Feel The Real Pakistan - Part 2

Karachi


Pakistan's cosmopolitan city Karachi, is located on the eastern coast of the Arabian Sea. It is the capital of the province of Sind and the former capital of Pakistan. With a population of nearly 10 million (which is rising rapidly), Karachi is undoubtedly the largest city of Pakistan accomodating people from all regions and religions. Being the largest and the most populous city of Pakistan, Karachi presents an interesting and colorful combination of the old and new traditions. The narrow twisted lanes and alleys of the old city throb with life along-side the wide metalled roads and elegant modern buildings. Within the city, one may find talented artisans with age-old skills producing handicrafts of exquisite beauty.



Muzaffarabad

Situated at the confluence of the Jhelum and Neelum rivers and surrounded by majestic mountains, Muzaffarabad looks like a walled paradise. It is the administrative capital of Azad Kashmir. Behind the Secretariat to the east is a road climbing above the town from where one can walk upto Pir Chinasi located at 2,900 meters with breathtaking views of the Jhelum Valley and high mountain peaks just above the Neelum towards the North. From the cool on the Abbottabad Road, you can walk along the ridge looking over the Jhelum and Kunhar rivers.




Lahore

Situated on the east bank of the River Ravi, the wonderful city of Lahore adds to the charisma of Pakistan. Legend traces its origin to Loh, the son of Rama Chandra, the hero of the Ramayana, but history records that it began as a dependency of the 8th century AD Hindu ruler, Lalitiditya. In the early 11th century it came under Muslim rule and evolved as a center of Islamic culture and learning as well as trade and commerce. In the 13th century it was depopulated and razed to the ground by the Tartar-Mongol hordes of Genghis Khan. Lahore was a cultural and intellectual center during the Moghul and British eras. Such atmosphere still pervades, but it is the diversity and contrast of the different sections of Lahore, which makes it the most eventfully interesting part of Pakistan.



Islamabad

Islamabad, the capital of Pakistan, lies against the backdrop of the ever-green Margalla Hills at the northern edge of Potohar Plateau. The name Islamabad (City of Islam, or City of Peace) was carefully chosen to reflect Pakistan's ideology. It was coined by a Pakistani teacher during the Government of Ayub Khan. Islamabad is located 8 miles north of Rawalpindi's city center. In contrast to its twin city Rawalpindi, Islamabad pictures a lushfully green and peaceful atmosphere. It is a city of wide tree-lined streets, large houses, elegant public buildings and well organized bazaars. Sidewalks are shaded and safe behind rows of flaming jacaranda and hibiscus trees. Beautiful parks filled with Roses, jasmine and bougainvillea add to the beauty of this dreamland.



Hunza Valley

Visitors to Hunza are deeply overwhelmed by the rugged charm and the fragrant breeze singing through graceful trees and the lushious green attractively carpeted fields all set against a background of snow-covered mountains. Situated at an elevation of 2,438 metres, Hunza Valley's tourist season peaks from May to October. The temperature in May is 27 C maximum and 14 C minimum. While the October temperatures range from: 10 C maximum to 0 C minimum.



Karakoram Highway

The Karakoram Highway or KKH in short, is the greatest wonder of modern Pakistan. It is one of the most spectacular roads in the world connecting Pakistan to China. It twists through three great mountain ranges - the Himalayas, Karakoram and Pamir -following one of the ancient silk routes along the valleys of the Indus, Gilgit and Hunza rivers to the Chinese border at the Khunjerab Pass. It then crosses the high Central Asian plateau before winding down through the Pamirs to Kashgar, at the Western edge of the Taklamakan Desert. By this route, Chinese silks, ceramics, lacquer-work, bronze, iron, fur and spices traveled west, while the wool, linen, ivory, gold, silver, precious and semi-precious stones, asbestos and glass of South Asia And the West traveled east.


Khunjerab Pass

The Khunjerab Pass, at 4,733 meters (15,528 feet), is reputedly the highest metalled, border-crossing in the world. Visitors are greeted with a red sign announcing 'China, drive right', and another green sign saying 'Pakistan, drive left'. A monument declares that the highway was opened in 1982 and indulges in a bit of hyperbole by saying that the pass, is at 16,000 feet (4,875 meters). On May 1, 1986, the Khunjerab was opened to foreigners for travel between Hunza and Kashgar in Sinkiang Province. Since then, Sost has been the customs, health and immigration checkpoint on the Pakistan side and the place where people depart for or arrive from China, even though it is 54 miles from the pass.
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