Hazara Motorway – M15 Motorway
The Hazara Motorway, also known as Hasan Abdal – Thakot Motorway, is a major transportation artery in Pakistan that connects the Punjab and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa provinces. The Motorway passes through some of the country’s most beautiful and historical parts, including Abbottabad, Mansehra, Haripur, Havelian, Shinkiari, Battagram, and Thakot. This blog post will take a closer look at Hazara Motorway Pakistan, exploring its history, importance to the region, and prospects. We will also highlight some key attractions and landmarks that can be found along the Motorway, making it a must-visit destination for anyone traveling through Pakistan. It is one of the most crucial Motorways in Pakistan.
M15 Motorway – Overview
In Pakistan, there is a 180-kilometer controlled-access Motorway called the M15 Motorway. It runs through several significant cities as it travels from the Burhan Interchange in Hasan Abdal in the Punjab province to Thakot in the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province. The Motorway is a critical transportation artery in the region, serving both passenger and commercial vehicles. Designers created the M15 Motorway to provide travelers with a high-quality, efficient road that reduces travel times and improves connectivity between the two provinces.
The Motorway has six lanes, with a median separating the northbound and southbound lanes. It also has emergency lanes on either side for vehicles to use in case of an accident or breakdown and has a posted speed limit of 120 km/h.
In addition to improving transportation in the region, the M15 Motorway will impact economic development positively. By improving access to markets and other economic opportunities, the Motorway will boost economic growth and create new jobs in the area. It is a critical infrastructure project that will benefit the people of Pakistan for many years.
Hazara Motorway History
Former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif inaugurated the construction of the Hazara Motorway Pakistan on November 29, 2014. The project’s first phase, which included a 60-kilometer, six-lane section from Hasan Abdal to Havelian, was estimated to cost PKR 33 billion. The Chinese firm Gezhouba Group was awarded packages one and two, which included a 39.61-kilometer stretch of road between Burhan and Serai Saleh. Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi inaugurated the 47-kilometer from Burhan to Havelian on December 27, 2017. Prime Minister Imran Khan inaugurated the 40-kilometer Shah Maqsood to Mansehra section on November 18, 2019. The Havelian to Thakot section of the Motorway includes 47 bridges, six tunnels, and six service areas; it was completed in July 2020 and inaugurated by chief minister Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Mahmood Khan. The Mansehra-Thakot section of the Motorway is 180 kilometers long and funded under the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor.
Hazara Motorway Features
Some of its notable features include:
- Length: The Motorway stretches for over 180 kilometers, connecting the cities of Hasan Abdal, Havelian, Mansehra, and Thakot.
- Lanes: The Motorway has six lanes, allowing efficient and smooth traffic flow.
- Fencing: The Motorway is fenced, which helps to prevent accidents and improve safety for drivers and passengers.
- Tunnels and bridges: There are six tunnels on the Hazara Motorway, starting from Abbottabad and ending in Battal. These tunnels have various safety features, including fire extinguishers, telephone booths, lights, and emergency lanes. The lengths of these tunnels are as follows: the Abbottabad Tunnel 1 is 1,720 meters long, the Abbottabad Tunnel 2 is 2,390 meters long, the Mansehra Tunnel is 2,528 meters long, the Karmong Tunnel is 442 meters long, the Battal Tunnel is 2,906 meters long, and the Thakot Tunnel is 615 meters long.
- Service areas: The Motorway includes six service areas, which provide amenities such as rest stops, fuel stations, and food and beverage outlets for travelers.
- Interchanges: Hasan Abdal – Thakot Motorway includes several swaps, allowing drivers to access and exit the Motorway.
- Speed limit: The speed limit on the Motorway is 120 kilometers per hour, which helps to ensure safe and efficient travel for all users.
Routes of Hazara Motorway
The Hazara Motorway is a 180 km long road that begins at its southern end at the Hazara Expressway interchange near the village of Koliya in the northern Punjab province. From there, it travels northeast and crosses the Haro River at the Jharikass Interchange. After passing through the Hattar Industrial Area, the Motorway reaches the town of Kot Najibullah, where it connects with the Haripur Road via the Hattar Interchange. The Motorway continues east to the N-125 National Highway, which it reaches via the Chechiyan Interchange south of Haripur. After turning northeast towards Shah Maqsood, the Motorway connects to the N-35 National Highway at the Shah Maqsood Interchange. From there, it runs parallel to the N-35 as it heads towards Havelian, linking directly to the city via the Havelian Interchange. The Motorway is planned to be extended further north to Abbottabad through the Shimla tunnel, on to Manshera, Battagram, and finally to Thakot, where it will rejoin the N-35.
To enter the Hazara motorway, you must first reach the Burhan interchange on the Islamabad-Peshawar Motorway (M1). The Burhan interchange is 58 kilometers away from Islamabad, 128 kilometers away from Peshawar, and 392 kilometers away from Lahore. Once you reach the Burhan interchange, you can access the Hazara motorway.
Famous Tourist Spots on Hazara Motorway
There are several famous tourist spots along the Hazara Motorway. Some of these include:
- Abbottabad: Located in the heart of the Hazara region, Abbottabad is a popular hill station known for its picturesque setting and cooler climate. It is home to several notable sites, including the Ayub National Park, the Abbottabad Club, and the Ilyasi Mosque.
- Naran Kaghan: Naran is a small town located in the Kaghan Valley, known for its stunning natural beauty and pleasant climate. It is a popular tourist destination, offering a range of outdoor activities such as hiking, trekking, and fishing.
- Babusar Pass: Located at an altitude of 4,173 meters (13,700 feet) above sea level, the Babusar Pass is a mountain pass that connects the Kaghan Valley to Gilgit-Baltistan. It offers breathtaking views of the surrounding mountains and is a popular destination for hikers and adventurers.
- Raikot: Raikot is a small town near the Nanga Parbat mountain range in Gilgit-Baltistan. It is known for its access to the Fairy Meadows, a beautiful alpine meadow located at the base of Nanga Parbat.
- Gilgit: Located in Gilgit-Baltistan, Gilgit is the capital of the Gilgit-Baltistan region and is known for its rich cultural heritage and natural beauty. It is home to several historical landmarks, including the Kargah Buddha, the Shigar Fort, and the Karimabad Palace.
- Hunza: Located in Gilgit-Baltistan, Hunza is a small town known for its stunning natural beauty and cultural attractions. It is home to the Altit and Baltit forts, which offer panoramic views of the surrounding mountains and valleys.
- Skardu: Located in Gilgit-Baltistan, Skardu is a small town known for its access to the Karakoram mountain range and the K2 peak. It is a popular destination for hikers, climbers, and adventurers.
|Tourist Destinations||Distance from Islamabad (km)||Estimated Time||Interchange on Hazara Motorway|
|Abbottabad||134||1hr 30mins||Abbottabad Interchange|
|Naran Kaghan||283||6hrs 30mins||Mansehra Interchange|
|Babusar Pass||348||8hrs||Mansehra Interchange|
|Raikot||439||11hrs 30mins||Mansehra Interchange|
|Gilgit||517||12hrs 30mins||Mansehra Interchange|
|Hunza||602||14hrs 30mins||Mansehra Interchange|
Note: These estimates are based on average driving speeds and do not account for potential traffic delays or other factors affecting travel time. It is always a good idea to plan and allow extra time when traveling to these destinations.
How does Hazara Motorway Promote Tourism in Pakistan?
Hazara Motorway plays a significant role in promoting tourism in Pakistan by providing a modern, efficient, and safe transportation link between the Hazara region and the rest of the country. Some of how Hazara Motorway promotes tourism in Pakistan are:
- Improved accessibility: Hazara Motorway makes it easier for tourists to reach the destinations in the Hazara region, such as Abbottabad, Naran Kaghan, and Gilgit. The Motorway reduces travel time and makes the journey more comfortable and convenient for tourists.
- Boosts economic development: Tourism is an essential contributor to the economy of Pakistan, and the Hazara Motorway helps to boost economic growth in the region by making it easier for tourists to visit and spend money on local goods and services.
- Promotes cultural exchange: Hazara Motorway lets tourists visit and learn about the region’s rich cultural heritage and traditions. It also encourages cultural exchange by making it easier for locals to interact with tourists and learn about different cultures.
- Enhances safety: Hasan Abdal – Thakot Motorway is a modern, well-maintained highway that provides tourists with a safe and reliable transportation link. It helps to reduce the risk of accidents and other safety concerns, making it a more attractive destination for tourists.
Safety & Maintenance of Hazara Motorway Pakistan
Safety and maintenance are important considerations when it comes to the operation of a motorway. The M15 Motorway in Pakistan has several measures in place to ensure the safety and security of travelers.
One of the key measures is the presence of the Motorway Police, who patrol the Motorway to enforce traffic laws and assist travelers in case of emergencies. The Motorway Police are equipped with the necessary training and equipment to handle any incidents that may occur on the Motorway.
The National Highway Authority (NHA) maintains the M15 Motorway regularly in addition to the Motorway Police. It includes routine inspections and maintenance to ensure that the Motorway is in good condition and free of any hazards. The National Highway Authority (NHA) carries out any necessary repairs or upgrades to maintain the Motorway’s safety.
Despite these safety measures, it is still essential for travelers to be cautious when using the M15 Motorway. They should follow the posted speed limits and traffic laws and be alert for potential hazards or incidents. By following these guidelines, travelers can help to ensure their safety and the safety of others while using the Motorway.
Amenities for travelers on M15 Motorway
Here are some of the amenities that may be available on the M15 Motorway:
- Rest areas: allow travelers to take a break, stretch their legs, and use restrooms. They may also have vending machines or food kiosks.
- Fuel stations: These stations provide gasoline and other fuels for vehicles. Some may also have convenience stores or car washes.
- Emergency phones: These are located at regular intervals along the Motorway and can be used to call for help in an emergency.
- CCTV cameras: These cameras monitor traffic conditions and assist with incident management on the Motorway.
Is the M15 Motorway safe for travelers?
Hasan Abdal – Thakot Motorway is a modern, well-maintained highway that provides tourists with a safe and reliable transportation link. However, it is always advisable to check the current travel conditions and take necessary precautions when traveling on any highway. The Motorway Police patrol the M15 Motorway to ensure the safety and security of travelers.
Why is Hazara motorway also known as Hasan Abdal – Thakot Motorway?
Hazara Motorway is also known as Hasan Abdal – Thakot Motorway because it connects the cities of Hasan Abdal and Thakot. Hasan Abdal is a city in Punjab province, located approximately 50 kilometers northwest of Islamabad, the capital of Pakistan. Thakot is a city in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province, located about 120 kilometers northwest of Hasan Abdal.
How many lanes does the Hazara Motorway have?
The Hazara Motorway Pakistan has six lanes until the Haripur area, where it narrows to four lanes. From there, it becomes a two-lane road until it reaches Thakot.
Who opened the Havelian-Thakot section of the Hazara Motorway?
Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan opened the Havelian-Thakot section of the Hazara Motorway.
M-15 is a modern, well-maintained Motorway that provides a convenient and efficient transportation link between these cities and the rest of the country. It plays a vital role in promoting economic development and tourism in the region by providing improved accessibility and enhancing safety for travelers. Hazara Motorway Pakistan is a valuable asset for the people of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.