Here are six interesting facts about Pakistan that might surprise you.
Islamabad is Pakistan’s capital and the seat of government. It is situated in the North East of the country and is home to 2 million people. The city was developed, for a range of geopolitical and economic factors, to replace Karachi which it did in 1966. The new city was built to a triangular grid plan and incorporates Islamic and modern architecture like the Faisal Mosque, built in 1986 to resemble a Bedouin tent.
Pakistan is home to 4 out of 14 of the world’s highest mountains. K2 at 28,250 feet above sea level is only 785ft lower than Everest, making it the second highest mountain in the world. It is notoriously difficult to climb, with an average of 1 death for every 4 climbers who reach the summit.
The Port of Gwadar
Gwadar is the world’s largest deep-sea port. It is situated on the Arabian Sea at the mouth of the Persian Gulf, with an approach channel 14.5m deep and infrastructure,and service vessels to provide a harbour for the world’s largest oil tankers and cargo ships. The port is a testament to international cooperation which, although it is owned by the Gwadar Port Authority, is operated by the Chinese Overseas Port Holding Company.
At an altitude of 13,700ft this plateau in North East Pakistan, is known as “the roof of the world.” Every July since 1936 a Polo festival has been held there, making it the highest polo ground on Earth. The playing area is smaller than usual and to win, teams of 6 have to score 9 goals. There are no rules and consequently no requirement for a referee.. The festival is hugely popular, attracting people from all over the world who want to enjoy three days of polo, music, dancing and other festivities.
The Karakorum Highway (KKH)
At over 15,000ft, the KKH is the highest paved international road in the world; it follows the ancient silk route over the Karakorum Range. The road begins in Punjab and ends 800 miles later in Xingjiang, China. The KKH is a popular tourist destination, particularly as it provides, nearest point access to a range of mountains and glaciers, including Nanga Parbat; although at certain times of year it is impassable due to snow or monsoon rains. Travelling at such a high altitude in a remote part of the world is a definite reminder to take out travel insurance for Pakistan.
Mehrgarh is a Neolithic archaeological site of some significance in North East Pakistan close to the Bolan Pass. Excavations have taken place at various sites since the 1970s by a team of French archaeologists who, in addition to unearthing thousands of artefacts, have found evidence of crop growing and livestock farming (goats, sheep, cattle) dating back to between 6,500 and 5,500. The significance of the site is that it has forced archaeologists to revise previous assumptions about early settlements in the Indus Valley.
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