The world's second largest salt mine, the Khewra Salt Mine, is a major tourist attaction, drawing thousands of visitors every year.
Its history dates back to its discovery by Alexander's troops in 320 BC, but it started trading in the Mughal era. The main tunnel at ground level was developed by Dr. H. Warth, a mining engineer, in 1872, during British rule. After partition the Pakistan Mineral Development Corporation took over the mine, which still remains the largest source of salt in the country, producing more than 350,000 tons per annum of about 99% pure halite. Estimates of the reserves of salt in the mine vary from 82 million tons to 600 million tons.
In February 2011 Pakistan railways started operating special trains for tourists from Lahore and Rawalpindi to Khewra. For this purpose the railway station of Khewra was refurbished.
The mine is open daily (including holidays) 9AM-6PM.
Entry fees are US$6 for foreigners and Rs 150 for Pakistanis. If you're student, local or foreign, a 50% discount will be given.
Trolley charge Rs. 20 per persons and Rs. 250 for group of upto 12 persons
There are numerous pools of salty water inside. The Badshahi Mosque was built in the mining tunnels with multi-colored salt bricks about fifty years ago. Other artistic carvings in the mine include a replica of Minar-e-Pakistan, a statue of Allama Iqbal, an accumulation of crystals that form the name of Muhammad in Urdu script, a model of the Great Wall of China and another of the Mall Road of Murree.
Other visitor attractions in the mine include the 75-meter-high Assembly Hall; Pul-Saraat, a salt bridge with no pillars over an 80-foot-deep brine pond; Sheesh Mahal (Palace of Mirrors), where salt crystals are light pink; and a cafe.
Visitors are taken into the mine on a train.
There is a "tourist resort" with guest houses.
- Khewra Salt Mine Tourist Resort. VIP suit (per night) Rs.500/night; Side room Rs.300/night; additional Rs. 100 charge per night for air conditioning.