Thursday, December 23, 2010


Ziarat (Urdu: زیارت) is the capital of Ziarat District,Balochistan, Pakistan.[1] It is located at 30°22'47N 67°43'38E with an altitude of 2543 metres (8346 ft)[2]and is a famous holiday resort of Balochistan and nearly every trip from Karachi to Quetta stops at Ziarat. Ziarat (literally ziarat is an Islamic shrine) was the summer residence of the chief commissioner of Baluchistan, and sanatorium for the European troops at Quetta: 8,850 ft (2,700 m). above the sea and 33 m. by cart-road from the railway. There is a good water supply, and the hills around are well-wooded and picturesque[3].The local dish of Ziarat is saji. More tourists visit the place in summer.



[edit]Juniper Forest in Ziarat

Ziarat is also very famous for its juniper forest. Junipers species Juniperous macropoda , Juniperous exceisa polycarpus or Pashthani Juniper are found in Ziarat districts and Zarghoon mount and some other mounted areas of Balochistan known as the second largest Juniper forest in the world, which covers an area of about 247,000 acres (1,000 km2). There are many important species found in this ecosystem including animal and birds, the Chakor partridge, bushes and ground flora which local people use these plants as indigenous treatments for a variety of diseases.The junipers are considered to be the real treasure of Ziarat. There are trees in the valley which are more than 5000 to 7000 years old. In Ziarat a herb called Ephedra sinica is found in abundance from which a chemical called ephedrine is extracted, an important constituent of various medicines, especially cough syrups. When the snow falls in Ziarat's winter the juniper valley is at its most beautiful.Chiltan Adventurers Association Balochistan is raising voice on National & International level as Juniper Defenders for the conservation of this world heritage since 1984.

[edit]Tourist areas

Snow Camping by Chiltan Adventurers Juniper Defenders in Ziarat 2003.
Ziarat is the location of the Ziarat residency where Jinnah lived and spent his last days of life, Ziarat is a famous tourist site. There is a small dam and the valley is full of fruits in summer and winter cherry in summer and apple in winter. The honey of Ziarat is very famous.
The Residency was constructed in 1892. It is an important building, the whole building is actually a wooden structure beautifully designed and has great architectural importance. It was originally meant to be a sanatorium, and it was converted into the summer residence of the Agent of the Governor General. It is now a National Monument[disambiguation needed]. The residency catches the tourists' attention due to its unique location and the wonderful hilly surroundings. The weather is really pleasant during summer time and the local people are hospitable, but in winter the weather is severe and it is more difficult to survive. During summer time the apple and cherry gardens provide a pleasant view for tourists.
THE GORGES: Balochistan is an arid land which receives very low rainfall annually. But innumerable natural springs known as KAREZ and streams are found in most of the areas. There are more than a half dozen gorges around Ziarat formed by natrul karez spring water falling through narrow opening amongst the mountain rocks producing a dramatic effect. The famous gorges along the road to Ziarat are Chutair Tangi, Kahn Tangi, Kawas Tangi, Faran Tangi and the Sandman Tangi.


The local residents of ziarat are pashtoons(Kakar, Tareen and Dotani) and Baloch(Raisani). Among these [Kakar is the largest tribe and 50% of the total of population . the main subtribes of kakarinclude essa khail, panezai, sarangzai, domar. The Baloch Population is 30%, mostly Raisani, and some Marris.


The shrine of Baba Kharwari is 8 km from Ziarat town. A member of Sarang zai tribe, his name was Tahir. He became a disciple of Nana Sahib and a number of miracles are attributed to him. He is buried in a valley about 8 km from Ziarat. A large number of people visit his shrine and offer sacrifices in his memory. During the Eid festival, the tribesmen gather around the shrine and hold wrestling andmarksmanship competitions.
The shrine of Nau Gaza Baba is 1 km from Ziarat town. It is surrounded by big graveyards. Nau Gaza Baba's real name was Kareemdad. He was a member of the 'Esakhail Sanerzai' tribe. When he died, his body became large by nine(Nau) yards(gaz)therefore people started to call him Nau Gaza Baba. Many people visit the shrine to pray.


On the morning of October 29, 2008 around 4:00 am the town and surrounding areas were struck by an earthquake. The first was a 6.2 magnitude but lasted a couple of seconds the next followed at a magnitude of 6.4 lasting almost 30 seconds destroying many mud houses leaving several government buildings destroyed as well.
Neighbouring villages were also badly affected by the earthquake. Over 50,000 people have been made homeless and 300 feared dead.Landslides had cut-off many roads and accessibility to the area was made more difficult. Pakistani military helicopters were used to reach mountainous and remote locations, where some villages had been cut off by landslides. The scale of the disaster is quite extensive but much of the experience learned from the October 2005 earthquake which struck northern Pakistan was effectively put into place. The aftershocks were also felt in the city of Quetta causing widespread alarm. The rescue and relief squad of Chiltan Adventurers Association Balochistansponsored by Pakistan Customs Quetta distributed the relief goods to the affected mountainous and remote areas, the same team rescued and helped the survivors jointly with the co-operation of the Chinese search and rescue team in Balakot earthquake 2005. Many of the same group also helped survivors of the 2005 Kashmir earthquake, which killed over 75,000 people.In 1935, Quetta suffered almost complete destruction in 1935 Balochistan earthquake which claimed the lives of about 30,000 people.
Pakistan sits atop an area of seismic collision between the Eurasian, Iranian Plateau and Indiantectonic plates, the same force that created the Himalayan mountains. [4][5]


[edit]See also

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