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This article is about the town in Pakistan. For the village in Nepal, see Balakot, Nepal.
Balakot
بالاکوٹ
Pictured prior to earthquake
Pictured prior to earthquake
Balakot is located in Pakistan
Balakot
Balakot
Coordinates: 34°32′N 73°21′E / 34.54°N 73.35°E / 34.54; 73.35
Country  Pakistan
Province Khyber Pakhtunkhwa
Time zone PST (UTC+5)
Number of towns 1
Number of Union Councils 1

Balakot (Urdu: بالاکوٹ ‎) is a town in Mansehra District in the Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa province of Pakistan. The town was destroyed during the 2005 Kashmir Earthquake, but was later rebuilt with the assistance of the Government of Pakistan and Saudi Public Assistance for Pakistan Earthquake Victims (SPAPEV),[1] a Saudi relief organisation.


Location[edit]

Balakot is located at 34°33′N 73°21′E / 34.550°N 73.350°E / 34.550; 73.350Coordinates: 34°33′N 73°21′E / 34.550°N 73.350°E / 34.550; 73.350 about thirty-eight kilometres north-east of the city of Mansehra, in Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa. It is a historical town, a famous tourist destination of the region and the gateway to Kaghan valley of the Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa of Pakistan. The river Kunhar, originating from Lulusar lake, runs through the city and merges with Jhelum River just outside Muzaffarabad in Azad Kashmir.

History[edit]

In 997 CE, Sultan Mahmud Ghaznavi, took over the Ghaznavid dynasty empire established by his father, Sultan Sebuktegin, In 1005 he conquered the Shahis in Kabul in 1005, and followed it by the conquests of Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa. The Delhi Sultanate and later Mughal Empire ruled the region. The Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa region became predominantly Muslim due to missionary Sufi saints whose dargahs dot the landscape of Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa.

After the decline of the Mughal Empire, the Sikhs invaded and occupied Mandi Bahauddin District. Bhangi Misl was the first of many Sikh bands to invade and plunder the Mughal Lahore and other cities in Punjab. Many visitors to Lahore during this era noted that much of the city was in disrepair and many of its Muslim monuments and Mosques were pillaged and desecrated by the Sikhs. The land, palaces and houses of Muslim nobility were confiscated by the Sikhs Sardars. Marbles and precious stones were pillaged from Muslim buildings, including Shalimar Gardens, and homes by the Sikhs to build Golden Temple in Amritsar and the other Sikh holy places. Syed Ahmad Barelvi a Muslim nationalist received desperate pleas of help from the persecuted Muslims of the Punjab region. The Muslims were prohibited to call Azan and lands belonging to the waqf endowments which provided financial support to Muslim institutions were confiscated by the Sikhs. Syed Ahmad Barelvi in 1821 with many supporters and spent two years organizing popular and material support for his Punjab campaign. He carefully developed a network of people through the length and breadth of India to collect funds and encourage volunteers, traveling widely throughout India attracting a following among pious Muslims. In December 1826 Sayyid Ahmad and his followers clashed with Sikh troops at Okara but with no decisive result. In a major battle near the town of Balakot in 1831, Sayyid Ahmad and Shah Ismail Shaheed with volunteer Muslims were defeated and martyred by the professional Sikh Army. The Muslims faced severe restrictions during the Sikh rule.

Climate[edit]

Balakot has a humid subtropical climate (Köppen climate classification Cfa) with hot summers and cool winters. Rainfall in Balakot is much higher than in most other parts of Pakistan. The heaviest rainfall occurs either in late winter (February–March) associated with frontal systems, or in the monsoon season (June–August); however, all months see significant rainfall on average.

Climate data for Balakot
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Record high °C (°F) 24.4
(75.9)
25.2
(77.4)
31.1
(88)
36.0
(96.8)
43.3
(109.9)
42.1
(107.8)
41.2
(106.2)
39.7
(103.5)
35.2
(95.4)
33.9
(93)
29.0
(84.2)
24.7
(76.5)
43.3
(109.9)
Average high °C (°F) 13.9
(57)
15.2
(59.4)
19.3
(66.7)
25.9
(78.6)
31.3
(88.3)
35.5
(95.9)
32.3
(90.1)
31.2
(88.2)
31.0
(87.8)
27.4
(81.3)
22.2
(72)
15.9
(60.6)
25.09
(77.16)
Daily mean °C (°F) 8.1
(46.6)
9.5
(49.1)
13.5
(56.3)
19.3
(66.7)
24.3
(75.7)
28.1
(82.6)
26.8
(80.2)
25.9
(78.6)
24.0
(75.2)
19.3
(66.7)
14.2
(57.6)
9.5
(49.1)
18.54
(65.37)
Average low °C (°F) 2.2
(36)
3.8
(38.8)
7.6
(45.7)
12.7
(54.9)
17.4
(63.3)
20.7
(69.3)
21.2
(70.2)
20.6
(69.1)
17.1
(62.8)
11.3
(52.3)
6.1
(43)
3.1
(37.6)
11.98
(53.58)
Record low °C (°F) −3
(27)
−2.2
(28)
−1
(30)
3.9
(39)
8.0
(46.4)
10.0
(50)
15.0
(59)
13.3
(55.9)
10.0
(50)
5.2
(41.4)
1.7
(35.1)
−1.3
(29.7)
−3
(27)
Precipitation mm (inches) 105.4
(4.15)
156.1
(6.146)
195.9
(7.713)
122.5
(4.823)
80.5
(3.169)
107.3
(4.224)
384.3
(15.13)
311.4
(12.26)
100.8
(3.969)
48.9
(1.925)
44.0
(1.732)
87.5
(3.445)
1,744.6
(68.686)
Source: NOAA (1971-1990) [2]

Administration[edit]

Administrative subdivisions of Mansehra District.

Balakot is one of the main cities of Mansehra District. It serves as the chief city of Balakot Tehsil, which is the largest Tehsil of Mansehra District. It has also a Union Council and administers the many surrounding smaller towns and villages.[3]

History[edit]

The town or village of Balakot is occupied mainly by Khankhel Swati family, Gujjar, Awan, Swati, Syed, Turk, Mughal and Hanki tribes. It is located on the banks of the River Kunhar before it enters the Kashmir Valley. The Sikhs tried to free Mansehra in the 1818 but were met with resistance from the occupying army. As the Mansehra region fell under Sikh control, it was annexed to Punjab. The movement placed Waziristan, the Mohmand country beyond Kunhar, Chitral and Yusufzai tribes within the control and responsibility of the Indian government. Syed Ahmad Shaheed and Shah Ismail Shaheed, with the help of the Mujahadeen, including the local tribes of tehsil Balakot from Kaghan to Garhi Habibullah led many revolts and attacks against the Sikhs. At last on 6 May 1831, during a fierce battle, Syed Ahmad Shaheed and Shah Ismail Shaheed along with hundreds of their followers were killed.[4] The central mosque of Balakot is named after Syed Ahmed Shaheed. The areas includes diverse groups, the spoken language is Hindko .

Earthquake 2005[edit]

Kunhar river near Balakot during July

The town was completely destroyed in the massive earthquake on 8 October 2005. The United Arab Emirates has volunteered to rebuild this town into an improved one with housing colonies, schools, hospitals, and other civic facilities. However the Pakistan government has announced that the city will be relocated.[5] The town will be reconstructed about 20 km away at a safer spot with more earthquake-proof buildings.

References[edit]

External links[edit]


Original courtesy of Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Balakot — Please support Wikipedia.
This page uses Creative Commons Licensed content from Wikipedia. A portion of the proceeds from advertising on Digplanet goes to supporting Wikipedia.
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594 news items

Daily Times

Daily Times
Thu, 22 Jan 2015 01:00:00 -0800

Official sources said that the monitoring instruments were installed at Quetta, Khuzdar, Zhob, Turbat, Karachi, Chitral, Cherat, Katas, Muzaffarabad, Balakot, Lahore, Fort Manro, Islamabad, Tarbela, Gilgit, Skardu, Patan, Umarkot and Nagarparker ...

DAWN.com

DAWN.com
Wed, 08 Oct 2014 18:54:03 -0700

MANSEHRA: The people of Balakot were disappointed at the district administration's failure to mark the ninth anniversary of October 8, 2005 earthquake in the city on Wednesday. The earthquake had completely destroyed Balakot and killed more than 20,000 ...
 
The News International
Wed, 01 Oct 2014 18:52:30 -0700

He complained that the ERRA was not being given the authority to work on the New Balakot City Project properly and until now only 14 percent of the land was under ERRA's control. In response to a Senator's queries about the reasons behind these hurdles ...

The Express Tribune

The Express Tribune
Sat, 10 Jan 2015 11:52:30 -0800

“Every year during winter, residents of the village move down to the plains in mid-October or November and return in March or April when the temperature starts to go up,” Balakot police quoted Pervez Khan, head of the village as saying. This year, like ...

The News on Sunday

The News on Sunday
Sat, 10 Jan 2015 14:12:36 -0800

What was not wanted was the report occasionally in the press based on hearsay claiming no work was being done and that Awaran was another New Balakot. But in November, Aziz could show 3000 houses in various stages of completion with many villages ...

DAWN.com

DAWN.com
Mon, 02 Jun 2014 05:30:50 -0700

BALAKOT: Deputy Chief of Jamaat-i-Islaami Karachi Ameer Nasrullah Shaji drowned in River Kunhar on Monday in an attempt to save a child from drowning near Balakot, DawnNews reported. The incident occurred when a 10th grade student Sufyan, who ...

The Express Tribune

The Express Tribune
Tue, 06 Jan 2015 11:41:15 -0800

Speaking to the media from the surgical ward of Ayub Medical Complex in Abbotabad, 17-year-old Naveeda Bibi*, the daughter of Nizamuddin of Allari village, Balakot, said she had tied the knot with Zamir from Shohal Mazullah village around three months ...

DAWN.com

DAWN.com
Sat, 29 Mar 2014 18:49:52 -0700

MANSEHRA: The residents of earthquake red zone in Balakot have decided to organise a sit-in in front of the house of Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf chairman Imran Khan in Islamabad and seek his help for completion of the New Balakot City (NBC) housing ...
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