(Urdu: Rāwalpindī) is a city in the Potwar Plateau near Pakistan's capital city of Islamabad, in the province of Punjab. The area was home to the ancient Soanian culture indigenous to this region. Numerous and endless shopping bazaars, parks and a cosmopolitan population attract shoppers from all over Pakistan and abroad. Rawalpindi is also the military headquarters of the Pakistan Armed Forces and also served as the nation's capital while Islamabad was being constructed in the 1960s. The city is home to many industries and factories. Islamabad International Airport, formerly known as "Chaklala" airport, is actually in Rawalpindi; it serves the city along with the capital. Rawalpindi is located in the Punjab province, 275 km (171 miles) to the north-west of Lahore. It is the administrative seat of the Rawalpindi District. The population of Rawalpindi is approximately 3,039,550, and Area of Rawalpindi City is about .
Rawalpindi, also known as Pindi, has a long history spread over several millennia. Archaeologists believe that a distinct culture flourished on this plateau as far back as 3000 years. The material remains found at the site prove the existence of a Buddhist
establishment contemporary to Taxila
and of a Vedic civilisation
. The nearby town of Taxila has another significance; according to the Guinness Book of World Records it has the world's oldest university - Takshashila University.
Sir Alexander Cunningham identified certain ruins on the site of the cantonment with the ancient city of Gajipur or Gajnipur, the capital of the Bhatti tribe in the ages preceding the Christian era. Graeco-Bactrian coins, together with ancient bricks, occur over an area of 500 ha (2 mi²). Known within historical times as Fatehpur Baori, Rawalpindi fell into decay during one of the Mongol invasions in the fourteenth century.
It appears that the ancient city went into oblivion as a result of the White Hun devastation. The first Muslim invader, Mahmud of Ghazni 979-1030), gave the ruined city to a Gakhar Chief, Kai Gohar. The town, however, being on an invasion route, could not prosper and remained deserted until Jhanda Khan, another Gakhar Chief, restored it and named it Rawalpindi after the village Rawal in 1493. Rawalpindi remained under the rule of the Gakkhars until Muqarrab Khan, the last Gakkhar ruler, was defeated by the Sikhs under Sardar Milka Singh in 1765. Singh invited traders from the neighbouring commercial centres of Jhelum and Shahpur to settle in the territory.
Early in the nineteenth century Rawalpindi became for a time the refuge of Shah Shuja, the exiled king of Afghanistan, and of his brother Shah Zaman. The present native infantry lines mark the site of a battle fought by the Gakhars under their famous chief Sultan Mukarrab Khan in the middle of the eighteenth century. Rawalpindi was taken by Sikh ruler Maharaja Ranjit Singh in 1818. It was at Rawalpindi, on March 14, 1849, that the Sikh army under Chattar Singh and Sher Singh finally laid down their arms after the battle of Gujrat and were decisively defeated.
Following the British
conquest of the region of Pakistan
and their occupation of Rawalpindi in 1849, the city became a permanent garrison
of the British army in 1851. In the 1880s a railway line to Rawalpindi was laid, and train service was inaugurated on January 1
. The need for a railway link arose after Lord Dalhousie
made Rawalpindi the headquarters of the Northern Command and the city became the largest British military
garrison in British India
On the introduction of British rule, Rawalpindi became the site of a cantonment, and shortly afterwards the headquarters of a Division; while its connexion with the main railway system by the extension of the North-Western Railway to Peshawar immensely developed both its size and commercial importance. The municipality was created in 1867. The income and expenditure during the ten years ending 1902-3 averaged 2-1 lakhs. In 1903-4 the income and expenditure were 1-8 lakhs and 2-1 lakhs respectively. The chief item of income was octroi (1-6 lakhs) ; and the expenditure included administration (Rs. 35,000), conservancy (Rs. 27,000), hospitals and dispensaries (Rs. 25,000), public works (Rs. 9,000), and public safety (Rs. 17,000). The cantonment, with a population in 1901 of 40,611, was the most important in all of British South Asia. It contained one battery of horse and one of field artillery, one mountain battery, one company of garrison artillery, and one ammunition column of field artillery; one regiment of British and one of Native cavalry; two of British and two of Native infantry; and two companies of sappers and miners, with a balloon section. It was the winter head-quarters of the Northern Command, and of the Rawalpindi military division. An arsenal was established here in 1883.
It has also been recently disclosed that the British Government tested poison gas on Indian troops during a series of experiments that lasted over a decade.
In 1951, Rawalpindi saw the assassination of the first elected Prime Minister of Pakistan, Liaquat Ali Khan in Company Bagh now known as Liaquat Bagh Park (also called Liaquat Garden.) On 27 December 2007, Liaquat Bagh Park's rear gate in Rawalpindi was the site of the assassination of former Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto. Her father, former Prime Minister Zulfikar Ali Bhutto was hanged in Rawalpindi in 1979.
Today Rawalpindi is the headquarters of the Pakistani Army and Air Force.
The famous Murree Road has been a hot spot for various political and social events. Nala Lai, in the middle of city, history describes Nala Lai water as pure enough for drinking but now it has become polluted with the waste water from all sources including factories and houses.
Kashmir Road, was renamed from Dalhousie Road, Haider road from Lawrence road, Bank Road from Edwards Road, Hospital Road from Mission Road, Jinnah Road from Nehru Road.
Rawalpindi is chaotic but relatively dust-free. The literacy rate is 70.5% (January 2006). The population is ethnically and linguistically heterogeneous, comprising Pothoharis, Punjabis, Muhajirs,Hindkowans and Pakhtuns. The weather is highly unpredictable. The average annual rainfall is , most of which falls in the summer monsoon season. However, frontal cloudbands also bring quite significant rainfall in the winter. In summer, the maximum temperature can sometimes soar up to , while it may drop to a minimum of in the winter.
The images (of Rawal Dam)above belong to Islamabad and not to Rawalpindi...
Rapidly developing into a large city, Rawalpindi has many good hotels, restaurants, clubs, museums and parks, of which the largest is the Ayub National Park. Rawalpindi forms the base camp for the tourists visiting the holiday resorts and hill stations of the Galiyat area, such as Murree, Nathia Gali, Ayubia, Abbottabad, Swat, Kaghan, Gilgit, Hunza, Skardu and Chitral.
The best way to see Rawalpindi is by wandering through its bazaars, but you should orient yourself before setting out. The city has two main roads: the Grand Trunk Road runs roughly from east to west and is known as The Mall as it passes through the cantonment. Murree Road originates towards north from The Mall, crosses the railway lines and brushes the east end of the old city on its way to Islamabad. The two main bazaar areas are Raja Bazaar in the old city and Saddar Bazaar, which developed as the cantonment bazaar between the old city and the Mall. Another developing market is called the Commercial Market located in the area of Satellite Town near Islamabad.
The crowded alleys of the old city are home to many attractions, including Hindu and Sikh temples and Muslim shrines.
Rawalpindi has been a military city since colonial times and remained Army headquarters after independence in 1947. Due to this, also located in Rawalpindi is the Pakistan Army Museum, wit h displays on colonial and present day armies, armoury of historical significance and war heroes.
Ayub National Park is located beyond the old Presidency on Jhelum Road. It covers an area of about and has a play-land, lake with boating facility, an aquarium and a garden-restaurant. Rawalpindi Public Park is located on Murree Road near Shamsabad. The Park was opened for public in 1991. It has a playland for children, grassy lawns, fountains and flower beds.
Rawalpindi Cricket Stadium, built in 1992, has a grass pitch, floodlights, and a initial capacity of 20,000 but in mid 2008 it is being upgraded and then it can hold more than 40,000 people. The home team is the Rawalpindi Cricket Association. Also located in the city is Rawalpindi Hockey stadium. This small but well built facility plays host to the national side throughout the year.
Rawat Fort is located east of Rawalpindi, on the Grand Trunk (G.T.) Road leading to Lahore. Gakhars, a fiercely independent tribe of the Pothohar Plateau built the fort, in early 16th century. The grave of a Gakhar Chief, Sultan Sarang Khan is located inside the fort. He died in 1546 fighting against the forces of Sher Shah Suri. A climb up the broken steps inside the tomb is rewarded with a panoramic view of the plateau and the Mankiala Stupa. Besides Rawat, about an hours drive from Rawalpindi on the grand trunk road towards the city of Peshawar, is Attock Fort. This impressive fort is easily visible and located near the Shrine 'Hazrat Jee Sahib', the tradition burial grounds for the 'Bati' Family of the Paracha clan from the near by (deserted) village of 'Malahi Tola'. The Akbari fort is not open to the public as it is in active military use.
Pharwala Fort is about from Rawalpindi beyond Lehtrar road. It is a Gakhar fort built it in 15th century on the ruins of a 10th century Hindi Shahi Fort. Emperor Babur conquered the fort in 1519. Later, in 1825, Sikhs expelled Gakhars from this fort. Though the fort is in a crumbling state, it is still an attraction for castle lovers. The fort, being situated in prohibited area, is only open for Pakistani visitors.
There are many ways to get in and around Rawalpindi.
The Rawalpindi Railway Station
is located in the Saddar City. The Railway Station was built in the 1880s by the government of British India
. The British built many railways across South Asia
to help facilitate trade and more importantly to help consolidate their rule.
The routes the British built from Rawalpindi, which contained a major military base, linked to Lahore
, Hyderabad, Sindh
and the Malakand Pass
Islamabad International Airport
is actually located at Chaklala
which technically is a part of Rawalpindi. The airport is served by over 25 airlines, both national and international. Pakistan International Airlines
(PIA), the national carrier of Pakistan, has numerous routes, with many domestic and international flights every day. Construction on the new Rawalpindi/Islamabad international airport has now been started near the town of Fateh Jang approx from both cities.
The main route running through Rawalpindi is the Murree Road. This road runs West-East through the city and continues to the hill station
, which is a major summer attraction for Rawalpindi residents. Murree Rd is one of the busiest roads in the Punjab Province
Rawalpindi is on the ancient Grand Trunk Road (also known as G.T. Road or, more recently, N-5) which links Rawalpindi to nearly every major city in northern Pakistan, from Karachi, to Peshawar, Lahore, Quetta, Multan, Faisalabad, Hyderabad, Sukkur, Bahawalpur, Gujrat, Gujranwala, Kohat, Khanewal, Nawabshah, Nowshera and the Malakand Pass.
The city is also served by two nearby six-lane Motorways, M2 (Lahore-Islamabad) and M1 (Islamabad-Peshawar), which were completed in the 1990s. Somewhat further away is the famous Karakoram Highway, the world's highest international road, which connects Pakistan to China.
Public transport for travel within Rawalpindi is diverse, ranging from yellow taxis, auto-rickshaws, mini-buses and even tongas
(horse-drawn carriages). Due to lack of planning of roads, mess of traffic is found even on small roads. For inter-city travel, air-conditioned and non air-conditioned buses and coaches are regularly available to many destinations in Pakistan.
There is also an Islamabad/Rawalpindi central railway station that allows travel to every major city in Pakistan. In addition to freight, Pakistan Railways provides passenger rail service throughout the day, with train coaches that have air-conditioning in first-class.
The majority of the people are Rawalpindi is Muslim. There are many mosques throughout the city. Most famous Mosques are Jamia Mosque, Raja Bazaar Mosque and Eid Gah Mosque. Other minority religions are Christian, Hindu, Sikh and Ahmadiyya Religion.
has numerous sights of architectural masterpieces. Few of the heritage buildings are Purana Qil'aa (The Old Fort), Bagh Sardaran (Chief's Gardens), Haveli Sujaan Sigh, which is the remains of the Sikh Nawabs of Rawalpindi, the grand building has been converted into Fatima Jinnah
Women University, which is the only female university to have established in the region.
Other ancient buildings include Jain
Mandir, Jain Temple
.Gordon College, a prestigious institution of high learning was set during the British Raj
.The shrine of Hazrat Sakhi Shah Chan Charagh
is one of the centres devotees are flocked to. An institution of high devotion and solace located near the famous Raja Bazar
He is the patron saint of the city and regarded as one of the two protectors of the twin cities, i.e. Islamabad and Rawalpindi along with Hazrat Bari Imam
, his cousin brother. The "Rawalpindi Public Library" was one of the earliest private public libraries organized after separation from India. The building was donated for public library by the then Deputy Commissioner Major Davis (also Mrs. Davis' motel's owner)on the initiative of a philanthropist Khurshid Anwar Jilani, an attorney, writer and social worker. However, the building was confiscated for election and political campaigning during the last days of Field Marshal Ayub Khan's reign, and rare manuscripts and artifacts were taken away by the influential.
provides the main network of landline telephone. Many ISPs and all major mobile phone companies operating in Pakistan
provide service in Rawalpindi.
According to the general survey of industry conducted by Directorate of Industries and Mineral Development Punjab. There are at present 939 industrial units operating in the district. This district is not famous for industrial goods like other districts. The progress has been mostly in the private sector. The existing industrial units provide employment to about 35,000 persons i.e. about 1.6% of district population is directly employed in large, medium and small industrial units.
Apparently there is no shortage of skilled manpower. The Technical/ Vocational Training Institute operating in the district turn out about 1974. Technicians/ Artisans annually trained in various fields of engineering. Airconditiong, Drafting, Metallurgy, Welding, Auto knitting and commerce etc.
- Kohinoor Textile Mills: Kohinoor Mills is the largest unit in the district, which is located near Naseer Abad and is equipped with 50,000spindles and 1,021 power looms.
- Wattan Woolen Mills: Next is Wattan Woolen and Hosiery Mills fitted 10,000 spindles.
- Rahat Woolen Mills established in 1954 is one of the oldest and most prominent mill in Rawalpindi.
- Silk industry
- Woolen Mills
- Hosiery Industry
- Engineering Industry
- Food Industry
- Flour Mills
- Soap Industry
- Glass Factories
- Chemical Factories
- Drink (Beverages)
- Foot Wear
- Furniture and Fixture
- Marble * Citi Marble Industries Islamabad
- Ayub National Park is located beyond the old Presidency on Grand Trunk (G.T.) Road. It covers an area of about and has a play area, lake with boating facility, an aquarium, a garden-restaurant and an open air theatre.
- Liaquat National Bagh, sometimes known as Liaquat Bagh and formerly Municipal Park, is of historical interest. The first prime minister of Pakistan, Khan Liaquat Ali Khan, was assassinated here in 1950. And also the Pakistan's first female Prim Minister Banazir Bhtto also assassinated here in 27 December 2007. She was the youngest elected Prime Minister of the world as well.
- Situated near Ayub National Park, Rawalpindi Golf Course was completed in 1926 by Rawalpindi Golf Club, one of the oldest golf clubs of Pakistan. The facility was initially developed as a nine-hole course. After several phases of development, it is now a 27-hole course. From the clubhouse, there is a panoramic view of Faisal Mosque, the twin cities of Islamabad and Rawalpindi, and the course itself. Major golf tournaments are regularly held here.
- Rawalpindi Public Park (well known as Nawaz Sharif Part) is located on Murree Road near Shamsabad. The Park was opened in 1991. It has a play area for children, lawns, fountains and flower beds. A cricket stadium was built in 1992 opposite the Public Park. The 1996 World Cup cricket matches were held on this cricket ground.
- Rawalpindi Cricket Stadium
- Army Cricket ground (Pindi Club)
- Army Hockey Stadium
- Army Football ground
- KRL Cricket ground
- CMTSD Cricket stadium
- 502 sports ground
- 501 sports ground
- COD Sports Complex
- Noor Station Ground Dhoke Hassu
- Army Signals Hockey ground
- Municipal Football stadium
- Railway Ground Dhoke Matkial
- Attock Oil Refinery cricket ground
Museums and Arts Galleries
- Lok Virsa
- Pakistan Museum of Natural History
- Army Museum of Pakistan
- Idara Saqafat-e-Pakistan
- Daily Nawa-i-Waqt
- Daily Jang
- Daily Asas
- Daily Times
- Daily Nation
- National Herald Tribune
- The Daily Sada-e-Haq
- Daily Express
- Daily Dawn
- Daily Din
- Daily News Mart Rawalpindi
Midway Centrum Shopping Mall
Markerts and Bazaars
||City Sadar Road
||Dhoke Hassu Bazar
||Kashmir Road |
Tehsils in Rawalpindi
The City-District of Rawalpindi comprises seven autonomous tehsils, besides Rawalpindi itself:
There are many cinemas in Rawalpindi but these are most famous
- Cine Pex
- Ciros Cinema
- Gulistan Cinema
- Plaza Cinema
- Shabistan Cinema
- Rose Cinema
- Riyalto Cinema
- Liaquat Theatre
- CinePex Cinema
- Saleem Jan Mini Cinema
Schools and Colleges
- Asia College Comitty Chowk R.pinid (since 1970 ) (Prof. Asad M. Hashmi )
- Army Public School and College (APSAC), Ordnance Road, Lalkurti Rawalpindi.
- Bismah Army Public School, Hamza Camp, Murree Road, Rawalpindi
- Bahria Foundation College Peshawar Rd
- Beacon-House Schools System
- divisional Public School
- Dar-e-Arqam School Peshawar Rd
- Fauji Foundation College for Boys
- Fauji Foundation Model School, Harley Street
- F.G. Sir Syed Boys Sec. School, The Mall Road, Rawalpindi.
- F.G. Quaid-e-Azam College, Chaklala III
- F.G. School For Boys, Saddar, Cant
- F.G. Sir Syed College, The Mall
- F.G. (C.B) College for Women
- Froebels Interantional School
- Faisal Model High School, Muslim Town, Sadiqabad, Rawalpindi
- Government College of Commerce, Satellite Town
- Govt. college for Women Peshawar Road
- Govt. College for Women, Satellite Town
- Govt. Gordon College, Rawalpindi (founded 1891)
- Government Islamia High School No. 4, Liaquat Road
- Govt Muslim Higher Secondary School
- Govt Girls School & College Carriage Factory Road,Dhoke Hassu Rawalpindi
- The Brook Field School Dhoke Hassu Rawalpindi
- New Land Public School Dhoke Hassu Rawalpindi
- Sardar Public School Dhoke Hassu Rawalpindi
- Govt. Post Graduate College Asghar Mall Rawalpindi
- Govt. Viqar un Nisa College for Women
- Government Chiristion Higher Secondary School. Iqbal Road Raja Bazar Rawalpindi.
- Grammar Foundation School, Peshawar Road
- Indus College of Commerce
- Haq Public High School, F block Satellite Town
- FIZAIA Intermediate College, Chaklala
- KEN HALL PUBLIC SCHOOL, MURREE ROAD RAWALPINDI
- Petroman Institute of Computer Science
- Presentation Convent High School
- Punjab College Of Commerce
- Rawalpindi International School, Saidpur Road
- Rawal College of Commerce, Main Peshawar Road
- Rawalpindi College Of Commerce sadiquee chowk
- Roots School System
- Sir Syed Public School, Tipu Road
- Sir Syed Science College, Tipu Road
- St. John's High School, Murree Road
- St Mary's Academy and St Mary's Cambridge School
- The City School (Murree Road)
- SLS College & Visa Centre
- Saint pauls Cambridge school
- Westridge Academy
- Westminster School
- Pearl Continental, Mall road
- Hotel Shalimar, Aziz Bhatti road
- Hotel Holiday
- Flashman's Hotel, Mall road
- Gatmell's Hotel
- Hotel Maharaja