A park is a way of providing recreational facilities to a number of people. Not only it acts as a tourist point but also it helps the person to enjoy himself of the greenery prevalent in the surroundings of national parks. Pakistan is abundant in terms of possessing beautiful national parks that are a source of constant attraction for a large segment of people living inside and outside of Pakistan. The national parks in Pakistan are preserving natural beauty and also at the same time protecting the wild life living in these national parks of Pakistan. The significance of national parks increases in terms of securing the animals from becoming vanished entirely. It is because of the fact that many animal species are endangered in Pakistan and national parks provide a home for these animals. There are many national parks in Pakistan but here only quite a few are mentioned. A list of the famous national parks of Pakistan with the top ten names is given below:
1) Kirthar National Park
2) Lal Suhanra National Park
3) Khunjerab National Park
4) Hazarganji Chilton National Park
5) Deosai National Park
6) Margalla Hill National Park
7) Hingol National Park
8) Chitral Gol National Park
9) Ayubia National Park
10) Machiara National Park
This is also called Pothohar Plateau and is located in the Province of Punjab and the western portion of Azad Kashmir. It is an undulated area between River Indus and Jehlum with Hazara hills on the north and Salt range on the south. The area is badly eroded. The elevation ranges from 1000 to 2000 feet. The most important rivers of the area are the Soan and Harrow rivers. The Kala Chitta range rises to an average height of 450 to 900 meters and the highest mountain here is Sakesar.
The area has a history of Soanian culture which is related to the discovery of remains of the old archaeology, fossils, coins, and tools. Potawari language is spoken by the locals. River Jhelum is on the east and River Indus on the west of this plateau, Kala chitta range is on the north and Salt range is on the south. The average height of Kala chitta range is about 450-900 metres or 3000 ft extending for almost 72 kilometres or 45 miles. The highest mountain of the area is Sakesar.
The river Swaan originates from Murree ending near Kalabagh in the River Indus. There is a diverse wildlife in the area including chinkara, hare, mongoose, porcupine, urial, yellow throated marten and wild boar etc. They all add to the attraction of the region. Low rain fall has and deforestation to an extensive level has decreased the beauty of the area. There is also oil, gas and coal exploration projects going on in the valley. The under water area include the internationally famous Ramsar site called Jhallar and three beautiful lakes namely Ucchali, Khabeki and Kallar Kahar. They are tourist attraction points for many years.
The twin cities Rawalpindi and Islamabad sit on the Potowar Plateau. Rohtas Fort is located in Potawar which is another heritage site of UNESCO, which was built in 1541 by Sher Shah Suri.
This mountain range is a semi desert coastal strip located in the south of Sindh. This is the coastal area of the Gulf of Oman and the Arabian Sea. The countries sharing this range are Iran and Pakistan. The 1,000km narrow coastal plain rises rapidly to form many mountain ranges, of which 750 km are in Pakistan’s territory. Although there are many other mountain ranges in Pakistan which are known for their beauty being green ranges, Makran coast boast of its own beauty. Makran coastal range has its unique attraction which is different from the greener mountain ranges but equally attractive nonetheless for the visitors.
There is an island on the coastal area of this range called Astola Island, its near Pasni city. This city is 300km from the Makran coastal area. Miani Hor and Kalamat are the main lagoons and Gawader Bay and Gawader west are the main bays of the coast.
Makran became a district within the Balochistan Province on the independence of Pakistan leaving around 800 square kilometers around the Gawader, which got transferred to Pakistan in 1958. Over the years entire area has been subdivided into smaller districts.
In 1960 an American archeologist surveyed Sokhta koh ( Burnt Hill) along the Makran coast.
|9 km from Astore valley,
Rama Valley is nearly 3300 m above sea level. In winters the valley is covered with snow for more than seven months each year but in summers it is filled with greenery everywhere. There are thick forests with trees like pine, fir, juniper and cedar.
On the way to Rama Lake there comes Astore villages. From there it’s a 2-3 hours drive to the lake. Astore has been upgraded to a district of Gilgit Baltistan since 2005. There are around 50 small villages in Astore out of which Chilm is the most beautiful. It is the strating point of Deosai ( 2nd highest plane of the world). This lake is located in choungrah where the locals are called Chougroch.
Camping is very popular in summer season in this area and the road to the lake is quite well maintained. Tourists really enjoy the drive and stay in the valley due to the captivating scenery all around. PTDC has also established a nice motel on the lake and many families stay there and witness the beautiful sunset and sunrise for many days. Trekers and Hikers also get lots of routes and jeep safari is also enjoyable. The mountaineers wishing to explore the mighty heights of the great Nanga Parbat camp on the lake and then move forward. Rama lake is surely a heavely place to visit.
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.
In June 2010 the coastline of Pakistan was threatened by cyclone Phet. Met Department had predicted that the devastating cyclone would hit Pakistan after striking Oman first. As the Makran coastline is near to Oman, it was to bear the major force of the cyclone. Gawadar, Pasni, Ormara and other coastal areas of Baluchistan were evacuated, fishermen were warned not to go out in the sea and swimming in the sea was banned. However despite all the precautionary steps, the cyclone caused heavy damage to life and property as many houses collapsed and people lost their lives; hundreds of boats were washed away in the sea as well. Some coastal areas were cutoff from the country as the flood water inundated the roads. Actually it was the torrential rains and gusty winds which did much of the damage.
The coastal areas of Sindh also sustained damages but not as much as Baluchistan as the intensity of cyclone had lessened. Thatta and Badin were the worst affected areas. The mega city of Karachi was spared as the cyclone hit between the Karachi coast and Keti Bunder. In the Sindh Province too, wide spread rains wreaked havoc. As usual electricity was disrupted for hours, water gushed in the low lying areas even roads in urban areas turned into lakes rejecting the tall claims of the government. People in the relief camps too complained of inadequate measures of the government.
On the brighter side, the cyclone brought relief from the sweltering heat which had gripped the country as weather turned pleasant after the rainfall. The water level in the rivers increased. The entertainment starved people turned the cyclone into the butt of their jokes. SMSes like “Interior Minister claims Taliban have accepted the responsibility of cyclone in Pakistan” and “Due to KESC’s load shedding, the cyclone lost its way and missed Karachi. KESC khapay” brought smiles on people’s faces. Although people were warned not to go near the beach, people thronged the beach to see the giant waves crash against the shores.
Some things never change; this phrase is particularly true for the people and government of Pakistan.