with Arif Shah (contributor)
Khewra Salt Mine, Pakistan – World’s 2nd Largest Salt Mine. – Waqt News
This striking image of a cave system which seems at first impression to be made entirely of amber, is in fact taken at part of a salt mine in Pakistan, said to be the world’s second largest in size.
The image was originally posted by the Facebook page of Waqt News, an Urdu–langauge news channel from Pakistan and was shared by a Facebook friend of mine from Peshawar in the north-west of the country.
Waqt News began news reporting operations in December 2007. It is a subsidiary of the internationally renowned Nawa-i-Waqt Group, which comprises of the national dailies Nawa-i-Waqt (nawaiwaqt.com.pk) and The Nation (nation.com.pk) as well as the weekly magazines Family, Phool and Nida-i-Millat. The Group is a respectable hallmark of Pakistani journalism, popular with the country’s educated elites and is one of the largest media conglomerates in the country alongside the Dawn Media Group. Nawa-i-Waqt is dominant in both the English and Urdu-language newspaper and magazine sector. Waqt News is located in Lahore.
The Khewra Salt Mine, alternatively known as the Mayo Salt Mine is situated in Khewra in Pakistan’s Punjab province. It is Pakistan’s oldest and largest salt quarrying operation and the world’s second largest. It attracts up to 250,000 tourists and was said to have been discovered by the Macedonian emperor Alexander the Great in 320 BCE (BC) before it was fully exploited during the Mughal era around 500 years ago. Khewra’s mine produces more than 350,000 tons per annum of about 99% pure halite. It has been calculated that the mine’s total reserves of salt could be as much as 600 million tonnes.
The mine runs over nineteen stories, of which some are open to interested visitors. There is a railway track made for use by the miners and tourists to reach the attraction’s cavernous interior and a small mosque (Badshahi Masjid) that has been built deep in the mine from Himalayan rock salt, a highly prized form of material that can be made into sculptures and trinkets. There are also reproductions of famous Pakistani monuments chiselled entirely out of the salt, that visitors can see while they stop off on the train. The Khewra mine is run by the Pakistan Mineral Development Corporation which took over after Pakistan’s independence in 1947.
Waqt News http://www.waqtnews.tv/
Nawa-i-Waqt Group http://www.nawaiwaqt.com.pk
Khewra Salt Mines – Pakistan http://www.tourism.gov.pk/khewra_salt_mines_punjab.html
Khewra Salt Mines – PMDC http://www.pmdc.gov.pk/?p=KhewraSaltMines