Mianwali Pakistan: 15 things to see

mianwali things see

Mianwali Pakistan is located smack in the center of Northern half of Pakistan, at the Eastern Bank of a delta of Kurram and Indus Rivers. There is evidence to show there were ancient settlements here. As soon as we climb out of the River delta, Mianwali District is as parched as Sahara Desert.


Route from Islamabad

It takes 2 hours 30 minutes to cover the 230 Km on the Hakla-CPEC highway to Mianwali City, from Islamabad.

Route from Lahore

From Lahore, Mianwali is 330 Km and it takes 6 hours on the Sheikhupura,-Sargodha- Jauharabad route.

Best Hotel in Mianwali Pakistan

The best hotel in Mianwali to stay and have a clean meal is Hotel Shahzad and Restaurant (0459) 232706.

Easiest way to travel to Mianwali Chashma and Kalabagh

The best way to travel to Mianwali either from Islamabad or Lahore is through Daewoo Bus that costs Rs 2000 one way.

Things to do in Mianwali Pakistan

Travel to see these places, for which you will have to stay the night:-

  1. See Fighter Planes takeoff at PAF Base Mianwali
  2. Fish
  3. Enjoy the fresh water
  4. Have Barbecues
  5. Visit the hydro power station
  6. Visit the Nuclear Power Station
  7. Stay at Chashma Irrigation Guest House
  8. Cross over the Canals to head towards Dera Ismail Khan
  9. Visit Kalabagh City
  10. Boat at Chashma and Kalabagh
  11. See the Mansions of Kalabagh
  12. Hangout with Mianwali boy at their Hujra and smoke Hash
  13. Visit Kalabagh Dam site
  14. Namal Lake and University
  15. Mughal Era Step Well at Tarap

Chashma Canal Headworks and Kalabagh City

Chashma Canal headwork is just half an hours drive from Mianwali city. It takes lesser time if you leave early. These headworks were made in the 70s to irrigate this parched land, where poverty and ignorance reigned.

A further one hour ahead is the old Kingdom of Kalabagh city hidden in the mountains and surrounded by water.

Weather at Mianwali

The temperature at Mianwali Chashma is hot in the summers. That is, the weather stays hot above 30 degrees Celsius throughout – that is 8 months of the year

Pictures of Mianwali Chashma and Kalabagh City

Some random pictures of Mianwali, Chashma and Kalabagh will give you a fair idea what it is like there.

Roads in Mianwali are well prepared, but there is heavy traffic on this route. Mianwali was ruled directly by the British through Military officers. Even the Deputy Commissioner was a uniformed officer. This has set a bad precedent of administrative overreach and abuse of power by various institutions.

Unique Patterns on Mosques of Mianwali are quite intriguing.



The young kids of Mianwali dreamed of either being a big transport coach driver or joining the Army, but not anymore.

Mughal Era Step Well at Tarap

 We returned from the Kalabagh-Tarp-Dhermond-Fatehjang route. it was a much quieter road and we got to see the interior of Punjab.

Namal Lake Mianwali City Pakistan


These are the first things that you see when you are close to Mianwali. Right across from Naml Lake is the Mianwali Naml University, built by Imran Khan.

Desi Fish at Chashma Lake



Sole, Singhara, Malhi, Damra, Sarya, Bam, Bachwa, Mori, Gulfam, and Chira are all available from the barrage waters.

Visit this Fish contractor jetty to get fresh catch for the day. Go early in the morning. Sole and Singhara are the tastiest and very good for mental health. We had Chira fish, and charcoal toasted. It was very tasty.

Visit the Fishery breeding farm 

Right on the Chashma bank are the Fishery department’s hatchery and breeding farm. Watching the fish breeding in massive tanks is very interesting.

Enjoy the Calm at Chashma Lake

Because the Chashma site is so remote, it is peaceful. Only the traffic for DI Khan plies through this barrage, which is not much. It is a quiet place.


Beach of Chashma



The banks of Chashma are excellent for soul-enriching morning and evening walks. It’s like reciting Chashma poetry.

Boating at Chashma and Kalabagh

Motorboats, and paddle boats are available for tourists in PAF hut, Fisheries hut, and a few other places. During summers, you can go right up to the Barrage gates.

Migratory Birds Watching at the Indus River

Because Mianwali, Chashma, and Kalabagh are all located close to the Indus River Delta, migratory birds flock to the bushes every year.


There are a lot of hunters in the bushes as well.


Seeing this huge pool of static water, lots of Siberian migratory birds settle down here and in the tributaries close by.

Bird Hunting

Chashma and its tributaries are a bird hunting paradise because of the untouched landscape with tall grass, freshwater streams, and remoteness.

Hydro and Nuclear Power Stations of Chashma


The French helped build the Chashma Barrage and the Chinese helped build the Nuclear power station. 

Pakistanis just emptied their wallets.

The old Kingdom of Kalabagh 

It has colonial bridges and Mansions indicative of a Royal bygone era. The local ruling class has kept the people as ignorant as people a century back.

The colonial house of Kalabagh. It had a private harbour for boat The pool of the colonial estate



The controversial Kalabagh Dam site which must be built someday The Kalabagh Dam is the cheapest and most cost-effective Dam in Pakistan, but because the ruling mafia has to make deals with interest groups outside the country to keep exploiting Pakistanis, the Dam has to wait.



This parched land deserves fresh water


How to book Visits to Government compounds?

If you know someone in the Pak Atomic Energy Commission and WAPDA, a trip to these power plants can be very informative for the kids

Kalabagh City Mianwali

Two Hours’ drive from Chashma, Kalabagh city’s regal, colonial past is visible in its metal bridge, Borh Guest House, and Khan of Kalabagh Haveli.

Borh Circuit house

Borh House has a jetty for boating in the Indus River flowing beside the city.  Kalabagh Dam site. The natural dam site is located in a pristine landscape surrounded by green hills. The Road network is perfect till the dam site.

Also see,

Jinnah Barrage


5 km from Kalabagh city, the Jinnah irrigation barrage is an engineering marvel. It tames the mighty Indus just downstream of Kalabagh city. It irrigates areas in Sindh mostly and also adds 96 MW of cheap electricity to the system.

 Ilaqa Ghair (Tribal Area) Mianwali

Road to Lakki Marwat breaks off from DI Khan road at a T-Junction after Chashma Barrage. Lakki Marwat road seems like Mars. It is still quite remote and underdeveloped. Chashma is very safe.

Sindhi Fisherman Tribe

Due to their hereditary skill in fishing, a Sindhi-speaking tribe of immigrants in settled on the banks of Chashma, Mianwali. They provide the bulk of manpower for the fishing industry and are perfectly at ease in the environment. One Sindhi youngster told me that Mianwali people don’t interfere in other’s affairs as long as they are not disturbed.

History of Mianwali

Mianwali was established as district HQ by the British Raj in the early 1900s. When we go to the bazaar now, it still seems to be from the same era.It has a GPO Mianwali with the postcode of 42200.

Dhol Jhuma Dance

Mianwali has a particular dance called the Mianwali Dhol Jhumar. 

The Cock fighters of Mianwali Aseel

It is a known joke in the rest of the county that Mianwali people love

  • Aseel Murgh cock fighting and
  • Atta Ullah Esa Khelvi songs

Zari tillay wala joota Mianwali

You cant fit into the Mianwali Sub culture unless you buy yourself a tillay wala Chapal. 


Restaurant for Lunch

For food, there is a good restaurant Green Lagoon at the chasma barrage. We had breakfast from a Dhaba in wapda colony which was quite good.



Mianwali has its own allure and if you haven’t met someone as bullheaded and lively in their hujra like these guys, then you have really missed out.

If you want to know more than contact us

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  1. Is it a safe place to go and can we see everything in 1 day if we are to travel from Lahore?

    1. If you travel from lahore then it would not be possible to see all this in one day.

      It’s quite a distance.

      But if stop at some hotel close to Mianwali, then yes.

      Kalabagh and Chasma take time to visit

  2. Yasir Ahmed says:

    Should we go to Kalabagh via mianwali or direct route.

    1. You should go to kalabagh directly. If you don’t want to see any thing in Mianwali

      1. We went directly to Kalabagh via Talagang-Jand road and came back via Mianwali…Mianwali route is about 35km longer but time wise its the same as road condition is much better…still to be explored is route via Fateh Jang

        1. we hope you have enjoyed your trip to kalabagh as there is not much to see in mianwali.

  3. Anonymous says:

    Who is doing the photography?

  4. Really interesting.
    How much such a trip cost for a family of 5 ?

    1. It will cost you around 20000.

  5. Dr Ghazala Inamulhaq says:

    Great photography

  6. Great to see Mianwali from camera’s eye. Even we have not been to some of the places. Just to add in, you can also do fishing, hunting and enjoy golf.

  7. Haleema.Sadia says:

    thanks for sharing.

  8. bisharat khan says:

    Quite informative, need to discover more places, like wandha kukran wala, Makarwal coal mines, Dada sheikh naika , Graves of sahaba karam at kalabagh, Chashma at chapri, Ziarat of Mian Malook and tasty barfi of Allah khel mor

    1. thank you basharat. next time we try to include these also and ask for your help.

  9. U guys have become true adventurers

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