Killa Abdullah (Balochistan)
Killa Abdullah is a district in Balochistan Province at the distance of 105 km from Quetta. It is mountainuous region situated in the foothills of the Shela Bagh Range. It is accessible via Khojak tunnel or Khojak Pass through Chaman Road N-25.
Killa Abdullah is bounded by Pishin, Quetta, and Chaman districts. It also has boundaries with Kandahar province of Afghanistan. The Chaman road N-25 runs across the center of the town and gives access to other locations in the district. It can also accessed via Alizai Road by using Hajezai Py Pass from the Pishin district. It is also connected with railway station on Quetta-Chaman track.
The region was under the control of British India in 1839 after the First Anglo-Afghan War. Afghan captured the entire Pishin Valley in 1842 and the British got the control again in 1879. Its name is derived after a historical fort, Abdullah Qilla, built by Sardar Abdullah Khan Achkzai, who was a khan of Kalat.
Killa Abdullah is mountainous region with average elevation from 1,500 to 3,300 meters. Its valleys are bounded with mountains with long central ridges with several spurs. The northern side of the district is a vast plateau, named Toba Plateau. The Toba Achakzai is an offshoot of the Toba Kakar range of mountains extending into Maruf district in Kandahar Afghanistan. Due to scarcity of water and semi-desert climate, there are low number of trees and shrubs, but same climate is suitable for fruits like apple, apricot, plum, grapes, and cherry. The land of the districts is normally cultivated by seasonal streams those flow across the valley from north to south as well as privately owned Karezes. There are several seasonal streams in the district, which are the only sources of the water there, in which Makha Nadi, Karori, Arambi Nadi, and Isa Dar Chur are common.
Qilla Abdullah is located in the district of Killa Abdullah. It is a historical fort and built by Sardar Abdullah Khan Ahmedzai during 1716-1731. He was the Khanate of Kalat and ruled it until 1839, when Kalat became a part of the Balochistan Agency under the British India, as self-governing state.
The Khojak Tunnel is situated in Toba Achakzai range in the Killa Abdullah district at an elevation of 6,381 feet above sea level. It is about 4 km long and constructed in 1891 under the Khojak Pass for the purpose of railway crossing. It is the second largest tunnel in South Asia as well as in Pakistan, after Lowari Tunnel. It was built by the British India Government to get the control over the Afghanistan, but they never succeeded in their mission after many struggles.
Shela Bagh is famous due to its railway station and gateway to the Khojak Tunnel. Tunnel is clearly visible from the railway station. Therefore, tourists visit Shela Bagh railway station to view the historical Khojak Tunnel, also known as Shela Bagh Tunnel.
The weather of Killa Abdullah district is moderate hot and dry in the summer season, whereas it becomes pleasant and cool in the winter seasons. In winter season it also receives some snowfalls around the hilly areas. It becomes an attractive place in winter season due to snow fall on the surrounding hills. It receives little of amount rainfall due to Siberian winds in the winter season.