Thursday, February 2, 2012

The Great Canyon

Cruising Through The Great Canyon
(Also appeared in the News International's Blog)

Only two hundred and fifty paved kilometers from the bourgeoning Karachi located a stretch of recently unlocked land that stands high above an unending maze of intricate ravines. Sneaking through tall cliffs these gorges produce a distinct geographical formation; the ‘canyon’ in travelers’ jargon.

The breathtaking setting only became publicly known after the construction of Makran Coastal Highway – the 650 km freeway – in 2004 and is rapidly gaining popularity among adventure type Karachites. The sight is so overwhelming that even a ‘round the world’ road traveler cannot watch that without a wide open mouth!

The road sign there suggests that this patch of the highway is known as the Buzi Pass which is actually a tortuous territory in the otherwise smooth road.

The belief that the army of Alexander suffered an unprecedented loss while crossing through the 1500 feet high pass differentiates the canyon from the rest of the global league. Memory of the ancient conqueror coupled with the enormity of the setting arguably makes it the greatest of all known canyons. The Great Canyon!

Wonder why the army of Alexander the Great trapped here!?
The then world’s largest army was puzzled, ambushed, and crushed by the foray of a handful of indigenous mountaineers who could even seep into the cracks between unmapped gullies after hunting their bamboozled prey from atop! A lesson indeed from the dusted chronicles of history which no superpower ever liked to learn the secondhand!

Standing in front of the unending backdrop, one can visualize the lethal fight between the time-tested Greek warriors and their agile enemy! On the other hand, driving besides the deadly labyrinth – or a sliced plateau – is an experience which cannot be expressed in words.
Can You Spot Those Miniature Trucks?
For those who are untouched by the landscape eulogy and the historical drama there is enough more enroute to get flabbergasted.

A few kilometers ahead of the rocky terrain the freeway kisses the virgin beach of Kund Malir in style making the combination unworldly. This is where the coastal semi desert meets the gradient waters of the Arabian Sea for an eye-catching combination of the golden yellow, soothing green, and the deep blue. A Designer Beach, if expressed in the tweaked metrosexual lingo!

The peaceful coastal line provides an ideal sunbathing opportunity to the white seagulls which flock in during winters from the cold North in thousands. A treat for Baywatch lovers!
Virgin Beach of Kund Malir
The climax is yet to reach as there is some food for thought for the superstitious souls also! In between the idyllic beach and the twisted mountain pass there are some interesting rock formations allegedly carved by the ocean breeze! Deftly chiseled, some of the shapes are so convincing that even the most rational of the minds will not help nail-biting. Even if one overlooks the castle like formations, the lion shaped rock is literally mind-boggling. Impossible to believe that the high standing statue – which resembles the Great Sphinx of Giza – is carved merely by the passing wind and not by an adroit craftsperson!
Princess of Hope
This tranquil setting is situated just four hours away from the noisy metropolitan and can be done as a long daytrip if timed with the sunrise. For Top Gear lovers the pleasant drive is a bonus as the smooth road, thin traffic, and no troopers only come in dreams.

Unfortunately, roadside facilities are almost non-existent so loading basic necessities, most importantly water, would be a good idea. On the flipside, lack of infrastructure might be a good tradeoff for the adventurous kind who would otherwise feel intrigued by the tourist influx. Refueling is better done before embarking on the journey especially if one is concerned about the bootlegged variant of the neighborhood fuel.

In fact, the escape was a game finisher for my American cousins who were visiting the ‘homeland’ for the winter break. Their Grand Canyon tales would now become a chapter of the history, believe me not!

1 comment:

  1. superb, will travel there definitely!!!