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::: Eco Tourism Development In Pakistan :::

 

 

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::: Eco Tourism Development In Pakistan :::

The estimated population of Pakistan in 2010 was over 169,894,500[1] making it the world’s sixth most-populous country, behind Brazil and ahead of Russia. The population growth rate now stands at 1.6%. The majority of southern Pakistan’s population lives along the Indus River. By population size, Karachi is the largest city of Pakistan.In the northern half, most of the population lives about an arc formed by the cities of Lahore, Faisalabad, Rawalpindi, Islamabad, Gujranwala, Sialkot, Gujrat, Jhelum, Sargodha and Sheikhupura. About 20% of the population live below the international poverty line of US$1.25 a day Life expectancy at birth was 63 for females and 62 for males in 2006. Healthy life expectancy at birth was at 54 for males and 52 for females in 2003. Expenditure on health was at 2% of the GDP in 2006. The mortality below 5 was at 97 per 1,000 live births in 2006. During 1990–2003, Pakistan sustained its historical lead as the most urbanized nation in South Asia, with city dwellers making up 36% of its population. Furthermore, 50% of Pakistanis now reside in towns of 5,000 people or more.
The 62 kilometer long Baltoro Glacier, in northern Pakistan, is one of the longest glaciers outside the polar regions Pakistan covers 803,940 km2 (310,400 sq mi), approximately equalling the combined land areas of France and the United Kingdom. Its eastern regions are located on the Indian tectonic plate and the western and northern regions on the Iranian plateau and Eurasian landplate. Apart from the 1,046 km (650 mi) Arabian Sea coastline, Pakistan’s land borders total 6,774 km (4,209 mi) — 2,430 km (1,510 mi) with Afghanistan to the northwest, 523 km (325 mi) with China to the northeast, 2,912 km (1,809 mi) with India to the east and 909 km (565 mi) with Iran to the southwest. The northern and western highlands of Pakistan contain the towering Karakoram and Pamir mountain ranges, which incorporate some of the world’s highest peaks, including K2 (8,611 m/28,251 ft) and Nanga Parbat (8,126 m/26,660 ft). The Balochistan Plateau lies to the West, and the Thar Desert in the East. An expanse of alluvial plains lies in Punjab and Sindh along the Indus river. The 1,609 km (1,000 mi) Indus River and its tributaries flow through the country from the Kashmir region to the Arabian Sea. Pakistan has four seasons: a cool, dry winter from December through February; a hot, dry spring from March through May; the summer rainy season, or southwest monsoon period, from June through September; and the retreating monsoon period of October and November. The onset and duration of these seasons vary somewhat according to location.Rainfall can vary radically from year to year, and successive patterns of flooding and drought are also not uncommon. Pakistan is the second-most populous Muslim-majority countryand also has the second-largest Shi’a population in the world. About 95% of the Pakistanis are Muslim. The majority are Sunni, with an estimated 10% to 30% Shi’a 2.3% are Ahmadis who are officially considered non-Muslims since a 1974 “anti-Ahmadi” constitutional amendment. There are also several Sufi communities. Although the groups of Muslims usually coexist peacefully, sectarian violence occurs sporadically.The religious breakdown of the country is as follows: · Islam 173,000,000 (96%) (the majority are Sunni, 10% to 30% are Shi’a and 2.3% are Ahmadis). · Hinduism 3,200,000 (1.85%) · Christianity 2,800,000 (1.6%) · Sikhs Around 20,000 (0.001%) · The remaining are Parsis, Buddhists, Jews, Bahá’ís, and Animists (mainly the Kalasha of Chitral). Pakistan is a multilingual country with more than sixty languages being spoken. English is the official language of Pakistan and used in official business, government, and legal contracts. · Urdu is the national language. · Punjabi is the provincial language of Punjab.Saraiki is also spoken in larger area of punjab province. · Pashto is the provincial language of North-West Frontier Province. · Sindhi is the provincial language of Sindh

· Balochi is the provincial language of Balochistan.

Flora and Fauna

Fauna

Mammals
· Markhor, of which there are five distinct kinds, is the national animal of Pakistan.

· The Chiltan Markhor, because of its long horns looks very conspicuous. Ever since the Markhor has been given protection its number has multiplied.

· Other animals in the park are straight horned Markhors, “Gad” (wild sheep) and leopards which occasionally migrate to the park from other areas, wolves, striped hyena, hares, wild cats and porcupines.

· Pakistan’s wide range of animal life includes the Siberian ibex, wild sheep, buffalo, bear, wolf, jackal, fox, wildcat, musk cat, hyena, porcupine, gazelle, peacock, python, and boar . · In the south, there are crocodiles in the murky waters at the mouth of the Indus River whilst on the banks of the river, there are boars, deer, porcupines, and small rodents.

· In the sandy scrublands of central Pakistan are found jackals, hyenas, wild cats, panthers, and leopards while the clear blue skies abound with hawks, falcons, and eagles.

· In the southwestern deserts are rare Asiatic cheetahs.

· In the northern mountains are a variety of endangered animals including Marco Polo sheep, Urial sheep, Markhor and Ibex goats, black and brown Himalayan bears, and the rare Snow Leopard. Another rare species is the blind Indus River Dolphin of which there are believed to be about 1,100 remaining, protected at the Indus River Dolphin Reserve in Sindh.

· Chinkara is the only animal that can still be found in significant numbers in Cholistan, but rarely in Thall. The blackbuck, once plentiful in Cholistan, has now been eliminated; efforts are being made to reintroduce them into the country.

· A small number of blue bulls are found along the Pakistan-Indian border, and in some parts of Cholistan. Grey partridge, species of sand grouse and the Indian courser are the main birds of the area. Peafowl occur in some areas in Cholistan.

Birds · The national bird is the Chukar, also known as Chakhoor in Urdu.

· Many birds like partridge, warblers, shikras, blue rock pigeon, rock nuthatch, red gilled choughs, golden eagle, sparrow, hawks, falcons and bearded vultures are either found here or visit the park in different seasons.

Reptiles
Reptiles like monitor and other wild lizards, geckos, Afghan tortoise, python, cobra, horned viper and Levantine may also be seen in the park.

Flora Amongst the flora of the Park are the 225 species of plants. Prominent are the pistachios, juniper, wild olive, wild ash and wild almond. Many shrubs like wild fig, barbery, wild cherry, makhi, etc., provide food and shelter to the foraging animals, birds and other life forms. Medicinal herbs like Ephedra intermadia, gerardiana and nabro (densis) and Artemista (scoparia and martima) are also found in the park. There is a splash of colour in spring when most of the plants are in bloom. Nature lovers, students, scientists and researchers are welcome to visit the park at any time of the year. The mangrove forests of the coastal region give way to the mulberry, acacia, and date palms of the sparsely vegetated south; the foothills support phulai, kao, chinar, and wild olive, and the northern forests have stands of oak, chestnut, walnut, pine, ash, spruce, yew, and fir. Above 3,000 m (10,000 ft), birch, dwarf willow, and juniper are also found.

The forests range from coniferous alpine and subalpine trees such as spruce, pine, and deodar cedar in the northern mountains to deciduous trees such as the mulberry-type Shisham in the Sulaiman range in the south.

The western hills have juniper and tamarisk as well as coarse grasses and scrub plants. Along the southern coast are mangrove forests which form much of the coastal wetlands. There are a large variety of trees that are native to the Pakistan region with many that can be found through-out the South Asian sub-continent. Vast sections of the Indus flood plains have been cleared of natural vegetation to grow crops.

Culture and Tradition

Culture

The literature of Pakistan covers the literatures of languages spread throughout the country, namely Urdu, Sindhi, Punjabi, Pushto, Baluchi as well as English and Persian as well. Prior to the 19th century, the literature mainly consisted of lyric poetry and religious, mystical and popular materials. During the colonial age the native literary figures, under the influence of the western literature of realism, took up increasingly different topics and telling forms. Today, short stories enjoy a special popularity. The national poet of Pakistan, Allama Muhammad Iqbal, suggested the creation of a separate homeland for the Muslims of India. However, Iqbal had also wrote the Tarana-e-Hind which stated the belief of a strong united India. His book The Reconstruction of Religious Thought in Islam is a major work of modern Islamic philosophy. The most well-known representative of the contemporary Urdu literature of Pakistan is Faiz Ahmed Faiz. Sufi poets Shah Abdul Latif, Bulleh Shah, Mian Muhammad Bakhsh and Khawaja Farid are also very popular in Pakistan.Mirza Kalich Beg has been termed the father of modern Sindhi prose.

Sir Muhammad Iqbal was a key leader in the Pakistan Movement and is a popular poet in Pakistan

Tradition

· Pakistani society is largely hierarchical, with high regard for traditional Islamic values, although urban families have grown into a nuclear family system because of the socio-economic constraints imposed by the traditional joint family system.

· Recent decades have seen the emergence of a middle class in cities like Karachi, Lahore, Islamabad, Rawalpindi, Hyderabad, Faisalabad, Multan and Peshawar (now numbering at 30 million, with an average annual income of US$10,000, with another 17 million belonging to the upper and upper-middle classes) that wish to move in a more centrist direction, as opposed to the northwestern regions bordering Afghanistan that remain highly conservative and dominated by centuries-old regional tribal customs. Increasing globalization has resulted in ranking 46th on the A.T. Kearney/FP Globalization Index.

· The variety of Pakistani music ranges from diverse provincial folk music and traditional styles such as Qawwali and Ghazal Gayaki to modern forms fusing traditional and western music, such as the synchronisation of Qawwali and western music by the world renowned Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan.

· Pakistan is home to many famous folk singers such as the late Alam Lohar, who is also well known in Indian Punjab. However, majority of Pakistanis listen to Indian music produced by Bollywood and other Indian film industries.

· The arrival of Afghan refugees in the western provinces has rekindled Pashto and Persian music and established Peshawar as a hub for Afghan musicians and a distribution center for Afghan music abroad.

· State-owned Pakistan Television Corporation (PTV) and Pakistan Broadcasting Corporation were the dominant media outlets, but there are now numerous private television channels.

· Various American, European, and Asian television channels and films are available to the majority of the Pakistani population via private television networks, cable, and satellite television (43 million Pakistanis have satellite television).

· There are also small indigenous film industries based in Lahore and Peshawar (often referred to as Lollywood). And while Bollywood films have been banned from being played in public cinemas since 1965 they have remained popular in popular culture

Archeiological sites

· The arrival of Islam in today’s Pakistan meant a sudden end of Buddhist architecture. However, a smooth transition to predominantly pictureless Islamic architecture occurred.

· The architecture of the areas now constituting Pakistan can be designated to four distinct periods—pre-Islamic, Islamic, colonial and post-colonial. With the beginning of the Indus civilization around the middle of the 3rd millennium B.C. an advanced urban culture developed for the first time in the region, with large structural facilities, some of which survive to this day. Mohenjo Daro, Harappa and Kot Diji belong to the pre-Islamic era settlements. The rise of Buddhism and the Persian and Greek influence led to the development of the Greco-Buddhist style, starting from the 1st century CE. The high point of this era was reached with the culmination of the Gandhara style. An example of Buddhist architecture is the ruins of the Buddhist monastery Takht-i-Bahi in the northwest province.

· The most important of the few completely discovered buildings of Persian style is the tomb of the Shah Rukn-i-Alam in Multan. During the Mughal era design elements of Islamic-Persian architecture were fused with and often produced playful forms of the Hindustani art. · Lahore, occasional residence of Mughal rulers, exhibits a multiplicity of important buildings from the empire, among them the Badshahi mosque, the fortress of Lahore with the famous Alamgiri Gate, the colourful, still strongly Persian seeming Wazir Khan Mosque as well as numerous other mosques and mausoleums. · The Shahjahan Mosque of Thatta in Sindh originates from the epoch of the Mughals. · In the British colonial period, predominantly functional buildings of the Indo-European representative style developed from a mixture of European and Indian-Islamic components. Post-colonial national identity is expressed in modern structures like the Faisal Mosque, the Minar-e-Pakistan and the Mazar-e-Quaid.

Festivals in Pakistan.

Shab-e-Barat:
Religious festival celebrated on 14th of Shaaban, the 8th Islamic month. Prayers, fire works, exchange of sweet dishes and visits.  Eid-ul-Fitr
Religious festival celebrating end of fasting month on 1st of Shawwal, the 10th month of Islamic Calendar. Special prayer after sun-rise, exchange of sweet dishes, visits.

Sibi Festival: (Last week of February)
At Sibi (Balochistan). Traditional sports, handicrafts exhibition, folk music and dances. 

Sindh Horse & Cattle Show: (Last week of February) 
At Jacobabad (Sindh). Similar activities as in Sibi Festival. 

Jashan-e-Larkana:(Last week of February) At Larkana (Sindh). Traditional sports, exhibition of handicrafts, folk music and dances.  

Bassant
With the advent of spring Basant Festival is celebrated with pomp and show in mid February every year in Lahore. In other words this is the springfestival.

Alleging that kite flying is a Hindu event is also sheer ignorance. The sport originated in China about 5000 years ago, when Hinduism was in non existent. Why single out kite-flying then, especially when it is a source of joy for the old and the young men and women? The simple reason is that Hindu at Basant Festival fly kites for enjoying Basant. With times Muslims who were living together with Hindus in the sub-continent also join them in kite-flying. Since then Muslims are taking participation in just kite-flying at the time of Basant connotating it as Pala Urant. Now a days people of Lahore enjoy it by kite flying competition and by visiting the shrine of saint Madho Lal Hussein, where they assemble to pay their benediction.

Lahore is becoming the main focal point for the celebration of this festival in Pakistan. People traditionally fly kites on the roofs of their buildings. It is commonly observed that rest houses, hotels and house of relatives of the participants are fully packed with guests from all over the country. Moreover some five star hotels also arrange this function on their roof top for foreigners and other high class gentry. They also arrange variety of dishes with musical concert. Sometimes Lahorities on this occasion become emotional and in this state create law and order problems for the administration. Some of them use metal thread for kite-flying. Their such a deed oftenly imposes, besides life threat, a serious problem for WAPDA when the thread touches the live wires.

Inspite of the fact Basant Festival which has no links with the Muslim culture is becoming very popular and being celebrated in Lahore regularly every year with zeal and fervent.

Nauroze:  (21-23 March) 
Celebrated only in Gilgit, Hunza, Skardu and Chitral. Polo, foot-ball, volley-ball and hockey matches, folk dances and music.

Pakistan Day *:   (23 March) 
Commemorating the anniversary of Pakistan Resolution passed on March 23, 1940. Military parade at provincial capitals and Islamabad.

Mela Chiraghan (Festival of lamps): (Last week of March) 

Held for 01 week outside Shalimar Gardens, Lahore. 

Horse & Cattle Show:   (End of March till 1st week of April).

At Dera Ismail Khan. Local games, folk dances, music, cattle races and exhibition of local handicrafts. 

Jashan-e-Shikarpur: (In April for 01 week) 
At Shikarpur, Sindh. Cultural activities, local sports and handicrafts exhibition. 

Eid-ul-Azha * : 
Religious festival commemorating the great sacrifice offered by Prophet Abraham. Celebrated on 10 Zilhaj, 12th month of Islamic Calendar. Collective prayers after sun set, sacrifice of  goats, sheep, cows or camels and distribution of meat among relatives, friends and poor.

Joshi or Chilimjusht:   (14-15 May)
Kalash festival of welcoming spring, held in Kalash Valleys near Chitral. Folk dances, music and exchange of dishes.

Shandur Polo Festival    
Traditional polo tournament between the teams of Chitral and Gilgit is being held on the highest polo ground of the world – The Shandur Pass (Chitral district). Allied activities include fold music, folk dances and other competitions. A tent village along Shandur Lake will be set up in cooperation with the local administration.

Utchal: (15-16 July)
A harvest festival, celebrated by Kalash people in Kalash Valleys, Chitral.

Eid-e-Milad-un-Nabi *:  
Birth Anniversary of Prophet Hazrat Mohammad (P.B.U.H). on 12th of Rabi-ul-Awwal – the 3rd month of Islamic Calendar.

Independence Day *: (14 August)
Meeting, processions, rallies, decorations and illustrations all over the country.

Defense of Pakistan Day:   (06 September)
Parades and exhibitions of military equipment at Rawalpindi, Lahore, Peshawar, Quetta and Karachi. Visits to the war memorials. (No national holiday except Armed Forces)

Air force Day:  (07 September)
Display of latest aircraft of Pakistan Air force and air shows at Rawalpindi, Sargodha, Lahore, Peshawar and Quetta. 

Phool: (20 – 25 September)
Held in Kalash Valleys near Chitral. Reaping grapes and walnuts, dancing and singing.

Lok Mela: (1st week of October, for one week) Folk Festival held at Islamabad. Folk Music, songs, music contests, folk dances, craftsmen at  work, exhibition and sale of handicrafts. The festival presents a unique opportunity to watch the culture and craft of the whole country at one place.  

Chowmas:  (18-21 October)

Held in Kalash Valleys near Chitral. Welcoming of winter with first snow-fall. Activities restrict to indoor.

Karakoram Car Rally:   A colorful closing/award giving ceremony was held in Hunza Valley. Prizes, shields, certificates were distributed among the ralliers. SAF-International Karakoram Car Rally was also planned for year 2001, but it was postponed. International Karakoram Car Rally has been proposed to be held during the month of November in 2002 as part of the International Year of Mountains celebrations

Birthday of Allama Muhammad Iqbal: .(09 November) 

National Poet * .

National Industrial Exhibition Islamabad:  
Exhibition and sale of Pakistan’s industrial products and handicraft items

National Industrial Exhibition Lahore: (3rd week of November for 15 days)

 Held at Fortress Stadium, Lahore. Exhibition and sale of industrial products and handicrafts of Pakistan. 

National Horse & Cattle Show Lahore:  (3rd week of November for 05 days )  Held at Fortress Stadium, Lahore. Cattle races, cattle dances, tent-pegging, tattoo show, folk music, dances, bands, cultural floats and folk games. 

The show has been described as an eloquent expression of Pakistan’s heritage and an authentic account of its agricultural and industrial achievement’s. It is held in Lahore Fortress stadium at the end of February or at First week of March. The fortress stadium, the venue of the show is thronged by active participants, foreign visitors and peoples who watch the festival with great enthusiasm, verve and aplomb.

A large number of them are interested in watching and appreciating the best breeds of livestock. Many derive pleasure by watching other activities such as display parade of animals, dances by horses and camels, polo matches, tent pegging, dog shows and their races, vaudeville acts of stuntmen, mass display of military band, rhythmically physical exercise by the children.

Tastefully decorated industrial floats and torch light tattoo shows. Additional attractions include a subtle interplay of lights to weave enticing patterns at night and breath taking acts by foreign groups. The show began as a modest exhibition organized by the army to project the cattle wealth of the country in the early fifties.

Today it is an international event to which come dignitaries from abroad and visitors and foreign tourists. The organizing committee comprises representatives of a number of agencies including army, rangers, LMC schools, the police, industrialists and the art councils.

Christmas and Birth Anniversary  of Quaid-e-Azam: (25 December)
Kashmir Day has been celebrated on 5 February each year since 1990 as a day of protest against Indian control of part of Kashmir. It is a national holiday in Pakistan.

Mountain Ranges, Peaks and Passes

Pakistan has within its borders some of the world’s highest and most spectacular mountains. Some of the famous mountain ranges of Pakistan are Himalayas, Karakoram, Hindu Kush, Sulaiman, Toba Kakar, Kirthar and Salt range.  The Northern and Western Highlands produced by the mountain building movement extended from the Makran Coast in the south to the Pamir Plateau in the extreme north. The Northern and Western Highlands cover most of Balochistan, NWFP, Northern Areas (Gilgit Agency) and parts of the Punjab. These can be further divided into five physiographic entities: · Mountainous North · Koh-e-Safaid and Waziristan Hills · Sulaiman and Kirthar Mountains · Balochistan Plateau · Potowar Plateau and the Salt Ranges

Mountainous North

In the northern part of the country, the Hindu Kush mountains converge with the Karakoram Range, a part of the Himalayan mountain system. These ranges have a large number of peaks ranging from 6000 to 8611 meters above the sea level. Pakistan has the densest concentration of high mountains in the world: five peaks over 8,000 meters (26,000 feet) and 101 peaks over 7,000 meters (23,000 feet) above sea level within a radius of 180 kilometers (112 miles). Thirteen of the world’s 30 tallest peaks are in Pakistan. The tallest include K2 (also known as Mount Godwin Austen), the second highest peak in the world at 8,611 m (28,251 ft), in the Karakoram Range; Nanga Parbat (8,125 m/26,657 ft) in the Himalayas; and Tirich Mir (7,690 m/25,230 ft) in the Hindu Kush. The Mountainous North covers the northern parts of Pakistan and comprises parallel mountain ranges intervened by narrow and deep river valleys. East of the Indus River, the mountain ranges in general run from east to west. To its west – from north to south – run the following important mountain ranges: · The Himalayas · The Karakorams

· The Hindu Kush

The Himalayas The western most parts of the Himalayas fall in Pakistan. The sub-Himalayas – the southern most ranges – do not rise to great heights (600 – 1200 masl). The Lesser Himalayas lie to the north of the sub-Himalayas and rise to 1,800 – 4,600 masl. The Great Himalayas are located north of the Lesser Himalayas. They attain snowy heights (of more than 4,600 m). The Karakoram Ranges

The Karakoram Ranges in the extreme north rise to an average height of 6,100 m. Mount Goodwin Austin (K-2) – the second highest peak in the world – is 8,610 m and located in the Karakorams.

The Hindu Kush
The Hindu Kush Mountains take off the western side of the Pamir Plateau that is located to the west of the Karakorams. These mountains take a southerly turn and rise to snowy heights. Some of the peaks rise to great heights like Noshaq (7,369 m), and Tirich Mir (7,690 m).

Koh-e-Safaid and Waziristan Hills
The Koh-e-Safaid Ranges have an east-west trend and rise to an average height of 3,600m. They are commonly covered with snow. Sikeram, the highest peak in Koh-e-Safaid Ranges rises to 4,760 m. Similarly, the elevation of Waziristan Hills ranges from 1,500 and 3,000 m. Sulaiman and Kirthar Mountains The Sulaiman-Kirthar Mountain Ranges extending from south of Gomal River, lie between Balochistan Plateau and the Indus Plains. On reaching the Murre-Bugti Hills, they turn northward and extend up to Quetta. Further south, they meet the Kirthar Mountains, which merge in to the Kohistan area of Sindh. The Sulaiman Mountains rise to an average height of 600 m that decreases southward. Takht-e-Sulaiman (3,487 m) and Takatu (3,470m) are the highest peaks of the Sulaiman Ranges.

Balochistan Plateau

The Balochistan Plateau is located west of the Sulaiman-Kirthar Mountains. Its western part is dominated by a number of sub-parallel ranges: the Makran Coast Range (600 m), and the Central Makran Range (900 – 1200 m). The highest peak Ras Koh, attains a height of 3010 m.

Potowar Plateau and the Salt Ranges
The Potwar Plateau and the Salt Range region are located to the south of the mountainous north and lie between the Indus river on the west and the Jhelum river on the east. Its northern boundary is formed by the Kala Chitta Ranges and the Margalla Hills and the southern boundary by the Salt Ranges. The Kala Chitta Range rises to an average height of 450 – 900 m and extends for about 72 km. The main Potwar Plateau extends north of the Salt Range. It is an undulating area 300 – 600 m high. The Salt Ranges have a steep face towards the south and slope gently in to the Potwar Plateau in the north. They extend from Jhelum River up to Kalabagh where they cross the Indus river and enter the Bannu district and rise to an average height of 750 – 900 m. Sakesar Peak (1,527 m) is the highest point of the Salt Ranges.

Mountain Passes
Many mountain passes cross Pakistan’s borders with Afghanistan and China. Passes crossing over the mountains bordering Afghanistan include the Khyber, Bolan, Khojak, Kurram, Tochi, Gomal and Karakoram passes.

· The most well-known and well-traveled is the 56 kilometer long Khyber Pass in the northwest. It links Peshawar in Pakistan with Jalalabad in Afghanistan, where it connects to a route leading to the Afghan capital of Kabul. It is the widest and lowest of all the mountain passes, reaching a maximum elevation of 1,072 m (3,517 ft). · The route of the Bolan Pass links Quetta in Baluchistan Province with Kandahar in Afghanistan; it also serves as a vital link within Pakistan between Sind and Baluchistan provinces. Historically, the Khyber and Bolan passes were used as the primary routes for invaders to enter India from Central Asia, including the armies of Alexander the Great. · The Tochi pass connects Ghazni in Afghanistan with Bannu in Pakistan and the Gomal pass provides an easy access from Afghanistan to Dera Ismail Khan in Pakistan and the Punjab.

· Also historically significant is Karakoram Pass, on the border with China. For centuries it was part of the trading routes known as the Silk Road, which linked China and other parts of Asia with Europe. 

List of forts in Pakistan

Azad Kashmir

· Sharda Castle · Throtchi Castle · Baghsar Fort · Ramkot Fort · Quetta Fort · Kalat Fort · Baltit Fort · Skardu Fort · Altit Fort · Bala Hisar Fort · Chitral Fort · Chakdarra Fort · Drosh Fort · Jamrud Fort · Malakand Fort · Miranshah Fort · Wana Fort · Kohat Fort · Attock Fort · Rohtas Fort · Derawar Fort · Lahore Fort · Noor Mahal · Sadiq Ghar Palace · Darbar Mahal · Pharwala Castle · Sheikhupura Fort · Multan Fort · Fort Abbas · Kot Diji Fort · Ranikot Fort · Faiz Mahal · Qasim fort · Rawat Fort

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::: Eco Tourism Development In Pakistan :::

Balochistan is the largest province by area of Pakistan, constituting approximately 48% of the total area of Pakistan. At the 1998 census, Balochistan had a population of roughly 6.6 million. Covering a sizable portion of the country, it is Pakistan’s largest province, as well as its poorest and least populated.

Its neighbouring regions are Iran to the west, Afghanistan and the Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa province to the north, Punjab and Sindh provinces to the east. To the south is the Arabian Sea. The main languages in the province are Balochi, Saraiki, Brahui, Pashto, and Sindhi. The capital, and only city, is Quetta; all the other towns and villages are underdeveloped. The Baloch and Pashtun people constitute the two major ethnic groups; a mixed ethnic stock, mainly of Sindhi origin, forms the third major group (Sindhi Baloch) Balochistan is rich in mineral resources; it is the second major supplier, after Sindh province, of natural gas.

The province of Balochistan (or Baluchistan) in Pakistan contains most of historical Balochistan and is named after the Baloch. Neighbouring regions are Iranian Balochistan to the west, Afghanistan and the Federally Administered Tribal Areas to the north and Punjab and Sindh to the east. To the south is the Arabian Sea. The principal languages in the province are Baluchi, Pashto, Brahui, and Persian. The capital and largest city is Quetta.

Very cold winters and hot summers characterize the climate of the upper highlands. Winters of the lower highlands vary from extremely cold in the northern districts to mild conditions closer to the Makran coast. Summers are hot and dry, especially the arid zones of Chaghai and Kharan districts. The plain areas are also very hot in summer with temperatures rising as high as 120 °F (50 °C). Winters are mild on the plains with the temperature never falling below the freezing point. The desert climate is characterised by hot and very arid conditions. Occasionally strong windstorms make these areas very inhospitable

A number of tribes constitute to make people of Balochistan. Three major tribes are Baloch, Pashtoon and Brahvi. The Balochi speaking tribes include Rind, Lashar, Marri, Jamot, Ahmedzai, Bugti Domki, Magsi, Khosa, Rakhashani, Dashti, Umrani, Nosherwani, Gichki, Buledi, Sanjarani and Khidai. Each tribe is further sub-divided into various branches. The tribal chief is called Sardar while head of sub-tribe is known as Malik, Takari or Mir. Sardars and Maliks are members of district and other local Jirgas according to their status. The Baloch, believed to have originally come from Arabia or Asia minor, can be divided in to two branches: the Sulemani and Mekrani as distinct from the Brahvis who mostly concentrate in central Balochistan. Among the eighteen major Baloch tribes, Bugtis and Marris are the principal ones who are settled in the buttresses of the Sulemania. The Talpur of Sind aIso claim their Baloch origin.

Brahvi speaking tribe include Raisani, Shahwani, Sumulani, Bangulzai, Mohammad Shahi, Lehri, Bezenjo, Mohammad Hasni, Zarakzai (Zehri) , Mengal and Lango, most of these tribes are bi-lingual and are quite fluent both in the Balochi and Brahvi Languages. The Pashtoon tribes include Kakar, Ghilzai Tareen, Mandokhel , Sherani, Luni, Kasi and Achakzai.

Balochistan, despite its scarce population, has an uncommon racial and tribal diversity. Most of the people in the cities and towns understand and speak more than two languages. In adddition to Balochi, Pashtoo and Brahvi, the majority of the population understand and speak Urdu, the national language. In Kachhi and Sibi districts, people speak Seraiki and Sindhi. Quetta city, the confluence point of all linguistic groups accommodates not only Urdu, Balochi, Pashtoo, Brahvi and Sindhi speaking people but Punjabi, Darri and Persian speaking ones as well. Dehwar tribe of Sarawan sub-division in Kalat, also speaks a language derived from Persian.

Cultural landscape of Balochistan portrays various ethnic groups. Though people speak different languages, there is a similarity in their literature, beliefs, moral order and customs. The cementing factor is religion which provides a base for unity and common social order.

Brahvi, Balochi and Pashtoon tribes are known for their hospitality. Guest is accorded is held in high esteem and considered a blessing from God. Better off people even slaughter sheep or goat for their guest. Sometimes, it so happens that where there are more houses, the guest is assumed to be the guest of the whole village. This open heartedness is the loving feature of the tribal people and is not as deep in the city or town dwellers.

Another adorable feature of Balochistan culture is faithfulness and sincerity in all relationships. There is no place or respect for unfaithful people in prevalent moral order. If fidelity is reciprocated with disloyalty or betrayal it is never forgotten

The mode of dress among the Balochi, Pashtoon and Brahvi tribes is very similar having a few minor dissimilarities. Turban is the common headwear of the men. Wide loose shalwar (a bit similar to loose trouser) and knee-long shirts are worn by all. The dress of the woman consists of the typical shirt having a big pocket in front. The shirt normally has embroidery work with embedded small round mirror pieces. Big ‘Dopatta’ or ‘Chaddar’, a long rectangular piece of cloth cascading down the shoulders and used to cover head, are used by the women.

There are religious and social festivals celebrated by the people of Balochistan. Two major religious festivals are Eid-ul-Azha and Eid-ul-Fiter. On these festivals people adorn their houses, wear new dresses, cook special dishes and visit each other. Eid-Meladun-Nabi is another religious festival. It is a celebration of the Holy Prophet’s birthday. Numerous colorful social festivals are also source of jubilation. Sibi festival that traces its roots to Mehergar, an archeological site of ancient human civilization, attracts people from across the country. It is attended by common folks, ministers and other government officials. Folk music performance, cultural dances, handicrafts stalls, cattle shows and a number of other amusing activities present a perfect riot of color. Buzkashi is a peculiar festival showing valour of Balochistan people. It is celebrated on horse-back by two teams that use their skills to snatch a goat from the each other.

Average annual precipitation in Balochistan varies from 2 to 20 inches (50 to 500 mm). Maximum precipitation falls in the northeastern areas with annual average rain fall ranging from 8 to 20 inches (200 to 500 mm). It decreases in the south and the eastern parts and is minimum in Naukundi. Kharan and Dalbandin area, rainfall ranges between 1 to 2 inches (25 to 50mm). Evaporation rates are higher than the precipitation and generally vary from 72 to 76 inches (1830 1930 mm) per annum.

Quetta being the capital of the city has a 5 stat hotel The  few other 3 star hotels like lourds hotel. In the southern most port city of Gawadar there are  the hotels . Rest of Balochistan there are few guest houses and 2  Motels in Taftan & Khuzdar. 

All rivers and streams are part of three major drainage systems. Coastal drainage system is characterized by small, ephemeral streams and hill torrents. Rivers and streams that do not possess any significant perennial flow constitute Inland system that dominates the central and northwestern area of the province. Nari, Kaha and Gaj rivers are part of Indus drainage system located in the northeastern margins of the province. The flow in rivers is typified by spring runoff and occasional flash floods. The rivers beds are dry and look like small streams. Stream gradients are high and the rate of run off is very rapid. The Zhob River Basin drains towards the northeast into the Gomal River which ultimately joins the Indus River . Streams along the border of Punjab and Sindh provinces flow toward the east and southeast into the Indus River . Central and western Balochistan drains towards the south and the southwest into the Arabian Sea . Some areas located in districts Chaghi, Kharan, and Panjgur drain into playa lakes, locally called ” Hamun” such as Humun-e-Lora and Hamun-e-Mashkel etc.The important rivers in Balochistan are Zhob, Nari, Bolan, Pishin, Lora, Mula, Hub, Porali, Hingol, Rakshan and Dasht.

Balochistan Plateau East of the Sulaiman and Kirthar ranges lies the Balochistan Plateau with an average altitude of 2,000 ft.(610 m). The physical features of the plateau are very varied, but mountains, plateaus and basins predominate the scene. The Mountains spread in various directions, attaining height 6,000- 11,000 ft. (1,830-3,335 m).

In the north are the Toba Kakar Range and Chagai hills which form the border of Pakistan with Afghanistan for some distance. In the west-central part is the Siahan Range and in the east-southern corner the Mekran Range. Except for the Toba Kakar Range, which is dotted here and there with juniper, tamarisk and pistachio trees, all other ranges are naked and bleak. The mountains are carved off by innumerable channels and hill torrents which contain water only after rains. Very little water, however, reaches the basins lying on their foot. Comparatively more important rivers are Zhob, Bolan and Mulla, located in the north-eastern portion of Balochistan. 

The valleys of the main streams and their tributaries exhibit similar feature and consist of flat plains of alluvial soil in the centre, with a pebbly slope of varying length rising on either sides of the mountains. It is from these pebbly beds that the supply of water for irrigation is chiefly obtained through Karezes. Zhob, Bloan and their tributaries have formed two important alluvial basins of Balochistan, namely, the Lorlai basin and Quetta basin, which together produce a major portion of Balochistan’s crops and fruits: wheat, barley, maize, lucerne, potato, apple, apricot, peach, almond, grape and pomegranate. Kalat Plateau at 7,000-8,000 ft. (2,135-2,440 m), in the centre of Balochistan is the most important plateau. 

The largest desert is found in western Balochistan. This is an area of inland drainage and dry lakes (hamuns), the largest of which is Hamun-i-Mashkhel, which is 54 miles long and 22 miles wide. The surface is littered with sun-cracked clay, oxidized pebbles, salty marshes and crescent-shaped moving sand dunes. The area is known particularly for its constant mirage and sudden severe sand-storms. Being outside the sphere of monsoon current, Balochistan receives scanty and irregular rainfall (4 inches); the temperature is very high in summer and very low in winter.

Owing to continuous draught, there is very little vegetation. Most of the people, therefore, lead nomadic life, raising camels, sheep and goats. Balochistan is, however, fortunate to have considerable mineral wealth of natural gas, coal, chromate, lead, sulphur and marble. The reserves of natural gas at Sui are among the largest in the world. The gas is piped to Karachi, Hyderabad, Sukkur, Multan, Faisalabad, Lahore, Rawalpindi and Quetta for use as industrial power.

Mountain ranges of Baluchistan

The plateau of Baluchistan has a number of mountain ranges which although barren are rich with mineral resources. These ranges form natural borders with Iran and Afghanistan. The passes through these mountains connect Pakistan with Afghanistan. Some important ranges are:

The Chaghi Range forms a triangular border with Afghanistan and Iran. The famous Gonshero Pass is located here. The Chaghi Range is rich with minerals like copper, gold and sulphur. Pakistan carried out its first nuclear test at Chaghi.

2. The Central Brahui Range

The 360 km long Brahui Range is the southern branch of Himalayas lying in the central Baluchistan. It meets the Suleiman Range at Quetta. The range is covered with Juniper Forests. Here Limestone is found in abundance. The Khilafat Peak is the highest peak of this range with a height of 3,487 meters. The major passes through this range are Bolan Pass, Harnai Pass and Mula Pass.

The 400 km long Suleiman Range lies in a north to south direction parallel to the Indus River. Its height decreases as it extends southwards with 1,520 meters being the average height. Kaisargarh with a height of 3,441 meters and Takhat-e-Suleiman (throne of Suleiman) 3,379 meters high are the highest peaks situated in the North. Juniper Forests are found in the northern side of the range where as the southern side is barren. Minerals like Limestone and Sandstone are found in this area. 

The Toba Kakar range lies in the north and forms a border with Afghanistan. Unlike most of the Baluchistan ranges, it has vegetation in the form of juniper, pistachio and tamarisk trees.

Other mountain ranges of Baluchistan are Siahan Range, Makran Coast Range, Ras Koh and Hala Range.

Along Bolan Pass, where the road winds through the picturesque mountains one is reminded of the huge odds that the armies from Central Asia and north must have faced when swooping down the plains of he present day Pakistan. 

The Khojak Pass leads directly to the border of Afghanistan which is 153 kms away from Quetta. The scenery is as breath-taking here as it is at Bolan Pass. The journey to the border town of Chaman passes through a 4 kms tunnel, more than 1945 meters above sea level. 

Lak Pass is located between Kalat and Quetta. Here the highway takes a turn for Koh-e-Taftan, Saindak copper mines and Zahidan in Iran. On the hills, oblivious to the presence of the traffic and humans, hundreds of sheep browse upon the scant grass available.

Forts and museums

The Archaeological Museum, Fifa Road. Open 9AM-3PM daily.

Has a collection of rare antique guns, swords and manuscripts. It has a display of Stone Age tools, prehistoric pottery and articles found from Mehrgarh. There are also coins, manuscripts and photos of Quetta before 1935 earthquake.

The Geological Museum, Sariab Road (near Balochistan University). Has a collection of rocks and fossils found in Balochistan. The Command and Staff College Museum is worth a visit for those interested in British military history. It is housed in the former bungalow of Field Marshal Montgomery

  Kasi Fort, 20 km (12 miles) 

  Pishin Fort, 24 km (15 miles) 

  Khuni Qila, 31 km (19 miles) 

  Qila Sardaran, 43 km (27 miles

The Askari Park at the Airport Road and Liaquat Park on Shahrah-e-Iqbal offer amusement and recreational facilities. Balochistan Arts Council Library is located on Jinnah Road. The Chiltan Hill viewpoint on Brewery Road offers a panoramic view of Quetta. Karkhasa is a recreation Park situated at distance of 10 km to the west of Quetta. It is a 16 km long narrow valley having a variety of flora like Ephedra, Artemisia and Sophora. One can see birds like partridges and other wild birds in the park. Limited recreational facilities are provided to the visitors through the Forest Department, Spinney Road, Quetta.

Flora and fauna Of Baluchistan

A wide variety of Mammals like Markhor, “Gad” (wild sheep), leopards, wolves, hyena, rabbits, wild cats and porcupines can be found in Quetta. While Birds may contain species of partridge, warblers, shikra, blue rock pigeon, rock nuthatch, golden eagle, sparrows, hawks, falcons and bearded vultures. For Flora of Quetta, one may find about 225 species of some pretty exotic plants like; pistachios, juniper, wild olives, wild ash and wild almonds. Also found amongst such Flora are wide range of shrubs like; wild fig, barbery, wild cherry, makhi and herbs like; Ephedra intermadia, as well as gerardiana.

• Hazarganji Chiltan National Park

• Quetta/The Capital City

  • Zindra 

  • Shrine of Baba Kharwari

  • Fern Tangi 

  • Sandeman Tangi

  • Chutair Valley 

  • Lak Pass 

  • Bolan Pass 

  • Khojjak Pass 

  • Harnai Pass

  •  Sibi

  • Mehrgarh

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::: Eco Tourism Development In Pakistan :::

 Azad Kashmir

Azad Jammu and Kashmir or Azad Kashmir for short (literally, “Free Kashmir”), is the southernmost political entity within the Pakistani-administered part of the former princely state of Jammu and Kashmir. It borders the present-day Indian-controlled state of Jammu and Kashmir to the east (separated from it by the Line of Control), Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa to the west, Gilgit-Baltistan to the north, and the Punjab Province of Pakistan to the south. With its capital at Muzaffarabad, Azad Kashmir covers an area of 13,297 square kilometers (5,134 sq mi) and has an estimated population of about four million. Azad Kashmir and Gilgit-Baltistan both constitute an area known as Pakistan-administered Kashmir which is referred to in India as Pakistan-occupied Kashmir.

Some parts of Azad Kashmir are off-limits to tourists, especially the 15-mile-wide buffer zone along the Line of Control that separates the state from the neighboring Indian state of Jammu and Kashmir. Large portions of Azad Kashmir were devastated in the October 2005 earthquake, which leveled entire villages and towns and killed over 75,000 people.

Council is a supreme body consisting of 11 members, 6 from the Government of Azad Jummu & Kashmir, and 5 from the Government of The State of Azad Kashmir Jammu and Kashmir usually shortened to Azad Kashmir (literally ‘free Kashmir’), is part of the Pakistani -administered section of the Kashmir region , along with the Northern Areas ; its official name is Azad Jammu and Kashmir. It covers an area of 13,297 km² (5,134 mi² ), with its capital at Muzaffarabad , and has an estimated population of almost 4 million. 

Azad Kashmir has been considered politically, constitutionally and geographically as part of a separate state, i.e. Jammu & Kashmir. This state is disputed territory, and has been controlled by both Pakistan and India since their independence, 14 / 15 August 1947 respectively. Azad Kashmir is under the indirect control of Pakistan. Its defence, foreign policy and currency are under the direct control of Pakistan. 

Consequently, financial matters, i.e. budget and tax affairs, have been dealt with by the Azad Jammu & Kashmir Council, instead of the Central Board of Revenue. Azad Jammu & Kashmir Pakistan.

Azad Jammu and Kashmir (AJK) or simply Azad Kashmir is the Pakistani-administered portion of Kashmir. It’s technically self-governing and constitutionally not a part of Pakistan Azad is Urdu for “free” but, for all practical purposes, it acts like a part of Pakistan in practice and is claimed by India as well. 

Regions

There are two division of Azad Kashmir 

  Muzaffarabad & Rawalakot – includes districts of Muzaffarabad, Neelum, Poonch, Bagh and Sudhnati – which are further divided into Muzaffarabad city, Rawalakot, Hajira, Abbaspur, Bagh, Haveli, Dhirkot and Pallandari. 

  Mirpur – includes districts of Mirpur, Bhimber and Kotli – which are further divided into Mirpur, Dudial, Bhimber, Barnala, Samahni, Kotli, Fatehpur and Sehnsa. 

Azad Kashmir Day

Azad Kashmir Day celebrates the 61st day of the Azad Jammu Kashmir government, created on 24 October 1947.

Geography 

The northern part of Azad Jammu and Kashmir encompasses the lower area of the Himalayas, including Jamgarh Peak (15,531 feet [4,734 meters]). However, Hari Parbat peak in Neelum Valley is the highest peak in the state. Fertile, green, mountainous valleys are characteristic of Azad Kashmir’s geography, making it one of the most beautiful regions of the subcontinent.[1] The region receives rainfall in both the winter and the summer. Muzaffarabad and Pattan are among the wettest areas of Pakistan. Throughout most of the region, the average rainfall exceeds 1400 mm, with the highest average rainfall occurring near Muzaffarabad (around 1800 mm). During the summer season, monsoon floods of the rivers Jhelum and Leepa are common due to extreme rains and snow melting.

Climate

The state of Jammu and Kashmir stretches between 32.17o to 36.58o North and the altitude rises steeply from 305 metres to 6910 metres above sea level. There are the hot plains of the Jammu Province and coldest dry tableland of Ladakh. The area has different weather conditions at different places because of the lofty mountains like the Pirpanjal, the Zanskar and the Karakoram that check the moisture-laden from entering the valleys.

In summers, the outer plains and the outer hills receive rainfall from monsoon winds while in winters, winds from the Mediterranean cause snowfall and rainfall in the Valley of Kashmir. The moisture-laden winds cause rainfall in the forests on the hills making the temperature to fall in summer; hence, the thickly wooded areas such as Pahalgam and Gulmarg have milder weather conditions than that of Srinagar or Sopore. Similarly, the climate of the valley of Kashmir is comparatively milder than that of the Outer Plains as it is on higher altitude. 

The unique climatic conditions found in the zone of the Middle Mountains and its valleys, are determined by the altitude, which in turn determines the degree of coolness and elevation the form of precipitation and summer temperature. Winters are cold and of long duration and with increasing altitude, it gets colder still, till there is snowfall in the higher mountains. Summers, however, are milder but are very short. Winters last from November to March. Spring begins after 15th of March and there is heavy rainfall during the season. Landslides often take place during this season. Humidity in the monsoon season stretching over July and August is as high as 70% and with increasing temperature in summers can be uncomfortable. During this season, the entire valley is covered with a thick fog blocking the surrounding mountains from view. 

When to Go.

The seasons are marked with sudden change and a year can be roughly divided into six seasons of two months each: 

1. Spring – From March 15 to May 15. 

2. Summer – From May 15 to July 15. 

3. Rainy Season – From July 15 to Sept. 15. 

4. Autumn – From Sept. 15 to Nov. 15. 

5. Winter – From Nov. 15 to Jan 15. 

6. Ice Cold – From Jan. 15 to March 15. 

People of Kashmir

Kashmiris have made remarkable contributions to the arts of story-telling and mystical poetry, the Shaiva philosophy, grammar and the sciences. The artistic and cultural genius of the people of Kashmir is evident in their folk songs and dances as well as the various arts and crafts that are world-renowned. Known for their charming beauty, most of the people in the valley are very fair complexioned, with light brown to dark hair, blue or grey to black almond eyes, rosy cheeks behind Indian tan, chiseled features and fine physique. Superstitious by nature, Kashmiris are generally non-aggressive and temperate in nature and are God-fearing. Regarded as non-martial in character, they are considered extremely warm, friendly, and hospitable. 

Cities of Azad Kashmir

· Muzaffarabad – 

· Mirpur – 

· Rawalakot 

· Bhimber 

· Kotli 

· Bagh 

· Sudhnati 

· Neelum 

 Places Of Interest

  •   Mangla Resort 

  •   Neelum Valley Jhelum Valley 

  •   Palandri 

  •   Billan Nar 

  •   Niyarain sharif 

How to Reach

By plane

There are no direct flights to Azad Kashmir. 

Islamabad International Airport in Islamabad is currently scheduled to be expanded and modernized to meet future passenger needs, as the demand for air travel has increased dramatically. There are many airlines flying into and out of Islamabad, including Ariana Afghan Airlines, British Airways, and China Southern Airlines. When the Islamabad airport is used by local government officials and foreign diplomats, however, other travelers might find the airport temporarily closed to them for security reasons. 

By land

Traveling by road to Azad Kashmir is itself an attraction as you come across the most beautiful scenes of winding rivers and hills. It takes about 4 to 5 hours from Islamabad to Muzaffarabad in a car or van. You also pass through the beauty of hills the Murree during the journey. This is the shortest route to this city. 

Buses and MPVs leave from Islamabad, Pakistan approximately every 20 minutes for different destinations in Azad Kashmir. 

By Bus

Muzaffarabad and Mirpur has the busiest bus network in Azad Kashmir, running from early hours of the morning to late night. Daily routes includs Bhimber District, Dina, Gujrat, Jhelum, Kharian & Kotli District. 

The new coaches in Muzaffarabad / Mirpur travel to larger cities of Pakistan including Bahawalpur, Faisalabad, Gujranwala, Karachi, Lahore, Multan, Peshawar, Quetta, Rawalpindi & Sialkot. 

By Taxis

Also by Car hire 

Where to Stay

· There are so many cheapest hotels which rents up to 500 till 1500 and as well as the expensive hotels are there for the accommodation facility Located on a hill top overlooking Muzzaffarabad and the Kashmir mountains this Hotel is the jewel of hospitality in the area specious guest room with balconies State Of The Art equipment and a variety of Restaurants which facilitates with 

· 24 Hour Reception

· Air Conditioned

· Business Center

· Cable / Satellite TV

· Currency Exchange

· Elevator / Lift

This rents up to 7000 till 10000. The tourist lodges are also facilitates which rents up to Rs850 till Rs1050.

What to do

Azad Kashmir has varied mountainous landscape ranging from low hills to high mountains (2000 to 6000 m) which are suitable for adventure sports like climbing, trekking, mountaineering, summer camping and hiking. Its Rivers & Stream are suitable for white water sports, especially rafting, canoing and kayaking.

What to Eat and drink

Kashmiris celebrate the first snowfall of the season by socializing over a barbecue. They relax in the cold crisp evenings with a cup of warm ‘Kahwa’… a black tea brewed with cinnamon, cardamom and honey. Also a perennial favorite is the pink colored ‘Nun Chai’ made with a special salt. Rich and redolent with the flavor of cinnamon, cardamom, cloves and saffron, Kashmiri food is suitable for all palates. 

Pakistan is mostly a dry country and Azad Kashmir is no exception. However, Kashmiris, and especially ‘Pahari’ speakers, are known for their slow-steeped milk tea, known to non-Azad Kashmiris simply as “Kashmiri Chai.” Kashmiri chai is fairly sweet, with crushed almonds and a creamy pink complexion. 

Jammu Kashmir Wildlife

Dachigam National Park

A beautiful reserve, 22 km Srinagar, the capital city of Jammu and Kashmir, it stretches across an area of 141 square kilometers. With abundance of the most scenic natural beauty, the variation in its altitude is vast, ranging from 5500 ft to 14000 ft above the sea level. Thus, it is very clearly marked into an upper and lower region and the best times to explore these two areas are summers and winters respectively. The park has been a protected area since 1910 and its name literally means ‘ten villages’, which stands for the number of villages that were relocated for its formation. It was finally declared a National Park in the year 1981. Initially created to ensure clean drinking water supply for the city of Srinagar, it now houses many rare species within its premises including Hangul, or Kashmir Stag. 

The entire appearance of park changes with the onset of each season. In the wintes, during the months of November to February, the park adorns a white cloak of snow. Hangul moves down to the lower regions in this season and is more easily sighted. Spring arrives in March and the ample greenery of the park stands in contrast with the preceding snow of the mountain slopes. Wild Cherry and other fruit trees give the lower regions a splash of pastel colors. Short summer season thaws out snow to unveil waterfalls and streams and even the higher regions are covered with vast grassy meadows and beautifully scented flowers. This is also the mating season for the Hanguls, which have already moved to the higher region are followed by the females and their recently born young ones during this season. August invites Autumn and the tree leaves turn to bright shades of red, gold, yellow and orange. 

Flora

The flora of the park includes wild trees like Wild Cherry, Pear, Plum, Peach, Apple, Apricot, Walnut, Chestnut, Oak, Willow, Poplar, Chinar, Birch, Pine and Elm while the fauns includes, besides Hangul, Musk Deer, Leopards, Himalayan Gray Langurs, Leopard Cats, Himalayan Black Bear, Himalayan Brown Bear, Jackals, Hill Fox, Himalayan Weasel, Yellow Throated Martens, Jungle Cats, Long Tailed marmots and Otters. Some of the main bird species found here consist of Cinnamon Sparrows, Black Bulbuls, Monal Pheasants, Golden Orioles, Kokla Pheasants, Choughs, Warblers, Buntings, Streaked Laughing Thrushes, Minivets, Pygmy Owlets, Woodpeckers, Babblers, Wall Creepers, Black and Yellow Grossbeaks, Himalayan Griffons, Bearded Vultures, Redstarts, Wagtails, Laughing Thrushes, Red Browed Finches, Himalayan Ruby Throats, Long Tailed Blue Magpies and Tits.

Lakes of Kashmir

The paradisiacal beauty of Kashmir valley can be mainly attributed to its outlandish natural beauty, pretty landscape and beautiful water bodies. These water bodies are of great ecological and socio-economic significance. The most famous of these are Dal Lake and Nagin Lake of Srinagar with their multi-faceted eco-system and grandeur. National and international tourists throng to the place attracted by the breathtaking beauty of the places.

 Jammu Kashmir Fairs & Festivals

The festivities and the celebration with an abundance of striking colors in the backdrop of snow and evergreen forests, the fair and beautiful people smiling and laughing, girls with rosy cheeks dancing and feasting resemble the glimpse of the paradise. This is the picture anyone on earth can watch by a visit to Jammu and Kashmir during the festive season that comes too often to be missed by the visitors. The enthusiasm, the zeal and the excitement brighten up the whole state. There are major Indian festivals which are named as follows

  Baisakhi

  Lohri

  Jhiri Mela 

  Bahu Mela

  Mansar Food and Craft Mela

  Purmandal Mela 

  Chaitre Chaudash

Monuments of Kashmir

Jammu & Kashmir has a good share of Indian historical and archaeological legacy. There has been a very unique and glorious tradition of the people of the State of preaching and worshipping of each other’s religions and pilgrimage centres. There are well-renowned Hindu shrines co-existing with the equally famous Muslim pilgrimage centres that are held in highest esteem by the people of every faith. Buddhism, which is still followed in the Ladakh region of the State, has its origin in the valley and was preached and disseminated by the Kashmiri scholars in its earlier days. There are some wonderful examples of this communal harmony in pilgrimage centres like the one at Hari Parbat where monuments of all three religions – a temple, mosque and gurudwara are standing side by side. Some of the important shrines and monuments of the region have been covered below:

Hazratbal Mosque

Jami Masjid

Shankaracharya Temple

Khanqah of Shah Hamadan

Hari Parbat Fort & Temple of Sharika Devi

Makhdoom Sahib

Chhatti Padshahi Gurudwara

Martand

Kheer Bhawani

Awantipur

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::: Eco Tourism Development In Pakistan :::

Gilgit-Baltistan formerly known as the Northern Areas,  is the northernmost political entity within the Pakistan. It borders Pakistan’s Khyber Pukhtunkhwa province to the west, Afghanistan’s Wakhan Corridor to the north, China to the northeast, Azad Kashmir to the south, and Jammu & Kashmir State of India to the southeast. Gilgit-Baltistan covers an area of 72,971 km² (28,174 mi²) and has an estimated population approaching 1,000,000. Its administrative center is the city of Gilgit (population 216,760).

The territory became a single administrative unit in 1970 under the name Northern Areas and was formed by the amalgamation of the Gilgit Agency, the Baltistan District of the Ladakh Wazarat, and the states of Hunza and Nagar. Pakistan considers the territory separate from Kashmir, whereas India and the European Union consider the territory as a part of the larger disputed territory of Kashmir that has been in dispute between India and Pakistan since 1947. 

Climate

The climate of Gilgit-Baltistan varies from region to region, surrounding mountain ranges creates sharp variations in weather. The eastern part has the moist zone of the western Himalayas, but going toward Karakoram and Hindu Kush the climate dries considerably.

There are towns like Gilgit and Chilas that are very hot during the day in summer, yet cold at night, and valleys like Astore, Khaplu, Yasin, Hunza, and Nagar where the temperatures are cold even in summer.

Sports

Polo is the favourite game of the people of Gilgit, Chilas, Astore, Hunza, Nagar and the surrounding areas Every year, many tourists visit to enjoy polo in Gilgit-Baltistan.Other games such as cricket, Tuksori of Nagar, gulli danda, kabbadi, and volleyball are also played. 

Beauty of Baltistan

Gilgit Baltistan is, perhaps, the most spectacular region of Pakistan in terms of its geography and scenic beauty. Here world’s three mightiest mountain ranges: the Karakoram, the Handukuch and the Himalayas – meet. The whole of Gilgit Baltistan is like a paradise for mountaineers, trekkers and anglers. The region has a rich cultural heritage and variety of rare fauna and flora. Historically, the area ha remained a flash point of political and military rivalries amongst the Russian, British and Chinese empires. Immediately after the end of British rule in the sub-continent in 1947, the people of this region decided to join Pakistan through a popular local revolt against the government of Maharaja of Kashmir.

Five out of the fourteen mountain peaks with height of over 8000 meters including the K-2 (world’s second heights peak) and some of the largest glaciers outside polar regions are located in Gilgit Baltistan. Acknowledging the vast potential of tourism and its effects on downstream industries, the Government of Pakistan as well as the Gilgit Baltistan Administration are focusing on tourism for creation of employment opportunities, achieving higher economic growth and to introduce to the outside world, “the hidden treasures” of Gilgit Baltistan.

Beautiful landscape, unique cultural heritage and rich biological diversity given the Gilgit Baltistan a competitive advantage in attracting tourists from all over the world.

The number of tourists visiting Gilgit Baltistan has steadily increased over the years, not-withstanding the dip-in figures immediately following 9/11. However, the challenge ahead is not merely to increase the number of tourists visiting Gilgit Baltistan but also to consider how tourism can be better promoted without affecting the natural and cultural heritage of the area, while also improving the quality of life of people to the desired levels

Culture and Heritage

Gilgit-Baltistan is home to a number of diversified cultures, ethnic groups, languages and various backgrounds. It is home to people belonging to all regions of Gilgit-Baltistan  as well as from other cities of Pakistan and aboard. This multitude of cultures is because of the strategic location of Gilgit. Being the headquarters of the Gilgit-Baltistan as; most of the key offices are located in Gilgit.

Languages

Shina is the basic language spoken by most of the original settlers but the new comers have various backgrounds of languages and cultures. Other key languages spoken in Gilgit are:

•            Brushaski,

•            Wakhi

•            Khowar.

•            Balti

Urdu and English are the official languages spoke – while other languages include: Pushto and Punjabi. Because of various cultures the pattern of living, housing, food style and over life style has become a mixture having various colors.

People

Because of the multicultural and multi lingual aspects: people also have a beautiful mix of lifestyles and attitudes. These range from the typical people tending to preserve the traditions and culture to the modern people somehow influenced by other cultures, media and education. That makes a pluralistic society having a range of people with various backgrounds and living together with peace and tranquility.

Religion

Majority of the inhabitants are Muslims belonging to two different communities of interpretations i.e. Sunnies, Shias and Ismailies. A small number of Christians also reside in Gilgit. For religious practices Sunnies go to Masjid, Shias go to Imam Bara and Ismailies attend Jamat Khana.

Festivities

There are mainly two types of festivals i.e. religious and cultural. Religious festivals include: Eid-e-Ghadir, Edi-ul Fitr and Eid Miladunnabi (the birth anniversary of Prophet Muhammad-Peace be upon Him). There are some other important events specific to different communities of interpretation which are celebrated with complete peace and fraternity.

Cultural events include:

  •   Navroz,

  •   Jashn-e-Baharan 

  •   Cultural festivals. 

  •   Shandoor Polo Festival 

  •   Babusar Polo Festival 

  •   Harvest time festival

These are greatest opportunities for people to get together and share their talents and skills.

Wildlife in Gilgit-Baltistan

The Gilgit-Baltistan of Pakistan are rich in flora and fauna because of varied climatic conditions and ecosystems. In spite of unscientific management and ruthless hunting in the past, wildlife in the Gilgit-Baltistan still supports rare and endangered species of mammals and birds like Marco Polo sheep, blue sheep, markhor, black bear, brown bear, chakor and ram chakor. Due to the destruction of habitat wildlife population of Gilgit-Baltistan is decreasing rapidly. According to rough estimate of late Raja Bhadur Ali Khan, (Conservator of Forests, Gilgit-Baltistan); in 1970, there were 500 Marco Polo sheep in the Khunjerab National Park, but in 2004 they were only 75, restricted to Kirchinai nallah of the valley. Similarly snow leopard and other valuable species are also decreasing. (Khan, 1970). Until 1947 almost all the important valleys, most of them now included in protected areas, supported a high density of wild animals and hunting was allowed to only a few British and high ranking local officials, rulers and persons with high social status. Further more, the area was hard to access. Hunting for the common poachers was not easy. Traditional muzzle loading guns were commonly used, but were not very effective. 

Mammals: The mammalian fauna of Gilgit-Baltistan mainly belongs to Palaearctic region, which may have spread southwards from Central Asia. Fifty-four mammal species are estimated for Gilgit-Baltistan. These species consist of one shrew, 10 bats, 18 carnivores, 6 artiodactyls, 3 lagomorphs, and 16 rodents. There is only one endemic species of mammals, i.e. the woolly flying squirrel, while the Astore markhor (flare-horned markhor) can be considered near-endemic, as its distribution is restricted to a few valleys because of rugged terrain and natural barriers like rivers. The distribution of many small mammal species is very patchy and restricted to certain watersheds due to physical barriers like high mountains and rivers. Virk et al. (2003) quote Z.B. Mirza that the most diverse groups are carnivores and rodents. The rodents have high breeding capacity and are the food base for many carnivores. Species like shrews provide food base to foxes, weasels and stone martens.

Large mammal species richness is higher in Gilgit-Baltistan as compared to other parts of Pakistan. Two areas are considered as a “hot spot” for large mammals diversity. These are the upper Hunza and the triangle between Indus and Astore rivers. Several large mammal species found here are endangered. These includes snow leopard, Marco Polo sheep, Himalayan brown bear, black bear, musk deer, flare horned markhor, Laddakh urial, blue sheep, and Himalayan lynx. Most of these species require large areas to maintain viable populations. Species like markhor and Ladakh urial constitute much of the remaining global populations. 

Snow leopard (Uncia uncia) is a beautiful Palaearctic cat, which blends well in rocky terrain in the mountains of Gilgit-Baltistan Pakistan. In summer months it ascends to the alpine zone, returning in winter to the oak forest to forage for food, which consists mainly of grass eating animals. Its fur is very soft and luxuriant and thick in winter. It is gray-brown in summer, paling in winter with pure white under parts. Its tail has long fur. It is vulnerable to illegal hunters mainly because of its valuable pelt. Occasionally it is poisoned by nomadic shepherds to prevent goat losses. Himalayan lynx (Felis lynx isabellina) occurs in alpine slopes in the extreme of Northern Areas. It is a powerful and expert climber, generally nocturnal but occasionally hunting by day in remote areas. Its usual food is marmot, pika, hare, snow cock and other birds, but can also overpower large animals like sheep, goat and even markhor.

`Flora: Roses, lilies, pansies, willow, pine and fir trees are found in abundance. Apples, apricots, peaches, plums mulberry, walnuts and grapes are available from June to October and almonds from October to March.

Point of interest in each district

  •   DISTRICT ASTORE

  •   DIAMER DISTRICT

  •   GILGIT DISTRICT

  •   GHIZER DISTRICT

  •   HUNZA /NAGAR DISTRICT

  •   SKARDU DISTRICT

  •   GHANCHE DISTRICT

Land of Famous Mountains

Pakistan is home to 108 peaks above 7,000 meters and probably as many peaks above 6,000 m. There is no count of the peaks above 5,000 and 4,000 m. Five of the 14 highest independent peaks in the world (the eight-thousanders) are in Pakistan (four of which lie in the surroundings of Concordia; the confluence of Baltoro Glacier and Godwin Austen Glacier). Most of the highest peaks in Pakistan lie in Karakoram range (which lies almost entirely in the Gilgit-Baltistan of Pakistan, but some peaks above 7,000 m are included in the Himalayan and Hindukush ranges

  •   K2/CHOGORI:

  •   NANGAPARBAT:

  •   GASHERBRUM 1:

  •   GASHERBRUM 2:

 Cities Of Gilgit Baltistan

  •   Gilgit 

  •   Karimabad – 

  •   Skardu – 

Where to stay

Hotels in the Gilgit-Baltistan keep the tradition of hospitality alive and provide the best care to the visitors not only as tourists but as guests to the area. A range of continental and traditional foods is offered to the guests on reasonable prices and staying in any hotel is affordable for all kinds of visitors.

How to Reach

By plane

Arrive in Islamabad. Pakistan International Airlines offers daily flights between Gilgit and Islamabad. The flying time is approximately 50 minutes, and the flight is one of the most scenic flights in the world, as its route passes over Nanga Parbat, and the peak of the mountain is higher than the aircraft’s cruising altitude.

By Road

The Karakoram Highway, once a minor Silk Road route, connects Islamabad to Gilgit and Skardu, which are the two major hubs for mountaineering expeditions in the Northern Areas. The journey from Islamabad to Gilgit takes approximately 20-24 hours. Landslides on the Karakoram Highway are not uncommon, but bulldozers usually clear the road in a short time. The KKH connects Gilgit to Taxkorgan and Kaxgar in Xinjiang, China, via Sust (the customs and health inspection post on the Pakistan side of the border) and the Khunjerab Pass, the highest paved international border crossing in the world at 4,693 metres (15,397 feet).

What to Eat

The restaurant in Hunza valley offers a sumptuous Chinese cuisine. A Restaurant gives a panoramic Pakistani and Continental cuisine. A kind of  Village resturant offers a taste of ancient old recipes, Chicken Tikka, Seekh Kababs, Mutton Tikkas, Grilled Fish with home made tandoori rooti. Enjoy the out door feast under the stars in a traditional atmosphere. A unique cafe is one of its kind. Situated in an airplane, which crash landed on the riverbed and was brought to the present site in the 50’s. It offers a variety of snacks and cabin crew hospitality

What to do

Karakoram Air Safari is the most scenic air journey starting from Islamabad by Pakistan International Airlines.

Mountaineering, Trekking and Hiking: The area is ideal for mountaineering, trekking and hiking. Permission for mountaineering and trekking for restricted zone is issued by the Ministry of Tourism, Government of Pakistan, Pakistan Sports Complex, Kashmir Highway, Aabpara, Islamabad (Telephone: 92-51-9203509). Fishing permits are issued by the Fisheries Department at Gilgit and Skardu.

Fishing: at Satpara Lake (8km) and Kachura Lake 932km) from Skardu abound in trout. Fishing permits are issued by the Fisheries Department.

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About Punjab

The Punjab is a province of Pakistan. It is the country’s most populous region with about 56% of Pakistan’s total population. The Punjab is home to the Punjabis and various other groups. Neighboring areas are Sindh to the south, Balochistan, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa to the west, Pakistan-administered Kashmir, Islamabad to the north, and the Indian Punjab to the east. The main languages are Saraiki and Punjabi and their dialects are Mewati, Potowari . The provincial capital is Lahore. Punjab has been known as the “Land of the Five Rivers” since Vedic times. The name Punjab literally translates from the Persian words Panj , meaning Five, and Ab meaning Water. Thus Punjab can be translated as (the) Five Waters – and hence the Land of the Five Rivers, Jhelum, Chenab, Ravi, Sutlej and the Beas. These five rivers are all the tributaries of the Indus River. The province was founded in its current form in May 1972.

Punjab is Pakistan’s second largest province at 205,344 km² (79,284 mi²) after Balochistan and is located at the northwestern edge of the geologic Indian plate in South Asia. The provincial level-capital and main city of the Punjab is Lahore which has been the historical capital of the region. Other important cities include Multan, Faisalabad, Jhang, Sialkot, Gujranwala, Jhelum and Rawalpindi. Undivided punjab is home to six rivers, of which five flow through Pakistani Punjab. From west to east, these are: the Indus, Jhelum, Chenab, Ravi and Sutlej. Nearly 60% of Pakistan’s population lives in the Punjab. It is the nation’s only province that touches every other province; it also surrounds the federal enclave of the national capital city at Islamabad.This geographical position and a large multi-ethnic population strongly influence Punjab’s outlook on National affairs and induces in Punjab a keen awareness of the problems of the Pakistan’s other important provinces and territories. In the acronym P-A-K-I-S-T-A-N, the P is for PUNJAB.

The province is a mainly a fertile region along the river valleys, while sparse deserts can be found near the border with Rajasthan and the Sulaiman Range. The region contains the Thar and Cholistan deserts. The Indus River and its many tributaries traverse the Punjab from north to south. The landscape is amongst the most heavily irrigated on earth and canals can be found throughout the province. Weather extremes are notable from the hot and barren south to the cool hills of the north. The foothills of the Himalayas are found in the extreme north as well.

Punjab Culture and History

Punjab Arts and Crafts

Arts and crafts in Punjab are of two types, either folk crafts, found primarily in rural areas, comprised of cotton textiles, basketry, and embroidery etc…,or royal crafts found in urban areas, particularly in Lahore, where tile, handcrafted woodwork, hand carved ivory and bone, ‘naqqashis’, architectural crafts, as well as silver and gold hand filigreed jewelry are made.

Lahore is the center for hand knotted carpets that are still made in keeping with the same traditions since the Mughal period. Colorful silk and cotton fabrics, like the khaddar cloth of Kamalia, are popular, and still woven on handlooms, either block printed, or beautifully embroidered with fine details by hand.  Multan is most famous for its hand woven bed covers and handmade leather sandals with gorgeous bead work and ornate designs. 

Every village and many markets have potters that can be seen working and producing the same traditional vessels, jugs, cups, and containers as their ancestors did centuries ago.  Multan is known for its blue glazed pottery that can be traced back to Persian influence of the 13th century, hand painted using the same constituents of their predecessors to produce the illustrious colors uniquely produced from this area.  Rawalpindi, Bahawalpur and Gujrat also produces pottery fired in hand made earthen kilns and colorfully painted.

Chiniot is especially known for its hand hewn woodwork a trade that has been past down from generation to generation. Their work is often inlaid with brass, bone, ivory, and semi precious stones from the mountains.  In addition to royal crafts, and carpets, Lahore has many metal designers working with copper, brass and iron producing unique furniture and decorative items. 

Graphic Arts, and landscape paintings continue to be produced as well as more complex modern trends. The main art centers in the province are Al-Hamra, the National College of Arts, Fine Arts Department of the Punjab University and the Lahore Art Gallery, all located in Lahore.

Fairs and festivals

The culture of Punjab derives its basis from the institution of Sufi saints. The Sufi saints spread Islam and preached and lived the Muslim way of life. People have festivities to commemorate these traditions. The fairs and festivals of Punjab reflect the entire gamut of its folk life and cultural traditions. These mainly fall in following categories:

Religious and seasonal fairs/festivals

Religious fairs are held on special days of Islamic significance like Eid ul-Adha, Eid-ul-Fitr, Eid-e-Milad-un-Nabi, Ashura, Laylat al-Qadr and Jumu’ah-tul-Wida. The main activities on these special occasions are confined to congregational prayers and rituals. Melas are also held to mark these occasions.

Devotional fairs or Urs

The fairs held at the shrines of Sufi saints are called urs. They generally mark the death anniversary of the saint. On these occasions devotees assemble in large numbers and pay homage to the memory of the saint. Soul inspiring music is played and devotees dance in ecstasy. The music on these occasions is essentially folk and appealing. It forms a part of the folk music through mystic messages. The most important urs are: urs of Data Ganj Buksh at Lahore, urs of Hazrat Sultan Bahu at Jhang, urs of Hazrat Shah Jewna at Jhang ,urs of Hazrat Mian Mir at Lahore, urs of Baba Farid Ganj Shakar at Pakpattan, urs of Hazrat Bahaudin Zakria at Multan, urs of Sakhi Sarwar Sultan at Dera Ghazi Khan, urs of Shah Hussain at Lahore, urs of Hazrat Bulleh Shah at Kasur, urs of Hazrat Imam Bari (Bari Shah Latif) at Rawalpindi-Islamabad and urs of Shah Inayar Qadri (the murrshad of Bulleh Shah) in Lahore.

A big fair/mela is organized at Jandiala Sher Khan in district Sheikhupura on the Mausoleum of Syed Waris Shah who is the most loved Sufi poet of Punjab due to his claasic work known as Heer Ranjha. The shrine of Heer Ranjha in Jhang has been one of the most visited shrines in Punjab.

Industrial and commercial fairs

Exhibitions and Annual Horse Shows in all Districts and National Horse and Cattle Show at Lahore are held with the official patronage. National Horse and Cattle Show at Lahore is the biggest festival where sports, exhibitions, and livestock competitions are held. It not only encourages and patronizes agricultural products and livestock through the exhibitions of agricultural products and cattle but is also a colourful documentary on the rich cultural heritage of the Province with its strong rural roots.

Other Festivals

In addition to the religious festivals, Punjabis celebrate seasonal and harvest festivals which include Lohri, Basant, Baisakhi and Teej.

Punjab Climate

There are two areas of Punjab in pakistan, which are southern punjab and north punjab. Both these areas have their own weather pattern like north punjab is more wet and south punjab is little drier than north punjab. Most areas in Punjab experience fairly cool winters, often accompanied by Western Disturbance rain. Woolen shawls are worn by women and men for warmth because few homes are heated. By mid-February the temperature begins to rise; springtime weather continues until mid-April, when the summer heat sets in. 

The onset of the southwest monsoon is anticipated to reach Punjab by june, but since the early 1970s the weather pattern has been irregular but monsoon reaches Punjab in the second week of july. The Pothohar Plateau also receives a good deal of rainfall during the winter season. The spring monsoon has either skipped over the area or has caused it to rain so hard that floods have resulted. June and July are oppressively hot. There are many hot places in Punjab, one of them is Multan where 54C temperature was recorded in june 1993. when the mercury was reported to have risen to 54°C. In August the oppressive heat is punctuated by the rainy season, referred to as barsat, which brings relief in its wake. The hardest part of the summer is then over, but cooler weather does not come until late October.

Climatically, Punjab has three major seasons as under: 

• Hot weather (April to June) when temperature rises as high as 110F.

• Rainy season (July to September). Average rainfall annual ranges between 96 cms sub-mountain region and 46 cm in the plains.

• Cold weather (October to March). Temperature goes down as low as 40F.

Most areas in Punjab experience fairly cool winters, often accompanied by rain. By mid-February the temperature begins to rise; springtime weather continues until mid-April, when the summer heat sets in.

Recently the province experienced one of the coldest winters in the last 70 years. Experts are suggesting that this is due to global climate change. 

Languages

Saraiki language

Saraiki is the fourth most widely spoken language in Pakistan, behind Punjabi, Pushto (Pashto), and Sindhi; and within Punjab Province it is one of the two major languages.

Mewati

Mewati is an Indo-Aryan language, classified as an unclassified language in the Central Indo-Aryan languages, and is spoken by about five million speakers in Alwar, Bharatpur and Dholpur districts of Rajasthan, and Faridabad and Gurgaon districts of Haryana states of India, as well as parts of southern Pakistan.

Potwari language

It is closely related to the Punjabi and is considered a transitional dialect between Lahnda and Pahari. It is often referred to as Pahari-Pothwari. Dialects include Dhundi-Kairali, Chibhali, Mirpuri, Jhelumi, Pindiwali and Punchhi (Poonchi).

Punjabi language

Punjabi or Panjabi  is an Indo-Aryan language spoken by inhabitants of the historical Punjab region (north western India and in Pakistan ).For Sikhs the Punjabi language stands as the official language in which all ceremonies and rituals would take place.

According to the Ethnologue 2005 estimate, there are 88 million native speakers of the Punjabi language, which makes it approximately the 13th most widely spoken language in the world. According to the 2008 Census of Pakistan, there are 76,335,300 native Punjabi speakers in Pakistan and according to the Census of India, there are 29,102,477 Punjabi speakers in India.

Punjabi language has many different dialects, spoken in the different sub-regions of greater Punjab. The Majhi dialect is Punjabi’s prestige dialect. This dialect is considered as textbook punjabi and is spoken in the historical region of Majha, centralizing in Lahore and Amritsar.

Rivers of Punjab

Jhelum River

Jhelum River or Jhelum River is a river that flows in India and Pakistan. It is the largest and most western of the five rivers of Punjab, and passes through Jhelum District. It is a tributary of the Chenab River and has a total length of about 480 miles (774 kilometers).

The river Jhelum rises from a spring at Verinag situated at the foot of the Pir Panjal in the south-eastern part of the valley of Kashmir in India. It flows through Srinagar and the Wular lake before entering Pakistan through a deep narrow gorge. The Kishenganga (Neelum) River, the largest tributary of the Jhelum, joins it, at Domel Muzaffarabad, as does the next largest, the Kunhar River of the Kaghan valley. It also connects with Pakistan and Pakistan-held Kashmir on Kohala Bridge east of Circle Bakote. It is then joined by the Poonch river, and flows into the Mangla Dam reservoir in the district of Mirpur. The Jhelum enters the Punjab in the Jhelum District. From there, it flows through the plains of Pakistan’s Punjab, forming the boundary between the Chaj and Sindh Sagar Doabs. It ends in a confluence with the Chenab at Trimmu in District Jhang. The Chenab merges with the Sutlej to form the Panjnad River which joins the Indus River at Mithankot.

Chenab River

The Chenab River is formed by the confluence of the Chandra and Bhaga rivers at Tandi located in the upper Himalayas in the Lahul and Spiti District of Himachal Pradesh, India. In its upper reaches it is also known as the Chandrabhaga. It flows through the Jammu region of Jammu and Kashmir into the plains of the Punjab, forming the boundary between the Rechna and Jech interfluves (Doabs in Persian). It is joined by the Jhelum River at Trimmu  and then by the Ravi River Ahmedpur Sial. It then merges with the Sutlej River near Uch Sharif, Pakistan to form the Panjnad or the ‘Five Rivers’, the fifth being the Beas River which joins the Satluj near Ferozepur, India. The Chenab then joins the Indus at Mithankot, Pakistan. The total length of the Chenab is approximately 960 kilometres. The waters of the Chenab are allocated to Pakistan under the terms of the Indus Waters Treaty 

Ravi River

The Ravi is a trans-boundary river flowing through Northwestern India and Northeastern Pakistan. It is one of the six rivers of the Indus System in Punjab region (name of Punjab means “Five Rivers”).

The main Ravi River flows through the base of Dalhousie hill, past the Chamba town. It is located at an elevation of 2,807 feet (856 m) (where a long wooden bridge existed to cross the Ravi River).[8] It flows into the south-west, near Dalhousie, and then cuts a gorge in the Dhauladhar Range, before entering the Punjab plain near Madhopur and Pathankot. It then flows along the Indo–Pak border for80 kilometres (50 mi) before entering Pakistan and joining the Chenab River. The total length of the river is about 725 kilometres (450 mi) 

Ujh River is another major tributary of the Ravi River. its source is located in the Kailash mountains at an elevation of 4,300 metres (14,100 ft), close to the Bhaderwah Mountains in Jammu district. After flowing for 100 kilometres (62 mi) stretch, it joins Ravi at Nainkot in Pakistan.

As the Ravi flows past Lahore in Pakistan (26 kilometres (16 mi) below Amritsar in India) it is called ‘The river of Lahore’ since that city is located on its eastern bank. After passing through Lahore the river takes a turn at Kamlia and then debouches into the Chenab River, south of the town of Ahmadpur Sial. On its western bank is the town of Shahdara Bagh with the tomb of Jahangir and the Tomb of Noor Jahan. 

Sutlej River

The Sutlej River is the longest of the five rivers that flow through the historic crossroad region of Punjab in northern India and Pakistan. It is located north of the Vindhya Range, south of the Hindu Kush segment of the Himalayas, and east of the Central Sulaiman Range in Pakistan.

The Sutlej is sometimes known as the Red River. It is the easternmost tributary of the Indus River. Its source is at Lake Rakshastal in Tibet near Mount Kailas, and it flows generally west and southwest entering India through the Shipki La pass in Himachal Pradesh. In Pakistan,it waters the ancient and historical former Bahawalpur state. The region to its south and east is arid, and is known as Cholistan a part of Bahawalpur Division. The Sutlej joins with the Beas River in Hari-Ke-Patan, Amritsar, Punjab, India, and continues southwest into Pakistan to unite with the Chenab River, forming the Panjnad River near Bahawalpur.The Panjnad joins the Indus River at Mithankot. Indus then flows through a gorge near Sukkur, flows through the fertile plains region of Sindh, and terminates in the Arabian Sea near the port city of Karachi in Pakistan.

The waters of the Sutlej are allocated to India under the Indus Waters Treaty between India and Pakistan, and are mostly diverted to irrigation canals in India[1]. There are several major hydroelectric projects on the Sutlej, e.g. the 1000 MW Bhakra Dam, the 1000 MW Karcham-Wangtoo and the 1650 MW Nathpa Jhakri Hydroelectric Dam. There has been a proposal to build a 214-kilometre (133 mi) long heavy freight canal, known as the Sutlej-Yamuna Link (SYL), in India to connect the Sutlej and Yamuna rivers. However, the proposal met obstacles and was referred to the Supreme Court.

The Sutlej was known as Sutudri in the Vedic period.

Beas River

The Beas River is the second easternmost of the rivers of the Punjab, a tributary of Indus River. The river rises in the Himalayas in central Himachal Pradesh, India, and flows for some 470 km (290 miles) to the Sutlej River in South Punjab of India.

The river begins at the Rohtang Pass in the state of Himachal Pradesh, merging with the Sutlej at Harike Pattan south of Amritsar in Punjab, India via Mandi. The Sutlej continues into Pakistani Punjab and joins the Chenab River at Uch near Bahawalpur to form the Panjnad River; the latter in turn joins the Indus River at Mithankot. The waters of the Ravi, Beas (Vipasha) and Sutlej (also known as Shathadru) rivers are allocated to India under the Indus Waters Treaty between India and Pakistan.

How to Reach

Both Lahore and Islamabad have direct flights to numerous international destinations across Asia, the Greater Middle East and Europe. There are buses/Train between Delhi to Lahore. From Kashi China one can travel by road via the KKH upto Gilgit for about 50$ and from Gilgit there are direct buses to Islamabad for about 5$ but 17 hours of journey on harrowingly winding roads. 

By plane

Lahore Islamabad and Sialkot are the main gateways to Outside Punjab by air. However, there are 134 airfields in Pakistan. 

  Allama Iqbal International Airport in Lahore has been completely renovated with a new terminal for international arrivals and departures. Many airlines are currently operating to the airport including Emirates, Etihad Airways, Indian Airlines, Mahan Air, Qatar Airways, Gulf Air, Singapore Airlines, Pakistan International (PIA), Saudi Arabian Airlines, Thai Airways, Kuwait Airways, Uzbekistan Airways and over four private airlines from Pakistan. 

  Benazir Bhutto International Airport is currently in review to be expanded and modernized to meet the needs of the future passenger numbers as demand for air travel has increased dramatically. There are many airlines operating into Islamabad including many of the above with Ariana Afghan Airlines, British Airways and China Southern Airlines. The only problem is that the airport is also used by Government officials as well as arrivals from foreign diplomats so the airport may shut down as security is increased so flights are delayed. 

By train

Punjab has train links with its neighbour the Republic of India to the east. The Samjhauta Express is the more common, running on Tuesdays and Fridays between Delhi and Lahore via the Attari/Wagah border crossing. Tourists should be aware that after recent terrorist attacks on the train, which caused many a casualty and strained relationships between the two neighbors, it is strongly advised that you take taxis or buses to and from the border instead. 

By car

From ancient times people have been travelling through Punjab using the Grand Trunk Road that run through Pakistan and into the Indian subcontinent. It is a rewarding but time consuming way to see this part of the world. New highways have been developed and the country is due for an expansion in its highway network. Currently, a world-class motorway connects the cities of Lahore, Islamabad and Faisalabad 

Punjab is connected to China through the Karakoram Highway, a modern feat of engineering that traverses a remarkably scenic route through the Karakoram and Himalayan mountains. Which is about to be expanded from current 10m wide to 30m because of the increase in trade traffic due to Gwader port opening. 

By bus

From India: While there is international service running to Lahore from Delhi it is just as fast, much more flexible, and much cheaper to take the journey by stringing together local transport and crossing the Wagah border on foot. 

From China: While there is international service running to Islamabad from Kashgar it is just as fast, much more flexible, and much cheaper to take the journey by stringing together local transport and crossing the border on foot. 

Where to Stay

In Punjab you can easily find so many hotels in each and every city of it. The hotels may be 5 star, seven stars, and three stars. Normal rates hotels, cheap hotels and simple accommodation can be easily avail in any city of Punjab. Different types of guest houses, ans rest houses are also available. So the ease of accommodation can be avail in any city of Punjab.

What to Eat

Punjabi food mainly consists of various kinds of kabobs eaten with either flatbread or rice. Food tends to be either mild or very spicy depending on where you are. So state your preference before beginning to eat. In general, most of the same food you can find in the highest quality restaurants/hotels there is available commonly in the markets (but European-style food is generally reserved for the former). 

The types of flatbread (collectively referred to as Nan are: 

• Nan – A soft and thick bread that often requires special clay ovens and cannot be properly made on home stoves. It is recognized by its larger, white exterior. 

• Roti/Chapatti – A homemade bread that doesn’t have as much flavor as naan. It is a cheap alternative that is ready in minutes. 

• Paratha – An extremely oily version of the roti. Usually excellent if you’re going out to eat, but beware of health concerns; often it is literally dripping with oil because it is meant to be part of a rich meal. Pratha is more declicious if you cook it in pure oil like “desi ghee”. 

• Sheer Mal – This is a slightly sweetened, lightly oiled bread that has waffle-like squares punched in it. It is often considered the most desirable bread and is a delicacy to most people. Often paired with nihari. 

• Taftan – Much like the sheer mal but with a puffed-up ring around it. This is generally just as good as the sheer mal but easier to eat liquidy shorba with. 

As you might have noticed, Nan is usually used to pick up liquid and soft foods like shorba and beans. Utensils are not commonly used during meals in Pakistan except to serve dishes (unless someone is eating rice and would like to be polite or is unpracticed eating it by hand). Attempting to cut a naan with a knife and drink shorba with a spoon may elicit some amusement around you. Watching others may help. 

  Types of kababs (mainly made of Beef or Lamb) are: 

  Seekh Kabab – A long skewer of Beef mixed with herbs and seasonings. 

  Shami Kabab – A round patty of seasoned Beef, softer than seekh kabobs. 

  Chapli Kabab – A spicy round kabob that is a specialty of Peshawar. 

  Chicken Kabab – A popular kabob that is found both with bone and without. 

  Lamb Kabab – The all lamb meat kabob is usually served as cubes. 

  More Pakistani Foods: 

  Roasted Chicken (whole) – A whole chicken roasted. Very famous around Pakistan. You’ll see them on the rotisserie while driving on Lahore streets. 

  Biryani – A dish with mixed pieces of chicken and rice. It smells nice from the saffron and other seasonings added. 

  Chicken Tikka – Barbequed chicken with a spicy exterior. Looks like a huge, red chicken leg and thigh. For all meat lovers. Is available most anywhere. 

  Haleem – Thick soup-like mix of tiny chunks of meat, lentils and wheat grains. 

There are too many shorbas, or sauces, to enumerate. However, you should know of the most common ones. 

  Vegetarian 

  Daal – Yellow (plain) or brown (slightly sour) lentil “soup”. Usually unspiced. Common to all economic classes. 

  Aloo Gobi – Potatoes and cauliflower. Cooked so that both are soft and breakable with finger pressure. 

  Bhindi – Okra, Can be bitter… 

  X + ki sabzi – A vegetarian mixture with ‘X’ as the main ingredient. 

  With Meat 

  Aloo Gosht (Potatoes and Meat) – Chunks of potato and goat meat in gravy. Levels of spice vary. One example of a generic dish that includes most things + Gosht(meat). 

  Nihari- Beef simmered for several hours. A delicacy often eaten with Nan, Sheer Mal, or Taftan. Few people will have this available without spice. Eat with lemon, fried onion and caution: it is one of the spiciest curries. 

  Paye – Very, very wet salan, often served in a bowl or similar dish. Eat by dipping pieces of naan in it, maybe finishing with a spoon. Hard to eat. 

  Desserts 

  Enjoy a variety; ice cream can be found in an abundance of flavors such as the traditional pistachio flavoured Kulfi; 

  Falooda (?????) is tasty rosewater desert. The sweets are extremely popular in Pakistan and called different things depending on where you go. Eat small chunks at a time, eating large pieces can be rude and will generally be too sweet. 

  Kulfi is a very traditional made ice-cream mixed with cream and different types of nuts. 

  If you want to go to some ice-cream parlors, there are some good ice-cream parlors in Lahore like “Polka Parlor” “Jamin Java” “Hot Spot”. 

What to Drink

  Tea (or Chai as it is referred to in Pakistan) is popular throughout the country. 

o Both black and green tea (Sabz chai or qahvah) are common and are traditionally drunk with cardamom and lots of sugar. Lemon is optional but recommended with green tea. 

o Kashmiri chai is a milky tea with almonds and nuts added to give additional flavour. This tea is very popular during weddings and in the cold season. 

  Coffee is also available in all major cities. 

In the warmer southern region, sweet drinks are readily available throughout the day. Look for street vendors that have fruits (real or decorations) hanging from their roofs. Also, some milk/yogurt shops serve lassi. Ask for meethi lassi for a sweet yogurt drink and you can also get a salty lassi which tastes good if you are having “bhindi” in food or some other rich dish. There is also a sweet drink called Mango Lassi which is very rich and thick, made with yogurt, mango pulp, and pieces of mango. 

Drink sealed bottled water, not the water from local taps. Water from local taps will be infected and it is highly likely you will end up ill. 

What to Do

  •   Golf 

  •   Cricket 

  •   See Art galleries, Museums 

  •   Concerts 

  •   Desert Safari 

  •   Jeep Rally s 

  •   Shopping 

  •   Eco tours 

  •   Trekking 

  •   Biking 

  •   Para gliding  

Places of Attraction

  • Mountains & Hill Stations of Punjab

  •   Murree

  •   Patriata

  •   Bhurban

  •   Daman-e-Koh

  •   Pir Sohawa

  •   Fort Munro

Parks of Punjab

  •   Jallo Park

  •   Changa Manga

  •   Safari Park

  •   Lal Sohanra National Park

  •   Sozo Water Park

  •   Gulshan Iqbal Park

  •   Jinnah Park

  •   Iqbal Park

  •   Model Town Park

  •   Race Course Park

Forts of Punjab

  •   Lahore Fort

  •   Rohtas Fort

  •   Derawar Fort

  •   Cholistan Desert Forts

  •   Multan Fort

  •   Rawat Fort

Tombs of Punjab

  •   Jahangir’s Tomb

  •   Asif Jah’s Tomb

  •   Nur Jahan’s Tomb

  •   Anarkali’s Tomb

  •   Allama Iqbal’s Tomb

  •   Qutb-ud-Din Aibak Tomb

  •   Dai Anga’s Tomb

Historical Structures and Buildings

  •   Tilla Jogian

  •   Lahore Old City

  •   Shalimar Gardens

  •   Minar-e-Pakistan

  •   Shahi Hammam

  •   Hiran Minar

  •   Kamran’s Baradari

Shrines of Punjab

  •   Uch Sharif

  •   Shrine of Data Ganj Bukhsh

  •   Shrine of BahaudDin Zakiria

  •   Mausoleum of Rukn-I-Alam

  •   Shah Shams Tabrez

Famous Mosques of Punjab

  •   Shah Faisal Mosque

  •   Badshahi Mosque

  •   Wazir Khan Mosque

  •   Golden or Sunehri Mosque

  •   Bhong Mosque

  •   Mahabbat Khan Mosque

  •   Dai Anga Mosque

  •   Shah Jahan Mosque

  •   Tauba Mosque

  •   Pearl Mosque

Salt Range of Punjab

  •   Kallar Kahar

  •   Khewra Salt Mine

  •   Nandna Fort

  •   Choa Sedan Shah

  •   Ketas

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::: Eco Tourism Development In Pakistan :::

About Sindh

Sindh is one of the four provinces of Pakistan and historically is home to the Sindhi people. It is also locally known as the “Mehran” and “Bab-ul-Islam”, The Door to Islam”), because Islam was firstly introduced into South Asia via Sindh. Different cultural and ethnic groups also reside in Sindh, including Urdu-speaking Muslim refugees who migrated to Pakistan from India upon independence, as well as immigrants from other provinces after independence.  

Geography and climate

Sindh is located on the western corner of South Asia, bordering the Iranian plateau in the west. Geographically it is the third largest province of Pakistan, stretching about 579 km from north to south and 442 km (extreme) or 281 km (average) from east to west, with an area of 140,915 square kilometers (54,408 sq mi) of Pakistani territory. Sindh is bounded by the Thar Desert to the east, the Kirthar Mountains to the west, and the Arabian Sea in the south. In the centre is a fertile plain around the Indus River.  

Climate of Sindh

Sindh is situated in a subtropical region; it is hot in the summer and cold in winter. Temperatures frequently rise above 46 °C (115 °F) between May and August, and the minimum average temperature of 2 °C (36 °F) occurs during December and January. The annual rainfall averages about seven inches, falling mainly during July and August. The southwest monsoon wind begins to blow in mid-February and continues until the end of September, whereas the cool northerly wind blows during the winter months from October to January. Sindh lies between the two monsoons — the southwest monsoon from the Indian Ocean and the northeast or retreating monsoon deflected towards it by the Himalayan mountains — and escapes the influence of both. The average rainfall in Sindh is only 6–7 in (15–18 cm) per year. The region’s scarcity of rainfall is compensated by the inundation of the Indus twice a year, caused by the spring and summer melting of Himalayan snow and by rainfall in the monsoon season. These natural patterns have recently changed somewhat with the construction of dams and barrages on the Indus River. Sindh is divided into three climatic regions: Siro (the upper region, centered on Jacobabad), Wicholo (the middle region, centered on Hyderabad), and Lar (the lower region, centered on Karachi). The thermal equator passes through upper Sindh, where the air is generally very dry. Central Sindh’s temperatures are generally lower than those of upper Sindh but higher than those of lower Sindh. Dry hot days and cool nights are typical during the summer. Central Sindh’s maximum temperature typically reaches 43–44 °C (109–111 °F). Lower Sindh has a damper and humid maritime climate affected by the southwestern winds in summer and northeastern winds in winter, with lower rainfall than Central Sindh. Lower Sindh’s maximum temperature reaches about 35–38 °C (95–100 °F). In the Kirthar range at 1,800 m (5,900 ft) and higher at Gorakh Hill and other peaks in Dadu District, temperatures near freezing have been recorded and brief snowfall is received in the winters.  

Flora and fauna

Flora   The province is mostly arid with scant vegetation except for the irrigated Indus Valley. The dwarf palm, Acacia Rupestris (kher), and Tecomella undulata (lohirro) trees are typical of the western hill region. In the Indus valley, the Acacia nilotica (babul) (babbur) is the most dominant and occurs in thick forests along the Indus banks. The Azadirachta indica (neem) (nim), Zizyphys vulgaris (bir) (ber), Tamarix orientalis (jujuba lai) and Capparis aphylla (kirir) are among the more common trees. Mango, date palms, and the more recently introduced banana, guava, orange, and chiku are the typical fruit-bearing trees. The coastal strip and the creeks abound in semi-aquatic and aquatic plants, and the inshore Indus delta islands have forests of Avicennia tomentosa (timmer) and Ceriops candolleana (chaunir) trees. Water lilies grow in abundance in the numerous lake and ponds, particularly in the lower Sindh region.  

Fauna

Among the wild animals, the Sindh ibex (sareh), Blackbuck, wild sheep (urial or gadh) and black bear are found in the western rocky range, where the Leopard and Asiatic Cheetah are now rare. The pirrang (large tiger cat or fishing cat) of the eastern desert region is also disappearing. Deer occur in the lower rocky plains and in the eastern region, as do the striped hyena (charakh), jackal, fox, porcupine, common gray mongoose, and hedgehog. The Sindhi phekari, ped lynx or Caracal cat, is found in some areas. In the Kirthar national park of sind, there is a project to introduce tigers and Asian elephants. Phartho (hog deer) and wild bear occur particularly in the central inundation belt. There are a variety of bats, lizards, and reptiles, including the cobra, lundi (viper), and the mysterious Sindh krait of the Thar region, which is supposed to suck the victim’s breath in his sleep. Crocodiles are rare and inhabit only the backwaters of the Indus, eastern Nara channel and Karachi backwater Besides a large variety of marine fish, the plumbeous dolphin, the beaked dolphin, rorqual or blue whale, and a variety of skates frequent the seas along the Sind coast. The pallo (sable fish), a marine fish, ascends the Indus annually from February to April to spawn. Although Sindh has a semi arid climate, through its coastal and riverine forests, its huge fresh water lakes and mountains and deserts, Sindh supports a large amount of varied wildlife. Due to the semi arid climate of Sindh The left out forests support average population of jackals and snakes. The national parks established by the Government of Pakistan in collaboration with many organizations such as World Wide Fund for Nature and Sindh Wildlife Department support a huge variety of animals and birds. The Kirthar National Park in the Kirthar range spreads over more than 3000 km² of desert, stunted tree forests and a lake. The KNP supports Sindh Ibex , wild sheep (urial) and black bear along with the rare leopard. There are also occasional sightings of The Sindhi phekari, ped lynx or Caracal cat. There is a project to introduce tigers and Asian elephants too in KNP near the huge Hub dam lake. The Indus river dolphin is among the most endangered species in Pakistan and is found in the part of the Indus river in northern Sindh. Hog deer and wild bear occur particularly in the central inundation belt. There are also varieties of bats, lizards, and reptiles, including the cobra, lundi (viper). Some unusual sightings of Asian Cheetah occurred in 2003 near the Balochistan Border in Kirthar Mountains. The pirrang (large tiger cat or fishing cat) of the eastern desert region is also disappearing. Deer occur in the lower rocky plains and in the eastern region, as do the striped hyena (charakh), jackal, fox, porcupine, common gray mongoose, and hedgehog. Between July and November when the monsoon winds blow onshore from the ocean, giant Olive Ridley turtles lay their eggs along the seaward side. The turtles are protected species. After the mothers lay and leave them buried under the sands the SWD and WWF officials take the eggs and protect them until they are hatched to protect them from predators. Crocodiles are rare and inhabit only the backwaters of the Indus, the eastern Nara channel and some population of Marsh crocodiles can be very easily seen in the waters of Haleji Lake near Karachi. Besides a large variety of marine fish, the plumbeous dolphin, the beaked dolphin, rorqual or blue whale, and a variety of skates frequent the seas along the Sind coast. The pallo (sable fish), though a marine fish, ascends the Indus annually from February to April to spawn. The rare Houbara Bustard also find Sindh’s warm climate suitable to rest and mate.  

Cuisine of Sindh

 

Meals

  • Sindhi Curry – (chick pea flour and vegetables like lady finger, potato and eggplant. • Seyal Mani (Cooked Chappati in green sauce with tomato, coriander and spices). • Seyal Dab-roti (variation of above, but instead of Chappati, use bread) • Seyal Phulko • Bhugi Bhaji • Seyal Bhaji (mixed vegetables cooked with onion garlic paste) • Sabu dal chawar ( yellow daal with rice) • Koki (thick chapati can be made with onions and coriander or just plain salt and pepper) • Loli/Lolo/Lola (a thick chappati with ghee, onion and coriander). • Loli Du-dh (as above, but served with yogurt. Some Sindhis will eat Loli with pickles, but many Sindhis don’t consider it good form to mix yogurt and pickles). This is a popular dish served at breakfast or brunch. • Pappad (a crisp and thin snack. Sindhi will generally eat this after a meal to digest food and in particular after an oily meal). • Dhodo Chutney (A thick roti with garlic paste and served with mint chutney) • Sai Bhaji (a spinach based gravy, sai means green – the colour of spinach) • Bugha Chawar (a browned rice) • Bhugal Bheeha (lotus root in thick curry) • Dhangi Fulko (moong beans with roti) • Curry Chawal (a tomato curry eaten with white rice – served with aloo took, a potato cutlet) • Besan ji Bhaji (vegetable made of gram flour) • Bhugal Teewarn (a mutton dish) • Jera & Bhukiyoo (Fried liver, Kidney of goat) • Dal Tikkhar (daal yellow pulses) cooked in gravy eaten with crisp fried very thin matthi) • Tikhi Dal khichdi (thin yellow pulse served with variation of rice) • Bhugge Chawal (rice cooked in flavoured spices beige/ golden brown in colour with vegetable assortments) • Pava (goats legs) • Pakkwan Dal (lentil and solid crunchy puri) • Curry Chawal (It’s Kathi Curry eaten with Rice • Phote waro Tivan (Lamb meat in cardamom) • Keemo (ground lamb meet) • Seyal Pallo (pomfret fish in garlic sauce)  

Desserts or Sweets or Drink

  • Thadal • Varo (Indian sweet made with pistachio, almonds or other nuts) • Tosh (Sweet made with wheat atta and Sugar chaashni, looks like stick) • Dothi (Sweet made with Wheat atta and Sugar chaashni, looks like big peda) • Geara (Called emarti in North India) • Moomthal (Indian sweet) • Khi-r-ni (hot drink made with milk with flavours of cardamoms and saffron) • Sherbet • Mesu Tikki (Sweet made with Gram flour and in light orange or yellow color) • falooda (vermiclli and ice on top of ice cream) • Boorani (A yellow colored sweet made by processing flowers) • Johnnie Walker Black Label is considered the sindhi alcoholic beverage of choice. Many sindhis choose to drink this with Coca-Cola or Diet Coke   Pickles   • carrot pickle • mango pickle • mix fruit pickle • green chilli pickle • Murbo ( sweet grated mango in sugar syrup)     Food for Special Occasions   • There are food that are served during special occasions, such as during Diwali a Bahji called Chiti-Kuni is made with seven vegetabels. If some gets chicken pox and after it is gone, it is common to make an offering and make ‘mitho lolo’. • Vermicelli is served on both Eids. On special religious occasions, mitho lolo, accomapanied with milk is given to the poor. • Mitho lolo is also served with chilled buttermilk called Matho on various occasions.

 
Major cities

  • Ghotki • Dadu • Hala • Daharki • Diplo • Hyderabad • Jacobabad • Jamshoro • Karachi • Kashmore • Khairpur • Kotri • Larkana • Matli • Mehar • Mirpurkhas • Mithi • Mehrabpur • Moro • Nasarpur • Nawabshah • Naushahro Feroze (Padidan) • Shahdadkot • Raharki • Ranipur • Ratodero • Sanghar • Sehwan • Sekhat • Shikarpur • Sobhodero • Sukkur • Rohri • Tando Allahyar • Tando Adam Khan • Umarkot  

Arts and crafts

  The traditions of Sindhi craftwork reflect the cumulative influence of 5000 years of invaders and settlers, whose various modes of art were eventually assimilated into the culture. The elegant floral and geometrical designs that decorate everyday objects—whether of clay, metal, wood, stone or fabric—can be traced to Muslim influence. Though chiefly an agricultural and pastoral province, Sindh has a reputation for ajraks, pottery, leatherwork, carpets, textiles, and silk cloths which, in design and finish, are matchless. The chief articles produced are blankets, coarse cotton cloth (soosi), camel fittings, metalwork, lacquered work, enamel, gold and silver embroidery. Hala is famous for pottery and tiles; Boobak for carpets; Nasirpur, Gambat and Thatta for cotton lungees and khes. Other popular crafts include the earthenware of Johi, the metal vessels of Shikarpur, the relli, embroidery and leather articles of Tharparkar, and the lacquered work of Kandhkot. Prehistoric finds from archaeological sites like Mohenjo-daro, engravings in various graveyards, and the architectural designs of Makli and other tombs have provided ample evidence of the people’s literary and musical traditions. Modern painting and calligraphy have also developed in recent times. Some young trained men have taken up commercial art.    

Cultural heritage
 

Sindh has a rich heritage of traditional handicraft that has evolved over the centuries. Perhaps the most professed exposition of Sindhi culture is in the handicrafts of Hala, a town some 30 kilometers from Hyderabad. Hala’s artisans manufacture high-quality and impressively priced wooden handicrafts, textiles, paintings, handmade paper products, and blue pottery. Lacquered wood works known as Jandi, painting on wood, tiles, and pottery known as Kashi, hand woven textiles including khadi, susi, and ajraks are synonymous with Sindhi culture preserved in Hala’s handicraft. Sindh is known the world over for its various handicrafts and arts. The work of Sindhi artisans was sold in ancient markets of Armenia, Baghdad, Basra, Istanbul, Cairo and Samarkand. Referring to the lacquer work on wood locally known as Jandi, T. Posten (an English traveler who visited Sindh in the early 19th century) asserted that the articles of Hala could be compared with exquisite specimens of China. Technological improvements such as the spinning wheel (charkha) and treadle (pai-chah) in the weaver’s loom were gradually introduced and the processes of designing, dyeing and printing by block were refined. The refined, lightweight, colourful, washable fabrics from Hala became a luxury for people used to the woolens and linens of the age. The Ajrak has existed in Sindh since the birth of its civilization. The color blue is predominantly used for ajraks. Sindh was traditionally a large producer of indigo and cotton cloth and both used to be exported to the Middle East. The ajrak is a mark of respect when it is given to an honored guest or friend. In Sindh, it is most commonly given as a gift at Eid, at weddings, or on other special occasions like homecoming. The Rilli, or patchwork quilt, is another Sindhi icon and part of the heritage and culture. Most Sindhi homes have a set of Rillis—one for each member of the family and a few spare for guests. The Rilli is made with small pieces of cloth of different geometrical shapes sewn together to create intricate designs. They may be used as a bedspread or a blanket, and are often given as gifts to friends and guests.   Many women in rural Sindh are skilled in the production of caps. Sindhi caps are manufactured commercially on a small scale at New Saeedabad and Hala New. These are in demand with visitors from Karachi and other places; however, these manufacturing units have a limited production capacity. Sindhi people began celebrating Sindhi Topi Day on December 6, 2009 to preserve the historical culture of Sindh by wearing Ajrak and Sindhi topi.  

Sindhi language

  Sindhi is spoken by about 25 million people in the province of Sindh. The largest Sindhi-speaking city is Hyderabad, Pakistan. It is an Indo-European language, related to Kutchi, Gujarati and other Indo-European languages prevalent in the region with substantial Persian, Turkish and Arabic loan words. In Pakistan it is written in a modified Arabic script, in fact most Sindhi’s are predominantly Muslim  

Places Of Interest

 

  •  Bhutto family Mausoleum
  •  Bakri Waro Lake, Khairpur

  • Bhambore

  •  Chaukandi Tombs, Karachi

  •  Forts at Hyderabad and Umarkot

  •  Gorakh Hill in Dadu

  •  Haleeji Lake

  •  Kahu-Jo-Darro near Mirpurkhas

  •  Keenjhar lake Thatta

  •  Kirthar National Park

  •  Kot Diji Fort, Kot Diji

  •  Kotri Barrage near Hyderabad

  •  Makli Hill, Asia’s largest necropolis, Makli, Thatta

  •  Manchar Lake

  •  Minar-e-Mir Masum Shah, Sukkur

  •  Mohatta Palace Museum, Karachi

  •  Rani Bagh, Hyderabad

  •  Ranikot Fort near Sann

  •  Ruins of Mohenjo-daro & Museum near Larkana

  •  Pakka Qill Hyderabad

  •  Sadhu Bela Temple near Sukkur

  •  Shahjahan Mosque, Thatta

  •  Shrine of Shah Abdul Latif Bhitai, Bhit Shah

  •  Shrine of Shahbaz Qalander in Sehwan Shairf, Dadu

  •  Sukkur Barrage, Sukkur

  •  Talpurs’ Faiz Mahal Palace, Khairpur

  •  The Sindh Museum Hyderabad

  •  Tharparker

  •  Nangarparker

  •  Karwanjhar

  •  Kaasbo

  •  Mitthi

  •  Sukkar

  •  Sukkur Barrage

  •  Masoom Shah Minar

  •  Faiz Palace

  •  Tomb of Shah Khair uddin Jilani

  •  Rohri

  •  Shrine of Warambarak

  •  Arror ruins of historical city near Sukkur

  •  Hair of Hazrat Mohammad (P.B.U.H)

  •  Shrine of 7 Kanwari Sisters

  •  Old Masjid Built in 1584

  • Mahrano Mahari

Places Of Attraction in Karachi
 

  •  Mazar-e- Quaid
  •  Kemari

  •  Thatta

  •  Mohatta Palace Museum

  •  Wazir Mansion

  •  Park Towers

  •  National Museum of Pakistan

  •  Karachi Cricket Clubs

  •  Aladdin Park

  •  Habib Bank     Plaza

  •  Frere Hall

  •  Clifton Beach

  •  Peninsula of Manora

  •  Three Swords Monument

  •  Rehri Goth near Karachi

  •  PAF Museum

  •  Bahria Museum

  •  Safari Park

  • Bin Qasim Park

  • Hussainabad Food Street

  • Burns Road Food Street

Places Of Interest

  • Bhutto family Mausoleum

  • Bakri Waro Lake, Khairpur

  • Bhambore

  • Chaukandi Tombs, Karachi

  • Forts at Hyderabad and Umarkot

  • Gorakh Hill in Dadu

  • Haleeji Lake

  • Kahu-Jo-Darro near Mirpurkhas

  • Keenjhar lake Thatta

  • Kirthar National Park

  • Kot Diji Fort, Kot Diji

  • Kotri Barrage near Hyderabad

  • Makli Hill, Asia’s largest necropolis, Makli, Thatta

  • Manchar Lake

  • Minar-e-Mir Masum Shah, Sukkur

  • Mohatta Palace Museum, Karachi

  • Rani Bagh, Hyderabad

  • Ranikot Fort near Sann

  • Ruins of Mohenjo-daro & Museum near Larkana

  • Pakka Qill Hyderabad

  • Sadhu Bela Temple near Sukkur

  • Shahjahan Mosque, Thatta

  • Shrine of Shah Abdul Latif Bhitai, Bhit Shah

  • Shrine of Shahbaz Qalander in Sehwan Shairf, Dadu

  • Sukkur Barrage, Sukkur

  • Talpurs’ Faiz Mahal Palace, Khairpur

  • The Sindh Museum Hyderabad

  • West bank of the River Indus

  • Tharparker

  • Nangarparker

  • Karwanjhar

  • Kaasbo

  • Mitthi

  • Sukkar

  • Sukkur Barrage

  • Masoom Shah Minar

  • Faiz Palace

  • Tomb of Shah Khair uddin Jilani

  • Rohri

  • Shrine of Warambarak

  • Arror ruins of historical city near Sukkur

  • Hair of Hazrat Mohammad (P.B.U.H)

  • Shrine of 7 Kanwari Sisters

  • Old Masjid Built in 1584

  • Mahrano Mahari

Places Of Attraction in Karachi

  • Mazar-e- Quaid

  • Kemari

  • Thatta

  • Mohatta Palace Museum

  • Wazir Mansion

  • Park Towers

  • National Museum of Pakistan

  • Karachi Cricket Clubs

  • Aladdin Park

  • Habib Bank     Plaza

  • Frere Hall

  • Clifton Beach

  • Peninsula of Manora

  • Three Swords Monument

  • Rehri Goth near Karachi

  • PAF Museum

  • Bahria Museum

  • Safari Park

  • Bin Qasim Park

  • Hussainabad Food Street

  • Burns Road Food Street

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::: Eco Tourism Development In Pakistan :::

 
 
ETDIP Specialities

Lakes of Pakistan

Aansoo Lake

Attar Lake 

Baghsar Lake

Bashigram Lake

Borith Lake

Chchor Lake

Dhamaka Lake 

Dodipatsar Lake

Gasho Pahott Lake

Haleji Lake

Hanna Lake

Izmis Lake

Jabba Lake

Kala Kahar Lake

Karambar Lake

Khabiki Lake

Khatli Lake

Khar Khari Lake

Khenjhar Lake

Kundol Lake

Kutwal Lake

Lulupatsar Lake

Mahodand Lake

Manchar Lake

Marav Lake

Naltar Lake 

Namal Lake

Neel sar Lake

Pari Lake

Phandar Lake

Pir Ghaib Lake

rama Lake

Rawal lake

Rush Lake

Satpara Lake

Saral Lake

Simli Lake

Siranda Lake

Snow Lake

Spin Khwar lake

Saif-Ul-Malook Lake

Forts of Pakistan

Altit Fort

Attock Fort 

Balahisar Fort

Baltit Fort

Derawar Fort

Fort Of Munde Shahid

Forts In cholistan

Girri Fort

Jamrud Fort

Kharpachu or Skardu Fort

Kot Diji Fort

Malot Fort, Chakwal

Multan Fort

Muzzaffarabad Fort

Nandana Fort

Pacco Qillo Fort

Pharwala Fort

Punnu Fort

Ramkot Fort

Ranikot Fort

Rawat Fort 

Royal Fort(Shahi Qila)

 
 
 
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WELCOME TO PAKISTAN TOURISM GUIDE – ::: Eco Tourism Development In Pakistan :::

Pakistan officially the Islamic Republic of Pakistan, is a country in South Asia. It has a 1,046-kilometre (650 mi) coastline along the Arabian Sea and Gulf of Oman in the south, is bordered by Afghanistan and Iran in the west, and India in the east and the China in the far northeast. Tajikistan also lies very close to Pakistan but is separated by the narrow Wakhan Corridor. Thus, it occupies a crossroads position between South Asia, Central Asia and the Middle East The region forming modern Pakistan was at the heart of the ancient Indus Valley Civilisation and then later was the recipient of Vedic, Persian, Indo-Greek, Turco-Mongol, Islamic and Sikh cultures. The area has witnessed invasions and/or settlements by the Indo-Aryans, Persians, Greeks, Arabs, Turks, Afghans, Mongols and the British. While the Indian independence movement demanded an independent India, the Pakistan Movement (led by Quaid e Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah of the Muslim League) sought independent states for the majority Muslim populations of the eastern and western regions of British India as well. The British granted independence and also the creation of one Muslim majority state of Pakistan that comprised the provinces of Sindh, North-West Frontier Province, West Punjab, Balochistan and East Bengal. With the adoption of its constitution in 1956, Pakistan became an Islamic republic. In 1971, a civil war in East Pakistan resulted in the creation of Bangladesh. Pakistan is a federal parliamentary republic consisting of four provinces and four federal territories including a federal capital territory. Its history has been characterized by periods of military rule, political instability and conflicts with neighboring India. It is the sixth most populous country in the world and has the second largest Muslim population after Indonesia.Pakistan also has the second largest Shia Muslim population. It is the only Muslim-majority nuclear state and is classified as major non-NATO ally of the United States. Pakistan is one of the founders of the Organisation of the Islamic Conference and a member of the United Nations, Commonwealth of Nations, Next Eleven economies and G20 developing nations.

Population

The estimated population of Pakistan in 2010 was over 169,894,500[1]… Read More

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