As soon as the name “Princess of Hope” is heard, what comes to mind is the Egyptian princess, whose existence had lit a candle of hope among people of that time. That is how she came to be known by that name.
However, apart from this thought, there is a different story of this princess.
Who is this princess standing in the deserts of Balochistan?
There are many coastal places and beautiful valleys in Balochistan province, which are unmatched. But, people are not even aware of the beauty of many other places, not even a princess who has been standing silent for years until a few years ago. However, this stone sculpture carved in the mountain range of the Makran Coastal is now known as the “Princess of Hope”.
Earlier, the statue, standing silently near the shores of the Arabian Sea, would be hit by strong winds and dust storms, but it has remained the same without its identity.
The princess of this statue, located 190 km from Karachi, is dressed in a royal style. The tall princess looks elegant, but she looks as if she is hoping for something. The statue was named ‘Princess of Hope’ in 2002 by the famous Hollywood actress, Angelina Jolie.
Angelina Jolie visited the area as a UN Goodwill Ambassador at the time and when she visited Hingol National Park, she saw the princess standing in the mountain range and the name came to her mind as soon as she saw the statue and thus, suggested the name “Princess of Hope”.
The number of visitors to Princess of Hope and Hingol National Park has been increasing over time, but no steps have been taken to preserve this historical heritage
The name became popular again and this statue, which had existed for years, got recognition. Earlier, the statue, standing silently near the shores of the Arabian Sea, would be hit by strong winds and dust storms, but it has remained the same without its identity. There is another similar statue of the Sphinx at this place. It bears a resemblance to the famous Egyptian statue of the Sphinx, the only friend of the princess standing in this desolate desert. According to experts, these statues are 750 years old and historical heritage.
How to get there?
People traveling from Karachi have to travel 4 hours to reach this place.
There are two ways to reach Hingol National Park.
1: Make a booking with a tour operator.
2: The second way is to save the map of this place with the help of Google and then drive to get here.
To get there, first, come to the Hub then travel to zero point. While traveling on the Makran Coastal Highway, you get to see some of the most beautiful scenery that makes this trip memorable and never tires you out. As you continue this journey you will reach Hingol National Park.
Remember that this road trip gets difficult in some places because of the lack of facilities on the highway which makes the journey difficult. Be sure to take extra fuel with you so you don’t run out of petrol. There are no mechanics or auto shops, so keep some car repair tools with you so they can be used as needed. Make sure your car is in good condition and has no problems. If there is a problem with the car, do not travel there.
Costs and equipment
If you want to book a tour operator, you have to pay Rs 3,500 to Rs 5,000 per person to travel from Karachi to Hingol National Park. Tour operators use two-way air-conditioned buses. Tour operators also provide breakfast, lunch, water bottles, soft drinks, snacks, and other items, as well as photographers. Similarly, those who want to go on their own should also take food, snacks, a camera, etc. with them so that they can stand next to the Princess of Hope and take memorable pictures.
The number of visitors to Princess of Hope and Hingol National Park has been increasing over time, but no steps have been taken to preserve this historical heritage. People who come here write names of themselves and their loved ones on the walls near the statue with sharp objects or markers. That is why in many places you will see names of people inscribed which impress the beauty of this place and its historical heritage.
This strip of Balochistan is important historically and for many tourist destinations. There are several tourist attractions in Kund Malir, Hingol National Park, Hinglaj Mata temple and Princess of Hope, Ormara, and Gwadar that need to be improved. At the same time, the Balochistan government should try to improve the condition of roads there as well as provide rest houses, hotels, food shops, petrol pumps, and other necessities for the visitors so that tourism can flourish here for further development.
Raana Kanwal is a graduate in Mass Communication from Punjab University. She has worked in Daily Jang and Aaj News TV. She is currently working as an administrator in Federal Board of Revenue, Islamabad. The views expressed in this article are the author’s own and do not necessarily reflect the editorial policy of Global Village Space.