The Islamic Post Blog

Climbing Takhte Suleman- A Hair Raising Experience by Khalida
February 2, 2009, 10:59 am
Filed under: February Volume I- 2009, Magazine/ Culture | Tags:

The following passage is an excerpt from M.A. Gillani’s historical accounts called, “Some Mystifying and Enigmatic Events,” which appeared in Defence Journal. Therein are narrated unexplained events that Mr. Gillani,encountered during his army career:
The last Zhob Militia post on Zhob-Dera Ismail Khan road was under my command. Takhte Suleman is the hightest peak, over 11,000 feet, on the border of Baluchistan and the North West Frontier Province (NWFP). Colonel Akbar decided to climb the peak and put togethr a party that consisted of myself; Captain Reman, the education officer; Captain Anwar, two JCOs— and thirty men. A mess detachment for the officers and cooking facilities for the men were also available.
During the month of July, at about 0900 hours, we reached the foot of the mountain from Fort Sandeman (now Zhob), left our vehicles with an escort and commenced climbing the first hill. The locals of the village situated at the foot of the mountain had told us that the Takhte Suleman was an abode of fairies and jinns, who on seeing humans would disappear and that there were many intervening hills and every opposite hill was much higher. The map also confirmed the matter of the height of the hills.
After climbing a couple of hills, we saw flocks of Markhors, but they were out of range. By afternoon, we had climbed four hills and had reached the bottom of the last hill. We halted for the night. Tea and meals were prepared for all ranks but, for spending the night, there were no blankets or ground sheets. So we all tried to sleep on the ground that was covered with grass and bushes. Because of the height it was chilly, but we tried to keep warm by taking tea frequently.
The locals had also warned that lepoards and wolves were seen even in the lower hills. We saw a big python in the area where cooking was in progress; it was shot and thrown down the hill. Dry bushes were then collected and set on fire to ward off reptiles and beasts.
The next morning, we commenced the last climb and after an hour reached the most dangerous portion of the hill. We had to cross a 45 degree, flat portion of a cliff which had no tree or bush. Down below was a sheer fall of 500 feet into a deep ravine. There were some holes at regular intervals in which only a toe could rest. For crossing that 40-yard flat cliff, one had to lean against it, feel the grip with both hands and move slowly on to the next toe hole. One officer became giddy while looking down and slipped, but luckily his left hand was caught by a Jawan to his left. At the same time the Jawan on his right heard the cry and caught his right hand. Both the Jawans lifted him up and with help managed to continue crossing the cliff.
After about 45 minutes climbing, we reached the top of Takhte Suleman, it was flat like a table top, but bigger than a volley ball field. The south eastern side of the hill was about 100 feet higher, with a round-shaped neat hole that was big enough for a large sized double bed to pass through. From the top of this hill, the river Indus, in the far distance, looked like a white pencil. On the east, there was a sheer fall of over a few thousand feet with low detached hills covered with trees that were visible down below, checkered with sunlight, shadow and floating clouds. The view all around was most fascinating: like a field of fragrance and delight. A strong wind was blowing and it was difficult to stand firm on the table top ground.
The villagers down below had told us that Hazrat Suleman had married a Punjabi wife and, during their flight on the throne being carried by jinns, she requested the prophet to stop on the highest hill top for a last look over her home land. The jinns carried the throne through the hole in the hilltop in the southeast and landed on the table top ground.
Perhaps it is due to this story that the hilltop is called Takhte Suleman. The climbing of Takhte Suleman remains in my memory as a hair-raising experience, particularly for the officer who had slipped, it was a hair breadth escape!
-Editor’s note: Out of the creation of Allah Almighty, there are human beings, angels,  and also jinn beings. Jinns are mischievous by nature, frequent uninhabited spaces, making their abode in the farthest reaches of the Earth.


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