From Alexander to Mughal to current Government , Khewra Salt Mines serves as the biggest blessing of the country along with tourism and providence
KHEWRA, PAKISTAN – Troops of Alexander discovered this historic mine in 320 BC. Horses of infantry started licking the stones over their stay here. At that time, the Second Largest Salt Mine of the world was discovered for the first time. Mughal era made the most out of this mine. They extracted salt and sold into international market.
They reached up to Middle east in trading. After the downfall of Mughals, Sikhs took control over the mine. They made tunnels and ramps for more productivity and extraction. But in British Era, they made huge progress in mine’s working. Another name of the mine is Mayo Salt Mine, on the name of Viceroy Mayo who visited it once. They made broad lanes inside the tunnel, illuminated it, set up a proper supply of water for workers etc.
Many corporations like BMR, PIDC, WPIDC took care of mine after partition of India, Pakistan. In 1974, Pakistan Mineral Development Corporation (PMDC) has all the powers over mine till now. They have taken a lot of steps to improve mine’s efficiency.
Mine has 18 storeys, covering 40 kilometers of area. Few floors opened for tourism purpose in 2003. The mine has become extensively famous that around 40,000 tourists come every year to witness this wonder. Management uses pillars and bridges method to extract salt. Illuminated tunnels and lakes make it even more attractive.
Commonly known as Pink Salt or Himalayan Salt famous for its mineral benefits. It comes into three colors Red, Pink and Transparent. Salt contains magnesium, calcium and other essential minerals which makes it unique in taste. Workers make beautiful souvenirs and models from salt in order to attract tourists. Badshahi Masjid, Sheesh Mahal, Minar e Pakistan and few other models are here to show the creativity of talented people.
Helping Local Business
Mine has helped flourishing local business as well. A lot of craftsman, small venders and food related businesses are encouraged due to production and extraction flow. Initially, miners used train to extract and transport salt from mine. But with time, train use as tourist train that covers the open area of mine. Approximately 300k tons salt is extracted from mine each year. With this pace salt is considered to last for next 350 years. One Hospital is also established here. Doctors also use slat therapy to treat patients.
If you want to witness this beautiful excavation, you can find it 160 kilometers from Islamabad. By paying 220 bucks, one can enjoy the beautiful, bright tunnels of wonders of Allah.