Saturday, October 20, 2012

Islands of Karachi

Karachi is located in the south of Pakistan,on the coast of the Arabian Sea. There are many small Island near Karachi.

Baba and Bhit Islands


Baba Bhit Island is the smallest neighborhood of Kiamari Town in Karachi, Sindh, Pakistan. It comprises three small fishing islands which in the center of the Harbour of Karachi. The approximated area of these islands is 4 km² and the population is about 12000. 
It is named after the famous and patron saint of Sindh "Shah Abdul Latif Bhittai" whose shrine is located in Bhit shah town the interior part of province of Sindh

Bath Island

Bath Island is one of the neighborhoods of Saddar Town in Karachi, Sindh, Pakistan


Buddo Island

Buddo Island also known as Dingi is a small island located in the Arabian Sea off the coast of Karachi, Sindh, Pakistan


Bundal Island

Bundal Island also known as Bundaar is a small island located in the Arabian Sea off the coast of Karachi, Sindh, Pakistan. Bundal, pronounced Bhandar by local fishermen, is a twin island of Buddo and lies to its West. 

On Bundal Island the tomb of Muslim Sufi Yusuf Shah is located. The annual urs of 'Yusuf Shah' attract thousands of coastal people to the island. The island looked like a city during the urs.

Churma and Buddo Islands are also located near Bundal Island.


Churna Island

Charna Island is a small island located in the Arabian Sea off the coast of Karachi, Sindh, Pakistan. It is situated 3.855 nautical miles northwest of a fishing settlement Mubarak Village.
Mubarak Village (Mubarak Goth), is located approximately 60 km from Karachi on Hawks Bay-Mubarak Goth Road. There are scattered straw huts along and around this road.  Most of the people living in Mubarak Village are poor and they earn their livelihood through fishing.


Churna Island is a 4 x 3 square kilometer barren island with no civilian population. Most commonly seen fauna on the island is poisonous sea snake. Churna Island is a picturesque amid blue waters and it is famous for the marine life around it, which includes barracuda, Narrow-barred Spanish mackerel, cobia, Dorado, Tuna, angel fish, sea urchin, sea fan, oyster, ray fish and rare green turtle. 

There are different kind of coral reefs  and widely varied marine life around this island.Some claim that there are more than 60 types of corals found near Churna waters and many new corals started to flourish after the 2005 tsunami in Indian Ocean.

 Pakistan Game Fishing Association (PGFA) holds national angling competitions near this island. It is the presence of  that attracts the number of big game fish around it. Churna Island is mostly used as a firing range by Pakistan Navy.

Area surrounding this island is popular for scuba diving . IndusScuba, a PADI certified organization, brings local enthusiasts while foreigners are also often seen clad in diving suits in the nearby Mubarak Village.


Clifton Oyster Rocks Island

The Clifton Oyster Rocks are a series of islets located off the coast of the Clifton neighborhood of Karachi, Pakistan. The islands were under the control of the Pakistani Navy until 2006, when the Karachi city government decided to include the island as part of its plans to renovate the city. 

 As part of these plans, the Port Fountain was constructed at the base of the northern island.It shoots water up to 620 feet in the air, and is the second-tallest fountain in the world.


Khiprianwala Island

Khiprianwala Island is a small island located in the Arabian Sea off the coast of Karachi, Sindh, Pakistan.


Manora Island

Manora or Manoro is a small peninsula (2.5 km²) located just south of the Port of Karachi, Sindh, Pakistan. Manora is connected to the mainland by a 12 kilometer long causeway called the Sandspit. Manora and neighboring islands form a protective barrier between Karachi harbor to the north and the Arabian Sea to the south. The western bay of the harbor contains endangered mangrove forests which border the Sandspit and Manora island. To the east is Karachi Bay and the beach towns of Kiamari and Clifton. 

There is a Varun Dev Mandir at the Manora Island. The temple is devoted to Varuna, the god of the oceans in Hindu mythology. The exact year of the temple's construction or foundation is not known but it is assumed that it might be thousands of years old  At present, the building is not used for worship and the last ritual was held in the 1950s.

Currently, This temple belongs to the Hindu Council of Pakistan. According to a legend, it was around 16th century when a wealthy sailor by the name of Bhojomal Nancy Bhattia bought Manora Island from the Khan of Kalat, who owned most of the land along the coastline at that time and then his family commissioned a temple on the lay terrain.

Manora is also a popular picnic spot because of the long sandy beaches along the southern edge of the island, which merge into the beaches of the Sandspit and then extend several kilometers to the beaches at Hawkesbay.  The island lies approximately 15–20 minutes by boat ride from mainland Karachi .

At the southeastern end of Manora island is the tallest lighthouse (28 m or 91 feet (28 m) high) in Pakistan.



Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Garam Chashma (Lotkoh Valley- Chitral)

There is a  hot water spring in Lotkoh valley of Chitral. It is called Garam Chashma. The hot spring is also known the Sulphur Spring.Garam Chashma is popular for its healing touch. Boiling Sulphur springs of Garam Chashma are well-known for their healing effect for diseases such as gout, chronic headaches, rheumatism and skin diseases. For centuries the water has been use as a natural medication to cure many an ailment. Many people visit from all over the world to take a healing bath. 

 The beautiful village of the sub-valley Lotkoh, where the spring is located, has been named as Garam Chashma (hot spring). It is located at an elevation of 1859 meters.

  The hot water was fist cooled in the tubs and then it was used. The government has constructed a number of public bathrooms in the vicinity of the spring while the water is also taken in hoses to the bathrooms of nearby hotels and a rest house. 
 Usually patients takes three to four baths daily in three days. After a bath they had to keep themselves warm and avoid exposing themselves to cold air. It is said that the water is more useful for women and most of the visitors coming for a bath are women. It is an assumption that it slightly harmful for young people to bath in this hot spring water.
  Lotkuh river flows through Garam Chashma village and it is most beautiful and spectacular view. Garam Chashma is known as one of the best picnic spots in Chitral due to its superb natural beauty. It provide the tourists an opportunity of eco-tourism of the area and besides the bath they could enjoy trout fishing in the stream. Lotkuh river is abounds in trout fishes but for fishing permits are required which are issued by Fisheries Department.

 There is a small shrine of a Sufi saint who is brought Islam to this area.  
 Chitral is famous for its soft hand-woven woolen material known as ‘Shu”, which is available in white black, gray and neutral colours. The best variety is made in Mogh in Lotkuh.
The best season to visit is from March 21 and continue for two months of the spring season.

Monday, October 15, 2012

ASTOLA ISLAND (Balochistan-Pakistan)

Astola Island is an uninhabited island in the Arabian Sea in Pakistan's territorial waters. Locally it is known as Jezira Haft Talar or 'Island of the Seven Hills" as it has a  series of seven small hillocks . Astola is a medium-sized Island, approximately 6.7 km in length with a maximum width of 2.3 km. It is Pakistan's largest offshore island and the only significant offshore island in the northern Arabian Sea. The island is. Its highest point is 246 feet above sea level. It is approximately 25 km south of Pakistan's nearest Makran coastline and 39 km southeast of the Pakistani fishing port of Pasni, sub district of Gwadar District in Balochistan province. Administratively, the island is part of the Pasni.

Astola island consists of a large tilted plateau and deep chasms and crevices, which are several feet wide.There are several natural caves and coves on the island. The south face of the island slopes off gradually whereas the north face is cliff-like with a sharp vertical drop. There is no source of fresh water on the island and the vegetation depends on occasional rainfall and soil moisture for survival.

Astola is used as a base for fishermen who frequent the Island between September and May to catch fish in general and lobster and oysters in particular. Between June and August, the Island remains free from human interference due to rough sea and high tides. There are no lodging facilities on the island and overnight tourists had to  camp on the island and bring their own provisions.

Astola Island is a popular and unique destination for eco-tourism, The isolated location of the island has helped maintain endemic life forms. The endangered Green turtle (Chelonia mydas) and the Hawksbill turtle (Eretmochelys imbracata) nest on the beach at the foot of the cliffs. The island is also a very important area for endemic reptiles such as the Astola Viper (Echis carinatus astolae). The island is reported to support a large number of breeding  turtle, seabirds including coursers, curlews, godwits, gulls, plovers Larus hemprichii, sanderlings and several species.

Astola Island is also home to coral reef and identified as a `hotspot` of coral .  More than 30 species of hard coral and eight species of soft coral have so far been identified here.

Vegetation on the island is sparse and largely consists of scrubs and large bushes. There are different type of species of vegetation on Astola Island. Prosopis juliflora is the most significant and largest shrub widespread species of vegetation. Indigofera oblongifolia and Hycium depressum are also prevalent forming large bushes. Other types of vegetation found include Sueda fruticosa, Aerua persica, and Tamarix dioca. .There are no trees on the island.

The remains of an ancient Hindu temple of their Goddess Kali are also located at the Island this is the reason why Astola Island is known to Hindus as Satadip. There is also a prayer yard which is dedicated to the Muslim Pir Khawaja Khizr who according to legend is said to rule the oceans. He is also believed to visit the prayer yard occasionally and offer prayers. The prayer yard is mostly used by the fisherman in the fishing season.

Camping, fishing and scuba-diving expeditions are popular on Astola Island.

The route to Astola Island is very easy. It can be accessed by rented boats via Pasni. To reach Pasni one can has to travel by road from either Gwadar or Karachi via the Makran Coastal Highway. Motorized boats from Pasni are available which take approximately 5 hours to reach the Astola island.

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Trango Towers

Trango Towers Group

The Trango Towers are located on the north side of the Baltoro Glacier, in Baltistan, a district of the Gilgit-Baltistan region of Pakistan. They are part of the Baltoro Muztagh, a subrange of the Karakoram range. Trango Towers are impressive and extremely difficult granite spires rock towers and hardest to climb. These granite Towers offer some of the largest cliffs and most challenging rock climbing in the world. Trango Towers group has seen some of the most difficult and significant climbs ever accomplished, due to the combination of altitude, total height of the routes, and the steepness of the rock. All of the routes are highly technical climbs

Trango Towers — Their vertical faces are the world's tallest cliffs. Trango Tower center; Trango Monk center left; Trango II far left; Great Trango right 

These Towers are at the Elevation of 6,286 m (20,623 ft)and there Prominence is approx. 800 metres (2,625 ft). All of the Trango Towers lie on a ridge, trending northwest-southeast, between the Trango Glacier on the west and the Dunge Glacier on the east. The highest point in the group is the summit of Great Trango Tower at 6,286 m (20,608 ft). The east face of the Great Trango Tower features the world's greatest nearly vertical drop.

Trango Tower Group have the following peaks:
1- Kruksum  (S)6650-M
2- Kruksum  (N)6600-M
3- Trango Ri  (II)6515-M
4- Trango Ri  (1) 6452-M
5- Kruksum   (E) 6300-M
6- Trano Ri   (III) 6300-M
7- Trano Ri   (IV) 6300-M
8- Great Trango (I) 6286-M
9- Nameless Tower 6239-M
10-Great Trango (II) 6237-M
11-Great Trango (III) 6231-M
12-Monk 6150-M

Great Trango Tower

Great Trango itself is a large massif, with four identifiable summits: Main (6,286 m), South or Southwest (circa 6,250 m), East (6,231 m), and West (6,223 m). Just northwest of Great Trango is the Trango Tower (6,239 m), often called "Nameless Tower". This is a very large, pointed, rather symmetrical spire which juts 1000 m out of the ridge line.

Nameless Tower

North of Trango Tower is a smaller rock spire known as "Trango Monk." To the north of this feature, the ridge becomes less rocky and loses the large granite walls that distinguish the Trango Towers group and make them so attractive to climbers; however the summits do get higher. Trango II  lies northwest of the Monk, and the highest summit on the ridge, Trango Ri , lies northwest of Trango II. Just southeast of Great Trango (really a part of its southeast ridge) is the Trango Pulpit , whose walls present similar climbing challenges to those of Great Trango itself. Further to the south is Trango Castle , the last large peak along the ridge before the Baltoro Glacier.