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Punjab, its name meaning 'Land of Five Rivers', is the richest, most fertile and most heavily populated province of Pakistan. (Originally the five rivers referred to the Jhelum, Chenab, Ravi, Sutlej and Beas - but the last is now in Indian Punjab only, so the Indus is now included as Pakistan's fifth river). In Punjab live over 70 million people - more than half the population of the entire country. Geographically, it is a land of contrasts, from the alluvial plain of the Indus River and its tributaries to the sand-dunes of the Cholistan Desert, from the verdant beauty of the pine-covered foothills of the Himalaya to the strangely convoluted lunar landscape of the Potwar Plateau and the Salt Range.
In the 17th century, Lahore became one of the greatest Mughal cities in the subcontinent. A town near Lahore was the birthplace of Guru Nanak, the 15th century founder of the Sikh religion, and Lahore was the capital from which Maharaja Ranjit Singh ruled his 19th century Sikh Empire. The British coveted this fertile region, and overthrew the Sikhs in 1849, annexing Punjab to their Indian dominions, with Lahore as its provincial capital. Finally, it was in Lahore that the All India Muslim League passed, on 23 March 1940, its Resolution for the Creation of Pakistan.
The best time to visit northern Punjab is in the spring, from February to April, and in the autumn, from September to November. Southern Punjab is extremely hot in summer, so Multan is at its best in winter, from November to February.

Bahawalpur is 889 km from Karachi. The founder of the state of Bahawalpur was Nawab Bahawal Khan Abbasi I. The Abbasi family ruled over the State for more than 200 years (1748 to 1954). during the rule of the last Nawab Sir Sadiq Muhammad Khan Abbasi V, Bahawalpur State was merged with Pakistan in 1954. Bahawalpur was formerly the capital of the state and now is the District and Divisional Headquarters of Bahawalpur Division.
It is an important marketing centre for the surrounding areas and is located on the cross roads between Peshawar, Lahore, Quetta and Karachi. Saraiki is the local language of the area.
Urdu, Punjabi and English are also spoken and understood by most the people. There are three palaces, the main one Noor Mehal. Bahawalpur is also known for its distinctly embroidered slippers and shoes and the filigree pottery which is made here. It has a marble mosque in the Fawara Chowk and a few British buildings like the Science College. Bahawalpur has a modest museum having a fine collection of coins, medals, postage stamps of former State of Bahawalpur, manuscripts, documents, inscriptions, wood carvings, camel skin paintings, historical models and stone carving etc. of Islamic and pre-Islamic period.
The Cholistan Desert
East of Bahawalpur is the Cholistan Desert which covers an area of about 15,000 square km and extends into the Thar Desert of India. The region was once watered by the Hakra River, known as the Saravati in Vedic times. At one time there were 400 forts in the area and archaeological finds around the Darawar Fort, the only place with a perennial waterhole, indicate that it was contemporaneous with the Indus Valley Civilization.
The average annual rainfall is only 12 cm, and the little cultivation there is, is made possible by underground wells, drawn up by the camels. The water is stored in troughs, built by the tribes, between sand hills and din waterholes called tobas.The people are racially similar to those in Rajasthan - tall, with sharp features. They live in large, round, mud and grass huts, usually built on the top of sand hills.
On the whole, they are pastoral and nomadic. The main tribes are the Chachar, Mehr, Lar, Paryar, Channar, Chandani and Bohar. The forts here were built at 29 km intervals, which probably served as guard posts for the camel caravan routes. There were three rows of these forts. the first line of forts began from Phulra and ended in Lera, the second from Rukhanpur to Islamgarh, and the third from Bilcaner to Kapoo. They are all in ruins now, and you can see that they were built with double walls of gypsum blocks and mud. Some of them date back to 1000 BC, and were destroyed and rebuilt many times.
Uch Sharif

Uch Sharif, 75 km from Bahawalpur is a very old town. It is believed that it existed 500 BC. Some historians believe that Uch was there even before the advent of Bikramajit when Jains and Buddhist ruled over the sub-continent. At the time of the invasion by Alexander the Great, Uch was under Hindu rule.
Certain historians say that Alexander came to Uch after conquering northern parts of India and spent over a fortnight in they city and renamed it Alexandria. Some have mentioned Uch by the name of Sikandara or Iskalanda.
They have described it as the most flourishing and beautiful town perched upon the plateau near the confluence of the Chenab and Ravi rivers.

 They have described it as the most flourishing and beautiful town perched upon the plateau near the confluence of the Chenab and Ravi rivers. the famous shrines existing at Uch include those of Hazrat Bahawal Haleem, Hazrat Jalaluddin Surkh Bukhari, Makhdoom Jahanian Jahangasht, Shaikh Saifuddin Ghazrooni and Bibi Jawanadi. The shrine of Bibi Jawandi is a central asian design, titled in the blue and white faience.
Uch is a small town today and divided into three different quarters known as (i) Uch Bukhari, after Hazrat Syed Jalaluddin Bukhari Surkhposh, (ii) Uch Jilani, after the name of Hazrat Shaikh Mohammad Ghaus Qadri Jilani (Bandagi), who came from Halab in 887 AH, (iii) Uch Mughlan after the Mughal rulers.

Mosque at Bhong

Bhong is in the Rahim Yar Khan district and is about 200 km from Bahawalpur. This mosque was built by Rais Ghazi, a local landlord of Bhong. Gold leaves have been used for the intricate decorative work in the mosque which has made it famous for its beauty and the stylish calligraphic work.

Lal Suhanra National Park

This park is ideal for recreation, education or research but shooting is forbidden. This park, 36 km to the east of Bahawalpur is a combination of a natural lake and forest on 77480 acres of land and spread over on the both sides of Bahawalpur canal. It has watch-towers, catching ground, tourist huts, rest house, camping grounds, TDCP Resort with 6 A/C Bed Rooms and treks for the visitors and lovers of nature. Hog deer, ravine deer, black buck and nilgai are common. Fox, jackals, hares, porcupines, mongoose, larks, owls and hawks are also found. Wild boars are in large number in the forest areas. Lal Suhanra National Park which is actually a wildlife sanctuary worth a visit.


About 966 km from Karachi and more or less right in the centre of the country lies the ancient city of Multan. Multan, the 'City of Pirs and Shrines' is a prosperous city of bazaars, mosques, shrines and superbly designed tombs. It is also a city of dust, summer heat and beggars. It has a long history. Alexander the Great added it to his list of Indus conquests. In 641 AD Xuang Tzang found it 'agreeable and prosperous' - Mohammad Bin Qasim obviously agreed, he was the next to conqueror Multan in 712 AD. Mahmud of Ghazni invaded in 1006, Timurlane in 1398. In the 16th century it was the Moghuls turn, followed by the Sikhs in 1752 and the British in 1849. 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.

The Multan Fort

Multan fort was built on a mound separating it from the city and the old bed of river Ravi. The famous Qasim Bagh and a Stadium are located within the walls of the fort. A panoramic view of Multan city can be had from the highest point in the fort.


The devastation of Khorasan and Western Iran was to the benefit of this part of Pakistan, for it led to the settling in this city of a large number of pious and learned men and noble families like Gardezi Syeds and Qureshis from Khawarizm, amongst whom Sheikh Bahauddin Zakaria is a famous saint. About the same time Pir Shams Tabrez from Sabzwar and Kazi Qutubuddin from Kashan came to Multan. Baba Farid Shakar Ganj settled in Pakpattan. Khawaja Qutubaddin Bakhatair Kaki passed through to Delhi and Syed Jalal, the spiritual leader of many family in Multan, Muzafargarh and Bahawalpur, came to Uch, Sultan Sakhi Sarwar's father also emigrated from Bokhara to Sakot in Multan district. These venerable men contributed greatly to spreading Islam in this area. the saints and shrines of Multan have been attracting a large number of devotees all the year round.

The shrines of one of the foremost scholars of Islam, Shaikh Bahauddin Zakaria is located in the fort. The Mausoleum was built by the saint himself. It has a unique style of architecture of that period, the mausoleum of Shah Rukn-e-Alam, the grandson of Shaikh Bahauddin Zakaria, is also located near the main gate of the Multan Fort. He was also a man of great religious and political influence. Besides its religious importance, the Mausoleum has a unique architectural value.
Its dome is considered to be the second largest in the world after "Gol Gumbad" of Bijapur, India. The mausoleum has very rich geometrical patterns, calligraphy and colorful floral, mosaic and glazed tile work. The mausoleum has recently been given the Agha Khan Award for the best Muslim Architecture. The shrine is visited by devotees all the year round. The shrine of Hazrat Shams Sabzwari is located near Aamkhas Garden.
Other shrines in Multan include that of Muhammad Yusuf Fardezi near Bohar Gate, Musa Pak. Shaheed inside the Pak. Gate, Total Mai near Haram Gate, Shah Ali Akbar, a descendant of Shah Shams Sabzwari, in Suramiani and Bab Sarfa near Eidgah.
Fort Munro

From D.G. Khan, 85 km on the Quetta Road is the only hill station in southern Punjab in Sulaiman Mountain Ranges. Its altitude is 1800 meters, attracts many people for short stay during the fiery summer. TDCP resort at Fort Munro offers excellent boating on the Dames Lake. the resort provides accommodation, a restaurant and a snack bar.


This was the first of the Indus Valley Civilization sites to be discovered, but in size and condition it is inferior to Moenjodaro. Located 186 km south-west of Lahore, Harappa is reached via the station at Sahiwal, formerly known as Montgomery. Situated beside an earlier course of the Ravi River, Harappa was discovered in 1920/21, but through the ages the site was quarried for bricks and most of the buildings so far excavated are in poor condition.  Like Moenjodaro the excavations have revealed a series of cities, stacked one upon another. The site, with its citadel and great granary, seems similar in many ways to Moenjodaro and like its southern sister-city appear to have thrived around 2000 to 1700 BC with an economy based largely on agriculture and trade. The Harappan society seems to have been egalitarian, pursuing a rather simple way of life.

The cemeteries discovered at Harappa confirm that the Indus Valley people buried their bead, many of them wearing finger rings, necklaces of steatite beads, anklets of paste bead, earnings and shell bangles. Copper mirrors, antimony rods, sheer spoons and vessels and urns of various shapes and size lay in the graves. Some of the female skeletons had anklets of tiny beads and girdles studded with some-precious stones.
Excavations have recalled evidence of some pre-Harappa material which shows strong affinity with the Kot Diji finds.
On display at the Museum are excavated material, including terracotta toys, gamesman, jewellery, animal figurines, bronze utensils statuettes etc.

Situated on the east bank of the Ravi River, Lahore is very old. Legend traces its origin to Loh, the son of Rama Chandra, the hero of the Ramayana, but history records that it began as a dependency of the 8th century AD Hindu ruler, Lalitiditya. In the early 11th century it came under Muslim rule and evolved as a centre of Islamic culture and learning as well as trade and commerce. In the 13th century it was depopulated and razed to the ground by the Tartar-Mongol hordes of Genghis Khan. Timurlane and his Muslim Turks also arrived and destroyed the city.
Lahore was a cultural and intellectual centre during both the Mughal and British eras, and it's an atmosphere which still pervades today, but it is the diversity and contrast of the different sections of the city which make Lahore interesting. Apart from local tourists with their blaring transistors, you could almost be back in the Moghuls era.
Lahore is 213 meters above sea level and has a population of approximately 3 million. The temperature here drops down to 10C in winter, but in summer can soar to 40C or more. The best time to visit is straight after the monsoon period when the weather is cool and pleasant.

The Old City

 In the Mughal days the Old City was surrounded by a 9 meter high brick wall and had a rampart running around it with a most connected with the River Ravi which served as a protection for the city. 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.

Royal Fort Lahore

Although most parts of the Royal fort were constructed around 1566 AD by the Mughal Emperor, Akbar the Great, there is a evidence that a mud fort was in existence here in 1021 AD as well, when mud fort and constructed most of the modern Fort, as we see it today, on the old foundations. Constructions of the fort dates back to the early Hindu period. 

The Royal Fort is rectangular. The main gates are located alongside the centre of the western and eastern walls. Every succeeding Mughal Emperor as well as the Sikhs, and the British in their turn, added a pavilion, palace of wall to the Fort. Emperor Jehangir extended the gardens and constructed the palaces that we see today in the Jehangir's Quadrangle, while Shah Jehan added Diwan-e-Khas, Moti Masjid 
(Pearl Mosque) and his own Sleeping Chambers. Aurangzeb built the impressive main gate which faces the Hazoori Bagh lying in between the Badshahi Mosque and the fort. the famous Sheesh Mahal or Place of Mirrors, is in the north-east corner of the fort. This is the most beautiful palace in the fort and is decorated with small mirrors of different colors set. The part of the wall of the elephant Steps towards the forts inner gate are scarred by bullet
marks, bearing testimony to the Sikh Civil War of 1847 AD. A party of Sikhs had mounted their guns on one of the minarets of the mosque across the courtyard from where they fired on their opponents. the Sleeping Chamber of Mai Jindan houses a very interesting museum with relics from Mughal and the Sikh periods.

Badshahi Mosque

The Imperial or the Badshahi Mosque is across the courtyard from Alamgiri Gate of the Lahore Fort. The Mosque which is made up entirely of red sand-stone was built by Emperor Aurangzeb, the last of the great Mughals, in a record time of two and-a-half years. Its construction was completed by 1674 AD. It has a beautiful gate-way which measures 21.33 meters in

length and a courtyard that measures 161.5 x 160.6 meters and is said to be the largest mosque courtyard in the world for outdoor prayers. The marble domes cover seven prayer chambers. Four lofty minarets stand at the four corners of the mosque, each with an outer circumference of 20 meters, soaring up to 54 meters.
In the chambers above the Gate of the mosque, are housed relics attributed to the Holy Prophet of Islam Peace be upon him, his daughter and his son-in-law and are said to have been brought to the sub-continent by Amir Taimur. Within the Mosque almost all the colors have been used for painting the floral designs but the overall effect remains one of sobriety, piousness and simplicity.
Minar-e-Pakistan is a new landmark in Lahore and stands in the Iqbal Park to commemorate the date when a resolution was passed there back in 1940 demanding the creation of separate homeland for the Muslims of this sub-continent. The Minar is a blend of Mughal and modern architecture and has been very boldly designed. The Minar is about 60 meters tall.
The Golden Mosque
Golden Mosque is also situated in the Kashmiri Bazaar. It was built in 1753 AD by Nawab Syed Bhikari Khan, who was Deputy governor of Lahore, It is remarkably beautiful with three golden domes.
Wazir Khan's Mosque
In the old part of the town and off the Kashmiri Bazaar, reputedly the most beautiful Mosque in the sub-continent is situated. The Mosque was built in 1683 AD by Hakim Ilmuddin who was Minister to shah Jehan and was generally known as Wazir Khan. It is a marvelous specimen of the work and arabesque paintings.

Shalimar Gardens

Three miles east of Lahore are the famous Shalimar Gardens laid out by the Mughal emperor Shah Jehan in 1642 AD. The Gardens are spread out in typical Mughal style and are surrounded by high walls with watch-towers at the four corners. Originally, the gardens were spread over seven ascending terraces, but only three remain now which cover an area of about 42 acres. The brick-work of the floors of the three terraces have been repaired according to their original designs which differ on all three terraces. There is a marble pavilion under which water flows and cascades down over a carved, marble slab creating a water-fall effect. Across the water-fall is a marble throne. At the end of the second terrace is a beautiful structure called Sawan Bhadon, a sunken tank niches on its three sides. Water cascades down from it in sheets in front of the niches, producing the sound of falling rain. In the olden times, small oil lamps were placed in the niches which reflected myriad colors, through the water. Shalimar gardens have the proud privilege of being the stage of all important state receptions. Outside its walls the annual festival of Mela Chiraghan is held every March, special lights on the first and second terraces of the Gardens have been installed and the area is illuminated half-an-hour after sun set.


Shrine of Data Sahib

Close to the junction of the Lower Mall and the Circular Road is the shrine of Data Sahib. Data Sahib was a great sufi saint whose well-known work, "Kashf-ul-Mahjub" has been translated from the original Persian into several European languages and is considered a classic. Attached to the Shrine is a beautiful mosque.

Allama Iqbal's Tomb

Outside the Badshahi Mosque, near its steps, lies the tomb of Allama Iqbal, the poet-philosopher of the East. the mausoleum is a mixture of Afghan and Moorish styles of architecture and is constructed entirely of red sandstone which was quarried and brought from Rajasthan.

Mausoleum of Emperor Jehangir

The tomb of the fourth great Mughal emperor, Jehangir, lies three miles north-west of Lahore across the River Ravi. It has a majestic structure made of red sand-stone and marble. the outer entrance to the tomb opens out into a court-yard which was used as a caravan Serai during Mughal times. An entrance to the right leads into a Mughal garden with exact geometrical pattern balancing each side. The marble tomb is approached from four corridors leading from the garden. Three of these corridors are closed by intricate marble screens. The marble grave is elaborately inlaid with floral designs and the 99 Attributes of God are inscribed on its two sides. On the top is a verse from the Holy Qur'an. The tomb was built by Queen Noor Jehan and the Emperor's son Shah Jehan, around 1637 AD.

Noor Jehan's Tomb

The Empress Noor Jehan, "Light of the World" was the only empress whose name appeared on the coins of the Mughal empire. She was buried in 1845 AD at Shahdara (Lahore) outside Jehangir's mausoleum across the railway line.
Her tomb once had a marble cenotaph which she had built herself during her life time. After the decline of Mughal rule, the tomb suffered extensive damages along with her husband's tomb at the hands of Sikh marauders when they gained power during the early part of nineteenth century. Both were stripped of most of its original beauty and splendors. All treasures and tiles, it is said were carted off to decorate the Golden Temple of Amritsar India.

Qutbuddin Aibak's Tomb

He was appointed Governor of India in 1191 AD by Muhammad Ghauri. He established the Slave Dynasty on the death of Muhammad Ghauri in 1206 when he assumed independence of his reign and was followed by nine other slave kings. He was a patron of the building art and is known to have erected some monumental stone buildings in Delhi and elsewhere. A very avid player of polo, he died in Lahore in 1210 AD while playing the game. His tomb can be visited in Anarkali Bazaar.

Asif Khan's Mausoleum

In the courtyard near Jehangir tomb lies buried his brother-in-law, Asif Khan, father of Shah Jehan's beloved Queen Arjumand Bano. He lies in a tomb today shows little of its former splendor.

Lahore Museum

Opposite the old University Hall, a Mughal style building on the Shahrah-e-Quaid-e-Azam, houses the Lahore Museum. the Museum contains some fine specimens of Mughal and Sikh door-ways and wood-work and has a big collection of paintings dating back to Indo-Pakistan, Mughal, Sikh and British times. It has also a collection of musical instruments, ancient jewellery, textile, pottery and armory. There are also relics from the Graeco-Pactrian times as well as some Tibetan and Nepalese exhibits.

Faqirkhana Museum

A very large and interesting private Museum known as Faqirkhana lies inside the Bhati Gate and is worth visiting. The museum houses a variety of old paintings, including some by great masters, original manuscripts in different languages and artifacts from South East Asia and the Indo-Pak sub-continent.

Fairs and Festivals

Mela Chiraghan

The Festival of Lamps of Mela Chiraghan is a very important and popular event. This is celebrated every Spring on the last Friday of March outside the Shalimar Gardens. During the Festival, people from all walks of the life gather from all over the province to actively participate in the Festival.
National Horse and Cattle show
One of the most famous annual festivals. the National Horse and Cattle Show is also held in Spring in the Fortress Stadium. During the week long activities there is a display of the finest livestock, horse and camel dances, tent pegging colorful folk dances from all regions of Pakistan, mass-band displays and tattoo shows in the evening.
Basant - Kite-flying Festival

With the advent of Spring, skies of Lahore are resplendent with all types of sizes of kites. The entire population participates in kite-flying matches to herald the coming of Spring.

Bazaars/Shopping Centers

Anarkali Bazaar

Anarkali bazaar is the most fascinating of the city's many bazaars. The alleys and lanes of this bazaar are full of exciting wears, especially traditional crafts like leather wear, embroidered garments glass bangles, beaten gold and silver jewellery, creations in silk. Anything that you wish for a bargain, it is named after the famous courtesan of Akbar's court called Anarkali (Pomegranate Blossom). Anarkali too has its share of historical monuments. There is the grave of Emperor Qutbuddin Aibak, who died falling off his horse playing polo. And Mahmud Ghaznavi's General Malik Ayyaz buried in the commercial area of Rang Mahal.

Excursions from Lahore
Hiran Minar

Hiran Minar is set in peaceful environs near Lahore. It was constructed by Emperor Jehangir as a monument to Hansraj, one of his pet antelopes. It is a popular picnic resort with a lake and boating facilities.

Chhanga Manga

Chhanga Manga is a man-made forest 68 kms from Lahore. There is a lake, and a miniature railway which winds its way through its forest. Chhanga Manga has 12,510 acres of plantations. It is a popular picnic spot spread over 50 acres with a lake and row boats, motor boats, children's park, swimming pool, cafeteria, canteen and rest-houses.

Jallo Park
The Park is 28 kms from Lahore. It can be visited by road and by rail. A rail-car leaves for Jallo Railway Station every half hour. Spread over an area of 450 acres, It has expanses of lawns, a forest research centre, a children's park, zoo, a small museum and a gift shop.

Pakistan-India Border

This check-post is about 30 kms from Lahore and is the cross-over point for travelers into India by the land route. It is open daily to foreigners only (except Indian and Pakistani nationals) from 9.00 a.m. to 3.00 p.m. PST.

Rawalpindi lies on the Grand Trunk Road 177 from Peshawar and 275 kms from north-west from Lahore. The twin city of Rawalpindi/Islamabad lies against the backdrop of Margalla Hills on the Potwar Plateau. On the basis of archaeological discoveries, archaeologists believe that a distinct culture flourished on this plateau as far back as 3000 years. The material remains found on the sight of the city of Rawalpindi prove the existence of Buddhist establishment contemporary to Taxila but less celebrated than its neighbors.
It appears that the ancient city went into oblivion as a result of the Hun devastation. the first Muslim invader, Mahmud of Ghazni (979-1030 AD), gifted the ruined city to a Gakkhar Chief, Kai Gohar. the town, however, being on invaders' route, could not prosper and remained deserted until Jhanda Khan, another Gakkhar Chief, restored it and gave the name of Rawalpindi after the village Rawal in 1493 AD. Rawalpindi remained under the rule of Gakkhars till Muqarrab Khan, the last Gakkhar ruler, was defeated by Sikhs in 1765 AD. Sikhs invited traders from other places to settle here. This brought the city into prominence. Sikhs lost the city to British in 1849 AD. It then became the General Headquarters of British Army and they established a cantonment south of the old city. In 1879, the Punjab Northern Railway was extended to Rawalpindi but the train service was formally inaugurated on January 1, 1886.
Over the years, Rawalpindi has retained to traditional flavour. However, some modern residential areas and buildings have come up all over the town since the creation of Pakistan. Pakistan's new capital, Islamabad being the twin city of Rawalpindi, equally shares the same archaeological and historical background.

Old City and Bazaars

The best way to see Rawalpindi is by wending through its bazaars, but you should orient yourself before setting out. The city has two main roads: the Grand Trunk Road runs roughly from east to west and is known as The Mall as it passes through the cantonment; Murree Road breaks north from The Mall, crosses the railway and brushes the east end of the old city on its way to Islamabad. the two main bazaar areas are Raja Bazaar in the old city and Saddar Bazaar, which developed as the cantonment bazaar between the old city and the Mall.
The cantonment evokes the British Raj, with its Christian churches and cemetery, spacious bungalows, club, cricket ground, mall and the colonial-style Flashman's Hotel. Behind Flashman's is Saddar Bazaar, the centre not only for shopping but also for hotels, banks, airlines and travel agents. The heart of the bazaar is along Kashmir Road and Massey Gate.
The Army Museum, near the Pearl Continental Hotel, houses a fine collection of weapons, uniforms and paintings depicting Pakistan's military history. Hours are 9 am to 3 pm in winter, 8 am to noon and 5.30 pm to 7 pm in summer.


Ayub National Park is located beyond the old Presidency on Jhelum Road. It covers an area of about 2, 300 acres and has a play-land, lake with boating facility, an aquarium and a garden-restaurant. Rawalpindi Public Park is located on Murree Road near Shamsabad. The Park was opened for public in 1991. It has a play land for children, grassy lawns, fountains and flower beds. A cricket stadium was built in 1992 just opposite the Public Park. The stadium is equipped with all modern facilities.

Rawalpindi Golf Course

Situated near Ayub National Park, Rawalpindi Golf Course was completed in 1926 by Rawalpindi Golf Club, one of the oldest gold clubs of Pakistan, founded on 2nd November 1885. the facility was initially developed as a nine-hole course. after several phases of development, it is now converted into a 27 hole course.


 Islamabad, the capital of Pakistan, is located against the backdrop of Margalla Hills at the northern edge of Potohar Plateau. In contrast to its twin city Rawalpindi, it is lush green, spacious and peaceful. Islamabad is a city of wide, tree-lined streets, large houses, elegant public buildings and well-organized bazaars. Traffic jams and crowds are rare, and narrow lanes and slums are few and far between. Sidewalks are shaded and safe behind rows of flame trees, jacaranda and hibiscus. Roses, jasmine and bougainvillaea fill the many parks, and scenic view-points show the city to its best advantage.
The master plan of this most modern city was prepared in 1960 by M/s. Constantinos Doxiades, a Greek firm of Architects. Construction was started in October 1961. the city came into life on 26 October, 1966, when the first office building of Islamabad was occupied. It is a modern and carefully planned city. There are ample opportunities for walking, jogging, hiking and trekking around Islamabad in the Margalla Hills. The Margalla Hill range offers excellent opportunities for short and long hikes with magnificent vistas opening up on all sides. A net-work of trails having more then 120 kms total length has been developed.

Excursions around Islamabad
Rose and Jasmine Garden

This 20,360 sq. meters rose garden is famous for its roses. It has 250 different varieties of roses as well as a dozen types of Jasmines. Flower shows are occasionally held here, particularly during spring. Nearby is the Tourist Camping Site.

Shakarparian Hills

Shakarparian hills are situated near Zero Point, at a height of 609 meters. Its terraced garden offers pleasant and sweeping vistas of Margalla and Murree hills, Rawal Lake, Rawalpindi Islamabad. Snack Bar facilities are available.

Rawal Lake

This glistening man-made take covers an area of 8.8 sq. km. The terraced garden and the lake are ideal for picnic, fishing and boating. The highest point in the garden commands a panoramic view of the lake, Margalla and Murree hills, Rawalpindi and Islamabad. The PTDC Jaltarang restaurant offers snack bar facilities for visitors.


This low hill over looking Islamabad, known as Daman-e-Koh, offers panoramic view of Islamabad. Snack bar facilities are available at PTDC's Daman-e-Koh Restaurant. The place is ideal for afternoon and evening outing with family and friends.
Murghzar Mini Zoo and Children's Park

Murghzar Mini Zoo is located at the foot of Daman-e-Koh view point. A display corner of Pakistan Museum of Natural History and a Japanese style children's park have also been established near the Zoo. The Park is a gift to Pakistani children from the children of Japan.

Islamabad Sports Complex

 A Sports Complex comprising Liaquat Gymnasium for indoor games and Jinnah Stadium for outdoor games, has been built with the Chinese assistance. It is located on Shahra-e-Kashmir near Aabpara. Regular national and international sports events are held in the Complex.

Lok Virsa

The Lok Virsa (National Institute of Folk and Traditional Heritage) works towards preserving the living folk and traditional culture of Pakistan. Its Folk Heritage Museum, located near Shakarparian Hills, has a large display of embroidered costumes, jewellery, woodwork, metalwork, block printing, ivory and bone work. Traditional architecture facades exhibiting such skills as fresco, mirror work, marble inlay, tile mosaic and stucco tracery are also displayed. Lok Virsa Heritage Reference Library is equipped with resource data on ethnography, anthropology, folk music, art, history and crafts.

Art Galleries

Idara Saqafat-e-Pakistan (Pakistan National Council of the Arts) runs two art galleries. The National Gallery is located at House # 77, Street # 48, F-7/4, Islamabad (Tel:...................), where contemporary Pakistani art is on permanent display beside revolving exhibitions and paintings available for sale. The other is Children Art Plaza, # 77, School Road, F-7/4, Islamabad (Tel:....................), where Children's art is on display and regular art classes are held for children.

Pakistan Museum of Natural History

The Museum of Natural History is located opposite the Women's College on College Road in F-7/2, Commercial Area. The Museum depicts early human history, geology, and wildlife of Pakistan. the exhibits are particular interest to students and children.

Islamabad Museum
Islamabad museum presents a long historic sequence of the land where Pakistan is situated today. Pakistan has been a seat of the worlds leading civilizations from the time immemorial. There is plenty of evidence to support this argument now on display in Islamabad Museum. For example, 20 million years old fossil remains, 2 million years old man-made stone tools, 7000 years old early human settlements which lead to the world famous Indus Civilization, Gandhara Grave Culture and Gandhara art, early Islamic settlement and Mughal period, their art and craft.

Four universities in Islamabad have taken onto themselves, four different kinds of responsibilities. Allama Iqbal Open University (AIOU) was established in 1973 in sector H-8, Quaid-e-Azam University (QAU) was established in 1967 while International Islamic University (IIU), located in the vicinity of Shah Faisal Mosque, was created in November 1980. The National University of Science and Technology (NUST) was founded in 1991.

Shah Faisal Mosque
This beautiful mosque was designed by a renowned Turkish Architect, Vedat Dalokay and named after late King Faisal of Saudi Arabia. It is spread over 1,89,705 sq, meters with 88 meters high minarets and 40 meters high main prayer hall. The main prayer hall can accommodate 10,000 persons while the covered porticoes and verandahs can take over 24,000 worshipers. The main courtyard has space for 40,000 people.
Fatima Jinnah Park
The entire sector of F-9 is being developed as an attractive urban park which will have a profusion of lakes, rock gardens, aquariums, fountains etc. It has been named after Miss. Fatima Jinnah, sister of the founder of Pakistan.

Chattar Bagh

Nestling at the base of Murree hills at a distance of 15 km on Islamabad-Murree road, TDCP Chattar Bagh recreational facility provides a quiet break from the hustle and bustle of the twin cities. Scenic walks, gently flowing stream, water fall and the surrounding hillside are a perfect attraction. The resort has a restaurant, barbecue and two air-conditioned tourist cottages. The Children's Park and playground are spread over an area of 12.5 acres.
Places Around Rawalpindi & Islamabad
Margalla Pass

The small pass is located 26 km west of Islamabad on G.T. Road. Margalla is mentioned by historians and emperors like Alberuni, Ferishta and Jehangir. Today, it is a pass between the ancient capital of Gandhara, that is, Taxila, and the modern capital of Pakistan, i.e. Islamabad. There is an obelisk right on the top of the Pass, built in 1890 in memory of Brig. Gen. John Nicholson (died on 23 September 1857) of British army, by his colleagues. A small part of the ancient Shahi (Royal) Road can be seen just across the pass, left of G.T. Road. This road was first built by the Persians in 516 BC and later developed by the Afghan King Sher Shah Suri in 1540s. An inscription on the western side of this stone pavement shows that it was again repaired in 1672 AD.

Wah Gardens

Once a major campsite of Mughal rulers, Wah Gardens are located 12 km west of Taxila on G.T. Road. The gardens were developed with magnificent trees and weather channels by successive Mughal emperors. Tapering cypress trees, loved by the Mughals, line the canals through which cool waters once, Flowed between elegant romantic and cascading into large reflecting basins. The gardens are being restored to their original beauty, by the Department of Archaeology, Government of Pakistan.

Hasan Abdal
Hasan Abdal is 48 km from Rawalpindi. It is a beautiful, quiet place and a convenient halting point of G.T. Road enroute to Peshawar or Abbottabad. This town has a particular association with Mughals and Sikhs. It was mentioned by Emperor Jehangir in his memoirs and frequently visited by successive Mughal Kings, on their way to Kashmir. It remained a holy place for various religious groups through the ages. It has a Sikh Gurdwara (temple) known as Panja Sahib having a sacred rock with the hand print of their religious leader, Guru Nanak. Twice a year, Sikh pilgrims visit this Gurdwara from all over the world. Two other historical buildings of Mughal era (Muqbara Hakeeman and so-called tomb of Lala Rukh) are located just opposite the Gurdwara.
On the nearby hill, at an altitude of 714 meters, there is a meditation chamber related to a 15th century Muslim Saint, Baba Wali Qandhari, popularly known as Baba Hasan Abdal.
 The saint stayed in Hasan Abdal from 1406-1416 AD but died and buried in village Baba Wali near Qandhar (Afghanistan). The devotees and visitors climb over the steps leading to the hill, for offerings and to have a panoramic view of Hasan Abdal.
Shrine of Shah Abdul Latif (Bari Imam)

Nurpur Shaha, a village situated at the foot of Margalla Hills, near Quaid-e-Azam University, is famous for the mirror-studded shrine of Hazrat Shah Abdul Latif Kazmi, popularly known as Bari Imam. The shrine was originally built on the order of Mughal emperor Aurangzeb. The death anniversary (Urs) of Bari Imam is observed in the first week of May beginning Monday through Thursday with lot of festivities representing the Potohar culture and attracts people from all over the country.

Shrine of Syed Meher Ali Shah

The shrine of Syed Meher Ali Shah of Golra Sharif is located 18 km from Rawalpindi, in sector E-11 of Islamabad. He was descendant of a Syed family and had links with Syed Abdul Qadir Gilani of Baghdad. He was born in 1859, preached and spread the message of Islam during the turbulent times in South Asia, he also wrote beautiful prose and poetry in Persian, Arabic and Punjabi languages, mostly in praise of God and Muhammad (peace be upon him). He died on May 11, 1937. His mausoleum was recently reconstructed. Devotees assemble here on the occasion of annual Urs.

Rawat Fort

Rawat Fort is located 17 km east of Rawalpindi, on the Grand Trunk (G.T. Road) leading to Lahore. The fort was built by Gakkhars, a fiercely independent tribe of the Potohar Plateau, in early 16th century. The grave of a Gakkhar Chief, Sultan Sarang Khan is located inside the fort. He died in 1546 AD fighting against the forces of Sher Shah Suri. If one dares to climb the broken steps inside the tomb, one may get a panoramic view of the plateau and the Mankiala Stupa.

Pharwala Fort

This fort is about 40 km from Rawalpindi beyond Lehtrar road. It was built 15th century by a Gakkhar ruler, Sultan Kai Gohar, on the ruins of a 10th century Hindi Shahi Fort. Emperor Babar conquered the fort in 1519 AD. Later, in 1825, Gakkars were expelled by Sikhs from this fort. Though the fort is in a crumbling state, it is still an attraction for castle lovers. The fort being situated in prohibited area, is only open for Pakistani visitors.

Rohtas Fort

Rohtas Fort is 109 km from Rawalpindi. It is located about 6 km south-west of Dina Town. Going from Rawalpindi/Islamabad, you have to turn right from G.T. Road to a narrow road just before Dina Police Station and then go left until you find the city bed of Kahan River. The fort is visible from this point. However, you have to cross the river to reach it. During rainy season, you need a four-wheel-drive to cross the river. The fort is one of the most impressive historical monument in Pakistan. It was built by Afghan ruler Sher Shah Suri, between 1540 and 1547 AD. It served as a huge fortified base for military operations against Gakkhars by Sher Shah Suri. It was later used by Mughal emperor Akbar and Sikhs. Within the huge terraced rampart walls with robust bastions and twelve gates, are located a fortress, palaces and ancillary buildings.

Attock Fort

It is situated about 101 km west of Islamabad on the left bank of Indus River. The fort was completed 1583 under the supervision of Khawaja Shamsuddin Khawafi, a minister of emperor Akbar. The Mughal caravan sarai outside the fort, on the G.T. Road, was also built during this period.

Giri Fort

The glen of Giri is located 8 km north-east of Taxila, at the foot of Margalla. It is approached through a rough torrent bed near two villages named Khurram Gujar and Khurram Paracha, there are remains of two monasteries and stupas, one on the top of the hill and other below it. The ramains of Giri fort are perched on the hill top, with spring water falling within it. The fort was built in 5th century by the Buddhist monks. Later, it was used by Sultan Masud, son of Sultan Mahmud of Gazni.

The Salt Range

The Salt Range runs from Jhelum river in the east and west to Kalabagh on the Indus River. Most of the Salt Range is composed of the salt deposits left behind when the sea that extended over the Potohar Plateau evaporated 800 million years ago.
Fossils of prehistoric animals have been discovered in the Salt Range, specially near a village called Bari Amir Khatoon, 40 km from Chakwal. There are many places of historical and archaeological interest in the Salt Range. Salt Range remained part of a powerful Hindu Kingdom of Kashmir in 10th century AD. Most of the forts and temples concentrated in the Salt Range date from that period.

Kallar Kahar Lake and Katas Temple

The main attraction of the eastern Salt Range at the shrine of Saidan Shah at Choa Saidan Shah, the lake and shrine of Abdul Qadir Gilani at Kallar Kahar and the Hindu Temple Complex at Katas. Kallar Kahar is located about 135 km from Rawalpindi. TDCP has built a six-room motel and restaurant over-looking Kallar Kahar (Salt Lake) with boating facilities. The Temple of Shiva at Katas (10th century AD) and Malot are valuable pieces of architecture and history.

Khewra Salt Mines

The main centre of mining is a Khewra in the Salt Range where the world's largest salt mines are located. Khewra salt mines are 154 kms away from Rawalpindi. The route is Mandra-Dydyal-Chakwal-Choha Saidan Shah-Khewra. A longer route is through Kallar Kahar-Katas. The nearest hotel accommodation is a TDCP resort at Kallar Kahar. For permits to visit the mines and to book the accommodation at the PMDC Rest House at Khewra. You may contact their office in Islamabad at Plot No. 13, H-9 (Manager Salt, Tel:448407-8, 448413) through PTDC Tourist Information Centers at Rawalpindi or Islamabad, at least 4 days in advance.

Dams and Lakes
Misriot Dam

Misriot dam is located 12 km south-west of Rawalpindi. This small dam has an artificial lake with boating and fishing facilities. Fishing permit may be obtained from fishing guard at Misriot. It has a pleasant landscape and walkways beyond the lake among eruptions of black rocks.

Simli Dam
About 30 km from Islamabad lies Simli Dam. It can be reached via Lehtrar road or via Bhara Kahu. It is fed by the melting snow and natural spring of Murree hills. The water stored in the lake is supplied to Islamabad for drinking purposes. Angling and boating is also allowed in the lake. The Capital Development Authority (CDA) has a Rest House at the Dam which can be booked through its Head Office in Islamabad.
Khanpur Dam

This beautiful lake/dam is 48 km from Islamabad on Taxila-Haripur Road. It is an ideal place for day trip/picnic, boating, angling and watching migratory birds during winter.

Tarbela Dam
The world's largest earth-filled dam on one of the world's most important rivers - the Indus - is 103 km from Rawalpindi. The dam was completed in 1976 at a cost of Rs. 18.5 billion. Over 15,000 Pakistani and 800 foreign workers and engineers worked during its construction. It is the biggest hydel power station in Pakistan having a capacity of generating 3,478 MW of electricity. Its reservoir is 97 km long with a depth of 137 metered while total area of the lake is 260 Permits are required for visiting the Dam. Please contact Public Relations Officer (PRO), Water and Power Development Authority (WAPDA), Tarbela (Tel: 051-568941-2). A No-Objection Certificate (NOC) from the Ministry of Interior (Shaheed-e-Millat Sectt.), Islamabad is also required for foreign visitors.
Mangla Dam

World's third largest earth-filled dam is only 115 km south-east of Rawalpindi. One has to turn left from Dina Town and the dam on river Jhelum is about 16 km to the east. The dam is 3,353 meters long and 116 meters high above the river bed. It is designed to store 5.88 MAF water and also used for power generation. In the centre of the dam there is a Gakkhar Fort from where one can have a panoramic view of the lake. For permits to visit the dam, please contact PRO, WAPDA, Mangla. A NOC from the Ministry of Interior is required for foreigners.



Some 35 km north-west of Rawalpindi, on the way to Peshawar, lies Taxila, world famous for its archaeological sites, dating back to the 5th century BC. The city flourished for a thousand years and was famous as a centre of Gandhara art, architecture and sculpture, education and religion in the days of Buddhist glory.
At Taxila you come face to face with the great Buddha. He looms over you larger than life. His serene eyes gaze at you till you find yourself gripped by a feeling of awe.
You meet others also at Taxila. Alexander of Macedonia, for one. And Asoka, the famous Buddhist king. And the Emperor Kanishka, perhaps the greatest of them all. Their imprints are everywhere. As you, the space-age visitors, step into Taxila you are suddenly 2,500 years younger. for that is when one of the world's least known but most interesting civilizations took root and flourished in Taxila that ancient city south of River Indus.
Once a province of the powerful Achaemenian Empire, Taxila was conquered by Alexander in 327 BC. It later came under the Mauryan dynasty and reached a remarkable mature level of development under the great Asoka.
Then appeared the Indo-Greek descendants of Alexander's warriors and finally came the most creative period of Gandhara. The great Kushan dynasty was established about 50 AD. During the next 200 years Taxila became a renowned centre of learning, philosophy and art. Pilgrims and travelers were attracted to it from as far away as China and Greece.
The end came in the fifth century AD when the White Huns snuffed out the last of the successive civilizations that had held unbroken sway in this region for several centuries.
Exploring Taxila is a multi-dimensional experience. You are attracted by the richness and variety of the famed Gandhara sculpture. There are endless images of Buddha, in stone and stucco, and numerous panels depicting all the important stages of the great sage's life. Exquisitely sculpted friezes and statues of all sizes awoke the life and times of one of the world's most impressive men of peace: Gautama Buddha.
Each carved bit of sculpture, from the colossal to the miniature and there are literally thousands of them is a collector's item. Even if you aren't exactly a devotee of the sculpture of the first century AD, you will find it a challenge to trace similarities between the Gandhara masterpieces and their Graeco-Roman Counterparts.
Incidentally, it is these stone men and women of Gandhara who greet you so graciously in Taxila, or rather their craftsmen, who first gave visual expression to Bhudda and his era.
And then there are the excavated ruins. Three distinct cities stretch before you in a surprisingly good state of preservation. With your imagination aided by the carved people who inhabit these cities, you will have little difficulty in picturing crowds on the well laid out streets, facilities in the spacious houses, priests in the towering stupas and royalty in the great palaces.
The earliest city, Bhir Mound, dates back to the sixth century BC. Its irregular streets, cramped houses and mediocre public buildings indicate its primitive origins.
Sirkap, on the opposite side of the Tamara Stream, is much newer, having been built in the second century BC. You will find Sirkap as well-planned city.
And as you stroll down its wide streets you can call at the houses of the affluent and go slumming as it were, in the more crowded sections where dwelt the common man of the dim and misty past. Note the fortification wall, the long, straight and impressive main street, the Royal Place, an Apsidal Temple and the Shrine of the Double-Headed Eagle.
The third city, Sirsukh, is modern by comparison. It was apparently built by the Kushan kings in the first century AD. It has not been fully excavated as yet it is clearly a well fortified, well laid out city, patterned after Central Asain cities land is complete with a suburb.
In addition to these three major cities, many important monasteries, stupas and palaces have been excavated all along the Taxila valley. Many more, surely, still lie buried awaiting discovery.
If you can't manage all, you must at least explore the remarkable Dharmarajika Stupa, two miles east of the Taxila Museum. It comprises a main building, a monastery area where the monks lived and a series of small chapels. Sacred relics of Buddha and a silver scroll commemorating the relics were found in one of the chapels. A wealth of gold and silver coins, gems, jewellery, and other antiques were discovered at Dharmarajika. These are all housed in the Taxila Museums.
There is also Jaulian, another impressive complex of chapels, stupas, quadrangles, and monastery with assembly hall, store rooms, refectory, kitchen and bathrooms. At five small stupas you will see beautiful stucco reliefs of Buddha and Buddhisatvas supported by rows of stone elephants and lions.
Three kilometers from Jaulain is another well-preserved monastery at Mohra Moradu. In one of the monk's cells here was found a small stupa with almost all the details imageless temple in the classic Greek style, with columns and cornices.
For the climber three is the Glen of Giri, about five kilometers from Dharmarajika Stupa. Atop the highest peak of a range of hills are two stupas and a fortress built in a cleft near a spring of pure, sweet water. The stucco decorations of the stupas are well worth the climb.
No amount of description can do justice to the Taxila ruins. To feel and understand their full important you simply have to go there. Even today, Taxila is a place of peace. Its pastoral landscape is almost as inviting as its living past. Early man know what he was doing when 2,500 years ago he choose to site his cities in this delightful hill-edged valley.


The archaeological museum at Taxila is a real treasure house. Its collection of coins, jewellery, relics, and gold and silver caskets alone are worth a King's ransom. But its real glory comes from stone and stucco that exquisite young. Its impressive collection will help you get to know Gautama, the Lord Buddha, better.
The ivy-covered, Gothic-style museum is set in a picturesque garden. There is in the central hall a plaster cast of the stupa topped with seven umbrellas found in Mohra Moradu. A relief map of the valley pinpoints the location for the different excavated sites.
There are rows of cases filled with the famed sculptures, stucco reliefs, stones, plaster and terra-cotta figures, glass tiles and such objects as toilet articles, seats, beads, bark manuscripts, silver utensils, carpentry tools, surgical instruments and much else. A nominal entry fee is charged at the museum.

Murree and the Galis

Murree, at 2,240 meters (7,400 feet), is only an hour's drive north-east of Islamabad. Its cold pine forests, amidst magnificent mountain scenery, make it the first choice for a day's outing from the capital. The Galis are a string of hill resorts along the ridge between Murree and Abbottabad, on the Karakoram Highway.
Founded as a hill station by the British in 1851, Murree was the summer headquarters of the government of Punjab until 1876, when the honor was transferred to Simla. Murree remained, however, a little bit of England, complete with The Mall for promenading, parks, churches, schools, clubs and cafes. Since independence, Murree has once again become the summer retreat of the governor of Punjab and, since Islamabad became the capital of Pakistan in 1962, has expanded rapidly.
Murree is lovely all year round. In summer it is cool - even chilly in the evening - and rain is common. In winter, the snow is piled high along the sides of the streets.
 But it is extremely popular with Punjabis escaping the heat of the plains in summer, so is too crowded for comfort from late May to early September, especially at weekends. To beat the crowds and still enjoy the walks, the best time to go in April-May and September-October.
Murree spreads along the top of a ridge for about five kilometres (three miles). At the north-east end is Kashmir Point, with views across the valley of the Jhelum River into Azad Kashmir. At the south-west end is Pindi Point, looking back towards Rawalpindi and Islamabad. Between the two runs The Mall, at the centre of which is the main shopping area, where most people congregate. Numerous roads leave. The Mall and either follow the contours of the ridge or descend to the principal road. Promenading and shopping are Murree's main amusements, or riding in the new chair-lifts, one from Bansara Gali (below Murree) to Pindi Point, the other to the top of Patriata hill (on the road to Karor); both rides cost about Rs. 50 and take half an hour with a change from open chair-lift to the enclosed bubble in the middle.
Good buys in Murree are Kashmiri shawls, furs, walking sticks, fruits and nuts. Murree's pistachio nuts are reputed to be the best in Pakistan.

Bhurban is a minor resort eight kilometers (five miles) from Murree on the road leading north-east to Kohala and the Jhelum Valley. The golf course here is open only to members. From near the Pearl Continental hotel you can take one of the many delightful paved walks through the woods.

The Galis ( Streets )

Perhaps the most sought out is the beautiful Nathiagali perched 2501 meters high about 32 km away from Murree. The bracing air of the surrounding mountains is as pure as fresh spring water.


Khairagali, Changlagali, Khanspur and Ghora Dhaka, these four mini resorts spread over an area of 26 km have been developed into a resort complex called Ayubia. In addition to riding trails, hiking places and picnic spots, Ayubia has a chair lift, which like a ski-lift, takes you up to the summit of the nearby range for a panoramic view of the forested hills. Ayubia is 26 km from Murree.


Dungagali is a picturesque small resort situated on the slopes of the Mukshpuri hill (2376 m.). It commands a charming view of a series of wooded spurs projecting towards the river Jhelum on the western side. From Dungagali one can climb the 2813 m peak of Mukhshpuri, which is the highest point in the range. Natural springs abound on the slopes. It is 30 km from Murree. 


It is 16 km from Murree at an elevation of 2346 m and commands a panoramic view on either side of the ridge.


It is 16 km from Murree at an altitude of 2559 m. There is a rest house located in the most picturesque surroundings.


25 km from Murree. The TDCP has developed a new tourist resort at Patriata. There is chairlift and cable car system which takes visitors up to Patriata Ridge in two stages from Gulehra Gali. The first stage is by chair lift up to Patriata Bazaar. From here visitors transfer to cable car gondolas for the ride up to Patriata Ride. A restaurant has also been established. Further plans include development of a wildlife park at the mid-station.


Abbottabad 116 km from Rawalpindi and 217 km from Peshawar is a small neat and clean town in a spacious valleys surrounded by green hills. It is a popular summer resort, located at the end of Murree-Abbottabad hill tract at a height of 1255 meters, noted for its verdant parks, gardens, golf course and pine covered hills.
Abbottabad, apart from being famous for its educational institutions and Military Academy, also serves as the gateway to almost all beautiful places in Pakistan.
The formidable Karakoram, the enchanting Himalayas and the deadly Hindukush, can also be approached from Abbottabad. Though the importance of the city has been diminished a little by the completion of Karakoram Highway because, in the past, the only track available to reach Karakoram was through Babusar Pass, which in its turn, could only be approached through Abbottabad.
In spite of this development, the city continues to be a transit city for the tourists. Abbottabad is the junction from where one can go to places like Hunza, Gilgit, Skardu and Indus Kohistan, of the Karakoram Range. One can reach Swat, Swati Kohistan, Dir and Chitral of the Hindukush Range. And one can approach Naran, Saif-ul-Muluk, Shogran and Babusar Pass of the Himalayan Range. Neelum, Lipa and Jhelum Valley of beautiful Azad Kashmir are also connected through Abbottabad.
While other hill stations are deserted during winter this place has visitors due to the bracing winter. The place has beautiful gardens, Jinnah Garden, Ladies Garden and another garden maintained by the Cantonment Board. To the splendid stretch of turf with plenty of room for polo, football, hockey and golf. At the back of the station to the west is the Brigade Centre, ideal for walks and picnic.
The Cantonment area of Abbottabad is still very British. The European bungalows, the club, the church and cemetery are still there.
Abbottabad is an hour's drive from Nathia Gali, the summer capital of the North West Frontier Province, which is from Nathia Gali to Abbottabad is about 34 km dropping steeply through the beautiful valleys with few trees to the river bed.


As the name indicates, Thandiani, is supposed to be coldest among the hill stations of Pakistan. the approach to Thandiani 2691 meters above sea level, is from Abbottabad, the gateway to almost all the beautiful places in the north. Thandiani can also be reached from the Murree-Nathiagali route, but it takes more time and the road is too winding.
Thandiani is 31 km from main Abbottabad city and 25 km from Thandiani-Nathiagali crossing. the drive takes more or less 80 minutes from Abbottabad with lovely views on both sides of the road. The road spans more than 1219 m above Abbottabad. On the way along with tall majestic pine trees you come across groups of monkeys. The major place on the way is Kalapani at 23 km from Abbottabad. It has a beautiful local dark bungalow. Hule Ka Danna is about two kilometres north of Thandiani. It is one of the most beautiful glades in the region.
Thandiani offers lush green lovely views. At night the lights of Hazara District and Azad Kashmir are clearly visible. To the east beyond the Kunhar River, may be seen the snow covered mountain ranges of Kashmir, to the north and north-east, the mountains of Kohistan and Kaghan are sighted, to the north-west are snowy ranges of Swat and Chitral.


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