Killa Abdullah is a lesser-known city in the Balochistan province of Pakistan. Despite its obscurity, this city has a rich history, culture, and natural beauty to offer to travelers. Exploring lesser-known cities like Killa Abdullah can provide us with an opportunity to discover hidden gems and learn about different traditions and ways of life. In this article, we will delve into the history, culture, tourist attractions, activities, accommodation, and transportation options of Killa Abdullah.
Kila Abdullah District, also known as Qilla Abdullah in Urdu and Balochi, and Qila Abdullah Wulswali in Pashto, is a district located in the northwest region of Balochistan province in Pakistan. The district was separated from Pishin District and became a new district in June 1993. Kila Abdullah has a mountainous terrain and is surrounded by the Shela Bagh Mountain range. The district shares its border with Pishin District to the east, Quetta District to the south, and Afghanistan to the west. The district is composed of two sub-divisions: Gulistan and Chaman. The Tareen and Achakzai Pashtuns and other minorities like Kakar, Syed, etc., are the main tribes living in the district.
The district has an area of 5,264 square kilometers and consists of long central ridges with numerous spurs, ranging in elevation from 1,500 to 3,300 meters. The soil in the district is mostly loamy in Gulistan, while it is sandy clay-gravel in Tehsil Chaman. The climate is generally dry and temperate, with suitable conditions for horticulture and agriculture. The district is known for the growth of fruits such as apples, apricots, peaches, plums, grapes, cherries, and vegetables like potatoes, onions, and tomatoes.
Historically, the area became part of British India in 1839, along with Quetta and Pishin, as a result of the First Anglo Afghan War. However, the Afghans reoccupied the entire Pishin Valley in 1842, losing it again in 1879. In 1993, Kila Abdullah was separated from Pishin for administrative reasons and was given the status of a district.
According to the 2017 census, Kila Abdullah had a population of 323,793, with a literacy rate of 39.37%. The male literacy rate was 54.52%, while the female literacy rate was 22.96%. Pashto is the predominant language spoken by 97.96% of the population. The district is subdivided into three tehsils: Dobandi, Gulistan, and Qilla Abdullah.
In terms of education, the district ranks 111 out of the 141 ranked districts in Pakistan on the education score index, according to the Pakistan District Education Rankings 2017. The district faces challenges such as a lack of post-primary access to education, with only 6% of government schools being high schools. Gender disparity is also an issue, with only 15% of schools being for girls. Access to education for girls is limited, and this is reflected in the low literacy rates for females. Basic facilities in schools are lacking, with most schools lacking electricity, toilets, clean drinking water, and boundary walls.
Khojak Tunnel is one of the sites of interest in the district.
Tourist attractions in the area include the Khojak Tunnel, which is a railway tunnel constructed during British rule and is still in use today. The tunnel is located at an elevation of 1,945 meters above sea level and is a popular spot for sightseeing.
Other sites of interest in Kila Abdullah district include the Toba Kakar range, which is a popular destination for rock climbers and hikers. The district is also home to the Qila Abdullah Wildlife Sanctuary, which covers an area of over 120 square kilometers and is home to a variety of wildlife species including the Balochistan Urial, the Chinkara gazelle, and the desert fox.
In addition, the district has a rich cultural heritage and is known for its traditional handicrafts such as pottery, weaving, and embroidery. The district is also famous for its fruits, particularly apples, which are grown in abundance in the area.
Overall, Kila Abdullah district is a unique and interesting part of Balochistan province with a rich cultural heritage, diverse natural beauty, and significant tourist attractions. However, like many other parts of Pakistan, it faces significant challenges in terms of education and basic infrastructure. Efforts are being made to improve the situation and provide better opportunities for the people of the area.
History of Killa Abdullah
Killa Abdullah was founded during the Mughal era in the early seventeenth century. The name Killa Abdullah translates to ‘Fort Abdullah’, which refers to a fort built by the Mughal emperor Akbar in the area. Over the centuries, Killa Abdullah served as an important region for trade and commerce between Central Asia and the Indian subcontinent. The city witnessed various events in its history, such as the Afghan invasion of the eighteenth century and the Balochistan conflict of the twentieth century.
Culture and Traditions
Killa Abdullah is a melting pot of diverse ethnic and religious communities. The city has a significant Pashtun population, and Baloch, Hazara, and Brahui people also reside in the area. The locals follow different beliefs, including Sunni and Shia Islam, Hinduism, and Christianity. The cultural heritage of Killa Abdullah includes unique art, music, and dance forms, such as the Attan dance and the Suroz music. The local cuisine features mouth-watering flavors of kebabs, pulao, and saji.
Killa Abdullah boasts of stunning natural beauty and historical landmarks. The Takatu mountain range and the Bolan Pass are popular tourist spots for their scenic beauty and hiking trails. The Khwaja Khizr Tomb, also known as the Blue Mosque, is a famous mosque built in the sixteenth century. The Chiltan Hill, the Hanna Lake, and the Ziarat Residency are other attractions that draw visitors to Killa Abdullah. The city also celebrates various festivals and cultural events, such as the Eid festival, the folk music festival, and the wrestling festival.
Activities and Adventures
Killa Abdullah offers numerous activities and adventures to explore its natural beauty. The Chiltan National Park and the Hanna-Urak valley are ideal places to spot wildlife and birds. The Hanna Lake provides opportunities for water sports and recreational activities such as boating and fishing. The Takatu mountain range and the Bolan Pass offer exciting trekking and hiking trails.
Accommodation and Transportation
Tourists can find lodging options in Killa Abdullah, ranging from budget guesthouses to luxury hotels. The city has a few bus terminals and a railway station that connects it to other cities in Balochistan and Pakistan. Private taxis and rental cars are also available for transportation within the city and nearby areas.
In conclusion, Killa Abdullah is a city waiting to be explored. Its historical landmarks, cultural diversity, natural beauty, and adventure opportunities make it an ideal destination for travelers looking to experience something new. By venturing into lesser-known cities like Killa Abdullah, we can learn about the different traditions and ways of life that exist in Pakistan. Therefore, if you’re planning a trip to Pakistan, make sure to add Killa Abdullah to your itinerary.