Murree, Pakistan’s Most Popular Holiday Destination:
If you are a teacher in any Pakistani school and ask your pupil to write an essay on “A trip to Northern areas”, I bet 90 % of the pupil will write an account of their trip to Murree. And if you have ever wondered which place is considered a honeymoon spot in this country, the answer is Murree again!
Murree is situated at the height of 7500 feet in the foothills of Himalaya mountains, some 50 kilometers northwest of Pakistan’s capital, Islamabad. Mountains covered by dense jungles of pine, walnut, maple and oak trees, Murree offers its visitors a beautiful scenic view comprising of lush green landscapes, gurgling springs, tall trees hosting the chirping birds and frolicking squirrels. Flocks of monkeys gathered at the roadsides to be fed by visitors, heavy snow fall in winters and cool weather in summers aptly makes Murree the most loved vacation spot for Pakistanis.
Cable cars and chair lifts at Ayubia and Patriata provide its riders the panoramic view of mountains for almost three kilometers. The famous Mall road in Murree is a must visit place for shopaholics. Whether you are interested in buying traditional handicrafts, hand woven carpets, gems and stone jewelry, Kashmiri shawls, embroidered clothes, fur coats and leather jackets, scarfs, caps or local dry fruits, mall road is the place to be. For kids, taking a ride on an iron cart pushed manually by locals is a much loved activity. White daisies are found in abundance in forests which are plucked and transformed into beautiful garlands.
Little children dressed in shalwar kameez, the traditional dress of Pakistanis can be seen selling the garlands on roadsides and they are immensely liked by tourist women and kids. Horse riding entertains both elders and youngsters. Spicy chicken karahi is the favorite main course here and corns roasted in salt are a very tasty, healthy and popular snack.
Apart from Ayubia, Patriata and Mall road, places to visit include the Pindi point and Kashmir point. Pindi point is a place that views as far as Islamabad while the Kashmir point gives a panoramic view of snow laden Himalaya. Here you may find tourists holding a binocular to get a closer and clearer look of the view.
A Five star hotel located just thirteen kilometers away from Murree is quite popular among corporate sectors, foreigners and the affluent society. During winter season Murree experiences heavy snowfall making it even more beautiful.
The permanent population of this city is small and it’s well-reputed schooling system makes it one of the most literate cities in the country. Summer and winter vacations are the peak tourist seasons and hotels are sometimes over booked due to heavy flow of tourists to escape the heat in summers or enjoy snowfall in winters. However, don’t even think of visiting this place on Independence Day or during Eid holidays. You might get stuck in one of the traffic jams and hotels will also be fully occupied which means you might end up spending the night in a corridor or hotel’s lobby.
So if you wish to snuggle in a blanket near the fire place with a hot cup of cappuccino and hear the sound of pitter patter rain drops falling on the roof and water puddles on roadsides, when rest of the country is using fans to cool themselves off, this is just the place to be.