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Ayubia National Park

Ayubia National Park also known as Ayubia (Urdu: ایوبیہ‎), is a protected area of 3,312 hectares (8,184 acres) located in Abbottabad District, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province, Pakistan. It was declared a national park in 1984. Ayubia was named after Muhammad Ayub Khan (1958–1969), second President of Pakistan. The area supports temperate coniferous forest and temperate broadleaf and mixed forest ecoregion habitats, with an average elevation of 8,000 feet (2,400 m) above the sea level.

Ayubia National Park is surrounded by seven major villages and four small towns of Thandiani, Nathiagali, Ayubia and Khanspur. The park has been developed as a resort complex from a combination of four mini resorts of Khaira Gali, Changla Gali, Khanspur and Ghora Dhaka in Galyat.[5] Currently, it is managed by the Wildlife and Parks Department of Government of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.

History
Ayubia National Park was established in 1984 in an east corner of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, province of Pakistan. In 1998 it was expanded form its original size of 1,684 hectares (4,161 acres) or 16.84 km2 (6.50 sq mi) to 3,312 hectares (8,184 acres). Since then it has been managed by the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Wildlife Department. The purpose of establishing it was to conserve the temperate forests. Originally, the park stood at an area of 857 acres (3.47 km2), but in 1998 it was expanded to cover an area of 1,685 acres (6.82 km2). The total population of Ayubia and surrounding villages as per a 1996 census is 18,097 living in 2,311 households.

Climate
The climate of the park is cold in the summers, but harsh in the winters. While it remains only placidly hot in May and June, the cold sets in when the monsoons come to lash in late July and early August. In the winters cold increases in severity gradually until the west winds bring rains, which eventually turn into snow. The park remains snow-capped through the later part of winters.

Tourism
Standing at some 26 kilometers from the tourist hotbed of Murree Hill Station, over 100,000 tourists flock to Ayubia National Park and the places around every year. It is well known for its picnic spots.

Since there are 7 villages and 4 major towns around it, and since this area attracts a very large number of tourists annually, there is a large number of hotels and restaurants around the park. In addition to riding trails, hiking places, picnic spots and motels, there is a chairlift in the central place of Ayubia that takes the tourists to a nearby summit for a view of the forested hills. This chairlift was the first recreation facility of its kind in Pakistan and is still a major attraction for domestic tourists. The famous PTDC motel is located here.

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