Friday, March 23, 2012

Himalayan peaks showcase stark natural beauty

My country India and Pakistan are neighbour and always been curious about Pakistan. As we have various differences due to political reason but when I land down at Korea I met some beautiful people and learned many great things about Pakistan.

Pakistan is a very beautiful country as it is a land of splendors and a great tourist destination which I didn't know before being an Indian.

The landscape changes from the high mountain ranges of the Himalayas, Karakoram and Hindukush in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Province to the plains of Punjab and the deserts out to the Arabian Sea.

There are myriad mountain peaks in Pakistan. The tallest peak in the South Asian nation is the renowned K-2, which is the second highest peak in the world (at more than 8,611 meters 28,251 feet) after Nepal’s Mount Everest. The 806 kilometer-long Karakoram highway constructed on the ancient route between Pakistan and China is the highest trade route in the world.

In the province of Punjab we have rich agricultural land and a network of rivers, shrines, forts and gardens, illustrating the Mughal era. Over two thousand years ago, the Gandhara Buddhist civilization flourished in northern Pakistan, with Taxila as a hub of Buddhist learning.

The province of Baluchistan is the largest of Pakistan’s four provinces. Constituting approximately 44 percent of the total land mass of Pakistan, it also enjoys only a sparse population. Baluchistan is rich in mineral resources. It is the second major supplier of natural gas in Pakistan. It has natural beauty, mountains ranges, salt mines and a long coastal belt.

The province of Sindh in the south also abounds in natural beauty, as well as having been the cradle of the ancient civilization of Mohenjo-daro. The southern city of Karachi is the commercial hub of Pakistan and includes the nation’s major port. Karachi also has beautiful beaches. In addition to the natural beauty in the four provinces of Pakistan, the people of Pakistan are extremely hospitable and generous to tourists and especially to foreign guests.

Tourism is the engine which mobilizes all the other business markets of the country, resulting in uplifting the socio economic condition of the people, at the cost of expenditure by tourists, in pursuit of satisfying his /her interest. Pakistan is a country with breath taking natural beauty and a variety of flora and fauna.

Pakistan has the second highest peak in the world and numerous passes, such as the Khyber Pass and the Khunjerab Pass in Khyber Pakhtoon Khwah.

From the mighty stretches of the Karakorams in the north to the vast alluvial delta of the Indus River in the south, Pakistan remains a land of high adventure and nature. Trekking, mountaineering, white water rafting, wild boar hunting, mountain and desert jeep safaris, camel and yak safaris, trout fishing and bird watching are a few activities, which entice the adventurous and nature lovers to Pakistan.

The High Himalayas, Karakoram and the Hindukush ranges with their alpine meadows and permanent snow line, coniferous forests down the sub-mountain scrub, the vast Indus Plain merging into the great desert, the coast line and wetlands, all offer a remarkably rich variety of vegetation and associated wildlife including avifauna, both endemic and migratory. Ten of 18 mammalian orders are represented in Pakistan with species ranging from the world's smallest surviving mammals, the Mediterranean pigmy shrew, to the largest mammal ever known; the blue whale.

Northern Areas of Pakistan, spread over 72,496 sq.Km. are as fascinating as the southern region. Amidst towering snow-clad peaks with heights varying from 1000 m to over 8000 meter, the valleys of Gilgit, Hunza and Skardu recall Shangri-La. The cultural patterns in this region are as interesting as its topography.

Modern Pakistanis are a blend of Harappan, Indo-Aryan, Indo-Iranian, Saka, Parthian, Kushan, White Hun, Afghan, Arab, Turkic and Mughal heritage. Waves of invaders and migrants settled down in Pakistan throughout the centuries, influencing the locals and being absorbed among them. Thus the region encompassed by modern-day Pakistan is home to the oldest Asian civilizations (and one of the oldest in the world after Mesopotamia and Egypt), the Indus Valley Civilization (2500 BC - 1500 BC).

The Khunjerab Pass, which the highway crosses, and the nearby Mintaka Pass lie astride the fabulous ancient Silk Road that led from Europe to Asia and over which history's most famous tourists once travelled. These include the Venetian trader Marco Polo after who has been named the wild Marco Polo sheep in the thirteenth century, the Chinese Monk Fe Hien in the fourth century and the Arab historian Al-Beruni in the eleventh century.

The Establishment of Heritage University of Taxila (HUT): For the promotion of cultural relations between South Korea and Pakistan, a Korean based organization, M/s Gandhara Art and Culture, has expressed an interest in the establishment of an institute for post graduate studies, at the “Heritage University of Taxila” (HUT). The aim of this institute would be the revival of the ancient glory and academic excellence of Taxila, and also to study, highlight and publicize the important aspects of the Gandhara civilization.

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