Islamabad is the capital of Pakistan and the ninth-largest city in this country. Its name literally means ‘the city of Islam’. The early history of this city dates back to Indus Valley Civilization and even Stone Age, as per the archaeological excavations in this region. However, the modern Islamabad was designed by the Greek architect C.A. Doxiadis, after which the capital was shifted from Karachi in 1966. Many cultural landmarks and parks are built in this city, which is now considered a prime tourist attraction.
1 Top landmarks of Islamabad
This mosque is situated at the base of Margalla Hills in Islamabad. It is known to be the 6th largest mosque in the world. It is named after Saudi Arabian King Faisal bin Abdulaziz Al Saud, who donated $28 million for the construction of this mosque in 1976. The architectural design of this mosque resembles a Bedouin desert tent, in the form of an octagonal concrete body with four minarets at its four corners.
This is a national monument that was built as a symbol of the unity of the Pakistani people, dedicated to people who sacrificed their lives for this country. This monument inaugurated on 23rd March 2007 is located on the western part of Shakarparian Hills in Islamabad. It is designed as a group of 4 large petals and 3 smaller petals, each petal representing a distinct culture of Pakistan and together protecting the crescent and stars of the Pakistani flag. It also has a heritage museum connected by a piazza called Freedom Plaza to this monument.
It is a hilltop garden in Margalla Hills, 500 feet to the north of Islamabad. It is a popular tourist destination, due to the viewpoint of Pir Sohawa at a higher level on the mountain top. People can have a wonderful view of Islamabad from the southern part of this place. It was in the news due to the air crash of Airblue Flight 202 on 28th July 2010.
It is also known as the Heritage Museum, displaying the local history and culture. It was opened for the public in 1974, on Shakarparian Hills in Islamabad. The entire museum complex comprises several buildings over an area of 60000 square feet. Different kinds of local costumes, jewellery pieces, sculptures made of wood, metal, ivory, and bones, frescoes; architectural features of marble, mosaic, and tiles.
2 Top parks in Islamabad
Shakarparian National Park – This huge park on Shakarparian Hills is close to Zero Point Interchange, which is a cloverleaf intersection of three main highways in Islamabad. It has a large parade ground that is famous for the National Day Parade on 23rd March every year. This place is also a tourist attraction due to the presence of the Pakistani Monument at the base of this hill.
Kachnar Park – This beautiful park is located in the southern part of Islamabad. It is named after a kachnar tree, which was brought from Kashmir and highly adored for its edible buds. It is also a 2.6-mile walking route at a height of 78.7 feet above sea level.
Fatima Jinnah Park – This vast park spread over an area of 304 hectares is named after Fatima Jinnah, the political leader nicknamed Madar e-Millat and the younger sister of Muhammad Ali Jinnah. It was designed by Michael Japero and inaugurated in 1992. A wildlife sanctuary occupies a major part of this park, bounded by steel fences.
Marghazar Park – This place is now renamed Islamabad Zoo and managed by Islamabad Wildlife Management Board as per the directive of the local High Court. This zoo was opened in 1978 at the base of Margalla Hills. It provides shelter to many leopards, lions, Indian gazelles, spotted deer, and several other animals. An aviary is also there to protect many species of birds.
Rose and Jasmine Garden – This garden spreads over an area of 20360 square metres in Islamabad. It is known to contain more than 250 varieties of roses and 12 varieties of jasmine. Flower shows are organised here during the spring when many other types of flowers also bloom in this garden. Tourists can also enjoy camping near this park.
Lake View Park – This wildlife park is also known as Rawal Lake Promenade or Rawal Lake View Point. It is also an amusement park situated very close to Rawal Lake in Village Malpur, which is located on Murree Road in Islamabad. It is famous for housing the largest birdcage in Pakistan.
Therefore, a tour to Islamabad can be enjoyable for tourists who choose this city to spend their vacations.