Bolan pass (Balochistan)
Bolan Pass connects Central Asia and South Asia. It has a historical background, it was the main gateway to cross the region for invaders, traders, and nomadic tribes. It is located in Toba Kakar Range in Balochistan between Quetta and Sibi, mountains are dry and barren. Traveling through the pass is the real adventure of crossing dry and dusty mountains through a number of narrow gorges of 89 km in length. Traveling through rail is more interesting while crossing Bolan Pass.
The weather conditions in the area are totally unpredictable, a burning sun turns into heavy rain or snowfall within few hours.
Quetta, also known as the fruit garden of Pakistan, is the capital of Balochistan province, located at a distance of 691 km from Karachi. The word Quetta is drived from Pashto word Kwatkot, meaning fort, due to its geographical structure. There is a number of fruit orchards in and around the city, and there are large and different varieties of fruits and dry fruits produced there. Due to its geographical location and scenic beauty, it was also known as Little London in the past. It has a border with Afghanistan, so treated as the hub of trade between Afghanistan and Pakistan.
Quetta has boundaries with Mastung, Pishin, Ziarat, and Killa Abdullah districts. The Quetta-Taftan Highway N-40 runs across the center of the district and can be used to access all of its major towns. It also connected with the Quetta-Jacobabad Highway N-65 that is used to access it from the central Sindh province. It can also be accessed via National Highway N-50 that also connects with Indus Highway N-55. It is also connected with railway track on the Rohri-Chamman main track. It also has International Airport to service all of the local as well as international flights.
Its landscape is composed of mountains with an average elevation of 5,510 feet and a dry plain on the west side. Quetta city is surrounded by mountain ranges and hills named Chiltan, Takatoo, Murdar, and Zarghun. There are number of valleys in these mountain ranges and number of small rivers flow inside these valleys.
Quetta is located on the north side of Balochistan near the Pakistan-Afghanistan border. So it is considered as an important strategic and trade center near Afghan border. The Bolan Pass and the Khojak Pass are the important routes for all kind of trade between Pakistan and Afghanistan. It is also connected with Iran via Taftan border and same route is used for all kind of trade between Pakistan and Iran, and other Central Asian Countries.
Quetta was captured by the British in 1876, so its most of the development has a flavour of the British construction. Sir Robert Sandeman constructed his residency and army station that is the center of the Quetta city. Army Command and Staff College was opened to train the British army in 1907.
Quetta also attracts number of tourists due to its scenic beauty and number of beautiful and attractive valleys in the near vicinity. It is also a gateway to access Pishin valley, Ziarat, and Chaman.
The climate of quetta is dry and harsh in winter season, when temperature normally falls below the freezing point, whereas summer season is much pleasant. Instead of that tourists like to visit in winter season due to snowfall on the surrounded hills and it gives more splendid view to the visitors.
In quetta, there are number of vast size orchards, those produced various types of fruits specially grapes, peaches, apricots, apples, plums, almonds, pomegranates, and pears. It is also famous for high quality dry fruits. So fruit canneries is one of the most important industry in Quetta. The surrounding mountain ranges are also homeland for different types of plants and animals. The most of these mountain ranges are covered with valuable Juniper and Pistachio forests.