The One too Many Attractions of Islamabad


A reflection of Maragalla Hills from a small pond in F-9 Park, Islamabad Photo Courtesy: Mustafa Hashmi

Islamabad in Pakistan is mostly famous for its Margalla Hills and a milder climate compared with the rest of the cities. The non-residents of the capital consider it a tourist spot due to its greenery and harmony. Following are the main attractions of the city which no one must miss.

Saidpur Village

Hidden between the Margalla Hills near Daman-e-Koh, Saidpur Village takes you back to the Mughal era. There is a samadhi (Sikh place of worship) and a mandir (Hindu temple) which has been tastefully renovated. There are dhabba style restaurants presenting Pakistani food with a choice to dine inside or outdoor on chorpoys.

Saidpur Village Source: Irfan Ahmed/Flickr
Renovated samadhi which now serves as a museum

Pakistan Monument, Islamabad

Situated on the hills of Shakarparian in the capital, the monument is a national symbol of unity with the blooming flower structure, the inner side of the petals decorated with friezes of national landmarks and personalities. From the terrace of the monument, one can view the landscape of the city which looks very beautiful when viewed at night.

Pakistan Monument Shakarpuryan Islamabad Source: Farhan Chawla / Flickr



A view of a portion of the museum from the first floor

Daman-e-Koh, Islamabad

It is a spot situated at the heart of the Margalla Hills from where one can view the whole of Islamabad along with the revered Faisal Mosque. The place is also called Monal due to a restaurant from where one can have a view along with the food. But both the spots are situated at different locations. On way to the top, one can see monkeys being friendly in order to grab a snack. The place looks completely majestic after fresh rain.

A family giving treats to monkeys


View of Faisal Mosque hidden behind the smog. And the road leading to Daman-e-Koh

Rawal Lake, Islamabad  

The lake reservoir provides water needs for the twin cities of Islamabad and Rawalpindi and was created artificially. The area around the lake has been beautifully developed with seasonal plantations and parks for picnics. The place is abuzz with activity during the weekend and quiet over the weekdays. Some water sport activities are also enjoyed by the visitors like boating and water skating.

Rawal Lake, Islamabad, Pakistan Source: Babur Rasheed

Extended view of the lake

Shahdra Picnic Spot

Shahdra is a beautiful and peaceful small valley almost opposite the Rawal lake, mostly famous for its running stream which is one of the contributors to the Rawal lake. The place is a picnic spot for youngsters and families who come and spend quality time near the lake. Pakoras and chicken karahi can be ordered at the spot from one of the local mini restaurants. Once hidden, this secret place now attracts many tourists in the right season when the stream is gushing. Most of the visitors here are from the twin cities of Islamabad and Rawalpindi.

Tables and chairs organized by the private restaurants for entertainment and business. Dhabha style tea is a must-have here.

Some of the pictures have been captured by the author of this article.




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