Kalat - State of Khanate of Khan (Balochistan)
Kalat is a district in Balochistan Province at the distance of 141 km from Quetta on Karachi-Quetta Highway N-25. It was the main land of the princely state of the Khanate of Kalat from 1512 to 1955.
Kalat district is bounded by Khuzdar, Kacchi, Mastung, Kharan, and Washuk districts. The Karachi-Quetta Highway N-25 runs across the center of the district and provides access to all of location in the district. The Surab-Basima Highway N-85 connects Surab town in district to the Ratodero-Gwadar Motorway M-8 to access the Gwadar Port.
Kalat is a historical old city and once it was the capital of the Kalat Khanate and still controlled by Khan, also called the Khan of Kalat. The Khanate of Kalat was an independent state of Baloch tribe from 1512 to 1955 in the center of Balochistan province. During the Mughal period, it was under their control and ruled by Ahmedzai khan until 1839. Then it became as a self-governing state in the British India and with the agreement by the Khan of Kalat in 1876, Kalat became part of the Baluchistan Agency. After 12 August 1947, it was an independent state until 27 March 1948 and acceded to Pakistan. The last Khan of Kalat was formally removed from power in 1955, but his descendants still claims to have that title.
The landscape of Kalat is mostly mountainous with number of valleys. Mount Harboi is the famous mountain in Kalat, where abundant quality of old trees of Juniper are available. Most of these mountain ranges are barren and dry. The main professions of the local people are agriculture and forming. Most of the land is irrigated by various seasonal rivers and streams in the area. The Rej River and the Moro River are major rivers in the district. But most of the cultivation is based on rain and karezes water. Crops in small quality are cultivated, but fruit orchards are common in the Kalat district. Fruits such as apples, peaches, dates, plum, olive, and apricots are commonly available.
Meeri Fort of Kalat is 5000 years old ancient site. It was the palace of a king and used by the Khan of Kalat before 1935. It was demolished due to earthquake in that year and now few some ruins of the fort is there. It is located near Kalat city on a high mound, but there is no proper road to access the site. An unpaved road is available and some part of of the journey can be covered on foot to access the site of the fort. From the fort site, you can enjoy the panoramic view of the Kalat city. Near the fort site, there are graves of royal family of the Khan of Kalat.
Palace of Khan of Kalat, also known as White Palace, is located on Shahi Darbar Road on the right of Harboi Road in the Kalat city. It is beautiful white color building that was in use by the Khan of Kalat and his family after 1935. It is also used by Quid-e-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah, founder of Pakistan, whenever visited to the Khan of Kalat. It is vacant now-a-days, as the Khan of Kalat and his family had shifted in United Kingdom after the removing the title of Khan of Kalat in 1955. There is also a beautifully constructed mosque, named Masjid Khan of Kalat Palace, inside the palace premises.
There is a 1400 years old mosque that was built by the army of Hazrat Ali, the fourth Caliph of Islam. There is also a mountain near mosque named Shah-e-Mardan, where the Army of Hazrat Ali stayed.
There is also a hindu temple, known as Kalat Kali Mandir. She is a Hindu goddess and considered as goddess of power, time, destruction, and change. There are two Kali temples in world, one is in Kalat and second one is in Kolkata India. It is more than 1500 years old old temple. It is also located in the center of the Kalat city.
The weather of Kalat is extreme hot and dry in summer season, whereas winters become cool and pleasant. It receives negligible amount of rainfalls in the monsoon period, but few shavers can be possible in winter season due to breeze coming from western areas.