Hanna-Urak Waterfall, nestled within the Urak Valley near Quetta in Balochistan, stands as one of Pakistan’s most exquisite natural lakes. This scenic destination not only features the stunning lake itself but is also adorned with a petite waterfall embraced by the majestic mountainous surroundings.
Urak Valley Balochistan Location
The Urak Valley is a valley surrounded by mountains in the Quetta District of Balochistan Province in western Pakistan. The Urak Valley is located near Lake Hana and 28 kilometers (17 mi) from the city of Quetta. A small waterfall at its end marks the entrance to the adjacent Wali Tangi Dam.
Urak Valley Population
The picturesque Urak Valley, with its population of approximately 10,000 residents, is predominantly inhabited by the Kakar community, a sub-tribe of the Pashtuns, who are among the most prominent and extensive tribal groups in Pakistan. The valley is known for its agricultural activities, primarily focused on the cultivation of high-quality apple trees and a variety of other fruits.
Location of Hanna-Urak Waterfall
Hanna Valley, nestled within Quetta District, the capital of Balochistan province, is conveniently located just 14 kilometers or a 20 to 25-minute drive from the heart of Quetta city. This stunning valley has been graced by nature with a bountiful array of fruits, including apples, grapes, and pomegranates.
One of the most enchanting features of Hanna Valley is its numerous waterfalls and springs cascading from the mountain peaks, showcasing the awe-inspiring beauty of the natural world. These breathtaking scenes often lead people to contemplate the remarkable Creator of this universe.
The residents of Hanna Valley are known for their peaceful nature, warm hospitality, courage, and strong work ethic. Pashto is the predominant language spoken in this area, and all the inhabitants of Hanna Valley belong to the Kakar tribe. At the heart of the valley lies the exquisite Hanna Lake, which beckons thousands of tourists to visit and experience its allure every year.
Hanna Lake Location
Hanna Lake, situated in close proximity to Quetta, Pakistan, is a prominent natural attraction in the city. This picturesque reservoir has historical roots, having been constructed during the British Empire’s rule.
Hanna Lake History
In 1894, a modest dam known as Surrpull, or Red Bridge, was erected along the Urak main road. Its purpose was to divert water from the Zarghoon Mountains, streams, snowmelt, and rain through the main channel into Hanna Lake, a reservoir located near Quetta. This water diversion system has historical significance, as it was established during the British colonial period. However, it is now in a state of disrepair, resulting in water wastage and a significantly reduced water level, putting the local fish population at risk.
The region is also home to a water canal constructed by the British at the same time. This canal was designed to harness snow and rainwater originating from the Murdar mountain, using the Spin Kaarez (ancient underground aqueduct system) as a spillway to fill Hanna Lake. Unfortunately, this canal was ravaged by severe floods in 1976 and has not been reconstructed, causing the loss of valuable snow and rainwater resources. As a consequence, Hanna Lake entirely dried up between 1999 and January 2005.
To prevent the imminent threat of Hanna Lake running dry again, the Hanna Lake Development Authority (HLDA) must take immediate action to address the water supply issue. The lake is situated in close proximity to the beginning of the Urak Valley, approximately 14 km from Quetta.
This captivating lake, built during the British Empire’s era in 1894, is home to vibrant goldfish swimming along its shores. A charming lakeside restaurant offers picnic tables shaded by pine trees. At one end of the lake, an irrigation dam stands tall, resembling a fortified fortress. To the east lies the prestigious Hayat Durrani Water Sports Academy (HDWSA), the sole training center in Balochistan province for activities such as rowing, canoeing, kayaking, and sailing.
Hanna Lake is a beloved destination for hikers, and it thrives with hikers and campers during holidays. Visitors can rent boats to paddle on the lake and explore the island situated in the middle. Both HLDA and HDWSA, in collaboration with Merck, have undertaken tree-planting initiatives in the Hanna Lake Mountains to enhance the area’s aesthetics and contribute to environmental preservation.