Welcome to Pakistan - The Land of Many Splendors
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Islamabad, the capital of Pakistan, lies against the backdrop of the ever-green Margalla Hills at the northern edge of Potohar Plateau. The name Islamabad (City of Islam, or City of Peace) was carefully chosen to reflect Pakistan's ideology. It was coined by a Pakistani teacher during the Government of Ayub Khan. Islamabad is located 8 miles north of Rawalpindi's city center. In contrast to its twin city Rawalpindi, Islamabad pictures a lushfully green and peaceful atmosphere. It is a city of wide tree-lined streets, large houses, elegant public buildings and well organized bazaars. Sidewalks are shaded and safe behind rows of flaming jacaranda and hibiscus trees. Beautiful parks filled with Roses, jasmine and bougainvillea add to the beauty of this dreamland.
Coming back to its origin and history...The master plan of Islamabad was prepared in 1960 by M/s. Constantinos Doxiades, a Greek firm of Architects. Construction started in October 1961. The city came into life on 26 October 1966, when the first office building of Islamabad was occupied. It is a carefully planned modern city of Pakistan. There are ample opportunities for walking, jogging, hiking and trekking around Islamabad in the lush green Margalla Hills. The Margalla Hill range offers excellent hiking and partying opportunities with magnificent vistas opening on all sides. A network of trails having more than 120 kms length has also been developed for enthusiastic hikers.
The urban area is divided into eight zones: administrative, diplomatic, residential, institutional, industrial, commercial, greenbelt, and a national park that includes an Olympic village. Islamabad hosts many well-organized parks and gardens, mosques, universities and shrines, Museums and archaeological sites. Lok Virsa, the National Cultural Center and Museum off link Road, has exhibits, handicrafts, and examples of dress from different regions of Pakistan. If you have a half day or more at your disposal, a pleasent walking excursion would be to the cave tomb of the areas most important saint, Bari Imam. For Shopping enthusiasts, Islamabad has many Bazaars like Aabpara, Super, Jinnah Super, Blue Area etc. Apart from such excursions one may visit the Shakar-Parian hill top, the Beautiful Jasmine Garden, the Rawal Lake, the Pir Suhawah hill top and Daman-e-Koh. Faisal Mosque is in-itself a beautiful piece of architecture and a must see. For jogging and soft core walks Fatima-Jinnah's huge park is an ideal spot. In sport activities one can find golf courses and bowling alleys along with a few cricket and football grounds. With such varied attraction Islamabad poses to be an all-time favourite amongst tourists coming from within and outside Pakistan.
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