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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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633 news items

 
The Express Tribune
Mon, 16 Feb 2015 11:52:30 -0800

According to the police, Muhammad Ashraf of Bhonja Goran village reported his daughter Salma*, 17, went missing on Sunday evening. PHOTO: AFP. MANSEHRA: Five people allegedly kidnapped a teenage girl from a remote village of Balakot two weeks ...

The Express Tribune

The Express Tribune
Mon, 02 Mar 2015 11:07:30 -0800

The Met measured 74mm of rain in Cherat, 45mm in Risalpur, 30mm in Kohat, 36mm in Dir, 13.2mm in Abbottabad, 25mm in Saidu Sharif, 16.4mm in Balakot, 24mm in Kalam, and 25.2mm in Parachinar, Kurram Agency. Malam Jabba and Kalam received 12 ...

DAWN.com

DAWN.com
Mon, 02 Mar 2015 17:18:45 -0800

A total of 25 millimeters rain was reported in Saidu Sharif area of Swat district and 16 millimeters rain in Balakot area of Mansehra district. The Met Office forecast more rain in the plain areas and moderate snow in the mountainous area of the ...
 
The News International
Mon, 02 Mar 2015 18:33:39 -0800

Additional Sessions Judge Balakot Haq Nawaz Khan, after hearing counsels from both sides, pronounced the verdict. The convict Mohammad Naveed, said to be teacher of a private school, deceived Bashir Riaz, a student of first year, to a deserted place in ...
 
The News International
Tue, 03 Mar 2015 00:47:21 -0800

... Kasur, Peshawar, Muzzafarabad 29, Malam Jabba, Sargodha, Mandi Bahauddin 28, Bahawalnagar 27, Joharabad, Parachinar, Saidu Sharif 25, Kalam 24, Murree, Lower Dir 20, Toba Tek Singh 17, Balakot, Jhang 16, Rahim Yar Khan 15, Pattan 14, Kakul, ...
 
The News International
Mon, 02 Mar 2015 18:15:00 -0800

Additional Sessions Judge Balakot Haq Nawaz Khan, after hearing counsels from both sides, pronounced the verdict. The convict Mohammad Naveed, said to be teacher of a private school, deceived Bashir Riaz, a student of first year, to a deserted place in ...

DAWN.com

DAWN.com
Wed, 08 Oct 2014 18:52:30 -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 ...

Business Recorder

Pakistan Observer
Fri, 27 Feb 2015 19:22:30 -0800

Saturday, February 28, 2015 - Islamabad—Earthquake Reconstruction and Rehabilitation Authority (ERRA) would soon launch an awareness campaign for adoption of its building codes to minimize damage in case of future natural disasters.
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