A visit to
Quetta is incomplete without a trip to Ziarat. Situated 133
kms(3 hours by car) from Quetta at an altitude of 2449 meters
above sea level, Ziarat is a holiday resort amidst one of the
largest and oldest juniper forests in the world. It is said
that some of the Juniper trees are as old as 5000 years.
The name Ziarat means "Shrine". A local saint, Kharwari
Baba, is believed to have rested in the valley and blessed it.
After his death he was buried here. People frequently visit
the saint's shrine, which is 10 kms from Ziarat.
FORESTS AND ORCHARDS:
Extensive research is being done in the forest nurseries to
replace the juniper forest with flowing trees as the
regeneration of the juniper is very slow.
The magic of Ziarat is its honey, its flowers which attain
large size here, its lush green grass and cool weather even in
the hottest months of summer. "Shinshoab", a lavender like
wild bush looks very lovely in twilights.
Nearly 4416 acres in and around Ziarat are under apple
orchards. The apple grown in the orchards, particularly the
black and red kuku variety are delicious. A fair amount of
black cherry is also grown in Ziarat. The cherry season lasts
from the 1st to 15th of June.
Between the ever-ascending hills and the deep ravine, there is
a mile-long stretch of flat land ideal for a peaceful walk.
This is the "Chashma Walk" which leads to the springs or a "Chashma"
that provide water for the town. It is only 2 kms from the "PTDC"
The view from prospect point is rewarding. It lies at a height
of 2713 meters above sea level and is 6 kms from Ziarat. The
road is mettled, but a walk is recommended.
Once at the peak with wind whistling through the forest one
can see the valley stretch out in undulating slopes in front.
From a nearby cliff, one can clearly see the highest peak of
these hills known as Khalefat, which rises to a height of 3487
metres. There is a small rest house situated nearby. Prior
reservation may be made through the office of deputy
Commissioner of Ziarat.
SHRINE OF BABA KHARWARI:
The shrine of Baba Kharwari is 8 kms from Ziarat town. A
member of Sarang Zai, 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 kms from Ziarat. A large
number of people visit his shrine and offer sacrifices in his
During Eid festival, the tribesmen gather around the shrine
and hold wrestling and marksmanship competitions.
Fourteen kms from Ziarat is the picturesque Zindra. Zindra
derives its name from the Pushto word "Zindra" meaning "four
Zizree (16 kms) and Nauna Dam(20 kms) are also interesting
places for an outing near Ziarat.
Quaid-e-Azam residency with its lush green lawns, chinar trees
and flowers gardens commands a striking view of the whole
valley. It is of historical importance, as the Quaid-e-Azam
Muhammad Ali Jinnah, the founder of Pakistan, stayed there
during his last illness. It houses the relics of the father of
the nation. The Residency was built in 1882 by the British and
used by the agent to the Governor General as his summer
It lies 10 kms from Ziarat, off the main road to Quetta. A
small waterfall formed by the mountain spring flows down. It
is a 2 kms walk from the main road to the waterfall and is an
ideal place for picnic.
It is just 4 kms from Ziarat. It is a dramatic waterfall
cascading down the rocks and provides fun to the visitors.
CHUTAIR VALLEY / TANGI:
About 13 kms from Ziarat on way to Loralai is the beautiful
Chutair valley. It is a 30 minutes drive to Chutair from
Ziarat There are green picnic spots in the valley. There is
also a rest house in case one wants to stay longer. The crude
and rustic huts made with the bark of juniper trees in which
the inhabitants of the area live, are strikingly different
from dwellings in other villages. Nearby is Chutair Tangi
which is worth visiting.
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