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Chagai (Balochistan)


Chagai is the largest district of Pakistan and is situated on the north west part of Balochistan, at the distance of 560 km from Quetta city on the Quetta-Taftan Highway N-40. The importance of this district is due to international border between Iran and Pakistan at Taftan to link with Zahedan city in Iran.

Chagai district is bounded with Washuk, Kharan, and Naushki districts. It also has border with Afghanistan in the north side and with city of Zahedan in Iran in the east. The National Highway N-40 is the main road that runs across the center of the province to all of its town as well as to access the border between Iran and Pakistan at Zahedan. Taftan-Zahedan is the border between Iran and Pakistan to cross via road. It is the major crossing for the pilgrimages from Pakistan to visit the Shrines of Hal-e-Baits in Iran and Iraq. The National Highway N-40 extends to Road-84 in Iran. It is also connected with railway line on Quetta-Taftan track. Airport is also located there to provide local flight services.

Chagai districts consist of highlands, deserts, and plains. The Chagai and Koh-i-Sultan Ranges in the north, the Mir-Jawa Kachau and Ras-Koh Hills on the south-west, and the Sarlath range in the east are located there. The highest point in these ranges is about 9,367 feet. Chagai is also famous as Pakistan had performed nuclear capability test in the Ras-Koh hillsin May 1998 and become the first Islamic country of the World having nuclear power.

The ancient ruin forts and Kareezes found in various locations of the district belong to the Arabs and Mughals. The Baloch are the oldest inhabitants of the district, who have migrated from Aleppo. It remained under the rule of the Safavid Dynasty during the late 16th century. Then it will be under the control of the Mughal Empire. After the decline of the Mughal Empire, it was occupied by the Khan of Kalat. During the British period, it was remained the part of princely State of Kalat.

Taftan Mountain is an active stratovalcano in the south-eastern in Sistan and Baluchestan Province of Iran. It has average height around 13,000 feet above sea level. It is located at 62 km from the town of Taftan in Pakistan, so it can be clearly seen from the there.

Hamun-e-Mashkel, also known as RCD lake, is a temporary and seasonal shallow lake in the districts of Chagai and Washuk districts. Haman is the generic term used for all of the shallow water lakes and wetlands which are usually seasonal and temporary in the desert area of Iran, Afganistan, and Pakistan. These are formed due to melting snow in the surrounding hills and dried out at the end of the summer season. Hamun-e-Mashkel is the largest temporary and seasonal lake in Pakistan at a distance of 509 km from the city of Quetta. It can be accessed through Chagai as well as Washuk districts. It is around 85 km long and 35 km wide. Hamun-i-Lora is another seasonal lake in the district of Chagai at 405 km near the town of Chagai. Both of these lakes are beautiful tourist spots in beginning of summer season and spring season. These lakes also attracts several migratory and local birds such as hawks, waterfowls, Houbara bustard, sparrows, etc.

More than 50% area of the district is not able for cultivation. The seasonal cultivation is occurred in the remaining areas, where land is normally irrigated through the tube-wells, seasonal streams or using stored rain water. Most important crops of the district include fodder, wheat, sunflower, maize, and vegetables. District is famous for various fruits such as grapes, dates, pomegranate, apricot, etc. Dalbandin town in the Chagai district is famous for its fruit orchards to produce grapes, apple, apricot, almond, etc.

Tropical Thorn Forests and Sand Dune desert in the Chagai district are famous for unique species of reptiles those are only available in this region such as sharped-tailed spider, spiny-tailed lizard, Afghan tortoise, leaf nose viper, etc. Desert fox, aslatic jackal, goitered gazelle, porcupine, afghan hedgehog are also found in these forests.

The weather of Chagai district is extreme hot and dry in the summer season and cool in the winter seasons. It receives negligible amount of rain in winter season only due to breeze coming from the eastern side.

Chagai Map

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