Rawalpindi If Islamabad
reflects the face of modern Pakistan, Rawalpindi is the traditional city
steeped in culture and history. The history of Rawalpindi takes us back to
the 18th century, when the city came under the Sikh rule. By the 1849 AD,
the city was under the British, whose imprints on Rawalpindi are still
visible. British turned Rawalpindi into a cantonment and today Rawalpindi
has a sizeable military presence of the Pakistan Army.
Not too far from Islamabad,
Rawalpindi makes a wonderful tourist destination. Rawalpindi is known for
its colonial-style buildings, rich cultural heritage and colorful bustling
bazaars. Though modernity has not made much inroad to this ancient city.
Walking through the bustling
bazaars of Rawalpindi is an exciting experience. You may come across a
number of items that you would like to shop. Rummaging thorough a maze of
shops and wares they sell is an ultimate high for a shopping enthusiast. You
can meander through the streets of the Raja Bazaar, which is the old bazaar
in Rawalpindi. Sadar Bazzaar, the new market is a different experience
altogether. If you have some idea about gold and silver jewellery, Sarafa
Bazaar is worth checking out.
The Liaquat Bagh is another
interesting tourist destination in Rawalpindi. Quite popular among tourists,
the Liaquat Bagh or Liaquat Garden is a fine picnic spot. The Bara Market
nearby is the favorite haunt of tourists traveling to Rawalpindi.
If it is scenic views that you
are looking forward to on your Rawalpindi tour, head to Shakar Parian Hill.
The other tourist places that present scenic views are Murree and Nathiagali.
These places are also a serve as the excellent summer-escapes from the heat
and dust of Rawalpindi, when the mercury heads northwards during summer.
The other places of tourist
attraction in Rawalpindi are Lal Haveli, which is located near the Purana
Quilla. A leisurely stroll down the Thandi Sarak or the Mall as it is known
is a wonderful experience.
If archaeology is your cup of
tea, you can travel to archaeological sites of Gir and Jaulian. Taxila, some
56 kilometers from Islamabad is another historical site associated with the
The materiel remained found on the site of the city of
Rawalpindi prove the existence of a Buddhist establishment contemporary to
Taxila but less celebrated than its neighbor does. It appears that the
Ancient city went into oblivation as a result of the Hun devastation. The
first Muslim endeavor, Mahmood of Ghasni (979-1030 AD) gifted the ruined
city to a Ghakkar Chief, Kai Gohar. The town, however being on indavours
route, could not prosper and remain deserted until Jahanda Khan, another
Ghakkar Chief, resorted it and gave the name of Rawalpindi after the village
Rawal in 1943 AD. Rawalpindi remained under the rule of Ghakkars till Muqrab
Khan, the last Ghakkar rullar, was defeated by Sikhs in 1765 AD. Sikhs
invited traders from other places to settle here. This brought the city into
prominence. Sikhs lost the city to British Army and they established a
cantonment south of the old city. In 1879 , the Punjab northern Railway was
extended to Rawalpindi but the train service was formally inaugurated on
January 01, 1886.
Over the years, Rawalpindi has retained its traditional flavor. However some
modern residential areas and buildings have come up all over the town since
the creation of Pakistan. Pakistanís new capital, Islamabad, being the twin
city of Rawalpindi, equally shares the same archaeological and history
connected with Rawalpindi
and rest of the country by rail and road. Islamabad International airport
has air linkage to all over the country as well as all over the world.