Trip to Kund Malir – an oasis in the rugged stream of cliffs!
So it all started with my dear friend Asad and me being fascinated by the pictures on the social media and fellow friends visiting the Kund Malir, right in the middle of Hingol National Park on the Makran Coastal Highway in Balochistan.
Our first attempt went in vein but the organizer was kind enough to refund our payments and advise in due time that they won’t be able to make the plan.
Anyways, a few days latter, I came across another tour operator, Mr. Hammad Shakil who was advertising for trip to Kund Malir, and that also for an overnight stay – exactly what we were looking for.
So the day came, me and Asad packed our bags with our basics and went off to the rendezvous point.
Without any doubt it was an unusually hot day with temperatures soaring almost up to 40 degrees but the two of got our selves a rickshaw and off we went.
Our destination: Almost 250 KMs away from Karachi taking almost 5 hours, a village consisting no more than 10 houses scattered on the hill with very difficult access via hiking only. We were supposed to be heading towards a rest house at Kund Malir, which initially we thought would be a mediocre hut like the ones we find at the Sands Pit and Hawks Bays in Karachi.
We were supposed to leave Karachi at 1.30 PM but eventually got a little and left around 2.30PM. It almost took us about an hour to get out of the city and cross the limits of the Karachi. As soon as we crossed the Hub Chowky, the glimpse of Balochistan started showing up. A rugged terrain, with uneven mountains, wild greenery and passing scores of small villages. It was almost 4PM till we crossed Winder and made a short pit stop for some Tea. That was where our tour guide informed us that after about 20 minutes we’d be loosing all kinds of cellular signals, so if anyone wanted to make an important call, now was the time.
Our ride was 24 seater air conditioned coaster so it accommodated some 15+ group mates headed towards the destination pretty well.
The scenery was keeping us busy and myself being a photography enthusiast, kept looking out of the windows for shots that I could capture in my camera. As the we traveled further deeper in the Balochistan, it became evident to us how unaddressed the whole landscape has been left and potential that was going to waste day by day.
As we moved out of Winder and moved toward a place called “Zero Point”, we hit our first Coast Guard manned check point. They came and greeted us well, asked the tour guide a few questions about where we were coming from and where we were headed, and he let us pass through without any hindrances.
Shortly after, we literally were in dark territory. No mobile signals, not a soul visible as far as the eye could see. It was Half past 6 when we made another pit stop to fill our fuel tanks as after that, we would have found nothing for another 100 kilometers.
This unmarked fuel station, apparently seemed unmanned but when the driver honked the horn a few times, a guy showed up. Eventually they refilled our fuel tanks and we were on our way. All we saw now was asphalt paved road going straight, as long as we could see. Hardly any vehicles passing by, no sign of human inhabitants around, perhaps the only sign of life was evident by the roaming donkey or a stray dog.
Unexpectedly, the roads were well paved and hardly any bad patches were there. A perfect environment for a car to be cruising towards the sunset on a fine afternoon.
As we cruised forward, the sun started setting in the mountainous plateau that made the Hingol National Park distinct in Balochistan.
While we connected with our companions accompanying us to the trip, a good amount of bonding started with guys and gang eventually mingling up with each and having a good chat with each other.
It was not until quarter to 8 until we reached to Kund Malir. Initially Kund Malir was thought to be some of a ruin, as mentioned earlier, but to my surprise, it was very well maintained Rest House maintained by one Dr. Naseer Baloch who also happened to be the Ex Director General Health of Balochistan. Dr. Naseer himself received us when we reached the rest house.
He greeted and gave a short brief about the location and his efforts to promote the tourism at Kund Malir. His efforts – words may define what he was doing but his actions spoke volume.
In the middle of no where, the good doctor had been maintaining a rest house comprising of 16 rooms, with individual bathrooms, sweet water and electricity being provided through out the night via generator. The rest house was right in front of the sea which gave a serene view.
Initially, we had a bit of security concern but shortly after the amount of armed private, and government guards including the Levies Force (the dedicated police force for Hingol National Park) was visible, it was very evident protecting the area that the area was well protected.
Although we were just a band of boys taking the time out of the town for the week, we noticed families with kids visiting the rest house. So by no means the place was alien to the city-scape inhabitants.
By 8PM, as the sun set down, we started putting in our backpacks in our rooms and took the stroll on the beach. Disappointed to find out, it was soon evident that the tourist were leaving their marks by leaving trash on the sea side although the resort owner had made very good arrangements by the beach placing dustbins.
So it was the 29th day of the moon’s calendar and moon was no where to be found. It was all pitch dark, so dark that I couldn’t see someone standing a feet away from me. If you own a DSLR and know a trick or two about long exposure shots, you wouldn’t want to miss this spot of the geography and perfect conditions for star gazing and sky photography with no light pollution to be found at night.
Thanks to my “SkyView Free” App, we were shortly able to identify where the milky way was going to emerge. But since there was still an hour or two for the milky way emerge on the horizon, we decided to goof up a little with what we could with our cameras.
So the time came and the milky way was barely visible to us with out naked eyes. So we pointed out cameras in the direction. After a few trail and error shots, we were able to get a good shot.
So with the feeling of finally accomplishing something with my DSLR, we head back to rest house, had tea and spent the night away chatting and laughing the night away.
Early morning, we went off the explore the surrounding as the light came up on the horizon with the sun yet to rise.
With clear waters, beach sand and the rough hilly terrain, the environment was really serene, a true getaway from the hounding city schedule.
As the sun rose, we showered up had breakfast and headed further west to see the much talked about “Princes of Hope”.
Heading back east, you will encounter some breathtaking scenery.
On the way back, we stopped for the famously known Mud Volcano. An active mud volcano site where you can actually see the mud flowing out.
FAQs for Hingol/ Kund Malir:
Q. Is it safe to go to Hingol/ Kund Malir?
Yes, absolutely. Encouraged to go in groups as well as with families.
Q. Are there residential facility available for visitors?
Yes, not only residential facility, but rooms with clean sweet water is there for sanitation, showers and to freshen up
Q. How long does it takes to go there?
4 – 6 hours, depending up on your speed and number of pit stops
Q. Do the mobile networks work there?
No, however the rest house has a satellite phone available which can be used for outgoing and incoming calls at a nominal charge.
Q. What should be the optimal plan/ itinerary to visit Kund Malir?
It can be a day trip, however an over night trip is advised to enjoy, rest and go further for sighting seeing.
Q. What to pack for the trip?
A pair of extra cloths, slippers, towel, soap, hand sanitizer, and a small first aid kit.
Q. What to avoid at Kund Malir?
If you’re not a swimmer, don’t take chances going deep in the water. The nearest health facility available is at least 2 – 3 hours away in Ormara. It’s better to be safe then sorry. Enjoy yourselves, but know your limits.