The city is known as the fruit garden of Pakistan, due to the numerous fruit orchards in and around it, and the large variety of fruits and dry fruits produced there. The immediate area has long been one of pastures and mountains, with varied plants and animals relative to the dry plains to the west. Quetta is at an average elevation of 1,680 meters above sea level, making it Pakistan’s only high-altitude major city.
Quetta is home to three famous traditional bazaars, or markets, for shoppers who enjoy bargaining for local goods. Kandahari Bazaar is located on Shahrah-e-Iqbal. Liaqat Bazaar and Suraj Gang Bazaar are located on Shahrah-e-Liaqat. The bazaars offer local handicrafts, especially world-famous Balochi mirror embroidery found on carpets and clothing. Additionally, you can find fur coats, jackets, vests, jewelry and sandals at the bazaars.
If you wish to connect with Pakistan’s history and culture, head to one of Quetta’s famous museums. Located near the bazaars, the Archaeological Museum houses rare weapons, manuscripts, tools and pottery that date back to the Stone Age. The Geological Survey of Pakistan has a Museum of Historical Geology in Quetta that showcases fossils, with the most famous display, the Invertebrate Gallery, that showcases marine life fossils that date back 540 million years ago. Visitors who are interested in the British military history should head to the Command and Staff College Museum, which houses military artifacts, paintings and photographs.
Treasure hunters must visit the famous Hazarganji Chiltan National Park during their stay in Quetta. Hazarganji means “of a thousand treasures,” in reference to the legend that claims over 1,000 treasures are buried within the protected 35,000 acre park.
Hazarganji Chiltan National Park is located a little more than ten miles from Quetta and also was built to protect the Chiltan wild goat or Markhor. The park is also home to exotic plant species such as pistachio, juniper and almond trees.
Located a little more than five miles from Quetta, Hana Lake draws visitors because of its contrasting landscape in reference to mountains and desert that surrounds it. The lake, one of Quetta’s most popular attractions, is actually a reservoir that was constructed by the British in 1894. The lake is formed by rainwater and snow from the nearby mountains. Because the dam that created Lake Hana was damaged during a flood in 1976, the lake has rotated between spells of dryness and water. Most recently, Hana Lake was dried up between 1999 and 2005.