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 ages.Lahore: City of Gardens
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