A visit to Quetta is incomplete without a trip to Ziarat. Situated 133 kms (3 hours by car) from Quetta at an altitude of 2449 metres 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 believed 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 kms from Ziarat.
Extensive research is being made in the forest nurseries to replace the forest with other fast growing trees as the regeneration of the juniper is very slow. But that is also persured with great care.
Tourist season: All the year round, particularly from May to October.
Climate and Clothing
Ziarat is a hill station in the Sibi district of the province of Baluchistan. It remains quite cool during summer and receives enough snowfall during the winter. Light woolen clothing for summer and heavy for the winter are recommended.
The inhabitants are mainly Muslim. There are Pathans, Baluchis and Brahuis. Nomadic tribesmen also pass through the valleys around during spring and autumn with their families, herd of sleep and camels.
Pushto, Persian, Baluchi and Brahui are the local languages. Urdu and English are also spoken.
The women wear shalwar (baggy trouser) and long skirted shirts with a chadar ao Dopatta having embroidered and mirror work. The men wear shalwar, long shirts and waist coat with a turban on the head.
Pakistan Tourism Development Corporation has a Motel Complex with 18 comfortable rooms and cottages. Accommodation can be booked from the PTDC Offices in Quetta, Karachi and Islamabad. There are other comparatively inexpensive hotels in the town's centre.
Forest And Orchards
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 is its honey, its flowers which attain large size here, its lush green grass and cool weather even in the hottest months of summer, "Shinshoab", a lavender like wild bush looks lovely in twilights. Over 4400 acres in an around Ziarat are under apple orchards. The apple grown in the orchards, particularly the black and red kulu variety are delicious. A fair amount of black cherry is also grown in Ziarat. The cherry season lasts from the 1st to 15th of June.