Home to many archaeological sites and remains of ancient civilisations dating back to thousands of years, Pakistan is a land of historical wonders. Keeping in view the region’s historical significance, many of the ancient ruins found in the country have been declared as the UNESCO World Heritage Sites.
So, if the idea of exploring the far-flung archeological sites in Pakistan also interests you, then you have landed on the right post. In this blog, we have come with a detailed travel guide to visiting Gondrani, Balochistan, popularly known as the ‘cave city of Gondrani’. Here we’ll discuss everything you should know before visiting this amazing tourist attraction in Balochistan.
Let’s go exploring!
MORE ABOUT GONDRANI, BALOCHISTAN
Gondrani is a place surrounded by mountains with hundreds of ancient man-made caves. This is why the locals here call it “Gharon ka Sheher,” which in Urdu translates to the “city of caves.” These caves were built by the ancient community of Buddhists to meditate and perform religious rituals in the region.
The mountains in the Gondrani cave city have been carved out in unique ways that make them well-connected with each other and with the pathways and alleys running across the valley on different levels of height.
Moreover, to facilitate the ancient cave dwellers, most of these caves had small cabin-type rooms that featured fireplaces and lampholders. The ruins of such structural features can still be seen today. All these factors speak volumes about the architectural mastery of these ancient people.
There were around 1,500 caves in Gondrani, Balochistan, out of which only 500 have survived to date, due to the harsh climatic conditions of the region. Rest of the ruins in the Gondrani cave city have either been eroded or turned to dust.
One of the amazing natural features of the cave city of Gondrani is the flow of the Kurd River, which runs directly through the middle of the valley. It adds to the natural beauty of this fascinating place and makes it one of the most amazing places to visit in Balochistan.
Did You Know: The locals have dedicated this cave city in Balochistan to a holy woman called ‘Mai Gondrani’ and have named the place after her. According to a folktale, they believe that the area was haunted by the evil spirits until Mai Gondrani exorcised the place and lived there until her death.
LOCATION OF GONDRANI IN BALOCHISTAN
The caves of Gondrani in Balochistan are located in the province’s Lasbela district. The location of Gondrani in Balochistan puts it 18 kilometres northwest of Bela, one of the largest towns in the district. It is one of the province’s remotest regions.
To get to this archeological site in Balochistan, you need to take the route of RCD Highway (N-25 Highway). From Karachi, it is around 200 kilometres away. It will take you approximately 3 hours to reach this tourist attraction in Balochistan by road.
After crossing the secluded town of Bela, you’ll have to travel along the Gondrani Cave Road, which is basically a few-miles-long bumpy track as the road is not properly carpeted. Along the route, you’ll enjoy the vast views of this barren valley and often get to see the streams of shallow water from Kurd River running through it. These natural features increase the significance of this place in terms of tourism in Balochistan.
Quick Fact: To promote tourism activities in the province, the government is planning to develop new tourist attractions along the coastal belt of Balochistan.
KEY TIPS TO TRAVEL TO GONDRANI – THE CAVE CITY IN BALOCHISTAN
Since it is one of the remotest places to visit in Balochistan, here are a few tips you should take note of before travelling to this wondrous cave city in Pakistan.
- When planning a trip to Gondrani in Balochistan, make sure you have scheduled your journey during the daytime. After sunset, it can get really dark and without proper lighting arrangements, it may not be safe to travel on the bumpy roads in the area.
- Whenever you are visiting any tourist attractions in Balochistan or in any other part of the country, always carry a physical map with you.
- The weather of Gondrani usually stays hot and dry. Carrying extra water bottles with you or an icebox will also be preferable when visiting this cave city in Balochistan.
- When taking a trip to Gondrani, Balochistan, make sure you are travelling in a 4×4 vehicle as the terrain surrounding the area can be really bumpy and uneven.
- The authorities should convert the cave city of Gondrani into a fully-fledged tourist spot as it is one of the most intriguing places to visit in Balochistan. As of now, there are not many facilities available for tourists in the area. So, it is better for you to carry your own food supplies if you want to make the most of your experience when travelling to Gondrani. You may also come across a few traditional dhabas and roadside eateries in the Lasbela District along your journey.
- The availability of different types of travel packages for Gondrani is also a convenient way for adventure seekers to take trips to this archeological site.
- The starting rate of the available travel packages for Gondrani is PKR 3,500 per person. It includes a one day trip to this amazing tourist destination in Balochistan. The package covers the transportation and usually one-time meal expense.