Margalla Hills are located within the edge of the Margalla Hills National Park that is situated along the Rawal Lake and Shakarparian Park.
The area the Margalla hills cover is more than 31 thousand acres, including that region that already consists of several high mountain peaks and steep valleys.
If you are visiting Islamabad soon then Margalla Hills should be your top priority!
The most famous locations near these hills are Daman-e-Koh and Pir Sohawa.
Daman-e-Koh is like a viewing point for many tourists to get a panoramic glimpse of the beautiful city.
It is a moment of pause for many people who are traveling high up to Pir Sohawa, at a height of 3,600 feet, where the famous Monal Restaurant is located.
The Margalla hills receive snowfall once a few years, but overall, Margalla Hills’ has a hot and dry climate.
Access To Margalla Hills
Access to Margalla hills is not a hassle. Depends on how you would like to reach there.
Many people prefer to hike up the long paths and enjoy the scenery to get there, whereas there is also a road for cars that take you to Monal Restaurant and Pir Sohawa.
The road is called Pir Sohawa Road and it starts from Islamabad Zoo and the Japanese Children Park.
Activities You Can Do Near Margalla Hills
- Bird Watching
- Rock Climbing
- Exploring the Wild Life
1. Bird Watching
There are a variety of birds to Spot in Margalla Hills.
You need to carry a pair of binoculars and keep your eyes set on the skies, you will surely find some beautiful birds in that region. Few of the birds that you can easily spot here are:
- Paradise Flycatchers
- Spotted Doves
- Yellow Vented Bulbul
- Himalayan Griffon Vulture
Some birds in this region are spotted all year round, others are winter migrants that come from northern areas.
Some birds also visit the area only for spring and summertime.
If you are willing to hike in Margalla Hills, you have a lot of options.
Margalla Hills offers several hiking trails, hosting both professional as well as beginner hikers.
Pakistan usually has a hot climate in the summer, especially in Islamabad. The best time and season to go hiking in this region is in November-Jan, when the climate is mild and pleasant, with little chance of rain.
There are 6 hiking trails that are numbered accordingly, with the most famous Trails 3 and 5. Two of the other trails are called Bari Imam Trail and Saidpur Trail.
One more thing to keep in mind is that when you’re hiking through the hills, the terrain can be rough and dangerous in some areas, and therefore hiking alone is not advised.
However, you shouldn’t worry about getting lost as there is the Capital Development Authority (CDA) to direct you and guide you they are placed in every hiking milestones at regular intervals so that you do not stray away from your path.
While you hike you can even spot the beautiful scenic views that includes small springs and landscape viewing points.
We have mentioned each of the trail whereabouts for your convenience:
Trail 1 takes you all the way to the top of the Pir Sohawa Road, with a hike of about 1 to 2 hours. If you walk bit further, you can reach Monal Restaurant in just 20 minutes.
Trail 2 starts near Islamabad Zoo and after you walk about 1 to 1.5 hours, you will reach Daman-e-Koh.
Trail 3 starting from the Main Margalla Road and it is the hardest climb because of steep inclines. The track will lead you to the summit, passing by the popular eatery located at Pir Sohawa. This walk can take almost 1.5 hours.
Trail 4 acts as a conjoining trail between Trails 3 and 5, which have a distance of 1.5 kilometers between them.
Trail 5 starts from Sector F-5 located on Main Margalla Road and is somewhat joining to Trail 3. But this is an easier climb and will take you to the edge of Pir Sohawa Road. It can take you 2.5 to 3.5 hours to walk this trail. If you want to watch a waterfall in Margalla Hills, this is the trail you should hike with.
Trail 6 is not as commonly used much, because its entrance is veiled behind Shah Faisal Mosque in Sector E7. This trail has a well-defined route that leads you through a valley and stops at the top of Pir Sohawa Road.
Saidpur Trail was coined after Saidpur village and it moves alongside a small river, passing through the village and entering a valley where a track leads straight to Monal Restaurant. This trail is mostly used by the locals.
Bari Imam Trail starting from the edge of Main Margalla Road, near the Bari Imam Cave. After climbing up steep hills, you can come close to Pir Sohawa Road, from where a walk of 5.5 km can take you to Trail 3 then you can continue your journey from there.
3. Rock Climbing
Margalla Hills has a variety of spots for hikers and climbers to have an adventure.
However, just a few climbing cliffs have been developed to host people who love to climb. If you are a climbing enthusiast, you should try some of the following cliffs:
- Jasmine Corner
- Saidpur Village
- For Skilled Climbers
- Musical Lounge
- Shahdra Wall
- For Experts
- Shah Allah Ditta
4. Exploring the Wild Life
Allah has truly blessed Pakistan with a vast range of geographical landscapes and different climate zones.
When it comes to the never ending adventures at Margalla Hills, you can find a range of 300 variety of plants, 54 species of butterflies, 9 types of amphibians, 37 species of fish, 380 kind of birds, 20 variety of reptiles, 15 species of large mammals and almost 21 kind of small mammals.
Some of the creatures you can spot in this region are:
- Indian Cobra
- Russell’s Viper
- Saw-scaled Viper
- Asiatic Leopard
- Barking Deer
- Red Fox
- Grey Goral
- Golden Jackal
- Wild Boar
- Chinkara Gazelle
- Fruit bats
- Rhesus Macaque
- Leopard Cat
- Yellow-Throated Marten
Places To Visit Near Margalla Hills
- Pir Sohawa
- Faisal Mosque
- Pakistan Monument Museum
- Margalla Hills National Park
- Rawal Lake
1. Pir Sohawa
Pir Sohawa is a wonderful place with a majestic panoramic view. They have a variety of restaurants with delicious Pakistani food. It is a perfect family outing place.
2. Faisal Mosque
The beautiful Shah Faisal Mosque, resting at the foot of the Margalla Hills, is one of Asia’s largest and offers a perfect blend of ultramodern and traditional architectural design styles.
Visitors are welcome with open hearts, but non-Muslims are requested not to visit during prayer times and Fridays. Everyone is asked to leave their shoes at a counter before entering the courtyard and everyone has to dress modestly (women should bring a head scarf).
Daman-e-Koh is like a viewing point for the tourists. It also serves as the hill top garden situated north of Islamabad and rests between the Margalla Hills.
The name of Daman e Koh is the conjunction of two Persian words, which means foothills together. Daman–e–Koh is 2400ft from sea level and almost 500ft elevated from Islamabad.
The Government has planned to construct a chairlift from Daman-e-Koh to Pir Sohawa.
Monkeys are very common sight for tourists during winter.
Cheetahs are frequently reported to show up from the upper hills of Murree during snowfall.
The top south spot is the most popular spot as it provides a panoramic view of Islamabad.
Telescopes are installed people who like to observe closely. There is also a large board installed that shows an original map of Islamabad.
4. Pakistan Monument Museum
The Pakistan Monument is a national monument and heritage museum situated on the edge of the Shakarparian Hills in Islamabad, Pakistan.
The monument was constructed to bring together the unity of the people of Pakistan. It is also dedicated to the people of Pakistan who sacrificed their lives for a better Pakistan.
5. Margalla Hills National Park
Margalla Hills National Park is a beautiful national park located in Islamabad, Pakistan.
The Margalla Hills is included inside the park, which together forms the foothills of the Himalayas, combining Shakarparian Park and the Rawal Lake.
It is constructed in 1980. Margalla Hills National Park is the third-largest in the world with an area of 17,386 hectares that is (42,960 acres).
Tilla Charouni is tallest peak in the park with a height of 1604m.
Margalla Hills is a top notch tourist destination in Islamabad, with Daman-e-Koh and Pir Sohawa serving as famous hill stations, whereas, Shakarparian Cultural Complex and Lake View Park are the famous picnic spots.
The park is rich in in its diverse landscape, especially filled immensely in Sino-Himalayan fauna, and the beautiful gray goral, deer and Leopard.
6. Rawal Lake
Rawal Lake is situated in Islamabad Pakistan. It is a type of artificial reservoir established to meet the water needs.
It provides the water to the people of the cities of Rawalpindi and Islamabad.
Korang River that flows along with some other small lakes generating from Margalla Hills were set together to form this artificial lake which covers an area of 8.8 km².
If you wish to spend your remaining winter holidays with an uplifting adventure and fun then Margalla Hills in Islamabad is the perfect location.
It offers every activity and every beautiful sight one could think of.
These remaining holidays, if you couldn’t save much for a visit to northern areas, then you shouldn’t worry as Margalla Hills will serve the purpose for your enjoyment.
Read More: Top 10 Most Famous Places in Pakistan