Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Lahore Food Streets

Lahore is city of live hearted people, always finding an occasion for enjoyment, entertainment and good feast. While parks and other recreational facilities are filled with holiday makers, specially on weekends, the eateries are seldom found vacant throughout the weekdays. The traditional food of Lahore is found in the Walled City of Lahore, while the western and Chinese cuisines are generally found in the posh localities of Lahore Cantonment, Gulberg, Shadman and Shahjamal.

History of Multan

Pak Info

Multan is a city in south central Punjab province. It is built just east of the Chenab River. About 966 km from Karachi and more or less right in the center of the country lie the ancient city of Multan. Multan, the 'City of Pirs and Shrines' is a prosperous city of bazaars, mosques, shrines and superbly designed tombs.

A circular road around the rampart gave access to the city through thirteen gates. Some of the imposing structures of these gates are still preserved. In the bazaars of the Old City one still comes across tiny shops where craftsmen can be seen busy turning out master-pieces in copper, brass, silver as well as textiles in the traditional fashion.

The old city has narrow colorful bazaars full of local handicrafts and narrow winding lanes. There are many places of historical, cultural and recreational interest in the city.

Multan is a commercial and industrial center, it is connected by road a rail with Lahore and Karachi and by air with Karachi, Quetta, and Faisalabad. Industries include fertilizer, soap, and glass factories; foundries; cotton, woolen and silk textile mills; flour, sugar and oil mills; and a large thermal-power station. It is famous for its handicrafts (ceramics and camel-skin work) and cottage industries. There are hospitals, public gardens, and several colleges affiliated with the University of the Punjab. The University of Multan was established in 1975. Large, irregular suburbs have grown outside the old walled town, and two satellite towns have been set up. The numerous shrines within the old city offer impressive examples of workmanship and architecture.

Friday, February 26, 2010

Lansdowne Bridge, Rohri - Bukkur - Sukkur

Any vistor to Sukkur-Rohri Pakistan is usually awe struck by the largest man made monuments in the area. They are two in number. One is the 118 year old Lansdowne bridge and the other is the 45 year old Ayub Arch.

In the photo above, silver metallic structure is the Ayub Arch and the brown metallic structure is the historic Lansdowne bridge. This photo is dated July 25, 2007 and is courtesy of Raja Islam

Indus was bridged at Attock in 1887 and that allowed Railways in India to run from the Western most post of Khyber Pass to the eastern city of Calcutta.

India’s rail link to the port of Karachi was however, still broken at the Indus flowing between the towns of Rohri and Sukkur. Indus was not bridged between Kotri and Hyderabad either therefore trains ran on Karachi-Jamshoro-Larkana-Sukkur route as early as 1879 and then they were ferried across to Rohri and vice versa on a river ferry.

At Sukkur the river Indus flows through a gap in a range of low limestone hills and gets divided into two channels (Sukkur and Rohri channels) by an island called Bukkur. The Bukkur island thus provides the best spot for a river crossing. See photo to the left, which shows two river channels between Sukkur and Rohri.

The river channel between Sukkur and Bukkur got bridged by 1885. The river bottom here is rocky so it provided solid foundations for masonry piers. This bridge got completed with three girder spans of 90, 230 and 270 feet. A 2007 photo of this bridge can be seen here.

Bridging the channel between Bukkur and Rohri was not so easy. The river bed here is not rocky but silty which made it difficult to build a bridge pier. Therefore bridge designs were put forward to build a bridge without a pillar. One such design was for an arched bridge but it was not considered in 1870s. Interestingly later on in 1962 the river was bridged using a very similar design that came to be known as the Ayub Arch.

Between 1872 and 1882 bridge survey was conducted and different people suggested 5 different bridge proposals. None of them was considered completely feasible at that time. An engineer by the name of Sir Alexander Rendel was then called in and he proposed a design consisting of two anchored cantilevers, each 310 feet long, carrying a suspended span of 200 ft in the middle. Interestingly, this design was considered feasible and later came to be known as the Lansdowne Bridge.

The girderwork of this bridge was given to Westwood, Baillie & Co. of London.

The bridge was first put together in the contractor’s yard. The 170 feet tall cantilevers of the bridge when assembled, made quite a conspicious scene in London.

By 1887 the steel work started to arrive at Sukkur and Rohri. The bridge construction was then started under the supervision of F.E. Robertson and Hecquet. Their names are written to date on a plaque on each cantilever of the bridge.

The construction of Lansdowne bridge was no joke. It is said that bridge designer didn’t thought much about how the bridge would be built in real life. Giant derricks, each weighing 240 tons and each being 230 feet in length had to be erected leaning out over the water and at the same time they had to incline inwards in the plane at right-angles to the line of the bridge. And as if that was not difficult enough, horizontal tie girders 123 feet long and weighing 86 tons each had to be assembled at a height of 180 feet. This indeed was a challenge in 1880s.

When both cantilevers were completed, work started on the center span. The bridge designer had intended that 200 ft long span would be assembled on boats and then hoisted up.

This plan did not work in practical as Indus remained quite violent 6 months of the year owing to floods. In the end Robertson built another temporary bridge to provide a platform on which the suspended span could be put together. This temporary staging wieghed 56 tons. The permanent girderwork of the 200 ft span was erected and riveted in four and a half days. This is a good going even with today’s standards. In 1880s Robertson’s men didn’t have pneumatic tools or electric drives.

The Human and Monetary Cost

The construction of Lansdowne bridge claimed 6 lives. Four men felled from the dizzy heights and 2 were knocked out by falling tools on them. The cost of bridge was Rs 2,696,000 including Rs 276,000 that were spent on foundations only.

On March 19, 1885, Lansdowne bridge was tested by running coupled L class locomotives and a train giving a gross load of 786 tons or about 1 ton per foot. The train crossed the bridge at a speed of 56 kmph (35 mph) and it caused a deflection of 8.9 cm (3.5 in) at the center of the 250 m (820 ft) span.

The Inauguration Ceremony

Lansdowne bridge was inaugurated on March 25, 1889. End of March is usually very hot in Sukkur, therefore the ceremony was scheduled for early morning. The chief guest was Lord Reay, Governer of Bombay who was deputising for Lord Lansdowne, the Viceroy of India. Consecratoy prayers were offered by the Bishop of Lahore. The bridge was declared open by unlocking a big ornamental lock which was used to shut down the iron gates of the fortified entrance to the bridge. This lock was designed by J.L. Kipling, CIE, Principal of Mayo School of Art in Lahore and father of famous poet and author, Joseph Rudyard Kipling.

Enhancements to the Bridge

In 1889 when the bridge was opened, the heaviest locomotive on this section weighed only 73 tons.
This weight was divided on 16 wheels including tender. With increasing loads, it became necessary to strengthen the bridge. Two such strengthenings were carried out in 1910 and 1939 by removing the dead weight of the bridge. In 1939, 200 tons of dead weight was removed from the bridge. This allowed eight engines coupled together with an axle weight of 17 ton to cross this bridge. The bridge was lightened by removing roadway decking. Two feet of walkways was retained. The road traffic between Sukkur and Rohri was diverted via the Sukkur (Lloyd) Barrage.

Neither Architecture nor Engineering?

While Lansdowne bridge is a feat of construction, not many people agree on whether it is aesthetically pleasing also.

The appearence of the cantilever bridge at Sukkur is bizarre in the extreme and the structure is economical in neither weight of material nor cost of shopwork.

The publication of Engineer of July 11, 1884 was even more outspoken:

Contemplating the monstrosity of the general design, one would expect that in point of economy and detail construction, a fair degree of excellence had been attained. But neither is this the case. There are many ways of reducing the unsupported lengths of the great uprights and raking struts, and consequently of reducing material; but as these would involve some calculations of stresses beyond those of the most elementary kind, they were probably not deemed worth the trouble…. A derrick, the half of an English roof-truss, a Whipple girder, the other half of the roof-truss and another derrick, are very excellent things in thmeselves, but to string them together upon one line, thereby making a bridge, is not engineering, nor is it architecture.

Photos from 1895

In 1895, members of World Transportation Commission from USA visited Lansdowne Bridge and following photos are from this historic occasion.

(1) Fortified entrance to the bridge on Sukkur Side. This is not Lansdowne bridge but the other smaller bridge connecting Sukkur with the island of Bukkur

The Lansdowne bridge is still operational. Not because it is needed for trains but because after the roadway deck was restored it is used by the light traffic between Sukkur and Rohri. Road traffic is not as heavy as a train therefore this bridge may have many years of life left in it. The photo here is from 2006 and shows light traffic still using the bridge.


1872-74: First site survey is made of Rohri-Sukkur area by J.Ramsey to bridge Indus here. He proposed a 650 feet long suspension bridge.

1875: The survey was continued by Major General Sir James Browne who recommended a stiffened suspension bridge with cables formed of steel links and a span of 786 feet.


(1) Railways reached Sukkur from Karachi.
(2) Sir Guilford Molesworth suggested a three-hinged arched bridge.
(3) J.R. Bell suggested a parallel truss cantilever bridge with a main span of 680 ft.

1882: A scheme of a bridge with 250 ft spans supported on masonry piers was proposed. This design was almost chosen when a severe flood in the river took its bed depth down to 100 ft and this design was shelved.

July 11, 1884: Publication of the Engineer called Lansdowne bridge design as a “monstrosity” which “is not engineering, nor is it architecture”.

1885: The Indus channel between Sukkur and Bukkur island got bridged.

1887: The steel work for the Lansdowne Bridge started to reach Sukkur from the Westwood, Baillie & Co. of London.

May, 1887: Bed plates for the Bukkur side of the Lansdowne bridge Cantilever arrived by the end of month.

Septemer, 1887: Full supply of steel works for the Rohri side cantilever arrived at the site.

March 19, 1889: Lansdowne bridge was tested by running coupled L class locomotives and a train giving a gross load of 786 tons or about 1 ton per foot.

March 25, 1889: Inauguration of Lansdowne Bridge.

1910: Bridge strengthening was carried out to increase the load it could carry.

1924: Permissible speed of trains on the bridge was reduced by 8 kmph (5 mph), after deformation and temperature stress was discovered.

1936: Harold Wood Robinson who was deputy chief engineer of bridges, prepared an outline design for a two hinged arch design to replace Lansdown bridge. The drawing was prepared in the Bridge office in Moghalpura, Lahore but this project didn’t see light of the day.

1939: Bridge strengthening was carried out to increase the load it could carry. This time 200 tons of dead weight of the bridge was removed.

Via:  Rohri.Net   LansDowne Rohri Widget:  Widgetbox 

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

A1GP History Of The A1GP Series

On 30 March 2004, A1 Grand Prix, a brand new concept in international motorsport was launched to the worlds press at the prestigious Jumeira Beach hotel in Dubai. Series founder Sheikh Maktoum Hasher Maktoum Al Maktoum unveiled his vision for an exciting yet accessible sport where all countries could compete equally on a level playing field. From this spark, grew A1GP, a series with deliberately equalised technology and national teams, racing their flag in the World Cup of Motorsport.

From March 2004 onwards, Sheikh Maktoum and his business partner, Tony Teixeira, set about building the team that would bring this exciting concept to reality. British firms Lola International and Zytek Engineering were appointed to develop the chassis and engine, based on the initial drawings of Sheikh Maktoum himself while US Company Cooper Tires was chosen as the official tyre supplier. By July of that year, the first generation A1GP race car was ready to be unveiled.

While Sheikh Maktoum focused on developing every strand of his initial vision, from the design of the cars on the track to the look and feel of the website, tickets branding and overall consumer experience, Tony Teixeira set about attracting investors and potential team owners.

Over the coming year, 25 national teams were developed representing countries as diverse in culture and economic prosperity as they were in their motorsport experience. Countries such as China and Lebanon would compete against the likes of the USA, Great Britain and France and with the launch of each team came the support of high profile sports stars and successful businessmen alongside world leaders and politicians.

After an intense testing programme, the final A1GP race car was built and August 2005 saw the newly formed A1 Teams take to the track for the first time. Throughout five days of testing at both the Silverstone Circuit in the UK and Paul Ricard HTTT in the South of France, the cars proved fast and reliable and an exciting spectacle was assured as the time had come for the racing to begin.

30 March 2004

His Highness Sheikh Maktoum Hasher Maktoum Al Maktoum unveiled the A1 Grand Prix concept in the glamorous emirate of Dubai.

7 June 2004

A1 Grand Prix announced world renowned engine manufacturers Zytek Engineering were to produce the 3.4 litre V8 engine that would power the A1GP race car.

15 July 2004

Following extensive wind tunnel testing, the final design A1GP race car was shown in public for the first time at the Farnborough International Air Show in the UK.

19 August 2004

Sky Sports, the UKs leading broadcaster of motorsport, signed an exclusive deal to televise the Series, the first of 30 networks to back A1GP around the globe.

20 August 2004

One of the UK's most experienced international racing drivers, former Formula One driver Ralph Firman signed up to test the A1GP race car. Firman went on to drive for A1 Team Ireland in the 2005/06 season.

27 August 2004

The A1GP race car completed 2,000 kilometres of successful hot and clod weather testing in both the UK and Spain.

27 September 2004

Cooper Tire and Rubber Company, from Findlay, Ohio, USA, through its Avon Tyres racing operation in Melksham, Wiltshire signed a three-year deal to supply A1GP with controlled slick and treaded wet tyres.

30 September 2004

China, Great Britain, Lebanon, Pakistan, Portugal and South Africa were named as the first six nations to sign up to the A1 Grand Prix series at the official launch of A1 Team Great Britain.

1 November 2004

Teams from Australia, Canada and Malaysia were announced as President Thabo Mbeki unveiled South Africas national car at the Teams official launch. A subsequent meeting between the A1GP Directors and Nelson Mandela confirmed the level of support the series could aspire to.

25 November 2004

The A1GP race car ran at the Vallelunga track in Italy completing a three day test totalling 3,500 miles on the engine.

1 December 2004

President General Emile Lahoud was the second President to unveil his country's A1 Grand Prix car at the A1 Team Lebanon launch in Beirut.

16 December 2004

A contract with Huntingdon based company Lola International initiated the production of 50 identical A1GP race cars, the largest single order in motor racing history.

28-29 February 2005

President General Pervez Musharraf attended the official launch of A1 Team Pakistan at the spectacular Lahore Fort as A1 Grand Prix made history, being the first to run a single seat race car in Pakistan.

14 March 2005

Footballer, Ronaldo, one of the worlds most famous international sporting stars, was named as seat holder for A1 Team Brazil at the official launch of A1 Team Mexico.

30 March 2005

Alan Jones, ex-F1 Champion and seat holder for A1 Team Australia unveiled their entry into the Series while close rival New Zealand was announced as the next country to sign up.

6 April 2005

1.3 billion people were added to A1 Grand Prixs potential fan base with the launch of A1 Team China.

25 May 2005

A1 Grand Prix unveiled the provisional race calendar for its inaugural season, taking in a mix of established world-famous venues, exciting new state-of-the-art facilities and tight twisty street circuits.

30 May 2005

Co-seat holders for A1 Team Portugal Real Madrid and Portugal International star Luis Figo and Manchester United Assistant Manager Carlos Queiroz became the first team in continental Europe to unveil their racing livery.

16 June 2005

International statesmen Nelson Mandela welcomed A1 Grand Prix representatives at his home in Cape Town, South Africa during a promotional tour of the country.

29 June 2005

Two-times F1 World Champion, Emerson Fittipaldi joined three-times FIFA World Player of the Year, Ronaldo as co-seat holder for A1 Team Brazil at its official launch in São Paulo.

31 July 2005

Indian Prime Minister, Dr Manmohan Singh welcomed representatives of A1 Grand Prix at his New Delhi residence during the launch for A1 Team India. Teams from France, Switzerland and the USA were also announced.

3-4 August 2005

At 09.51 on 3 August 2005, Great Britain became the first A1 team to get their car on track as part of a 15 team test session at the historic Silverstone circuit.

15 August 2005

A1 Team Ireland became joined the A1 Grand Prix series, taking the competitor list to 18 countries reaching every habitable continent on the planet.

24-26 August 2005

A1 Teams from Germany, Russia and Indonesia were announced as the Series embarked on its second team test session at the Paul Ricard HTTT in the South of France.

5 September 2005

Another ex-F1 driver, Jos Verstappen confirmed his place in the 2005/06 season, driving the bright orange A1 Team Netherlands car at their national launch.

10 September 2005

A1 Team Czech Republic signed up to the Series announcing Tomas Enge, Jarek Janis and Jan Charouz as drivers.

11 September 2005

Austria, Italy and Japan, three nations with a momentous heritage in motorsport completed the A1GP line up as they joined the Series in the week of its first race.

25 September 2005

The A1 Grand Prix of Nations, Brands Hatch, Great Britain was held, the first full racing event in A1GPs history. A1 Team Brazils Nelson Piquet Jr took the double winning both the Sprint and the Feature races.

4 November 2005

A1 Grand Prix makes its first long haul trip as the series heads to Sydney, Australia. Two 747s are used to transport 250 tonnes of equipment from Estoril to Eastern Creek.

6 November 2005

A1 Grand Prix proved safety to be one of the most important factors in the build of its 3.4 litre V8-engined race cars. A1 Team Japan suffered a crash that totally destroyed the car but left the driver Hayanari Shimoda unhurt.

29 January 2006

A1 Grand Prix attracted its biggest crowd to date as over 100,000 people lined the streets of Durban for the series and the citys first ever street race. With an electric atmosphere and excitement on the track, the race was voted best event of the 2005/06 calendar at the end of season awards ceremony.

11 February 2006

President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono officially welcomed A1 Grand Prix to Indonesia at a Gala dinner attended by around 300 dignitaries. Representatives including drivers and seat holders from the 23 A1 Teams joined members of the A1 Grand Prix organisation for the evening hosted at the Jakarta Convention Centre.

13 March 2006

Despite failing to finish the Laguna Seca, USA Feature race, A1 Team Frances weekend performance was enough to guarantee an unbeatable lead making them the first world champions at the penultimate race of the season.

31 March 2006

The loyalty of the Dutch fans throughout the 2005/06 season was rewarded as A1 Grand Prix announced that Circuit Park Zandvoort would host the first race of its second season. Grandstand tickets sold out in a matter of days and additional seating had to be arranged.

2 April 2006

A1 Grand Prix held its first Gala Awards night honouring the success and achievements of the 2005/06 teams and drivers. Champion A1 Team France became the first team to officially be presented with the World Cup trophy.

25 May 2006

Attracted by the success of A1 Grand Prixs first racing season, major London investors committed to providing full funding for the series, assuring a strong future for the first ever World Cup of Motorsport.

14 June 2006

A1 Grand Prix announced plans to change the sporting and technical regulations for the second season increasing the length of the Feature race, reducing the Sprint race and changing the overall points system.

1 July 2006

A1 Grand Prix underwent an official branding change and the series officially became known as A1GP World Cup of Motorsport to better convey its nation versus nation concept.

5 July 2006 A1GP revealed its provisional calendar for the second season adding new races to the line-up which included the Beijing street race and an event at the newly upgraded Taupo Park in New Zealand.

13 August 2006

Around 25,000 people lined the streets of Manchester in the UK as six A1GP race cars roared around the city centre, reaching speeds of up to 70mph. A1 Teams Australia, China, Great Britain, Ireland, Lebanon and Malaysia thrilled the crowds along a purpose built 1.5km course as part of its broadcast partners Sky Festival.

30 31 August 2006

In a taste of things to come A1 Team Germany set the fastest lap time in A1GPs official test session with a then unknown Nico Hülkenberg at the wheel. A1 Team Great Britain took second spot on the time sheet with Darren Manning in the car. Johnny Reid for A1 Team New Zealand secured the third quickest time.

29 September 2006

Satisfied with his motorsport creation, A1GP World Cup of Motorsport Founder and Chairman Sheikh Maktoum Hasher Maktoum Al Maktoum released his stake in a multi million dollar transaction to permit a broadening of the institutional shareholder base ahead of a planned initial public offering.

31 September 2006

The official start of A1GPs second racing season saw A1 Team Singapore join the line-up for the much anticipated Zandvoort race. A1 Team South Africa had its first race win in the Sprint while A1 Team Germany set the scene for the season winning the Feature race.

8 October 2006

A1 Team Malaysia took the first double win of the season at the A1GP Brno, Czech Republic.

12 November 2006

In a challenging weekend for all involved, A1GP overcame all the obstacles to become the first ever racing series to compete in the streets of Chinas capital city, Beijing.

12 November 2006

A1GP announced the appointment of its new CEO, Pete da Silva. Da Silva joined A1GP from Siemens, South Africa.

6 December 2006

A1GP World Cup of Motorsport significantly expanded its global television reach, signing an exclusive broadcast deal with America's SPEED channel and a terrestrial highlights package with Channel Five in the UK.

21 January 2007

A1 Team New Zealand made the best ever finish of any home team at the series first visit to Taupo. The event was a huge success and the enthusiastic crowd made it clear that drivers Jonny Reid and Matt Halliday were well supported.

4 February 2007

A1 Team China made its first ever step on the podium finishing third in the A1GP Sydney, Australia. Germany continued to show its dominance of the season taking its sixth consecutive victory.

25 February 2007

In an action-packed Durban street race, A1 Team Pakistan managed to stay on course, scoring their first point of the series despite being the last team to cross the finish line. Germanys win made driver Nico Hülkenberg the most successful individual driver in A1GP history.

26 March 2007

Rookie Oliver Jarvis broke A1 Team Great Britains duck giving the team its maiden victory in the Mexico City Feature race. Despite finish third overall in the first season and sitting in third place again in the 2006/07, Great Britain had made it 39 races without a single win.

15 April 2007

A1 Team Germanys third place finish in the Shanghai Feature race was enough to put them clear of New Zealand in the championship standings, making them the 2006/7 world champions.

29 April 2007

A1 Team Great Britain broke the home race curse, winning the Brands Hatch Sprint race at the 2006/07 season finale. Forty-two races into the series, Great Britain became the first team to win on home soil.

30 April 2007

Seven-times Formula One World Champion Michael Schumacher honoured the success of his county in the A1GP World Cup of Motorsport, presenting A1 Team Germany with the World Cup trophy at the series end of season awards ceremony. 1 August 2007 A1GP revealed its calendar for the third season adding a new race in Zhuhai, China.

Source : http://www.theautochannel.com (11/11/2007)

A1GP Team Pakistan

The 08/09 season saw wholesale changes not just at A1GP but within Team Pakistan. On September 10, 2008 Adam Khan was announced to hold the dual-role of race driver, and seat holder of A1 Team Pakistan for the 2008-09 season. replacing Arif Hussain who had successfully established A1 Team Pakistan. Team Craft took over the running of the team. The team has not yet participated in the season as Adam Khan is too big for the new Ferrari built chassis. 

The chassis was eventually built ahead of Round 5 in Gauteng, however Khan did not race for undisclosed reasons. He did not race in Round 6 either due to a date clash with his ING Renault F1 Team demonstration driver duties, and did not compete in the final round.

Via: Wikipedia