Visit to Khewra Salt mines Pakistan

In September 2005 I visited Pakistan. On Friday 2 September I landed in Allama Iqbal International Airport in Lahore. Although it was only 6 am it was already very hot. The sun seems to be nearer to the ground in Pakistan than it is here in England. I had been very nervous at the thought of going there even though I had been invited. I had heard all the stories of how dangerous it is there. Actually, as soon as I arrived any worries just disappeared. Not at any time did I feel nervous or afraid. All the people I met were friendly and happy to talk to anyone from another country. Everywhere I went there were people who asked if they could have their photograph taken with me. Children ran up when I was in the Shalimar Gardens and held my hand while we were photographed. In fact it was the boys who were the shy ones.

At times it was a little too hot for me but I enjoyed my stay very much. I travelled around Lahore, then to Rawalpindi and Islamabad. I visited the Faisal Mosque there. Then I went to Murree. The climate there is similar to England and it is very clean and pleasant. It is one of my most favourite places in Pakistan. I didn't get to see much because I got a stomach problem and had to stay in my room for a few days. When I see the news nowadays and see reports of bombings in places where I have been and walked or eaten I feel very sad. I hope that the troubles are soon over as I want to visit again some time.

One of the best days of my whole visit was when I went with some friends to the Khewra Salt Mines. The weather was perfect and I enjoyed myself very much. The mines are near Pind Dadan Khan in the district of Jhelum. It is also 260 kilometres from Lahore and 160 kilometres from Islamabad.

I had been staying in Faisalabad. This used to be called Lyallpur and was named after Sir Charles James Lyall who was the Lieutenant Governor of the Punjab. It has an agricultural college and a lot of industry, the cotton industry being one of them.The journey to the Salt Mine took about three hours through very pleasant countryside.

After leaving the motorway we drove through small villages before arriving at Khewra. We saw the ICI soda ash factory which takes a large proportion of the yearly production of salt from the Khewra Salt Mine.

On the way we could see where the road started to turn white from the salt in the air. The air was so clean and fresh. At the salt mine there is a tourist resort where there is accommodation for visitors to stay.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Khewra_Salt_Mines

On the Wikipedia site there is some more information.

After buying our tickets we took the small electric train into the mine. I thought I would be nervous going into what looked like a black hole but I was not at all. It was a pleasant journey because I was with friends and it was the first visit for all of us. The passage was lit and we could see the different colours of salt in the walls. When we arrived at the mine there was a big chamber which opened out from the tunnel. It was lit up everywhere, a lot of lights are behind walls that had been built of salt bricks which showed the different shades of salt. We had a guide who took us round and explained the history of the mine. It was discovered in the days of Alexander the Great by his soldiers. It has been mined since 326 BC changing hands regularly depending on who ruled the area.

There is the building of a mosque and a working post office in the mine. In a large open area there is a cafe where hot and cold drinks, snacks and ice cream can be bought.

There are different chambers with solid blocks of salt that have been hewn out showing the different shades of salt from pure white to rose coloured. Then there are paved areas made from salt bricks with lights underneath which give a magical effect. One part of the mine which was very interesting was when we went over a bridge and stood on a wooden structure where we could look down into a very deep pond filled with the clearest water. It is possible to look down seemingly for ever seeing the different levels and shades of salt. We were perfectly safe but I felt as if I was standing on the top of a mountain looking down. It was a strange sensation. Unfortunately, because of the feeling of danger I forgot to take photographs of this.

Our guide told us that in the mine there is a clinic for asthma patients, they stay there for two weeks and in that time their asthma is cured from the salt air.

There are 19 levels of tunnels in the mine and we were in the seventh down from the top. They mine 325 thousand tons of salt per year most of which goes to ICI. In the gift shop there are lamps, vases and ash trays made of salt. There is also an industry in the making of items from salt which are then exported all over the world. I bought a salt lamp as a souvenir.

You can see on the photographs how pleasant it looks in Pakistan. I know there are problems at the moment there and people think it is a very dangerous place. I can only say that I enjoyed my stay very much and I never felt unsafe at any time. I have visited twice now and am looking forward to going again at some time.

On the way back to Faisalabad in the evening we stopped by the Jhelum river and watched the birds collecting before they migrate for the winter.



Some photos of my visit

Outside the mine.
Outside the mine.
The little train that takes people into the mine.
The little train that takes people into the mine.
Here you can see the colours of the salt.
Here you can see the colours of the salt.
Another view of the mine.
Another view of the mine.
A sign with details of the mine's history.
A sign with details of the mine's history.
A view of the surrounding countryside seen from outside the mine.
A view of the surrounding countryside seen from outside the mine.
Migratory birds at the Jhelum River.  The salt range can be seen in the background.
Migratory birds at the Jhelum River. The salt range can be seen in the background.

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Comments 51 comments

myownworld profile image

myownworld 7 years ago from uk

ah...yes, this explains more. yes, it's very unfortunate what's happening in pakistan now, esp. because the average man on the street is so harmless and simple (thanks for pointing that out in your hub); really enjoyed reading this too....you bring back many warm memories....!


Hummingbird5356 profile image

Hummingbird5356 7 years ago Author

Thanks for your comment. Yes, this was one of the best days of my visit.


prasadjain profile image

prasadjain 7 years ago from Tumkur

This article introduces us a rare place worthy of knowing


Hummingbird5356 profile image

Hummingbird5356 7 years ago Author

Thanks, prasadjain. This is very true.


nettech profile image

nettech 6 years ago from London (UK)

Wow, great hub, I find it amazing how you managed to travel to places such as Jhelum from Lahore etc. An excellent read from a UK Pakistani, its a shame things have become so dangerous now!

Thanks

Zaheer


Hummingbird5356 profile image

Hummingbird5356 6 years ago Author

Thanks for reading my hub. Yes, it is a pity about the violence there. I would like to visit Swat too, I hope it is not too long before it is again totally safe there.

I am glad you found it so interesting. Thanks.


Moulik Mistry profile image

Moulik Mistry 6 years ago from Burdwan, West Bengal, India

This is picturesque, loved your article...


Hummingbird5356 profile image

Hummingbird5356 6 years ago Author

Thank you. This was one of my best experiences in Pakistan.


SuzanLynn 6 years ago

Thank you for this this article. Someday, I do hope to visit Pakistan and visit with friends there. The salt mine I have been so interested in lately. Thank you for the information on that.


Hummingbird5356 profile image

Hummingbird5356 6 years ago Author

You should definitely visit Pakistan, you won´t be disappointed. The Salt Mine is particularly interesting.

I am glad you found my hub useful. I have written others about Pakistan which might give some information too.

Thanks.


Hameed 6 years ago

It is Beautiful


Hameed 6 years ago

it is beautiful plce in pakistan


Hummingbird5356 profile image

Hummingbird5356 6 years ago Author

Thank you. You are right, it is a beautiful place.


Micky Dee profile image

Micky Dee 6 years ago

Great again Hummingbird! Thank you Dear!


Hummingbird5356 profile image

Hummingbird5356 6 years ago Author

You are welcome Micky Dee. The countryside around Khewra is perfect for riding a bike.


amjad ali 6 years ago

slssm this is such very very god visting point and thanks visting pakistan


Hummingbird5356 profile image

Hummingbird5356 6 years ago Author

Yes, it certainly is a good place to go. I enjoyed my time in Pakistan.

Thanks for reading my hub.


Micky Dee profile image

Micky Dee 6 years ago

I have to revisit! I have no retaining memory! But- I get to enjoy again! Perfect for riding- sounds wonderful!


Hummingbird5356 profile image

Hummingbird5356 6 years ago Author

Yes, the air is so fresh and clean and the people are so friendly. There are many bike riders in Pakistan. Thanks for coming back again.


Micky Dee profile image

Micky Dee 6 years ago

I thought I'd go back to the "salt mines"! It felt appropriate! I do appreciate you Hummingbird! I love to see how a "hummingbird" travels! Thank you Dear!!!


Hummingbird5356 profile image

Hummingbird5356 6 years ago Author

Thank you, Micky Dee.


Asad 6 years ago

Nice Hub! It is good to know that you liked Pakistan. Pakistan is beautiful. No doubt in that.

Asad,

http://pakistanstreets.blogspot.com/


Lahoreee 6 years ago

I have gone on a bicycle from Pind Dadan Khan to khewra many times when I was a kid. Pind Dadan Khan is my encesrtal village. My family has a stigma that tyey gave this mine to British when they came to Jhelum.


Hummingbird5356 profile image

Hummingbird5356 6 years ago Author

Oh, that must have been very pleasant. The countryside is so beautiful. Thank you again for reading Lahoreee.


adil 6 years ago

i have red ur all hubs its inserting as well info but one thing i would like to share with u dat i em also tourist and visited many countries as well my experiences during the travel and a special thing is that i have visited it all tour via foot and use cycle u can see my photos of all pakistan tour as well others and one thing i wana correct the name of ur guide of badshai mosque his name is mansoor shami and now he is quiet ill and i told him about ur he felt happy to listen urs see my webs at face book serach me the name of adil lahorei thanx


Hummingbird5356 profile image

Hummingbird5356 6 years ago Author

Thank you for reading my hubs. I have often wondered about that old man. Give him my best wishes if you see him again.


tonymac04 profile image

tonymac04 6 years ago from South Africa

A really beautiful tour, thanks so much for sharing this. I would love to visit this place also.

Love and peace

Tony


Hummingbird5356 profile image

Hummingbird5356 6 years ago Author

It certainly is a beautiful place to visit. Thanks for reading and liking.


Lyallpuria09 5 years ago

it was nice description and i wished u had gone to another historical place nearby that's Katas Raaj Temples.

Dears who mentioned fears about traveling in Pakistan, r very right but such fears r also every where in rest of the world thought the intensity and frequency can be different. All of us who love n want peace must not leave this vacuum and lets visit Pakistan's such areas where security risks r lower so that the local people too get confidence and encouragement. thanks.

Enjoy a documentary about Hunza Lake. ur critical comments r highly appreciated

http://www.youtube.com/user/lyallpuria09

Lyallpuria09@gmail.com


Hummingbird5356 profile image

Hummingbird5356 5 years ago Author

Thank you for reading this. You are right that there are problems in other countries and not just Pakistan. Pakistan needs visitors, there is such a treasure house of things to see.

I wish I could have seen more places on my visit but there are so many places to see it is not possible on one visit. I expect to come again.

I will look at your video.


humayuniftikhar profile image

humayuniftikhar 5 years ago from Planet Earth

Despite having lived in Pakistan for ages, I have never been to Khewra Salt mines. Our class is planning a small trip, I will suggest this place :) Not all places in Pakistan are security threat. All human beings are peaceful by nature. It's only a handful of traitors who disrupt the situation and create conflicts. Thanks for showing up a better Pakistan!


Hummingbird5356 profile image

Hummingbird5356 5 years ago Author

Yes, I always felt safe when I was in Pakistan, all the people were friendly. It is just a few who make it bad for everyone else.


loveforlife 5 years ago

Great pics with interesting info. Really enjoyed been reading your articles about pakistan. It seems you enjoyed a lot there. Thanks for sharing...


Hummingbird5356 profile image

Hummingbird5356 5 years ago Author

Yes I really did enjoy my time there. Thank you for reading.


Umna Safdar profile image

Umna Safdar 5 years ago

Honestly speaking, I feet proud to call Pakistan my country and my face gleamed with a big smile as I came across your hubs. It is a matter of honor to me and my country that people are paying a visit over here. :)

Though situation here is deteriorating from past few years but seriously Pakistan isn't a terrorist country, though there are problems of literacy, poverty, etc..

I too have made many tours of my land and Khewra Salt Mines'one of my favorite places. You must also visit places like Kailash valley in Chitral,Lake Saif-ul-Mulook, Skardu, Khunjerab Pas(Pak-China border) and yes not to forget Fairy Meadows-base camp of Nanga Parbat-the third highest peak of the world.

Keep visiting, Thank You! :)


Hummingbird5356 profile image

Hummingbird5356 5 years ago Author

Yes, I will definitely keep visiting. I really like Pakistan. Thank you for reading my hub.


Zane 5 years ago

Hummingbird,

Fantastic story & pics. Photo of you in the tunnel is on my desktop. :D

Thanks


Hummingbird5356 profile image

Hummingbird5356 5 years ago Author

Thanks for reading my hub.


sana 4 years ago

this article so informativ .thank u so much for this great information.


Hummingbird5356 profile image

Hummingbird5356 4 years ago Author

Thank you, I am happy that you liked reading my hub.


articlesocean profile image

articlesocean 4 years ago from London, United Kingdom

I loved your hub, its very interesting and useful, I didn't know that there was such place like this in Pakistan. Voted up , useful and interesting.


Hummingbird5356 profile image

Hummingbird5356 4 years ago Author

Thank you for reading. There are a lot interesting places in Pakistan.


MohsinGhafoor profile image

MohsinGhafoor 3 years ago from Islamabad

Very Well Written and It was nice to see that place again in Pictures. :)


Hummingbird5356 profile image

Hummingbird5356 3 years ago Author

Thank you. I am happy that you liked my article. I hope it will not be long before I can visit Pakistan again.


SkyD 3 years ago

Thank you for all the interesting information. I am wanting to visit the mines but I have been trying to collect information from people who have been first. I am a British photographer working in Asia. Would it be possible to write you a personal message with some questions? You can message my FB fan page and I'll reply if that OK?

http://www.facebook.com/pages/Luke-Duggleby-Photog...


Hummingbird5356 profile image

Hummingbird5356 3 years ago Author

OK. I am glad you find this interesting information.


uzma shaheen profile image

uzma shaheen 3 years ago from Lahore,Pakistan

I visited khewra mines during my BCS with my class fellows. your hub brought back those beautiful memories. very well written. thank you very much showing a beautiful side of pakistan to world. GOD bless you, amen.


Hummingbird5356 profile image

Hummingbird5356 3 years ago Author

Pakistan is beautiful, the people too. I am glad you liked this article. Thank you.


Hamid Awan 3 years ago

very useful information about the salt mines...i have made a blog about khewra salt mines.

www.saltminespk.blogspot.com


rohma 14 months ago

i enjoyed reading this


Hummingbird5356 profile image

Hummingbird5356 14 months ago Author

Thank you for reading my hub.

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