Pakistan’s most popular hill station Murree is located along Islamabad-Kohala highway N75, some 30 km (19 mi) northeast of Pakistan’s capital Islamabad in the Himalayan foothills at 33 54′ 30″ north latitude and 73 26 east longitude as they ascend to the northeast towards Kashmir. During British Rule in the nineteenth century, its altitude was established at 7,000 feet (2,100 m), but its actual altitude has now been determined as 2,300 m (7,500 ft) above sea level.
River Jehlum lies to the east of Tehsil Murree and separates it from Azad Kashmir, Abbottabad district lies to the North and north west of Murree, Islamabad, the national capital to the south west and sister tehsil Kotli Sattian of Rawalpindi district lies to the South.
Adjacent to Murree is the Galliat region of North West Frontier Province which includes Nathiagalli, Ayubia, Khanspur, Dunga Galli, Khairagalli and Changla Galli.
Murree town itself, built by the British colonial government soon after it captured this part of then India in 1850. Until 1876, Murree was the summer headquarters of the Punjab local government; after 1876 the headquarters were moved to Simla.
The name Murree is derived from ‘marhi’, “high place” although there is a popular belief it is named after the virgin Mary. Murree is one of the largest resort towns in the Galyat area of Pakistan, and is the capital city of Murree Tehsil (which is an administrative division of the Rawalpindi District). Murree is accessible by road from the centre of the Islamabad and Rawalpindi areas.
In recent years Bhurban and New Murree (Patriata), have also developed as a tourist centre. The whole Murree Galliat region is known throughout South Asia for its scenic beauty and fascinating greenery. Mountains overhung with pines and oaks, bubbling with gurgling springs, crisscrossed by rivulets, dotted with sprawling lawns and orchards overloaded with fruits present spectacle of Paradise on earth.
Health and medication:
There are many well equipped medical centres in Murree and surrounding which can always provide you with basic medical treatement,like Abbasi hospital at Suny Bank, Tariq medical centre Bhurban, Al-shifa clinic Murree and many more. Along with these medical centres there is a military hospital “CMH” situated on Murree mallroad. So you do not need to worry for medical treatement in case of any emergency while visiting Murree and surroundings.
Weather plays an important part in life and economy of Murree. Murree remains charming all year round. It has four distinguishable seasons.
Spring in Murree starts in March and ends in middle of May. Maximum temperature during this period hovers between twelve to twenty and minimum between four and ten. The area receives heavy rain and hail storms during this season. The fruit trees laden with flowers give a spectacular view.
To some Murree may be a tacky and over-crowded hill-station in Pakistan but for many Murree is a heaven in summer. Some people may have experienced 45-50 degrees Celsius so therefore Murree’s cooler high altitude climate provides much needed relief from the sweltering heat.
With the advent of September autumn creeps in and last till the starts of winter in early December. This is the seasons of clear sky in the region when one can enjoy full view of mountains around without cloud hindrance. Temperatures are mild.
Winter starts in December and normally brings heavy snowfall. Murree and its surrounding areas are covered with thick layer of snow during most part of the season. Temperature mostly hovers around the freezing point.
Many rare animals can be found in Murree. One example is the leopard, which inhabits the neighboring Galiyat region. More common animals include the Rhesus Monkey, foxes and various species of pheasant including the chir and kalij.
Places to See:
The Mall Road:
It has bazaar downstairs, like 10 feet below the main Mall road. This is a place of shopping for visitors. Mall road is used to walk around and to have food.
It can be best visited after the sunset. if you want to save time visit hills at day time and Mall Road at night when you have to just shop or dine. It is a slope starting from General Post Office. Food & misc. sovenier shops are situated on the both sides of Road. It is open till midnight. You can buy everything at Mall and dine a variety of Pakistani dishes.
It has a beautiful sight seeing. You can see Kashmir mountains from this point. It is the highest spot in Murree and due to increasing rush on Mall road, this point is taking visitor’s attention day by day.
Now it has a long bazaar, a joy land and lots of eating places. Most of the visitors came to ease down and relax in Murree and need a quite place to live so they prefer to book a room in Kashmir point instead of Mall road.
This is famous due to chair lift, which worth a ride. A world class chair lift & cable car system takes you from New Murree to Patriata. Total ride is about 7 km long. New Murree is on ground level between the hills. Here you have to buy the ticket for Chair Lift + Cable Car which is Rs. 200/- then a chair lift ride takes you to a middle hill. You can watch Kashmir mountains from middle Hill where Chair Lift takes you. You may stay here for some time & enjoy Tea/Coffee or just walk around. From there Cable car takes you to Patriata Hill. where you have much stuff to do. Walk freely everywhere. Just walk in the direction where most of the tourists are going. Straight road takes you to the highest point of the hill. Where scenary is panoramic. On one side you can watch Murree Hills & on the other side snow covered Kashmir Hills.
The Chair Lift & Cable Car journey is memorable of life time. You can witness lots of great scenaries of near & far hills. In winter all hills are covered with snow while in summer lush green scenaris could be seen.
Private car from Murree charges about Rs. 800/- for return journey. Driver will leave you at the gate of TDCP PATRIATA RESORT at New Murree & then take you back to Murree when you’ve finished.
You can’t stay there for long. Last cable car is at 5 pm which take every visitor back. At that time a person goes all the way whistling to check if there is any one left and then take last cable car.
It is a nice place to have a picnic. People use to have snack and lunch at the corner of this river or sometimes in it. One can feel the cold wind and cool water which tends to be the best thing in summer. Enjoy the journey to this river Neelam, Mountains covered with lush green trees and high slopes of mountains creates an eye catching view. One don’t get to know the time if enjoying this cool wind and water there.
People use to visit Pearl Continental Hotel Bhurban which is on beautiful location. It has rooms starting from Rs. 10,ooo/- per day which changes according to season. It has an entry fee of Rs. 300/- which you can spend in the hotel in any activity. There is a Helicopter Pad which has a beautiful valley view.
Kuldana is the name of an extremely beautiful hill, which spreads over a lush green area of about five square kilometers. The area is densely populated by a large variety of trees and plants and inhabited by various kinds of wild life species specially birds, butterflies and monkeys. At times snow leopards, cheetahs and jackals can also be seen crossing roads and tracks.
Upper Topa and Lower Topa:
The Galiyat are popular due to the cool weather and beautiful scenery. They are also very closely located to areas with high population.
The mountains are covered by thick pine forests which give the Galiyat a unique character. It is one of the greenest areas of Pakistan and receives better rainfall than most areas. The resorts were developed by the British and you will see a lot of colonial influence there.
The natural beauty of the area lies in the pine forests which are a haven for wildlife and insects. Rhesus Monkeys wait to be fed by curious tourists who may have arrived from busy urban areas and have never seen wildlife so close and taking food from them. Other wild animals which occur here are Leopards, Red Fox, Porcupine, Wild Cats, Black Bear, Pheasants and a large diversity of small birds including Tits, Woodpeckers, Tree-creepers, Warblers and Parakeets. There are plenty of walking trails in the Galiyat and some lead to the highest peaks of Miranjani and Mukshpuri, both which can be done in a day.
Darya Gali :
Darya Gali is a village and union council of Murree Tehsil in the Rawalpindi District of Punjab. It is located in the north of the Murree and is bounded to the north by the North-West Frontier Province, to the south by Ghora Gali and Murree-and to the west by Rawat.
Rawat is a village and union council of Murree Tehsil in the Rawalpindi District of Punjab. It is located near to the border with North-West Frontier Province and Kashmir. The tourist resort of Bhurban is located here.
It is a very developed union council of Murree in terms of availability of facilities and basic needs which are essential to live and service in an effective manner. The basic facilities which are available here consists of many hotels, schools and colleges, medical centres, and well equipped markets. The famous Pearl Continental hotel lies in this union council. There are many well reputed schools and colleges in this union council and students from all other union council are studying in these schools and colleges to complete their education.
Rawat is very well known for having the facility of basic medical treatment in case of emergency as it has many medical clinics here which are attended by many professional doctors.
There are many famous villages for which Rawat is the commercial centre. Some of them are; Morha darogha, moori khambaal, sood gangaal, dhok amban and others. Morha darogha is famous in the whole region for its reputation and people. It is quite convenient to get to Morha darogha from Rawat.
Hosting Governor House, Government (Chief Minister) House and offices of other departments of Government of North West Frontier Province, Nathiagali virtually serves as summer capital of the province. It is connected with Abbottabad on one hand and Murree and on wards to Islamabad onto the other with well constructed and beautifully laid highways. There is quite large number of hotels and restaurants of various categories in the town along with rest houses of different departments. Other facilities like Banks, internet cafe, hospital, fuel station and workshops are available.
Kala Bagh Point (Green Spot):
A little up from Nathia Gali bazar, at the top of the hill is situated “Green Spot”. Actually this is a Pakistan Air Force reserved area, but it is open for tourists and families. You can enter Green Spot by paying Rs. 5/- as entrance fee. View of Nathiagali and neighbouring area is magnificent from here.
From Nathiagali to Abbottabad the road runs down from about 9000 ft. to 4500 ft. About three miles down there lies Baragali a small hill station, located at an altitude of 7,900 ft/2408 kms. The last of the chain of the Galis it is only 15 miles/24 kms. from Abbottabad on the road to Nathiagali.
Ayubia has become the most important spot in the Galliat after Nathiagali. In 1984 an area of 1,684 hectares of mountain forest was declared as a national park, with the aim of preserving the beautiful forest and biodiversity. The park area was expanded through a northern extension in 1998 to 3,312 hectares. The elevation of “Ayubia National Park” ranges between 1,050 meters in the valleys to 3,027meters at the mountain tops within. These mountains are 40 million to 170 million years old.
Ayubia is a complex of four small hill stations. i) Ghora Daka. ii)Khanspur. iii)Changla Gali and iv)Khairagali. These four resorts scattered over an area of about 16miles/26 kms. It is named after late Field Marshal Mohammad Ayub Khan, President of Pakistan at that time.
i) Ghora Daka:
There is a spot on Murree-Nathiagali Road, near Ayubia Chair Lifts, called “Bander Point”. In this area great number of monkeys live in the jungle. They are so friendly that they come on the road and take food items directly from a person’s hand. They do not harm by any means.
Changlagali is the highest point in the Murree Galliat area which is accessible by road. There is a rest house located in the most picturesque surroundings. A number of good hotels and restaurants are available at the spot. Changla Gali is one of the smaller resorts, most people preferring to stay at either Nathiagali or Murree.
Natural springs abound Changlagali on the slopes and their water is stored in reservoirs to provide water supply for Murree and adjoining areas.
Mushkpuri Hill, the second highest hill in Galiyat, above 9,000 feet sea level. This may be one of the closest places where you can gain such height. Starting from Pines Hotel NathiaGali or Dewan House DungaGali, the trek passes upward through lush green forests. Beautiful Daisies dance and swing to greet the hiker and sets the romantic charm, specially in the rainy weather with hide and seek of the scenery is all around you.
It commands a charming view of a series of wooded spurs projecting towards the River Jhelum on the west. From Dunga Gali one can climb the 9,232 ft/2814 mtr peak of Mushkpuri which is the highest point in the range.
Khairagali, Changlagali and Dungagali are situated on a newly rebuilt beautiful Murree Nathiagali road. A few kilometers from Changlagali one reaches Kuzagali. From Kuzagali one can go either to Ayubia to the right or Nathiagali to the left.
Trekking In Galliat:
Galliat region provides excellent opportunities for tracking. Different tracks passing through lush green virgin forests are available for the tourists. NWFP Forest Department is doing a good work to keep these tracks in good condition. These tracks include:
Nathiagali to Mushkpuri:
Dungagali to Mushkpuri:
This second track available to go to Mushkpuri. It starts from Dungagali, a place four kilometer short of Nathiagali, on Murree-Nathiagali Highway. It equal in length to Nathiagali-Mushkpuri track. On the way one has the option to go to Lalazar Park, which of course increases the distance to the Mushkpuri top.
Dungagali to Ayubia:
From Ayubia one can follow the track for another four kilometer length to Changlagali and from there for approximately another length of same distance to Khiaragali.
Nathiagali to Miranjani:
From Birangali one can either take a 13 kilometer track down to Azizabad on Nathiagali-Abbottabad road or take another clime to 8831 feet Thandiani top.
Nightlife in Murree:
One could find an attractive thing to take a view from kashmir point at night, because lighting on nearby mountains and valleys look like stars on earth and gives a beautiful view from height,must see this also you will find people walking all night on mall road from gpo to pindi point and shops opened till late night,
Where to Stay:
Where to Eat:
There are many restaurants in Murree, mostly along The Mall.
Where to Buy:
Murree has a variety of handicraft shops selling curios for the tourist to remind them of their visit to this hill station. Traditional clothing items , head wear, carved walking sticks, jewelery items and leather goods are abundantly available.
How to reach:
Murree is situated at a distance of only thirty kilometers from Pakistani capital Islamabad. A well constructed all weather road network connects Murree with Islamabad, and areas in Punjab, North West Frontier Province and Azad Kashmir.
Taxis and buses run from Islamabad, and take about 1 hour. It is a picturesque drive and has a few well developed tourist spots at Charra Pani and Company Bagh. The Chattar water park is only 15 minutes outside Islamabad. There is also an alternate but longer route to Murree from Islamabad via Nilore and Simli Dam. The alternate route joins at Lower Topa. The mountain drive is refreshing and the scenery is breath-taking especially on the Nilore-Simli-Lower Topa route.
Another two way road is constructed from toll-plaza to Pataryata, the drive is very scenic and refreshing. An link road is available for those want to go to Murree.
Beware of the talkative Taxi drivers at the Islamabad Airport. Whenever you are hiring a Taxi to Murree fix the rates with them at the airport and don’t give them a penny more. Maximum charges for a taxi to Murree are Rs. 1000. These Taxi drivers though puzzle the tourists in the middle of the journey by asking them which route shall they take to Murree. They will say the motorway is a swift way to reach to murree in a time period of just one hour and they will charge rupees four hunderd more. They also get commission form the local hotels at Murree to bring the tourists and they posing as very helpful being will try to get you a nominal room at high charges. Make sure before coming to Murree that at which hotel you want to stay. A list of telephone numbers of almost every hotel in Murree is available on net. Contact the hotel yourself first and come straight to the place you want to stay.
Sight Seeing from Pindi to Murree:
It is 29km from Islamabad and 5 km from Chattar Bagh. TDCP develop this spot and make it attractive for picnic. Mostly people come to stay here for 15 to 20 minutes have a Cup of tea or cold drink take some rest and then start their journey towards Murree.
Chara Pani is about 38km from Rawalpindi. Charra Pani where cold water springs gush out of the hillside. People stop here for a cup of tea or a cold drink. Colorful buses, wagons and Cars are parked here for a wash. The atmosphere of this spot is good for health that’s why the major sanatorium of TB is established here. Delicious snake bar is available.
Simli dam is one of those gems, hidden deep among the mountains, that this region is so famous for. About 30 km from Islamabad lies Simli Lake and the Dam. It can be reached via Lehtrar road or via Bhara Kahu. It is fed by the melting snow and natural springs of Murree hills. Angling and boating is also allowed in the lake. For fishing, you need to have license (permission)from CDA (Capital Development Authority), Islamabad. Best view of simli lake is from Ban Karor Road near Bassi. Best time to see the beauti of Lake is from April to September.
There is only one guest house in Simly Dam operated by CDA (Capital Development Authority), Islamabad. Before you plan to stay here, you need to have permission to stay & visit this beautiful guest house from CDA Head Office located in Islamabad.
The Capital Development Authority (CDA) has planned to increase the storage capacity of the Simli Dam from 2,305 square feet to 2,317 square feet by onstructing “auxiliary spillways. The water stored in the lake is supplied to Islamabad for drinking purposes.
Murree is basically a beautiful hill station which is situated on the boundary of Pakistan. This border is stretched from Punjab and goes all the way to Azad Kashmir. It is a great spot for tourism in summer. Many domestic and foreign tourists visit Murree at
least once in their life, to see the real beauty of Pakistan. Murree is a real blessing from God to the people of Pakistan.
Murree has beautiful sceneries and attractive greenery atmosphere. Mountains covered with snow, valleys with fog, forests with heavy green trees and the weather, all these things make Murree an ideal place for tourists to visit.
Available routes for Murree
There are mainly four possible routes available for Murree. The first one is the old Murree Islamabad road through which you can reach Murree in just 1.30 hours. While 4-lane Expressway will take only one hour in total. These 2 routes are mainly used for going to Murree, since these routes are shorter than the other 2 available routes. The third route is a bit longer which passes through Nilore and goes all the way to Simli Dam. And the last route is even further exploratory which initiates from one point the ‘Monal restaurant’ which is in Islamabad, after driving that road part, you’ll find yourself driving on the 'old Murree Road’ which requires heavy vehicles, since the roads are uneven and bumpy. It will be a matter of 3 hours to reach Murree if you pick this route. It is recommended to take a GPS device or GPS activated mobile phone with you so that you don’t lose the track.
Mall road in Murree is the most populated place ever in this region. Tourists usually go there to have food and do shopping. The best time to visit Mall road is after the evening. The mall road is basically a hill which starts from the Post Office. You can go there till midnight. A variety of Pakistani foods are available at Mall road. You’ll have a good time going there; do visit once if you are going to Murree!
Chair lift and cable car
These were some of the main highlighted features of Murree. You must go there for at least once in your life time. It sure is an unforgettable place to visit!
A further explanation Murree name from Hazrat Marriam, or Virgin Marry, said to be buried at Pindi Point is one of the highest places. There are stories abound about holiness sight, and how divine intervention has been a stop construction workers to remove the grave. Whatever the explanation of the name seems that before the advent of the British do not represent something beyond the Hilliard. There is no entry indicates that the entire area is known as the Murree day had the same name before British occupation of the area in 1846. During the Afghan and Sikh rule the area was referred by the name the tribe inhabiting the same. It was only after transfer of the hill tract, including Murree, from the Hazara district of Rawalpindi District in 1850, the Tehsil Murree was established.
At that time consisted of 92 villages spread across five areas or 'Ilakas of Phulgran, Charhan, Dewal, Kotli and Karor. Parts of the areas which were placed under the rule of Raja pf Muzaffarabad in 1831 along with Murree and Kahuta area, including the area from Khapur to Boi at the confluence of the rivers Jehlum and Kunhar was not returned to Rawalpindi and was held in Hazara District. Sometimes Pulgran later was transferred to Rawalpindi Tehsil and now forms a part of Islamabad Capital Territory. In the 1990s, Kotli and some villages in the so Karor ilaka were separated to form Sattian Kotli Tehsil.