Khyber Pass

The Khyber Pass is a mountain pass in the northwest of Pakistan, on the border with Afghanistan. It connects the town of Landi Kotal to the Valley of Peshawar at Jamrud by traversing part of the Spin Ghar mountains. An integral part of the ancient Silk Road, it has long had substantial cultural and geopolitical significance for Eurasian trade. Throughout history, it has been an important trade route between Central Asia and the Indian subcontinent and a vital strategic military choke point for various states that came to control it; the summit of the pass is 5 km inside Pakistan at Landi Kotal, while the lowest point is at Jamrud in the Valley of Peshawar. The Khyber Pass is part of Asian Highway 1. Well-known invasions of the area have been predominantly through the Khyber Pass, such as the invasions by Cyrus, Darius I, Genghis Khan and Mongols such as Duwa, Qutlugh Khwaja and Kebek. Prior to the Kushan era, the Khyber Pass was not a used trade route; the Khyber Pass became a critical part of the Silk Road, which connected Shanghai in the East to Cádiz on the coast of Spain.

The Parthian Empire fought for control of passes such as this to gain access to the silk, jade and other luxuries moving from China to Western Asia and Europe. Through the Khyber Pass, Gandhara became a regional center of trade connecting Bagram in Afghanistan to Taxila in Pakistan, adding Indian luxury goods such as ivory and textiles to the Silk Road commerce. Among the Muslim invasions of the Indian subcontinent, the famous invaders coming through the Khyber Pass are Mahmud Ghaznavi, the Afghan Muhammad Ghori and the Turkic-Mongols. Sikhs under Ranjit Singh captured the Khyber Pass in 1834 until they were defeated by the forces of Wazir Akbar Khan in 1837. Hari Singh Nalwa, who manned the Khyber Pass for years, became a household name in Afghanistan. To the north of the Khyber Pass lies the country of the Mullagori tribe. To the south is Afridi Tirah, while the inhabitants of villages in the Pass itself are Afridi clansmen. Throughout the centuries the Pashtun clans the Afridis and the Afghan Shinwaris, have regarded the Pass as their own preserve and have levied a toll on travellers for safe conduct.

Since this has long been their main source of income, resistance to challenges to the Shinwaris' authority has been fierce. For strategic reasons, after the First World War the British built a engineered railway through the Pass; the Khyber Pass Railway from Jamrud, near Peshawar, to the Afghan border near Landi Kotal was opened in 1925. During World War II concrete "dragon's teeth" were erected on the valley floor due to British fears of a German tank invasion of British India; the Pass became known to thousands of Westerners and Japanese who traveled it in the days of the hippie trail, taking a bus or car from Kabul to the Afghan border. At the Pakistani frontier post, travelers were advised not to wander away from the road, as the location was a controlled Federally Administered Tribal Area. After customs formalities, a quick daylight drive through the Pass was made. Monuments left by British Army units, as well as hillside forts, could be viewed from the highway; the area of the Khyber Pass has been connected with a counterfeit arms industry, making various types of weapons known to gun collectors as Khyber Pass copies, using local steel and blacksmiths' forges.

During the war in Afghanistan, the Khyber Pass has been a major route for resupplying military armament and food to the NATO forces in the Afghan theater of conflict since the US started the invasion of Afghanistan in 2001. 80 percent of the NATO and US supplies that are brought in by road were transported through the Khyber Pass. It has been used to transport civilians from the Afghan side to the Pakistani one; until the end of 2007, the route had been safe since the tribes living there were paid by the Pakistani government to keep the area safe. However, after that year, the Taliban began to control the region, so there started to exist wider tensions in their political relationship. Since the end of 2008, supply convoys and depots in this western part have come under attack by elements from or sympathetic to the Pakistani Taliban. In January 2009, Pakistan sealed off the bridge as part of a military offensive against Taliban guerrillas; this military operation was focused on Jamrud, a district on the Khyber road.

The target was to “dynamite or bulldoze homes belonging to men suspected of harboring or supporting Taliban militants or carrying out other illegal activities”. The result meant that 45 homes were destroyed. In addition, two children and one woman were killed; as a response, in early February 2009, Taliban insurgents cut off the Khyber Pass temporarily by blowing up a key bridge. This unstable situation in northwest Pakistan, made the US and NATO broaden supply routes, through Central Asia; the option of supplying material through the Iranian far southeastern port of Chabahar was considered. In 2010, the complicated relationship with Pakistan became tougher after the NATO forces, under the pretext of mitigating the Taliban's power over this area, executed an attack with drones over the Durand line, passing the frontier of Afghanistan and killing three Pakistani soldiers. Pakistan answered by closing the pass on 30 September which caused a convoy of several NATO trucks to queue at the closed border.

This convoy was attacked by extremists linked to Al Qaida which caused the destruction of m

Parlakhemundi railway station

Parlakhemundi railway station belongs to East Coast Railway of Waltair division. It is located in Orissa of Gajapati district. Parlakimedi Light Railway was a two-foot six-inch gauge railway; the Raja of Parlakimedi decided to connect his capital with Naupada, only 40 km away. With the government giving its sanction in 1898, work began in fully; the line was opened to traffic in 1900. This railway line was built at a cost of Rs 700,000. In the starting years, the Parlakhimidi Railway had incurred losses but after 1910, it started making marginal profits and after 1924-25, the profitsincreased; this motivated the Raja to extend the line to Gunupur in two phases in 1929 and 1931. It was merged with Bengal Nagpur Railway. After Indian Independence it was merged with North Eastern Railway. Surveys were undertaken for broad gauge conversion in 1950 and again in 1964 and 1967; the foundation stone was laid for the Naupada-Gunupur gauge conversion work at Naupada on 27 September 2002. With effect from 1 April 2003 it became a part of the newly formed East Coast Railway.

The line was closed for gauge conversion on 9 June 2004. Services were restarted on 22 August 2011 with the introduction of Puri-Gunupur Passenger. Trains at Parlakhemundi

Agricultural Research Station, Anakkayam

Agricultural Research Station, Anakkayam is a research Station under the Central Zone of Kerala Agricultural University at Anakkayam in Malappuram district of Kerala, India. It has an area of 9.92 ha under it. ARS Anakkayam maintains 216 hybrids of 18 parental combinations. Anakkayam - 1, Dharasree and Mrudula are the three cashew cultivars released for cultivation from this station; the station will get more opportunities to conduct research programmes once it gets the Centre of Excellence status from The Government of Kerala. A delegation led by Dubai’s agriculture minister visited the station in 2012. Official Website KAU Institutions / Stations