Balochistan, the land of beauty enriched with breath-taking waterfalls, spectacular deep valleys and mouth-watering fruit trees is also famous for its twisted mountains covering whole of the province. 

Southern Balochistan is a vast wilderness of mountain ranges, of which the Central Brahui Range is the backbone. The easternmost Kirthar Range is backed by the Pab Range in the west. Other important ranges of southern Balochistan are the Central Makran Range and the Makran Coast Range, whose steep face to the south divides the coastal plain from the rest of the plateau. The Makran coastal track mostly comprises level mud flats surrounded by sandstone ridges. The isolation of the arid plain has been broken by an ongoing development project at Gwadar, which is linked with Karachi via an improved road transport system. 

The vast tableland of Balochistan contains a great variety of physical features. In the northeast, a basin centred on the towns of Zhob and Loralai forms a trellis-patterned lobe that is surrounded on all sides by mountain ranges. To the east and southeast is the Sulaiman Range , which joins the Central Brahui range near the provincial capital, Quetta. To the north and northwest of Balochistan is the Toba Kakar Range (which farther west becomes the Khwaja Amran Range).

The hilly terrain becomes less severe south-westward in the form of Ras Koh Range. The small Quetta basin is surrounded on all sides by mountains. The whole area appears to form a node of high ranges. West of the Ras Koh Range, the general landform of northwestern Balochistan is a series of low-lying plateaus divided by hills. In the north the Chaghai Hills border a region of true desert, consisting of inland drainage. 

There are more than 2900 peaks in Balochistan, and a total of 104 minerals and other natural resources present in these mountains.  Loai Sar Naikan is the highest peak of the province in the Zarghun Mountains to the east of Quetta.

Loai Saar Naikan is the highest peak of Balochistan and has an altitude of 3,578 metres that makes up to 11,738 feet. The Zarghun mountain, where Loy Sar-e-Naikan is situated, is covered by 3,000 or 4,000 old juniper trees. It’s very difficult to climb up on the mountain as many of the climbers during summit face altitude sickness. High altitude Pulmonary Edema, High altitude Cerebral Edema and hypothermia are some of the common altitude sicknesses. Solar radiation and worst weather conditions makes the climb even more challenging. There are a few graves that can be spotted up the track but none of the people knows who are buried in them. 

Due to a vast number of juniper trees and peaks in all directions a person gets confused and distracts from his way. The people always forget their way and sometimes are lost in these peaks and trees. In order to cope with this problem, nearby people of Zarghun mountain has made several marks in different directions to assist a person in climbing the Loai Saar Naikan. The peak has a large stone over it reflecting face of a person. 

Loai Saar Naikan is best known for its natural beauty and climbers and tourists from all parts of the country visit it. “This peak is one of the most beautiful gifts of nature to the people of Balochistan”, Ahmed, a traveller from Faisalabad of Punjab told. 

“If you want to know about the beauty of Balochistan then come to this peak and you will know that nature has not only blessed this region with natural resources rather it’s made such beautiful tourist points in the province”, Muhammad Mustafa Ali of Hazara community narrated.

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The author hails from Quetta and contributes to Express Tribune, Balochistan Stars and Baloch Express. He can be reached on Twitter @YStorai

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