Khewra Mines, Best Spot For One Day Trip

Children usually spend their summer holidays with cousins and relatives. Some enjoy their vacations on hill stations or even out of the country. But there are still few children who have not enjoyed this period yet. The reason could be the severity of summer, or busy schedules of their parents or they are still planning to go somewhere. Those who cannot spare many days for spending holidays can enjoy even a day out of home like Sunday. For people living around Islamabad, they can enjoy a day return trip to  Murree and near hill stations but Lahories cannot enjoy visiting such places in one day. At this moment they have a best option to enjoy the real beauty of nature inside the mountains and that is Khewra Salt Mines.

About 160 kilometers from Islamabad and 260 kilometers from Lahore, there isworld second largest salt mine at the small town of Khewra. It is said that When Alexandra visited South Asia with his army then he discovered the Khewra salt mines. The discovery of the mines, however, was not made by Alexander nor his “allies”, but by his horse. It is stated that when Alexander’s army stopped here for rest, the horses started licking the stones. One of his soldiers took notice of it and when he tasted the rock stone, it was salty thus leading to the discovery of the mines.

There are so many worth watching objects inside the khewra salt mines. With the help of salt bricks, there is a mosque, hospital, model of Minar-e-Pakistan and many such things are constructed. Fancy lights on the walkways and inside the ponds really catch the attention of visitors. Thousands of people visit to the place every year. Impressed by this, PMDC has opened a resort at khewra mines. So get ready and spend whole day at khewra Salt Mines with friends and family members.

 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YBQfcdzbLgc

 

State Bank Of Pakistan Money Museum

The State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) inaugurated its money museum in Karachi to celebrate Pakistan’s wider economic and banking history, as well as the origins and role of the SBP. The concept of the museum is to show origin of money right from cowrie shell to credit cards.

The museum has Coin Galleries, Stamp Gallery, Currency Gallery, History of State Bank, Governors’ Gallery, and Art Gallery. The ‘Art Gallery’ of the museum displays Sadequain’s murals and other rare paintings.

 

Trek to Ansoo Lake..

The name “Ansoo” comes from its tear-like shape (the Urdu word Ansoo means teardrop). This lake also resembles Human Eye with central ice land resembling Iris of Human Eye and a ridge resembling Eyebrow becoming even more prominent when ice melts on the Eyebrow in summers.

Ansoo Lake is a high-altitude lake (elevation 16,492 feet or 5,027 metres) in the Kaghan Valley in the Mansehra District of the Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa province of Pakistan. It is near Malika Parbat in the Himalayan range.

This lake can be reached by two different routes. First one is short but steeper trek from Saiful Mulook Lake. Reach Saiful Mulook then crossing towards Malka Parbat. It takes more than 12 hours for a round trip to Ansoo lake starting from lake Saiful Mulook. The trek is covered with snow in most parts of the year. The best time to trek is from July 10 to August 15. The optimal time to set off for the lake from Saiful Mulook is around 06:00 in the morning. Horses can also be hired from the Lake Saiful Mulook along with a guide who will take you to Ansoo Lake. It costs almost PKR 1200-1500 per horse and PKR 1000 additional for the guide but one still has to walk more than 35% of the distance by himself. This trek can be further divided into two part. First half, which is towards Saiful Malook, is valley along the river and it goes up to Malika Parbat base camp. Second half is steeper starting from Malika Parbat base camp and ends with Ansoo Lake. This part is all about climbing on the mountain.

Second trek to reach Ansoo Lake starts from the village Mahandri, which is 40 km south to Naran Village, and it goes through Manoor Gali and Kach Gali. This trek takes at least three days of 12 hour trekking to get to Ansoo Lake. Steepness of this trek may be the same as of other one but travel in the valley is lot more. This gives an opportunity to camp along the rivers, in jungles, on the top of mountains and in abandoned towns.

Both of above mentioned treks run in opposite direction from Ansoo lake and are connected via mountains top forming half circle 300–400 feet above the lake waters. From this altitude, there is an amazing vista of lake on one side and top of Malika Parbat and beautiful skyline of high altitude mountains covered with snow on the other side. There is no risk free way to reach lake waters because it lies in the crater with steep, snow covered walls. There is no apparent drainage of lake water and no one ever tried to explore it because of its dangerous approach and limited resources in that area.

Old Pakistan back in 1800-1900

Most of us have seen newly developed cities of Pakistan, but this time we have brought some old collection of picture of most well known places, lets see how many of you recognize the old picture in first seen. These pictures are more than 100 years old, I hope you will enjoy the collection and share with your friends.

 

Old Pakistan


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Abaseen Ferry Boat Service

Abaseen – Where History, Romance & Waters Meet… Enjoy a memorable and fun-filled ferry tour with your family on the waters of the Kabul River & Indus River! Named after the two main characters of an old Pashto folklore romance, Esap Khan and Sherbano respectively, the ferries are owned by Tourism Corporation of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (TCKP) and are part of the “Abaseen Ferry Service” fleet which ply between TCKP’s Kund Rest House and Attock through a river area steeped in the romance of history. Live narration, onboard refreshments and excellent photography opportunities make this journey an unforgettable experience for tourists.

TCKP is the first public sectortourism organisation in the country that has its own fleet.

Ticket Charges:

Tickets: per head Rs. 250 (Adult) Between 12-5 years (50% discount) 20 % discount for school going students on production of institution’s identity card Tickets available at Kund Rest House & TCKP’s Tourist Information Centre, Peshawar Museum Note: Ferry can be privately chartered as well. Rate: Rs 15,000 per hour

About the Ferries:

Constructed from hulls of fibre glass purchased at Karachi Fish Harbour, the boats were entirely redesigned and transported to Kund. Each ferry has a total capacity of 30-40 passengers on top and lower decks. Front to back span is 35 feet. Each boat is equipped with a 160HP Hino engine, marine gear and brass propeller. For passengers’ comfort onboard toilet facility, air-conditioning and refreshments have been provided. Route: Scenic Kund Rest House (Starting Point) to Baradariat Attock Fort (Rest Area) and Return. Distance: 5 KMs Journey time: Downstream – 20 Minutes Upstream – 1 ½ Hour (Return)

About the route:

The historic region of Attock lies at the confluence of two great rivers: the Kabul, which ends here after travelling some 435 km from its source, in the mountains west of the Afghan capital; and the Indus, one of the legendary rivers of Asia, which begins high in the Tibetan Himalayas. Where the two rivers meet, the Kabul appears a muddy burnt-sugar colour, the Indus a brilliant blue-green. Further downstream, the two colours remain clearly visible, one river with two distinct streams, for considerable distance until they slowly accommodate each other. Historic Sites “Everybody, who was ever anybody, passed this way!” This geographic landscape has a history that is unparalleled. Great leaders, travellers and sages who left a mark on history have passed through here. Here, in 326 BC, Alexander the Great crossed the Indus on a bridge of boats built by his aide Hephaestion at a nearby site called Hund where a stone column in Greek style has recently been built to honour the great conqueror. The Mughal emperor Akbar the Great built the grand Attock Fort in 1581 AD. It stands majestically by the side of the Indus and runs two miles in circumference. A bridge made of boats lasted in many forms over the Indus since the time of Alexander’s first crossing of this river. It went out of use after the construction of the iron girder bridge in 1883. In 1859, Col A Robertson proposed construction of a 1215 ft long tunnel under the river at Attock. It was built to near completion in three years, however escalating project costs, machinery breakdowns and water leakage issues caused the plan to be suspended. Tunnel digging efforts were mere 258 feet short from culmination before being abandoned altogether in 1862. The old iron girder bridge at Attock built in 1883is a marvel of British engineering which has stood the test of time to this day. Apart from having a railway line above, it also has a way for wheeled traffic and foot passengers underneath. Next to it is the AttockKhurd railway station. ‘Khurd’ is a Persian word for small.

A beautiful platform rests in the backdrop of an elegant colonial-styled building of the North Western Railway station of yore. It has been converted into a Railway Heritage Tourist Resort. On the western bank of River Indus is a tall war memorial in the shape of a .303 rifle bullet, which is in fact the earliest WW1 monument erected anywhere in the British Empire. It was erected in April 1919 to the memory of the men of the 40th Pathan Regiment who took part in the Great War 1914-1918. (Inscription on white marble tablet: War Memorial 40 Pathans) Remains of the old Victorian British cemetery, Begum kiSerai, BahramkiBaradari, tomb of the unknown dancer and many Hindu, Jain and Sikh temples of the bygone era are located in the vicinity.

There is a wildlife sanctuary at Kund Park and here one can enjoy camelback rides and boating. How to get here: From Peshawar: Kund Rest House is located on the left hand side on the main Grand Trunk Road (or GT Road) approx. 1 km short of the Khairabad Bridge. Distance is 1 hour 15 minutes journey by car from Peshawar. [Map] From Islamabad: Take M1 motorway, exit at Burhan interchange, take GT Road, cross Attock Bridge into Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. Kund Rest House is located on the main GT Road on right hand side and approximately 1 km from Khairabad.

Contact:

For Queries & Bookings: Ajmal Khan(Ph: 0346-9008519)

Email: info@kptourism.com

Hiking trek to Dudipatsar Lake..

Dudiptsar Lake or Dudipat Lake is a lake encircled by snow clad peaks in Lulusar-Dudipatsar National Park. The lake lies in the extreme north of the Kaghan Valley, in the Mansehra District, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province, in northern Pakistan. The word “dudi” means white and “sar” means lake. This name has been given to the lake because of the white color of snow at surrounding peaks. In summer the water of the lake reflects like a mirror. The word “sar” is used with the name of each lake in the area, translating as ‘lake.

The lake’s water is a beautiful greenish blue hue and very cold, at an elevation of 3,800 metres (12,500 ft). The surrounding mountains, with snow patches in the shady dales, average around 4,800 metres (15,700 ft) in elevation. Their natural habitat is in the Western Himalayan alpine shrub and meadows ecoregion. The lake and its wetlands habitats are of significant ecological importance for resident fauna and migratory waterfowl.  Some of the park’s fauna includes the Snow leopard, Black bear, Marmot, Weasel, Lynx, Leopard, Himalayan Snowcock, and the Snow partridge.

Lulusar Lake, also in the park, is the primary headwaters of the Kunhar River. Saiful Muluk National Park, with Saif ul Maluk Lake, is adjacent in the 150 kilometres (93 mi) long Kaghan Valley region and together the parks protect 88,000 hectares (220,000 acres).

The lake and park is accessible for four months of the year from June to late September. In the summer, when the mirror-like water reflects the scenery, visitors from different regions of the country and from abroad travel to enjoy the enchanting views. It is about a four hour drive from the town of Naran. The road is not entirely accessible for cars, even Jeeps. From Besal onwards visitors trek in vast alpine meadows to reach Dudiptsar Lake. The lake had an abundance of trout, but illegal fishing with dynamite and nets resulted in a sharp fish population decline. It is advised to not track it in snow, as it is an avalanche prone area.

The 2005 Kashmir earthquake in North Pakistan made access more difficult. However since 2006 the Pakistan government has taken ‘all steps’ to restore tourism in the Kaghan Valley, including rebuilding and new tourism facilities and infrastructure.

 

Dudipatsar Lake


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Hiran Minar – Popular Tourist Attraction

Hiran Minar is an interesting and a popular tourist attraction as it has several historical sites. It is lamentable that the authorities had not preserved the sites including the Hiran Minar. During the reign of Emperor Salim from 1605 to 1627, Sheikhupura had the status of a royal hunting ground. Mughal Emperor Jahangir ordered to build a tower and a grave for his deer, Mansraj, in Sheikhupura.
He hunted in the area where Hiran Minar was later built with his friends and spotted a deer he tried to kill, but accidentally killed his own favourite, Mansraj. The emperor became so sad that he ordered to bury the deer in the ground where it died and also build a tower called Hiran Minar.

Visitors to the 17th Century “Emperor Jehangir’s hunting resort” – popularly known as “Hiran Minar” – have complained of lack of facilities. With only one and a half hour from Lahore, this monument in the outskirts of Sheikhupura has always drawn a crowd of picnickers, especially during spring and winter.

On Sundays and public holidays, families from nearby areas and towns come to the resort for recreation. But lack of quality food and public toilets has posed problems for the regular visitors, especially women and children. From a shabby looking battered tin cabin one gets overly priced foodstuff – a highly discouraging factor for tourism. The toilets include a “roofless” structure stinking with a foul smell due to choked filth that turns away the visitors.

Some 40 odd kilometres west of Lahore and past the city of Sheikhupura amid lush green countryside stands the historical Hiran Minar flanked by a water pool and a baradari. This was the hunting site where Prince Saleem, later to become Emperor Jahangir, came for shikar. The city of Sheikhupura was named after the prince by his father Akbar who addressed him as Sheikhu. Details appearing in the Tuzuk-Jahangiri say that on March 31, 1607, an antelope was caught alive here by Jahangir’s entourage. When brought before the emperor, the animal showed instant affection, seating itself down at Jahangir’s feet, as if pleading to be spared and adopted. Jahangir liked the gesture, and naming it Mansraj, also issued a royal decree banning the shikar of deer at the hunting site.

When Mansraj finally died of old age in 1620, a minaret was ordered to be built at his grave, hence the name Hiran Minar. Measuring 110 feet in height, as it stands today after the collapse of its canopy on the top, 108 steps on a spiral staircase lead to the summit of the minaret where rest the remains of Mansraj. The cost incurred in those times on the construction of the minaret was Rs150, 000. Later, in 1634, when Emperor Shahjahan stayed at his father’s favourite hunting site for three days, he ordered the construction of a baradari surrounded by a water pool. It was built in the classical Safavid Isfahan style, and the pool measures 890 by 750 feet. Water for the pool was arranged to be provided by a canal, linking Hiran Minar with River Chenab that flowed several miles further west of the site. Dried up, old water channels line the western sides of the monument, while a stream coming in from the opposite direction now fills the pool.

The baradari located in the middle of the pool and connected with the minaret through a passageway is reminiscent of the several octagonal tomb structures dating back to the period of Shahjahan and found in and around Lahore. While the wall paintings have long perished from inside the structure, a few faded frescos still remain on the ceiling of the main building. Winding spiral steps lead down to the boat bays located at the water level at the base of the baradari.

A thick keekar-jungle flanks the northern side of the pool, with winding footpaths zigzagging their way over the raised mounds. On the opposite side of the pool a tree-lined garden, with a canteen and some swings and slides await picnickers, but few are tempted to come here. The reason: a total lack of promotion of the retreat by the Punjab tourism department.

 

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The Way to Ansoo Lake..

The name “Ansoo” comes from its tear-like shape (the Urdu word Ansoo means teardrop). This lake also resembles Human Eye with central ice land resembling Iris of Human Eye and a ridge resembling Eyebrow becoming even more prominent when ice melts on the Eyebrow in summers

Ansoo Lake is a high-altitude lake (elevation 16,492 feet or 5,027 metres) in the Kaghan Valley in the Mansehra District of the Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa province of Pakistan. It is near Malika Parbat in the Himalayan range.

This lake can be reached by two different routes. First one is short but steeper trek from Saiful Mulook Lake. Start the trekking from Saiful Malook cross it move toward Malka Parbat.  It takes more than 12 hours for a round trip to Ansoo lake starting from lake Saiful Mulook. The trek is covered with snow in most parts of the year. The best time to trek is from July 10 to August 15. The optimal time to set off for the lake from Saiful Mulook is around 06:00 in the morning. Horses can also be hired from the Lake Saiful Mulook along with a guide who will take you to Ansoo Lake. It costs almost PKR 1200-1500 per horse and PKR 1000 additional for the guide but one still has to walk more than 35% of the distance by himself. This trek can be further divided into two part. First half, which is towards Saiful Malook, is valley along the river and it goes up to Malika Parbat base camp. Second half is steeper starting from Malika Parbat base camp and ends with Ansoo Lake. This part is all about climbing on the mountain.

Second trek to reach Ansoo Lake starts from the village Mahandri, which is 40 km south to Naran Village, and it goes through Manoor Gali and Kach Gali. This trek takes at least three days of 12 hour trekking to get to Ansoo Lake. Steepness of this trek may be the same as of other one but travel in the valley is lot more. This gives an opportunity to camp along the rivers, in jungles, on the top of mountains and in abandoned towns.

Both of above mentioned treks run in opposite direction from Ansoo lake and are connected via mountains top forming half circle 300–400 feet above the lake waters. From this altitude, there is an amazing vista of lake on one side and top of Malika Parbat and beautiful skyline of high altitude mountains covered with snow on the other side. There is no risk free way to reach lake waters because it lies in the crater with steep, snow covered walls. There is no apparent drainage of lake water and no one ever tried to explore it because of its dangerous approach and limited resources in that area.

Hunza Valley – A Fairy Tale Land

Hunza is the most visited valley of Pakistan. It is a fairy tale land. It is surrounded by beautiful rugged and snow capped mountains. Hunza is a small town on Karakorum Highway only a 100Km from Gilgit. It is the first main stop from China to Pakistan.

The central part of Hunza known as Karimabad. It is a town of 6 villages. The first main village is Aliabad. There are prominent and outstanding views of  Rakaposhi Mountain. PTDC Motel Hunza and other small hotels are located here. Just above Aliabad there are Altit and Baltit villages, the heart of Hunza. Altit & Baltit are famous for its interesting bazaar and two Forts. The Baltit fort has recently been converted into a guided museum. Duikar is another place in Hunza at a height of 10000 feet above sea level. This is an amazing spot to see sunrise. There are 8 peaks above 7000 meters. Each gives spectacular view of the sun light as sun rises.

Short History of Hunza:

Hunza was formerly an independent state, bordering China to the north-east and Pamir to its north-west. The state bordered the Gilgit Agency to the south and the former state of Nagar to the east. The state capital was the town of Baltit and its old settlement is Ganish Village. It was dissolved by Zulfikar Ali Bhutto in 1974.

Hunza was an independent for more than 900 years. The British gained its control and the valley of Nagar between 1889 and 1892 followed by a military engagement of severe intensity. The ruler of Hunza Mir Safdar Ali Khan fled to Kashghar in China. The British appointed Mir Jamal Khan as the new Mir of Hunza under the rule of British Government

The traditional name for the ruler in Hunza was Thum. It is a respectful appellation used the people of Hunza and Nager. The ruling family of Hunza is called Ayeshe (heavenly). They are called so from the following circumstance. The two states of Hunza and Nagar were formerly one. Tradition relates that Mayroo Khan, apparently the first Muslim Thum of Nagar some 200 years after the introduction of the religion of Islam to Gilgit. He was the father of twins Girkis and Moghlot. The twins are said to have shown hostility to one another from birth. Their father unable to settle the question of succession, divided his state between them, giving to Girkis the north, and to Moghlot the south, bank of the river.

Both Thums are still addressed as Soori, as a title of respect. This appears to be the same as Sri, a commonly prefixed to the names of Hindu princes in India. The Thum’s wives are styled ghenish which is almost identical with the original Sanskrit word for mother, and their sons are called gushpoor.

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Spend Summer time in Azad Kashmir

Summer season has been started in Pakistan and like every year people think for trip to the northern areas. For summer trip our choices are always very limited like Murree, Nathia gali or Abbot Abad but this is because we are not fully aware with the beauty of Pakistan and less information and awareness about other cities for spending holidays. But today we will take you to a real paradise on earth and that is Kashmir. People do no visit Kashmir because they think that it could have much distance or the basic facilities may not available there but all the perceptions are wrong because neither it is too far from Islamabad nor you can find Kashmir without good infrastructure with many facilities.

If you are planning to visit Azad Kashmir then we present you a guide to it. Traveling by road to Azad Kashmir is itself an attraction as you come across the most beautiful scenes of rivers and hills. From Islamabad to Muzaffarabad it is 4 to 5 hours drive that pass from beautiful hills of Muree. Muzaffarabad is the capital of Azad Kashmir. PTDC and other private well furnished hotels can easily found. There is no direct flight to Azad Kashmir.

Major cities you can visit there are Mirpur which is the second largest city in the region and then Rawalakot which is considered a true paradise on earth. Then there are Bihar, Kotli, Bagh and Neelum. Neelum valley is a scenic valley and runs parallel to Kaghan valley and is separated by snow covered peaks. It is 155 KM away from Muzaffarabad and it offers panoramic view of hills on both sides of the river, lush green forests, enchanting streams, high altitude lakes and attractive surroundings. It is also ideal for Mount tourism. Jhelum Valley is another scenic valley located 59kms from Muzaffarabad. Accommodation facilities are also available in the rest houses at places of tourist attraction.

Rawalakot is the capital of Poonch Division. If you visit Azad Kashmir then you will find the real natural scenic beauty here. It offers mountain based adventure tourism like rock climbing, mountaineering, trekking, summer camping and hiking. Small hotels with living accommodations are available in and around the city. Lodges, government-owned and private guest houses, and hotels are available in different parts of Rawalakot. Rawalakot has a downtown area, which consists of shops selling everything from groceries to electronic goods.

So pack your bags and have a memorable summer time in Kashmir.

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