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Explore Pakistan
 
MAJOR CITIES AND DESTINATIONS OF BALOCHISTAN
| The Best Tourist Attractions of Pakistan |
| Balochistan's Attractions Photo Slideshow |
| Weather Forecasts of Pakistan |
| The Balochistan Province | The Landscape | The People | Major Cities Map of Balochistan |
| Quetta City | Pishin Valley And Bund Hushdil Khan | Ziarat | Passes | Sibi | Mehrgarh |
| Balochistan Coastline | Gawadar | Makran Coastal Highway |
| Nushki | Dalbandin | Naukundi | Taftan Pak_Iran Border |
| About FAQs |
| Welcome To Pakistan | Balochistan Hotels | City Distances In Pakistan |
| Suggested Tours In Pakistan |
| See Advertising Banners |
BALOCHISTAN PROVINCE - THE LAND OF TRADITIONS
About History of Balochistan Province

General Information:
Average Elevation of Quetta: 1676 metres (5,500 ft).
Area (Balochistan): 347,056 sq.km.
Population of Balochistan: 6,511,358 (1998 census).
Population (Quetta city): 560,307 (1998 census).

About History of Balochistan Province:
Balochistan is the largest province of Pakistan, which makes 44% of the country's land mass. It traces its history from times immemorial when it was inhabited by Stone Age hunters. According to French Archaeologist Professor Jarrige, by 6,000 BC farmers on the Bolan River were cultivating barley, wheat and dates using floodwater and storing their surplus in large mud bins. The people here were growing cotton and making pottery.

Before the birth of Christ, it had commerce and trade links with ancient civilization of Babylon through Iran and into the valleys of Tigris and Euphrates. Alexander the Great (326 BC) had an encounter with the Sibia tribe of Balochistan. Muhammad Bin Qasim (711 AD) and Mehmood Ghaznavi (11th century AD) also invaded Balochistan resulting in the development of Muslim character. Even today most tribal people of this province resemble Arabs and the inhabitants can be quite a fascinating subject of study by anthropologists.

During 15th century, the Great Baloch Sardar Mir Chakkar Rind united the main Balochi tribes and also ruled over southern Afghanistan and parts of Punjab and Sindh. After this, Balochistan was governed by Safvids, Mughals and Ghilzais for three centuries. The Khans of Kalat united the Brahui tribes and rose to power with support of Nadir Shah of Iran. The British first came to Balochistan during the first Afghan War (1939-42), on their way to Kandhar.

In 1876, Robert Sandeman was appointed as the British Agent in Balochistan and by 1887 most of the area was in British hands. Ultimately, in 1947, Balochistan became part of Pakistan.

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The Landscape

The Landscape:
Balochistan is a land of contrast. It has places with rugged mountains like Chiltan, Takatu, Sulaiman, Sultan etc. and plains stretching hundreds of kilometres. It has fertile land such as in Nasirabad and the tracks, which are thirsty for centuries in the Pat section of Sibi district and the Makran desert zone. It has hottest places in the country like Sibi and the cool towns like Quetta, Ziarat, Kan Mehtarzai and Kalat where temperature goes below freezing point and these areas remain under a thick cover of snow in winter.

A Balochi war song describes the province of Balochistan thus:” the mountains are the Balochi's fort; the peaks are better than any army; the lofty heights are our comrades; the pathless gorges our friends. Our drink is from the flowing springs; our bed the thorny bush; the ground we make our pillow."

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The People

The People:
The inhabitants are mainly Pathan, Baloch and Brahui. You can also find Uzbeks, Tajiks and Turkamen rubbing shoulders with other inhabitants. Nomadic tribesmen pass through Quetta Valley during spring and autumn with their herds of sheep and camels and their assorted wares for sale. This seasonal movement adds colour to the life of the city. The rugged terrain has made the people of the area hardy and resilient. They are known for their friendly and hospitable nature. To make a visitor comfortable is part of their tradition, like the rest of the people of Pakistan.

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Passes

Passes:
For many centuries, the Bolan Pass has been the main entrance to Quetta District. It is historically significant, used as the gateway by most of the immigrants from Central Asia in their drive to discover new homelands in South Asia. The two other important passes are the Lak Pass between Kalat and Quetta and the Khojak Pass near the border with Afghanistan at Chaman.

Lak Pass
Lak Pass is located between Kalat and Quetta at a point where the highway makes a turn for Koh-e-Taftan, Saindak copper mines and Zahidan in Iran and the other section links Karachi via Kalat, Khuzdar and Bela. PTDC Motel at Khuzdar and Taftan caters for motorists. The view from the top of the pass is interesting. Trucks, trailers and lorries laden to their brim with merchandise and passengers move along at great speeds. Down below these kiosks sell beverages. On the hill, unmindful of the presence of the motorized transport and the human beings, hundreds of sheep browse upon the scant herbage available there.

Bolan Pass
The Bolān Pass is a mountain pass with an Elevation of 1,793.4 m (5,884 ft) through the Toba Kakar Range of Balochistan province in western Pakistan, 120 kilometres from the Afghanistan. It is strategically located and connects Jacobabad SIbi to Quetta.
Along Bolan Pass where the road winds through picturesque mountains one is reminded of the hugs odds that the armies from Central Asia and the north must have faced in their raids on the plains of the present day Pakistan. In winters, trains of camels, as they slowly plod their way through to the top, look fascinating. The Bolan links Quetta with the plains of the Punjab and the upper Sindh through the town of Sibi by road and train. The train passes through 21 tunnels.

Khojak Pass
The Khojak Pass is 7575 ft. above sea level. It leads directly to the border of Afghanistan at Chaman which is 153 kms away from Quetta. The train passes through the longest tunnel of the sub-continent. The scenery is breath-taking as here as it is at Bolan Pass.

Harnai Pass
The entire population of Kharwari Baba and for that matter of the entire Ziarat, migrates to Harnai in extreme winter. Harnai Pass, about hours drive from Loralai, is just as spectacular as the Khyber Pass near Peshawar.

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Sibi

Sibi:
Sibi is 163 kms from Quetta. It has great historical importance. It derives its name from Sewi, a Hindu Princess of Sewa race. The name of Alexander and the Muslim conquers like Muhammad Bin Qasim, Mehmood Ghaznavi and Nasir-ud-Din Kabacha are associated with this place. Mir Chaker Khan Rind, the legendary Baloch hero, built a massive fort in the 15th century near Sibi, the remains of which are found near the town.

During the British rule a Residency and Victoria Memorial Hall known as Jirga Hall were built where annual Jirgas were held until Pakistan came into being. Quaid-e-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah also presided over the annual Darbar at Sibi as the first Governor General of Pakistan. The Jirga Hall is now converted into a museum. It has a collection of pieces found at the archaeological sites of Mehrgarh, Nasshero and Pirak. The annual Sibi Festival marks the famous Horse and Cattle Show with other festivities held in the month of February.

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Balochistan Coastline

Balochistan Coastline:
The Balochistan coastline extends over 750 kms. From Hub near Karachi to the Gwadar Bay on Pakistan-Iran border.The coastal tribes are as colourful as that of central and upper Balochistan. Their colourful costumes, songs and dances are equally fascinating. The whole area is rich with long unspoilt golden sunny beaches and a variety of sea fish. Because of the importance of this coast Pasni, Jiwani and Gwadar, the three important coastal towns, have been linked by air with Karachi and Quetta. Gaddani Beach near Karachi is an excellent seaside spot for picnic.

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Gawadar

Gawadar:
Gawadar derives its name from two Balochi words “GWAT” wind and “DAR” door. Gwadar district was created on 1st July 1977. It consists of two sub divisions viz Gwadar and Pasni. It is bounded on the north by Turbat (KECH) and Awaran districts, on the east by Awaran and Lasbela districts, on the south by Arabian Sea and on the west by Iran. Total area of the district is 15,216 sq.km and population is 172,948. The coast line of Gwadar is about 600 kms long. The climate of Gwadar is dry, arid and hot.Maximum temperature in June remains between 31C and 40C and coolest month of January varies form 18C to 19 C. Humidity prevails all over the district and average annual rainfalls is below 250 mm.

The area is fast developing into an industrial zone based on fisheries. Three mega projects, Gawadar deep sea port, costal highway and 132 kv electricity line will be completed by December 2003. There are four airports: Gawadar, Jiwani, Pasni and Ormara. There are daily flights between Karachi and these places. Gwadar has two motels, two local hotels and restaurants with basic facilities.

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Makran Coastal Highway

Makran Coastal Highway:
The Makran Coastal Highway is located primarily in Balochistan, Pakistan. It follows the Arabian Sea coast from Karachi to Gwadar.

Previously there was a muddy track linking Karachi with the town of Gwadar. Journeys between the two could take several days as the safest route was to travel via Quetta. The journey time has now been reduced to six or seven hours with the construction of the new Makran Coastal Highway (National Highway N10). The highway was built as part of an overall plan to improve transport facilities in southern Balochistan; other parts of the plan include the new seaport and international airport at Gwadar and the construction of a road linking Gwadar to Khuzdar.

In the coastal areas of Balochistan, the main livelihood is fishing. The catch could not be sold in Karachi because the fish would rot by the time they reached Karachi. However, the new highway has improved people's livelihoods by giving them the opportunity to sell fish in major markets in Karachi.

Completion of this highway has open up the area exposing all business opportunities in Gawadar and on Makran coast to the international investors. It is certainly going to attract new townships and settlements of international investors, tourists, and workforce coming from distant lands. The Makran coastal highway also links Karachi with Iran and, thus, opens a new and shorter trade route between the two countries. Gaining access to the more lucrative but landlocked central Asian markets via Iran and Afghanistan is also on the cards.

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Nushki

Nushki:
Nushki District is one of the districts of Balochistan province, Pakistan. The administration of the Nushki district was taken over from the Khan of Kalat by the Indian government in 1896, and was leased from him on a perpetual quit rent in 1899.
Nushki, is a town in Balochistan about 150 kilometres from Quetta, Pakistan. The town lies southwest of Quetta, and is situated in a plain at the base of the Quetta plateau, 2900 ft above sea level. From Nushki, the flat Balochistan desert stretches away northward and westward to the Helmand Rive.

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Dalbandin

Dalbandin:
Dalbandin is a town and Union council of Balochistan , Pakistanabout 290 KMs from Quetta . Dalbandin is famous for fruit orchards. On 19th January, 2011, it was struck by a 7.2 magnitude earthquake. At that time it was a sparsely populated area with a population of 15,000. It is located at 2852'60N 6425'0E at an altitude of 843 m (2769 ft).The tremors of the earthquake were felt from Dubai in the middle-east to Karachi and Lahore in Pakistan to cities in northern India. The damage from earthquake was limited since Dalbandin is sparsely populated and the earthquake was shallower.

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Naukundi

Naukundi:
Naukundi is a small town in Chagai District, Balochistan, Pakistan. There are several tribes in Naukundi, such as Sanjrani, Notezai,Mohammad Hassani and many others. Naukundi is the second biggest city in the Chagai District. Naukundi sub tehsil was upgraded to tehsil in 1950. .... Over 600km from Quetta, getting to Taftan is a journey of almost 12 hours of careful driving

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Taftan Pak_Iran Border

Taftan Pak_Iran Border:
Taftan is a town located in Chagai District, Balochistan, Pakistan. It is Pakistan's only legal official border crossing into Iran and famed by locals as the "road to London" because it is a famous smuggling route.About 650 km from Quetta, getting to Taftan is a journey of almost 12 hours of careful driving.

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Balochistan Pictorial View
Photo Slide Show (Balochistan's Attractions)
 
 
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MAJOR CITIES MAP OF BALOCHISTAN
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Tourist Destinations

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