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The Youth Times Travel Guide to Balochistan By Visiting These Valleys

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The Youth times travel guide to Balochistan By Visiting These Valleys For those who are looking for options to enjoy nature and relax for a few days, away from the hustle-bustle of the city, there are many places in Balochistan that will fascinate any visitor or traveler. Due to its location in the southwestern region of Pakistan, it’s widely believed the province’s dry desert climate isn’t exactly suitable for tourism. But that’s not accurate. Balochistan is home to beautiful places like Kanrach, Hingol National Park, Moola Chotok, Gadani Beach, and Ziarat that will not only change your perception about Balochistan but also mesmerize you with their rustic beauty. When we talk about Balochistan, there are only a few cities that come to mind but there’s a lot more to explore. There are a number of valleys in Balochistan brimming with wildlife and natural marvels. Mountains, plateaus, oasis, deserts, waterfalls – you name it and it’s there. Let us take a look at a few valleys that you can visit whenever you travel next.

VALLEYS IN BALOCHISTAN
You must have heard about Kalash Valley, Kaghan Valley, and Naltar Valley among many other popular valleys in Pakistan. The northern valleys of Pakistan are not the only places where you can head to enjoy nature’s marvelous creations. Valleys in Balochistan are equally rich in terms of scenic views and culture, which makes it, arguably, the only province of Pakistan that has something to offer to every traveler. Before we go exploring these amazing valleys, let us first share with you some facts about Balochistan.

FACTS ABOUT BALOCHISTAN
Balochistan is the largest province of Pakistan in terms of land area which is a spread of 347,190 square kilometers forming a total of 43.6 percent of the total area of Pakistan. The total population of Balochistan, according to the 2017 census, is 12.34 million.

The capital city of Balochistan is Quetta, which is surrounded by mountains, and if you visit the city during winters, you will also be able to witness snowfall. The city has all the facilities a metropolis has to offer, including an international airport. The geographic area of Balochistan can be divided into four different zones: upper highlands (the highest altitude is 3700 meters), lower highlands (the highest altitude is 1200 meters), plains, and deserts.

Balochistan has vast reserves of metallic and non-metallic minerals. Some of the minerals and reserves currently exploited are: Coal, Sulphur, Limestone, Quartzite, Iron, Marble, Barytes, Chromite

Now, let’s explore the following valleys in Balochistan:

KANRACH VALLEY
Kanrach Valley is called the land of waterfalls because there are numerous streams pouring down lofty mountains. It has recently attracted the tourists’ attention, especially of those who keep looking for weekend getaways near Karachi, as the capital city of Sindh is only 3 to 4 hours drive away. One should explore each and every waterfall in the valley and you can do that only if you control your temptation to take a dip in each of them which will be highly unlikely.

On your way to Kanrach, you will see streams of crystal-clear water surrounded by shrubs. The mountains in this area are known for their peculiar formations and gigantic size. As soon as you reach Kanrach, you will feel a cool breeze brushing against your skin. The breeze takes its cooling effect from the waterfalls nearby. For adventure-seekers, Kanrach is also a good site for trekking.

ZIARAT VALLEY
Local, as well as international, tourists are unaware of the culture, history and beauty of Ziarat. It is the administrative capital of Ziarat District and enjoys pleasant weather throughout the year. When we talk about the beauty of Ziarat, we do not, and should not, limit it to its mountains. The place is a treasure trove of history and diverse traditions.

The name Ziarat has a Persian and Arabic origin which means shrine. There are shrines of many Sufi saints along with other sacred sites. The road to Ziarat Valley is surrounded by Juniper trees some of which are even older than 5000 to 7000 years making them the oldest Juniper in the world. Apart from the residents of the valley, only some people know that there is a Quaid-e-Azam’s house popularly known as Quaid-e-Azam Residency which is well-preserved and open for tourists.

Among the few things that are on the wish list of every tourist is tasting local food. The people of Balochistan welcome the visitors and tourists very warmly. You will enjoy their hospitality if you get a chance to stay the night at a local’s house. Their culinary specialties are famous across the country but the best taste can only be found at its hub.

For tourists, the most popular spots for sightseeing are Prospect Point and Hanna Lake in Ziarat. From the top of Prospect Point which is 6 kilometers from Ziarat, you can enjoy the beautiful view of Koshki Valley. Another famous tourist spot is Hanna Lake which is 100 kilometres from Ziarat. The lake was formed as a result of the construction of a reservoir during the British colonial era.

MOOLA VALLEY
Remember we mentioned an oasis in Balochistan at the beginning of this piece? Well, Moola Valley in Balochistan has a natural waterfall oasis called Moola Chotok which is a hidden paradise for adventurers. Your trip to Moola Chotok will not be complete if you have not taken a dip into the crystal blue water of Moola Valley.

The valley is surrounded by dry and rocky mountains. There is also a river named after the valley that flows all year round and it is also believed to be the source of waterfalls. If you have decided to go to the Moola Chook, you will need to rent a jeep that will take you to the base of the hill. After that, you will have to trek for a few minutes which will take you right to the spot that will freshen up your eyes and soul both. Moola is the name of the nearest village and Chotok means falling water and hence the waterfall is known as Moola Chook.

URAK VALLEY
Urak Valley is situated in close proximity to the city of Quetta—about 150 kilometers away from Ziarat. It is one of the more famous tourist spots in Balochistan because of the presence of freshwater springs. However, the highlight of this place is the Hanna-Urak Waterfall.

Oh, and you’ll also be pleased to know that Urak Valley is home to fruit orchards, which mainly consist of peach, plum, apricot, and apple trees.

So, this was our overview of the beautiful valleys in Balochistan that deserve a spot on your travel bucket list. While there are a lot of travel guides and maps you can use to reach any of these places, getting yourself a local guide will help you save time.

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