Punjab Tourism Development Corporation is all set to start Cholistan Jeep Rally 2019 from this 14th to 17th February. Cholistan Desert Jeep Rally organized by the TDCP in Pakistan. Event first introduced in 2005 and from them its running annually in Cholistan Desert range by the Government of Punjab with the help of Tourism Development Corporation of Punjab. Every year rally welcomes around hundreds of drivers and over 1 lac plus visitors from all over country.
Purpose of this event is to introduce the rich history and culture of Pakistan and its Cholistan Desert to out side world as specially this area is a famous tourist attraction.
Rally usually covers on 2 types of vehicles, which are Stock and Prepared. As its a Off-road rally, so only off-road 4×4 vehicles are allowed to take part in the event. Rally drivers from all over the Pakistan also from out of country gather around and register their SUV’s or Land Cruisers with TDCP then take a part in the event.
About Cholistan Area:
The Cholistan desert regionally called Rohi sprawls thirty kilometers from Bahawalpur, and covers a locality of 26,300sq. km. The word Cholistan comes from the Turkish word chol, which means “desert”, Cholistan thus means Land of the Desert. The individuals of Cholistan lead a semi-nomadic life, moving from one place to another in search of water and fodder for their animals. The dry bed of Hakra river runs through this area where several Indus Valley Civilization have been found so far.
Main monument of the area is Derawar Fort situated in this area of Bahawalpur, the mighty Derawar fort is so strong as it has walls have a circumference of 1500 metres and stand up to thirty metres high. The fort on site was built by a Hindu Rajput named “Rai Jajja Bhati” of Jaisalmer. It remained in the hands of the royal family of Jaisalmer until captured by the Nawabs of Bahawalpur in 1733. In 1747, the fort slipped from the hands of the Abbasis owing to Bahawal Khan’s preoccupations at Shikarpur. Nawab Mubarak Khan took the stronghold back in 1804.
Second attraction of the area is the Noor Mahal which was built in 1872 belonged to Nawab of Bahawalpur durin British Raj. As per history of this Mahal, Nawab Adnan Abbasi IV made this palace fot his wife, but unfortunately she just spent only one night in it because she saw a graveyard nearby through a window of the palace and refused to spend any further moment in the palace. From that moment the fort remains un-used. Still, Noor Mehal is one of the great heritage sight of the area which is still not so famous among tourists just because of limited publicity.
Another tourist attraction of the area is Lal Sohanra park in Bahawalpur district. Which is one of the largest national parks in South Asia which is spread over 153000 acres and is notable for the diversity of its landscape, which includes areas of desert, forest and water. Many species of animals will be found throughout the park. These embody many wild animals of the desert like wildcats, rabbits, bustards and deer. Reptiles within the park embody the varan, Russell’s Viper, Indian Cobra, Saw-scaled Viper, Wolf Snake, John’s Sand Boa, and Spiny-tailed Lizard.