"Kirthar National Park" Kirthar Range by besal
Kirthar Range Travel Guide: 12 reviews and 45 photos
Pakistan’s national parks are areas of natural-untouched beauty, where the landscape, wildlife and vegetation flourish. And somehow, with various NGO’s insistence, Government of Pakistan protects and preserves them in their natural state. No exploitation is allowed. Hunting (restricted access), cultivation, mining, etc are strictly forbidden. These regulations and restriction, and no proper roads have left these sanctuaries in their natural state, where both flora and fauna flourish in the picturesque landscape.
There are more than 14 natural parks in Pakistan and one of them is in Sindh.
This page is about Kirthar National Park, Pakistan’s second largest reserve, and I would also like to call it the "GRAND CANYON OF SINDH". This park was included in United Nations world list on National Parks in 1974. The park is situated in the south-western part of Sindh, stretching from north-east of Karachi to Dadu/Larkana district, and bisecting Sindh-Balochistan border. The total area of the park is more than 308,000 hectares. SindhWildlife manages the park, where they have developed two main centers: Khar and Kharchat.
Kirthar belongs to IUCN Category II protected area, designated mainly for ecosystem preservation. Therefore I believe there will be no MacDonalds, KFC, or Pizza Hut cropping up in the near future. Though SHELL did try to mine for oil, but thanks to our public and some NGOs, this move was check-mated. And this is one reason why the landscape and wildlife are well preserved because there are no easily accessible roads, with some security concern.
One can go to Khar from Karachi in one’s own car, but Kharchat is accessible by 4x4 only. Khar is approx. 95 km from Karachi near Hub Dam, while Kharchat is more than 160 km from Karachi via Super highway. The best time to visit is from October to March, which are considered cooler months. There are several rest houses, with running water and cooking facilities, in both locations, and can be easily booked through the Sindh Wildlife in Karachi. They also rent tents if anyone is interested. Food could be arranged, if ordered well in advance, but it is advisable to take your own food, drinks and beddings.
The landscape of Kirthar hills forms a natural refuge for all kinds of wildlife and vegetation. Various forms of mammals and reptiles such as gazelles, Ibex, sheep, cats, wolf, lizards, porcupines, snakes, partridges, eagles, vultures, sand grouse, migratory birds, etc could be seen inside the park (if one is lucky). In addition the vegetation of the park comprises of various forms of shrubbery, flowers, and trees.
Other than the natural landscape, one can also have an Indiana Jones type of an archelogical experience. There are several 18th century Chaukundi style tombs at Taung, pre-historic rock paintings and archaeological remains at Koh Tarash, and one of the world largest fort, RaniKot within its boundry. Ranikot is two hours by jeep from Karchat. Another way to access RaniKot is from Saan, about four hours from Karachi via Hyderabad.
My present tips are of our visit to Khar in mid-October 2007. We took our own cars, Sedans, and surprisingly the roads were well maintained. With some detours due to washed away roads. When we reached Khar, we realized that one really needs a 4x4. I have no idea how my Honda City climbed that gravel track.
On a lazy Sunday morning/afternoon the drive towards Khar/Hub Dam is quite pleasant and takes one away from the city life.
- Pros:Unexplored, mini-grand canyon, natural untouched beauty
- Cons:Minimal accomodation, requries 4x4 for exploration
- In a nutshell:GRAND CANYON OF SINDH (on a miniscule scale)
The dam provides fresh water to the inhabitant of Karachi. The Dam entrance is situated on teh Hub Road, 18 km before... more travel advice
The vegetation of the park comprises of various forms of shrubbery, flowers, and trees. It is said that during monsoon,... more travel advice
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