Jhelum is one of the cities of Pakistan with many tourist sites like Khewra Salt Mine, Fort Rohtas, a monument of Alexander the Great and Tilla Jogian Complex of Ancient temples. The government of Pakistan, international tourists, and mainstream media ignores Jhelum and its precious sites for many years. It has many historic sites like Temples as well as other tourist spots like Mangla Dam. The city is rich with Punjabi culture, generosity of people, history, food and many more. It is heartbreaking that Jhelum is the ignored city despite it is rich in many tourist sites.
History of Jhelum
Jhelum is a small district of Pakistan situated on the bank of the river with the same name Jhelum. Jhelum is one of the old cities of Pakistan, which remained alive in the past. Jhelum was a place where a historic battle of Hydaspes was fought between Alexander the Great and King Porus of Paurava in 326BC. There is Alexander’s monument built by the Government of Pakistan and the Embassy of Greece to keep history alive. Foreigners often visit this place. The other prominent thing that it has the world’s second-largest salt mine, which is known by the name of Khewra salt mine. Thilla Jogian is also a historic place consist of an ancient Hindu Temple and a monastic complex. Tilla Jogian the highest place in the Pothohar Plateau is one of the beautiful sites of Jhelum. Rohtas Fort is another historic building situated in Jhelum.
Jhelum is the district and city of province Punjab in Pakistan. It is situated on the right bank of River Jhelum. Jhelum can be accessed through GT Road, Motorway and by train. Rawalpindi is the nearest city and the distance is just 96km(60miles) between Rawalpindi and Jhelum. If you are coming by Islamabad-Lahore Motorway road, you can enter in through Lillah interchange.
Jhelum River is the tributary of the Indus River, which makes the region more beautiful and natural. It starts from Pir Panjal Range and passes through Kashmir valley. It gives a glimpse of beautiful scenery. The green fields around the river and small jungle are one of the precious places. Mangla Dam is the seventh-largest earth-filled water reservoir built on the Jhelum River. The water from Mangla dam is used to irrigate the western part of the province Punjab. Mangla dam is also a famous and well-established tourist spot to visit.
Tourist Sites of Jhelum
Jhelum is an ancient city, which has seen many eras of humankind. The City is developing to keep up with the modern world. Notable places to visit include the Khewra salt mine, 16th
century’s Rohtas Fort, ancient complex of Temples of Tilla Jogian, Alexander’s Monument and Mangla dam.
1. Khewra Salt Mine
Khewra salt mine is located in the subdivision Pind Dadan Khan of Jhelum. It can be accessed via M2 Motorway through Lillah Interchange. It is also called the Mayo Salt Mine, which is the second-largest salt mine after the Sifto salt mine in Canada. It is believed that it was discovered by the troops of Alexander in 320BC during his Indian Campaign but the trading of salt was started in Mughal Rule. Nearly 300,000 people visit mine yearly. It is one of the major tourist spots for tourists. It produces pink salt, which is famous in the whole world. Visitors visit the mine by using the services of Salt Mine Railways. It is a beautiful spot consisting of various pools of salty water inside the mine, a mosque was built using multi-colored bricks of salt, a replica of the Great Wall of China and there are other models too. There is a small hospital inside the mine for people with respiratory diseases.
2. Rohtas Fort
Rohtas Fort is an extraordinary architecture of the 16th
century. A Pushtun ruler Sher Shah Suri built it in 1543. It was built for military purposes to protect the Grand Trunk Road from Mughals and their allies. The fort is now in ruins due to the neglect of the government of Pakistan. It has 12 gates and 68 bastion towers, covered by 4km long walls which are 10 18 meters high. It has a royal mosque decorated with inscriptions of Muslim calligraphy. It is also a good site for tourist who has an interest in history.
3. Ancient Temples of Tilla Jogian
Tilla Jogian is an ancient site, which remained a holy place of Hindu Religion for 2000 years. It is abandoned after 1947 as the subcontinent divided into two countries. It is a complex of many ancient temples and other monastic buildings, which were established in 1 century BC. It is 26km west of the main city of Jhelum.
4. Alexender’s Monument
It is blended with Greek architecture built by the Government of Pakistan and the Embassy of Greece. The nearest town is called Jallalpur Sharif in the Pind Dadan Khan subdivision of Jhelum. Alexander’s horse Bucephalus, died during the Indian Campaign and Alexander buried his horse there and founded a city Bucephala in the name of his horse to commemorate the horse.
People use Auto Rikshaws as the common mode of transport for short-distance travel within the city. At some places people travel by Tangas, which are driven by horses. The nearest international airport is Islamabad International Airport. Jhelum Railway Station was built in 1928 is also providing services to the people who want to visit the city. Buses and other services are available to travel in and outside the city.
One can find easily accommodation facilities in the city. Most of the famous restaurants and hotels are found on the main GT Road. Tulip Hotel a 3-star hotel with a river view is a good spot for tourists. There is also Al Bilal Hotel near the Kala Gujran alongside the GT Road, which is a good option to stay.
Food and Drinks
People of the city like spicy foods. Rice, vegetables, beef, and mutton are used in different capacities to make dishes. Kababs and Tikkas are the delicious foods made with meat. Rice with any meat is also a popular dish. Jalebi (made with sugar), sweets, different types of tea and lassi (made with yogurt) are also popular foods and drinks in Jhelum.