Chakwal Things to Do
Kallar Kahar lake is situated in a beautiful valley in the southern hilly area of potohar plateau in the salt range. It is at an altitude of about 1500 ft from sea level. It can be approached from Islamabad by Motorway at a distance of about 100 kms to the south and from chakwal, it is about 30kms to the south-west on chakwal-Sargodha road.
It is a natural lake which is fed by a natural fresh water spring at the base of hills. This spring water fills the lake up to a level and then overflows and makes a stream towards the north. The lake is not deep, so a lot of natural vegetation can be seen all around it and even in the middle.
It is a natural breeding sanctuary for many birds, so it is an ideal place for bird watching. Some migratory birds can also be seen in particular season. Wild peacocks can be seen wandering around the area. Now and then their particular sound can be heard clearly. They can be best watched near the tomb at the top of the hill at dawn and sunset because caretakers of the tomb feed them at that time.
Local, small amusement parks are developing near the lake disturbing its beauty to some extent. A TDCP motel is present for catering and lodging of tourists at reasonable rates. Small pedal boats and specially designed motorboats are available in this shallow lake. Fishing is also popular over here.
In 1510 AD, Zahir ud Din Babur , The great Mughal Ruler visited this place. He ordered the plantation of first Mughal Garden here and named Safa Garden “Bagh-e-Safa”. A large single stone, elevated, carved out sitting place is also present in the garden, known as throne of Babur “ Takht-e-Babri”. Small fruit farms of apricot and “loqaat” are still present around the lake. Rose farming and extracting rose-water is also a centuries old industry found here. A few years ago traditional water-milling units were working over the running waters of the stream but they are gone with the good olden days.Related to:
- Family Travel
- Adventure Travel
Khewra salt mines are located in the Salt Range, 45 Kms south of Chakwal and are one of the oldest and biggest rock salt deposits in the world.
Rock Salt deposits in this area were known to humans from prehistoric times and it is often quoted that during the invasion of Alexander of Macedonia (around 326 BC) people settled here dug salt from the mountains.
The salt mines in the area were owned and operated by the Janjua tribe when the British Government took over the administration of these mines in 1849. Scientific mining operation started under the supervision of Dr. Warth, a renowned Mining Engineer of UK in 1872.
There are seven thick salt seams with cumulative thickness of about 150 meters and an estimated 6.687 Billion Tons of rock salt deposits. Cumulative length of mine is more than 40 km. There are 19 working levels in the mine and only 50% of salt is excavated from the working seam while the remaining 50% is left as pillars.
At places rock salt is 99% pure and is transparent, white, pink or beef red in colour. Inside the mine there are beautiful alternate bands of red and white color salt.
Khewra Salt Mines Tourist Resort has been developed by PMDC and the main tunnel at ground level developed by Dr. Warth in 1872 has been converted into Tourist Resort. Inside the Mine a beautiful mosque made of different shades of rock salt bricks has been constructed. The hollow walls of salt bricks when lighted gives a beautiful look. There are certain chambers filled in with saturated brine solution.
Electric train has been made available for tourists to have a joy ride up to main juncture inside the Mines where kiosks have been fitted, having sufficient capacity for tourists to relax and enjoy light refreshments. There is a Restaurant and a Souvenir Shop where souvenirs made from hard rock salt are available. Mine is open for tourist from 9:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. every day including Sunday and gazetted holidays. Guided tours are also available.
It is located in the salt range mountains 30 kms from Chakwal city near choa saidan shah, on choa –Kallar kahar road.
The Katas site houses the Satgarha - a group of seven ancient temples - remains of a Buddhist stupa, a few medieval temples, havelis (palaces) and some recently constructed temples, scattered around a pond considered holy by Hindus.
The epic poem Maha-Bharat contains its references. An annual festival was held here and the pilgrims performed bath in the waters of holy pond. The legend says that this holy pond was created by the tears of Lord Shev. Every year pilgrims (Yatrees) from India visit this place.
Ruins of a stupa belonging to Jain religion are also present in the north of present Katas.
Chakwal Warnings and Dangers
Be careful when you walk in downtown Chakwal. There is unorganized heavily polluted tarffic. Try not to eat from street vendors (specially if you are on a short visit). Drink bottled water. Nestly water is recomended.Related to:
- Hiking and Walking
- Family Travel
Chakwal Tourist Traps
If you are a tourist (specialy from outside chakwal or pakistan), arrange your own transportation from a reputed company in Rawalpindi/Islamabad. Don't use Ching Chi rikshaw at all. It is very dangerous and uncomfortable.Related to:
- Family Travel
- Business Travel