Balochistan is the largest province by geographical area of Pakistan, constituting approximately 43% of the total area of Pakistan. Balochistan is home to one of the oldest Neolithic (7000 BC to c. 2500 BC) sites in archaeology. Mehrgarh and Nausharo, was an ancient city linked to the Indus Valley Civilization. Another ancient sites dating back 800 years are the Nausherwani tombs at Qila Ladgasht. There was also an ancient port at the site ofOraea which proved to be a useful port during the Hellenistic civilisation.
Quetta is the provincial capital of Balochistan. There are a number of sites of interest including the protected Hazarganji-Chiltan National Park, Hanna Lake, Quetta Geological Museum, Balochistan Arts Council Library, Quetta Archaeological Museum as well as Command and Staff College Museum. The Quaid-e-Azam Residency is another major site in Balochistan in the city of Ziarat. Ziarat is also famous for the juniper forests which are the oldest and largest in the world. Sibi, is an important historical city in Balochistan. The Jigra Hall has a collection of pieces found at the archaeological sites of Mehrgarh, Nasshero and Pirak. The annual Sibi Festival marks the famous Horse and Cattle Show.
There are a number of mountain passes within Balochistan. The Bolan Pass has been the main entrance to the provincial city of Quetta. There are several others including Lak Pass, Khojak Pass and Harnai Pass. The Balochistan coastline extends from the Sindh province to the Iranian bordermeasuring a total distance of over 750 km. The city of Gwadar holds the largest port in the province which is based near the ancient area of Makran. Pasni is another beautiful medium-sized town famous for fishing. Along the Makran Coastal Highway there are several rock formations as well as Kund Malir and the Hingol National Park.
Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (Khyber-PK)
Khyber Pakhtunkhwa is located in the north-west region of Pakistan. It is known as the tourist hotspot for adventurers and explorers. The province has a varied landscape ranging from rugged mountains, valleys, hills and dense agricultural farms. The region is well known for its ancestral roots. There are a number of Buddhist archaeological sites from the Gandhara civilisation such as Takht Bhai and Pushkalavati. There are a number of other Buddhist and Hindu archaeological sites including Bala Hisar Fort, Butkara Stupa, Kanishka stupa, Chakdara, Panjkora Valley and Sehri Bahlol.
Peshawar is the provincial capital of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. The city is home to a number of sites including Bala Hisar Fort, Peshawar Museum, archaeological site of Gor Khuttree, Mohabbat Khan Mosque, old city of Sethi Mohallah, Jamrud Fort, the Sphola Stupa and the most famous market ofQissa Khawani. The city of Dera Ismail Khan is known to be the entrance into the province from Punjab and Balochistan. The city is famour for its Hindu ruins at Kafir Kot. The Buddhist ruins at Shahbaz Garhi are also famous in the city of Mardan. Heading North, the divisions Swat valley
One of the most important cities in the province is Mansehra. The city is a major stop for tourists setting out to the Northern Areas and Azad Kashmir. The city is connected by the famous Karakoram Highway which ends up in China. Along the route there are several stops including the Kaghan Valley, Balakot, Naran, Shogran, Lake Saiful Mulook and Babusar Top. There are also several other sites within the province which attract a large number of tourist every year including Ayubia, Batkhela, Chakdara, Saidu Sharif, Kalam Valley and Hindu Kush mountain range in Chitral.
There are also several mountain passes that run through the province. One of the most famous is the Khyber Pass which links Afghanistan with Pakistan. The trade route sees a large number of trucks and lorries importing and exporting goods in and out of the region. The Babusar Pass is another mountain pass connecting the Thak Nala with Chilas on the Karakorum Highway. The Lowari Pass is another pass which connects Chitral with Dir via the Lowari Tunnel. The highest mountain pass in Pakistan is Shandur Passwhich connects Chitral to Gilgit and is known as the Roof of the World. The pass is the center of three mountain ranges – Hindukush, Pamir and Karakoram.