Wednesday, February 6, 2013

BALTORO GLACIER (Gilgit- Baltistan, Pakistan)

Located in Pakistan in the Gilgit-Baltistan region Baltoro Glacier is one of the longest glaciers outside the Polar Regions. It is 62 kilometers long and. runs through part of the Karakoram mountain range. Baltoro Glacier is the world 4th longest glacier outside the Polar Regions.

Baltoro glacier is situated on the southern slopes of the central Karakoram range in the Baltistan area of Jammu and Kashmir. Large tributary glaciers include a glacier from the southwestern slopes of the Gasherbrum peak and a tributary glacier from the northwestern slope of the Masherbrum peak, both in the Karakoram, are fed into Baltoro stretching its length about 62 kms.

Several large tributary glaciers feed the main Baltoro glacier, including the Godwin Austen Glacier which flows towards south from K2. Abruzzi Glacier and various Gasherbrum Glaciers flows from the Gasherbrum group of peaks. the Vigne Glacier, flows from Chogolisa, and the Yermandendu Glacier flows from Masherbrum.

The confluence of the main Baltoro Glacier with the Godwin Austen Glacier is known as Concordia.  Concordia is popular trekking destinations because it provides view of renowned and highest peaks of the world. Out of which four peaks are included in eight thousander, which are, the K-2 (8611 m.) 2nd highest peak of the world, Gasherbrum- l (8,080m) 11th highest of the world, Broad Peak (8047 m.) 12th highest of the world, Gasherbrum- ll (8,035m) 13th highest of the world  and other highest and notable peaks such as Gasherbrum Group peaks, Marble Peak,  Golden Throne (7312 m.), Chogolisa (7654 m.) and Mitre Peak (6038 m.) lies in Baltoro Glacier.

A list of notable peaks adjacent to or near the Baltoro Glacier includes:

  • K2, 2nd highest of the world at 8611m
  • Gasherbrum I, 11th highest of the world at 8,080m.
  • Broad Peak, 12th highest of the world at 8,047m.
  • Gasherbrum II, 13th highest of the world at 8,035m.
  • Gasherbrum III, 7,946m. (Often regarded as a subpeak of Gasherbrum II.)
  • Gasherbrum IV, 17th highest of the world at 7,932m.
  • Masherbrum (K1), 22nd highest of the world at 7,821m.
  • Chogolisa, 36th highest of the world at 7,665m.
  • Muztagh Tower, 7,273m.
  • Snow Dome, 7,160m.
  • Biarchedi, 6,781 m
  • Uli Biaho Tower, 6,417m.
  • Trango Towers, 6,286m. (Their vertical faces are the world's tallest cliffs.)
  • Mitre Peak, 6,010m.

The trek on the Baltoro Glacier provides with ultimate mountain scenery of well known mountains such as Masherbrum (7852 m.), Uli Biaho Tower (6190 m.), Trango Towers (6300 m.), the Grand Cathedral (5228 m.) and Muztagh Tower (7273 m.)

Baltoro Glacier’s trough is very wide. Small valley glaciers form icefalls where they meet the trunk glacier. The sidewalls vary from very steep to precipitous. Moving ice has formed depressions, which serve as basins for numerous glacial lakes. There are rocky moraines and ablation valley .This glacier is enormous reservoirs of fresh water and its melted water is an important resource which feed the river Baltoro Glacier is one of the sources of Shigar River, a tributary of the River Indus.

Baltoro Glacier Provides breathtaking scenic beauty  and excellent views of peaks.the sight of Baltoro pinnacles and Paiyu Peak is astounding

Monday, February 4, 2013

Shah Jahan Mosque( Thatta - Sindh) Pakistan

Shah jahan Mosque is famous for its beautiful architecture. It in located in Thatta city, Sindh province of Pakistan. This Mosque was built in the reign of Mughal emperor Shah Jahan. The foundation of the mosque were laid in 1644 A.D and mosque was completed in 1647 A.D. This Mosque is called with many names like Jama Masjid Thatta,  Shahjahani Mosque and Badshahi Mosque Thatta 

The mosque is a excellent example of crafty tile work.The mosque is built with red bricks with blue coloured glaze tiles.  The domes have been exquisitely laid in a mosaic of radiating blue and white tiles. Its blue tiles and mosaic work are very appealing. The mosque is combination of Turkish and local artwork, which is profusely used on tile work in the ceiling decoration of semi domed and domed chambers; as well as in the fillings of interlaced arches. This new concept reveals Mughal influence in the types of of geometric lines that enclose these stars to make different patterns. 

The Shah Jahan mosque represents the beautiful  tile decoration of Sindh. This mosque is a prime example of an imperial architectural form of region by the use of brick and Sindh tile work.There is mosaic tile work on the ceiling decoration of semi-domed and domed chambers, as well as in the fillings of interlaced arches and in the panels. Stylish floral patterns and Kashi work, decorate the spandrels of the main arches Their domes have  been exquisitely laid with a mosaic of radiating blue and white tiles.Various shapes of tiles  are square, rectangular and hexagonal which were manufactured and joined to complete a design in a given panel.  Various shades of blue on white, and some yellow or purple background produce a very soothing effect in the hot climate of Thatta.

The mosque is a heavy brick structure of simple construction built upon a stone plinth, with heavy  square pillars and massive walls, is centered around a courtyard 169' X 97'. The prayer chamber is of  a similar size. Both are covered by large domes. On the north and south two aisled galleries open by  means of arcades onto the courtyard. Ninety three domes cover the entire structure, and are probably  the cause of a remarkable echo, which enables the prayers in front of the Mibrab to be heard in any  part of the building. The mosque contains the most elaborate display of tile-work in the Indo-Pakistan  sub-continent. The two main chambers, in particular, are entirely covered with them.. 

The mosque is spread over an area of 51,850 square feet. The main entrance of the mosque has a central domed chamber. The mosque has an open central courtyard of about 15,900 square feet. Arcades of red brick arches highlighted with bands of white surround the courtyard.

 The ablution pond is located  a square courtyard located within the eastern portion of the mosque.The domes and arches can be seen as a  series of lined arches in straight line. Each arch has a small atop with beautiful mosaic and tile work.

 The main quality of Shah Jahan Mosque is that it has no minarets. Instead of the typical three domes, there is only one main dome in the prayer hall. Its 93 domes and 33 arches with varying sizes add to their architectural beauty. It is world's largest mosque having such number of domes.

It has been built keeping acoustics in mind. A person speaking inside one end of the dome can be heard at the other end when the speech exceeds 100 decibels.