Kot Dijji Fort

Kot-Diji

The Kot Dijji Fort is located in the town of Kot Dijji in Khairpur District in the Sindh province of Pakistan.  It was constructed on the orders of Mir Sohrab Khan Talpur. The fort is located at the edge of the Nara-Rajasthan desert and in a way is protected by the desert from that side. Kot Diji fort is very beautiful.

The fort is well designed, planned and constructed. The main entrance has three levels all of which are protected by “elephant proof” gates. These gates have heavy iron spikes jutting out on them. Other tactics such as arrow slits in the walls and the bastions were also used to protect the fort against invasions making the fort practically invincible. The fort had many cannon stations to attack the enemy. The elevation and position of the fort ensured that the enemy cannons never hit the fort. The fort was however never attacked.

The fort served as a royal residence of the Ameers (rulers) of Khairpur. The fort is built on a limestone hill around 110 feet high. Kiln baked bricks were used in its construction.

The impressive structure of Kot Dijji still stands today and is a major tourist attraction of Khairpur.

Rawat Fort

Rawat Fort

Rawat Fort is located on the Potohar Plateau at a distance of 17 km from the city of Rawalpindi. It is believed to be built by the Gakhars; a tribe known for its bravery in the 16th century. A battle between the Afghan warrior Sher Shah Suri and the chief of the Gakhar clan Sultan Sarang Khan was fought at the fort. Sultan Sarang died fighting and is buried here along with his sons. It is a very beautiful fort which carries historic value thus attracts a lot of visitors.

The square shaped fort has two gates with the main gate opening eastwards and a smaller second gate facing north. The fort consists of a three domed mosque, an octagonal building with a single dome; some say this structure is actually a mausoleum. There are many small identical rooms along the inner side of the four walls overlooking a courtyard. Some graves can also be seen inside the fort. If you go up the dilapidated stairs, you will get a magnificent view of the Potohar Plateau and the Mankiala Stupa.

The fort which was once a symbol of pride now stands in shambles mainly due to the negligence of the government and the irresponsible insensitive attitude of the people.

Rohtas Fort

by on December 9, 2010
in Travel Pakistan

Forts in Pakistan-Rohtas fort

After Sher Shah Suri the Afghan ruler defeated Moghul King Humayun, Suri decided to build a strong complex at a point from where he could successfully block the advances of Humayun and his allies the Gakhars who refused to side with Suri.

A gorge some 16km North West of Jehlum was chosen as the site of the Rohtas Fort. The Fort is built on a hillock 300 feet and the huge complex occupies an area of 12.63 acres. Built mainly for military purpose, the fort is charming in its own strange way. The building style is a rich blend of Afghan and Hindu architecture. The fort could house 30,000 men and features such as the trap gates, massive walls, 68 towers, 3 stepped walls (called Baolis) and the fortification wall were added to make the fort almost invincible. The fort complex includes a mosque called the Shahi Mosque, Rani Mahal and Haveli Maan Singh.

The fort has 12 gates with interesting names and a few with interesting stories. The fort is decorated with engravings in Arabic and sun flower motifs, some specimen of calligraphy are also found here but the general look and feel of the fort is more of a military base rather then a luxurious dwelling. For this very reason the fort was unpopular with the Moghul kings who had a rather refined taste. this fort to the Gakhars. The Rohtas Fort still remains a grand piece of architecture.

Suri died before the Fort could be completed and Humayun the new ruler of India gave

Himalaya Range in Pakistan

by on December 6, 2010
in Travel Pakistan

The Great Himalayas of Pakistan

This mountain range separates the Indian subcontinent and the Tibetan Plateau. The countries which share this massive range of mountains include – Pakistan, India, Nepal, Afghanistan, China and Burma. Generally, it is also known as a name of a huge mountain system including the Karakoram Range, Hindu Kush and few other lesser ranges.

Some of the world’s major rivers like Ganges and Brahmaputra flow from this range. The western rivers combine together to form River Indus which flows southwest through India to Pakistan and then into the Arabian Sea. The climate, rainfall, soil conditions, and altitude of this range are quite diversified, generating a vast variety of plants and animal communities.

The world’s second longest glacier called ‘Siachen’ which lies at the India-Pakistan border is part of this great mountain range. There are several lakes in the Himalaya range of Pakistan. It also has a profound effect on the climate of the country.

There are many notable peaks of Himalayas in Pakistan but Nanga Parbat is the most important one being the 9th highest in the world and 2nd highest in the country.

Fact sheet of Himalaya Range in Pakistan
No. Names of Imp. Peaks of Himalayas Height of Himalayas (m) Location of Himalaya Peaks
1 Nanga Parbat 8,126 Gilgit-Baltistan
2 Silberzachen 7,597 Nanga Parbat
3 Rakhiot Peak 7,070 Nanga Parbat group
4 Chongra Peak 6,830 Nanga Parbat
5 Ganalo Peak 6,606 Nanga Parbat
6 Laila Peak 5,971 Rupal Valley
7 Shaigiri 5,688 Rupal Valley
8 Buldar Peak 5,602 Nanga Parbat
9 Malika Parbat 5,290 Kaghan Valley
10 Jalipur Peak South 5,215 Nanga Parbat
11 Ditchil 5,084 Deosai
12 Chattewala 4,917
13 Jabardar 4,511 Fairy Meadows, Jalipur
14 Dinewar 4,100
15 Tingrel 4,085
16 Chhugam 4,064 Nanga Parbat
17 Makra Peak 3,586 Kaghan Valley

Hindukush Mountain Range in Pakistan

by on December 6, 2010
in Travel Pakistan

Hindu-Kush range of Pakistan

This mountain range is spread over an area of 500 miles. It stretches between the North Western Pakistan and Eastern Afghanistan. It is located on the western side of the Pamir Mountains and the Karakoram. It is also known as the geographical center of world’s population.

Many rivers rise from Hindu Kush range like Kabul and Konar. There are many passes on this range. Khyber Pass which is 1,027 m long is of much importance. A road was constructed in 1960 on the border of Pakistan and Afghanistan which has reduced the travel time between the countries to a few hours.

There are many notable peaks in this range but the highest is the Trichmir which is located in the Chitral region of Pakistan. This peak is also known as the Queen of Chitral. It is Pakistan’s 13th highest peak and in the world ranking it is on the 33rd position.

Fact sheet of Hindu Kush Range in Pakistan
No. Names of Imp. Peaks of Hindu Kush Height of Hindu Kush Peaks (m) Location of Hindu Kush Peaks
1 Tirich Mir 7,706 Chitral
2 Noshaq 7,492
3 Udren Zom 7,108
4 Akher Chhish 7,020
5 Koyo Zom 6,871 Pechus Glacier
6 Thui I 6,660 Ponarillo Glacier
7 Gul Lasht Zom 6,657 Lutkho Valley
8 Buni Zom 6,550
9 Thui II 6,523 Shetor Glacier, Thui Pass
10 Ghamubar I 6,518 Ghamubar Glacier
11 Ghamubar II 6,432 Ghamubar Glacier
12 Ghuchhar Sar 6,249
13 Garmush 6,244 Garmush Glacier
14 Chikar Zom 6,110 Chatebori  Glacier
15 Mankial 5,726 Swat Valley
16 Kurkun 4,890

Jamrud Fort

by on December 6, 2010
in Travel Pakistan

jumrud-fort of Pakistan

Jamrud Fort, a tourist attraction,  is situated in the small town of Jamrud (18 kilometers from Peshawar) in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province of Pakistan. This quaint fort was built in 1823 by the Sikhs.

Lying near the Afghan border and the Khyber Pass, Jamrud is the link between South Asia and Central Asia. The Jamrud Fort itself is located at the entrance of the Khyber Pass and because of its strategic position has served as an important military base. It came under attack several times when battles were fought between the Sikhs and the Afghans. The Sikh General Hari Singh Nalwa’s grave can be found here. Nalwa died in 1837 fighting a battle with the Afghans. It was an important base for the cantonment of the British Army during the colonial era.

The Fort is made up of stone and has mud plaster smeared over it. Its structure harmonizes with the rough rocky landscape of the surrounding area. The towers of the Fort can be seen from a distance. The onlookers have described the Fort as “a majestic old battleship”.To visit the Fort, foreigners as well as the locals require a permit which can be obtained free of cost by applying at the Political Agent’s Office.

Shandur Polo Festival

by on July 31, 2010
in Travel Pakistan

Shandur Poloi festival of Pakistan

Every year in July, two rival teams mounted on horses meet on the lush green highlands of the mighty Hindu Kush to outdo each other at the game of Polo.

The teams from the mountainous regions of Chitral and Gilgit meet annually to claim the crown of the “King of the Games”. The venue is the Shandur Pass; a beautiful natural stadium amidst the snowy peaks of the rugged mountains.

Here Polo is played more for the love of the game as hardly any money or glamour is involved. Another aspect which is absent from the game is “rules”. The players are people with good riding skills, strong reflexes who can literally take a beating. If you ever happen to witness a match, you will see players clinging dangerously to their saddles, holding their mallets like swords charging down the ground. They swing their mallets forcefully hitting the ball and at times their rivals as well. Blood oozing out from the nose, nasty cuts on the head, fractured limbs are common sights. Even the horses need to be tough as in the Shandur Festival you cannot change horses if they are tired.

Whenever a goal is scored, the crowd goes wild. The Shandur Polo Festival is watched by a large number of foreign and local tourists and is a good time for some sightseeing as well.

Treks of Pakistan

by on December 31, 2009
in Travel Pakistan

Treks in Pakistan

Pakistan has some extremely wonderful trekking sites. Starting right from valleys of the NWFP province, up till the mighty ranges of Himalayas, Hindu Kush and Karakoram there are a number of awesome treks. Trekking can aptly be described as the most thrilling adventure Pakistan offers. The serenity and breath taking beauty of the place along with the warm hospitality accorded by the locals makes your visit a memorable one. The areas are not commercialized hence the natural beauty is unspoiled.

Pakistan is a known destination to all those who are interested in trekking. Being home to the youngest and fiercest mountain range in the world, Pakistan enjoys this unique position.

For beginners there are simple treks in the Naran, Kaghan and Kalam valleys to name a few. Here you will come across tall pine covered mountains, glistening glaciers, sparkling lakes and water falls and a variety of flora and fauna.

The more adventurous daredevils can have their fun trekking on the rugged mountains of the Northern areas (Gilgit-Baltistan) where they will come across snow capped peaks, glaciers and occasionally the protected wildlife species. Some famous treks are:

1. Rakaposhi Base Camp Trek
2. Fairy Meadows Trek
3. Baura Trek
4. Nanga Parbat Trek
5. Batura TREK
6. Biafo HISPAR Trek/ Snow Lake Trek
7. Shimsal Pamir Trek



The 4 Lakes of Kaghan Valley

by on December 30, 2009
in Travel Pakistan

Lake Lulusar In Kaghan Valley-Pakistan

Kaghan valley is one of the most beautiful valleys of Pakistan and is an ideal candidate for 4-8 days of green trekking. While Saif ul Muluk is the most famous of all lakes it has, there are others which are far more beautiful and worth attempting.

Below is the description of four major lakes in Kaghan Valley:

1. Saif-ul-Muluk Lake

Situated at a height of 3500 meters above sea level north of Naran is the legendary lake Saif ul Muluk. Trip to Kaghan is incomplete without a visit to this lake. It is extremely beautiful. Its water has a greenish hue and reflects the tall peak of Malika Parbat. Boating is permitted on the lake. Another reason for its popularity is its easy accessibility. You can go there by jeep from Naran in under an hour or on foot in 4-6 hours.

2. Aansoo Lake

Aansoo Lake has been so named as it is tear shaped. In local language Aansoo means tear drop. It is a relatively small lake. Its trek is more interesting then the lake itself. It can be reached on foot from Lake Saif ul Muluk after a 5-6 hour walk through a steep ascend and a large glacier. It can also be reached by other routes and lies at an elevation of 4000m.

3. Lake Lulusar

Lulusar is nearly 3 km long and is the largest natural lake of the Hazaara District. It is also the main source of the River Kunhar. Surrounded by tall snow covered mountains and with a bed of beautiful flowers around it, its beauty is spellbinding. Lulusar is around 60 km from Naran and a jeep drive takes 5 hours.

4. Lake Dudiptsar

Dudiptsar is another lake of unmatched beauty in the Kaghan Valley. Nestled among snow covered mountains, its clear water reflects the snowy peaks hence the name “dudi”. Dudi means white in the local language and “sar” means lake. It can be reached by jeep from Naran after a long bumpy ride or by foot after a difficult hike. Besides scenic beauty, trout fishing is also an attraction.

Lahore – The GEM of Pakistan

by on December 12, 2009
in Travel Pakistan

aerial-views-lahore

Two sentences that introduce Lahore in the true sense are: “Lahore Lahore hai” (Lahore is unmatched) and “Jis ne Lahore nh dekha wo paida nh howa” (The one who has not visited Lahore is as good as an unborn). That’s how passionately people feel of Lahore as a city.

Lahore the historic city is the gem of Pakistan. It is the capital city of the province of Punjab. It is a city of contrasts. On one end of the city you can still see the narrow alleys, old buildings with vestige of grandeur stand to tell the tale of past glory. On the other end tall high rises boast of the fast pace modernization.

Lahore has Shalimar Gardens, Red Fort, Jahangir’s tomb and many other buildings of the Mughal era. It also has some of the oldest educational institutes of Pakistan namely the King Edward Medical College and The Punjab University. Other places worth visiting in Lahore are Museum, Minar e Pakistan, Jallo Park and the zoo. The shrine of Data Ganj Bakash attracts devotes all through the year. The food street of Lahore deserves special mention. Lahore is a foodie’s paradise. Delicious mouth watering food is available 24/7.

Lahore is the abode of film stars and singers. It is also the front runner of fashion houses. Most areas of the city are clean with wide roads and plenty of greenery. Lahore is the city of lively people.

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