Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Trip Report: Cruising through the Great Canyon

The Great Canyon! Isn't It?
Last month I got yet another opportunity to drive through the magnificent Makran Coastal Highway. This time it was with my old time University fellows. Since we planned for a Day Trip only so we decided to drive till the picturesque Buzi Pass, around 250 km from Karachi. In fact it was the first time for the rest of the troupe so I had to play the guide role also!

The journey went smooth as per the plans Alhmdolillah. We started off from Karachi even before the sunrise and took a sojourn at Hub for prayers and refueling. After which we drove non-stop till the Hingol River Bridge to have a fulfilling brunch with karak chai at Al-Hasan Hotel.

Both RCD highway and the Makran Coastal Highway are in reasonably good condition. Since it was Sunday morning, so we experienced very thin commercial traffic on the Quetta bound road which was a much relief actually.

Nothing has changed on the Coastal highway since my last journey a year back except for the completion of the under construction bridge before Agore built on the patch of the highway that disappeared due to floods years back.

Past Hingol Bridge it was all beauty as expected. Friends were awestruck in fact. Subhanallahe Wabihamdehi Subhanallahel Azeem!

سبحان الله و بحمدہ سبحان الله ا لعظیم

It took us around four hours, including the enroute stops, to reach to the height of the wilderness, i.e. to the 1500 feet high Buzi Pass.

We saw the Pass and the adjacent canyon in the full sunlight and under clear skies, a great experience indeed. After the trip I was thinking of naming this gorgeous canyon and decided to call it the Great Canyon from now. This title will also remind how the army of the Alexander the Great suffered in those torturous ravines while coming back from the Indian Campaign!

Smell of something burning was in the air. As a Karachite, my riot-censors were about to wake up until I realized that this is coming out of the break-shoes of the passing trailers loaded with fertilizer they picked from Gwadar. A truck wala was in fact busy in managing his vehicle from one hand while capturing the shots of his life with the help of his mobile camera from the other!

We then backtracked to the Rock Formations for another Photo Session. Both Sphinx and the Princess of Hope are just mind boggling. Even after visiting so many times my mind cannot believe that this is just carved by the passing winds! I noticed a change there this time. A triangular flag – akin to what one can find outside shrines and temples – was wavering besides the Princess of Hope signboard.

A similar kind of flag is also mounted near the Kund Malir beach also which we touched on the way back.

The beach was picture perfect and the calm waters were too tempting so we parked the car off the road for some quick splashes. A local has setup a small grocery kiosk there for the rare picnickers. I was offered a cup of tea by the hospitable Makrani fishermen chitchatting with each other. One of them tried to scare me by telling that there are cannibals living in the mountains. Maybe he is right, the area is still least explored!

At around 2 we got packed up in the car again for the return journey halfway through which we met a desert storm developed due to hot and dry conditions. That continued for about half an hour effectively reducing our speed however we managed to reach back Karachi safe and sound just before the sunset, Alhmdolillah!

Here are the timelines of the Day Trip:

0600 Left Karachi
0630 Reached Hub. Fajr Prayers and Refueling.
0815 Zero Point Makran Coastal Highway
1000 Reached Hingol River Bridge. Brunch at Al-Hasan Hotel
1100 Reached Buzi Pass. Photo Session of the Great Canyon before backtracking.
1200 Rock Formations. Photo Session of the Princess of Hope and the Sphiix
1300 Kund Malir Beach
1400 Return Journey started
1600 Reached RCD Highway Junction (Zero Point). Tea Break
1800 Back Home

We were four guys in Tariq’s Mehran which gave excellent mileage for the 550 km journey. Around 25 litres of petrol and 10 kg of CNG was enough for the long drive.

Now enjoy the select photographs courtesy Umer and others:

Zero Point - the Junction between the RCD Highway and the Makran Coastal Highway
Time Starts Now!
Colors of Pakistan
The Road to the Wilderness
Journey Continues
The Chilli Effect
The Slope
Local Life
Kund Malir
Life Along the Coast
The Virgin Beach
Always Expect a Sharp Turn
Under Construction
Cruising through the Great Canyon
Wonder Why the Alexander's Army Got Trapped Here!?
This is What Makes it Great
The Beautiful Coastal Highway
An Inhabitant
Matching Colors
Hingol National Park
The Sphinx of Makran
Princess of Hope
or the Princess of Wilderness?
Anyways, it is Just Mind Boggling
Carved by Winds. Really!?
The Temple of Unknown Goddess!
We Hit the Sandstorm on Our Way Back
Back to the Zero Point
Smuggling or What?


  1. It is a nicest pics shared by you.

  2. Great job, Muzzammil !
    I am in NY and have seen the Makran Coast without leaving my home.

    Please continue to send us your travel pics. They are fantastic.

    Moin Ahmed

  3. MashaAllah amazing,
    simply it's beauty.
    for next trip don't forget me:)

  4. Marvelous photo have become a photographer... :)

  5. Great job! Keep travelling and share with us the beauties of this nation :)

  6. Well written and accompnied with good photographs. Many will foloww your footsteps

  7. This is marvellous, nice pictures and very well written.
    Khurram Mubeen

  8. You did a Good job
    this made me Eager to Go There!!


  10. no wonder why the local agencies failed to safe the great assets should say a paradise and pride of the nation. and enemies both local and international based are snatching it away like they found some treasure. Allah bless and safe our beautiful pakistan and its four provinces. especially balouchistan.

  11. I do miss my country when I was young lived in Pakistan/Lahore My interest of craze was northern area we traveled to china border on scoothers. Stayed few days in last Pakistan town susthee on China border.

    Now I am old live UK. When I see my young Pakistani roaming about in wilderness I really feel pleasure.

    God Bless Pakistan and Pakistani

  12. Excellent! Keep it up. It is a big service in the public interest.

  13. I travelled along the writer as the description was so captivating. Go on and on and share the sojourns with your readers.

  14. Great! But it was 2012, would you still recommend travelling with family? Do you have any feedback on security situation? Guidance on this will be much appreciated.

    1. Thanks. Yes imo, it is not any less safer than 2012. Many friends have visited the place, some with families, after that and did not report any major issues. Keep normal precautions, manage your time well, and it shall be a fun outing!

  15. Apologies for my tardiness. Many thanks for your reply and advice.