ISLAMABAD: The capital for most is at best a transit spot onto greener, more picturesque spots with the Murree and Neelum valleys to the northeast and Nathia Gali to the north-west. Few find any attraction in the city.
However, even during their brief stay in the capital, Pir Sohawa is quickly gaining a reputation amongst tourists — domestic and foreign — for becoming a must visit the spot to catch a breath-taking view of the city and for some of the best food in the city before heading on to other destinations.
The hill resort is located at an altitude of 5,000 feet (1,524 meters). It is praised for being an ideal spot for holiday picnics.
A Pakistan Tourism Development Corporation (PTDC) official said that it presents an unparalleled view of the city in the day and an amazingly beautiful show of city lights at night.
Moreover, one can adore fragrance and cool breeze, especially on hot summer days, with thick forests present all around.
He further added that Pir Sohawa is an ideal place for enjoying picnics in the forest while listening to singing birds and watching wildlife.
The place is linked to Islamabad by a winding road on which Daman-e-Koh is located.
The site also serves as the end point for hiking trips from the foot of Margalla Hills, rising 3,000 feet (914 meters) almost vertically upwards from the Saidpur Village.
It takes around 35 minutes to drive up to it from the city, located about 13 kilometres from the Marghzar Zoo on the edge of the city.
After rains, especially during the ongoing monsoon season, the forest in the hills of Pir Sohawa turn lush green, adding to the natural beauty of the area.
Published in The Express Tribune, July 30th, 2018.