Murree Hills Cantonment
Murree is known as Malika-e-Kohsar, which means the Queen of Hills. Murree is only an hour's drive northeast of Islamabad. From Rawalpindi it is only 64 km and at an altitude of 2,286 meters. Murree where lofty peaks tower above green pine-covered slopes, is one of the most popular summer resorts in Pakistan.
The name Murree was well known to all Anglo-Indiana as that of the Hill Station, which the Panjab Government used as its summer resort. It was applied under the English to the Sanitarium itself, the range of hills in which it is situated, 7,000 feet, to 8,000 feet and to the tahsil of the Rawal Piudi district of which it is the headquarters. The station and the tahsil are clearly of English origin. When the English, soon after the conquest of the Panjab, fixed on a point as a Sanitarium in 1850 and called it Murree, they gave the whole range or spur the same name, and by this it is now generally known.
The more recent history of Murree is involved in obscurity, as indeed that of the whole of this part is, distracted as it has been by conquest, misgovernment and party feuds for many centuries. Up to 1770 A.D. these hills were practically in the hands of the Gakkhars, a mighty tribe in days gone by. In 1770 the Gakkhars were completely overthrown by the Sikhs, and hard times came upon them and their subjects, for rapacity and tyranny were the only representation of Government they saw, until their misfortunes reached a climax, when, what are now the Murree and Kabutd tahsils, were given to Gul Singh, the Kashmir hero, as a jdgir about 1831, soon after the hill tribes had been finally subdued by the great Sikh Sirdar, Hari Singh Nahva. The awful tyranny exercised by the Kashmir Maharaja depopulated these hill districts, and they are only now recovering their former prosperity. It is said, that whenever the zamtndirs were recusant he would let loose the Dogras among them, and rewarded the former by a poll rate for hill-men of at first one rupee, then eight anuas, and finally four annas, and that he thus decimated the population. Other tales are told of his cruelty in these and others, which, if true only in part, would class him with the Neroes and Caligulas of the human race. A general door-tax (!) he levied was so unpopular, that the people rebelled and were visited with severe retribution. From this misery they were released by the advent of British rule ito 1848.
Murree spreads along the top of a ridge for about five kilometers (three miles). At the northeast end is Kashmir Point, with views across the valley of the Jhelum River into Azad Kashmir. At the southwest end is Pindi Point, looking back towards Rawalpindi and Islamabad. Between the two runs The Mall, at the center of, which is the main shopping area, where most people congregate. Chair Lifts in Murree give a ride from Bansara Gali (below Murree) to Pindi Point, the other to the top of Patriata hill (on the road to Karor).
Murree city is a popular hill station and a summer resort, especially for the residents of Islamabad, and for the cities of the province of Punjab, Pakistan. Named after Virgin Mary, Murree is also the administrative centre of Muree Tehsil, which is a sub-division of Rawalpindi district and includes the Murree hills.
Murree is one of the largest resort towns in the Galyat area of Pakistan, and is the capital city of Murree tehsil (which is an administrative division of the Rawalpindi District). During British Rule in the nineteenth century, its altitude was established at 7,000 feet, but its actual altitude has now been determined as 2,300 m (7,500 ft) above sea level.
Murree is accessible by road from the centre of the Islamabad and Rawalpindi areas. It is still associated with Britain; many British fruits (including cherries, raspberries and strawberries) thrive locally. There is a church, built in 1857, located at the centre of the town, which is still used as a place of worship. Many houses around the church are still standing, functioning mostly as hotels. Old traditional restaurants have been replaced by fast food shops and newer restaurants. Some old places of accommodation, such as the Rich Villa Inn and Gulberg Hotel, have completely disappeared. A typical hotel usually provides a motel type accommodation with breakfast and communication access. Newly built hotels are also accessible.
Murree has expanded since 1947 at a rate much greater than that which its infrastructure can sustain. Securing water and electricity has been a constant challenge. The jam-packed bazaar has caught fire a number of times in the last century, and the growth of tourism and a construction boom have left bare hills in their wake.
Chattar resort nestles at the base of Murree hills at a distance of 15 km on Islamabad-Murree road. This place offers scenic walks, gently flowing stream, waterfall and the surrounding hillside are a perfect attraction. The resort has a restaurant, barbecue and two air-conditioned tourist cottages. The Children's Park and playground are spread over an area of 12.5 acres. Driving through pine country on the smoothly carpeted road to Murree, the Salgran roadside facility is situated 29 km from Rawalpindi. Salgran has a well-developed parking area, snack bar and washroom for travelers. The well laid out lawns with shaded seating areas blend with the tranquil environment. At Charra Pani, 40 km from Rawalpindi, the landscape becomes more spectacular. The TDCP roadside facility is very tastefully set on the densely wooded slopes of the Murree Hills, the architecture blending unobtrusively with the natural surroundings. Charra Pani has a snack bar as well as washroom facilities for travelers.
Perhaps the most sought after is the beautiful Nathiagali perched 2501 meters high about 32 km away from Murree. The bracing air of the surrounding mountains is as pure as fresh spring water. Dungagali is a picturesque small resort situated on the slopes of the Mukshpuri hill (2376 m.). It commands a charming view of a series of wooded spurs projecting towards the River Jhelum on the western side. From Dungagali one can climb the 2813-m peak of Mukhshpuri, which is the highest point in the range. Natural springs abound on the slopes. It is 30 km from Murree. Khairagali is 16 km from Murree at an elevation of 2346 m and commands a panoramic view on either side of the ridge. Changlagali is 16 km from Murree at an altitude of 2559 m. There is a rest house located in the most picturesque surroundings.
|Join the GlobalSecurity.org mailing list|