Friday, January 8, 2010

Pakistan, Geography, Passes (contd-1)

Khyber Pass : Khyber means "Across the River." It connects the northern side of Pakistanwith Afghanistan' The Pass starts from near Jamrud (Pakistan) and ends at the west of Torkham (Afghanistan) . Historically, Khyber pass is the most important pass of pakistan. Strategically, Khyber pass was the gateway to India. All the major invaders of the Aryans, Persians, Greeks, Scythians, Parthians, White huns, Seljuks, Tartars, Turks, Sassanians, Mongals, Mughals and Durranis had chosen the route of Khyber Pass. The great conquerors who invaded India throgh Khyber Pass were Alexander the Great, Cyrus the Great, Subuktagin, Mahmud of Ghazna, Muhammed Ghauri, Amir Timur , Changiz khan, Babur, Nadir Shah and Ahmad Shah Abdali. During the Afghan War, the British forces marched through Khyber Pass. Later on, the British army defended the Khyber Pass was not only militarily wise important but it was also a trade route. Business activities were expanded to Central Asia and China. Even today, Khyber Pass is imporant both militarily and trade purposes.
Khyber Pass Railway:
The steam locomotive number 2216, which was built in 1916 by Kitson and Company of LEEDS, UK, is all set to start. The driver and fireman give one final inspection to the enginevitals and with a long whistle. today the destination is Landi Kotal via Khyber pass.
History of Khyber Pass Railway :

When Tussian influence was gradually increasing on Afghanistan and the british thought that there was possibility of Russian invasion into India , the
British developed the Khyber pass Railway in about 1857.The most possible route for this was either khyber or Bolan. Therefore it was suggested that the strategic railways be built in both these passes to thwart any Russian invasion.
In 1878, the second Anglo-Afghan war (1878-1880)took place and it made more important to lay a railway track through western passes of India.