Quetta (Pashto: کوټه Urdu: کوئٹہ, Hazaragi: کویته, Brahui: Koŧá) is the largest city and the provincial capital of the Balochistan Province of Pakistan. It is known as the "Fruit Garden of Pakistan", due to the diversity of its plant and animal wildlife. Situated at an average elevation of 1,654 metres (5,429 ft) above sea level the city is a major stronghold along the western frontier of the country. The city is also home to the Hazarganji Chiltan National Park, which contains some of the rarest species of wildlife in the world and to a research institute, the Geological Survey of Pakistan.
The area was originally inhabited by Kasi, of Pashtun tribes and Shahwani of Baloch tribes. The first detailed account of
The British made the largely Pashtun area part of British Balochistan. In April 1883 it was combined with Pishin into a single administrative unit.
By the time of the earthquake on
The city saw droughts in the year 2000, and 2001. During these years the city didn't received snowfall and received below normal rains. While in 2003 the city received snowfall after a long period of five years. In 2004, and 2005 Quetta received normal rains with snowfall while in 2006, 2007 and 2009 the city doesn't revived any snow, except 2008 when Quetta received snowfall of four inches (102 mm) in four hours on 29 January, 2008. While on
The city of Quetta comprises approximately 2,653 km2 (1,036 square miles) and consists of series of valleys which act as a natural fort surrounded on all sides by a number of imposing hills named Chiltan, Takatoo, Murdar and Zarghun. There are no natural boundaries between Quetta and its adjoining districts of Dera Ismail Khan to the northeast, Dera Ghazi Khan and Sibi to the east, Sukkur and Jacobabad to the southeast, Karachi and Gawadar to the south and Ziarat to the southwest. The closest major city is Kandahar in Afghanistan which is located to the west of the
Government and politics
Under the latest revision of
At an altitude of 1,605 metres (5,260 ft) above sea level,
Quetta Railway Station is one of the highest railway stations in
Recently there has been a proposal to construct a railway track that will link Gawadar toChina and Gawadar with
A wide variety of mammals such as Markhor, "Gad" (wild sheep), leopards, wolves, hyena, rabbits, wild cats and porcupines are to be found in the Quetta region. Local birds species include partridge, warblers, shikra, the blue rock pigeon, rock nuthatch, golden eagle, sparrows,hawks, falcons and bearded vultures. Flora in
A landscape of
Hanna Lake In Winter
Balochi carpets are made by the nomadic tribes of the area. They are generally not nearly as fine or expensive as either the Persian city products or even the Turkoman tribal rugs from further north, but they are generally more authentic than the copies of Turkoman and Persian designs often found in the major cities of
For those interested in local cuisine, there are many dishes to try. The famous Pashtun tribal cuisine “Roash” which non-locals call “Namkin” is to be found in both city restaurants as well as in the outlying areas. Some of the finest mutton in the country is raised around
Hanna Lake, which nestles in the hills ten kilometres (six miles) east of the city, is a startling turquoise pool which contrasts markedly with its bare brown surroundings. An attraction for holidaymakers, with facilities for boat hire and a lakeside restaurant, it is crowded by hikers and campers in holiday periods. At one end there is an irrigation dam while on the eastern shore line there is
The Hazarganji Chiltan National Park, 20 km (13 miles) south-west of
A number of cultural and religious festivals are held in the city every year. The two Eid festivals which mark the end of fasting and the end of the Hajj allow the majority Muslim community to put on musical shows, distribute sweets and presents. The Sibi festival is a cultural festival celebrating the history of the Balochi people with folk music performance, cultural dances, handicrafts stalls and cattle and horse shows.Buzkashi is a peculiar festival celebrated by Pashtuns in which two teams on horse-back attempt to snatch a goat from each other.
Quetta was historically part of the Pashtun-dominated Hotaki and Durrani Empire until it was invaded by the British Raj in the mid-19th century, during the First Anglo-Afghan War. The city in general is dominated by Pashtun people followed by Baloch people and Brahuis, with Hazaras, Punjabi and others as the minority groups. Most of the Baloch people in
Pashto is the main language spoken throughout the city. Other languages include Brahui, Balochi, Urdu, Hazaragi, Sindhi, and Punjabi. The city has expanded from a population of just 11,000 in 1891 to a total of between 565,137 to 676,941 according to the 1998 census which makes it the ninth biggest city in
About 99% of the people are Muslims, which include the majority Sunni sect and the minority Shias most of whom are the Hazaras. There is also a Christian, Hindu, and Sikh population living in the city.
The residents of the city are avid sports fans. In
In field hockey,
In squash, Hiddy Jahan Khan was ranked among the top-6 players in the world from 1970 through to 1986. British Open champion Qamer Zaman also hails from
The Ayub National Stadium is the largest stadium in the city and the site of international cricket and football matches.
Khalid Mehmood also Junior Pakistan in javelin throw.