A ‘women-only’ tourist train ride from Peshawar to Attock Khurd was arranged on Saturday by the Tourism Corporation of Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa (TCKP) and Pakistan Railways.
The tour was initiated last year by the Ministry of Tourism and Culture to provide an opportunity to women to visit and learn about the region’s heritage sites.
The train passes through several historically significant cities, including Akora Khattak and Khairabad.
The journey also takes passengers over Old Attock Bridge, an iron girder bridge built over the Indus River in 1883 and originally designed by Sir Guilford Lindsey Molesworth.
Attock Khurd, located in Attock district of Punjab, houses the historical Attock Fort built by the Mughal king Akbar in 1581. Bahram ki Baradari is another Mughal-era monument situated at the ridge of mountains on the southern side of the Grand Trunk Road near Attock Khurd.
Akora Khattak, which the train also traverses, is the birth and burial place of famous Pukhtun poet, warrior, scholar and chief of the Khattak tribe, Khushal Khan Khattak.
As part of the joy ride, the women participating also visited Kund Rest House where they enjoyed a boat ride.
The tour train included students and civil society members. “We have provided women a unique opportunity to avail an outing while simultaneously becoming aware of the rich heritage of the country,” said TCKP Managing Director Mushtaq Ahmad Khan.
The director termed the journey a landmark initiative of the corporation. “From next month, the train journey will be open to all on weekends at very affordable tickets”.
“The ride helped students, especially those from government schools, to travel to historical areas of the region and learn about them,” said Mahwish, a student who enjoyed the trip with her friends.
Published in The Express Tribune, January 5th, 2014.