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PAKISTAN TOURISM: Hillside of Gorakh, Murree in Sindh

Murree is also sited in Sindh. Wait! What! Most of us react in this fashion after hearing this. Even I was oblivion of the landscape until I got the chance to visit Gorakh Hill Station and was amazed to see that Sindh holds such a beautiful place, which is also called Murree of Sindh due to its scenic beauty and yes of course to your amazement like Murree snowfall also takes place here in the months of Jan and Feb.

The day we had to leave for GHS, everybody gathered at decided venue. Our van left Karachi roughly at nine in the morning and reached superhighway around 10:15, where we had breakfast. Three hours after moving from there tyre got punctured. No other option left other than to stay there at a local restaurant for few hours, where we all waited till the tyre got fixed. Everybody was wishing to reach Dadu – from where we had to change vehicles to travel further to GHS – as early as possible. At last that moment arrived at around 05:30pm when we reached Dadu. From there we shifted to 4-wheeler and started travelling towards GHS, as 4-wheeler is the only vehicle that can travel on the dangerous slant hilly routes. The roads are very perilous especially when you are travelling in the evening. We crossed the zig-zag slopes and in the meantime kept reciting Quranic verses for our safety. It took us one and half hour to reach our destination, i.e., Gorakh restaurant. We were now 5,688 ft. above the ground. During this journey at times our ears got blocked while we were moving on higher altitude. Up above weather was very pleasant and we felt a bit cold also. Staying for a while at Gorakh Hill restaurant and enjoying a cup of tea we moved towards our guest house which was about hundred steps away. Some treaded to the guest house whereas others preferred going in the jeep. After reaching there, resting for a while, local singers entertained us with traditional and folk music. Everybody enjoyed the local music, although only few could understand the lyrics yet the tune was very melodious. Our guide told us that sunrise from the huge mountains looks fabulous that’s why we had to wake up early in the morning. Beyond any shadow of doubt scene of sunrise was brilliant for our sights and worth watching.

Gorakh Hill is semi situated on Sindh and the rest of the half on Balochistan which is differentiated by two types of mountains juxtapose to each other. Mountains which are this side are full of greenery while Balochistan holds grey colored ashen mountains. Not much plants grow here except few almond trees that are bitter. Height wise Gorakh Hill is just 200 ft. less than Murree. Natives here speak four different languages, namely, Sindhi, Balochi, Saraeiki and Barahvi. Dwellers of Gorakh Hill told that two years back this place was not more than a jungle and just within two years’ time much development has taken place and hundred percent changes have been tried to implement on the site. Apart from the beauty of GHS the place is short of basic facilities like water is scarce. For buying goods & provisions people have to go down the hill. Faiz Muhammad, native of Gorakh Hill, told us that he brings provisions for the whole month down the hill. He earns his livelihood by working as a gatekeeper and having monthly income Rs. 20,000. His 4 sons also live with him. On asking would he like to move to city, he said, “Even if he would become rich he won’t ever wish to move to city.” On questioning what he does to fight the weather conditions, he told that they shift their cottages downhill during winters while they return uphill during summers. Dwellers here avail the benefit of its location by casting vote both in Sindh and Baluchistan.

Up above the gigantic peaks we saw passing Nai Gaj water canal along the mountains, which then opened into Manchhar lake, the biggest natural lake in Sindh. Though the hilly area had no mobile signals yet had a landline service.

GHS has most delicious cuisines in its restaurant. Cook, Aftaab Hashmi, cooks the best food and follows his wife for the recipes. On asking the recipe of delicious kerailay and daal channa he said, “My beloved wife is behind all these recipes.”

More projects are still there in the pipeline which can enhance the beauty of this place, out of which one is construction of 50 to 60 homes and other one is installation of chair lifts, but due to lack of funds they are on hold. If proper funds are being provided to this region, location wise it can draw attention of tourists worldwide.

Blogger: Abida Gohar