Baluchistan, a land of arid deserts, dense forests atop mountains, and gushing waterfalls all coexisting in a wondrous ecosystem. This naturally delightful province is situated in the South and Western Asia region. Bordering with the Pashtun region up North and Sindh and Punjab on the East, the Southern Coastline joins with the Arabian Sea, Gulf of Oman, and the Makran Coast. Their wide spoken language is Baluchi, an ancient language traced back to an Iranian branch of Indo-Europeans.
The earliest civilization in Baluchistan dates back to the Palaeolithic era characterized by stone tools, hunting camps, and lithic scatter. The earliest discovered villages were found in the Kachi Plain, Mehrgarh. The Quetta Museum displays some of the most extraordinary manuscripts, instruments, clay ware, and arms on display that date right back to the Stone Age. The geologic richness of the land is also showcased with land and aquatic fossils from 540 million years ago.
The Baluchis are truly filled with a strong culture that is artsy and creative. In particular, their music is renowned and displayed in museums across the country. The iconic instruments of Baluchi music are the Doneli Double Flute, the Dholak, and the Sorud Fiddle. Their heritage is also flaunted through their embroidery and handicrafts such as elaborate rugs, embellished dresses, and jewellery. These can all be bought at colourful stalls in bazaars. Baluchis are known for their tribes and festivals filled with folk dances and cattle shows as well as their love for poetry and storytelling.
When visiting any place, one of the best ways to immerse yourself into their culture is by enjoying beloved food favourites with the locals. Baluchis’ native dish is the Sajji, a stuffed and skewed lamb or chicken. Kaak is one of their local types of hard bread. Khaddi Kabbab is a notable dish in which a whole lamb or goat stuffed with raw rice is cooked over a fire, the rice becomes cooked as its immersed in the natural fats. Masala fish is also enjoyed in the coastal areas. One thing is for sure, Baluchis surely love their meat! That doesn’t mean that they don’t make a to-die-for vegetable curry though using ingredients such as home-grown potatoes, okra and lentils.
If there’s a list called “the best places to visit in Pakistan”, Baluchistan makes it to the top end of the list. If you’ve been wondering what the best places to visit in Baluchistan are, look no further than our carefully put-together guide to exploring the most worth it destinations in Baluchistan. So, what are the top places for tourism in Baluchistan?
Best Places to Visit in Baluchistan- The Ultimate Guide
Hingol National Park
The largest of all in Pakistan, Hingol National Park lies on the coast of Makran with the Hangul River flowing right through the park, containing a wonderfully large waterfowl and marine life. You can spot swamp crocodiles and unique migratory birds such as the Dalmatian Pelican around the river. The Park is extremely unique with six diverse ecosystems contained within it. The Northern side is covered with dense forestation and waterfalls whilst the Southern side is barren mountains with canyons and the famous Hingol Mud Volcano. It houses and protects the most beautiful endangered wildlife species such as the Persian Leopard, Honey Badger, and Sindh Ibex. On Hangul Bay, you can expect to see Indo-Pacific Dolphins, as well as Olive Turtles, coming to lay eggs on the shore in August. If you’re looking to be truly baffled by nature’s work, be sure to go and see The Sphinx of Baluchistan. Though not as famous as the Great Sphinx of Egypt, this huge rock formation that looks like a Sphinx is no less mystifying. It is sometimes referred to as “The Lion” as it looks like one sitting on top of an architectural complex. It is so well defined that some even believe that it was created by an ancient civilization.
This port city on the South Western coast of Baluchistan is truly a world in itself. You’ll find every kind of beauty possible here. Dip your feet into the sandy waters of Ormara beach whilst taking in the sun and crystal water. The beach is surrounded by powerfully stunning mountains that cradle the blue water. There are even some of nature’s miracles that can be seen just traveling a little ahead. The Princess of Hope is a natural rock formation found in Gwadar. She can be noticed from afar and is even more mystifying up-close; a tall woman staring into the distance in a hopeful way, it’s no joke for a rock to display such emotion and that too one that was naturally formed. Looking for something more adventurous? Try your hand at visiting the Gwadar desert located right off the highway. Standing amidst the endless waves of shimmering gold and dunes is an unforgettable experience. Another very fun place to visit is the Gwadar peninsula resting on the Arabian Sea shaped just like a hammerhead! From there you can go on to visit the Port of Gwadar, an economic hub that is very easy on the eyes surrounded by glistening blue waters.
If you’re still craving more wonders, the active Chandragup Volcano, translating to Father Moonwell, erupts mud instead of lava. It’s not just any old mud. Looking into it is like staring into the galaxy. You can see a palette of ombre colours ranging from sky blue and teal to fiery oranges. The surrounding backdrops are remarkable. Hindus make a pilgrimage to this wonder as they believe it’s a place to go to confess sins and be cleansed of spiritual and emotional baggage. No matter what your belief, there’s no doubt that the sight of this wonder will make you feel weightless and free.
A district known for its celestial agriculture produce, Quetta borders the Kandahar Province, Afghanistan, to the North-West of Baluchistan. Their fruit orchards produce the most divine grapes and apples. The Hanna Valley gives birth to the nuttiest Almonds you’ll ever have. You can witness fertile pastures and dry plains here with diverse plants and animals to view amidst the mountains on a trip to Pishin Valley. Hazarganji Chiltan National Park is another great place to observe the Markhor goat, the beloved national animal of Pakistan, or to see Pistachio and Almond bushes spread over acres of protected land. Yet another jaw-droppingly beautiful place to visit is the Urak Valley, aka the land of orchards. There you’ll find apple, pomegranate, and peach trees as well as a waterfall that greets you at the end of the valley. If you’re wanting to immerse yourself into the culture of Baluchistan though, why not visit the Quetta Bazars? You’ll find expertly handcrafted carpets, jewellery, hand embroidered jackets, footwear, and other priceless handicrafts and trinkets to take home with you at unbelievable prices.
Kund Malir Beach
One of the most uniquely divine beaches in the world, the Kund Malir Beach is classified as a desert beach and is truly exceptional. The colours on this beach are wild. You have the emerald and sky-coloured waters of the Arabian Sea transitioning into the glittery sand. The area is surrounded by striking rock formations that look like they have been hand-cut by nature into a piece of art made to take your breath away. The beach is adjacent to Hingol National Park so you have so many more wonders to see that are easily accessible from here.
Being declared the first Marine Protected Area of Pakistan, this surreal place lies near the coast of the Arabian Sea. Also known as Jezira Haft Talar Satadip, it translates to The Island of Seven Hills. The calmness of Astola Island is humbling. See the most beautifully intense orange-pink sunset of your life sitting in the sands of this magical place. What’s more, you can enjoy memorable activities there to further delve into the island’s offerings such as fishing, camping, and even scuba diving, all in a serene and peaceful environment.
Pir Ghaib Waterfalls
Resting in the sublime Bolan Valley, about 70km from Quetta, this waterfall is worth a visit if you’re aspiring to be inspired. The local story has it that the Invisible Saint was miraculously saved at this place when King’s men attacked him. He struck his cane on the mountain and water started flowing, creating Pir Ghaib Waterfalls. It’s the perfect place now to have a picnic whilst taking in the glorious view and gushing white noise of the waterfall. For the more daring, don’t be shy to have a swim at the bottom of the waterfall (advised for only strong swimmers)! The climate is warm and perfect for a watery endeavour.
Enter one of the oldest and largest Juniper forests in the world. Your trip to Baluchistan cannot be complete without touching base at this wonderous location situated 135km from Quetta. Finding a guest house is no problem here. The climate is comfortably chilly, a blessing in the hot and arid province. You’ll find an abundance of lavender flowers, apple and cherry trees, and delicious natural honey here. The forest is wonderful for hiking and trekking thanks to its gentle climate even during the snowy winters. Trek to the water springs on the Chashma Walk trail or hike to the Prospect Point to take in the view of the valley. To explore the culture, take a look into the Quaid-E-Azam (founder of Pakistan) residency where he spent his last few years, or see the Shrine of Baba Kharwari where wishes can come true. There are even annual events taking place here on national holidays like Eid which can be superbly enjoyable. Some more honourable mentions are the Fern Tangi and Sandeman Tangi waterfalls where you can have a picnic and easily find a guesthouse to stay nearby too.
These are just some of the mind-blowing destinations that Baluchistan has to offer. The biodiversity and natural formations in this province are truly mind-bending and one truly appreciates the beauty of nature after a visit to these refreshingly unique locations. There’s no chance of regretting the decision to visit Baluchistan, these top destinations will impress anyone no matter how well travelled. Everyone needs something like this once in their lifetime. So, book your adventure, get packing, and head on to this land of wonders!