Doodh Patti

Travel, Food and and Khaalis Doodh Patti Mind {and Lahore}

Fort Munro

Fort Munro was originally known as Anari Mool, Balochi language words meaning hilltop with Pomegranate trees. In 1880, the British Commission of Layyah Division Mr. Munro developed this place and shifted here the summer headquarters of Layyah Division. The road from Dera Ghazi Khan to this place was constructed in 1880 and the name of place was changed to Fort Munro.

The vacation spot is now abounded by the rest houses of different government departments and private residences. Plaque of Munro house on the remains of old commissioner house and name plate of Robert Sandeman (the originator of Forward Policy) can also be seen near the relics of one of the old houses. It is impossible to describe the fort and other old buildings as all the traces of ancient remains have vanished.
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posted by S A J Shirazi @ 8:00 AM, , links to this post

Ranni Kot Ja Dharrail

Ranni Kot Ja Dharrail (Dacoits of Ranni Kot), an opera concert at the Mumtaz Mirza Auditorium of Sindh Museum proved to be an event of the season in the cultural capital of Sindh, Hyderabad, as a team of artistes filled the air and many believed that Shaikh Ayaz, the great Sindhi poet and versatile literary figure, was reborn.


posted by S A J Shirazi @ 8:00 AM, , links to this post

In the Karakoram

With the advent of the higher temperatures of spring, vegetation in the valleys and meadows of the Karakoram comes to life in a frenzy of colour. Because of the distinct temperature regimes that exist due to differing altitudes, this phenomenon continues for several months with the wild flowers in the higher ablation valleys being the last to flourish en mass.

The photographs you see here are taken at and around the villages of Shayar, Askurdas and Sumayar in Nagar at altitudes ranging from 2,000 to 2,300 metres. Askurdas, translated from the Burushaski, means “plain of flowers”. The white blossoms are cultivars of apricot and pear while the pinks are two distinct cultivars of cherry.
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posted by S A J Shirazi @ 1:35 PM, , links to this post

Dera Phullan Da Sehra

There were many things on schedule when one travelled from Multan to Quetta by road instead of rail: to see the tomb of Ghazi Khan, to visit famous Fort Monro and familiarize myself with this less travelled rout to Quetta.

For those who take their chance for the first time to the city, it might sound too good to be true but Dera Ghazi Khan (D G Khan) in the past was known as Dera Phullan Da Sehra — ‘land of flowers’. “The canal skirted its eastern side, fringed with luxurious gardens of mango trees, while ghats lined the bank, thronged in summer by numerous bathers.
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posted by S A J Shirazi @ 8:55 AM, , links to this post

Around Arrandu

Some places are so peaceful and unspoiled that it is almost unbelievable. One such locality is the picturesque, tranquil and pollution free (and undeveloped) boarder village Arrandu in district Chitral. The very sound of the name is musical. This village is located 'on' the Pakistan Afghanistan boarder. Dir-Chitral Road bifurcates near village Mir Khanni and a jeep able track along Kunar River leads to Arrandu through Domail Nisar and onwards into Afghanistan.

Gateway to the South Asia, the Chitral valley has been center of activity since ancient times. Macedonians advanced through this region in fourth century. In 1338, Timur subdued the area on his way to the plains of Punjab. Mughal King Akbar garrisoned here in 1587 and the British in 1897 in Chakdara on Dir side of Lowari Pass. Among soldiers who served here in Chakdara then was young Winston Churchill who later became Prime Minister of Britain. So far about the past importance of the valley but the little hamlet got the international fame during Soviet occupation in Afghanistan. It remained in the news and was commonly called as 'BBC Baby'.
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posted by S A J Shirazi @ 7:23 AM, , links to this post

Kelash experience

Centuries old Kelash culture is at a greater risk today than any time in the past. Despite their remote location - landlocked in winters - last of the Kelash race is maintaining tenacious hold in district Chitral but is vulnerable to ravages of time and different pressures with external locus.

The onslaughts are clearly eating at their open and nonchalant culture. Many have been forced to join the drift to the cities. But when asked what they want, their collective answer was simple: we want our old way of life. Which is why, pastoral Kelash have been able to keep some of their cultural traditions and identity so far.Some historians and anthropologists think that the Kelash are descendants of Indo-Aryans who overran the region in the second millennium BC. The Kelash say they are from a place called Tsiam, though nobody is sure where that is. Commonly they are considered as descendants of Alexander from Macedon who came this way. Their warrior like forebears managed for centuries to keep everyone - including Tamerlane - at bay. In 1893, the British and Afghan governments agreed on a common border that cut right through Kafiristan dividing the community into two parts. Abdur Rahman who was then Amir of Afghanistan renamed Afghan Kafiristan as Nuristan - land of Light.
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posted by S A J Shirazi @ 8:00 AM, , links to this post

Prof Dr Norbert Pintsch Honored

Prof Dr Norbert Pintsch has been working tirelessly on Appropriate Technology in Cameroon, Pakistan and elsewhere.

I have the fortune to be familiar with Prof Dr Norbert Pintsch’s work in Technical Transfer and Training Center (TTTC) for Men in remoe Pakistani Village Thatta Ghulamka Dheroka, Mud Housing Project at Lahore and also what he has been doing to promote African energy through the use of solar energy with the meaningful and active cooperation with Senior Expect Service (SES) Bonn-Germany and Society for the Advancement of Culture (DGFK) Berlin Germany as solutions to Climate Change and adaptation.
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posted by S A J Shirazi @ 7:30 AM, , links to this post

Cooking is like love

Only those who have scored an invite to the Sajjad Haider Jafry’s dining table may know what it tastes.

I have been fortunate to be there many times since I have known him. I had an idea that Sajjad Haider Jafry – an Electrical Engineer by profession and a great cook by choice – is documenting his favorite and tested recopies we are so familiar with. That is why Dawati Khane (Urdu) by Sitwat Ara Jafri came as no surprise when I got a copy last night while having family dinner in DeSOM.

Over 267 recipes for everything from Hyderabadi Biriyani to Khatai (cake) and everything in between are featured in a charitable new cookbook released recently. The recipes are uncomplicated and require only easy-to-find ingredients. The recipes are extraordinarily simple but it is the addition of a personal twist to basic recipes that makes Jafri’s cooking unique and sumptuous (I say this by my experience of eating what he cooks). Each section — Rice, Chicken, Pasande, Kabab, Dall, Dahi Dishes and a whole lot more — is packed with recipes. All are simply delicious culinary delights – very mouth watering.
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posted by S A J Shirazi @ 1:34 PM, , links to this post

Through Khyber Pass

Owais Mughal

It is 8:00 a.m. on a sunny Sunday at Peshawar cantonment. The Steam locomotive number 2216, which was built in 1916 by Kitson and Company of Leeds, UK is all set to start on yet another journey. The driver and fireman give one final inspection to the engine vitals and with a long whistle the number 2216 coupled to a tourist train pulls out of the station. Today the destination is Landi Kotal via Khyber Pass.

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posted by S A J Shirazi @ 8:00 AM, , links to this post

Karachi Calling

Karachi is famous as “land of opportunities” in Pakistan. During my period of initial orientation – tea used to be served for four annas per quarter cup then – and continuous visits later; I have found Karachi is constantly reinventing itself. It is a land of superlatives: Pakistan’s biggest and one of the most prosperous cosmopolitan cities, home to universities and colleges, historic, cultural, and commercial centre. It has been a land of plenty since centuries.

The history of Karachi, until its occupation by the Talpurs during late eightieth century (1795), is lost in the haze of past. At the time of its annexation by the Talpurs, Karachi was a little more than a fishing village and the dominant tribes of fishermen were the Kulachis, hence the name.

History has it that Karachi was ceded by the Kalhora rules to the Khan of Kalat in 1785 as a compensation for the death of Khan of Kalat’s brother-in-law. The Talpurs took back Karachi in 1795 after having overthrown the Kalhoras. In 1797, fort was built by Fateh Ali Talpur at Manora. In order to gain a foothold, the British established a factory on the banks of the Lyari River in 1799 near the present day site. However, the Mir grew suspicious of the British and expelled them the following year and the factory had to close down. Karachi was taken over by the British in 1839, four years before the annexation of Sindh.

A contemporary British account of the invasion reads, “Our occupation of Kurrachee (as it was called then) resulted from the military operations in connection with the Afghan War of 1838. During Lord Auckland’s Administration it was resolved to oppose Dost Muhammad, the Talpurs, who were then in power, showed themselves so extremely inimical to us and so incapable of maintaining an orderly government,that Sir John Keane, the Commander in Chief, received instructions tosend a force into the country. His first step was to seize upon Kurrachee.”

Upon the annexation of Sindh in 1843, Napier shifted the capital from Hyderabad to Karachi. As a first step the British established the present cantonments at that time outside the town limits. Municipal limits were extended to 74 square miles to allow for expansion although the town was only 4 square miles. Napier had earlier started a water supply to the city from Malir and established a basic police and judicial level. The population of Karachi grew slowly, but steadily, throughout the nineteenth century. By the beginning of the twentieth century it had crossed one hundred thousand, of which 55 percent was Muslim and 41 percent was Hindu.

Endowed with a natural harbour, fair weather, and plenty of space, Karachi always had the potential to become a great metropolis. It has every thing for those take their chances to this place.

More than two thousand yeas ago, Alexander, who stayed here for 27 days on his way back to Macedonia (he had come from the north), recognized the enormous potential in terms of commerce and trade of the immediate hinterland of Karachi and called this place “the bridge between east and west,” It still is. Since the days of Alexander, the port of Karachi continues to enjoy a strategic importance. It is through this way that Muslim general Muhammad bin Qasim entered what is now Pakistan and brought divine religion Islam here. Arab historians had also recounted the importance of Karachi. Once again the city began to assume prime importance towards the end of the eighteenth century. A new deep sea port Gawadar is being developed there near Karachi.

Except for the 15 years of “One Unit” from 1955 to 1970, Karachi has been the capital of Sindh province ever since 1937. It was also the first capital of Pakistan. As the port and commercial capital of the country, the role of Karachi in the country is more than that of a mere provincial capital. During the Second World War, Karachi assumed strategic importance as it became the air gateway to the Subcontinent. But it was still a quiet town with an efficient municipality. The population of the city was relatively stable until the coming of independence.

The face of the city changed after the Independence in 1947. No other city took the brunt of the migration as much as Karachi because every one wanted to be in capital and urban areas. After the emigration of the partition ceased, a second wave of exodus started from the rest of the country to Karachi: in search of better opportunities. It continues!

What a city of unique colonial architectural curiosities, wide sunny beaches, deep sea fishing, yachting need is an introduction to what it can offer to travellers and site seers. It has every thing else.


posted by S A J Shirazi @ 12:00 AM, , links to this post

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