Contributed by Munaza Kazmi
Munaza Kazmi holds MPhil in Management Sciences, is a travel writer, an author, and a co-author of scientific contributions in national and international publications.
A dramatic, dusty and daring drive that can unnerve a traveler with its marvelous encounters, winding its way through some of the untouched parts of Pakistan, from the deserted regions where windswept erosion has created an unusual natural wonder called “Princess of Hope” – a princess standing in the hope of finding her love of life – to the enchanting golden beaches overlooking the blue shores of the Arabian Sea, to the Sphinx of Pakistan watching every traveler and guarding the glory of the region.
I am talking about Makran Coastal Highway, the 653 km N10 highway running along the coastal line of Arabian Sea. With its diverse landscape, it has a strategic meaning for Pakistan, since it links the Gwadar port to the entire of Baluchistan, then to Karachi passing through the towns of Ormara and Pasni.
While driving on the highway, you will encounter dramatically diverse, magical, and mysterious landscapes. Once passing through vast stretches of deserts, greeting dust cyclones in the distance, the highway weaves around the deep blue waters with clean white foam, sparkling peals and golden beaches. It is home to the charming sunrises on the horizon and sunsets that bask everything in gold in the frame of wild Siberian birds.
In a moment from the dusty sandstorms, you will be ‘flying’ with pelicans and racing with dolphins, such a diverse landscape again. Moving forward, slowly distancing from the seashore, the highway takes you into the territory of Hingol National Park, the largest in Pakistan, housing precious and rare wild life including leopards, gazelles, ibexes and crocodiles etc. to the ‘Princess of Hope’ and Spinx.
Meanwhile, you might observe the Hindu pilgrims who travel miles to the Shrine of “Hinglaj Mata”, which is guarded by ibexes and crocodiles in its mountain seat on the banks of the Hingol River. Wandering further through the mysterious hills, trying to endorse the possibility of possessing South Asia’s largest and highest active mud volcano, the road takes you to say hello to camels and the distinctive Makranis of African descent.
Makran Coastal Highway provokes the mind to probe deeper and search for the hidden secrets that the mountains echo, the winds whisper and the sands so gracefully obscure.