the capital of Balochistan, 1692 metres above sea level, lies at the
mouth of Bolan Pass. It has three large craggy mountains. Chiltan,
Zarghun and Koh-e-Murdar,that seem to brood upon this pleasant town.
There are other mountains that form a ring around it. Their copper red
and russet rocks and crests that are powdered with snow in winters add
immense charm to the town.
inhabitants are mainly Pathans, Balochs and Brahuis. You can also find
Uzbeks, Tajiks and Turkamen rubbing shoulders with the other
inhabitants. Nomadic tribesmen pass through Quetta Valley during
spring and autumn with their herds of sheep and camels and their
assorted wares for sale. This seasonal movement adds colour to the
life of the city.
Prominent bazaars of Quetta are on Shahrah-e-lqbal (Kandahari Bazaar) and Shahrah-e-Liaquat (Liaquat Bazaar and Suraj Gang Bazaar). Here you can find colourful handicrafts, particularly Balochi mirror work embroidery which is admired all over the world. Carpets, with their pleasing and intricate designs, fur coats, jackets, waistcoats, sandals and other creations of traditional Balochi skills.
In the old bazaars one comes across quaint old tea-shops. These are the local "clubs". There are also many popular eating houses offering different types of delicacies. Among the delicacies you must try is "Sajji" (leg of lamb), which is roasted to a delightful degree of tenderness and is not very spicy.
The tribesmen of the valley also enjoy "Landhi" (whole lamb), which is dried in shade and kept for the winters. "Kebab" shops are very popular, the best being Lal Kabab, Tabaq, Cafe Farah and Cafe Baldia. They serve Pakistani and Continental food Some of the finest mutton in the country is raised around Quetta. It has a delicious smell which can be sampled in the "Pulao" that most of the eating houses offer., while Cafe China specializes in Chinese cuisine.
The Archaeological Museum at Fifa Road has a collection of rare antique guns, swords and manuscripts. Geological Survey Department on Sariab Road (6 kms) has a collection of rocks and fossils.
Hazarganji Chiltan National Park :
Hazarganji Chiltan National Park, 20 kms south-west of Quetta,
Markhors have been given protection. The park is spread over 32,500
acres, altitude ranging from 2021 to 3264 metres.
Reptiles like monitor and other wild lizards, geckos, Afghan tortoise, python, cobra, horned viper and levantine may also be seen in the park.
Rest House facilities are available for overnight stay. Transportation to the park and food arrangements are not provided but cooking facility is arranged on request. Park Rangers help the visitors to see animals. Access trails have been developed in the park for visitors. A small museum of natural history/ in located near the park entrance.
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