Lok Virsa (Nation Institute of Folk Heritage), established in 1974 is a specialized organization with a mandate for field research, collection, cultural studies, oral traditions, folklore indigenous cultural heritage and traditional culture.
This is the most popular hiking trail of Margalla Hills which is well marked and properly maintained. Trail head is located opposite Sector F-6 on Margalla Road and a dedicated parking area is available at that point. Due to proximity of various embassies, the trail is frequently visited by foreigners. Initial ascent of trail is steep and it takes almost an hour of moderate hike to reach the ‘Viewpoint.’ Viewpoint offers great sights of Islamabad and almost all major buildings,
Japanese Park is beautiful picnic spot located on Pir Sohawa Road, Near Islamabad Zoo Pakistan. This park was gifted by Japan in December 30, 1985 for Pakistani children’s. Japanese Park is beautiful park having variety of food courts and lots of fun activities for the children just like (swings, monkey bars, slides, etc) for the visitors.
Bari Imam (1617–1705), whose real name was Shah Abdul Latif Kazmi, was born in 1026 Hijra (1617 AD) in Chakwal. His father, Syed Mehmood Shah, shifted his family from Chakwal District(Village Karsal) to Baghan village, presently called Aabpara. At that time, it was a barren land. Soon after the arrival of Bari Imam’s family, his father started farming and also kept some animals.
This trail starts from an appropriately marked parking area at the start of Pir Sohawa Road. It is looping around the local mountain village called ‘Dhok Jeevan’ with the same start and finish point. Trail-4 is linked laterally with Trail-6 through a well marked path. Depending upon the preference, hiking on Trail-4 can also be finished at the start point of Trail-6 located in the rear of Faisal Mosque.
Lotus Lake, a small poll with lotus flower, Surrounded by lush green trees, covered with lotus plants and flowers, walkways and flowering trees in just past Lok Virsa, on the right.
The East and West viewpoint in Shakarparian Park, on a low hill between Islamabad and Rawalpindi, offer the most photogenic view of Islamabad and the Margalla Hills behind. You can get there either from the road to the airport, about one kilometres (half a mile) from Zero Point, or by turning south at the traffic lights at Aabpara Market. An interesting round trip combines a tour Shakarparian Park with a visit Lok virsa, the institute of Folk and Traditional Heritage.
Trail-5 or the Dera Janglan Trail is also quite popular. Earlier it was not open for the general public due to security concerns but can now be used. The start point is located few hundred metres ahead of Trail-3 opposite to Sector F-5 on Margalla Road and it leads up to Pir Sohawa Road. This trail has about three sub-trails and is also linked with the adjacent Trail-3. At the start point, presence of a seasonal water stream makes it a popular picnic spot for families.
Fatima Jinnah Park, also known as F-9 Park, is a public recreational park situated within the F-9 sector of Islamabad, Pakistan. The park is one of the largest covered areas in Pakistan. It is named after Fatima Jinnah, the younger sister of Muhammad Ali Jinnah, the founder of Pakistan. The park's builder, Michael Japero, took five years to design it.
Trail-6 or the Chak Jabbi Trail is one of the latest trails that has officially been recognized and made available to general public after necessary works. Trail head is located at the rear of Faisal Mosque near car parking. It is about 4km long and leads up to Village Jabbi. This trail gradually gains height and passes through thick jungle. After about half an hour from the start point, it takes you to a beautiful water spring with date and palm trees around it.
Pakistan Sports Board was established under the Ministry of Education through the Sports (Development and Control) Ordinance, 1962 as a corporate body for the purposes of
The Daman-e-Koh Viewpoint (2400 ft from sea level and 500ft from the city Islamabad), perched halfway up the Margalla Hills, gives the best bird’s-eye view south over Islamabad. To get there drive or walk up from the northern end of 7th Avenue. It is a ten-minute drive or 45 minute walk. There are crowds on Saturday and Sunday. The viewpoint Park is laid out with picnic areas, paths, gardens, viewing points and terraces.
Saidpur Village lies at the foothills of Margalla Hills. Following the stream, you’ll enter the valley. Saidpur trail starts from Saidpur Village and the trail will lead you to Monal Restaurant. Yet if you feel energized enough you can use the track of trail 3 to make your journey back to the hustle life of the capital city. Saidpur trail is not much used by the outsiders, but only the local residents.
Pir Sohawa is a highland picturesque rural sight, at an altitude of 5000 feet (1524 meters) ana a rapidly developing tourist resort located 17 kilometers (11 miles), located near Islamabad (the capital of Pakistan) on top of Margalla Hills. Many people think
The Pakistan Monument is a national monument and heritage museum located on the Shakarparian Hills in Islamabad, Pakistan, aimed to symbolise national unity. The complex covers an area of 2.8 hectares and is a popular picnic destination. Pakistan Monuments Museum has been set up the west of Shakarparian Hills, Islamabad to pay homage to all those who sacrificed their today for a better tomorrow.
Islamabad Zoo was established in 1978 as a refuge for leopards, spotted deer, and Indian gazelle found in the region. It’s a very popular public park located near Pir Sohawa Road, Islamabad, Pakistan. Family bring their children to enjoy the view of various
Margalla Hills National Park (MHNP) is a national park located on the north of the Islamabad City, within the Islamabad Capital Territory in Pakistan. The park includes the Margalla Hills which form's the foothills of the Himalayas, along with Shakarparian Park and Rawal Lake. Established in 1980, MHNP covers approximately 17,386 hectares (67.13 sq mi), Tilla Charouni with a height of 1,604m is tallest peak in the park.MHNP is a popular tourist destination, with Daman-e-Koh and Pir Sohawa serve as popular hill stations, while Shakarparian Cultutal Complex and Lake View Park are popular picnic spots.
Saidpur is a Mughal-era village on the slopes of the Margalla Hills. Saidpur Village is less than One kilometres (half a mile) from Margalla Hills Road opposite sector F-6, Near Daman-e-Koh Viewpoint. The village has the footprints of various civilizations, including Gandhara, Greek, Buddhist, Mughal, Ashoka and the colonial periods, and now serving as a popular recreational spot for both local and foreign visitors.
Altit Fort is an ancient fort at Altit town in the Hunza valley in Gilgit Baltistan, Pakistan. It was originally home to the hereditary rulers of the Hunza state who carried the title Mir, although they moved to the somewhat younger Baltit fort nearby three centuries later.
Altit Fort and in particular the Shikari tower is around 1100 years old, which makes it the oldest monument in the Gilgit–Baltistan.
The word Altit means this side down and the area around the fort is inhabited by Burusho people. The people of Altit are said to belong to the white Huns, although not much research has gone into the matter. There are several theories about their origin but local indigenous origin holds much value among the people. It is also said that the present language Bruchiski was brought here by the white Huns in 47 A.D but there is no link between burushaski and any other language of today. According to the legend the first name for Altit village was Hunukushal, meaning the village of Huns. The Huns came from the Huang-Ho valley in China. The name later changed to Broshal, translated as a village of Bruchiski speakers. They were spirit worshipers as Shamanism was in practice and also followed Buddhism and Hinduism. In the 15th century Islam was introduced. Around 1830 in turn many converted to Ismailism.
The Altit Fort was in great disrepair, but has recently been restored by the Aga Khan Trust for Culture Historic Cities Support Programme and the Government of Norway. It is characterized by small rooms and low portals with exquisite wood carvings. Japan has contributed to the renovation of the surrounding old village. Altit Fort is a tourist site which has been open to the public since 2007.
Lake View Park (also known as Rawal Lake View Point or Rawal Lake Promenade) is a recreational area and wildlife park located near Village Malpur Rawal Lake, on Murree Road in Islamabad, Capital Territory, Pakistan. It runs under the administration of Capital Development Authority. Lake View Park (also called Rawal Lake Park) is situated on Murree-Islamabad Highway. While traveling from Islamabad to Murree a road turns right just before Barakahu and leads to this beautiful park.
The township of Golra is situated at the foot of the Margalla Hills at a distance of about 11 miles form Rawalpindi city and to reach it take the Peshawar Road from Zero Point and turn right after 11 koilmetres (Seven miles) at the second roundabout the shrine is at the end of the road, close to the margalla Hills, in the centre of sector E-11 Islamabad , Federal Capital of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan.
Baltit Fort is an ancient fort in the Hunza valley in Gilgit-Baltistan, Pakistan. Founded in the 1st CE, it has been on the UNESCO World Heritage Tentative list since 2004. In the past, the survival of the feudal regime of Hunza was ensured by the impressive fort, which overlooks Karimabad.
The foundations of the fort date back to 700 years ago, with rebuilds and alterations over the centuries. In the 16th century the local prince married a princess from Baltistan who brought master Balti craftsmen to renovate the building as part of her dowry.
The Mirs of Hunza abandoned the fort in 1945, and moved to a new palace down the hill. The fort started to decay which caused concern that it might possibly fall into ruin. Following a survey by the Royal Geographical Society of London a restoration programme was initiated and supported by the Aga Khan Trust for Culture Historic Cities Support Programme. The programme was completed in 1996 and the fort is now a museum run by the Baltit Heritage Trust.
In the past several small independent states formed part of the history of the Northern Areas of Pakistan. Among them Hunza and Nager were traditional rival states, situated on opposite sides of the Hunza (Kanjut) river. The rulers of these two states,Mirs known as Thum (also Tham, Thom or Thámo), built various strongholds to consolidate their power. According to historical sources, the Hunza rulers initially resided in nearby Altit Fort, but after a conflict between the two sons of the ruler Sultan, Shah Abbas (Shάboos) and Ali Khan (Aliqhάn), Shaboos moved to Baltit Fort, making it the capital seat of Hunza. The power struggle between the two brothers eventually resulted in the death of younger one, and so Baltit Fort became the prime seat of power in the Hunza state.
Ayasho II, Thum/Mir of Hunza in the early 15th fifteenth century married Princess Shah Khatoon (Sha Qhatun) from Baltistan (inMoghul history Baltistan is called Tibet Khurd, which means Little Tibet), and was the first to modify the face of Altit and, subsequently Baltit Fort. Baltistan had a very strong cultural and ethnical relation with the Ladakh territory to the east. Not surprisingly, the structure of Baltit Fort was influenced by Ladakhi/Tibetan architecture, with some resemblance to the Potala Palace in Lhasa. Then additions, renovations and changes to the building were being made through the centuries by a long line of following rulers of Hunza.
Home of many ancient forts, the Northern Areas of Pakistan lost some of its heritage around the 19th century as a result of attacks by the Maharaja of Kashmir. However, one of the biggest changes in the structure of the Baltit Fort came with the invasion of the British in December 1891. Safdarali Khan, ruler of Hunza and his wazir Dadu (Thara Baig III), fled to befriended Kashgar (China) to seek 'political asylum' with their fellows and families. With the conquest of Hunza and Nager states the fortified wall and watch towers of the old Baltit village and watch towers of the Baltit Fort on its north-western end were demolished as required by the British. They installed his younger brother, Sir Muhammad Nazim Khan K.C.I.E, as the ruler of Hunza state in September 1892.
During his reign, Nazeem Khan made several major alterations to the Baltit Fort. He demolished a number of rooms of third floor and added a few rooms in the British colonial style on the front elevation, using lime wash and colour glass panel windows.
Baltit Fort remained officially inhabited until 1945, when the last ruler of Hunza, Mir Muhammad Jamal Khan, moved to a new palatial house further down the hill, where the present Mir of Hunza, Mir Ghazanfar Ali Khan, and his family are still residing.
With no proper authority entrusted the Fort was exposed to the ravages of time and over the years its structure weakened and began to deteriorate. His Highness Aga Khan IV initiated the restoration efforts for Baltit Fort in 1990, when Mir Ghazanfar Ali Khan and his family generously transferred the Fort to the Baltit Heritage Trust, a public charity formed for the explicit purpose of owning and maintaining the Fort. The restoration undertaken by the Aga Khan Trust for Culture in Geneva in association with the Aga Khan Cultural Service Pakistan (Pakistan), took six years to complete. The project was supported by the Aga Khan Trust for Culture as the main donor through its Historic Cities Support Programme, as well as by the Getty Grant Program (USA), the Norwegian Agency for Development Cooperation and the French Government.
The restored Fort, resplendent in its formal regal glory, was inaugurated on September 29, 1996 in the presence of His Highness the Aga Khan IV and the president of Pakistan Farooq Ahmad Khan Laghari. It is now operated and maintained by the Baltit Heritage Trust and is open to visitors. The Baltit Fort serves as a good example of culture restored and preserved for future generations.
It starts behind Sectors E-8 and E-9 and consists of three interlinked sub-trails. Easiest way to the trail head is by reaching village Kalinger from the junction of Agha Shahi Avenue and National Defence University. Hiking can be commenced from a small mazar complex in village Kalinger. Initially the trail moves along a water stream that leads into the mountains. Unlike other officially recognized trails, this is not marked well and it takes considerable effort to explore the path.
Golra Sharif Junction railway station is located on Golra road in Islamabad, The federal capital of the Pakistan. There is also Golra Sharif Railway Museum at this station. The station lies on the main line of the Pakistan Railways which connects the rest of the country in the south and Peshawar in the north. More than 20 trains pass through this station every day.
The Hunza is a mountainous valley in the Gilgit–Baltistan region of Pakistan. The Hunza is situated in the extreme northern part of Pakistan. Hunza was formerly a princely state bordering Uyghurstan also called Xinjiang
(autonomous region of China) to the northeast and Pamir to the northwest, which survived until 1974, when it was finally dissolved by Zulfikar Ali Bhutto. The state bordered the Gilgit Agency to the south and the former princely state of Nagar to the east. The state capital was the town of Baltit (also known as Karimabad); another old settlement is Ganish Village. Hunza was an independent principality for more than 900 years. The British gained control of Hunza and the neighbouring valley of Nagar between 1889 and 1892 through a military conquest. The then Mir/Tham (ruler) Mir Safdar Ali Khan of Hunza fled to Kashghar in China and sought what would now be called political asylum.
An account wrote by John Bidulf in his book 'Tribes of Hindukush'
The ruling family of Hunza is called Ayeshe (heavenly). The two states of Hunza and Nagar were formerly one, ruled by a branch of the Shahreis, the ruling family of Gilgit, whose seat of government was Nager. First muslim came to Hunza-Nagar Valley some 1000 years (At the time of Imam Islām Shāh 30th Imam Ismaili Muslims). After the introduction of Islam to Gilgit, married a daughter of Trakhan of Gilgit, who bore him twin sons, named Moghlot and Girkis. From the former the present ruling family of Nager is descended. The twins are said to have shown hostility to one another from birth. Thereupon their father, unable to settle the question of succession, divided his state between them, giving Girkis the north/west, and to Moghlot the south/east bank of the river.
The traditional name for the ruler or Prince in Hunza was Tham (also Thom or Thum), which is also a respectful greeting used by the people of both Hunza and Nager who belong to the clan of Boorish. The Shin use the term Yeshkun for the Boorish.
Both Thams are also addressed as Soori, a title of respect. This appears to be the same [in meaning] as Sri, commonly prefixed to the names of Hindu princes in India, to denote their honour and prosperity. The Tham's wives are styled ghenish which is almost identical with the original Sanskrit word for mother, and their sons are calledgushpoor.
In 2010, a landslide blocked the river and created Attabad Lake, which threatened 15,000 people in the valley below and has effectively blocked 27 km of the Karakoram Highway.
The first seat of power of the formerly Hunza State was Altit. Later it shifted to Baltit (modern-day Karimabad). Until the fall of princely state in 1974, Baltit served as political center of Hunza and hence its capital. Today, Baltit is one of the major tourist destinations in Hunza. The center of activities has however shifted to the nearby Aliabad, which is a commercial hub in the region and has most of the governmental infrastructure.
The Photo Gallery
The Video Link
Among all the six officially recognized trails, Trail-2 leading up to Damn-e-Koh is the shortest. It has two distinct trail heads. First is located at a narrow dirt track astride Marghazar Zoo. Alternately, a well-marked trail head is present at the start of Pir Sohawa Road, short of Trail-4 parking area. No matter which starting point is chosen, trails subsequently merge mid-way and lead to the finish point at Damn-e-Koh.
The main drive through the park takes you to a junction. Turn left to pass a huge modern sculpture of a star and crescent, and right a little further on for the Rose and Jasmine Garden, where the annual flower and rose shoes are held in spring. This road leads past the camping site to Murree Road, near Aabpara Market. The road straight on by the star and crescent passes close to the Friendship Sports Stadium.