Pir Sohawa – Daman-e-Koh

Pir Sohawa is a rapidly developing tourist resort located 17 kilometers (11 mi) from Islamabad on top of Margalla Hills. It has a 3000 plus ft elevation and located in Monal village which is geographically part of Haripur District.On 6 January 2012, after almost six years, Pir Sohawa, the city’s highest tourist spot, received few inches of snowfall.

Tourist attractions
Bright hills is a holiday resorts at scenic views of canyons on Margalla hills at 4800 feet above sea level. 22 km from zoo islamabad.

Daman-e-Koh

Daman-e-Koh is a viewing point and hill top garden north of Islamabad and located in the middle of the Margalla Hills. Its name is a conjunction of two Persian words, which together means foot hills. It is about 2400ft from sea level and almost 500ft from the city of Islamabad. It is a popular destination for the residents as well as the visitors to the capital.

Daman-e-Koh is a midpoint for tourists on their way to the higher view point Pir Sohawa which is located at the top of Margalla Hills at an elevation of about 3600ft. There is a plan to construct a chairlift from Daman-e-Koh to Pir Sohawa. Monkeys are a common sight during winter. Cheetahs are frequently reported to descend from higher hills of Murree during snowfall.

Margalla Hills
The Margalla Hills is a hill range part of the foothills Himalayas located within the Margalla Hills National Park, north of Islamabad, Pakistan. Margalla Range has an area of 12,605 hectares. The hills are a part of Murree hills. It is a range with many valleys as well as high mountains. It is part of the Margalla Hills National Park.

The hill range nestles between an elevation of 685 meters at the western end and 1,604 meters on its east with average height of 1000 meters. Its highest peak is Tilla Charouni. The range gets snowfall in winters. On 6 January 2012, after almost six years, Pir Sohawa, the city’s highest tourist spot, received few inches of snowfall.[1] Another measurable snow event occurred on 11 February 2016 where 2 inches fell after four years.[2]

Activities

Bird watching
The Margallas are an excellent place for bird watchers. The area is home to a large number of birds, including robins, sparrows, kites, crows, larks, paradise flycatchers, black partridge, shrikes, pheasants, spotted doves, Egyptian vultures, falcons, hawks, eagles, Himalayan griffon vulture, laggar falcon, peregrine falcon, kestrel, Indian sparrow hawk, white cheeked bulbul, yellow vented bulbul, paradise flycatcher, cheer pheasant, Khalij pheasant, golden oriole, spotted dove, collared dove, wheatears and buntings.  The cheer pheasant, indigenous to the North West Frontier Province, is being reared in Margalla Hills as a part of conservation campaign.

Hiking and trekking
The Margallas are excellent for hiking and cater for both the regular serious hikers and the less serious occasional enthusiasts. The safest and most frequented hike path is from the zoo park to Daman-e-Koh. The best season for hiking is from February to April, when there is less rain and the weather is extremely pleasant.

Asian Study Group is a community service organization and conducts hikes in Margalla Hills. For more information check out the Asia Study Group (ASG) publication “Hiking Guide: In and Around Islamabad” (1992, Revised Edition)

Rock Climbing
There are many spots for rock climbing in Margalla Hills. Few crags have been developed but, still a lot of potential available to explore virgin lines.

Jungle Rock (F 6a:8a), God Rock (F 6b+:7b), Legacy Wall (F 6a:7c+), Jasmin Corner (F 4b:5a), Belvedere (F 4c:6b+), Hidden Rock (F 6a:6c), Music Lounge (F 5c:6c) Beetle’s Nest (F 5b:6c+, including multi-pitch route), Well Hidden Rock (F 5a:8a), Holiday Rock (F 5b:5b), Said Pur View (F 5c:8a) and Shaddarrah (F 5c:6a) have been excellently developed/ bolted.

 

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