended their departure from Swat. He died at the age of 70 on 11th May 1857 on the day of mutiny in India. The British passed this remark:
“Today we have received bad news of mutiny but the good news is that Syed Akbar Shah has died otherwise the shape of the mutiny would have been different.”
Syed Akbar Shah and his family gave Syed Ahmed Shahid Brelvy total protection and even after the death of Syed Ahmed Shahid his disciples were given protection in Sethana. Syeds of Sethana suffered at the hands of Sikhs and later on British for a very long time. They lost their State and property time and again for the cause of Islam. 2.His son Shehzada Syed Mubarik Shah became the ruler and fought the forces of General Chamberlain gallantly in 1863 at Ambela. He could rule only for one year. At this stage, Akhund Sahib also started conspiring against the family. Infact Akhund Sahib during the life of Syed Akbar Shah started saying that he would not support the family after the death of Badshah Sahib keeping in mind the circumstances and future planning for take over by his family. By this time he had amassed huge properties and created influence by helping public through Badshah Sahib at the same times giving full support to him. The famous Enfield Rifle was used in Sethana for the first time in Subcontinent by the British forces. 3. Syed Abdul Jabbar Shah. Hassan Zai tribes killed his father Syed Mehmood Shah. When he was 6 months old his cousin Feroz Shah came from Malka, attacked Sethana and killed all family male members in 1878. He was removed by a female servant and taken to a nearby village Kia and given protection by Ghulam Khel tribe. At a very young age, he left for India and lived with his stepbrother who was borne and lived in Lukhnow since his child hood. In Azam Garh, he studied with a Persian scholar Maulvi Qamaruddin, Maulvi Nazir ud Din and Maulvi Kabir Ullah who were Arabic and Persian teachers in Banaras. He came back and again went for studies in 1890. In 1897, he took part in Landakai war. In 1899, Nawab of Amb Akram khan appointed him as his Minister at a very young age. After the death of Nawab, his son Khan Zaman Khan became ruler. He married the daughter of Nawab of Amb in 1907. From childhood, he developed love for Islam and history mainly because of his family background. He had photographic memory, whatever, he studied once, he never forgot till his death. He was Hafiz-e-Quran and wrote many books mainly on the history of Pakhtoons (Al Hibrat, Bani Israel and Four Hundred Years old history of Frontier). He went on foot right up to Qundoos north Afghanistan in 1905 to confirm his ancestral history. According to Sir Olaf Caroe, “ he was an authority on the history of Pathans.” In 1903, he went to Delhi and met a very respected personality and Saint Shah Abdul Kher Mujaddi. In 1908, he re-captured Sethana with the help of Nawab of Amb and constructed Fort and house. In 1908, he married the daughter of ruler of Bokhara who had come to Abbottabad after revolution via Afghanistan with the help of Amir Abdul Rehan of Kabul. He ruled Swat from 28 April 1914 to 1918. His capital was at Niphikhel area Bandi Bala. Immediately after taking over as ruler, he organized an Army and proper income tax in Islamic way. Shariat law was to be followed. The Army was properly paid monthly pay. After 2 years in 1916, Mian Gul Abdul Wadood CAST (Gujar) mutinied but was arrested. He pardoned him and Mian Gul fought under his command against Nawab of Dir.He gave in writing on Holy Quran that he would never rise against him. His written statement of request for Pardon duly stamped is still available. He was sent for Hajj but on his return, he conspired with the British and with their active help overthrew him. British have confirmed their help against him and their animosity against Syed family in number of books. In 1912, Sir Sahibzada Abdul Qayum requested him for help for Islamia College. He got Rs. 1,00000/- from Nawab Khan Zaman Khan and gave it to him. Again in 1939, he was exiled by the British to Hyderabad Deccan. The Nizam appointed him as his Defense Minister and remained there till 1945. While he was in Hyderabad, Sahibzada Sahib again asked him for help for Islamia College. He again got Rs. 1,50000/- from Nizam and sent it to him. Mian Gul’s status as ruler was accepted in 1926, although he was supported and installed by the British.
In the beginning of the 11th century AD, Mahmud of Ghazni advanced through Dir and invaded Swat, defeating Gira, the local ruler, near Udegram. Later, when the King of Kabul Mirza Ulagh Beg attempted to assassinate the dominant chiefs of the Yousafzais they took refuge under the umbrella of the Swati Kings of Swat and Bajour. The whole area was being dominated by the Swati/Jahangiri Sultans of Swat for centuries. According to Major Raverty, Jahangiri Kings of Swat had ruled from Jalalabad to Jehlum. After more than two decades of guerilla war, they were dispossessed by the Yousafzais. The majority of the aboriginal inhabitants of Swat migrated to the Hazara region to the east, where Swatis predominate with their surname Swati, reflecting their link to the region.
The main language of the area is pashto. The people of Swat are mainly Pashtuns, Kohistanis and Gujars. Some have very distinctive features and claim to be descendants of the army of Alexander the Great.
The people of the Kalam region in northern Swat are known as Kohistanis and speak the Torwali and Kalami languages. There are also some Khowar speakers in the Kalam region. This is because before Kalam came under the rule of Swat it was a region tributary to both Yasin and Chitral and after Yasin itself was assimilated into Chitral the Kalamis paid a tribute of mountain ponies to the Mehtar of Chitral every year.
There is a ski resort in Swat at Malam Jabba as well. Malam Jabba is about 40km north east of Saidu Sharif. It is the most popular ski resort in Pakistan. The ski slope is also the longest in Pakistan at about 800m.
Administrative Set up
The region has gone through considerable changes over the last few years. Mainly since the dissolution of the princely state.
In August 2001, a new local government system was introduced by the Military led government of Pervaiz Musharraf, the new system consists of a District Nazim (or mayor) and a deputy Naib Nazim, the district in turn was subdivided into two tehsils. The first is Swat tehsil with 52 union councils and the other is Matta Tehsil with 13 union councils. Each tehsil has its own Nazim and Naib Nazim.
The District Nazim is Jamal Nasir Khan of the Pakistan Muslim League and his Naib Nazim is Malik Sadiq Ahmed. Swats tehsil's Nazim is Fazal Rehman NoNo from the Pakistan People's Party Parliamentaerians. While its Naib nazim is Shah Dawran from the Awami National Party. In Matta Tehsil the Nazim is Abdul Jabbar Khan and Zakir Khan both of the Awami National Party.
Provincial & National Politics
The region elects two Male M.N.A,s and one female M.N.A and seven male M.P.A,s as well as two female M.P.A,s. In the 2002 National and Provincial elections, the Muttahida-Majlis-e-Amal, an alliance of religious political parties won all the seats amidst a wave of anti Americanism that spread after the United States invasion of Afghanistan.
USHU, UTROT AND GABRAL VALLEYSThe valleys of Ushu, Utrot and Gabral beyond Kalam, constitute some of the most beautiful parts of Swat. There is good trout fishing around Utrot. Foreign tourists are advised to contact the local police authorities at Kalam before preceding to the valleys of Ushu, Utrot and Gabral.
Swat is ideal for camping, trekking and mountaineering. Permits are necessary, and can be obtained from the Tourism Division, Government of Pakistan, Markaz F-7, Islamabad.
The waters of the Swat River around Kalam and in the valleys of Ushu and Gabral abound in brown trout. Fishing licenses must be obtained from the office of the Assistant Commissioner, Fisheries at Madyan and Kalam.
The Neelum Valley is a Himalayan gorge in Azad Kashmir, Pakistan along which the Neelum River flows. This green and fertile valley is 206km in length and stretches and snakes its way from Muzaffarabad all the way to Athmuqam and beyond.
This area was badly affected by the 2005 Pakistan earthquake and was cut from the outside world as the roads and paths were filled with rubble.
INSUKATI VALLEYChina's largest glacier valley located on the northern slope of the Karakoram Range which is between Xinjiang and Pakistan. The glacier found in this valley is about 41.5 kilometres long, covering an area of 392.4 square
KALAM VALLEYKalam valley is situated in the upper reaches of Swat, in the North-West Frontier Province (NWFP) of Pakistan.
Kalam, 29 kilometres (18 miles) from Bahrain and about 2,000 meters (6,800 feet) above sea level, the valley opens out, providing rooms for a small but fertile plateau above the river. In Kalam the Ushu and Utrot rivers join to form the Swat River. Here, the metal road ends and shingle road leads to the Ushu and Utrot valleys. From Matiltan one gets a breath-taking view of the snow-capped Mount Falaksir 5918 meters (19,415 ft.), and another un-named peak 6096 meters (20,000 ft.) high. PTDC offers motel accommodation in Miandam, Kalam and Besham.
BISHIGRAM VALLEYBishigram valley is located in Swat, North-West Frontier Province, Pakistan.
TIRAT VALLEYTirat valley is located in Swat, North-West Frontier Province, Pakistan.
PISHIN VALLEYPishin valley is located in Pishin District, Balochistan, Pakistan.
PANCHKORA VALLEY OF DIRPanchkora Valley of Dir is a valley situated in the North West Frontier Province of Pakistan.
The Panchkora Valley of Dir was the home of early Aryans. Remains of their settlements are classified as Gandhara grave culture.
TALASH VALLEYTalash Valley, 13 KM from Chakdara, is full of Buddhist remains. Buddhist stupas and monasteries which have not been excavated are on both sides of the road towards Dir. At the west end of the valley is Kat Kala Pass. Caroe identified this place with Massaga which was captured by Alexander the Great in 327BC. Here there are remains of massive crumbling Hindu Shahi fort of 8-10th century.
Timargarha, 40 km from Chakdara is the site of excavated graves of Aryans, dating 1500 to 600 BC.
On the west side of Panchkora River is the excavated site of Balambat. Site was in occupation continuously since 1500 BC when Aryans occupied this first time. Houses dated 500 BC have been discovered here. An interesting discovery was fire altars, which shows that people were fire worshippers.
The Me you have always known, the Me that's a stranger still.
Last edited by Last Island; Sunday, March 25, 2007 at 02:45 AM.
Ports and harbours of Pakistan
BABRBARIKONBarbarikon was the name of a sea port near the modern-day city of Karachi, Pakistan, important in the Hellenistic era in Indian Ocean trade. It is mentioned briefly in the Periplus of the Erythraean Sea:
"This river [the Indus] has seven mouths, very shallow and marshy, so that they are not navigable, except the one in the middle; at which by the shore, is the market-town, Barbaricum. Before it there lies a small island, and inland behind it is the metropolis of Scythia, Minnagara; it is subject to Parthian princes who are constantly driving each other out." Periplus, Chap. 38
"The ships lie at anchor at Barbaricum, but all their cargoes are carried up to the metropolis by the river, to the King. There are imported into this market a great deal of thin clothing, and a little spurious; figured linens, topaz, coral, storax, frankincense, vessels of glass, silver and gold plate, and a little wine. On the other hand there are exported costus, bdellium, lycium, nard, turquoise, lapis lazuli, Seric skins, cotton cloth, silk yarn, and indigo. And sailors set out thither with the Indian Etesian winds, about the, month of July, that is Epiphi: it is more dangerous then, but through these winds the voyage is more direct, and sooner completed." Periplus Chap. 39
It is also a Greek version of the term Barbaricum, designating areas outside civilization and/or the Roman Empire.
GAWADAR PORTGwadar port is located at Gwadar city at the entrance of the Persian Gulf on Arabian Sea and about 460 km west of Karachi in Balochistan, Pakistan.
Gwadar port, is a deep-sea warm water port, being constructed in two phases with heavy investment from China. Gwadar has had immense geostrategic significance on many accounts. In 1993, Pakistan started technical and financial feasibilities for the development of Gwadar port. The Gwadar port project started on 22 March 2002. The first phase was completed in December 2005.
Gawadar port was inaugurated on March 19, 2007 after the completion of second development phase. Gawadar port is Pakistan's first deep port that has the capacity to serve virtually all sorts of cargo ships of any size.
Port of Singapore took over Gwadar Port by the end of January 2007. Port of Singapore was the highest bidder for the Gwadar port after DP world backed out of the bidding process. Originally, Chairman of Dubai Ports World, Sultan Ahmed bin Sulayem, who met President Pervez Musharraf on May 5th 2006, expressed a strong hope for management of facilities at the strategic Gwadar deep sea port and development of infrastructure in the southern port city and elsewhere in Pakistan.But They took the decision not to bid after India’s National Security Council had voiced concerns about DP World’s ventures in India, alongside its Pakistani plans and Sultan Ahmed bin Sulayem assured the Indians their pull-out was well considered and India need not have any security concerns.The port will now be in competition with the likes of Chabahar, a port in Iran, as well as Dubai in the United Arab Emirates.
GAWADAR FISH HARBOURGwadar Fish Harbour is located in Gwadar, Balochistan, Pakistan.
KORANGI FISH HARBOURKorangi Harbour, in East Karachi, is a relatively new harbour, originally built to take pressure off the Karachi Fish Harbour. It was also to serve the boom in fisheries production as a result of expansion offshore, which never occurred locally, and for large trawlers and processing vessels.
ORMARAOrmara is a port city located in Balochistan. It is located 450 Km west of Karachi on the Arabian Sea. Jinnah naval base of Pakistan Navy is also located at Ormara. Ormara airport is located at 25° 16' 29N 64° 35' 10E. The population of Ormara is estimated to be over 40,000 in 2005. Over 99% is Muslim. The vast majority of the population of Ormara is Baloch.
PASNI FISH HARBOURPasni is a fishing port and major town in Balochistan, Pakistan. It is located on the Makran coast on Arabian Sea about 300 Km from Karachi. Pasni is also sub-division of Gwadar district.
PORT QASIMThe Port Muhammad Bin Qasim is a port in Karachi, located at 24°46′00″N, 67°20′00″E (24.766667, 67.333333).
It was constructed in the late 1970s to relieve congestion at Karachi Port. Port Qasim was named after the Muslim general Muhammad bin Qasim who captured the area around 712 CE. The port was developed close to the Pakistan Steel Mills complex near the Indus River delta. Port Qasim's residential area is a neighbourhood of Bin Qasim Town of Karachi.
Port Qasim is managed by Port Qasim Authority. Port Qasim is Pakistan's second busiest port, handling about 35% of the nation's cargo (17 million tons per annum). It is located in an old channel of the Indus River at a distance of 35 kilometers east of Karachi city centre. The total area of the port comprises 1,000 acres (4 km²) with an adjacent 11,000 acre (45 km²) industrial estate. The approach to the port is along a 45-kilometre long Navigation Channel which provides safe navigation for vessels up to 75,000 DWT. The geographic position of the Port places it in close proximity to major shipping routes. One of its major advantages is the proximity to national transport facilities - 15 kilometers from the Pakistan National Highway, 14 kilometers from the National Railway network through six railway tracks located immediately behind the berths and 22 kilometers from Jinnah International Airport.
The Port has nine cargo-handling berths: -
Future expansion of the port includes the deepening and widening of the navigation channel and the establishment of a liquid cargo terminal, a liquefied petroleum gas terminal, grain handling and storage facilities, a textile complex and a desalination plant.
The area around the port includes several mangrove forests which are constantly under threat from human activities.
The beach immediately west of the navigation channel was the scene of a major oil spillage when the Greek-registered Tasman Spirit ran aground in August 2003. The environmental impact included large numbers of dead fish and turtles and a key mangrove forest, as well as dozens of people suffering nausea.
KETI BANDARKeti Bandar is a port at Arabian Sea in Thatta District, Sindh, Pakistan.
Keti Bandar was one of the richest ports of the region. The residents of Keti Bandar proudly claim that this port granted a loan to Karachi Municipal Committee during nineteenth century. This is no more in operation since 1935. Now not even the ruins of the port are visible due to sea erosion. Most of the inhabitants believe that Keti Bandar is actually the port of Debal where Muhammad bin Qasim along with his army arrived through ships from Iraq. Dibla tribe settled at Keti Bandar which justifies their claim to some extents.
The ports of coastal belt of Thatta are Keti Bandar, Bagan, Kharo Chhan etc. and are located 160 kilometers south east from Karachi.
JIWANI PORTJiwani port is located along Arabian Sea in Gwadar District, Balochistan, Pakistan. It is located near the Iranian border. It has a population of 25,000 and it is expected to become a major commercial center in concert with the development of the port of Gwadar located nearly 80 Km to the east.
Jiwani is located at the eastern end of Gwadar Bay, which is shared between Iran and Pakistan. The area around the bay includes an important mangrove forest extending across the international border, and is an important habitat for a wide variety of wildlife, especially the endangered Olive Ridley and Green Turtles. Plans to grant fishing concessions and offshore drilling rights are potentially a threat to the wildlife of the area.
Jiwani holds strategic importance in the region, located immediately adjacent to the shipping lanes to and from the Persian Gulf. This is the main reason that the town hosts a small naval base and an airport with a 5,500-foot runway.
KARACHI PORTThe Port of Karachi is Pakistan's largest and busiest seaport, handling about 60% of the nation's cargo (25 million tons per annum). The port is located at 24°50′00″N, 66°58′30″E (24.840000, 66.980000) between the Karachi towns of Kiamari and Saddar, close to the heart of old Karachi. The port is located close to the main business district of Karachi and several industrial areas. The geographic position of Karachi places the port in close proximity to major shipping routes such as the Straits of Hormuz. The administration of the port is carried out by the Karachi Port Trust which was established in the nineteenth century.
The port comprises a deep natural harbour with an 11-km long approach channel which provides safe navigation for vessels up to 75,000 DWT. The main areas of port activity are two wharves – East Wharf with seventeen vessel berths and West Wharf with thirteen vessel berths. The maximum depth alongside the berths is currently 11.3 meters. The two wharves extend in opposite directions along the upper harbour – the West Wharf southwest from Saddar town and the East Wharf northeast from Kimari Island.
The flow of cargo to and from the port is hampered by severe congestion in the harbour with several other maritime facilities located close to the port. Adjacent to the West Wharf is the Karachi Fishing Harbour, which is administered separately from the port and is the base for a large fleet of several thousand fishing vessels. The West Wharf also hosts a ship repair facility and shipyard and a naval dockyard at the tip of the wharf, while to the south of the port are the Karachi Naval Base and the Kimari Boat Club. The Port of Karachi also faces competition from a new private terminal located 5 kilometres away in the larger harbour west of the port. In recent years the federal government has attempted to alleviate the increased congestion in the harbour by constructing a second port in Karachi thirty kilometers east at Port Qasim and a third major port at Gwadar about 650 kilometers west of Karachi. The Karachi Fishing Harbour has been upgraded and a second fishing harbour is located 18 kilometres away at Korangi. The transfer of some naval vessels to the new naval base at Ormara has brought about further reductions in congestion.
The history of the port is intertwined with that of the city of Karachi. Several ancient ports have been attributed in the area including Krokola, Morontobara (Woman's Harbour) (mentioned by Nearchus), Barbarikon (the Periplus of the Erythraean Sea) and Debal (a city captured by the Muslim general Muhammad bin Qasim in 712 CE). There is a reference to the early existence of the port of Karachi in the Umdah, by the Arab navigator Suleiman al Mahri (AD 1511), who mentions Ras al Karazi and Ras Karashi while describing a route along the coast from Pasni to Ras Karashi. Karachi is also mentioned in the sixteenth century Turkish treatise Muhit (The Ocean) by the Ottoman captain Sidi Ali Reis. The Muhit is a compilation of sailing directions for a voyage from the Portuguese island of Diu to Hormuz in the Persian Gulf, warning sailors about whirlpools and advises them to seek safety in Kaurashi harbour if they found themselves drifting dangerously.
There is a legend of a prosperous coastal town called Kharak in the estuary of the Hub River (west of modern Karachi) in the late seventeenth and early eighteenth century. In 1728 heavy rains silted up the harbour and resulted in the merchants of Kharak relocating to the area of modern Karachi. In 1729, they built a new fortified town called Kolachi (sometimes known as Kalachi-jo-Kun and Kolachi-jo-Goth) on high ground north of Karachi bay, surrounded by a 16-foot high mud and timber-reinforced wall with gun-mounted turrets and two gates. The gate facing the sea was called Kharadar (salt gate), and the gate facing the Layari River was called Mithadar (sweet gate). The modern neighbourhoods around the location of the gates are called Mithadar and Kharadar. Surrounded by mangrove swamps to the east, the sea to the southwest, and the Layari River to the north, the town was well defended and engaged in a profitable trade with Muscat and Bahrain.
From 1729 to 1783 the strategic location of Kolachi saw the town change hands several times between the Khans of Kalat and the rulers of Sindh. In 1783, after two prolonged sieges the town fell to the Talpur Mirs of Sindh, who constructed a fort mounted with cannons on Manora Island at the harbour entrance. The prominence of the port attracted the British, who opened a factory in Karachi at the end of the eighteenth century but disagreements with the Mirs on trade tariffs led to the closure of the factory. The British were concerned about Russian expansion towards the Arabian Sea, so in 1839 they occupied Karachi and later the whole of the Sindh. The port served as a landing point for troops during the First Afghan War.
The potential of Karachi as a natural harbour for the produce of the Indus basin led to rapid development. The Indus Steam Flotilla and the Orient Inland Steam Navigation Company were formed to transport cotton and wheat down the Indus river to Karachi. A number of British companies opened offices and warehouses in Karachi and the population increased rapidly. By 1852, Karachi was an established city with a population of 14,000 and a prosperous overseas trade. The modern port began to take shape in 1854, when the main navigation channel was dredged and a mole or causeway was constructed to link the main harbour with the rest of the city. This was followed by construction of Manora breakwater, Kiamari Groyne, the Napier Mole Bridge and the Native Jetty. The construction of the wharves started in 1882, and by 1914 the East Wharf and the Napier Mole Boat Wharf were complete while 1927 and 1944, the West Wharf, the lighterage berths and the ship-repair berths were constructed between 1927 and 1944.
From the 1861 the Sindh Railway line connected Karachi to the cotton and wheat producing areas of the Sindh and northern British India and by 1899 Karachi was the largest wheat and cotton exporting port in India. The period between 1856 and 1872 saw a marked increase in trade, especially during the American Civil War when cotton from Sindh replaced American cotton as a raw material in the British textile industry and the opening of the Suez Canal in 1869. Another major export was oil brought by rail from the Sui region in Balochistan.
Karachi's importance as a gateway to India increased in 1911 when the capital of British India was moved to Delhi. The city was an important military base during the First World War (1914-18) because it was the first Indian port of call for ships coming through the Suez Canal and was the gateway to Afghanistan and the Russian Empire. In 1936 the Sindh district of the Bombay Presidency was reorganised as a new province with Karachi as the capital instead of the traditional capital of Hyderabad. This led to new public services and buildings, thus increasing its population and importance.
Karachi was again a military base and port for supplies to the Russian front during the Second World War (1939-1945). In 1947, Karachi became the capital of the new nation of Pakistan, resulting in a growth in population as it absorbed hundreds of thousands of refugees. Although the capital moved to Islamabad in 1959, Karachi remains the economic centre of Pakistan, accounting for the largest proportion of national GDP based in part on the commerce conducted through the Port of Karachi and Port Qasim. Post Independence, the port witnessed tremendous growth as a result of being the largest port in Pakistan. The port was targeted by the Indian Navy (codenamed Operation Trident) during the hostilities of the 1971 war.
The port has thirty dry cargo berths, three liquid cargo-handling berths (oil piers), two ship repair jetties and a shipyard and engineering facility. These are arranged in two main wharves - the West Wharf and the East Wharf each including a container terminal: -
Further deepening of the port has been planned by the Karachi Port Trust in order to enhance facilities. The channel is being dredged initially to 13.5 metres deep to cater for 12 metre draught vessels at all tides. At Kiamari Groyne, located at the outer tip of the harbour, dredging will be to 16.5 metres to enable vessels up to 300 metres long to dock. The Karachi Port Trust also plans to develop a trans-shipment terminal at Kiamari Groyne which should minimise turn around time for larger vessels.
Other projects to expand the port include:
The area around the harbour includes several mangrove forests which are constantly under threat from human activities. To the east of the port lies Chinna Creek, which covers about 6 km² and is dotted with mangrove islands. To the southwest of the port is another much larger mangrove forest in the bay formed by several islands and Manora breakwater; the river Layari flows into this bay, bringing waste from upstream suburbs.
The beach immediately east of the harbour was the scene of a significant oil spillage when the Greek-registered Tasman Spirit ran aground in August 2003. The environmental impact included large numbers of dead fish and turtles and damage to a key mangrove forest, as well as dozens of people suffering nausea.
Karachi Dock Labour Board
The Karachi Dock Labour Board (KDLB) is responsible for labour relations between employees and the Karachi Port Trust. In October 2006, the Pakistan government has decided to close down Karachi Dock Labour Board by December this year as part of its landlord port strategy and under the National Trade Corridor (NTC) programme. The closure of KDLB would cost around Rs 4.2 billion ($70 million) to the national exchequer.
The World Bank in its report suggested, in case of closure the KDLB would have to pay about Rs one million to each employee. There are about 3895 employees and officers on its payroll. Of which about 3673 are dockworkers; 185 staff members; and 37 are officers. The total payoffs calculated by the bank would be around Rs 4.2 billion.
KARACHI FISH HARBOURKarachi Fish Harbour is in West Karachi near the main port. It is relatively well supplied with facilities, with two large auction halls which whilst not ideal could be made presentable at little cost, a smaller improved auction hall for export fish, a landing area for fish intended for fishmeal, one 40 ton flake ice machine (most ice used is block ice and bought in by truck from outside the harbour area), an unloading wharf next to the market hall and export processing factories. Boat building facilities and a slipway are on the creek side of the harbour.
PORT FOUNTAINThe Port Fountain or Karachi Port Trust Fountain is located next to the Northern rock of a series known as Oyster Rocks, off the Karachi Harbour. The fountain is the worlds second tallest fountain and rises to height of 620 feet when operating at full force. Ever since its inauguration by the President of Pakistan on January 15, 2006. The fountain has been attracting visitors from all over Pakistan. The fountain structure and platform of 135 sq meters (15m x 9m) is on 16 piles 18 meters deep. Two 835-horsepower turbine pumps deliver nearly 2000 liters of sea water per second at a velocity of 70 meter per second through specially designed 8 inch nozzles. The fountain constructed at a cost of PKR 320 million.
Because the fountain rises so high into the air, it is quite easily seen from many locations of the city. Many high rise apartments, buildings and surroundings overlook the fountain throughout the community at the beach. The column of water can be seen from miles at sea. The fountain is located 1.4 km away from the beach to avoid spraying neighborhood homes. Maximum vapours travel up to a radius of 500 feet around the fountain. Eighteen flood lights of 400 watts illuminate the fountain at night.
The Me you have always known, the Me that's a stranger still.
Last edited by Last Island; Monday, March 26, 2007 at 01:49 AM.
Dams and Barrages of Paistan
DUNGI DAMDohngi Dam (Dungi Dam) is a dam, located 2 kilometers northwest of Gujar Khan in Rawalpindi, Pakistan.
GHAZI BAROTHA DAMGhazi Barotha Dam is located on Indus River in Pakistan. Ghazi Barotha Hydroelectric project is located around 100 km from Islamabad. It involved the construction of a partial river diversion at Ghazi Barotha, 7 km downstream from the Tarbela Dam.
The barrage diverts water into a 52 km concrete-lined channel and delivers it to the 1,450MW powerhouse at Barotha. This is further downstream, near the confluence of the Indus and Haro rivers. In this reach the Indus River drops by 76 m within a distance of 63 km. After passing through the powerhouse, diverted water is returned to the Indus. In addition to these main works, transmission lines stretch 340 km.
GOMAL DAMGomal Dam is located on Gomal river in South Waziristan, NWFP, Pakistan.
GOMAL ZAM DAM PROJECTGomal Zam Dam Project is located in Damaan area of NWFP, Pakistan. Gomal River, on which a 437 feet high Gomal Zam Dam will be built, is one of the significant tributaries of Indus River. It is planned to irrigate about 163,000 acres of land. The total projects costs amounts to Rs. 12 billion. It will be a Roller compacted concrete dam, having a gross storage of 1.14 MAF. It will produce 17.4 MW of electricity when completed. Approximately Rs. 4.388 billion contracts for the construction of Gomal Zam Dam Project was awarded to Messers CWHEC - HPE, a joint venture of two Chinese firms in August 2002.
GUDDU BARRAGEGuddu Barrage is a barrage across river Indus, near Sukkur in Pakistan. President Sikander Mirza laid foundation-stone of the Guddu Barrage on February 2, 1957. The barrage was completed in 1962.
At the time of its construction it has maximum design discharge of 1.2 million cubic feet per second (34,000 m³/s). It is a gate-controlled weir type barrage with a navigation lock. The barrage has 64 bays, each 60 feet (18 m) wide. The maximum flood level height of Guddu barrage is 26 feet (8 m). It controls irrigation supplies to 2.9 million acres (12,000 km²) of agricultural lands in the Jacobabad, Larkana and Sukkur districts of Sindh and the Nasirabad district of Balochistan. The cost of the project was 474.8 million rupees. It feeds Ghotki Feeder, Begari Feeder, Desert and Pat Feeder canals.
HUB DAMHub Dam is a large water storage reservoir constructed in 1981 on the Hub River on the arid plains north of Karachi on provincial border between Balochistan and Sindh, Pakistan. The reservoir supplies water for irrigation in Lasbela District of Balochistan and drinking water for the city of Karachi. It is an important staging and wintering area for an appreciable number of waterbirds and contains a variety of fish species which increase in abundance during periods of high water. The Mahseer (Tor putitora), an indigenous riverine fish found in the Hub River, can grow up to 9 feet in length and more than 110 lbs. The Hub reservoir can grow up to 32 square miles and provides for excellent angling.
KALABAGH DAMThe Kalabagh dam is a mega water reservoir that Government of Pakistan planning to develop across the Indus River, one of the world's largest rivers. The proposed site for the dam is situated at Kalabagh in Mianwali District of the northwest Punjab province, bordering NWFP.
The dam project is a highly controversial and has been so since its inception. In December 2005, General Pervez Musharraf, who became the President of Pakistan after a 1999 coup, announced that he would definitely build the dam in the larger interest of Pakistan.
The region of Kalabagh was once an autonomous jagir (feudal estate) within Punjab. It was annexed by the Sikhs in 1822. After the British annexed the Punjab, the Nawab of Kalabagh was granted the jagir of Kalabagh, in recognition of his services to the British Raj.
According to the PC-II of the Project, Kala Bagh dam was initiated by GOP in 1953, and until 1973, the project was basically considered as a storage project for meeting the irrigation needs, and consequently, rapid increases in the cost of energy have greatly enhanced the priority of the dam as a power project.
The project's paperwork was finalized in March, 1984, with the assistance of the United Nations Development Programme; supervised by the World Bank, for the client Water and Power Development Authority (WAPDA) of Pakistan.
The proposed construction of the Kalabagh Dam triggered an extremely bitter controversy among the four provinces of Pakistan, namely Punjab, Sindh, North-West Frontier Province, and Balochistan. The only province which is in favor of this dam, is Punjab that is the most strong among all four provinces, as usually the government is mainly centralized in it. The other three provinces have expressed extreme dissatisfaction, going so far as to have their provincial assemblies pass unanimous resolutions condemning the proposed dam. Hence, the project is still under consideration.
The delay is also being caused by the fact that according to international water distribution law, the tailender has a legal and natural right on river and that is why no mega construction or reservoir can be built without permission and endorsement of the tail ender i.e. Sindh. In the case where the tail ender is not using water i.e. building a water reservoir, a reservoir can be made upstream.
Impact assessments of the proposed dam have shown that while it will provide storage and electricity, the dam will also have adverse impacts on the environment, as can be expected from any large dam. It will also displace a large number of people. While proponents point to the benefits, the adverse factors have been played up by the opponents of the dam. As a result, the dam has been stalled by claims and counterclaims since 1984.
The controversy can be best understood by looking at the viewpoints of each of the four provinces.
Punjab — the granary of Pakistan - desperately needs more water to keep up with the growing population and industrial demands on its agriculture. A dam at Kalabagh would also supply cheap hydroelectric power.
The annual outflow of water into the Arabian Sea is considered a "waste" in Punjab, which feels that water can be used to irrigate Pakistani infertile lands. Punjab wants not just Kalabagh, but also two more large dams on the Indus, at Bhasha and Skardu/Katzarah. It feels that the Kalabagh site is the most favourable, compared to the other two, and that it should be built first.
Sindh, the first province to point KBD project a blame game, is the lower riparian and strongest opponent of KBD. But its case mainly against Punjab is more on a conceptual basis of what Sindh thought to be "theft of water by Punjab" rather than locating an actual incident of theft. Sindh supports its argument by stating that by virtue of its name and history of water rights of the province, Indus River belongs exclusively to Sindh. Therefore, claiming the construction of dams, Tarbela and Mangla and now KBD actions of theft of water at the irrigation cost of Sindh. Further, Sindh presents many objections against the proposed dam. Some of these objections are as follows:
The NWFP has two main objections to the dam.
The dam does not directly affect the Baloch as such. Rather, most nationalist Baloch Sardars sees the dam as another instance of Punjab lording it over the smaller provinces. By opposing the dam they are signaling their disaffection with being the poorest province and most neglected of all in development. In reality Balochistan can only get more water and its due share after the construction of Kalabagh dam and Kachhi canal.
The Common Man's Viewpoint
Majority of people of Pakistan are against the construction Kalabagh dam, as its construction can prove a danger to sustain the unification of provinces under the name 'Pakistan'. The only people who want the construction of Kalabagh dam can be classified into two groups: The first is the high ranked officers of Pakistan army, who will be granted farmlands to be irrigated by Kalabagh dam after the retirements (in fact these are the most powerful supporters of dam). The second group is the political leaders of Punjab; since the issue has turned out be a war between Sindh and Punjab, so by favouring the construction of Dam, Punjabi politicians can maintain their vote-bank. The only reason why President Pervaiz Musharaf favours Kalabhgh dam is because he needs the support of Punjab to sustain his dictatorship in the country. All the ‘oppressed' provinces (Sindh, NWFP and Balochistan) of the country has already expressed a huge concern over the construction of dam, specially in Sindh where every single street has observed the protest against the dam. The people of these oppressed provinces do not believe in any guarantee from ‘Punjabiz' Pakistani government as it has already done many decisions against the constitution/treaties, for example, the regulation of water in Chashma-Jehlem link canal.
Most independent analysts believe that the foremost problem with the proposed dam at Kalabagh is one of a trust deficit between the Punjab on one side and the other three provinces on the other. The noted columnist, Ayaz Amir suggested that the people of Punjab should redefine their assumptions about the rest of Pakistan and distribution of resources. A layman of Punjab does not understand why the rest of Pakistan does not trust Punjab. The answer, according to Amir, lies in the frequent coups staged by the Pakistan Army (which is overwhelmingly Punjabi in its composition), as well as the Army's extra-constitutional intervention and influence in public sector and civil institutions of the country in general and Sindh in particular. Now no province is ready to trust the Punjab.
All Pakistanis agree that Pakistan faces a severe water shortage, and that some form of water management must be implemented soon. Many point out that even if work on Kalabagh were to start tomorrow, it would still take at least eight years to complete and commission such a large dam. In the meantime, the water situation would continue to worsen. Smaller dams, barrages, and canals must be built before that, and water conservation techniques introduced.
The WAPDA for years repeatedly changed its statistics on the dam, to the point where no-one in Pakistan now believes any of its figures. Government of Pakistan formed a technical committee, headed by A. N. G. Abbasi, to study the technical merits of the Kalabagh dam vis-à-vis the other two. The four-volume technical report concluded that Bhasha or Katzarah dam should be built before Kalabagh, further complicating matters. To make matters even more complex, the report also stated that Kalabagh and Bhasha Dams could be considered feasible.
The abrupt way in which President General Musharraf announced the decision to build the dam, simply overruling the objections of the smaller states, has sharply polarised public opinion. In Punjab the view is one of “...its high time!" while in the other states, especially Sindh, the reaction has been one of “...over my dead body!”.
The fact that the General literally dragged so controversial an issue off the backburner and thrust it into national centre stage without considering the predictable reactions from the smaller provinces has left many aghast. Much has been said in the press, and the issue is still far from being resolved.
KAROONJHAR DAMKaroonjhar Dam is a dam in Tharparkar, Sindh, Pakistan.
MANGLA DAMAs per the Indus Waters Treaty signed in 1960, India gained rights for the Ravi, Sutlej and Beas rivers, while Pakistan, in addition to waters of above three rivers in her area and some monetary compensation, got rights to develop the Jhelum, Chenab and Indus river basins. Until 1967, the entire irrigation system of Pakistan was fully dependent on unregulated flows of the Indus and its major tributaries. The agricultural yield was very low for a number of reasons, the most important being a lack of water during critical growing periods. This problem stemmed from the seasonal variations in the river flow and the absence of storage reservoirs to conserve the vast amounts of surplus water during periods of high river discharge.
The Mangla Dam was the first development project undertaken to reduce this shortcoming and strengthen the irrigation system. The dam was damaged partially during an Indian Air Force bombing in the Indo-Pakistani War of 1971 when the hydel project was hit by the bombs.
The Mangla Dam projectThe Mangla Dam, the twelfth largest dam and third largest earth-filled dam in the world, is only 115 km southeast of Rawalpindi. One has to turn left from Dina Town and the dam on river Jhelum is about 14 km to the east. It was constructed in 1967 across the Jhelum River, about 100 miles southeast of the federal capital, Islamabad. The main structures of the dam include 4 embankment dams, 2 spillways, 5 power-cum-irrigation tunnels and a power station.
The main dam is 10,300 feet long and 454 feet high (above core trench) with a reservoir of 97.7 square miles. Since its first impounding in 1967, sedimentation has occurred to the extent of 1.13 MAF, and the present gross storage capacity has declined to 4.75 MAF from the actual design of 5.88 MAF. The live capacity has declined to 4.58 MAF from 5.34 MAF. This implies a reduction of 19.22% in the capacity of the dam.
The project was designed primarily to increase the amount of water that could be used for irrigation from the flow of the Jhelum and its tributaries. Its secondary function was to generate electrical power from the irrigation releases at the artificial head of the reservoir. The project was not designed as a flood control structure, although some benefit in this respect also arises from its use for irrigation and water supply.
In the centre of the dam there is a Gakkhar Fort from where one can have a panoramic view of the lake.
MIRANI DAMMirani Dam is located in Gwadar District, Balochistan, Pakistan. Mirani Dam multipurpose project, is located on Dasht River, about 30 miles west of Turbat in Makran Division of Balochistan, it envisages provision of dependable irrigation supplies for the development ref irrigated agriculture on the two banks of the river. The project have been completed in November 2006 and inaugurated by president Pervaiz of Pakistan.
SHAKIDOR DAMThe Shakidor (Shadi Kor) dam is located near Pasni, in the Balochistan province of south west Pakistan, 1,900 km (1,180 miles) from Islamabad and has a length of about 148 meters (485 feet). It was built in 2003, at a cost of 45 million rupees (758,853 dollars), to provide irrigation water to the nearby farms.
On February 10, 2005, the dam burst under the pressure of a weeks' worth of rain, killing at least 70 villagers and dragging their bodies to the Arabian Sea. The Pakistani military was sent into emergency Search and Rescue operations, saving 1,200 people but still having to account for over 400 missing.
SUKKAR BARRAGEThe Sukkur barrage is a barrage across the Indus river near the city of Sukkur, Pakistan. It was built during the British Raj from 1923 to 1932 as the Lloyd Barrage to help alleviate famines caused by lack of rain. The barrage enables water to flow through what was originally a 6166-mile long network of canals, feeding the largest irrigation system in the world, with more than 5 million acres (20,000 km²) of irrigated land.
The retaining wall has sixty-six spans, each 60 feet wide; each span has a gate which weighs 50 tons.
TARBELA DAMTarbela Dam (or the National Dam), the world's largest earth-filled dam on one of the world's most important rivers - the Indus-, is 103 km from Rawalpindi near Haripur District. It is a major source of Pakistan's total hydroelectric capacity. Tarbela Dam is part of the Indus Basin Project, which resulted from a water treaty signed in 1960 between India and Pakistan, guaranteeing Pakistan water supplies independent of upstream control by India. Construction began in 1968, and was completed in 1976 at a cost of Rs.18.5 billion. Over 15,000 Pakistani and 800 foreign workers and engineers worked during its construction. It is the biggest hydel power station in Pakistan having a capacity of generating 3,478 MW of electricity. The dam has a volume of 138,600,000 cubic yards (106,000,000 m³). With a reservoir capacity of 11,098,000 acre-feet (13.69 km³), the dam is 469 feet (143 m) high and 8,997 feet (2,743 m) wide at its crest while total area of the lake is 260 sq.km. It helps to maintain the flow of the Indus during seasonal fluctuations.
A new, smaller hydroelectric power project has been developed downstream known as the Ghazi Barotha Hydel Power Project. It is solely for generating electricity and has a water channel with the highest flow in the world.
While the dam has fulfilled its purpose in storing water for agricultural use in Pakistan, there have been environmental consequences to the Indus river delta. Reductions of seasonal flooding and reduced water flows to the delta have decreased mangrove stands and the abundance of some fish species.
Permits are required for visiting the Dam. Please contact Public Relations Officer (PRO), Water and Power Development Authority (WAPDA), Tarbela (Tel: 051-568941-2). A No-Objection Certificate (NOC) from the Ministry of Interior (Shaheed-e-Millat Sectt.), Islamabad is also required for foreign visitors.
DIAMER-BHASHA DAMDiamer-Bhasha Dam is the name of a dam that has been planned in the Northern Areas of Pakistan on the River Indus. It is located about 314 km upstream of Tarbela Dam and about 165 km downstream of Gilgit. The dam is expected to create a large reservoir with a gross capacity of 7.3 million-acre feet (9 km³) submerging large tracts of land in the Diamer district. The dam is supposed to have a power generation capacity of 3.360 megawatts and is expected to considerable ease up the skewed hydro to thermal power generation ratio in Pakistan. It is expected that the detailed drawings of the dam would be completed by March 2008, immediately after which construction work shall begin.
TANDA DAM (RAMSAR SITE)Tanda Dam is lcated in Kohat District, North-West Frontier Province, Pakistan. The site comprises a small water storage area in semi-arid hills in the catchments of the Kohat Toi River. Although most of the shoreline is steep, stony and devoid of aquatic vegetation, at the west end there are some areas of gently shelving muddy shores with a small amount of emergent vegetation.
NAMAL DAMNamal Lake is located in one corner of the Namal valley in Mianwali, Punjab, Pakistan. This lake was created when Namal Dam was constructed in 1913. Namal Dam is situated some 32 km from Mianwali city. Namal Lake spread over 5.5 sq km, in Namal valley. There are mountains on its western and southern sides. On the other two sides are agricultural areas.
NAMAL dam is situated some 32 KM from Mianwali city. This dam is very old. British Government constructed it. When Mianwali became District then the district government buildings were constructed using water stored in Namal Lake from this Namal Dam.
In 1913, British engineers, to meet the scarcity of irrigation and drinking water, built a dam on this lake and from here they irrigated lands up to Mianwali city. But with the passage of time and construction of Thal Canal and installation of tube wells, its utility of water squeezed up to some limit. The gates of the dam are repaired by the irrigation department regularly but without enthusiasm. The hill torrents and rains fill the Namal Lake round the year. Due to a drought-like situation in the country, this lake dried up last year, which is the first incident of its kind during the last 100 years, said one of the senior inhabitants of this area.
An engineer told this correspondent that the name of Namal Dam still exists on the list of dams in the world. Namal Lake is an ideal abode for the migratory birds in winter season when thousands of waterfowls, including Russian ducks and Siberian cranes, land in the lake water. Due to the apathy of the wildlife department, these guest birds are ruthlessly killed by poachers. To save these birds, the wildlife department must declare this lake a sanctuary.
There is beautiful sulphur water fountain near the Numal dam site.People use this water for treatment of different diseases.This sulphur water fountain is very old but even then the flow rate of water is same .If government take care and give attention to this fountain then this can be a great source of sulphur.By drying the water you can get a good quality sulphur from here.
KANPUR DAMKhanpur Dam is a dam located on the Haro River near the town of Khanpur, about 25 miles from Islamabad, Pakistan. It forms Khanpur Lake, a reservoir which supplies drinking water to Islamabad and Rawalpindi and irrigation water to many of the agricultural and industrial areas surrounding the cities. The dam was named from the former Khanpur village, which was submerged by the reservoir, so a new Khanpur town has been built downstream of the Dam.
The dam was completed in 1983 after a 15-year construction period believed to have cost Rs. 1,352 million. It is 167 feet high and stores 110,000 acre-feet of water.
MISRIOT DAMMisriot dam is located 12 km southwest of Rawalpindi. This small dam has an artificial lake with boating and fishing facilities. Fishing permit may be obtained from fishing guard at Misriot. It has a pleasant landscape and walkways beyond the lake among eruptions of black rocks.
TANAZA DAMIt is a small dam located at about 35 Km southwest of Rawalpindi on Dhamial Road. Ideal for a day trip, the lake has a quiet atmosphere.
The gignatic multi-purpose Warsak Dam is situated 30 kms north-west of Peshawar in the heart of tribal territory. It has a total generating capacity of 240,000 kw and will eventually serve to irrigate 110,000 acres of land.
TAUNSA BARRAGETaunsa Barrage is located on Indus river in Punjab, Pakistan.
The Taunsa Barrage was completed in 1958, and it has been identified as the barrage with the highest priority for rehabilitation. It requires urgent measures to avoid severe economic and social impacts on the lives of millions of poor farmers through interruption of irrigation on two million acres (8,000 km²) and drinking water in the rural areas of southern Punjab, benefiting several million farmers.
In 2003, the World Bank has approved a $123 million loan to Pakistan to rehabilitate the Taunsa Barrage on the River Indus whose structure had been damaged owing to soil erosions and old-age. This project will ensure irrigation of the cultivated lands in the area of the Muzaffargarh and Dera Ghazi Khan canals, and through the Taunsa-Panjnad Link Canal that supplements the water supply to Panjnad headworks canals.
TAUNSA BARRAGE (RAMSAR SITE)Taunsa Barrage wetland site is located 20 km northwest of Kot Adu, Muzaffargarh District, Punjab, Pakistan.
The rare marbled teal Marmaronetta angustirostris is a regular passage migrant and winter visitor in small numbers. The rare Indus dolphin Platanista minor and otter Lutra perspicillata are present in the river in small numbers. The site forms a very important wintering area for waterbirds, (notably Anatidae), and a breeding area for several species, notably Dendrocygna javanica, and a staging area for certain cranes (Grus grus and Anthropoides virgo) and shorebirds. Dendrocygna javanica is a common breeding summer visitor with 325 counted in August 1995. Over 24,000 waterbirds were present in mid-January 1987, including: 620 Phalacrocorax niger, 79 Anser indicus, 2,780 Anas penelope, 770 A. strepera, 4,880 A. crecca, 270 A. platyrhynchos, 1,660 A. acuta, 390 A. clypeata, 4,690 Aythya ferina, 53 Anthropoides virgo, 150 Porphyrio porphyrio and 7,510 Fulica atra, along with fewer numbers of Tachybaptus ruficollis, Tadorna tadorna, Marmaronetta angustirostris, Netta rufina, Aythya fuligula, Hydrophasianus chirurgus, Himantopus himantopus and Numenius arquata.
The wetland was first declared as a Wildlife Sanctuary of 6,567 ha in 1972, the Sanctuary was re-listed in April 1983, then in July 1988 and subsequently in March 1993. It has been proposed that the Indus River from Taunsa Barrage upstream to Kalabagh and downstream to Guddu Barrage be declared as a World Heritage Site for the Indus dolphin Platanista minor.
CHASHMA BARRAGE (RAMSAR SITE)Chashma Barrage wetland site is located Indus Monsoon Forest, some 25 km southwest of Mianwali, Punjab, Pakistan.
The site is comprised of a large barrage, a water storage reservoir and a series of embankments (serving as flood bounds) which divide the reservoir into five shallow lakes at low water levels. The site is comprised of a large barrage, a water storage reservoir and a series of embankments (serving as flood bounds) which divide the reservoir into five shallow lakes at low water levels.
The aquatic vegetation consists of Hydrilla verticillata, Nelumbium speciosum, Nymphaea lotus, Typha angustata, Typha elephantina, Phragmites australis, Potamogeton crispus-Myriophyllum sp.-Nymphoides cristatum, Potamogeton pectinatus, Saccharum spontaneum, Vallisneria spiralis and Zannichellia palustris. The natural vegetation of the region is a mixture of subtropical semi-evergreen scrub and tropical thorn forest. Species include Olea ferruginea, Acacia modesta, A. nilotica, Adhatoda vasica, Dodonaea viscosa, Gymnosporia sp., Prosopis cineraria, Reptonia buxifolia, Salvadora oleoides, Tamarix aphylla, T. dioica, Ziziphus mauritania, Z. nummularia, Chrysopogon aucheri, Lasiurus hirsutus, Heteropogon contortus and Panicum antidotale. Prosopis glandulosa has been introduced in the area. Most of the natural thorn forest on the plains to the east of the Indus has been cleared for agricultural land and for irrigated plantations of Dalbergia sissoo and other species. The rich fish fauna includes Gudusia chapra, Notopterus chitala, Catla catla, Cirrhinus mrigala, C. reba, Labeo rohita, L. microphthalmus, Puntius ticto, P. stigma, Barilius vagra, Wallago attu, Rita rita, Bagarius bagarius, Mystus aor, M. seenghala, Heteropneustes fossilis, Eutropiichthys vacha, Nandus sp., Mastacembelus armatus, M. pancalus, Ambassis nama, A. ranga and Channa punctatus. Other aquatic fauna includes Hirudinaria sp., Palaemon spp., Rana tigrina, Kachuga smithi, Trionyx gangeticus and Lissemys punctata. Mammals occurring in the area include Sus scrofa cristatus, Axis porcinus, Canis aureus, Felis libyca and Lutra perspicillata.
KACCHI CANAL PROJECTKachhi Canal Project is located in Punjab, Pakistan. Kachhi Canal Project was started in October 2002. The project, estimated to cost Rs28 billion, is planned as a fast track part of Vision-2025, the national development programme of water and hydropower resources. The first leg of the project comprises 500-kilometre-long Kachhi Canal to off take from Taunsa Barrage with a capacity of 6,000 cusecs. According to the official documents, the project will provide irrigation to 713,000 acres of land and will enhance cropping intensity in the project area from the present 2 per cent to 46 per cent. The Kachhi Canal will be fed through Taunsa Barrage for only six months.
The Me you have always known, the Me that's a stranger still.
Sports venues in Pakistan
ARBAB NIAZ STADIUMArbab Niaz Stadium is a Test cricket ground in Peshawar. It replaced the Peshawar Club Ground as the home ground for the Peshawar cricket team in 1985.
The ground has hosted 17 ODIs since 1984, and seven Test matches in 1995, most recently in 2003. The ground has a seating capacity of 20,000.
BAHAWAL STADIUMThe Bahawal Stadium is a cricket ground in Bahawalpur, Pakistan. It was the first cricket ground in Western Pakistan to host a Test match, when it hosted the second Test of Indian cricket team in Pakistan in 1954-55 India's inaugural tour of Pakistan. However, this was the only international match to be held at this ground. As of 2002, 155 first class matches and 23 List A matches have been played at this ground. As Bahawalpur's cricket team has been without first class status since 2002–03, there was only one first class match and one List A match here for the three seasons following that, but the ground still hosts Under-19 matches
DEFENCE HOUSING AUTHORITY STADIUMThe Defence Housing Authority Stadium (previously known as the Defence Cricket Stadium) is a cricket ground in Karachi, Pakistan.
It has hosted only one Test match, the 1st Test between Pakistan and Zimbabwe, from 1 December to 6 December 1993. Pakistan won by 131 runs, mainly due to Waqar Younis taking 7-91 in the first innings and 6-44 in the second. This was his first match as captain of Pakistan, standing in for Wasim Akram. Younis became Pakistan's youngest Test captain. It remains an approved venue for Test cricket.
The stadium has hosted 17 other first-class cricket matches from 1990 to 2000, and 16 limited overs matches from 1990 to 1999
DRING STADIUMDring Stadium is a multi-use stadium in Bahawalpur, Pakistan. It is currently used mostly for Cricket games. The stadium holds 15,000 people.
GADDAFI STADIUMGaddafi Stadium is a Test cricket ground in Lahore, Pakistan. It was designed by Pakistani architect Nayyar Ali Dada and completed in 1959. After its renovation for the 1996 Cricket World Cup, the stadium has a capacity of over 60,000 spectators for high profile matches or events.
IBN-E-QASIM BAGH STADIUMIbn-e-Qasim Bagh Stadium, originally known as Old Fort Stadium, is a multi-use stadium in Multan, Pakistan. It is currently used mostly for cricket and football. The stadium holds 18,000 and opened in 1975.
IQBAL STADIUMIqbal Stadium is a Test cricket ground in Faisalabad, Pakistan. Previous names for the ground include Lyallpur Stadium, National Stadium, and City Stadium. The current name honours Pakistani poet Sir Allama Muhammad Iqbal.
Jinnah Stadium is a multi-use stadium in Gujranwala, Punjab, Pakistan. It is currently used mostly for cricket matches. The stadium holds 20,000 and hosted its first Test match in 1991.
JINNAH STADIUM (GUJRANWALA)
JINNAH STADIUM (SIALKOT)Jinnah Stadium is a multi-use stadium in Sialkot, Pakistan. It is currently used mostly for cricket matches. The stadium holds 20,000 and hosted its first Test match in 1985.
MULTAN CRICKET STADIUM
Multan Cricket Stadium is a multi-use stadium in Multan, Pakistan. The stadium is located off Vehari Road, in the suburbs of Multan. It is currently used mostly for cricket matches. The stadium holds 30,000 and hosted its first test match in 2001 against Bangladesh Cricket team. The stadium hosts both forms of international cricket i.e. Test cricket and One day international. The ground is a replacement to the old Qasim Bagh Stadium located in the heart of Multan city.Flood lights were recently installed to make Day/Night matches possible. The first Day/Night game played at this ground was between archrivals India and Pakistan.
NATIONAL STADIUM, KARACHIThe National Stadium is a cricket stadium in Karachi, Pakistan opened in April 21, 1955. It is currently used for cricket matches, and is home to Pakistan's national and Karachi's domestic cricket teams. The stadium is able to hold over 40,000 spectators, making it the second largest stadium in Pakistan after Gaddafi Stadium in Lahore. However, taking Karachi's size (about 15 million) into consideration, the National Stadium is considered too small by many locals. Other cities of similar size in cricketing nations such as Kolkata or Melbourne have much larger stadiums. There have been numerous plans to increase the capacity of the stadium, however none have actually been implemented so far.
The Pakistani cricket team have a remarkable Test record at the ground, having only lost once (vs. England, December 2000-01) and have won 21 times in 39 Test Matches and in over 50 years. The stadium has witnessed some great innings like Viv Richards 181 against Sri Lanka and Mohammad Yousuf's record ninth century of the year to break Viv Richards record of most Runs in a calendar year was also scored on the same ground in November 2006-07.
NIAZ STADIUMNiaz Stadium is a multi-use stadium in Hyderabad, Pakistan. It is currently used mostly for cricket matches. The stadium holds 25,000 and hosted its first test match in 1973.
The first ever One-day cricket hatrick took place at this stadium. In addition, Pakistan has never lost any match, whether test or one day, on this ground.
Niaz Stadium, Hyderabad is situated in the heart of once the 2nd and now the 3rd most populous city of Pakistan. Hyderabad has been named after Niaz Ahmed the late sports loving commoner of Hyderabad who was the motivating factor for building this stadium. The inaugural first class match was played at Niaz Stadium between South Zone v Pakistan Education Board (PEB) on March 16-18, 1962. Niaz Stadium become the 32nd first class ground in Pakistan and 2nd in Hyderabad.
Only five Tests have so far been played at Hyderabad two each against England and New Zealand and one against India. The inaugural Test match at Hyderabad took place on March 16-21, 1973 against England, and it was left drawn after tall scoring England picked up 487 with Dennis Amiss scoring 158. Pakistan in reply, did even better, compiling 569 before declaring after nine wickets had fallen. Mushtaq Mohammad hit 157 and Intikhab Alam 138. England played out time by hitting 218 for 6 wickets.
The last Test was played at Niaz Stadium, Hyderabad between Pakistan and New Zealand on 25-29 November 1984. Niaz Stadium celebrated staging this Test cricket's 1000th match with Pakistan winning the rubber with more than a day to spare. Javed Miandad became the second Pakistani after Hanif Mohammed to score a century in each innings of a Test. Niaz Stadium boasts of the fact that Pakistan never lost a Test or One-day International here.
PESHAWAR CLUB GROUNDThe Peshawar Club Ground is a cricket ground in Peshawar, Pakistan, used for one Test match between India and Pakistan. It staged first class cricket matches from 1938 to 1987.
History of matches
The history of first class cricket at the Peshawar Club Ground began with the North West Frontier Province in the Indian Ranji Trophy. With the separation of Pakistan in 1949, the NWFP team was admitted into the Quaid-e-Azam Trophy, and again played at Peshawar until they were replaced in the Trophy by a Peshawar city team in 1956. Before that, Pakistan had entertained India for the only Test match to be played here. In a drawn four-day encounter, Polly Umrigar hit a century for India before he was run out. The following year, New Zealand played a Governor-General of Pakistan's XI here, while a full-strength Pakistan side beat a non-Test touring team from Marylebone Cricket Club. For Quaid-e-Azam Trophy matches, the Peshawar team switched between this ground and the Peshawar Gymkhana Ground until 1971. In 1957, Peshawar off spinner Haseeb Ahsan achieved the best figures on the ground with thirteen for 47 in a match against Punjab B.
Touring teams occasionally visited the ground, though no more Test matches were played. In 1967, a MCC U-25 side played a Pakistan North Zone team, a match which is notable for Mike Brearley's highest first class score. The visitors' captain made 312 not out in a day as MCC piled up 514 for four against opposition including the later Test captain Intikhab Alam, declared, then won by an innings and 139 runs on the third day. He shared double century stands with Alan Knott and Alan Ormrod (records for the first and fifth wickets at the ground), and his innings remains the highest on the ground, despite Zakir Butt's 290 for Pakistan Railways six years later.
Matches by touring teams became more common in the 1970s, with England, India, New Zealand, Sri Lanka (then not a Test nation) all playing a team at this ground. Most matches were drawn, though England won by the use of two declarations, while New Zealand lost against a team with nine players who would appear in the Test series against them. An International XI captained by Vanburn Holder also beat a near full-strength Pakistan here in 1976, though the match did not have international status.
By November 1984, the new Arbab Niaz Stadium in Pakistan was ready, and the Club Ground was disused. It hosted Peshawar for the last time in their 1986–87 Quaid-e-Azam Trophy campaign, where they played eight home matches, and since then the Arbab Niaz has taken over as Peshawar's international and first class ground of choice.
PINDI CLUB GRROUNDPindi Club Ground is a multi-use stadium in Rawalpindi, Pakistan. It is currently used mostly for cricket matches. The stadium holds 15,000 people and hosted its first test match in 1965.
QAYYUM STADIUMQayyum Stadium is a multi-use stadium in Peshawar, Pakistan. It is currently used mostly for cricket and football matches. The stadium holds 15,000 people.
QUAID-E-AZAM STADIUMQuiad-e-Azam Stadium is a multi-use stadium in Mirpur, Kashmir, Pakistan. It is currently used mostly for cricket matches. The stadium holds 45,000.
RAWALPINDI CRICKET STADIUMRawalpindi Cricket Stadium is a multi-use stadium in Rawalpindi, Pakistan. It is currently used mostly for cricket matches. The stadium holds 20,000 and hosted its first test match in 1993. The stadium was a prime spot in the 1995-96 cricket world cup. The floodlights were added in late 2001 when the Australians were set to tour the Region. The stadium is just 20 minutes from the capital Islamabad and is the only international stadium in the territory.
SHEIKHUPURA STADIUMSheikhupura Stadium is a multi-use stadium in Sheikhupura, Pakistan. It is currently used mostly for cricket matches. The stadium holds 15,000 people and hosted its first test match in 1996.
AYUB NATIONAL STADIUMAyub National Stadium is a multi-use stadium in Quetta, Pakistan. It is currently used mostly football games. The stadium holds 20,000 people.
HYDERABAD FOOTBALL STADIUMHyderabad Football Stadium is a multi-use stadium in Hyderabad, Pakistan. It is currently used mostly for football matches. The stadium holds 25,000 people.
IBN-E-QASIM STADIUMIbn-e-Qasim Bagh Stadium, originally known as Old Fort Stadium, is a multi-use stadium in Multan, Pakistan. It is currently used mostly for cricket and football. The stadium holds 18,000 and opened in 1975.
JINNAH SPORTS STADIUMJinnah Sports Stadium is a multi-use stadium in Islamabad, Pakistan. It is currently used mostly for football matches. It also has athletics faclities. The stadium holds 48,700 people.
MODEL TOWN C-BLOCK STADIUMModel Town C-Block Ground is a multi-use stadium in Lahore, Pakistan. It is currently used mostly football games and hosts the home matches of WAPDA FC. The stadium holds 3,000 people.
HOCKEY STADIUMSFaislabad Hockey Stadium is a multi-use stadium in Faisalabad, Pakistan. It is currently used mostly for field hockey matches. It is located at Susan Road, a major shopping and restaurant area.
FAISALABAD HOCKEY STADIUM
GADDAFI HOCKEY STADIUMGadaffi Hockey Stadium is a multi-use stadium in Lahore, Pakistan. It is currently used mostly for field hockey matches. The stadium holds 45,000.
The Me you have always known, the Me that's a stranger still.
Last edited by Last Island; Monday, March 26, 2007 at 06:39 PM.
Forts of Pakistan
Altit Fort is an ancient fort in the Hunza valley in the Northern Areas of Pakistan. It was home to the hereditary rulers of the Hunza state who took the title Mir. Today Altit Fort is a tourist site.
The Altit Fort is in great disrepair, but is currently being restored by the Aga Khan Trust for Culture Historic Cities Support Programme.
Bala Hisar Fort is one of the most historic places of Peshawar. The word Bala Hisar is from Persian, meaning, “elevated or high fort”. According to Dr. Hussain Khan, the name was given by the Afghan King Taimur Shah Durrani (1773-1793). The Sikhs who conquered Peshawar in the early 19th century named it Samir Garh in 1834 but the name did not become popular. The fort stands on a high mound in the northwestern corner of Peshawar City. No long ago the fort used to be conspicuously away from the old city of Peshawar but now the construction of new buildings has covered space between the old city and the fort. However the fort being high, gives a commanding and panoramic view of Peshawar and the entire Peshawar valley. On a clear day, one can see the mountains encircling Peshawar valley and beyond. The area covered by the inner wall of the fort is about 10 acres and the outer wall is about 15 acres. The height of the fort is about 90 feet above ground level.
BALA HISAR FORT
Renowned historian, Dr A.H. Dani in his book "Peshawar-Historic City of Frontier" writes that when Hiuen Tsang, a Chinese traveller, visited Peshawar in 630 AD, he spoke of a "royal residence".
He says that Chinese word "Kung Shing" used for its significance and is explained as fortified or walled portion of the town in which the royal palace stood. Hiuen Tsang then made a separate mention of the city, which was not fortified. This shows that the royal residence formed the nucleus of a Citadel, which must have been further protected by a moat.
Dr Dani further says that a channel of old Bara River surrounded by a high spot, which includes the Balahisar and Inder Shahr. The higher area could have been the citadel, which is the present Balahisar.
Peshawar has always been a strategic city and its capturing and ruling over it was of great importance for the invaders and kings.
"In the 11th century AD, the Hindu ruler, Raja Jaipal of the Hindushahi dynasty was defeated in the vicinity of Peshawar and Mehmud Ghaznavi garrisoned the fort with his army," says Dr Taj Ali. The British officers who visited Peshawar in 19th century mentioned that the fort used to be a royal residence of Afghan rulers, he added.
"The Afghan rulers named it "Balahisar" a Persian name meaning high fort while the Sikhs renamed it as Samargarh in 1834 but the name remained unpopular," says Dr Taj.
The fort was constructed on a mound with commanding view of the surrounding area including Shalimar gardens presently known as Jinnah Park towards its north. This gave more prominence and grandeur to the fort, he said.
In the past, Balahisar has seen its construction and destruction by conquerors, worriers, invaders and kings on several occasions. After the overthrow of emperor Humayun by the Afghan King Sher Shah Suri, the Afghans destroyed the fort.
When Hamyun was staying in it he decided to rebuild it before proceeding to Kabul. He wanted to use the fort for his conquest of India at a later stage. As his officers did not want to stay back, Hamayun himself supervised the rebuilding of the fort, which was soon completed.
The fort also remained the residence of legendary Afghan king, Ahmed Shah Durrani and his son Taimur Shah Durrani. The Sikhs captured Peshawar and the fort in 1834 following the battle of Nowshera, he added.
The Sikhs first destroyed the fort and later either by Hari Singh Nalwa or Sardar Khurruck Singh rebuilt it keeping in view its importance. However Sher Singh, on the orders of his father Ranjit Singh, erected the fort with unbaked bricks.
On the entrance of the main courtyard of the Balahisar fort, a Sikh period inscription in marble can be seen on an arch gate. This is the only inscription available today in Balahisar, which reads, "Victory to Porak. This was built by Raja Bikramajit and was named Samir or Samar Garh."
The British reconstructed Balahisar after the annexation of Sikh Shahi areas in 1849. At that time the fort had mud walls and was not very strong. The British replaced the whole structure with bricks and the present shape was given to the fort.
Baltit Fort or Balti Fort is an ancient fort in the Hunza valley in the Northern Areas of Pakistan. In former times survival of the feudal regimes of Hunza was ensured by the impressive Baltit fort, that sits on top of Karimabad. The foundations of the fort are said to date back around 700 years, but there have been rebuilds and alterations over the centuries. In the 16th century the Thum married a princess from Baltistan who brought master Balti craftsmen to renovate the building as part of her dowry. The architectural style is a clear indication of Tibetan influence in Baltistan at the time.
The Mirs of Hunza abandoned the fort in 1945, and moved to a new palace down the hill. The fort started to decay and there was concern that it might possibly fall into ruin. Following a survey by the Royal Geographic Society of London, a restoration programme was initiated and supported by the Aga Khan Trust for Culture Historic Cities Support Programme. The programme was completed in 1996 and the fort is now a museum run by the Baltit Heritage Trust.
Derawar Fort is an ancient fort located 48 Km from Dera Nawab Sahib in Cholistan Desert in Pakistan. The Fort was built by Deoraj, a prince of Jaisalmer. It was in possession of royal family of Jaisalmer when it was captured by Abbasis in 1735. In 1747, the Fort slipped from the hands of Abbasis in the reign of Nawab Bahawal Khan due to his pre-occupations at Shikarpur. Nawab Mubarak Khan took the stronghold back in 1804.
It is still in a good condition. The rampart walls are intact and still guarded by the personal guards of the Amir of Bahawalpur. The tombs of the ex-rulers of Bahawalpur and their families are located in this fort. The tombs have nice glazed blue tile work. Prior permission of the senior Amir of Bahawalpur is required to enter the fort.
The Kot Diji Fort, formally known as Fort Ahmadabad, dominates the town of Khairpur in Pakistan, about 25 miles east of the Indus River at the edge of the Nara-Rajisthan Desert. The initial fortifications were made from 1785 to 1795 by Mir Sohrab Khan Talpur, founder of the Kingdom of Upper Sindh in 1783. They comprised a 12 feet wide mud wall that had bastions throughout its length and a huge iron gate.
KOT DIJI FORT
The fort was considered invincible and served as the residence of the Ameers of Khairpur in war and peace. It is, therefore, the ancestral home of Khairpur. When the royal house (Zenana) moved into the comfort of palaces, it stood mainly as a decorated reminder of more violent times. Throughout its whole history, however, Fort Kot Diji was never attacked.
Kot Diji is a very practical fort constructed on a limestone hill with kiln-baked bricks. Bricks were used because the locally available limestone rock was very brittle and would have shattered easily on impact with a cannonball. The hill is over 100 feet high, above which the walls of the fort rise another 30 feet. It has three strategically placed towers about 50 feet tall.
The fort is about 1 km long. Its walls are segmented by about 50 bastions, and its 2.6 km perimeter identically follows the double crescent-shaped contours of the hill it stands on. This allows the fort to surround the attacking enemy on three sides on the west front. On the east, where the entrance lies, the fort is divided by three elephant-proof gates into three overlapping levels, so that the first two levels can be attacked by the next level above them in the event of the lower level being overrun by the enemy. The first gate is not a prominent portal but rather an indirect entry so that the gate cannot be rammed on a charge. The walls and bastions have slits in them, allowing defenders to attack their enemy from two levels: from on top and from within the wall.
The fort was built at a time when cannons had become common and its design and position reveals that. It includes a multitude of stations for cannons and, because it is positioned high on a narrow ridge, enemy cannons would have had to fire at a great distance, permitting little accuracy. Cannonballs could either hit the hill or perimeter or would simply fly over the fort and fall on the enemies' own forces on the other side.
Kot Diji was located at the edge of the desert; this provided an advantage over enemies marching from the east, because an exhausted army could be met before it could take supplies and water from the irrigated lands. In fact, the Mirwah canal was built in 1790 specifically to irrigate the lands west of the fort and bring water to the military base.
Role under the British Empire
The Kingdom of Upper Sindh later was recognized by the British as the princely state of Khayrpur, after the East India Company had reduced its area to less than a third of its original size of about 50,000 km². The Fort was allocated the role of central military base for the Kingdom, especially to resist Afghan invasion. It was the strongest of the 20 or so Talpur forts and was named after the Persian architect Ahmed, who designed it. According to folklore it took 30 years to build; in reality, a much shorter, tactically feasible period may have been possible by mobilizing peasants and soldiers on a massive scale.
After the merger of the State with Pakistan in 1955, the fort could have been included with the personal property of the Mir of Khairpur (as is the case with other ex-sovereign rulers who still possess their forts). However, Mir Ali Murad II thought it appropriate to hand it over to the government of Pakistan, expecting better maintenance. Since then, the fort has fallen into serious disrepair and is presently in a derelict condition. Most of the lime mortar plaster has fallen of the walls, leaving the bricks exposed. During the dictatorship of Ayub Khan, 192 cannons and mortars based at and collected in the fort were stolen or destroyed by being thrown from the bastions; other decorative fixtures and fittings were stolen as well. Apart from many indigenously made cannons, the collection included those built for Nadir Shah, the Kachar emperors, and the Kalhora, Mughal and Safavid dynasties, along with antique European cannons.
In 1994 the provincial government of Sindh leased out the limestone hill on which the fort stood for demolition and quarrying for limestone extraction, in order to construct buildings and form foundations for government-built roads. However, public outrage - focusing partly on the abundance of limestone throughout the region - caused the surprised government to back down.
Today the town wall is barely visible. The massive historic Iron Gate was sold for scrap soon after the takeover of Khairpur by Pakistan. Here, as with other places, Khairpur's heritage and history are being erased; some claim that this part of a deliberate effort by the federal government to erase the Khairpur identity. In 1995 a check of 500 rupees (approximately US$8) was provided for the repair of Kot Diji. Repeated requests by citizens for permission to repair it privately have apparently been ignored. In 2005, about 25 million rupees were handed over to a repair scheme which has apparently left it even more damaged. Sand was used as mortar to replace the original mortar and, as a result, the walls are highly susceptible to rainfall.
Recently, the federal government handed over the fort to the government of Sindh. Since Sindh, which nominally has a provincial status, is widely considered to have a corrupt government, it is perhaps unlikely that the fort will benefit. However, Prince Mir Mehdi Raza Khan Talpur (younger of the two sons of the ex-ruler) is giving personal attention to the fort and has stated his commitment to its repair if sufficient funds can be acquired.
The Lahore Fort locally referred to as Shahi Qila citadel of the city of Lahore, Punjab, Pakistan. It is located in the northwestern corner of Lahore, adjacent to the Walled City. Some of the famous sites within the fort are: Sheesh Mahal, Alamgiri Gate, Naulakha pavilion, and Moti Masjid. The fort is 1,400 feet long and 1,115 feet wide. In 1981, the fort was inscribed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site along with the Shalamar Gardens.
According to available historical information, the origin of Lahore Fort is obscure. Traditionally the foundation of Lahore and its fort is based on myths and, is attributed to Lav, the son of Rama, Avatara of Lord Vishnu of Hinduism, and hero of the Ramayana of epic age (1200-800 B.C.). However, during the excavation done in the year 1959 A.D. by the Department of Archaeology, in front of Diwan-e-Aam, a gold coin of Mahmood of Ghazni dated A.H. 146 (1025 A.D.) was found at a depth of 25 feet from the level of the lawns. Cultural layers continued to a further depth of 15 feet, giving strong indications that people had lived here, long before the conquest of Lahore by Mahmud in 1021 A.D. Further mention of the fort is traceable to Shahab-ud-Din Ghori's successive invasions of Lahore from 1180 to 1186 A.D.
It cannot be said with certainty when the Lahore Fort was originally constructed or by whom, since this information is lost to history, possibly forever. However, evidence found in archaeological digs gives strong indications that it was built long before 1025 A.D.
Qilla Saifullah or Saifullah Qilla is a mud fort (qilla) built by Saifullah Khan, an influential personage among the Khudiadadzai The Qilla Saifullah District of Pakistan derives its name from this fort
Ranikot is a large fort in the region of the Kirthar Range, about 30 km southwest of Sann, was in the Dadu district of Sindh now in district Jamshoro, approximately 90 km north of Hyderabad in Pakistan. It is one of the largest forts in the world. It has an approximate diameter of 9 km. Its walls are on the average 6 meters high and are made of gypsum and lime cut sandstone and total circumference is about 29 km. While originally constructed for bow and arrow warfare it was later expanded to withstand firearms.
It is reputed to be the largest unexplored fort in the world. The purpose of its construction and the reason for the choice of its location are still unknown.
Ranikot is the most talismanic wonder of Sindh. Visible from five kilometers away its massive undulating walls twist and dip over the hills. With the circumference of more than twenty-nine kilometers, its walls, built with dressed sandstone and reinforced with 45 bastions along the outer wall, of which 7 are rectangular and the remaining are round. All modified through the ages to accommodate the use of gunpowder, this perhaps makes it the largest fort in the world. Who constructed it first and why, is an enigma yet to be resolved by researchers. Some historians attribute it to Arabs, built by Imran Bin Musa Barmaki, the Governor of Sindh in 836 A.D., some to Sassanians, and some to the Greeks or Romans and some to the Persians, and some even to the Great Wall of China! Though the prehistoric site of Amri (Aamri) is nearby, and fossils and animal skeletons are found inside the fort on the Lundi Hills, there is no trace of any old city inside the fort. The present structure doesn't appear to be 'prehistoric'. Some historians point to 17th century AD as its time of first construction but most agree that some of the present structure was constructed or reconstructed by Mir Karam Ali Khan Talpur and his brother Mir Murad Ali in 1812 AD at a cost of 1.2 million rupees.
This enchanted fort is located in Lakki Mountains of the Kirthar range on the right side of the mighty River Indus at a distance of about 30 kilometers from the present day town of Sann. A mountainous ridge, 'Karo Takkar' (Black Hill), running north to south, forms its western boundary and the 'Lundi Hills' forms its eastern boundary. 'Mohan Nai', a rain-stream enters the fort from its rarely used western 'Mohan Gate', where it is guarded by a small fortification, changes its name to 'Reni' or 'Rani Nai' or rain-stream and gives the fort its name. Ranikot is thus the 'fort of a rain stream' - Rani. It runs through it, tumbles in a series of turquoise pools to irrigate fields and leaves the fort from its most used 'Sann Gate' on the eastern side. It then travels about 33 kilometers more to enter the Lion River - Indus.
Most of the twenty-nine kilometers long wall is made of natural cliffs and barricades of mountainous rocks which at places rise as high as two thousand feet above sea level! Only about 8 km portions of its wall are man-made, built with yellow sandstone. This was first measured on foot by Badar Jamal Abro along with Syed Jalal Mehmud Shah and local guide Sadiq Gabol. Badar Abro has also written a book on the Fort. As one enters the fort, one can find hills, valleys, streams, ditches, ponds, pools, fossils, building structure, bastions, watchtowers, ammunition depots, fortresses - all inside the Ranikot, adding more to its beauty and mystery. A spring emerging from an underground water source near the Mohan Gate is named as 'Parryen jo Tarr' (the spring of fairies). According to a tale told by the local inhabitants, fairies come from far and wide on the Ponam Nights (full moon) to take bath at this spring near 'Karo Jabal'! Splashing sounds of water falling on the rocks can be heard at another spring, 'Waggun jo Tarr' or the Crocodile Spring, named so as crocodiles once lived there.
Meeri and Shergarh fortresses
Within Ranikot, there are two more forts - Meeri and Shergarh fortresses. Meerikot takes its name from the word 'Mir' meaning top. Both the main Ranikot and the inner Meerikot have similar entrances - curved, angulated with a safe tortuous path. "The bridge in front of Ranikot resembles to a smaller bridge in front of a fortress in Verona, Italy,” writes Ishtiaq Ansari, the writer of 'Sindh ja koat aaein qillaa' (Forts and Fortresses of Sindh) and a member of Sindh Exploration and Adventure Society. From the military point of view, Meerikot is located at a very safe and central place in the very heart of the Ranikot with residential arrangements including a water-well. Talpur Mirs used Meerikot as their fortified residence. One can explore ruins of the court, harem, guest rooms, and soldiers’ quarters inside it. Its 1435 feet long wall has five bastions. Every structure in the Ranikot has its own uniqueness and beauty. Looking up from Meerikot one can find another fortified citadel - Shergarh (Abode of Lions) built with whitish stone. Though its location at 1480 feet above the sea level makes this fortress a unique structure, it also makes it equally difficult for supply of water, which can only be had from the brooks and rain streams, hundreds of feet below! The steep climb upto Shergarh gives a commanding view down over the whole fort and its entrance and exit points. On a clear day one can even see Indus, 37 kilometers away to the east.
Beside the Mohan Gate and the Sann Gate, there two more gates, rather pseudo gates. One is towards the side of ancient town of Amri. This 'gate' is called the 'Amri Gate'. Certainly it takes its name from the prehistoric ruins of Amri, but it must have taken this name much later than the times of Amri as the fort itself doesn't appears to be as old as the Amri itself. In fact there is a bridge over rain stream 'Toming Dhoro' exiting from the fort called 'Budhi Mori'. The breach in fort wall due to the river stream has been referred as a gate. Similarly, the Shahpir Gate to the south also appears to be a pseudo gate taking its name from a limestone rock with a rough shape of foot imprinted on it. The sacred footprint supposedly belongs to Hazrat Ali or some other religious personality and is venerated by locals. It seems to be a later breach in the fort wall instead of a formal gate because one can't find any bastion or watchtower or their remains at the site, needed to guard any formal entrance or exit points.
A mosque found in the fort appears to be a later modification of a watchtower. Scattered animal skeletons and prehistoric fossils can be found on the top of Lundi Hills. One of the three graveyards has about four hundred graves made of Chowkundi like sandstone with engraved motifs of sunflowers and peacocks. Whether we can call them as theriomorphic and phytomorphic motifs, is an open question. Another one appears to be a graveyard of Arabs. The third one, about a mile away from the Sann Gate, had sixteen or seventeen graves earlier but now there are only four graves. The local inhabitants call it the Roman's graveyard.
The fort is notoriously deficient of shelters and shady places but the view of the terrain from the top of 'Shimla Hills' is not only attractive but mystifying too! "The size of Ranikot defies all reasons. It stands in the middle of nowhere, defending nothing" writes Isobel Shaw. So why was this fort built here in the desolate terrain of the Kirthar range? Many theories have been developed to answer this question. According to Ishtiaq Ansari, the Talpurs had sent their families to Thar and Kachchh when Afghan's attacked Sindh during the times of Kalhoras. However, after acquiring the rule of Sindh, they wanted a safe and secure place where they can send their families during the troubled times. This might have prompted them to rebuild this fort to their needs. Rahimdad Khan Molai Sheedai holds view that its location in Kohistan on the western frontiers of Sindh gave it its strategic value. Talpurs (they are Balouch by origin) had good terms with Khan of Kalat (Head of all Balouch Tribes), Talpurs were helped by them when they attacked Kalhoras and in return they gifted Karachi to Khan of Kalat and wanted a secure western frontier.
Mazher Ali Ansari is of the view that Persians (Achaemenid Empire, 559 BC - 338 BC) were the first to construct this fort to secure their eastern frontier from the Indian rulers, as their empire extended from the Caspian Sea in the west to the River Indus in the east which also served as a natural boundary and barrier. They had constructed a similar wall of 155 km called the Gorgan Wall near the Caspian Sea to protect their empire.
Beside this, in olden times a trade route from Mesopotamia, Iran (Kirman Shah, Hamadan, Sulatanabad, Qum, Bimpur), Mekran and Sindh (Amri, Sehwan, Mohenjo-daro) used to pass from this area. Another branch of this route traversed Thano Arab Khan, Karchat, Sann an Amri, to reach Brahmanabad on the left bank of the mighty River Indus. Hence the importance of the location in earlier times, if the fort existed then. The condition of fort is rapidly deteriorating, as is the case with most of archeological heritage of Sindh. One third of the man-made walls have already collapsed and the rest may soon follow suit.
Access to this man-made marvel of ancient times is possible through a motor able road, which goes up to Meeri Kot. A 4x4 is recommended.
Rohtas Fort is a garrison fort built by the Great Afghan King Sher Shah Suri. He named Qila Rohtas after the famous Rohtasgarh Fort in Shahabad district near Baharkunda, Bihar which he captured from the Raja of Rohtas Hari Krishan Rai in 1539. Rohtasgarh is situated on the upper course of the river Son, 20 37’ N and 85 33’E. It was built by Harish Chandra of the Solar dynasty and was named after his son Rohitasva after whom the fort (Rohtasgarh) was named.
Reasons of Construction
Sher Shah constructed Qila Rohtas to block Emperor Humayun return to India after defeating him in the Battle of Kanauj. This fort lies on the old GT Road between the North (Afghanistan) to the Plains of Punjab. It blocked the way from Peshawar to Lahore. The other reason was to suppress the local tribes of this region Potohar called Gakhars who were allies of Humayun and refused their allegiance to Sher Shah Suri.
Qila Rohtas is situated in a gorge approximately 16 km NW of Jhelum. It was constructed on a hillock where the tiny Kahan River turns east towards Tilla Jogian Range.
Overview of Construction
Qila Rohtas is a garrison fort and could hold a force of up to 30,000 men. Due to its location, massive walls, trap gates and 3 Baolis (stepped wells) it could withstand a major siege although it was never besieged.
The fort is irregular in shape and follows the contours of the hill it was constructed on. The fort is approximately 4 km in circumference. A 533 meter long wall divides the citadel (for the Chieftain) from other parts of the fort.
The fortification has 68 bastions (towers) at irregular intervals. Out of the 3 Baolis, one of them is in the citadel and the rest are in the other parts of the fort. One of the Gates (Langar Khani) opens into the citadel and is a trap gate because it is in the direct line of fire of the bastions.
The Khwas Khani gate is an example of double walling. A small enclave on the western side is a citadel within a citadel. It is accessible by only one gate and also had a very fine Baoli which suggests that it was meant for the Chief and his family. In this citadel there is a beautiful Masque called the Shahi Mosque (Not to be confused with the one in Lahore). There are no palaces in the Fort except for a structure built by Raja Man Singh called the Haveli of Man Singh. It is built on the highest point of the citadel.
Cost of Construction
The work on this fort was started in 1541 with Todar Mal Khatri, the revenue minister in charge of the project. The Gakhars whose area the fort was built on refused to provide labor for this project.
Todar Mal faced with such problems informed Sher Shah about these difficulties who wrote in reply, “I know you for a man of business, understanding and intelligence. I see no work can be expected from you, because you consider money as your friend. When I have commanded you to do a thing you ought not to have cared for money in fixing the rate. Whatever be the expenses shall be borne by my government.”
After receiving this reply, he fixed one red Ashrafi for each slab on the first day. The rate gradually decreased to one Paoli or Bahluli.
Because of the boycott the cost of construction was huge. It would have been much lower had it not been for the Ghakkars. The following sources all give slightly different estimates of the cost
Waqiat-i-Jahangiri says the cost was Rs. 34,25,000. It refers to an engraved stone over the Shishi Gate which reads:
“The amount is 16, 10, 00,000 Dams and something more, which is 34, 25,000 Rupees of Hindustan, 120,000 Tumans of Iran or 1,21,75,000 Khanis of Turan”.
According to Tarikh-i-Daudi, its cost is 80,505,002 Dams (Bahlulis).
The height of the outer wall varies between 10 and 18 meters. Its thickness varies between 10 and 13 meters. The wall has 2 or 3 terraces and varies in thickness, the maximum being 13 meters near the Mori Gate. The terraces are linked by staircases. The topmost terrace has merlon-shaped battlements. Muskets can be fired from these battlements. Soldiers could also pour molten lead over the walls.
The wall is built in sandstone laid in lime mortar mixed with brick. The gates are in grey Ashlor Masonry. Some portions have been built using burnt brick.
The Rohtas Fort has the following 12 gates. All of them are built in Ashlor Stone.
It is a double gate rectangular in shape. It is 21.34 meters (70 feet) high, 20.73 meters (68 feet) wide and 15 meters (50 feet) deep. The central archway is 4.72 meters (15 feet) wide. It has an inner and an outer arch which is decorated with beautiful and simple motifs of sunflower. This decoration is repeated in all parts of the Qila.
There are balconies on either side of the central arch. These balconies have a small dome and their sides and bottom are also decorated. Unlike other parts of the Qila which has been built in Afghan-Persian style, the balcony is an example of Hindu architecture. These same balconies can be seen in Haveli Man Singh. There is a small window in the middle of the outer arch. This window is different from the two balconies to either side of the outer arch. It is much simpler that these two balconies.
There are seven merlons on this gate. The bastions are with battlements which have loopholes. These bastions have three levels on the inside.
The inner side of the gate mirrors the outside but has less decoration. There are no battlements towards the inside and no balconies either. The rooms in the upper storey of this gate have windows that open towards the inside of the Qila. Like the outer arch there is a small window in the middle of the inner arch. The gate now houses a Visitors information center and a Museum set up by the Himalayan Wildlife Foundation.
This gate is also a double gate. The outer gate, the entrance of which is from the citadel is 13.3 meters wide and 8.23 meters deep. The inner gate is a simple archway which is 3.66 meters wide.
An inscription on the left side of the gate gives the date of construction of the fort. The inscription is in Persian and is translated as follows
In the Hijri Year 948 came the exalted
At that time constructed the great fort
The emperor is Sher, with long life
There is no match to his good fortune
Itwas completed by Shahu Sultan. The Hijri year 948 is 1541 AD.
There are two bastions on either side of the gate which have kitchen, stores and a well for water. The opening of this gate is L shaped. As soon as one enters from the outer gate one has to turn right.
It is a double gate. The outer gate is 12.8 meter wide (42 feet) and 8 meter (26 feet) deep. This gate has a bastion and a defensive wall on each side. On the bastions canons could be deployed. The inner and outer gates are almost mirror images of each other. The top of the gate has five battlements. All of these have loopholes as well as machicolation. Unlike other gates of this Qila, the inner side of the gate has five battlements.
The inner and outer arches have sunflower motifs like the Sohail Gate. The gate also has a room which has windows opening to the inside and the outside.
On the outer wall of the mosque are beautiful round designs in which Islamic verses are written in Naqsh script. These verses are surrounded by a Lilly going around the Naqsh script. The Lilly design was later used by Mughals in Tomb of Jahangir, Tomb of Nur Jehan and the Shah Burj Gate in Lahore Fort. The design seems to have been copied from the coins used in that time.
1.The Main Baoli in the middle of the Fort for soldiers, elephants, horses etc. This Baoli has 148 steps. Each step is 20 cm (8 inches) wide. The upper portion has been cut in stone. It has arches three arches that span the length of the baoli.
The existing room is 5.5 meters square and there are balconies on the outside of it. These balconies are similar to the one outside Sohail Gate. One could see the whole fort from these balconies.
Unlike Qila Rohtas which is an example of Afghan architecture, this Haveli is an example of pure Hindu architecture.
This fort is an example of purely “Masculine” architecture. It places function over form. This can be gauged from the fact that the fort had NO building for living. Even Kings had to live in tents when they came here.
These carvings are found on the gate and in the mosque. Most of these are engravings in Arabic and sunflowers.
Most of these inscriptions are on the Shahi Mosque. On top of the mosque the word “Allah” is written on merlon shaped arches. On the outer wall of the mosque are the “Kalima” and other religious inscriptions.
There is an inscription in Persian on the Shishi gate which gives the date of start of construction. The same inscription is also found over the Talaqi gate.
There are other inscriptions on the Khwas Khani, Langar Khani and Gatali gate.
These tiles are found on Shishi gate. This type of tile became extremely popular with the Mughals who further refined them. The tiles on Shishi gate are the earliest example of the usage of these tiles. These tiles were made in Lahore.
Plaster has been used in the Shahi Mosque.
This fort was built in the Afghan-Persian architectural style. Afghans and Persians Kings had been coming to the Indian subcontinent for at least 5 centuries before the construction of this fort. Before the construction of this fort, the combination of these styles had not been harmonious. Qila Rohtas is the earliest example of the successful mixing of these two styles with the Afghan style being more prominent.
The elements of Hindu Architectures are
1. Balconies on Sohail Gate.
2. Decorations on Shahi Mosque derived from Hindu Architecture.
3. Haveli Man Singh (Pure Hindu Architecture).
The elements of Afghan architecture are
1. Utilitarian Construction.
2. Use of stone instead of bricks in building wall.
3. No Living quarters.
4. Comparatively less decorations.
Sher Shah Suri died before the completion of this magnificent structure. Ten years after Sher Shah’s death and the end of the Suri dynasty, Emperor Humayun returned to rule India for another 15 years.
When Humayun returned the Governor of Rohtas, Tatar Khan Kasi fled.
This fort was never popular with the Mughals because of its military character. Emperor Akbar stayed here for a single night. Emperor Jahangir rested here for a single night while going to Kashmir for some R&R. He said the following about its location.
This fort was founded in a cleft and the strength of it cannot be imagined.The later Mughals seem to have made no use of the fort. The Durranis kept a garrison and a Governor here. The Sikhs held power after the Durranis, Maharaja Ranjit Singh was in camp here when he heard the news that his greatest general Hari Singh Nalwa had been killed at Jamrud by the Pukhtuns under the leadership of Wazir Akbar Khan a son of the great Amir Dost Mohammad Khan. The Kabul suburb of Mina Akbar Khan is named to honour the memory of this great Afghan general.
The Maharaja gave the fort to Sardar Mohar Singh who was succeeded by Gurmukh Singh. It was subsequently leased to different people and the last people to manage Rohtas was Raja Fazal Din Khan who joined Sher Singh in rebellion.
The history of Rohtas is a long and chequered one. From old texts and inscriptions found near Rohtas, it appears that the fort was in the possession of the Hindu king Pratapdhavala of the Japla dynasty. Other inscriptions mention that it was ruled by the Khayarwala clan who were sovereigns of Shahbad (the area now known as Bhojpur and Rohtas). Historians are of the opinion that the Hindu kings of Rohtas did a lot of construction – a road through the jungle leading from the foothill to the plateau, the fortifications on the jungle roads, plus the four gates on the four ghats. The main fortifications at the Raja ghat and the Katauthiya ghat can still be seen. Apart from a matrix for making seals belonging to the 7th century king Sasanka, all other artifacts are from the time of Sher Shah Suri onwards.
The fate of Rohtas took a turn in 1539 when it fell out of the hands of the Hindu kings into those of Sher Shah Suri. At war with the Mughal emperor Humayun he had just lost the fort at Chunar and was desperately trying to gain a foothold for himself. Sher Shah made a request to the ruler of Rohtas that he wanted to leave his women, children and treasure in the safety of the fort, while he was away fighting in Bengal. The king agreed and in the first few palanquins there were women and children but the later ones the wily Sher Shah had substituted with fierce Afghan soldiers, who captured Rohtas, forcing the Hindu king to flee. During the Sher Shah’s reign the fort was guarded by 10000 armed men under the command of one of his trusted general, Haibat Khan Niazi. Haibat Khan Niazi built the Jami Masjid in 1543 AD, which lies to the west of the fort and is made of white sandstone, consisting of three domes. Another monument of this time is a mausoleum, perhaps of the daroga (superintendent of works) of Sher Shah, Habsh Khan.
Then in 1558, Rohtas saw the rule of Man Singh, Akbar’s Hindu general, who made it his political stronghold. Northern India had been under Mughal rule, in contrast eastern India was highly unstable, with the various kings putting up resistance against the Mughals. Man Singh as governor of Bengal and Bihar made Rohtas his headquarters in view of its inaccessibility and other natural defences. He constructed a beautiful palace for himself, which is still in a fairly good condition, repaired the rest of the fort, cleared the ponds and made gardens in Persian style. The palace was constructed in a north-south direction, with its entrance to the west with barracks for soldiers in front. The main gate is known as the Hathiya pol or elephant gat…named after the figures of the behemoths which decorate it. It is the largest of the gates and was made in 1597.
After the death of Man Singh, the fort came under the jurisdiction of the office of the Emperor’s wazir (Prime Minister) from where the governors were appointed. In 1621, the Prince Khurram (later Emperor Shahjahan) revolted against his father Jehangir, and fled to the safety of Rohtas, where the guardian of the fort, Saiyyad Mubarak handed over the keys of Rohtas to the prince. Once more, Khurram tried to win avadh, but lost the battle of Kampat and again sought refuge in Rohtas. It was here that his son Murad Baksh was born to his wife Arjumand Bano who later became as famous as Mumtaz Mahal. During Aurangzeb’s reign the fort was used as a detention camp for those under trial and for housing prisoners sentenced for life.
Once again the fortunes of Rohtas changed. In 1763 in the battle of Udhwa Nala, the Nawab of Bihar and Bengal – Mir Kasim, lost to the British and fled with his family to Rohtas. But Mir Kasim’s luck was out and he fared no better at the fort. Finally the Diwan of Rohtas, Shahmal handed it over to the British Captain Goddard. During his two-month stay at the fort, the captain destroyed the storeroom and many of the fortifications. When Goddard left he put some guard in charge, but they too left after a year. Perched on a plateau where the fertile land and abundant water supply once supported 10000 matchlock men, Rohtas was now empty. There was peace at the fort for the next 100 years or so, which was finally shattered during the time of the First War of independence in 1857. Umer Singh, the brother of brave Kunwar Singh together with his companions took refuge here. There were many encounters with the British where the latter were at a disadvantage, for the jungles and the tribals in them were of great help to the Indian soldiers. Finally, after a long drawn out siege and many skirmishes, the British overcame the Indians.
Here is what the World Heritage list (Document 586) says on page 2 of the report:
“Rohtas Fort is an outstanding example of early Muslim military architecture in the Indian subcontinent which incorporates features from elsewhere in the Islamic world. It also had a profound influence on the development of architectural styles in the Mughal Empire (and hence on the European colonial architecture that made abundant use of that tradition).”
“It is also outstanding by virtue of the refinement and high artistic value of its decorative elements, notably its high- and low-relief carvings, its calligraphic inscriptions in marble and sandstone, its plaster decoration, and its glazed tiles.”
“There are no surviving examples of military architecture of this period on the same scale in the sub-continent which survive to the same degree of completeness and conservation. Fatehpur Sikri (India) which is already on the World Heritage List represents the full Mughal realization of a form and style that owes everything to its precursor, Rohtas Fort.”
The recommendation by ICOMOS (the organization that makes the World Heritage list) made the following recommendation:
“Rohtas Fort is an exceptional example of the Muslim military architecture of central and South Asia, which blends architectural and artistic traditions from Turkey and the Indian sub-continent to create the model for Mughal architecture and its subsequent refinements and adaptations.”
Most of the fort is in a very good state of preservation. In the portions that have fallen away (Haveli Man Singh) one can still see some part of the original construction.
The central archway of the Chandwali Gate has been rebuilt recently so that is the only “fake” part of the fort.
In early 2005, seepage, heavy rains, and general neglect caused the left inner face of the Talaqi Gate to collapse, and the right flank and foundation to become detached from the original structure.
The Gatali Gate forms one of the original entrances to Rohtas. Over time, its right bastion and supporting wall have collapsed as a result of permeated rainwater and the erosion of its foundations.
World Heritage Site
Qila Rohtas was designated a World Heritage Site in 1997. Here is what the World Heritage list says on page 3 of the report:
“That this property be inscribed on the World Heritage List. Rohtas Fort is an exceptional example of the Muslim military architecture of central and South Asia, which blends architectural and artistic traditions from Turkey and the Indian sub-continent to create the model for Mughal architecture and its subsequent refinements and adaptations.”
Himalayan Wildlife Foundation
The Rohtas Fort Conservation Programme was conceived by the Himalayan Wildlife Foundation in 2000 to help protect the sixteenth-century Rohtas Fort near Jhelum, and develop it as a heritage site conforming to international standards of conservation and tourism. It is undertaking the following projects in conjunction with the Royal Norwegian Embassy.
Skardu Fort or Karpachu Fort is a fort in Skardu city in Northern Areas of Pakistan that dates from the tenth century CE. An ancient mosque is also present inside the fort. The fort and its mosque are located on the eastern face of the Khardong hill 40 ft above Skardu city. A view from these monuments brings into vision the entire valley, the Indus River and the settlement below.
Fort Munro lies on the Quetta Road at 85 km from D.G. Khan. It is the only hill station in southern Punjab in the Sulaiman Mountains Range. Its altitude is 1800 meters and attracts many people for short stays during the summer. TDCP resort at Fort Munro offers excellent boating on the Dames Lake. The resort also provides accommodation, a restaurant and a snack bar.
The Multan Fort, a Pakistani military installation, was a landmark of Indian defense and architecture. It was built near the city of Multan, in Punjab province, on a hillock separated from the city by the Ravi River. Its date cannot be fixed with accuracy. The fort was destroyed by British forces during the British occupation of India to avenge the murder of one Mr. Agnew in 1848.
The fort was notable both for its effectiveness as a defense installation and for its architecture. Contemporary reports put the walls of the fort at 40 to 70 feet high and 6,800 feet (2 km) in circumference. The fort's 46 bastions included two flanking towers at each of the four gates (the De, Sikki, Hareri and Khizri Gates). A ditch 25 feet deep and 40 feet wide and an 18-foot glacis protected the fort from intruders.
Within the fort stood a citadel flanked by 30 towers, enclosing mosques, a Hindu temple and a Khan's palace. The citadel was severely damaged by the battering it got from the guns of Ranjeet Singh in 1818.
At present it is survived by some parts of the old rampart and bastions besides the shrines of Hazrat Bahauddin Zakaria and Shah Rukn-e-Alam, an obelisk in memory of Agnew and a Hindu temple. The famous Qasim Bagh and a stadium are located within the walls of the fort. A panoramic view of Multan City can be had from the highest point in the fort.
Border skirmishes between the armies of renowned Mughal The Great Akbar and the Chak rulers of Kahsmir were common. To ensure safety of the people, and the land, the Chaks realised to raise defence posts and efficiently countered the offensives
There are two historical forts on the opposite sides of the river Neelum.
Maharaja Gulab Singh and Ranbir Singh, the Dogra rulers, reconstructed and extended the fort for political and military operations. Towards the end of 1947 the Dogra forces filed away leaving the fort wide open to anybody.
The architectonics of the fort show that great experts in design and structure participated in its construction. It is surrounded on three sides by Neelum River formally known as Kishan Ganga. The northern part had terraces with steps leading to the bank of the river. The Eastern side of the fort was very well protected from the hazards of flood waters but some parts in the north were slightly damaged. There was an inn at the entry of the fort of which there is only traces left now.
Rawat Fort is located 17 km east of Rawalpindi, on the Grand Trunk (G.T) Road leading to Lahore. Gakkhars, a fiercely independent tribe of the Potohar Plateau built the fort, in early 16th century. The grave of a Gakkhar Chief, Sultan Sarang Khan is located inside the fort. He died in 1546 AD fighting against the forces of Sher Shah Suri. If one dares to climb the broken steps inside the tomb, one may get a panoramic view of the plateau and the Mankiala Stupa.
This fort is about 40 km from Rawalpindi beyond Lehtrar road. A Gakkhar ruler, Sultan Kai Gohar, on the ruins of a 10th century Hindi Shahi Fort built it in 15th century. Emperor Babar conquered the fort in 1519 AD. Later, in 1825, Sikhs expelled Gakkhars from this fort. Though the fort is in a crumbling state, it is still an attraction for castle lovers. The fort, being situated in prohibited area, is only open for Pakistani visitors.
It is situated about 101 km west of Islamabad on the left bank of Indus River. The fort was completed in 1583 under the supervision of Khawaja Shamsuddin Khawafi, a minister of Emperor Akbar. The Mughal caravan sarai outside the fort, which is almost on the G.T. Road, was also built during this period. Please note that no visitors are allowed inside the Fort.
The glen of Giri is located 8 km northeast of Taxila, at the foot of Margallah. It is approached through a rough torrent bed near two villages named Khurram Gujar and Khurram Paracha. There are remains of two monasteries and stupas, one on the top of the hill and other below it. The remains of Giri Fort are perched on the hilltop, with spring water falling within it. The fort was built in 5th century by the Buddhist monks. Later, it was used by Sultan Masud, son of Sultan Mahmud of Gazni.
The old fort of Munde Shahid, 50 Km from Bahawalpur and Marot Fort are considered to be antiquities. A place outside the Marot Fort is known as 'Baithak Maula Ali'. The tomb of Naugaza is located in the Munde Sharif Fort.
FORT OF MUNDE SHAHID
The Me you have always known, the Me that's a stranger still.
Last edited by Last Island; Wednesday, March 28, 2007 at 02:19 AM.
Presidents of the Republic Of Pakistan
In 1947, Pakistan became a dominion within the British Commonwealth with the British Monarch as head of state, represented by the Governor-General of Pakistan. In 1956 Pakistan established its first constitution and became a Republic, and the positions of Queen and Governor-General were replaced by the President.
Pakistan's first president was Iskandar Mirza, who was also the last Governor General. In 1958, he abrogated the constitution and declared martial law. A few weeks later, he was overthrown in a bloodless coup d'état by General Ayub Khan, who had declared himself president. The constitution was revised, and the president became the ruler of Pakistan. The constitution also stipulated that the president be elected by the people. Elections were held in 1963, and Khan defeated Fatima Jinnah, sister of founder of Pakistan, Muhammad Ali Jinnah.
Ayub Khan continued as president until March 25, 1969, when he passed the presidency to Yahya Khan. Yahya Khan stepped down after the Indo-Pakistani War of 1971 and Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto became the new president and presided over the formation of a new constitution. This constitution was completed in 1973, and reduced the presidency to a figurehead position, giving power to the Prime Minister. Bhutto stepped down as President and became Prime Minister, symbolizing the transition. The President was henceforth elected by legislative assembly members, not by popular vote. Popular vote would be used to directly elect the members of the National Assembly, including the Prime Minister.
In 1978, Prime Minister Bhutto was toppled by General Muhammad Zia-ul-Haq, who declared himself President. The presidency again became the premier position in the Pakistani government. Zia introduced the Eighth Amendment, which gave reserve powers to the President's office. Zia died in 1988 and the Prime Minister's office regained leadership of the country. The Presidency retained its reserve powers until 1997, when the Thirteenth Amendment was passed.
However, the 1999 coup of General Pervez Musharraf brought executive powers back to the President's office. National and provincial elections were held in 2002. In December 2003, the Seventeenth Amendment partially restored the President's reserve powers, but made the exercise of those powers subject to Supreme Court approval or veto within 30 days. In January 2004, the Electoral College gave Musharraf a vote of confidence, as result of which he was (according to the Constitution) "deemed to be elected". Musharraf's term of office as President is set to end in 2007.
01. Major General Iskander Mirza March 23, 1956 October 27, 1958
02. Muhammad Ayub Khan October 27, 1958 March 25, 1969
03. Yahya Khan March 25, 1969 December 20, 1971
04. Zulfikar Ali Bhutto December 20, 1971 August 13, 1973
Pakistan People's Party
05. Fazal Ilahi Chaudhry August 13, 1973 September 16, 1978
Pakistan People's Party
06. Muhammad Zia-ul-Haq September 16, 1978 August 17, 1988
07. Ghulam Ishaq Khan August 17, 1988 July 18, 1993
08. Wasim Sajjad July 18, 1993 November 14, 1993
Pakistan Muslim League (N)
09. Farooq Leghari November 14, 1993 December 2, 1997
Pakistan People's Party
10. Wasim Sajjad December 2, 1997 January 1, 1998
Pakistan Muslim League (N)
11. Muhammad Rafiq Tarar January 1, 1998 June 20, 2001
Pakistan Muslim League (N)
12. Pervez Musharraf June 20, 2001, In Office
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