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Ziarat's Minaret and the Juniper Forest.jpg
Ziarat is located in Pakistan
Coordinates: 30°22′52″N 67°43′37″E / 30.3810°N 67.7270°E / 30.3810; 67.7270
Country Pakistan
Province Balochistan
Elevation 2,543 m (8,343 ft)
Time zone PST (UTC+5)
Number of Union councils 1

Ziarat (Urdu: زیارت‎) is the capital of Ziarat District, Balochistan, Pakistan. It is located at an altitude of 2453 meters (8050 feet) and is a notable holiday resort of Balochistan. Ziarat (meaning an Islamic shrine) was the summer residence of the chief commissioner of Baluchistan, and sanatorium for the European troops at Quetta. The hills around are well-wooded and picturesque.1

Juniper forest

Ziarat is also famous for its juniper forest. Junipers species Juniperus macropoda, Juniperous exceisa polycarpus or Pashthani Juniper are found in Ziarat districts and Zarghoon mount and some other mounted areas of Balochistan known as the second largest Juniper forest in the world, which covers an area of about 247,000 acres (1,000 km2). There are many important species of animals and birds (such as the Chukar partridge), bushes and ground flora within this ecosystem, many of which are used by the local people to treat disease. However, Ziarat is best known for its juniper trees, some of which are 5000 to 7000 years old. In Ziarat a herb called Ephedra sinica is found in abundance from which a chemical called ephedrine is extracted, an important constituent of various medicines, especially cough syrups. Chiltan Adventurers Association Balochistan has been raising awareness on both the national and international levels on the need for conservation of this unique heritage site since 1984.2citation neededwww.noorzamantaran.com

Tourist areas

Snow Camping by Chiltan Adventurers Juniper Defenders in Ziarat 2003.
Quaid-e-Azam Residency, It was completely burnt down as a result of a militant attack in 2013.

Ziarat is the location of the Ziarat residency where Jinnah lived and spent his last days of life, Ziarat is a famous tourist site. There is a small dam and the valley is full of fruits in summer and winter cherry in summer and apple in winter.

The Residency was constructed in 1892. It is an important building, the whole building is actually a wooden structure beautifully designed and has great architectural importance. It was originally meant to be a sanatorium, and it was converted into the summer residence of the Agent of the Governor General. It is now a national monument. The residency catches the tourists' attention due to its unique location and the wonderful hilly surroundings. The weather is really pleasant during summer time and the local people are hospitable, but in winter the weather is severe and it is more difficult to survive. During summer time the apple and cherry gardens provide a pleasant view for tourists.citation needed

THE GORGES: Balochistan is an arid land which receives very low rainfall annually. But innumerable natural springs known as KAREZ and streams are found in most of the areas. There are more than a half dozen gorges around Ziarat formed by natrul karez spring water falling through narrow opening amongst the mountain rocks producing a dramatic effect. The famous gorges along the road to Ziarat are Chutair Tangi, Kahn Tangi, Kawas Tangi, Faran Tangi and the Sandman Tangi.citation needed


The local residents of Ziarat are Pashtun, consisting of Kakar and Dotani Dummer (Kakar). Among these, Kakar is the largest tribe, accounting for 70% of the total population. Ziarat is mostly occupied by Essakhail, panezai or sarangzai tribes .citation needed Kakar is further divided into different kinds of sub casts including Essakhail, Panezai, Sarangzai, Yasinza, and Ahmadkhail. Among these, Essakhail, Domer and Sarangzai constitute the highest population of the green valley of the Pashtun belt.


The shrine of Baba Kharwari is 8 km from Ziarat town. A member of Sarang zai tribe, his name was Tahir. He became a disciple of Nana Sahib and a number of miracles are attributed to him. He is buried in a valley about 8 km from Ziarat. A large number of people visit his shrine and offer sacrifices in his memory. During the Eid festival, the tribesmen gather around the shrine and hold wrestling and marksmanship competitions.citation needed

The shrine of Nau Gaza Baba is 1 km from Ziarat town. It is surrounded by big graveyards. Nau Gaza Baba's real name was Kareemdad. He was a member of the 'Esakhail Sanerzai' tribe. When he died, his body became large by nine(Nau) yards(gaz)therefore people started to call him Nau Gaza Baba. Many people visit the shrine to pray.citation needed


Köppen-Geiger climate classification system classifies its climate as cold semi-arid (BSk).3

Climate data for Ziarat
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Average high °C (°F) 5.3
Daily mean °C (°F) −0.8
Average low °C (°F) −6.8
Precipitation mm (inches) 46
Source: Climate-Data.org, altitude: 2519m3


On the morning of October 29, 2008 around 4:00 am the town and surrounding areas were struck by an earthquake. The first was a 6.2 magnitude but lasted a couple of seconds the next followed at a magnitude of 6.4 lasting almost 30 seconds destroying many mud houses leaving several government buildings destroyed as well.

Neighbouring villages were also badly affected by the earthquake. Over 50,000 people have been made homeless and 300 feared dead.Landslides had cut-off many roads and accessibility to the area was made more difficult. Pakistani military helicopters were used to reach mountainous and remote locations, where some villages had been cut off by landslides. The scale of the disaster is quite extensive but much of the experience learned from the October 2005 earthquake which struck northern Pakistan was effectively put into place. The aftershocks were also felt in the city of Quetta causing widespread alarm. The rescue and relief squad of Chiltan Adventurers Association Balochistan sponsored by Pakistan Customs Quetta distributed the relief goods to the affected mountainous and remote areas, the same team rescued and helped the survivors jointly with the co-operation of the Chinese search and rescue team in Balakot earthquake 2005. Many of the same group also helped survivors of the 2005 Kashmir earthquake, which killed over 75,000 people.In 1935, Quetta suffered almost complete destruction in 1935 Balochistan earthquake which claimed the lives of about 30,000 people.

Pakistan sits atop an area of seismic collision between the Eurasian, Iranian Plateau and Indian tectonic plates, the same force that created the Himalayan mountains.45

Coordinates: 30°22′52″N 67°43′37″E / 30.3810°N 67.7270°E / 30.3810; 67.7270

See also


  1. ^ Ziarat – Encyclopædia Britannica Eleventh Edition
  2. ^ Silver Jubilee Juniper Defender Award
  3. ^ a b "Climate: Ziarat - Climate graph, Temperature graph, Climate table". Climate-Data.org. Retrieved 11 November 2013. 
  4. ^ Raven, Nell. (2008-10-29) Pakistan quake kills 160. Telegraph.co.uk. Retrieved on 2012-01-25.
  5. ^ 300 feared dead in Pakistan quake – BBC. BBC News (2008-10-31). Retrieved on 2012-01-25.

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