|Murree covered in snow blanket|
The first place in mind when you start thinking about the beauty of Pakistan is the most famous tourist resort Murree. It is synonymous to holidays, summer resorts, green hills, pine trees. It is a place that has something to offer to every age group in any season be it the green fresh summers or snow covered winters, captivating mountain views, sunsets or the roaming clouds. One can never get tired of going to Murree and enjoy its beauty.
SOME FACTS ABOUT MURREE:
Although a popular belief is that the place is named after the virgin marry, the name is actually derived from ‘marhi’ meaning a “high place” probably because of the high mountains and hills.
|Beauty along the way|
One of the largest resort town in Galyat area Murree is located in the northeast of the federal capital Islamabad at a distance of about 30 km. The Islamabad-Kohala high way will take you to the queen of hills.
Situated on the southern slopes of Himalayas, the highest altitude of Murree is 2,300m(7,500ft).
The Governor of Punjab ,Sir Henry Lawrence founded Murree as a sanatorium for the British troops in 1851.
WAYS TO TRAVEL TO MURREE:
The easiest and most beautiful way to reach to Murree is via road but then again you don’t have any other choice since there is no airport nor any station in Murree. But you don’t want to miss the scenic beauty on the roadside anyway.
|Roadside Murree in winter|
Taxis and busses will take you to Murree in an hour or so but you should prefer to travel via your own vehicle so that you can stop anywhere you want to along the way, have a cup of tea or bhutta (the corn) which is YUMMY:D and take lotssssss of photographs to make your trip a memorable one.
Now you have two options to or two road ways to reach Murree. One is the old Islamabad –Murree road, which will take one hour approx to take you to Murree..i.e if you don’t stop along the way. The other is 4-lane Islamabad-Murree Express way which is a 45 min drive.
Now there is a third route from Islamabad which is via Nilore and Simli Dam and this alternate route joins at Lower Topa.
Whichever route you choose you will have beauty everywhere all along the way. The choice is yours.
WHERE TO GO IN MURREE:
Now when in Murree you don’t need to go to specific locations to enjoy yourself. Where ever you look, you will find green mountains, flowers, snow(depending on season) and hustle bustle everywhere but still there are some spots which are tourists favorite and once you are there you should definitely visit them.
One of the most famous places is the Mall road, It is famous for the NEWLY WEDDED couples walking together hand in hand and the youngsters teasing them ( I myself did both the things :D) and what else yes you can shop and eat a variety of things from dasi food to KFC everything is available.
Now you can also go to see Kashmir point from where you can view the mountains of Kashmir and the Pindi point.
If you want to enjoy cable cars and chairlifts (another favourite of the youngsters) you can go to Patriata and Ayubia, where you can also enjoy in parks for kids, games such as balloon shooting and restaurants offering both Pakistani and fast food.
Once in Murree, you can extend your vacations and plan day trips to other places like Nathia gali, Kalabagh, Muzaffarabad, Bhurban (PC), Ghora gali, Jhika gali etc.
An American journalist wrote, that,
"Everything and anything can happen in Murree. Romance is in the atmosphere; intrigue is in the air. The roads to this happy holiday's resort embrace both the heaven and earth. In Murree it is easy to fall in love".
Some of the walking and hiking tracks that you can enjoy are:
Ayubia- Changla Gali( we always use this track to go to Ayubia, it is awesome)
If you follow all those tracks, you are sure to hear from your friends that you have lost some ponds over your vacation :D, but you will find all these tracks are worth the effort you put in on covering them.
FLORA AND FAUNA OF MUREE:
Many wild animals are found, you are sure to hear stories of leopards, wolves, foxes and even monkey coming in human inhibited areas and causing trouble( I have although never seen anything like it :P) its all peaceful there but hearing the stories is fun and might give you goose bumps in the already cold nights.
As far as the plants are concerned, Pine trees are found almost everywhere in Murree, the air is filled with the refreshing scent of pine,… cherries, raspberries and strawberries dwell locally and it is fun to eat them off from plants by yourself as you walk and enjoy.
Murree has a variety of handicraft shops selling curios for the tourist to remind them of their visit to this hill station. Traditional colorful clothing items , head wear, carved walking sticks, jewelery items and leather goods are abundantly available and are a must buy for every tourist.
I would say Murree is a must visit tourist destinations where we have all domestics sorted out. We can see nature, get comfortable hotel, eat all kinds of food and do hiking etc. Weather visiting from others cities of Pakistan or from another country, your first stop to enjoy your holidays to the fullest should be none other than Murree, the Queen of Hills.