Hangul National Park: A Land of Museums On The Coast Of Balochistan

Monday, 14 December 2020

Hangul National Park: A land of museums on the coast of Balochistan


Balochistan's Hangul National Park: Land of many wonders, including 'Princess of Hope' and 'Abul-Hol'


According to the Russian writer Leo Tolstoy, "The stories of all prosperous families are almost the same, but the stories of poor families are different." The journey takes you through many good, bad, and sometimes painful experiences.


Especially places that are undergoing social and economic change. Today we take you on a tour of Hangul National Park, an area on the coast of Balochistan that has not only been of historical significance but also a paradise for wildlife, archeologists, and researchers. do not have.


Hangul National Park is the largest national park in Pakistan, covering an area of ​​about 619,000 acres. It is located 190 km from Karachi in the three districts of Gwadar, Lasbela, and Awaran in Balochistan. The sprawling area was declared a national park in 1988.


According to the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), a national park is a protected area that is built specifically to protect wildlife, the environment, and the ecosystem and is intended to target a specific area. Rare species (plants and animals) need to be provided with a favorable environment for their survival.


The park is named after the southern part of the Hangul River, which flows along the shores of the Arabian Sea and provides a safe haven for large numbers of waterfowl and marine life.


Hangul National Park is distinguished from other national parks in Pakistan such as Kirthar, Khanjrab, Chitral, Hazar Ganji, Margalla Hills, and Ayubia National Parks in that it has six different ecosystems. Are completely different from


The park also has desert and plain areas at the same time. To the north is a dense forest and to the south is a barren mountain range, while on the other side is the Hangul River with a wide bay or saltwater swamp. Before the river flows further into the sea, it forms a tributary, home to thousands of migratory birds and swampy crocodiles.


Through centuries of evolution and natural erosion, the rocks have been carved on unique lines that captivate tourists.


Tourists from all over the country started visiting Hangul National Park in 2004 after the completion of Makran Coastal High. In this land of museums, these five objects are the first to attract tourists.

1. Wild and marine life

Hangul National Park serves as a natural sanctuary for endangered wildlife in Pakistan.


According to a survey, it is home to about 257 plant and 289 animal species, including 35 mammals, aquatic animals, amphibians, reptiles, and migratory birds from around the world. Includes hundreds of rare types.


According to Dr. Shoaib Kayani, Senior Professor, Department of Marine Sciences, Karachi University, marsh crocodiles are regularly spotted on the coastline adjacent to Hangul National Park.


There are an estimated 60 crocodiles in various places. The Hangul Bay is home to a large number of other aquatic life, including invertebrates, including Indo-Pacific dolphins.


According to Dr. Shoaib Kayani, the coastal areas of Balochistan and Sindh are among the best places for green and olive turtles.


Various rare species of fish and turtles are also found in the coastal areas adjacent to Hangul National Park. These turtles come to the beach every night in August to lay their eggs at night.


But increasing plastic pollution on the shores made it difficult for them to dig, so the female turtles left without laying eggs. Since then, the number of these turtles on the shores of Sindh and Balochistan has dropped significantly.

The Hangul River
The Hangul River

2. Unique Rocks in Hangul National Park

The vast plain of Hangul National Park has many valleys, so it is divided into two main parts, called the eastern and western parts of the Hangul River.


The region has been of great importance in Iranian and Indian history. According to historical references, in 324-325 BC, Alexander the Great encountered a major storm and flood passing through the coastal areas of Makran, which caused a severe shortage of food and drinking water, killing thousands of Alexander the Great's soldiers.


The University of Geneva and the University of Tehran conducted a joint study on the attractive features of this coastal strip of Iran and Balochistan, in which 36 such rocks were observed.

Hangul National Park mountain range

According to this research, the effective process of erosion and sedimentation has played an important role in the erosion of rocks here for centuries in which the waves of the sea carry with them a lot of soil and other substances to the shore.


Layers of soil 1 to 10 meters and in many places even thicker were observed on these rocks of different heights, which gradually increased from the beach.


The tidal waves of the sea and the strong stormy winds have scratched the Makrani coastal strip and the adjoining mountain cliffs in such a way that at first glance it looks like an archeological complex of an ancient civilization. The most famous of these rocks is the Princess of Hope and the Sphinx.

'Princess of Hope'

One of the hallmarks of Hangul National Park is a rock called 'Princess of Hope'. Seen from afar, it looks like a statue of a tall woman looking for something on the distant horizon.


When the famous Hollywood actress Angelina Jolie came to Pakistan on a UN goodwill mission in 2004, this rock became the center of her attention and she named her 'Princess of Hope' or Princess of Hope.


It is said that it was not created by man but by ocean winds and erosion.

Sphinx of Balochistan

The Sphinx of Balochistan is also called by the locals the statue of Abul-Hol.


The rock, which bears a striking resemblance to a famous Sphinx statue in Giza, Egypt, was discovered in 2004 by local laborers and engineers during the construction of the Makran Coastal Highway.


Traveling along the Makran Coastal Highway, the rock can be seen from afar and looks exactly like a man-made sculpture, as such statues are found in the interior of temples in Egypt, Myanmar, India, Sri Lanka, and other South Asian countries. I have discovered a lot.

3. Mid-Volcanoes Or Mudslides

Another tourist attraction in Hangul National Park is the abundance of mid-volcanoes, mostly in the Mid-Hor area. They range in height from 800 to 1500 feet.


Mudflakes are actually mountains that constantly erupt, forming a cone on top of them. This process is caused by the chemical reaction of hot sand, small amounts of groundwater, and gases in hot weather.


According to Muhammad Hanif Bhatti, a well-known traveler from Karachi, when he first saw the Chandra Gupta mudflat in Hangul National Park in 2010, he was amazed by the beauty and uniqueness of this natural process.

mudslides

Back then, it was not easy to reach these mudslides because they could only be reached by (4x4) vehicle. But after the construction of the road, tourists continue to come here all year round, which has led to a sharp increase in pollution. Tourists throw envelopes, food items, etc. around these mounds.


According to Hanif Bhatti, at one time Chandra Gup was considered to be the tallest eruption in the world, but with my friend Mehdi Hassan, I have so far discovered about 100 eruptions in Balochistan, some of which are five times higher than Chandra Gap. ۔ These mudslides are our asset, so there is an urgent need to focus on protecting the area and preventing pollution.

4. Hanglaj Mata Temple

Hanglaj Mata Mandir, also known as Nani Mandir by the locals, is one of the most important Hindu shrines in Pakistan.


The temple attracts thousands of Hindus every year for the pilgrimage, which has to be traversed through difficult routes through Hangul National Park, as it is located in a relatively narrow valley in the Kirthar range. But with the construction of the Makran Coastal Highway, the journey has become relatively easier.


According to Hindu pilgrim Ankit Jaiswal, at one time Hindu pilgrims also used to come here from the Indian states of Rajasthan and Gujarat. The Kali Mata temple in a cave in the Hanglaj Valley is said to be 200,000 years old. The annual festival is attended by 20,000 to 30,000 people and is organized by a committee of leading Hindus from Sindh and Balochistan.


According to Ankit, there are only four-passenger compartments, so most pilgrims stay in tents or tents, while many have to stay under trees or in the hot sun.


Apart from accommodation, the most difficult for the pilgrims who come here is to climb Chandra Gup Mt. This is an important part of worship without which the yatra is not complete. Many hours of ascents and descents in the scorching heat exhaust the pilgrims.


Muslim tourists are allowed to enter the temple only after undergoing a rigorous identification process.

5. Beautiful Beaches of Makran

The beach adjacent to Kand Malir on the last corner of Hangul National Park, also known as 'Virgin Beach', was added to the list of 50 Most Beautiful Beaches in Asia in 2018.


The desert, high mountains, and volcanoes along this golden coast add to the tourist attraction, but unlike other beaches in Pakistan, much of the tourist activity has not yet begun.


Traveling along the Makran Coastal Highway, one can easily reach Sapt Beach in Boji Koh, another enchanting beach in Balochistan.

It is the only beach in Pakistan surrounded by caves in the mountains. According to Mohammad Hanif Bhatti, these beaches on the Makran coastline are still invisible to the public, so there is no ground and water pollution caused by human activities.


The management team of Hangul National Park consists of more than 20 members including Wildlife Pakistan, the Provincial Department of Livestock, Environment, and Tourism. But with the Balochistan provincial government managing the park, many areas still need reform.


Immediate measures are needed, especially to facilitate travel to remote areas of the park, ban hunting, and create awareness among locals about wildlife conservation.

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