"Chakwal and its Surroundings" Chakwal by 4x4Xplorer
Chakwal Travel Guide: 7 reviews and 22 photos
Chakwal is a small town located about 100kms to the south of Islamabad……and is my homeland.
Geographically, it is located on a plateau “Potowhar” which extends from Margalla hills (Islamabad) to the salt range in the south. The edge of this plateau runs east-west with huge deposits of natural rock salt. The area is mostly eroded by rain water channels. The area has abundant freshwater springs, which gives the local name for the area “Wanhar” which means land of streams. From prehistoric point of view, the area is rich in fossils....especially Mastodonts ( elephants with huge tusks) and Rhino-like prehostoric extinct creatures.
This area lies in the way of ancient trade route which leads into the natural passage in mountains “Khyber pass” connecting the ancient India with Persia and central Asian states. Alexander the great of Macedonia, marched on this route to reach central India. The famous battle of Alexander with local Raja Porus was fought in this area and it was the first time that Alexander had to face trained elephants in battlefield.
The places to visit in this area are,
1-Kalar Kahar (Natural lake with wild peacocks)
2-Katas (Ancient architecture of Hindu/ Sikh shrines)
3-Khewra Salt Mines (One of the oldest and biggest natural rock salt deposits)
4-Fort Malot Ruins (place of origin of janjua tribe)
5-Fort Nandna Ruins (where Alexander met local Raja Porus)
6-Khabiki and Uchali Natural lakes ( Local and migratory bird watching sites)
7-Dhok Ameer Khatoon (Palaeontological / Fossil study)
8-Dhok Tahlian irrigation dam(bird watching site)
9-Khokhar Zer irrigation dam(bird watching site)
10-Kot Raja irrigation dam(bird watching site)
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 fruits 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.
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.
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