A visit to this province will however, be incompiete without a trip to Ziarat, a hill town 8000 feet above sea level.Airconditioned coaches and taxis take anything between an hour or two from Quetta to an ideal and relaxing summer retreat with rows of juniper trees and ever green slopes.The word Ziarat means holy place to be visited and the valley is known by that name because of a shrine of a holy saint, Tahir Baba Khirwari.There are other graves as well.However, the world knows it more because of the oldest and tallest juniper jungle, which needs to be looked after properly for future survival.Extremely delicious species of apple, black cherry and almond trees are abundant in Ziarat.While Ziarat abounds in tall chinar trees and juniper grows wild as does walnut and a variety of other trees, the are west of this hill station leading up to the Afghan border is rocky and barren.The drive through this unfriendly terrain provides one the grim reminder of the fierce tribes who roamed free in the region and kept the British weary and fearful.The border village of Chaman is also a major trading centre for a variety of fruits, a large quantity of which is still brought in from Afghanistan.
PLACE OF INTEREST
Ziarat achieved fame soon after Pakistan’s birth when the new nation’s founder, Quaid-e-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah frequented the town to rest and recuperate. It was in Ziarat that this remarkable man and the great leader of Pakistan spent his last day.Quaid-e-Azam died on 11th September, 1948.The Ziarat Residency where he spent his last days is a moving reminder of a man whoes commanding personality, complete sincerity, dedication and brilliant statesmanship won for his people the much deserved independence.The Residency is set around lush green lawns and colourful flowerbeds where peace and revered silence dominates.
Chashma means spring in Urdu and Persian.
Chashman Walk is located in Ziarat, between the lofty mountains and deep gorges, leading to the spring which provides water for the town.
Lying at a height of 2713 metres above sea level and 6 km from Ziarat the beautiful place provides fantastic view.
If you have a passion for smelling history through places, you must visit the Bolan Pass, where several armies from Central Asia and north intruded into lands of un-divided India through centuries. The picturesque hilly road welcomes you with cool breeze.
This Pass will lead you directly to the Chaman Border of Afghanistan, 153 km from Quetta.The scenic beauty is simply enthralling. The border journey is to be materialised through Khojak Sheela, a 4-km long tunnel, at an elevation of more than 1945 metres above sea level.
While cruising through the hilly tract between Quetta and Kalat, you would come to see the route to Zahidan, Iran.Koh-e-Taftan and Saindak copper mines are en-route.
Being the most arid province, Balochistan receives very low rain fall.Natural springs, used for supplying water to other places have been very common.But for now, most of the springs are artificially made by boring holes into rocks.They are called ‘KAREZ’.There are more than a dozen gorges (Tangi in local language) around Ziarat, formed by Karez water.
Hazarganji Chiltan National Park
Spend over 38,429 acres at a height of 221 to 3264 metres above sea level, the Park is 20 km from Quetta, in south-west direction. There you can see a variety of wildlife.The most distinctive is Markhor, erroneously considered as Ibex by the locals, because of its resemblance.There are 225 species of plants in Hazarganji Chiltan National Park, including wild almond, juniper, pistachio, wild olive and various useful shrubs.
Driving through wild roses and fruit orchards, you may reach the Urak Valley at a distance of 21 km. The abundance of delicious fruits make it a real fruit land or SAMARISTAN.
If you wish to enjoy excursion just near the city, you must go to Hanna Lake, 10 km from Quetta and very close to the Urak.The turquoise water of lake is a real contrast to the brownish green hills that surround the area.
Filled with numerous fruit orchards, the Pishin Valley is 50 kms away from Quetta. These orchards are irrigated by ‘karez’. There is yet another attraction of cool waters, i.e. man-made lake with Bund Khushdil Khan. A wide range of ducks provides enticing beauty during winters.
Mehergarh- the newest discovery of ancient civilization
During recent decades, a lot has been done to explore the culture and civilisation of ancient people. The most distinguishing one is Mehergarh, which experts say remained the centre of high development some 9,900 years ago. Researchers claim that is even older than Moenjodaro and Harappa.
Balochistan shares the major part of Pakistan’s coastline, extending over 750 km from Hub near Karachi, to the Gwadar seaport near Pakistan-Iran border. The variety of marine life, azure blue sea-water and sunny beaches provide breath-taking environment. Costline towns of Pasni, Jiwani and Gwadar are now the centres of attraction for foreign and local investors. All are linked by air with Karachi. The newly built Coastal Highway serves the purpose of connection the region by road. The people have a very colourful culture, displaying themselves briskly through their multi-colour dresses and ornaments.