khewra salt mines

Mother-ship of Himalayan Salt : Khewra Salt Mines

Khewra Salt mines of Pind Dadan Khan, Jhelum Administrative Region is the second largest Salt mine in the world with an estimated 89 Mill-600 Mill tons reserves.

History of Khewara Salt Mines 

The Khewra mine was first recorded by the cavalry horses of Alexander’s army in 326BC. It was then mined commercially by Mughal Rulers.This mine was identified by Alexander in BC times, passed on to Mogul Akbar then to Gakhar-Rajas, further on to Ranjit-Hari Singh combine and finally to British Sarkar

Khewra meaning and pronunciation

Khewra means “attractive” in Punjabi  and is pronounced Kh-ai-w-ra

Himalayan Pink Salt of Khewra Salt Mines

The famous Pink Himalayan salt that is known to cure several ailments including Tuberculosis and Asthma is found in abundance here. In fact, Khewra exports raw pink stones to India, which further grinds it to sell as cure salt in the western world.

Pakistan uses this precious stone to feed buffaloes.

Weather of Khewra Mines 

The Khewra weather is hot all year round. Even in  winters, December to January, the temperature does not fall below 10 Deg C and it hardly ever rains.

Route to Khewra Salt Mines

There are two ways to drive to Khewra mines,

  • One is Islamabad – Kallar Kahar -Khewra and the other is
  • Islamabad Toba Interchange – Pind Dadan Khan – Khewra
Khewra Salt Mine Map
Khewra Salt Mine Map

Khewra salt mines are  Just a two and a half hours drive from Rawalpindi.

 Khewra salt mines are a one-day trip to an ancient fossil. It’s better to take the Motorway-lillah-khewra route in the morning and return through the Khewra-chakwal-Rawat route. This way you can eat Pehlwan Revri from Chakwal bazar.

Fantastic Things to see in Khewra Salt Mines

This is my collection of the fantastic things about the No.2 salt mine in the world :-

khewra salt mines

Gang Way Bridge over Salt Lake

Inside the mine, a pul-e-saraat (salt bridge) leads into a figurine chamber.

khewra salt mines

50 feet down one level below the surface is the Gang way bridge crossing over a 75 ft clear pool of salt water.

This pul (bridge) is a narrow walkway over a 100 ft-deep saltwater pool. Its unique feature is that the pool is crystal clear and you can see actually see rainbow patterns of light bouncing off salt crystals, at the bottom.

It feels like you are walking over thin air.

The Salt Idol Chamber

Then the chamber at the end of this rickety bridge has figurines carved in the salt rock surface. Some say it resembles Allama Iqbal and there is another one that looks like the Great Wall of China.

Pakistan could make a fortune if they allow tourists to float on the high concentration brine pools—as this water doesn’t let people drown—like the dead sea.

khewra salt mines

Cool and Aseptic Air

It’s a cool 18 Degrees Celsius year round in the 17 stories high, 45 km tunnels. While its blazing hot outside, you can enjoy a cool springtime breeze inside.

The low humidity, salt-laden air really does clear your lungs and you feel refreshed in the 2 hours tour through the mine.This salt laden air is great for Tuberculosis and Asthma patients

khewra salt mines

Electric Pull Cart and Train

The electric single gauge train that runs through the main tunnel is more than 150 years old- but works fine.

Geometric Patterns on Natural Pink Himalayan Salt

Natural salt formations and geometrical patterns are awe-inspiring. It’s a better idea to pay a tour guide Rs 1000 and he might take you to some of the least visited tombs. That’s where is real beauty is.

Colonial Buildings

Remnants of the British Raj like the Chief engineer’s residence, offices, train station, Hindu temple, church, and vintage train engine are still in a time capsule.

It’s like strolling through British Raj days with Dr. Warth (Chief miner) and Viceroy Mayo (Khewra mine was named after him) just around the corner.

khewra salt mines

khewra salt mines

Healthy ingredients of Khewra Himalayan Salt

Himalayan salt is actually Khewra salt with its 1% content of potassium, magnesium, and calcium – all essential minerals for humans. Khewra by the way is 500 Kms West of the Himalayas.

This salt color ranges from off-white to deep pink and is considered a delicacy in the western world. So the legend of Alexander’s horses cured by this salt was true after all.

khewra salt mines

British Atrocities at Khewara

The British Colonials shot dead 12 protesting miners at the mouth of the mine in the 1870s, while they were asking for better working conditions. The English wanted more production.

Hindu Workers live in isolation

Three Hindu families (washerman trade) from colonial times still live here in total isolation and poverty. One of them runs a souvenir shop.

khewra salt mines

Khewra Bedside Lamps

Don’t forget to take home a Khewra salt bedside lamp from the souvenir shop. It clears up the bedroom of dust and absorbs moisture. It’s very good for people with asthma and mucus issues.

Conclusion

Go to Khewra if you want to see something different from the mundane—and don’t complain about the filth. Then you can visit

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One Comment

  1. Love the mines
    Love the colonial feel.
    Didnt know about the salt lamps medicinal powers ..though .and threw away the lamps
    Guess I have to go to mines again!!

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