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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 bougainvillea fill the many parks, and scenic viewpoints 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 network of trails having more then 120 kms total length has been developed.

The urban area is divided into eight zones: administrative, diplomatic, residential, institutional, industrial, commercial, greenbelt, and a national park that includes an Olympic village and gardens and dairy, poultry, and vegetable farms, as well as such as the Atomic Research Institute and the National Health Center. The name Islamabad (City of Islam, or City of Peace) was chosen the reflect the country's ideology.

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About Islamabad:
Images of Islamabad
Art Galleries in Islamabad

National Parks:
Margalla Hills National Park
Ayubia National Park

Lok Virsa Museum
Pakistan Museum of Natural History
Islamabad Museum

Nearby Destinations:
Muree and Galiyat

Photo Gallery
Faisal Mosque
Supreme Court of Pakistan
View from Margalla Hills
Presidency & Parliament House
Rose & Jasmine Garden
View of Rawal Dam
Art Galleries
National Art Gallery
#77, Street 48, F-7/4, Islamabad
Phone :
Nomand Art Gallery
First Floor, Block 13-P, F-7 Markaz, Islamabad
Phone :
Rohtas Art Gallery
4-B, Street 62, F-7/4, Islamabad
Phone :
Art Gallery
Agha Khan, Road, F-6 Markaz, Islamabad
Phone :
#17, Street 83, G-6/4, Islamabad
Phone :
Margalla Hills National Park
Location North East of the national capital Islamabad
Activities/Interest Wild Life, Nature, Ecotour, Education, Picnic
Accessibility Road

Margalla Hills National Park, is located in the foothills of the Himalayan range. This park is the most accessible park in Pakistan due to its close proximity to the national capital, Islamabad. It is an extention of the Islamabad wildlife sanctuary, which includes the Shakar Parian Hills and the Rawal Lake. The park was setup to provide refugee to the Gray Goral, Barking deer and the Leopard, which is found in this area in winters. Protection to these animals have benefitted other unusual and interesting smaller animal as well. Margalla Hills Park provides an excellent opportunity for bird watching. A Cheer Pheasant hatchery has been established at Chak Jabri to raise captive Cheer pheasants that have become extinct in the hills. These are then released in the wild.

Mammals in the park include Asiatic leopard, Wild boar, Jackal, Rhesus Macaque, Leopard cat, Gray Goral sheep, Barking deer, Chinkara gazelle(rare), Red fox, Pangolin, Porcupine, Yellow throated marten and Fruit bats.
Birds in the park are Griffon vulture, Laggar falcon, Peregrine falcon, Kestrel, Indian sparrow hawk, Egyptian vulture, White cheeked bulbul, yellow vented bulbul, Paradise flycatcher, Black partridge, Cheer pheasant, Khalij pheasant, Golden oriole, Spotted dove, Collared dove, Larks, Shrikes, Wheatears and buntings.
Reptiles in the park are Russells viper, Indian cobra and Saw scaled viper.

Ayubia National Park
Location North of Murree in the Himalayan range mountains
Activities/Interest Wild Life, Nature, Ecotour, Education
Accessibility Road

Ayubia National Park is a small national park in the Murree hills. This park provides refuge to the elusive leopard and the black bear. Bird watching is excellent here. The scenery is superb with huge pine forests covering the hills and providing shelter to the larger and smaller mammals.

Mammals in the park include Asiatic leopard, Black bear, Yellow throated marten, Kashmir hill fox, Red Flying squirrel, Himalayan palm civet, Masked civet and Rhesus Macaque.
Birds in the park are Golden eagle, Griffon vulture, Honey buzzard, Peregrine falcon, Kestrel, Indian sparrow hawk, Hill pigeon, Spotted dove and Collared dove.

Lok Virsa Museum
Location At Rawalpindi-Islamabad Highway on the lush green site of Shakarparian
Display Folk and Cultural Heritage

The Lok Virsa (National institute of folk and traditional Heritage) is charged with the preservation of folk and traditional culture of Pakistan. Visitors to the museum can see at first the crafts from far-flung areas arranged and displayed according to motif, area and use. It has a large display of embroided costumes, jewelry, woodwork, metalwork, blockprinting, ivory and bonework. Traditional archietecture facades exhibiting such skills as fresco, mirror work, marble inlay, tile mosaic and stucco tracery are also displayed
The biggest cultural event in spring each year in the federal capital is the Folk Festival of Pakistan held in the exhibition Hall at the Shakarparian complex. For one week visitors to the festival can see artisans and master craftsmen from different parts of Pakistan at work in aesthetically designed pavilions, creating the best examples of their craft. Some groups from remote regions charm the audience with traditional folk dances and music. Concerts of famous folk and classical singers are held each evening during the festival. The festival held in April each year. This is the only cultural gathering with that much diversity in Pakistan.
Lok Virsa Heritage Reference Library is equipped with resource data on ethnography, anthropology, folk music, art, history and crafts and contains over ten thousand books on Pakistani culture and the social sciences and field reports based on original research.
The Lok Virsa sound archive contains the single largest collection of recorded songs, ballads, epics and interviews pertaining to Pakistani culture.
The institute's Audio-visual section produces video films of customs, traditions and folk performances for video Archive.

Pakistan Museum of Natural History
Location Islamabad
Display Natural History.

The Museum depicts early human history, geology, and wildlife of Pakistan. The exhibits are particular interest to students and children.

Islamabad Museum
Location House No. 41, Street No. 3, Sector E-7, Islamabad
Display Archaeological

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.

Location 35.40 km from Rawalpindi.
Civilization Gandhara Civilization.


Taxila is the one of the famous archaeological site in the world. At sometime it was center of Buddhism, worlds famous Gandhara sculpture and the center of learning and culture.
At Taxila, you can see the great Buddha. His eyes gaze at you till you find yourself gripped by the feeling of awe. The other people you can meet at Taxila are Alexander of Macedonian, Asoka the famous Buddhist king and Kanishka. You'll find their imprints all over the place.In 327 BC Alexander conquered the Taxila which was Achaemenian Empire. Later it came under Mauryan dynasty and reached a great level of development under the rule of great Asoka.

The next step in the Taxila history was the indo-Greek descendents of the Alexander's warriors and the final period is called Gandhara. The great Kushan Dynasty was then established in 50 AD, and in these 200 years Taxila became the most renowned center for philosophy, art and learning. Taxila is the great attraction for the pilgrims and tourists from China and Greece. The final period of the Taxila in the fifth century AD when white Huns snuffed out the most successful and great Gandhara civilization of last several centuries.Taxila is the one of the famous archaeological site in the world. At sometime it was center of Buddhism, worlds famous Gandhara sculpture and the center of learning and culture.

Dharmarajika Stupa Texila
Archaelogical site near Texila
Exploring Taxila is a multi-dimensional experience. The richness and variety of the famed Gandhara sculpture will attract you. There are many images of Buddha, in stone and stucco and numerous panels depicting all the important stages of the great sage's life. Exquisitely 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 the items of collection. To find difference between the Greece-Roman counterparts and the Gandhara masterpieces will be a great challenge for you. To welcome you there are stone men and women who will receive you open armed in Taxila. Then there are three distinct cities, which are in very good state of preservation. With your imagination sided by the carved people who inhabit these cities, you will have little difficulty in picturing crowds on the well laid out streets, families in the spacious houses, priests in the towering stupas and royalty in the great palaces.
The earliest city of these is known as Bhir Mound. Which was established somewhere in sixth century BC, whose irregular streets, cramped houses and mediocre public buildings indicate its primitive origins. Then comes the Sirkap city which is on the opposite side of Tamara Stream, is much younger and it was built somewhere around 2nd century BC, and you'll find the difference between these cities because this one is well planed.
And as you will stroll down its 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 of wall, the long, straight and impressive main street, the Royal palace, an Apsidal Temple and the shrine of the double headed eagle. Sirsukh the most modern city of them was built by Kushan kings in first century AD. It is fully excavated as yet but it is clearly a well-fortified and well-laid out city. This city is patterned after Central Asian cities, and is complete with suburb.
In addition to these cities, there are many monasteries and stupas have been excavated all along the Taxila valley. Dharmarajika stupa, which is 2 miles from Taxila museum is a must see stupa. It comprises main building, a monastery area where the monk lived and a series of small chapels. A wealth of gold, silver coins, gems, jewelry and the other antiques were discovered at Dharmarajika.
Jaulian another marvelous complex of chapels, stupas, quadrangles, and a monastery with assembly hall, store rooms, refectory, kitchen and bathrooms. At five small stupas you will sea beautiful stucco relieves of Buddha and Bodhisattvas supported by rows of stone elephants and lions.
Two miles west of Jaulian is an other well-preserved monastery at Mohra Moradu. In one of the monk's cells here was found stupa with almost all the details intact. At Jandial, a mile-and-a-half from Sirsukh, is an image-less temple in the classic Greek style, with sandstone columns and cornices.
Attraction for climbers is Glen of Giri, which is about three-and-half miles from Dharmarajika stupa. Atop the highest peak of the 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 of the climb.
Visit to Taxila is a good worth of your money. To feel and understand the importance their full importance you'll have to visit Taxila by your self. The men 3000 years ago knew that what they are doing when they choose Taxila to built there cities here.
Muree and Galiyat
Location Hill station of northern Punjab in Rawalpindi district.
Elevation 2240 meters.
Weather All four seasons provides the visitors with the varied splendor of changing colors. Especially in winter you can enjoys the snowfall.
Tourist Season Round the year.
Activities/Interest Trekking, Hiking, Camping, Picnic, Childern Tours, Senior Tours, Golf

Murree can easily accessible from all parts of Pakistan through out the year. Murree 65 km from Rawalpindi and 45 km from Islamabad and transport is available throughout the year from all parts of Pakistan.

Murree is known as Malik-a-kohsar (Queen of mountains) Murree, at 2,240 meters (7,400 feet), is only an hour's drive northeast 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).

A Paradise view of Dungagali
PC Hotel at Bhurban
At the northeast end is Kashmir Point, with views across the valley of the Jhelum River into Azad Kashmir. At the southwest end is Pindi Point, looking back towards Rawalpindi and Islamabad. Between the two runs The Mall, at the center 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.

Places of Interest:

Bhurban is a minor resort eight kilometers (five miles) from Murree on the road-leading northeast 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.

Patriata is 25 km from Murree. The TDCP has developed a new tourist resort at Patriata. There is chairlift and cable car system, which takes visitor's upto 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.

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.

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

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

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