• Makran Coastal Highway

Makran Coastal Highway

A thrilling, sandy, and treacherous trip that winds its way through some of the unexplored areas of Pakistan, from the desolate regions to the alluring golden beaches facing the azure shores of the Arabian Sea, might intimidate a tourist with its astonishing encounters. I’m referring to the N10 highway that follows the Arabian Sea’s coastline, popularly known as the Makran Coastal Highway. This post will take you on a virtual tour of Pakistan’s beautiful Makran Highway. So please relax, sit back, and let us take you on the most scenic drive. 

History

The possibility of using the expansive coastal line was under review for a remarkably long time. When the hydrocarbon-laden and mineral-rich Central Asian Republics (CARs) won independence in 1991, the Government decided to construct Gwadar Port. These primarily noncoastal nations needed connectivity to the outside world since they depended on Russia to deliver their goods and resources. Iran or Pakistan offered the quickest and most practical route to the waters of the North Arabian Sea. However, the Pakistani Government needed more help to carry on the concept. Therefore, they accomplished very little. The construction of Gwadar Port had to wait for a tactical outlook. In 2001, General Musharraf made a substantial attempt to develop Gwadar port and the land around it. A Chinese enterprise participated in the construction of Gwadar Port in 2002. The Gwadar port’s expansion relied on the Makran Coastal Highway (MCH) structure. Without Makran Highway, Gwadar would have been an island, isolated from the rest of Pakistan, since Makran Highway connects the Port with Karachi in the south and the rest of the world in the east.

Makran Coastal Highway

Location

The Makran Coastal Highway is a major highway in Pakistan that runs from Karachi in the Sindh province to Gwadar in the Balochistan province along the country’s Arabian Sea coastline. One of the most breathtaking coastal drives in the world is the Makran Coastal Highway. It is the ideal route for lengthy drives, sightseeing, and daring adventure. Makran Coastal is more appealing because it has numerous curves. As you drive along the highway, you will see sky-rocketed mountains and the sea walking side by side in a panorama. Makran Highway is a well-constructed picturesque route connecting Karachi with Gwadar and symbolizes gratification for Pakistan.

When was Makran Coastal Highway Built?

The Makran Highway Project underwent three years of construction, starting in 2002 and ending on December 14, 2004. The ancient dirt roadway would take more than 24 hours from Gwadar to Karachi before the Makran Coastal Highway (MCH) construction in 2004. Vehicles and travelers frequently encountered looting, making the trip dangerous. That’s why people prefer the daytime for traveling. Hence, increasing the entire transit time and cost for all merchants. The typical travel time between Karachi and Gwadar has lowered to only 6 to 7 hours with the completion of the Makran Highway, and transportation costs have also decreased. The Government granted the contract for building Makran Highway to Frontier Works Organisation (FWO), a construction company in Pakistan that also created the Karakorum Highway. 

How Long is Makran Coastal Highway?

The charming Makran Coastal Highway is 653 kilometers long, is around 323 meters (1,059ft) above sea level, and consists of four segments. Makran Coastal starts at Liari and travels through Pasni, Gwadar, Ormara, and several other small communities and villages before ending at Jiwani, near the Iranian border.

Makran Coastal Highway

Structure of Makran Highway 

It was more complicated to design Makran Highway. Overcoming the numerous difficulties of terrible distances, severe climate, and steep, uneven terrain required experience in large-scale building, team management, and unyielding willpower. 

The Government has developed Makran Highway for all sorts of traffic, with a concrete and asphalt dual surface-treated highway that is on par with international coastline highways. It has a top track of 7.3 meters (3.6 meters in each lane) and an extra three meters of the precautionary shoulder on both sides. It offers a framework that permits speeds between 50 and 100 km/h, depending on the topographical location it is traveling across. It allows 100 km/h on flat roads and 50 km/h on hilly terrain. Shakidor Bridge is the longest of the over 65 bridges constructed alongside Makran Coastal. The Shakidor Dam, built close to Pasni to provide the locals with safe drinking water, is the inspiration for the Shakidor Bridge.

What is the Importance of the Makran Coastal Highway?

In addition to being a paved road, the Makran Highway also contributes to Pakistan’s economic development. Makran Coastal has demonstrated its ability to catalyze cultural and socioeconomic transformation throughout its path.

The primary source of income in Balochistan’s coastal region is fishing. Since the fish would decompose when the fishermen arrived in Karachi, they could not sell fish there. Makran Coastal, nevertheless, has enhanced people’s quality of life by providing them with the chance to sell fish in significant Karachi marketplaces. Because residents along the shore now have more opportunities to sell their goods in domestic and foreign markets, the national economy has substantially enhanced. 

A trade market of books, bricks, schools, ideas, and ambitions has emerged thanks to Makran Highway. Over the past 20 years, several freshly constructed housing developments have popped up along the roadway, telling the tale of development in Balochistan. Along with the vehicles and travelers that Makran Coastal provided, it also opened up new areas for education, healthcare, and technical programs. Since the development of Makran Coastal, four significant hospitals, eleven schools, and several commercial malls have all popped up. In a nutshell, Balochistan and Pakistan’s development have benefited from the construction of the Makran Highway.

Makran Coastal Highway Tourist Attractions

Makran Highway is a popular tourist destination with many attractions and activities. Whether you are looking to relax and unwind or explore great visiting places, it has something to offer everyone. So let’s look at tourist attractions present along the Makran Coastal.

Makran Coastal Highway

Kund Malir Beach 

On the Makran Highway, Kund Malir Beach is roughly 150 kilometers from zero point and 240 km from Karachi. According to “the world’s best beaches for 2018,” published by the airline network, Kund Malir Beach is among the top 50 beaches in Asia. It is a spectacular combination of sea, mountains, and desert. Let me tell you that the never-ending beauty of this Beach is no less than the famed beaches in Thailand and the Caribbean. The water is spotless, and the white sand makes for a lovely sight. It would be fitting to say that Kund Malir Beach is a prime tourist location and a true delight for beach lovers. A lot of people visit this location for picnics, especially on weekends.

Ormara Beach 

Midway between Karachi and Gwadar is the stunning Ormara Beach. There are numerous mud mountains that you may encounter on the approach to Ormara Beach. The beauty is not just limited to the views. The Beach is also home to various animal life, including brightly colored tropical fish and exotic birds. Whether looking for a tranquil retreat or an adventure-filled getaway, Ormara beach offers something for everyone.

Ormara Beach 

Golden Beach 

Golden Beach has located a short distance from Kund Malir Beach, which is far more stunning than Kund Malir Beach. It is distinctive due to its green-blue sea and shining golden sand. The soothing sound of the waves and the fresh sea breeze create a peaceful and rejuvenating atmosphere. The crystal clear waters provide excellent visibility, allowing you to see the colorful fish and other marine life that inhabit the area. Golden Beach is ideal for a fun and enjoyable family picnic. Its stunning scenery and family-friendly atmosphere make it a top choice for a day out in the sun.

Gadani Beach

Gadani Beach is a beautiful beach located in Balochistan, Pakistan. It is a well-liked vacation spot for visitors and locals. With its stunning scenery, breathtaking sunsets, majestic views, and many activities, it is an ideal destination for a perfect weekend getaway. From the golden sand to the rocky cliffs, this Beach is a sight to behold. The sun glints off the golden sand, which is soft and warm to the touch and is the perfect spot for a peaceful beach day. The rocky cliffs give the Beach a dramatic and picturesque backdrop, making it an ideal location for photography and sightseeing. The salty breeze tickles your skin as you inhale deeply of the salty air. You can see the fish swimming through the water, their scales reflecting the light like stars in the night sky. The waves crash against the shoreline, creating a beautiful sound that is soothing to the soul. The sky turns a deep orange as the sun sets in the distance. You won’t find a sense of peace like this anywhere else. You’ll have the impression that time has stopped, the stresses of the outside world have vanished, and you are on another planet. There are many fun and exciting things at Gadani Beach, like enjoying fresh fried fish, camel riding, boating, fishing, camping, and bonfire. 

Gadani Beach

Princes of Hope 

The Princess of Hope is a natural stone structure that is a popular tourist destination because it resembles the outline of a standing woman. The Hollywood actress Angelina Jolie gave Princess of Hope its moniker during a visit to the Makran highway in the early 2000s. The Hingol River and the Hingol National Park are also along the route. Experts claim that the sea air is what caused this monument to appear.

The Sphinx 

Another mesmerizing statue that mimics the enormous Sphinx of Egypt is standing close to the Princes of Hope. It is Pakistan’s Sphinx, also popularly known as the Lion of Balochistan, as it depicts bravery and gallantry. This masterpiece is evidence of spectacular artwork and the creativity of nature. The mountains you pass along the journey are beautiful, and you will marvel at the craftsmanship of nature. This silence of this location conceals a lot of stories.

Astola Island

In the Arabian Sea, about 39 to 40 kilometers southeast of the fishing community of Pasni, is a lovely island called Astola Island, also known as Jabl-e-Zareen. It is Pakistan’s most extensive offshore island, with a surface size of around 6.7 square kilometers. The vivid turquoise color of the ocean surrounding Astola speaks eloquently about the well-being of its marine life. The Balochistan Government designated Astola Island as a “marine protected area” in June 2017. Overnight visitors must bring their supplies and camp on the island. Popular outdoor activities, including camping, fishing, and scuba diving, are available at Astola Island. It is a location where you may witness turtles breeding.

Pasni

In Pakistan’s Balochistan province’s Gwadar District, Pasni is both a city and a fishing harbor. It is situated on Makran Coastal Highway on the Arabian Sea and is nearly 450 kilometers (280 miles) from Karachi. The Makran Highway’s low, rugged hills dominate the region’s terrain, with flat land becoming more prevalent closer to the ocean. The untouched and unpolluted Pasni beaches offer some of the most beautiful Arabian Sea scenery. Just north of the town of Pasni, the Shadi Kaur (river) empties into the Arabian Sea. 

Important Facts about Makran Coastal Highway:

  • The National Highway Authority of Pakistan oversees and maintains the stunning Makran Highway.
  • The regions around Pakistan’s coastline now have improved amenities and increased commercial activity thanks to Makran Coastal.
  • The communication and transportation network in the province of Balochistan has strengthened owing to the Makran Highway.
  • Ormara, Pasni, and Gwadar are now directly connected with the rest of Pakistan’s national transportation system via Makran Coastal.
  • By lowering the time and expense involved in moving fresh fish from seafood catchment towns to major cities in Pakistan, as well as export processing zones in Karachi and Gwadar, the Makran Highway has helped boost the seafood industry along Pakistan’s coastline.

Conclusion

Makran Highway is a breathtaking roadway in Balochistan, Pakistan. It is an ideal destination for adventurers, offering stunning scenery and plenty of activities. Various tourist attractions along Makran Highway and picturesque views make it an excellent place to escape the city’s rush and bustle. With its stunning natural beauty and multiple activities, Makran Coastal is a beautiful place for a weekend getaway.