I have been wondering what to write in the introduction of this post ..thinking, thinking and thinking…. And then I came across this wonderful poem by Major James Abbott (the first deputy commissioner of the district 1849-53), which he wrote for Abbottabad and It is gives a perfect introduction to Abbottabad. Here is how it goes:
I remember the day when I first came here
And smelt the sweet Abbotabad air
The trees and ground covered with snow
Gave us indeed a brilliant show
To me the place seemed like a dream
And far ran a lonesome stream
The wind hisses as if welcoming us
The pine swayed creating a lot of fuss
And the tiny cuckoo sang it away
A song very melodious and gay
I adored the place from the first sight
And was happy that my coming here was right
And eight good years here passed very soon
And we leave our perhaps on a sunny noon
Oh Abbottabad we are leaving you now
To your natural beauty do I bow
Perhaps your winds sound will never reach my ear
My gifts for you is a few sad tears
I bid you farewell with a heavy heart
Never from my mind will your memories thwart.
…..and I have nothing else to say, I think Major sahib has said it all
INFORMATIVE THINGS ABOUT ABOUT ABBOTTABAD:
First of all for entering most of the northern areas of Pakistan, you will have to pass through Abbottabad.it is the hub for tourism of Khyber Pakhtoonkhwa region, murree, Kashmir , Baltistan etc.
Located at a hight of 4,120 ft, it is surrounded from all four sides by Sarban hills.
It has a large number of schools, colleges, military institutions(including the Pakistan Military Accademy), medical colleges(Ayub medical college) and other educational institutions due to which it is also know as “THE CITY OF SCHOOLS”
The climate is extreme in winters and summers, with a mild temperature in spring and autumn, like most of the cities of Pakistan.
The people at a larger scale speak “Hinko” where as pushto is also a common language but communication is easy in urdu (in case you don’t know Hinko or Pushto) while English is also understood ( it’s the city of schools remember:P)
HOW TO REACH ABBOTTABAD:
We used to travel to the northern areas quite often when we lived in Peshawar and we used to go every where by our own car …it was fun passing through various places and our father telling us about the specialities of each place and the famous things that city had…but everyone is not going there via Peshawar so we will leave it here.
You can enter the city via road very easily ,via the high way or the motorway,if you like travelling by train then it is going to take you till Havalian rest you will have to cover by road.
And of course via air transport( I did not know there was an airport there:o)
WHERE TO GO IN ABBOTTABAD:
I remember we once went to Abbottabad in fact it was the last family trip we had together (then we all got married and got busy :P), we stayed in the forest rest house and we convinced our little sister that the chawkidar (gatekeeper,security guard, also the housekeeper and the cook of the rest house) was a JIN…it was a fun trip.
Anyway we used to go out in bazars shop all day, dine out and what not.
From there we went to Thandiani, then to Dadar ,Chattar planes, muree, etc it was one long trip nevertheless we enjoyed a great deal.
Now coming back to Abbottabad, now some of the places which are of interest in Abbottabad are
The old British buildings…no one to be specific but you can walk around and feel times turning to the British era..its a fun thing to do .
Then you can go to Bazars,dine out, do shopping, just walk around (it feels like walking on mall road in murree)
Once you got to Abbottabad people will ask you whether or not you visited the Ilyasi masjid..it is a mosque built over fresh cold water springs..which also open into the mosque for ablution purposes. Apart from that on one side of the masjid there are shops and restaurants which serve Pakoras, their specialty they call it, they are yummy no doubt..also fish caught from the fresh water springs are also available.
Shimla pahari is one of the most liked by the locals for spending some time absorbed in nature and filling ones lungs with fresh air and refreshing smell of pine. Do make a visit to it and walk on the steep mountain (3km) or you can go on your vehicle of course..
At a distance of 24 km from Abbottabad is the place with a very lively bazaar, Mansehra, which is famous for the three granite boulders on which edicts of Ashoka the great have been inscribed.now that’s something worth seeing.
At about 31km from Abbottabad is Thandiani and they named it just perfectly..it really is very very cold there..it offers lovely views , really chill winds blow…I cant think of anything else other than how cold it was there brrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr:P
And apart from these places you can also go to Ayubia, the Galiyat areas and day trips to Murree..suit yourself and enjoy exploring the wonderful city...
Ohhh I almost forgot..if you have a friend from Abbottabad and he/she lives in a village there, it is a mussssstttttttttt to go and live in that village. Abbottabad has wonderful wonderful villages.
WHAT TO SHOP IN ABBOTTABAD:
Buy anything you like and everything you like..it has everything from traditional to conventional and you might want to buy dry fruit which comes from up north.
If you are planning to go to Abbottabad …well plan a little wisely and don’t plan just till Abbottabad you might want to go further up north once you take out time to go to Abbottabad. Enjoy Abbottabad:)