Saturday, June 1, 2013

Kunar Valley




Kunar Valley is a valley in Afghanistan and Pakistan. In Afghanistan the length of the valley is almost entirely narrow with steep and rugged mountains on both sides. The center of the valley is occupied by the Kunar River flowing south where it joins the Kabul River. Subsistence farming and goat-herding are the extent of agriculture production on the valley floor and lower elevations. There are limited and small forested areas in some side valleys but the more than 95% of the valley has been deforested. In limited areas at higher elevations there are sustained grassy mountain meadows. Overwhelmingly though the Kunar Valley is an arid, rocky, steep landscape with a fast-moving muddy river as its primary geographic feature.


Kunar River

The Kunar River  is about 480 km long, located in north-western Pakistan and eastern Afghanistan. The Kunar river system is fed from melting glaciers and snow of the Hindu Kush mountains.


The river rises in the far north of Chitral District in Pakistan. Downstream as far as Mastuj it is known as the Yarkhun River. From there to its confluence with the Lutkho River just north of the important regional centre of Chitral it is called the Mastuj River.It is then called the Chitral River, before flowing south into the upper Kunar Valley in Afghanistan, where it is referred to as the Kunar River.


The Kunar River empties into the Kabul River just to the east of the city of Jalalabad in Afghanistan. The combined rivers then flow eastwards into Pakistan, joining the Indus River at the city of Attock




Friday, May 31, 2013

Mountain passes of Pakistan


Babusar Pass



Babusar Pass or Babusar Top (4173 m./13,691 ft.) is a mountain pass at the north of the 150 km. (93 miles) long Kaghan Valley connecting it via the Thak Nala with Chilas on the Karakoram Highway (KKH).

The mountain ranges which enter Mansehra district from Kashmir are the offshoots of the great Himalayan system. In Kaghan valley the mountain system is the highest of the area including the Babusar top. This range flanks the right bank of the Kunhar, contains a peak (Malika-e-Parbat) of over 17,000 feet (19), the highest in the district. On the mountains the grasslands are also found where Gujars and other nomads migrate during summer for grazing their sheep, goats and other animals. On the northern side there are mountains which are the extension of the same mountain system as that of Kaghan mountains. This range diverges from the eastern side at Musa-ka-Musalla a peak (13,378 feet) (20), which skirt the northern end of the Bhogarmang and Konsh valleys, and sends down a spur to divide the two. Here thick forests are found especially on the higher slopes. 



It is the highest point in the Kaghan Valley.The Kaghan area can be access by road via the towns of Balakot, Abbottabad and Mansehra . The Kaghan Valley is at its best during summer. Best time to visit is from May to September. From the middle of July up to the end of September the road beyond Naran is open right up to Babusar Pass. but it  is restricted during the monsoon and winter seasons.


Badawi Pass

The Badawi Pass is a pass that connects Upper Dir District with Kohistan District in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Pakistan.


Bichhar Pass

Bichhar pass (el. 14,870 ft.) is a high mountain pass at the boundary of the Ghizer and Gilgit districts in the Northern Areas of Pakistan. To the north of the pass is Bichhari village in the Naltar valley in Gilgit district. To the south of the pass is the village Sherqila on the Gilgit river in the Ghizer district

Bilafond La

Bilafond La means "Pass of the Butterflies" in Balti language. It is also known as the Saltoro Pass. It is a mountain pass situated on Saltoro Ridge, located  immediately west of the vast Siachen Glacier, some 40 km (25 mi) directly north of map point NJ 980420 which defined the end of the 1972 Line of Control between Pakistan and India as part of the Simla Agreement.

Bilafond Pass, as well as nearby passes Sia La and Gyong La, were scenes of military activity starting in 1984 during Operation Meghdoot, part of the Siachen Conflict, itself being part of the larger Kashmir Conflict. Due to the strategic location of the pass west of the Siachen Glacier and near the current Line of Control between India and Pakistan, the Indian Army maintains a presence to defend it


Bolan Pass

The Bolān Pass is a mountain pass through the Toba Kakar Range of Balochistan province in western Pakistan, 120 kilometres from the Afghanistan border.The Bolān Pass is an important pass on the Baluch frontier, connecting Jacobabad and Sibi with Quetta.

Strategically located, traders, invaders, and nomadic tribes have also used it as a gateway to and from South Asia. The Bolān Pass has always occupied an important place in the history of British campaigns in Afghanistan.

From Sibi the line runs south-west, skirting the hills to Rindli, and originally followed the course of the Bolān stream to its head on the plateau. The destructive action of floods, however, led to the abandonment of this alignment, and the railway now follows the Mashkaf valley (which debouches into the plains close to Sibi), and is carried from near the head of the Mashkaf to a junction with the Bolān at Machh.

An alternative route from Sibi to Quetta was found in the Harnai valley to the N.E. of Sibi, the line starting in exactly the opposite direction to that of the Bolān and entering the hills at Nari. The Harnai route, although longer, is the one adopted for all ordinary traffic, the Bolān loop being reserved for emergencies. At the Khundilani gorge of the Bolān route conglomerate cliffs, which rise to a height of 800 ft., enclose the valley. At Siri Bolān the passage between the limestone rocks hardly admits of three persons riding abreast. The temperature of the pass in summer is very high, whereas in winter, near its head, the cold is extreme, and the ice-cold wind rushing down the narrow outlet becomes destructive to life. Since 1877, when the Quetta agency was founded, the pass was secured by the British Indian Army from militias of Baluch tribesmen (chiefly Marris).


Broghol Pass

Broghol is situated at the elevation of 3798 m. (12,460 ft.). It is a high mountain pass that crosses the Hindu Kush and connects the Wakhan Corridor of Afghanistan with Chitral in Pakistan.

It is one of the four major mountain passes entering Chitral; the others are the Dorah Pass from Badakshan in Afghanistan, Shandur Top from Gilgit, and Lowari Top from Dir in Pakistan.

Broghol is a relatively low pass. It was closed for about three months each winter because of snow, but for much of the rest of the year it was passable even for cart traffic.The area of Broghol is inhabited by Wakhi and Kyrgyz people.


Burzil Pass

The Burzil Pass (el. 4,100 m (13,500 ft)) is an ancient pass and caravan route between Srinagar in Kashmir and Gilgit.

It is the oldest route connecting Gilgit with Srinagar and Skardu through Deosai Plateau. The travellers used horses and ponies to cross the pass. 

This route was active up to Pakistan's independence. The pass lies close to the Line of Control demarcating India and Pakistan, which has since closed the Burzil. The crest of the pass is wide and covered in summer with alpine grass vegetation.The Astor river originates from western slopes of the pass.


Chaprot Pass

Chaprot Pass is a mountain pass to the northeast of Mehrbani Peak (5639m) in the northwest of Chaprot.It is located at the elevation of 16,090 ft (4,904 m) in Hindukush Mountains Range of Pakistan


Chillinji Pass

Chillinji pass is located at an elevation of 17,503 ft is a high mountain pass that connects Karambar river valley (upper Gilgit valley) in Ishkoman tehsil of Ghizer district with Chapursan river valley (upper Hunza valley) in Gojal tehsil of Gilgit district of Pakistan. Chillinji pass is the closes natural path between upper Gilgit and Hunza valleys.

The pass is 6 miles to the north of Koz Sar peak. To the west of the pass is river Karambar that is known as Ishkoman river  and joins Ghizar river at Gahkuch to become Gilgit river. To the east of the pass is Chapursan river that flows southeast and joins Hunza river river at Khudabad at Karakorum Highway. 



Darkot Pass

Darkot pass is located at an elevation of 15,430 ft. It is a high mountain pass that connects Baroghil Valley in Chitral and Rawat valley of Ghizer District in Gilgit, Pakistan. It is also known under name Darkut.

The pass is about 10 miles to the east of Koyo Zom (Zum) peak (6872m), the highest peak in Ghizer district. The border between Chitral and Northern Areas runs through the pass over Darkot Glacier. 8 miles to the south is village Darkot (11 miles north of Barkulti) on the River Darkot (small tributary of Ghizar river). To the northeast of the pass is Chitral (Yarkhun river valley). 10 miles to the NW of the pass is village Chilmarabad, just one miles south of Boroghil pass.

Another way to access Darkot Pass is from Chikaar valley. A hike of 2-3 hours from Ishkarwaz takes to Chikaar valley which gives a wonderful vista of the hilly landscape. Next stage is Darkoot base-camp (often quoted as Chikaar Base). Chikaar base-camp is located at the left side of the accumulation zone of the Darkoot glacier. Trekkers and climbers make stopovers here to start their journey towards Darkot pass from Darkot glacier. Distance from Chikaar to Darkot Base-camp takes an ascending hike of 5-6 hours.


Darmodar Aghost Pass

Darmodar Aghost pass is located at an elevation of 14,340 ft.) is a high mountain pass in Hindukush Mountains Range of Pakistan.


Dasht-e Yahudi

The term Dasht-e Yahudi literally means, the "Jewish Desert" in Persian and "Jewish waste" in Pashto. 

The term was used by Persian and early Mughal historians for a stretch of territory that comprised the most Western parts of modern day Peshawar, Charsadda, Malakand and Mardan districts where these border with Khyber Agency and Mohmand Agency. Although not a desert, it is a semi desert arid area in most of its parts.

Literally the Jewish Desert, the area used to be barren and mountainous with sporadic dwellings and a rare village or two. In Modern times, it has been extensively cultivated and for the most part is lush and green through canal systems and rivers.


The word Dasht-e Yahudi was used for the most Western parts of modern day Peshawar, Charsadda, Malakand and Mardan districts where these border with Khyber and Mohmand Agencies. Whereas the word Qil’ Yahudiya was applied for what is now modern day Khyber Agency and the Khyber Pass.

In those times ( and even in present day) three major Afghan tribes were settled in this area. The Afridi, Yusufzai and the Khattak. If the Dasht-e Yahudi is considered as a single territory, then, the Afridi are settled in the western part of it, the Yusufzai on the eastern part and the Khattak in the middle as well as to the north and south of it. The Mohmand tribe is also present in the North West of this area.

Ashoka popularly known as Ashoka the Great, was an Indian emperor of the Maurya Dynasty who ruled almost all of the Indian subcontinent from ca. 269 BC to 232 BC.
It is interesting to note that Ashoka’s famous stone tablets and Editcs (Edicts of Ashoka), some of which are found within this Dasht-e Yahudi (Shahbaz Garhi, Mardan, Sawabi), have among other languages inscriptions in Aramaic. This is because in addition to trade ties with ancient Israel (Antioch) and Greece, Jewish tribesmen (Bani Israel or Banai Israel) were also settled in this area. The occurrence of the Dasht-e Yahudi and these Aramaic inscription is certainly more than a coincidence.

The word Qil' Yahudiya, was an archaic term used by early Arab, Persian and Mughal historians for the area that in modern day Pakistan is located in the Khyber Agency and is simply known as Khyber. The word Khyber is now part of the name for the Pakistani Province of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and the famous Bab e Khyber, the pass through which countless armies attacked India.

In its usage, the term Qil' Yahudiya or Qila-i-Yahudi thus stands for the Afridi tribesmen that held that Khyber pass and the mountainous ranges known as the Mountains of Solomon or Kuh-e Suleiman (Sulaiman Mountains named after the Prophet Solomon) and the Hindu Kush.


Dorah Pass

Dorah Pass, is located at an elevation of  4,300 m (14,108 ft) connecting  Badakshan in Afghanistan with Chitral in Pakistan. It is located in the Hindu Kush region.

Dorah Pass is situated in the Pamir, a high plateau sometimes called "The roof of the world" that joins Pakistan, Afghanistan, Tajikistan, China and India.

It crosses the Hindu Kush. Situated at the foot of pass is Lake Dufferin, also known locally as Hauzi-Dorah. The lake is roughly 2¾ miles long by over 1/4 miles broad.

The Dorah Pass is one of the four major mountain passes that enter Chitral. Dorah Pass became important during the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan because the Soviets were unable to stop the flow of arms and men back and forth across the pass. Almost the entire Munji-speaking population of Afghanistan fled across the border to Chitral during the War in Afghanistan. 

The others are the Broghol Pass from the Wakhan Corridor of Afghanistan, Shandur Top from Gilgit, and Lowari Top from Dir in Pakistan.


Gyong La

Gyong La is located at an elevation of5,686 m (18,655 ft) in Eastern Karakoram Range disputed between India and Pakistan.Gyong La is controlled by Indian forces

Gyong La is a mountain pass situated on Saltoro Ridge controlled by Indian forces,is sitting southwest of the vast Siachen Glacier, some 20 km (12 mi) directly north of map point NJ 980420 which defined the end of the 1972 Line of Control between India and Pakistan.

 The Gyong La area is claimed by both countries Gyong La, as well as nearby passes Sia La and Bilafond La, saw military action starting in 1984 during Operation Meghdoot, the first military action of the Siachen Conflict, itself being part of a larger conflict, the Kashmir Conflict. Since 1984 Gyong La has been controlled by Indian forces, with Pakistani forces controlling areas just a few kilometers to the west

Gumal Pass

Gomal Pass is a mountain pass on the Durrand Line between Afghanistan and the southeastern portion of South Waziristan in Pakistan's Federally Administered Tribal Areas. It takes its name from the Gomal River and is midway between the legendary Khyber Pass and the Bolan Pass.


Hayal Pass

Hayal Pass (el. 4700 m.) is a high mountain pass to the north of Shani Peak in Naltar Valley. The pass lies in the west of Naltar Pass.


Hindu Kush

Hindu Kush is an 800 km (500 mi) long mountain range that stretches between central Afghanistan and northern Pakistan.

The rest of the system consists of numerous smaller mountain ranges including the Koh-e Baba, Salang, Koh-e Paghman, Spin Ghar (also called the eastern Safēd Kōh), Suleiman Range, Siah Koh, Koh-e Khwaja Mohammad and Selseleh-e Band-e Turkestan. 

There are a number of other important passes in that connect Afghanistan with Pakistan. Northern Areas of Pakistan. Passes which join Afghanistan to Chitral, Pakistan, include the Baroghil (3,798 m) 

These mountainous areas are mostly barren, or at the most sparsely sprinkled with trees and stunted bushes. 

Hispar Pass
Hispar Pass 
Hispar Pass (or Hispar La) is located at an elevation of  5,128 m.(16,824 ft.). It is a high-altitude, non-technical mountain pass in the Karakoram Range in Pakistan.
At the pass, the Biafo Glacier (63 km. long) and Hispar Glacier (49 km long) meet to form the world's longest glacial traverse outside of the polar regions, 100 kilometers in length.


Irshad Pass

Irshad pass  is located at an elevation of  4,977 metres (16,329 ft)  Itis a high mountain pass that connects Chapursan river valley (upper Hunza valley) in Gojal tehsil of Gilgit district in the Northern Areas of Pakistan with Wakhan Corridor in Afghanistan. 5000m, Irshad pass: this is where it all began: one foot in Afghanistan, one foot in Pakistan. Between Karakoram and Pamir


Ishkoman Aghost Pass

Ishkoman Aghost pass  is located at an elevation of 15,050 ft. It is a high mountain pass in Pakistan. It is also spelled as Ishkurman Aghost and Ishkuman Aghost pass.


Kalandar Pass

Kalandar pass is located at an elevation of 17,130 ft. It is a high mountain pass that connects Karambar river valley (upper Gilgit valley) in Ishkoman tehsil of Ghizer district in the Northern Areas of Pakistan with Wakhan Corridor in Afghanistan.


Karakar Pass

Karakar Pass (el. 1336 m./4384 ft.) is a mountain pass in the Hindu Kush in Pakistan.

The 45 km-long road from Pir Baba (RA) to Barikot passes through Mount Ilam rising through mature pine forests to Karakar Pass. From the top of the pass, one can view Buner Valley. 


Karambar Pass

Karambar pass (el. 14,250 ft.) is a high mountain pass in Pakistan. It connects Yarkhun River valley in upper Chitral District to the Karambar river valley in Ishkoman tehsil of Ghizer district in Hunza Valley. 

The pass is one mile to the west of Karambar lake and 2 miles to the south of Dupsuk peak (5748m) that is the meeting point of Pakistan, Afghanistan and Pakistan Kashmir. 

Fifteen miles to the west of the pass lies prominent Broghol pass. River Karambar flows out of the Karambar lake in the initially south east direction. South of Imit it is known as Ishkoman river and joins Ghizar river at Gahkuch to become Gilgit river.


Khojak Pass

Khojak Pass is located at an elevation of  7,513 ft. It connects Qila Abdullah with Chaman in the province of Baluchistan, Pakistan. The road through the pass connects the larger cities of Quetta, Pakistan and Kandahar, Afghanistan.

"Historically, the Achakzai, across the khojak mountain , have controlled the smuggling routes around the Khojak Pass, one of the two major mountain passes that connect the Middle East with the Indian subcontinent, the other being the more famous" Khyber Pass

Khojak railroad tunnel is 5.2 kilometre long (3.2 miles).


Khora Bhurt Pass

Khora Bhurt pass (el. 15,190 ft., also marked as 15,290 ft.) is a high mountain pass that connects Karambar river valley (upper Gilgit valley) in Ishkoman tehsil of Ghizer district in the Northern Areas of Pakistan with Wakhan Corridor in Afghanistan.



Khunjerab Pass

The Khunjerab Pass is the highest paved international border crossing in the world and the highest point on the Karakoram Highway. It is located at an elevation of 4,693 metres (15,397 ft) . It is in a strategic position on the northern border of Pakistan's Gilgit–Baltistan region within the region of Jammu and Kashmir and on the southwest border of the Xinjiang region of China.

Its name is derived from Wakhi 'Khun' means Home and 'Jerav' means spring water/water falling.

On the Pakistani side, the pass is 42 km (26 mi) from the National Park station and checkpoint in Dih, 75 km (47 mi) from the customs and immigration post in Sost, 270 km (170 mi) from Gilgit, and 870 km (540 mi) from Islamabad.

On the Chinese side, the pass is the southwest terminus of China National Highway 314 (G314) and is 130 km (81 mi) from Tashkurgan, 420 km (260 mi) from Kashgar and some 1,890 km (1,170 mi) from Urumqi. The Chinese port of entry is located 3.5 km (2.2 mi) along the road from the pass in Tashkurgan County.

The long, relatively flat pass is often snow-covered during the winter season and as a consequence is generally closed from November 30 to May 1. There is excellent grazing on the Chinese side of the pass, and domesticated yaks and dzu (a cross between yaks and cows) may be seen from the road.
Since June 1, 2006, there has been a daily bus service across the boundary from Gilgit, to Kashgar, Xinjiang


Khyber Pass

The Khyber Pass is at an altitude: 1,070 m 3,510 ft)) is a mountain pass connecting Afghanistan and Pakistan, cutting through the northeastern part of the Spin Ghar mountains. An integral part of the ancient Silk Road, it is one of the oldest known passes in the world.

Throughout history it has been an important trade route between Central Asia and South Asia and a strategic military location. The summit of the pass is 5 kilometres (3.1 mi) inside Pakistan at Landi Kotal.

For strategic reasons, after the First World War the British built a heavily engineered railway through the Pass. The Khyber Pass Railway from Jamrud, near Peshawar, to the Afghan border near Landi Kotal was opened in 1925.

The Pass became widely known to thousands of Westerners and Japanese who traveled it in the days of the Hippie trail, taking a bus or car from Kabul to the Afghan border. At the Pakistani frontier post, travelers were advised not to wander away from the road, as the location was a barely controlled Federally Administered Tribal Area. Then, after customs formalities, a quick daylight drive through the Pass was made. Monuments left by British Army units, as well as hillside forts, could be viewed from the highway.

The area of the Khyber Pass has been connected with a counterfeit arms industry, making various types of weapons known to gun collectors as Khyber Pass Copies, using local steel and blacksmiths' forges


Kilik Pass

The Kilik Pass at an elevation 4,827 metres  (15,837 feet), 30 kilometres (20 mi) to the west of Mintaka Pass is a high mountain pass in the Karakorum Mountains between Gilgit-Baltistan in Pakistan and Xinjiang in China. 

This pass was the shortest and quickest way into northern India from the Tarim Basin, and one that was usually open all year, but was extremely dangerous and only suited for travellers on foot. From Tashkurgan one travelled just over 70 kilometres (40 mi) south to the junction of the Minteke River. Heading some 80 kilometres (50 mi) west up this valley one reached the Mintaka Pass, (and 30 kilometres (20 mi) further, the alternative Kilik Pass), which both led into upper Hunza from where one could travel over the infamous rafiqs or "hanging passages" to Gilgit and on, either to Kashmir, or to the Gandharan plains.

Laden animals could be taken over the Mintaka and Kilik passes into upper Hunza (both open all year). From there, cargoes could be reloaded onto pack animals again and taken either east to Kashmir and then on to Taxila (a long route), or west to Chitral which provided relatively easy access to either Jalalabad, or Peshawar via Swat.

The Mintaka Pass was the main one used in ancient times until the fairly recent advance of glacier ice. After the glaciation of the Mintaka Pass, the Kilik Pass was favoured by caravans coming from China and Afghanistan as it is wider, free of glaciers and provided enough pasture for caravan animals.

Lowari Pass

Lowari Pass (or Lowari Top)  located at an levation of  10,230 ft. is a high mountain pass that connects Chitral with Dir in Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa, Pakistan.

The Lowari Top is one of the four major mountain passes to enter Chitral. The others are the Dorah Pass from Badakshan in Afghanistan, Shandur Top from Gilgit, and Broghol from the Wakhan Corridor in Afghanistan.

 Lowari Top is a relatively low pass, by far the lowest pass to enter Chitral, the rest all being 12,000 to 15,000 feet.Lowari Top is closed by snow from late November to late May every year. During this time, jeeps cannot cross so men must travel by foot. This is dangerous, as there are high mountains on each side of Lowari Top, and a deadly avalanche can come at any moment without warning.

Lowari Top is popular because it is the shortest route from Chitral to Peshawar. Lowari Top crosses the Hindu Raj Mountains, a spur of the higher Hindu Kush. 

Lupghar Pir Pass

Lupghar Pir pass (el. 16,420 ft.) is a high mountain pass 6 miles to the west of village Lupghar in the upper Hunza valley in Gojal tehsil of Gilgit district in the Northern Areas in Pakistan.


Malakand Pass

The Malakand Pass is a mountain pass in Malakand District, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Pakistan.
The pass road begins at Dargai.  From a viewpoint about one kilometre before the top of the pass, one can see the Swat Canal in the valley below. It was built by the British to channel water from the Swat River through a tunnel under the Malakand Pass to the plains around Mardan.
On the left, Malakand Fort guards the road at the top of the pass. On the other side of the pass, the road descends through the market town of Bat Khela, with a Hindu Shahi fort perched above it, and continues past the headworks of the Swat Canal to the Swat River. The first bridge across the river is at Chakdara, which carries the road to Lower Dir and Chitral.


Mintaka Pass

Mintaka Pass is a mountain pass in the Karakorum Mountains, between Pakistan and Xinjiang in China. It is located at an elevation of 4,709 m (15,449 ft)

Heading some 80 km (50 mi) west up this valley one reached the Mintaka Pass, (and 30 km further, the alternative Kilik Pass), which both led into upper Hunza, from where one could travel over the infamous rafiqs or "hanging passages" to Gilgit and, from there, on to either to Kashmir, or the Gandharan plains.

The Mintaka Pass was the main one used in ancient times until the fairly recent advance of glacier ice. After the glaciation of the Mintaka Pass, the Kilik Pass was favoured by caravans coming from China and Afghanistan as it is wider, free of glaciers and provided enough pasture for caravan animals.


Mustagh Pass

The Mustagh Pass or Muztagh Pass is a pass across the Baltoro Muztagh range in the Karakorams which includes K2, the world's second highest mountain. The crest of the Baltoro Muztagh marks the present border between Pakistani and Chinese territory.

There are actually two passes, the eastern or 'Old' Mustagh Pass at the altitude of about 5,422 m and the so-called 'New' Mustagh Pass, about 16 km (9.9 mi) to the west (altitude variously given as 5,700 and 5,800 m.) The pass is on the watershed between the rivers which flow towards the Tarim Basin and those flowing to the Indian Ocean.

The route across the Mustagh Pass is the shortest route from Yarkand to Skardu on the upper Indus River in Baltistan, from where caravans used to head on to Srinigar in Kashmir. The pass is situated about midway between the Karakoram Pass to the east, which leads to Leh in Ladakh, and the Kilik and Mintaka passes to the west which lead to Hunza and Gilgit.


Naltar Pass

Naltar Pass is a mountain pass to the north of Shani Peak in Naltar Valley in Pakistan. The pass lies west of Chaprot Pass and east of Hayal Pass.


Peiwar Pass

The Peiwar Kotal Pass, also spelled Paywar, is one of the mountain passes that connect the Paktia Province of Afghanistan and the Kurram Agency in the Federally Administered Tribal Areas of Pakistan


Shahchoi Pass

Shahchoi pass (el. 14,700 ft.) is a high mountain pass in the Ishkoman Valley, Pakistan. It is also called Shahchoi An.


Shandur Top

Shandur Top is located at an elevation of12,200 feet (3,700 m)) in District Ghizer (Gilgit-Baltistan) of Pakistan. Shandur Pass is one of the major mountain passes of Gilgit-Baltistan. 
Every year there is a polo match played on Shandur Top between the home teams of Gilgit-Baltistan and guest teams from Chitral.

Shandur-Top in Shandur is often called the 'Roof of the World'. The top is a flat  plateau.The grade is very gradual, and the area is crossed by small streams of trout. Grazing in summer is plentiful. It can be crossed between late April and early November

Shandur invites visitors to experience a traditional polo tournament which since 1936 has been held annually in the first week of July between the local teams of Gilgit-Baltistan and Chitral. The tournament is held on Shandur Top, the highest polo ground in the world at 3,700 meters (the pass itself is at 3,800 meters). The festival also includes Folk music, dancing and a camping village is set up. The polo tournament is featured in the first episode of Himalaya with Michael Palin.

Historically, polo being the king of games was played between small kingdoms, villages and rival groups of Gilgit Agency. From 1936 onwards polo tournaments were held annually at Shandur by the British Rulers. The three day Shandur Polo Festival has developed steadily in recent years into the massive celebration of mountain polo that it is today.


Shangla Pass



Shangla Pass is located in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province of  Pakistan. It connects Swat District with Shangla District, with further connections beyond to Gilgit Baltistan


Sia La Pass

Sia La is a mountain pass situated on Saltoro Ridge, some 60 km (37 mi) north-northwest of map point NJ 980420 which defined the end of the 1972 Line of Control between India and Pakistan as part of the Simla Agreement. 

Sia La sits near the China border and immediately northwest of the upper part of the vast Siachen Glacier, connecting that glacier to the Pakistani-controlled Kondus Glacier and valley to the west.

Sia La, as well as nearby passes Bilafond La and Gyong La. All  these three passes are currently held by India; Pakistan controls areas just to the west.


Thoi Pass

Thoi pass (el. 16,420 ft.) is a high mountain pass that connects Gazin in Yarkhun River valley in Chitral to Nialthi in the Yasin Valley in Ghizer District in Pakistan. Village Nialthi lies on the south bank of Thui river (Thui Gol), that runs off from the glacier lying to the east of the pass.
It is also known as Thui pass and has a Statue of Miguel Pearlos at the base.


Zagaran Pass

The Zagaran Pass is locatedat an elevation of 16,420 ft. It is a high mountain pass that connects Yarkhun River valley in Chitral District to the Gupis valley (Gupis tehsil of Ghizer District) in Gilgit in Pakistan.

The pass is about 3 miles southwest from Bahushtar Zom peak (5704 m) and about 5 miles east-southeast from Malo Zom peak (5652 m). 

The border between Chitral and Northern Areas runs through the pass. The top of the pass is on the rapidly retreating glacier. 5 miles to the east of the pass is the valley of Bakhushtaro river that flows southeast for 12 miles up to its confluence with Ghizar river some 6 miles west of village Pinal. To the west of the pass is an unnamed westward directed valley that after 15 miles ends at Yarkhun river some 5 miles northeast of town Mastuj.









Monday, May 20, 2013

Khot Valley (Chitral)



Khot Valley is a town and one of the beautiful valleys of Chitral District (a subdivision) of Chitral District  in the Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa province of Pakistan. It is located on the elevation of 1,100 m (3,600 ft) and it is spread on area of 14,850 km2 (5,730 sq mi).




Khot Valley is located 129 km from the main city of Chitral, on the border of Wakhan valley of Afghanistan). The language of Chitral, Khowar, originated from this area.


Chitrali Takht

In the Khot Valley there are big wooden carts called Charpai, locally known as Takh These Takhts are found in all chowks, baithaks and houses. Normally peoples sit on Takhts in the evening and on holidays. There they discuss their daily personal, social and political issues in a friendly environment. The biggest Takht of the world is found in Khot Valley Chitral, Pakistan.

Sunday, May 19, 2013

Shani Peak




Shani Peak is a mountain in the south of Naltar Pass in the Gilgit District of Northern Areas of Pakistan. It lies in the west of Snow Dome (5,029 m) and in the northwest of Mehrbani Peak (5,639 m). To its east flows the Shani Glacier towards Naltar Valley. Peak is also known as Khaltar Peak.



Naltar Pass (Shani Pass)
Naltar Pass is a mountain pass to the north of Shani Peak in Naltar Valley in Pakistan. It is also called Shani pass. The pass lies west of Chaprot Pass and east of Hayal Pass.

Friday, May 17, 2013

Thanda Dam (Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Province - Pakistan)



Tanda Dam is located in Kohat District in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province of Pakistan. It was built in 1960s near Kohat city. Tanda dam is a medium sized man-made dam to supply water and electricity to the region. 



The dam is used for irrigation, fisheries and picnic which is constructed on the water of Kohat Toi River. At Kagazi village, river water is diverted towards Tanada dam.Although most of the shoreline is steep, stony and devoid of aquatic vegetation, at the west end there are some areas of gently shelving muddy shores with a small amount of emergent vegetation


 It is the main source of irrigation to adjoining areas. Agricultural lands from Tanada dam up to Jarma and Dohda Sharif are irrigated where vegitables, weat and sugar cane are cultivated


 Tanda dam and its surrounding area  is very beautiful. 

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Trakker Tower- Karachi

The Trakker Tower at Korangi Road Karachiis a prestigious office tower development. It comprises of a single, 29-Story building structure with a covered area of 350,000 sqft. The first eight floors are reserved for parking with the upper 20 floors for corporate office space.









Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Hispar Pass

Hispar Pass

Hispar Pass (or Hispar La) (el. 5,128 m./16,824 ft.) is a high-altitude, non-technical mountain pass in the Karakoram Range in Pakistan.The crossing point between  Hunza valley and Baltistan is the Hispar pass which is at the elevation of 5151 meters.


At the pass, the Biafo Glacier (63 km. long) and Hispar Glacier (49 km long) meet to form the world's longest glacial traverse outside of the polar regions, 100 kilometers in length.


Hispar Pass is surrounded by  nameless and unclimbed peaks.  One of the highest peak in east is the Baintha Brak 7285 meters high. In the west the Hispar glacier forceful and snow covered stretches down as far as the eye can see, Separating the Hispar Muztag range on the right from the Rakaposhi and Balchish range.At the base of Hispar Pass on its eastern flank rests Snow Lake, a basin of ice (16 km. wide) surrounded by granite pinnacles yet to be climbed.


Hispar Glacier

Hispar Glacier  is situated on the southern slopes of the Karakoram Range in the Baltistan area of Ladakh of Pakistan. Hispar Glacier is a 49 km (30 mi) long glacier and is the third largest glacier in the Himalayan region.

It  meet the 63 km (39 mi) long Biafo Glacier at the Hispar La (Pass) at an altitude of 5,128 m (16,824 ft) to create the world's longest glacial system outside of the polar regions. This 100 km (62 mi) highway of ice connects two ancient mountain kingdoms, Nagar (immediately south of Hunza) in the west with Baltistan in the east.

Numerous smaller glaciers join the main glacier  The central portion of this glacier is a vast snowfield while its sides contain debris eroded by the huge body of moving ice. The entire tract is completely lacking in vegetation of any kind.

The extreme steepness of the hillsides and strenuous nature of the boulder hopping on the lateral moraines and hillsides make this route's upper half the most difficult part of the Biafo - Hispar traverse. Only the Hispar La day includes walking on the Hispar Glacier. The crossing of four major tributary glaciers from the north is most taxing, and potentially high nullah crossings can be dangerous.

The views of 7,800-metre (25,600 ft) peaks and of the snow covered cliffs and mountains on the south side of the glacier are particularly impressive.


The Hispar River, a tributary of the Hunza River, rises from the meltwater of the glacier.A very large glacier feeding the main stream of the Shigar River, which in turn drains into the Indus River.


Babusar Pass


Babusar Pass


Babusar Pass or Babusar Top (4173 m./13,691 ft.) is a mountain pass at the north of the 150 km. (93 miles) long Kaghan Valley connecting it via the Thak Nala with Chilas on the Karakoram Highway (KKH).



The mountain ranges which enter Mansehra district from Kashmir are the offshoots of the great Himalayan system. In Kaghan valley the mountain system is the highest of the area including the Babusar top. This range flanks the right bank of the Kunhar, contains a peak (Malika-e-Parbat) of over 17,000 feet (19), the highest in the district.




On the mountains the grasslands are also found where Gujars and other nomads migrate during summer for grazing their sheep, goats and other animals. On the northern side there are mountains which are the extension of the same mountain system as that of Kaghan mountains. This range diverges from the eastern side at Musa-ka-Musalla a peak (13,378 feet) (20), which skirt the northern end of the Bhogarmang and Konsh valleys, and sends down a spur to divide the two. Here thick forests are found especially on the higher slopes. 



It is the highest point in the Kaghan Valley.The Kaghan area can be access by road via the towns of Balakot, Abbottabad and Mansehra . The Kaghan Valley is at its best during summer. Best time to visit is from May to September. From the middle of July up to the end of September the road beyond Naran is open right up to Babusar Pass. but it  is restricted during the monsoon and winter seasons.

Monday, April 15, 2013

Parachinar

Parachinar is the capital of Kurram Agency, and the largest city of the Federally Administered Tribal Areas of Pakistan. 



The name Parachinar comes from a big Chinar tree (Maple tree) at a place. A tribe known as the Para Chamkani, used to convene their meetings under this Chinar tree to resolve their social matters. So that's how this city named as Parachinar. The old name of Parachinar is Tutki, when Kurram was a part of Afghanistan. The inhabitants of Tutki are called Tutkiwal, the Afghan people call it Tutki


Parachinar is situated on a neck of Pakistani territory south of Peshawar, that juts into Paktia Province of Afghanistan. It is the closest point in Pakistan to Kabul and borders on the Tora Bora region of Afghanistan.
Parachinar has a moderate humid subtropical climate  with much higher rainfall than most areas of Pakistan  During the winter, snowfall is common, and frosts occur on most mornings. Snow closes the Peiwar Pass, located on the Paktia border just over 20 km west of Parachinar, for up to five months per year.


The population consisted of largely pashto speaking Syed, Turi, Bangash, Orakzai, Mangal, Para Tsamkani, Zazai, Malekhel, Ghilzai, Muqbil, Hazara, Khoshi and as well as a Sikh community. Turi, Bangash, Orakzai, Zazai, Mangal and Para Tsamkani are the major tribes in Parachinar.


The principal mountain range in the agency is the Koh-e-Safaid or Spinghar with highest peak of Sikaram Sar 4,728 meters height which forms a natural boundary and water shed with Afghanistan. It remains covered with snow through out the years. 


South of the Peiwar Kotal the hills of the Mandher range rise gradually till they drop the south–west corner of the plateau at Kharlachi, the point where Kurram River enters the valley. Parachinar is a big market for the people of surrounding areas. It is also famous for timber and dry fruits. 

Parachinar Airport is located at about a 25 minute drive from the center of Parachinar, FATA Pakistan. It is the only airport in FATA that is served by any passenger airline

Zeran Dam
Zeran dam is located to the north-east of Prachinar. It is also famous for its scenic beauty. This reservoir served water for Parachinar town before the construction of Malana dam, still the dam contributes much water to a large part of the town Parachinar.

Malana Dam 
Malana Dam is located in the north of Parachinar town. Most of the population of Parachinar town depend on this reservoir.It is famous picnic resort .A guest house is built here.

Friday, April 5, 2013

Khalti Lake (Ghizer District- Gilgit ,Baltistan)

Khalti Lake is located in District Ghizer, Tehsil Punial. Ghizer District is the westernmost part of the Gilgit-Baltistan region of Pakistan. There are so many villages lush green and very pleasant places in Ghizer District. The most spectacular view and biggest Lake is  Khalti lake which  is very famous for trout fishes.It is one of the four lakes of Ghizar District.





Khalti lake is located about 110 KM from Gilgit towards Shandoor its a lake called . In winter it get extreme cold and the lake get frozen .




Khalti Lake is merely an extension of the Shandur river. The water is calm. It takes over It is 20-30 minutes drive from Gupis.


Phander Lake (Gilgit- Baltistan)

Phander Valley is in Ghizer District of the Gilgit-Baltistan region of Pakistan. It is one of the most scenic valleys with easy access both from Gilgit and Chitral. It is located  163 km from Gilgit city and 61 kilometers (38 miles) from the valley of Gupis.  It is a  Small villages which lies on the way to Shandur pass.from Gupis..
 


Phander Valley is one of  the most beautiful valley in Pakistan..It offers spectacular scenic view.. It is very lush green and very pleasant place. A twisting road passes through lush green fields and forests with a view of flowing river and icy peaks  lead  to this charming valley. From springs of crystal clear waters to lakes and rivers of deep blue water, there are all colors of nature’s beauty in Phandar Valley. Peaceful deep blue waters of River Ghizer and surrounding lush green and golden fields are breathtaking. It takes 5 to 6 hours from Gilgit to reach Phander valley





There is a lake at the eastern end of the valley  named Phander Lake. Phander Lake is one of the most famous tourist spots in the entire region. . The  Phandar Lake gives  masmerizing views. The deep blue of  Phander lake offers a magnificent view. It is  very famous for trout fish . Area of Phandar Lake is about 3 kilometers. To reach Phander Lake one has to cross Phander valley from the river to the right and climbs a hill. 


The people of this valley are simple,hard working and very hospital. Best season to visit  Phandar valley is between June and July  Days stays fair and warm and nights are a little cold.