The twin cities
of Rawalpindi and Islamabad lie against the backdrop of Margalla Hills
on the Potohar plateau. On the basis of archaeological discoveries,
archaeologists believe that a distinct culture flourished on this
plateau as far back as 3,000 years.
The material remains found on the
site of the city of Rawalpindi prove the existance of a Buddhist
establishment contemporary to Taxila but less celebrated than its
neighbour. It appears that the ancient city went into oblivion as a
result of the Hun devastation. The first Muslim invader, Mahmood 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
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 defeeated 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 become
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 01, 1886.
Over the years, Rawalpindi has
retained its traditional flavor. 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
Old City and Bazaars
The bazaars of the old
city offer exciting bargains. You can leisurely browse in the quaint old
shops in Saddar bazaar, Moti bazaar, Raja bazaar and Kashmiri bazaar
while Sarafa bazaar is famous for beaten gold and silver jewellery,
brass and copper-ware.
Rawalpindi specializes in handicrafts
such as inlaid sheesham and walnut furniture, Kashmiri shawls and
jackets, embroidered and woolen 'Kurtas' and household linen, Potohar
Jooties and Chappals (slippers), cane baskets and furniture, walking
sticks and hand-woven Kashmiri and Bokhara carpets. You can go shopping
for these items at handicraft and carpet shops in Saddar bazeer,
especially around Flashman's Hotel and Rawalpindi Club building on the
Liaquat Memorial Hall and
This hall was built in memory of late
Mr. Liaquat Ali Khan the first Prime Minister of Pakkistan. It has a
large auditorium and library. Art exhibitions, cultural shows and stage
plays are performed here frequently. A well-laid garden with sports
facilities and children's park has been developed near the hall.
Ayub National park
Ayub National park is located beyond
the old presidency on Jehlum Road. It covers an area of about 2,300
acres and has a playland, lake with boating facility, an aquarium and a
Rawalpindi Golf Course
Situated near Ayub National Park,
Rawalpindi Golf Course was completed in 1926 by Rawalpindi Golf Club,
one of the oldest golf 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. The club is being patronized by the successive Presidents of
Rawalpindi Public Park and
Rawalpindi Public Park is located on
Murree Road near Shamsabad. The Park was opened for public in 1991. It
has a play-land for for children, grassy lawns, fountains and flower
beds. A cricket stadium was built in 1992 just opposite the Public Park.
The 1992 World Cup Cricket matches were held on this cricket ground. The
stadium is equipped with all modern facilities.
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. The master plan of
this most modern was presented in 1960 by M/S Constantinos Doxxiades, 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.
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 are situated near
Zero Point, at a height of 6009 meters. Its terraced garden offers
pleasant and sweeping vistas of Margalla and Murree hills, Rawal Lake,
Rawalpindi and Islamabad. Snack Bar facilities are available.
This glistening man-made lake 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 Damen-eKoh, offers
panoramic view of Islamabad. Snack bar facilities are available here.
The place is ideal for afternoon and avaning outing with family and