Ziarat is a district and a famous hill station located in the north of province of Balochistan. It is a famous holiday resort of Balochistan. Nearly every trip from Karachi to Quetta stops at Ziarat. Khalifat Hills are the highest peak with an altitude of 11,400 feet in Ziarat district. Ziarat has the highest ‘Human Development Index’ of all districts of Balochistan.
The name Ziarat means ‘Shrine’. There is a shrine of Baba Kharwari 8 km from Ziarat town. His name was Tahir. He became a disciple of Nana Sahib. A number of miracles are attributed to him. A huge number of devotees come here and offer sacrifices. The tribesmen, during the Eid festival gather around the shrine and hold marksmanship and wrestling competitions.
About 1 km from Ziarat is the shrine of Baba Nau Gaza. It is surrounded by big graveyards. The real name of Nau Gaza Baba was Kareemdad. It is said that when he died his body became large by nine yards therefore people started to call him Nau(nine) Gaza(yards) Baba. People come to the shrine to pray.
Ziarat is a famous tourist site. Mohammad Ali Jinnah, the founder of Pakistan spent his last days of life in ‘Ziarat Residency’ in Ziarat. It is an important building. The whole building has a wooden structure designed beautifully and has great architectural importance. It was originally meant to be a sanatorium and was converted into the summer residence of the Agent of the Governor General. Now this building is a national monument. The residency catches tourists’ attention due to its unique location.
Ziarat is very famous for its Juniper forest. Zarghoon mount range with a few other mountain ranges of Balochistan is known as the second largest juniper forest in the world. These juniper forests are real wealth of Ziarat. It covers a large area of about 247,000 acres. There are several valuable species of animals, birds and plants are discovered in this ecosystem. There are some very old trees in the valley which are more than 5000 to 7000 years old. In winter, when snow falls in Ziarat, the juniper valley becomes the most beautiful place in the world.
The valley is full of fruits in summer and winter, especially the orchards of cherry and apple. The honey of Ziarat is very famous. During summer time the weather is really pleasant but is severe and more difficult to survive in winter.