October 2005 - Travel Pakistan

Kel Valley Azad Jammu Kashmir

Hunza Valley in Autumn

K-2 Siren of the Himalayas

Malam Jabba Swat Valley

Shangrilla Resort Skardu

Kohe Safed FATA

Passu Cones Gilgit-Baltistan

Oct 18, 2005

North Waziristan FATA, Pakistan

North Waziristan is one of the agencies of FATA, Federally Administered Tribal Areas of Pakistan. It is the second largest agency by the area, administered by the Federal Government. 
At a distance of 230 km from Peshawar KPK and 310 km from the Islamabad, the North Waziristan Agency was setup in 1895. British took control of this area in 1892. It was in the year, 1910 when North Waziristan Agency was constituted as a full fledged Agency with its headquarters at Miran Shah. The agency lies from 32.35 degrees to 33.22 degrees latitudes and 69.22 degrees to 70.38 degrees longitudes. It is bounded on the north by Afghanistan, Kurram Agency and Hangu District, on the east by Tribal Areas Adjoining Bannu District and Tribal Area Adjoining Karak and Bannu Districts. On the south by South Waziristan Agency, and on the west also by Afghanistan.

Aerial view of Miran Shah Town

Tourist Spots:
The North Waziristan Agency is one of the marvelous places of the the Pakistan, possessing a spectacular landscape. There are number of small rivers, number of streams, snow capped mountain ranges and beautiful valleys. But due to US continual drone attacks in the region has scared off the tourist. But it's hoped that soon the region shall be welcoming the tourist again. 
Following are the main tourist spots of the region:

Miran Shah:
Miran Shah is its capital and administratie center of the region. The town lies on the banks of the Tochi River in a wide valley surrounded by the foothills of the Hindu Kush mountains. It is situated approximately 17 km from the Pakistan-Afghanistan border at an elevation of approximately 3,050 ft.
The nearest town in Pakistan is Bannu and the nearest town across the border in Afghanistan is Khost.
Rivers and Streams:
There are five notable rivers: Tochi, Kaitu, Kurram, Khaisor, and Shaktue. Some notable streams are Khoni Aigad, Chashma Aigad, Saidgi Algad, Kanungo Aigad, Sagga Aigad, Tauda China Algad, Damoma Algad, Tarkhobi Algad, Suedar Aigad.

North Waziristan Haider khel (Tochi River)
Tochi River

Razmak Valley:

Tochi Valley
It has almost in the mid and occupies much of the North Waziristan Agency. It is the most fertile part of the Agency. It derives its name from Tochi River which flews across the valley from west to east.  It is bounded on all sides by mountains and hills except the eastern side. It is about 100 km in length and opens up into the Indus valley near Bannu. The cultivable and fertile area which extends to the crests of the hills at both banks of the river, measures about 700 square miles.

Kaitu Valley
It lies south of Kurram valley. Kaitu River drains into Kurram River in the east

Khaisora Valley
This is a narrow stretch of land which lies in the south of North Waziristan along with the Khaisora Algad. It is also spread over a part of South Waziristan.

Kurram Valley.
In the north of the Agency the lower Kurram valley between the Kurram Agency on the upper parts of the agency reaches of the Kurram River and Bannu districts. 

Bolan Pass Balochistan, Pakistan

At a distance of 120 km from the border of Afghanistan, Bolan Pass is a mountain pass in Balochistan Province of Pakistan which connects the Jacobabad and Sibbi to the Quetta city. 

This pass has a significant history background being a mountain pass, which connects the Central Asia and South Asia. Along Bolan Pass where the road winds through picturesque mountains one is reminded of the huge odds that the armies from Central Asia and the South must have faced in their raids on the plains of the present day Pakistan.
In 1837, threatened by a possible Russian invasion of South Asia via the Khyber and Bolān Passes, a British envoy was sent to Kabul to gain the support of the Emir, Dost Mohammed. In February 1839, the British Army under Sir John Keane took 12,000 men through the Bolān Pass and entered Kandahar, which the Afghan Princes had abandoned; from there they would go on to attack and overthrow Ghazni. In 1883, Sir Robert Groves Sandeman negotiated with the Khan of Kalat, Khudadad Khan, and secured British control over the pass in exchange for an annual fee.
Bolan Pass Railway, passing through 21 tunnels (Miracle of Engineering)
One of the greatest Engineering feats of British rule in India was to lay a railway track through the famous Bolan Pass. More than a century old, this railway track still generates an awe among rail enthusiasts all over the world.

 Pictures of Balochistan - Photos of Balochistan; Photo of A Railway tunnel in Balochistan
Orders for a feasibility survey of Bolan Pass Railway were first issued by the British Government in 1876. Work on the construction of railways through the Pass started in 1880 but was soon stopped after laying of 31 km track due to the occurrence of famous ‘battle of Maiwind’ in the area. Work restarted in 1885 by rapidly laying a rail track in the bed of river Bolan and finally, a steam locomotive rolled into Quetta in August of 1886. The present day railway track through Bolan Pass is the third attempt of laying railways through the pass. In 1889 a torrential flood destroyed the track which was first laid on Bolan River bed. A new track was laid at a higher altitude but that also got washed away. In 1890 orders were issued for laying an all season track through the Pass. This new track was inaugurated on April 15, 1897, and it is still operational. At some places along the track, one can see the abandoned tunnels and the rail bed of earlier two attempts of laying railways here.

There are 21 tunnels en-route from Sibi to Quetta and the track crosses River Bolan numerous times in a criss-cross journey. The photo to the right shows a section of sequential tunneling through Bolan Pass.
For a tourist who wishes to travel through Bolan Pass by rail, a variety of trains and accommodation are available.
If in life you find a chance to visit the Bolan Pass you should choose the railway as it would be one of a kind rail experience anywhere in the world.

Oct 15, 2005

Faiz Mahal Khairpur Sindh, Pakistan

Khairpur is a district of Sindh Province in Pakistan. It has a deep history background and lot of historical and heritage sites. This district was a separate state in Indian Subcontinent and it was ruled by the Talpur Mirs during Talpur Dynasty ( 1783-1955). When India and Pakistan got partition in 1947, the Talpur Mirs opted Pakistan and became the part of Pakistan.

As this place was the city of Mirs ( Rich and Wealthy People), they built a number of monumental buildings some of which are home to the tourist, national and international. The Faiz Mahal is one of these.
The beguiling Faiz Mahal was built in 1798. This building has a unique architectural design and seems it would have been designed by a professional engineer. The look of the Mahal is so fascinating, alluring, stunning and picturesque.

Oct 14, 2005

Haleji Lake Thatta Sindh, Paksitan

This beautiful lake is situated in the Thatta District, Sindh Province of Pakistan. Being Asia's largest bird sanctuary it is located at a distance of 88 km from the Karachi city.

This lake has a good history background, as this was built during second world war by the combined efforts of British Government and the local army personnel. Before it's expansion it was a small lake, but in accordance with water requirement for the troops during the war, the lake was expanded and a feeder canal was introduced from the Sindh River. As the water requirement for troops was to be fulfilled, this lake was completed within 24 months hard work of the troops. The water requirement of the troops positioned in Karachi was fulfilled by this lake. Since then this lake has become a water supply source to the Karachi city. The is also home to the migratory bird from Siberia and also there is found a different kind of fishes too. 

Oct 12, 2005

Mangla Dam / Lake Azad Kashmir, Pakistan

Mangla Dam (also spelled Mangala Dam) was constructed across Jehlum River in 1967. It is sited about 67 miles (108 kilometers) from Islamabad in District Mirpur of Azad Kashmir. It is the sixteenth largest dam in the world. Mangla Power Station hosted at Mangla Dam is second biggest in Pakistan and twelfth biggest hydropower stations in the world.

The main structure of the dam consists of two spillways, four embankment dams, five power-irrigation tunnels and 1,000 Megawatt power stations. The dam’s two spillways are on its right side. Normal service capacity of the main spillway is 900,000 cusecs. It consists of nine gates all are 36 feet wide and 40 feet high. The second spillway is an emergency spillway. The design of this emergency spillway supports for an expansion of 48 feet in height in future.
The Mangla Dam is one of the largest earth-fill dams in the world. It is an earthen dam, 330 feet high and 11,000 feet long, with a crest elevation of 1,234 feet.
Mangla Dam was the first development project in Pakistan undertaken to reduce shortcoming of water and strengthen irrigation system. It was constructed after Indus Basin treaty of 1960 with India. The Mangla Dam power generation and water storage program initiated the construction of mega projects in Pakistan.
Mangla Dam, Mangla Lake, and surrounding areas present a beautiful landscape to visitors. Boating facility is available at the lake. There is a park nearby called Bhutto Park you can visit the park and enjoy your picnic there. If you have time and are interested in seeing historical places then you should visit Ramkot Fort in Mangla. A visit to this beautiful historical fort will be memorable. Hang around, take photos and enjoy the beautiful landscape.

Kel Valley Azad Jammu & Kashmir, Pakistan

This valley is located in the Neelam valley at distance of 148 km from the Islamabad city. At an altitude of 6,879 feet (2097 m) this valley is one of the most charming and picturesque places of Neelum valley. The Shounter Nalah joins the Neelam river at this place and leads to Gilgit-Baltistan via Shounter Pass ( The pass is under construction and if completed it will be the shortest route reaGilgitlgi-Baltistan from Islamababd).

Kel valley is also base camp to the highest peak and the largest glacier of the Azad Kashmir named: Sarawaai Peak (6326 meters above sea level) and Sarawaai Galcier about 25 km long.

Lepa/Leepa Valley Azad Kashmir, Pakistan

At a distance of 143 km from Islamabad and 45 km from Muzaffarabad city, this valley is one of the most beautiful and scenic valleys of Azad Jammu & Kashmir, Pakistan. The valley remains covered with snow throughout the winter but in summer this spectacular valley is visited by the thousands of visitors from around the world. The mountains thickly covered by the evergreen pine trees gives it an extra beauty. 

The valley is divided into three sections:
Doa Khan

Oct 11, 2005

Muzaffarabad City, Azad Kashmir, Pakistan

Located on the banks of Neelum and Jhelum river, Muzaffarabad is the capital of Pakistan's occupied Kashmir known as Azad Jammu &Kashmir. It's at a distance of 138 km from Islamabad and Rawalpindi and 76 km from Abbottabad city of KPK. 

Muzaffarabad is one of the most beautiful cities of the Pakistan with unique features. The area is somehow hilly, not rocky mountains like in Gilgit-Baltistan, and covered by the forest presents stunning views. Also, it is famous for its beautiful gardens, forests, valleys, rivers and lush green mountains.
It serves as a base camp for the tourist tending to visit tourist spots and other historical, cultural and traditional aspects of AJ&K.
A lot of national and international visitors visits Muzaffarabad in different seasons. In winter different people visit the city to enjoy the snowfall from all over the Pakistan. The movement in the city is easier with different kind of transportation modes but it would be easier if you have some idea about the tourist places of the city.
Following is the list of some stunning places which everyone wishes to visit while visiting the Muzaffarabad city.
Black Fort
Red Fort
Pir Chanasi
Machiara National Park
Shaheed Gali
Subri Lake