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Visit to Khewra Salt mines Pakistan

Updated on August 29, 2014

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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    • Hummingbird5356 profile image
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      Hummingbird5356 24 months ago

      Thank you for reading my hub.

    • profile image

      rohma 24 months ago

      i enjoyed reading this

    • profile image

      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

    • Hummingbird5356 profile image
      Author

      Hummingbird5356 4 years ago

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

    • uzma shaheen profile image

      Uzma Shaheen Bhatti 4 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
      Author

      Hummingbird5356 4 years ago

      OK. I am glad you find this interesting information.

    • profile image

      SkyD 4 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
      Author

      Hummingbird5356 4 years ago

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

    • MohsinGhafoor profile image

      Mohsin Ghafoor 4 years ago from Islamabad

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

    • Hummingbird5356 profile image
      Author

      Hummingbird5356 5 years ago

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

    • articlesocean profile image

      Saira Sheikh 5 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
      Author

      Hummingbird5356 5 years ago

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

    • profile image

      sana 5 years ago

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

    • Hummingbird5356 profile image
      Author

      Hummingbird5356 6 years ago

      Thanks for reading my hub.

    • profile image

      Zane 6 years ago

      Hummingbird,

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

      Thanks

    • Hummingbird5356 profile image
      Author

      Hummingbird5356 6 years ago

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

    • Umna Safdar profile image

      Umna Safdar 6 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
      Author

      Hummingbird5356 6 years ago

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

    • profile image

      loveforlife 6 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
      Author

      Hummingbird5356 6 years ago

      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.

    • humayuniftikhar profile image

      humayuniftikhar 6 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
      Author

      Hummingbird5356 6 years ago

      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.

    • profile image

      Lyallpuria09 6 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
      Author

      Hummingbird5356 6 years ago

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

    • tonymac04 profile image

      Tony McGregor 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
      Author

      Hummingbird5356 6 years ago

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

    • profile image

      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
      Author

      Hummingbird5356 7 years ago

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

    • profile image

      Lahoreee 7 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.

    • profile image

      Asad 7 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/

    • Hummingbird5356 profile image
      Author

      Hummingbird5356 7 years ago

      Thank you, Micky Dee.

    • Micky Dee profile image

      Micky Dee 7 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
      Author

      Hummingbird5356 7 years ago

      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 7 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
      Author

      Hummingbird5356 7 years ago

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

      Thanks for reading my hub.

    • profile image

      amjad ali 7 years ago

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

    • Hummingbird5356 profile image
      Author

      Hummingbird5356 7 years ago

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

    • Micky Dee profile image

      Micky Dee 7 years ago

      Great again Hummingbird! Thank you Dear!

    • Hummingbird5356 profile image
      Author

      Hummingbird5356 7 years ago

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

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      Hameed 7 years ago

      it is beautiful plce in pakistan

    • profile image

      Hameed 7 years ago

      It is Beautiful

    • Hummingbird5356 profile image
      Author

      Hummingbird5356 7 years ago

      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.

    • profile image

      SuzanLynn 7 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
      Author

      Hummingbird5356 7 years ago

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

    • Moulik Mistry profile image

      Moulik Mistry 7 years ago from Burdwan, West Bengal, India

      This is picturesque, loved your article...

    • Hummingbird5356 profile image
      Author

      Hummingbird5356 7 years ago

      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.

    • nettech profile image

      nettech 7 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
      Author

      Hummingbird5356 7 years ago

      Thanks, prasadjain. This is very true.

    • prasadjain profile image

      Dr.S.P.PADMA PRASAD 7 years ago from Tumkur

      This article introduces us a rare place worthy of knowing

    • Hummingbird5356 profile image
      Author

      Hummingbird5356 7 years ago

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

    • 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....!