Elevation : 1,489 sq. km.
Population : 46,942
Language : Pashto
Phone Code : 081-24
Climate : Mild in Summer. Freezing cold in Winter
Shrines : Shrine of Baba Kharwari
History The history of Ziarat during the British colonial administration
is the same as that of the Sibi district of which it was a part until
1986. The area came under British colonial influence by the middle of the
last century, and was made a part of British India in 1887 like the rest
of the old Sibi district. Two years earlier, in 1885, the British
Government had acquired land for construction of a civil station (at the
present Ziarat town), on payment of Rs.1,400,000 to the Saidzai sub
section of the Sarangzai tribe. Before the creation of Sibi district (in
1903), Ziarat used to be the summer headquarters of Thal and Chutiali
District (Duki Sajavi Sub Division). Later when the Sibi District was
created in 1903, it became Sibi District’s summer headquarters. It formed
a part of Shahrigh Tehsil of Sibi District till 1974 when it was given the
status of a sub-Tehsil.
Before Independence, the camp offices of the Agent to the Governor General
in Baluchistan; the Revenue Commissioner, Baluchistan; the Civil Surgeon,
Baluchistan; the Political Agent and the Colonisation officer, Nasirabad,
used to shift to Ziarat during the summer. Following the creation of Sibi
Division in 1974, the divisional offices shifted to Ziarat during the
The founder of Pakistan, Quaid-e-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah, spent his last
days at Ziarat Residency which is now a National Monument. The local
people believe that the Quaid-e-Azam had in fact breathed his last here in
Ziarat, contrary to the official reports that he expired in Karachi on 11
September, 1948, the day he was shifted there from Ziarat. The residency
building is a majestic piece of architecture, but people visit it
primarily for its association with the Quaid-e-Azam.
A visit to Quetta is incomplete without a trip to Ziarat. Situated 76
miles (3 hours by car) from Quetta, at an altitude of 8400 feet above sea
level, Ziarat is a holiday resort amidst one of the largest and oldest
Juniper forests in the world. It is said that some of the Juniper trees
are as old as 5000 years. The name Ziarat means 'Shrine' A local saint,
Kharwari Baba, is belived to have rested in the valley and blessed it.
After his death he was buried here. People frequently visit the saint's
shrine, which is 10 km by jeep from Ziarat.
Extensive research is being done in the forest nurseries to replace the
juniper forest with fast growing trees as the regeneration of the juniper
is very slow.
The magic of Ziarat lies in, its honey-flowers which attain a large size
here, its lush green grass and cool weather even in the hottest months of
summer. 'Shinshoab' a lavendar-like wild bush, looks lovely in twilights.
There are many interesting spots to visit around ziarat. At first, the
Quaid-e-Azam residency which was built in 1882, is a terrific place to
visit which still reminds one of the times when the founder of Pakistan,
Quaid-e-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah spent the last days of his life. A walk
to Chashma is favourite amongst joggers and those who wish to have a
pleasent walk. Situated 6 km from Ziarat the 'Prospect Point' offers
breathtaking view of the valley.
Hundreds of hectares in and around Ziarat are utilized for apple orchards.
Apple grown in the orchards, particularly the black and red kulu variety,
are simply delicious. A fair amount of black cherry is also grown in
Ziarat. The cherry season lasts from the 1st to 15th of June. Tourist
season is all year round, particularly form May to October. Ziarat remains
quite cool during hot summer and receives enough snowfall during winters.
Light woolen clothing for summer and heavy for winters, are recommended.
All in all Ziarat offers a nice cool vacation spot for travelers of all
The district is mostly mountainous area. It is roughly a rectangular piece
of country comprising several valleys. The principal valleys are: Kach,
Kawas, Ziarat, Zandra, Mangi, Mana, & Gogi Ahmadoon. The altitude ranges
from 1800 - 3,488 meters.
The soil is loamy on both sides of the streams, and loamy stony in other
places, varying in hardness according to proportion of clay and shingle.
In most parts of the valleys, the fields are in terraces, the faces of
which are carefully riveted with stones. The hill torrents are kept within
bounds by well-constructed spurs of timber and rush wood. In rainy seasons
the floodwater brought by hill torrents is diverted on to the fields. The
fertile mud is beneficial for the cultivation of valuable crops.
In the dead of winter the temperature often falls well below zero Celsius.
The temperature ranges from (-) 160 to 200 C.
The area is refreshingly cool in summer, from May to August. It starts
getting cold in September and is extremely cold during November - March.
In winter, it gets a good amount of snowfall.
Average rainfall is 20.60 mm. The range is 53.8 mm -1.3 mm. The months of
January - March in winter and July – August in summer receive most of the
Important places / buildings
The entire area in the upper parts of Ziarat district is worth visiting
for its natural beauty, its enchanting juniper forests, mountain peaks,
the lush green valleys, springs and streams. The popular sights are Ziarat
town and surroundings the Qaid’s Residency, the shrine of Baba Kharwari,
Zizri valley, Prospect point, Mana valley, Sandeman Tangi, Karvi Kach and
Khilafat peak. These are briefly described below.
Ziarat is the holiday resort of the province and no visit to Quetta is
complete without a trip to Ziarat. The district is famous for its ancient
and magnificent juniper forest which spreads over 126,000 acres, and is
the second largest in the world. Some of the trees are almost 4,000 years
The most famous landmark is, of course, the Residency. It was here that
the Father of the nation spent his last days. The building, constructed in
1892, was originally meant to serve as a sanatorium but was later
converted into the summer residence of the Agent to the Governor General (AGG).
It has now been declared a national monument.
Shrine of Baba Kharwari
The shrine (Ziarat) of Baba Kharwari (whose real name was Mula Tahir) is
one of the most well known places in the district. Baba Kharwari rendered
great services to the cause of Islam in the early 18th century. His shrine
is situated about 9 km from the town and a large number of people who
visit Ziarat go to the Mazar to offer Fateha.
Zizri valley, situated on the southern edge of the district, possesses a
breathtaking beauty. The road leading to the valley is kacha, rough, and
tractable mainly by four wheel drive vehicles.
Six km from the town, this place offers a spectacular view of the Koshki
valley. There is a local government resthouse on this spot and a wide open
space for picnic/camping.
This lush green valley with its apple orchards and scintillating blue lake
is a popular tourist site.
Within easy reach of the town, this narrow gorge between lofty mountains
culminates in a perennial spring. This is another major tourist
This is the second highest peak in the province – 3,488 m high. For
climbers it presents a real challenge. The district is blessed with an
overall natural beauty. There are many more places of interest than those
mentioned above. In the summer season, thousands of tourists visit the