Rawalpindi is also known as Pindi, is a city in the Pothohar region of Pakistan near the country’s capital city of Islamabad, in the province of Punjab. According to population Rawalpindi is the fourth largest city in Pakistan after Karachi, Lahore and Faisalabad.
The twin cities of Rawalpindi and Islamabad lie against the backdrop of Maragallah Hills on the Potohar plateau. On the basis of archeological discoveries, archaeological believe that a distinct culture flourished on this plateau as far back as 300,000 years.
Over the years, Rawalpindi has retained its traditional flavor. However, some modern residential area 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 archeological and historical background. Rawalpindi Tehsil District and Division Punjab Province of Pakistan
|Rawalpindi Arts Consil|
The Old city and Bazaars
The Bazaars of the old city offers 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 Bokhra carpets. You can go shopping for these items at handicraft and carpet shops in Saddar bazaar, especially around Flash man’s hotel and Rawalpindi Club building on the Mall. Rawalpindi Tehsil District and Division Punjab Province of Pakistan
Liquat Memorial Hall Garden
This hall was build in memory of the late Liaquat Ali Khan, the first Prime Minister of Pakistan. 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. Two former Prime Minister (Liaquat Ali Khan & Benazir Bhutto) was murdered in Liaqat Bagh Rawalpindi. Rawalpindi Tehsil District and Division Punjab Province of Pakistan
Ayub National Park
Ayub National Park is located beyond the old Presidency on Grand Trunk (GT) Road. It covers an area of about 2,300 acres and has a play land lake with boating facility, an aquarium, a garden-restaurant and an open air theater.
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 whole course. After several phases of development, it is now converted into a 27 whole course. The successive Presidents of Pakistan are patronizing the club. From the elegant clubhouse, one can have a wonderful panorama of Faisal Mosque, the twin cities of Islamabad and Rawalpindi and the golf course itself. Major national golf tournaments are held are regularly.
Rawalpindi public Park and Pindi Cricket Stadium
Rawalpindi Public Park is located on Muree 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 1996 world cup cricket matches were held on this Pindi cricket ground. The stadium is equipped with all modern facilities.
Rawat Fort is located 17 km east of Rawalpindi, on the Grand Trunk (GT), Road leading to Lahore. Gakkhars, fiercely independent tribe of the Potohar plateau build the fort, 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 insides the tomb, one may get a panoramic view of plateau and the mankiala stupa.
This fort is about 40 km from Rawalpindi beyond Lehtrar road. A Gakkhar ruler, Sultan Kai Gohar, on the ruins of a 10th century Hindi shahi Fort built in 15 th century. Emperor Babar conquered the fort in 1519 A.D Later, in 1825; Sikhs expelled Gakkhars 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 Pakistan visitors.
Archeaeological & Historical Sites
Hasan Abdal & Gurdwara Punjab Sahib
Hasan Abdal is 48 km from Rawalpindi. It is a beautiful, quiet place and a convenient halting point on G.T road en route 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 the4ir way to Kashmir. It remained a holy place for various religious groups through the ages. It has Sikh gurdwara (temple) known as Panja Sahib having a scared rock with the hand print.
Once a major campsite of Mughal rulers, wah gardens are located 12 km west of Taxila on GT Road. The gardens were developed with magnificent trees and water channels by successive Mughal emperors, tapering cypress trees, loved by the Mughals, lines canals through which cool waters once flowed between elegant romantic pavilions and cascading into large reflecting basins. The gardens are being restored to their original beauty, by the Department of Archaeology, government of Pakistan.
The modern town of Taxila is 35 km from Islamabad. Most of the archaeological sites of Taxila (600 BC to 500 AD) are located around Taxila Museum. For over one thousand years, Taxila remained famous as a centre of learning gandhara art of sculpture, architecture, education and Buddhism in the days of Buddhist glory. There are over 50 archaeological sites scattered in a radius of 30 km around Taxila. Some of the most important sites are Dhamarajika Stupa and Monastery (300 BC 200 AD), Bhir Mound (600-200 BC), sirkap (200 -600 AD), Jandial Temple (c 250 BC) and Jaulian Monastery (200 – 600 AD).
A museum comprising various sections with rich archeological finds of Taxila, arranged in chronological order and property labeled has been established close to the site. It is one of the best and well-maintained site museums of Pakistan. The museum remains closed on the first Monday of every month and on Muslim religious holidays.
It is one & a half hour drive to Murree from Islamabad via the 55 km well carpeted winding road. Murree, known as the Queen of Hills, is 2413 meters high. Beyond Murree, the hills resorts of Ayubia, Khairagali, bhurban Patriata, Dongagli and Nathiagali also offer cool respite from the torrid heat of plains. Perhaps, the most sought out is the beautiful Nathiagali, 32 km from Murree and perched 2501 meters high. Ayubia, 29 km from Muree, is famous for its chairlift. Bhurban, which is 9 km from Murree, is known for its nine whole golf courses, panoramic view of the forested hills around and a 5 star hotel.
It is 15 souths east of Murree. It can be approached from Islamabad via the busier but better Muree Road through Lower topa and gulehra Gali or via Bhara Kahu, Karor and Ban (for light vehicles only). The resort has been developed on a virgin site at Patriata Ridge at 2,223 meters, the highest point in Punjab province. It offers a breathtaking view of high forested ridges and deep intersecting valleys with terraced slopes. The climate remains remarkably cool and pleasant in summer and temperature rarely goes above overage high of 26 C. the resort is equipped with the dual chairlift and cable car system from Gulehra Gali to Patriata Ridge for total distance of 3.1 km. the gondola cable cars first of its kind in Pakistan, give an all round panoramic view of the valley. There are hotel and restaurant facilities available at the top.
It is 91/2 km from Murree. Bhurban has a first class hotels mini Golf course amongst the hills which attracts a large number of enthusiasts. One of the major golf tournaments is held here. There is a golf club and a rest house.
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