Thanks to My Family, We Re-explored Islamabad
Last week, a relative visited us in Islamabad. We didn’t have enough time to escape this calm and beautiful city, so we planned to stick with this city only.
On Muharram 7th, they came from the heart of Punjab, i.e. Lahore. They reached late at night, so we couldn’t find a good time to explore the city. So we decided to do this the next day. But wait, I didn’t have a day off on 8th Muharram, so we slightly changed the plan. I took a half day off, managed to get back home by 4 pm, but still couldn’t leave till Maghrib. This is how we do J Anyways, we still head out and followed the plan.
Our first destination was the most visited and maybe the one thing on top of the list of outsiders, the Faisal Masjid. Sitting beside the Margalla Hills, this adds to the beauty of the Masjid.
Entering from Faizabad, it’s a straight road till the end to reach Faisal Masjid. And you even don’t need to ask the way to this humongous present from the Shah Faisal (late), you can see the white masjid from a long distance. Entering the area covered around the masjid is itself a beautiful landscape.
The first thing that catches the glimpse is striking white masjid sitting in the laps of the Margalla Hills. The next that attracts your eyes is a vast green land. The masjid has a huge parking alley. You can park your vehicle at the start and walk all around the masjid or you can go straight to the masjid parking. Not many know that Zia-ul-Haq’s grave rest on the fields of the Faisal Masjid. You’ll find the tomb on the way to the masjid.
Entering the masjid premises – on the left you’ll see a fountain (usually not following) and on the right a section to deposit your shoes. Moving a bit further, you’ll see a library and a souvenir shop. On the ground floor, there are the washrooms and an area for ablution.
To enter the main hall, there are two ways, but usually the main entrance is used by all. The inner hall is a beauty itself. A large hall, with an area for both men and women to offer their prayers and a hanging chandelier.
Sadly, I would say that this masjid is a main attraction for the visitors and not for offering prayers. It isn’t bad to visit, view and admire this stunning masjid, but one must never forget to offer his/her prayers.
As we got late and it Ashura was near, so we find it best to head our way back to our cozy zones and leave the rest to the next day.
9th Muharram – I was thinking that everyone would be taking a rest day on the 9th and 10th Muharram, but I was glad to find that not everyone stayed at home lying.
The next day we headed our way to lake view point. Build on one side of the Rawal Dam, this is another gift but not from the Shah but our government. This is a place where you can get different rides, ride a horse, can talk a long and refreshing walk along the path, ride on a golf cart and make your way to the end of the point, which is the first thing that caused the development of this fantastic park, the lake.
In the lake, you can’t swim but can ride on boats only. It’s an amazing experience to take a short tour around the lake.
One thing that I forgot to share is that you can also see the prisoners in the cage (not the human prisoners but animals and birds). There is a small zoo jus tat the start of the park.
If you or your kid love rides, that’s another section. You’ll find different rides there and you must try them, but don’t forget to take a good amount of cash with you!
Our next stop – Damn-e-Koh. The easiest route is to get on the 7th avenue and move towards the Margalla Hills. One best thing about Islamabad is that you’ll never get lost. The only thing you need to do is to keep your eyes open and look for the sign boards. Same is the case with Damn-e-Koh.
In the base, there’s a small zoo (not very exciting to visit!) and Japanese Park (a gift from Japan).
Around 4kms from the base, we were entering our destination for the night. Damn-e-Koh is the best spot where you can view the entire city. The night view has its own charm. The lights of buildings and cars add to the value of the scene.
No rides for children, but you can make your way to the point either by taking a walk or riding on a golf cart. As this spot is among the dark forest (well don’t get excited as it isn’t that dark), you can find a couple of animals there. Baboons and wild pigs, are two of the most common animals you may see on your way to the viewpoint. Be careful!
The parking alley is before the main viewpoint and there stand few stalls of food, drink and some local heritage.
Back to home
We didn’t have enough time to plan our vacation for more sightseeing locations, but I think we didn’t make our days go wasted. It was a good time with family, re-exploring the old places!