Album and article by Salman Alwani
Ormara is an old coastal town.
Going towards Gwadar through Makran Coastal Highway, Ormara comes midway between Karachi and Gwadar. Its historical routes are linked with Alexander the Great, who stayed there with his army for a few days on his way back from the Indus region after conquering the lands of Sindh, Punjab and the North-West Frontier province regions of modern-day Pakistan in 400 BC. One of his generals, Ormoz, died there and the present-day city was named after him.
For a few centuries, Ormara remained a battle field between the Baloch Sardar (local feudal lord) and foreign aggressors. Before independence, it was part of the state of Las Bela and afterward it became part of Makran Division. Being an isolated city, it remained undeveloped; however, with the naval presence around, life has taken a positive change for the locals with many local industries and the resultant increase in jobs available for the locals. It has a population of about forty thousand people and still offers a traditional look at how the ancients lived. Most residents make their livelihood from fishing; a few of them also work in Middle Eastern countries. Ormara has witnessed considerable growth in recent years especially with the foundation of the Makran coastal highway, which integrated the area more with the mainstream Pakistani economy and major urban center’s allowing for easier transport of goods, commerce and people.
Before the development of Makran Coastal Highway by Frontier Works Organization, the road was in bad shape, therefore people would use PIA Airplanes to reach the city from Karachi. The project work initiated by FWO during the government of General Perviaz Musharraf helped the people of Balochistan traveling right up from Karachi to Gwadar as this road also links Ormara and Pasni for less expense then the airfare. The travel distance between Karachi to Ormara is only 360 Kms / 223.54 miles which is roughly about 5 hrs drive. The roads are clear and well furnished with security of Pakistan Coast Guards and Pakistan Army (If you wish to travel this place, my advice would be to travel during daylight so you can see the natural beauty and scenery of Makran Coastal Highway). Besides, traveling on your own, one can use local transport which cost just PKR 1300 both ways per person.
I have enclosed some pictures of a white building which is the Ormara Jamat Khana. There are around 15 or so houses of Ismaili families living in Ormara. The small wooden doors in light blue color with small windows in white, is the Religious Education Centre. There is also one picture of wooden door with brick walls which is the boundary of the Jamatkhana.
In the picture with a background city, we can see a mosque and sea-side where locals do fishing even though there are several established fishing companies in the same city which would buy fishes from local fisherman and export them to Karachi as well as many countries abroad. There is one more picture large mud mountain with some sea it’s the local sea inside the city.
Now-a-days Ormara is blessed with the contribution of Pakistan Navy with their ongoing projects. Sometime ago, they built Naval School for children’s of local public as well as for their PAK Navy officers and staff living in the city. On September 12th, 2011 another contribution came to the town of Ormara from Pak Navy in the form of newly established state-of-the-art hospital ‘PNS Darmaan Jah’. This hospital is covered with modern equipment for the facilities of the patients. PNS Darman Jah is fully equipped and modern hospital which would provide indiscriminate medical treatment to Navy personnel and civilians. PNS Darman Jah Hospital has 25-bed which would be upgraded to 100-bed in next three years.
In Ormara, there is a big city bazaar with ample supplies of local, national and international, especially Iranian goods.
While closing this article, I can say the beauty of the Ormara is truly blessed with nature as this place is covered three sides from sea and one side from mountains.
I hope after visiting several places of Pakistan upper and lower areas, maybe one day you will visit this place too and recommend others to visit as well.
Best Regards to all.
Salman Alwani, Karachi, Pakistan
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