Quetta The fruit bowl of Pakistan,
Quetta is a scenic tourist destination. Perched above 5,500 ft above sea
level, Quetta makes a wonderful tourist destination in Pakistan. Also known
by its ancient name Shalkot, Quetta division was constituted in 1955. It is
a mountainous region bounded by The Solomon Range on the East and The
TobaKakar Range at the North, thus separating it from Afghanistan. At the
South-End of Chaman (near Afghan border) are the Khawaja Amran and Sarl Ath
ranges. Across the former lies the famous Khojak Pass with the Shelabagh
railway tunnel piercing 2.5 miles (4 km) of solid rock. From Nushki
(Southwest of Quetta city) to Dalbandin (Southwest of Nushki), the division
consists of a levelled sandy plain. Amongst its chief rivers are Dalbandin
and Pishin Lora. Rainfall is scarce in these parts of Pakistan therefore
cultivation mostly depends upon irrigation from Karezes (underground
channels) in the sub-mountainous region and springs and streams in the
highlands. Wheat is the main Rabi (Spring) crop while Jowar (sorghum) is the
chief Kharif (autumn) crop in the plains and Corn in the highlands. Apart
from these crops Cooking coal is mined at the Khost Area in Sibi and in the
Sor Range, east of Quetta.
For tourists traveling to Quetta,
there are many attractions. Colorful bazaars of Quetta offer tourists a
number of items to shop for. Some of the popular markets of Quetta include
Shahrah-e-Iqbal or Kandahari Bazaar and Shahrah-e-Liaquat or Liaquat Bazaar.
Some of the items that you can shop for include handicraft items like
Balochi mirror work embroidery. The Balochi embroidery is famous world over.
Carpet is another beautiful item that you can shop for in Quetta. This part
of Baluchistan is not only popular for its bazaars but it is also quite well
known for the Baluchi cuisine.
Your tour to Quetta is incomplete
without getting a taste of Baluchi cuisine. There are a number of delicacies
that you can try but the most popular are the 'Sajji', (leg of lamb), which
is roasted to the degree of tenderness. The other dish worth trying is 'Landhi'.
The Urak Valley, about 22 kilometers
from Quetta seems to celebrate an eternal spring. This ideal picnic place is
brimful of orchards; in April, cherry, apricot, apple and peach trees form a
tunnel of blossoms over the road.
Some other tourist attraction in
Quetta include the Archaeological Museum at Fifa Road, which has a wide
collection of antique items like guns, swords and manuscripts. Those
interested wildlife can head to Hazarganji Chiltan National Park, which is
about 20 kilometres from Quetta. The park is home to leopards, wolves,
hyena, hares, wild cats and porcupines. The park also has a large number of
birds. Those in search of Fauna may find a wide variety of Mammals like
Markhors, "Gad" (wild sheep), leopards, wolves, hyena, hares, wild cats and
porcupines while Birds may contain species of partridge, warblers, shikras,
blue rock pigeon, rock nuthatch, golden eagle, sparrows, hawks, falcons and
bearded vultures etc. Coming to the 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, gerardiana etc. Apart from these wonders of nature travellers
may also take some interesting excursions to places like Karkhasa, Urak
Valley, Hanna Lake, Pishin, Ziarat, Chashma, Zindra etc.
is well connected by rail and road with
the rest of the country and by road with Iran and Afghanistan.The
city is about 727 miles away from Lahore and 536 kilometres from Karachi. Domestic Air flights from
Quetta is well connected to the rest of Pakistan.