Rawalpindi

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Rawalpindi
راولپنڈی
City District
Rawalpindi is located in Pakistan
Rawalpindi
Rawalpindi
Location in Pakistan
Coordinates: 33°36′0″N 73°02′0″E / 33.60000°N 73.03333°E / 33.60000; 73.03333Coordinates: 33°36′0″N 73°02′0″E / 33.60000°N 73.03333°E / 33.60000; 73.03333
Country  Pakistan
Region Punjab
Division Rawalpindi Division
Autonomous towns 8
Union councils 170
Elevation 508 m (1,667 ft)
Population (1998)
 • Urban 1,406,214[1]
Time zone PKT (UTC+5)
 • Summer (DST) PKT (UTC+6)
Area code(s) 051
Website www.rawalpindi.gov.pk

Rawalpindi (Punjabi, Urdu: راولپنڈى‎, Rāwalpiṅḋī), commonly known as Pindi (Punjabi: پنڈی, is a rapidly growing city in the Pothohar region of northern Punjab, Pakistan. It is located only 14 kilometres (9 mi) south from the capital city of Islamabad, in the province of Punjab. Rawalpindi is the fourth most populous urban area and is in the List of most populous metropolitan areas in Pakistan. The Rawalpindi/Islamabad metropolitan area is the ranked the third highest in the country. Due to the high interdependence and intertwined areas of the two cities, they are known as the twin cities of Rawalpindi/Islamabad. In the 1950s, Rawalpindi was smaller than Hyderabad and Multan, but the city's economy received a boost during the building of Islamabad (1959–1969), during which Rawalpindi served as the national capital. Rawalpindi is in the northernmost part of the Punjab province, located 275 km (171 mi) to the north-west of Lahore. It is the administrative seat of the Rawalpindi District. Also, Rawalpindi is the military headquarters GHQ of the Pakistani Armed Forces.

Many tourists use the city as a stop before traveling towards the northern areas. Numerous shopping bazaars, parks and a cosmopolitan population attract shoppers from all over Pakistan and abroad. The city is home to several industries and factories. Islamabad International Airport is located in Rawalpindi, which is also the Chaklala Airbase, and serves both cities and several neighboring districts for international flights.

History[edit]

The Mosque at Gulshan Dadan Khan

Rawalpindi has been inhabited for thousands of years, it is believed that a distinct culture flourished on this plateau as far back as c. 1000 BC. 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.[2] In Takshashila, 19 km (12 mi) north-west of Rawalpindi, traces of at least 55 stupas, 28 Buddhist monasteries, 9 temples, a copper plate inscribed with the name Takshashila, a vase with Kharoshthi script among other things have been found.[3]

Sir Alexander Cunningham identified certain ruins on the site of the cantonment with the ancient city of Ganjipur 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 14th century.[4]

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.[4]

Early in the 19th 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 18th century. Rawalpindi was taken by Sikh ruler Maharaja Ranjit Singh in 1818.

British rule[edit]

The Mess Hall, Rawalpindi
Queen Victoria's Statue sculpted in England was placed in the city during the rule of the British Empire, 1939

Following the British invasion of the region and their occupation of Rawalpindi in 1849, the city became a permanent garrison of the British army in 1851. In the late 1870s a railway line to Rawalpindi was laid, and train service was inaugurated on 1 October 1880. 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.[citation needed]

On the introduction of British rule, Rawalpindi became the site of a cantonment and, shortly afterward, the headquarters of the 2nd (Rawalpindi) Division. Its connection with the main railway system by the extension of the North-Western Railway to Peshawar immensely developed its size and commercial importance. The municipality was created in 1867.

Rawalpindi at the beginning of the 1900s became the most important cantonment in the British Raj - the colonial dominion of the Indic or South Asian sub-continent. For example, the municipality's population in 1901 population was 40 611, larger than any other cantonment. Its income and expenditure during the ten years ending 1902-3 averaged 180 000 and 210 000 Rs. (rupees), respectively. Income derived mostly (89%) from municipal import duties (octroi) which in that year ran 160 000 Rs. Expenditure included administration (35 000 Rs. or 17%), conservancy (27 000 Rs. or 13%), hospitals and dispensaries (25 000 Rs. or 12%), public works (9 000 Rs. or 3%), and public safety (17 000 Rs. or %).

The cantonment was a major center of military power of the Raj after an arsenal was established in 1883.[4] In 1901 Rawalpindi was the winter headquarters of the Northern Command and of the Rawalpindi military division. It quartered six regiments - one each of British and Native cavalry; two each of British and Native infantry; three companies, one of garrison artillery and two of sappers and miners, including a balloon section; three batteries - one each of horse, field artillery, and mountain; and one ammunition column of field artillery. It has been recently disclosed that the British Government tested poison gas on Indian troops during a series of experiments that lasted over a decade.[5]

Post-independence[edit]

The predominantly Muslim population supported Muslim League and Pakistan Movement. After the independence of Pakistan in 1947, the minority Hindus and Sikhs migrated to India while the Muslim refugees from India settled in the Rawalpindi. In the succeeding years, Rawalpindi saw an influx of Muhajir, Pashtun and Kashmiri settlers. In 1959, the city became the interim capital of the country after President Ayub Khan sought the creation of a new planned capital of Islamabad in the vicinity of Rawalpindi. As a result, Rawalpindi saw most major central government offices and institutions relocate to nearby territory, and its population boom.

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.[6] Her father, former Prime Minister Zulfikar Ali Bhutto was hanged in Rawalpindi in 1979.[7]

The Murree Road during the construction of Committee Chowk Underpass

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. Today Rawalpindi is the headquarters of the Pakistani Army. Pakistan Air Force also has an active airbase in the Chaklala region of Rawalpindi.[8][9]

Boundary and expansion[edit]

Though Rawalpindi has expanded mostly due to explosive population pressure, Nespak has been given the responsibility to render the urban planning services—analysing available data and other documents like master plans, structure plans, outline development plans and census reports. It is also responsible for defining the geographical features of the city and provides the a rough idea of how the city could be expanded in the next 20 years.[10][11]

Climate[edit]

Main article: Climate of Rawalpindi

Rawalpindi features a humid subtropical climate (Köppen: Cwa)[12] with long and very hot summers, a monsoon and short, mild and wet winters. Rawalpindi and its twin city Islamabad, during the year experiences an average of 91 thunderstorms, which is the third highest in frequency after Murree and Kakul. Wind gusts have been reported by Pakistan Meteorological Department to have reached 167 km/h (105 mph) in such thunder/wind storms which results in damage of infrastructure especially electric poles, billboards and sometimes buildings too.[13] Rawalpindi is chaotic but relatively dust-free. The weather is highly variable due to the location of the city. The average annual rainfall is 45 inches (1,100 mm), most of which falls in the summer monsoon season. However, frontal cloudbands also bring quite significant rainfall in the winter. In summer, the record maximum temperature has soared to 46.5 °C (116 °F), while it dropped to a minimum −3.9 °C (25 °F) in the winter.

Climate data for Rawalpindi
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Average high °C (°F) 17
(63)
19.5
(67.1)
24.2
(75.6)
29.9
(85.8)
35.4
(95.7)
39.5
(103.1)
35.8
(96.4)
33.7
(92.7)
33.6
(92.5)
30.9
(87.6)
25
(77)
19.3
(66.7)
28.65
(83.6)
Daily mean °C (°F) 9.8
(49.6)
12.5
(54.5)
17.3
(63.1)
22.6
(72.7)
27.6
(81.7)
32
(90)
30.3
(86.5)
28.6
(83.5)
27.6
(81.7)
22.7
(72.9)
16.2
(61.2)
11.3
(52.3)
21.54
(70.81)
Average low °C (°F) 2.7
(36.9)
5.5
(41.9)
10.4
(50.7)
15.3
(59.5)
19.9
(67.8)
24.5
(76.1)
24.8
(76.6)
23.6
(74.5)
21.6
(70.9)
14.5
(58.1)
7.5
(45.5)
3.3
(37.9)
14.47
(58.03)
Precipitation mm (inches) 58
(2.28)
56
(2.2)
68
(2.68)
44
(1.73)
38
(1.5)
37
(1.46)
237
(9.33)
236
(9.29)
92
(3.62)
23
(0.91)
16
(0.63)
36
(1.42)
941
(37.05)
Source: Climate-Data.org, altitude: 497m[12]

Economy[edit]

Main article: Economy of Rawalpindi
Bank Alfalah branch in Rawalpindi
Rawalpindi serves as the Head office and main establishment of Bahria Town, Asias largest private real estate investors.

The economy of Rawalpindi and the surrounding district has a diverse industrial base, but remains mainly service based. According to the general survey of industry conducted by Directorate of Industries and Mineral Development Punjab, there are 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 people, 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 turns out about 1,974 technicians/artisans annually. They are trained in engineering, air conditioning, drafting, metallurgy, welding, auto knitting, telecom and commerce, etc. Jinnah Road, formerly known as City Saddar Road, is one of the busiest business markets. It could be considered as business headquarters northern Pakistan including retailers, wholesalers, distributors, manufacturers having an approximately cash flow of more than 1 billion rupees[clarification needed] per day. The importance of Jinnah Road can be seen by the presence of more than nine banks on the road with more opening soon.

Major business[edit]

  • Kohinoor Textile Mills is the largest unit in the district. It is located near Nasser Abad and is equipped with 50,000 spindles and 1,021 power looms.
  • Wattan Woolen and Hosiery Mills is fitted 10,000 spindles.
  • Rahat Woolen Mills, established in 1954, is one of the oldest and most prominent mills in Rawalpindi.
  • Bahria Town, the largest real-estate developers and Investors in Pakistan and the largest private housing society in Asia has its signature investment in Rawalpindi, which is spread over 40,000 Hectares.[14]
  • Murree Brewery one of the largest company in the heart of the city, is the only licensed company in Pakistan to make alcoholic products.[15]
  • Roots School System, Pakistan's third largest private school chain, is headquartered in Rawalpindi.
  • Army Welfare Trust is a military owned corporation which owne's over a dozen companies.[16]
  • Attock Group of Companies is a multinational conglomerate company has its headquarters and oil refinery in the city established in 1922. It is the sole vertically integrated oil conglomerate of the country, it includes 7 subsidiaries.[17]
  • Defence Housing Authority, Islamabad has its Phase-I in the city of Rawalpindi.[18]

Civic administration[edit]

Administrative subdivisions of Rawalpindi District.

The City-District of Rawalpindi comprises eight autonomous tehsils, besides Rawalpindi city (divided into Rawal & Potohar Tehsils)

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 also holds many private colony's who have developed themselves rapidly for e.g. Pak PWD, Korang Town, Ghori Town, Pakistan Town, Judicial Town, Bahria Town[19] which is the Asia's largest private colony, Kashmir Housing Society, Danial Town, Al-Haram City, Education City.

Demographics[edit]

Religions in Rawalpindi
Religions Percent
Islam
  
98.0%
Christianity
  
1.8%
Others
  
0.2%

The population of Rawalpindi is approximately 1,991,656 according to the 2006 census which includes many people who come from Punjab villages looking for work in the city. Punjabi is the language of people and most people speak Pothohari dialect of Punjabi language. When it comes to Religion, Islam is followed by 98% of the population. Nearly 65.8 being Sunni, Shia being 24%. Remaining 2% being follower of other faiths. The majority of the people of Rawalpindi are Muslims. There are many mosques throughout the city. The most famous Mosques are Jamia Mosque, Raja Bazaar Mosque and Eid Gah Mosque which attract thousands of visitors daily. Other minority religions are Christian, Zoroastrian, Bahai, Parsi, Ahmadiyya, Hinduism and Sikhism. The literacy rate is 80% (2006–07). The population is ethnically heterogeneous, comprising Rajputs, Awans, Jats, Gujjars, Paharis, Sheikhs, Kashmiris, Pakhtuns, Muhajirs, Hindkowans, and Qureshis.

Culture[edit]

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, Kotli, Ayubia, Rawlakot, Muzaffarabad, Bagh, Abbottabad, Samahni, Swat, Kaghan, Gilgit, Hunza, Skardu and Chitral.

The crowded alleys of the old city are home to many attractions, including Hindu (in ruins now), Zoroastrian, Sikh temples and Islamic shrines. There are several museums and arts galleries such as the Lok Virsa, Pakistan Museum of Natural History,[20] and the Idara Saqafat e Pakistan.

Markets and bazaars[edit]

Raja Bazaar Rawalpindi

The main bazaar areas are Raja Bazaar in the old city, Moti Bazaar, Moti Mahal, Commercial Market, China Market and Saddar Bazaar, which developed as the cantonment bazaar between the old city and The Mall. Another developing market is the Commercial Market in the area of Satellite Town near Islamabad.

Military headquarters[edit]

Army Welfare Trust Building

Rawalpindi has been a military city since colonial times and remained Army headquarters after independence in 1947. Due to this, the city is home to the Pakistan Army Museum, with displays on colonial and present day armies, armoury of historical significance and war heroes. Today Rawalpindi is the headquarters of the Pakistani Army.

Parks and places of interest[edit]

The gate of Paharwala Fort (The first Islamic Fort in Sub-Continent Since 1002)

Ayub National Park is located beyond the old Presidency on Jhelum Road. It covers an area of about 2,300 acres (930 ha) and has a playland, lake with boating facility, an aquarium and a garden-restaurant. Rawalpindi Public Park is on Murree Road near Shamsabad. The Park was opened to the public in 1991. It has a playland for children, grassy lawns, fountains and flower beds.

In 2008 Jinnah Park was inaugurated at the heart of Rawalpindi and has since become a hotspot of activity for the city. People from as far out as Peshawer come to Jinnah Park to enjoy its modern facilities. It houses a state-of-the-art cinema, Cinepax,[21] a Metro Cash and Carry supermart, an outlet of McDonalds, gaming lounges, Motion Rides and other recreational facilities. The vast lawns also provide an adequate picnic spot.[22][23] In mid-2012 3D cinema, The Arena, started its operations in Bahria Town Phase-4 in Rawalpindi.[24][25] The cinema has a maximum capacity of 264 people and caters to the needs of both Rawalpindi and Islamabad residents.

Rawat Fort is 17 km (11 mi) 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 the early 16th century. The grave of a Gakhar Chief, Sultan Sarang Khan is 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 hour's drive from Rawalpindi on the Grand Trunk Road toward Peshawar, is Attock Fort. The Akbari fort is not open to the public as it is in active military use.

Pharwala Fort is about 40 km (25 mi) from Rawalpindi beyond Lehtrar road. It is a Gakhar fort built it in the 15th century on the ruins of a 10th-century Hindi Shahi Fort. Emperor Babur conquered the it in 1519. Later, in 1825, Sikhs expelled Gakhars from this fort. Though in a crumbling state, it is still an attraction for castle lovers. The fort, situated in prohibited area, is only open to Pakistani visitors.

Architecture[edit]

Rawalpindi has numerous sights of architectural masterpieces. A few of the heritage buildings are Purana Qil'aa (The Old Fort), Bagh Sardaran (Chief's Gardens), Haveli Sujaan Sigh (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 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 flock 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, with Hazrat Bari Imam, his cousin brother. Similarly, Darbar of descendants of Hazrat Bari Imam i.e. Shah Miran Mustafa and Shah Sharif Badshah is located at Dhaman Syedan, Rawalpindi. Peer Syed Salamat Hussain Kazmi, a successor of Shah Miran Mustafa and Shah Sharif Muhammad, spread a message of peace, brotherhood and respect for humanity, as taught by his ancestors. Before the death of Peer Salamat Hussain Kazmi, he handed over all the religious responsibilities to his son Syed Talat Abbas Kazmi, who is adamant to the teachings of his father and forefathers.

Rawalpindi also has many high-rise buildings under-construction. Most of these building are destined to become shopping plazas but a few of them also belong to corporate entities, like, the Fauji Tower on Peshawar Road.

Languages[edit]

Further information: Punjabi dialects

As per the 1998 census of Pakistan, the following are the demographics of the Rawalpindi district, by spoken language:

Inhabitants of Rawalpindi District speak a great variety of Punjabi dialects:

  • Pothohari (Tehsils of Gujar khan,Potohar Town Rawat & Kallar syedan)
  • Majhi or Standard (Tehsil Rawal town and in cities)
  • Pahari (Tehsil Muree, Kotli sattian and people of AJK living in the district)
  • Chhachi (A variety of hindko spoken in Tehsil Taxila)
  • Ghebi (South western border areas to Attock district)
  • Dhani (Southern borders near district Chakwal)
  • Shah puri (People of Sargodha division living in the district)
  • Hindko (Tehsils of Abbottabad,Hazara District)

Other languages are:

  • Urdu/Hindi is mother tongue of few people but being national language is spoken and understood by sizeable population.
  • English is understood and spoken by the sizeable educated elite.
  • Pashto: Some migrants speak Pushto as well‎.
  • Some migrants also speak Sindhi.
  • Minority languages spoken in Rawalpindi city are languages of different parts of Pakistan and Afghanistan by refugees (Kashmiri, Shina, Balti, Khower, Burshiski, Gujri, Hindko, Ladakhi, Hazargi, Tajik, Sindhi, Saraiki, Baluchi, Brahwi).

Sports[edit]

Rawalpindi Cricket Stadium

The city has an array of stadiums and grounds to meet the needs of all the popular sports played in the country. Rawalpindi is home to some of the many recognized players in the history of Pakistani cricket and is known to produce high-quality fast-bowlers. The most notable of the lot is the maverick paceman Shoaib Akhtar, known as the Rawalpindi Express. Mohammad Aamir is another aspiring fast-bowler from Rawalpindi.

The Rawalpindi Cricket Stadium, built in 1992, has a grass pitch, floodlights, and an initial capacity to hold 20,000 spectators. In mid-2008 plans to increase its capacity were made but lack of adequate funds, and later the attack on Sri Lankan cricket team lead to abandoning of the project . The home team are the, one-time T20 champion, Rawalpindi Rams who enjoy fervent support and a considerable following for their swash-buckling brand of cricket. Apart from the RCS, there are many other cricket grounds in the city, including, Pindi Club Ground (home to the Pindi Club), KRL Stadium, CMTSD Cricket stadium as well as the Attock Oil Refinery cricket ground.

There are stadiums for hockey such as the Army Hockey Stadium, Army Signals Hockey ground as well as the Noor Station Ground Dhoke Hassu. A full-fledged, international hockey stadium, to be named after the hockey great Shahnaz Sheikh, is under construction near Municipal Road and is expected to be completed in late 2012.

There are stadiums for football including the Municipal Football stadium and the Army Football ground as well. The COD sports complex houses admirable facilities for indoor games.

Education[edit]

Board of Intermediate and Secondary Education, Rawalpindi established in 1978 to conduct SSC and HSSC examinations.

Govt College for Women
Rawalpindi Medical College, Tipu Road
  • Rawalpindi boasts of one of the highest literacy rates in the country. It's 80% is second only to the capital, Islamabad's 87%. The local populace can easily communicate in Urdu, and a significant portion also understands and speaks English very well. Potohari is the mainstream local language, however other Punjabi dialects such as Saraiki, Hindko, Dhani and Pahari are also understood fairly well. Education in Rawalpindi can be divided into five levels: primary (grades one through five); middle (grades six through eight); high (grades nine and ten, leading to the Secondary School Certificate); intermediate (grades eleven and twelve, leading to a Higher Secondary School Certificate); and university programs leading to graduate and advanced degrees. Rawalpindi has both public and private educational institutions. Most educational institutions are gender-based, from primary to university level.
  • Pir Mehr Ali Shah, Arid Agriculture University (also known as Barani University) is a renowned public university offering research and education in a number of fields and specializing in agriculture. It is on the Murree Road and is placed near other landmarks of the city including the Pindi cricket stadium, Nawaz Sharif Park, Rawalpindi Arts Council etc.
  • Army Medical College is also known as the College of Medical Sciences and is on Abid Majid Road in Rawalpindi. Separate computer labs are available for post-graduate and undergraduate students. Other facilities in the campus include a library, cafeteria, college mosque, swimming pool, gym, squash court, and auditorium. There are seven hostels for male and female students near the college campus.
  • College of Electrical and Mechanical Engineering is located on Grand Trunk Road in Rawalpindi, EME is the largest constituent college of NUST.[26] The campus includes all on-campus facilities, auditorium and conference hall, accommodation and mess facilities. The library is fully computerized, with a collection of 70,000 volumes.
  • Military College of Signals is on Hamayun Road in Rawalpindi Cantt; it is the oldest constituent college of NUST, founded in 1947 after the independence of Pakistan to train the members of Pakistan Armed Forces. The College of Telecommunication Engineering is located on this campus. The MCS library is computerized, with over 55,000 volumes.
  • The Rawalpindi Public Library was one of the earliest private public libraries organized after separation from India. The building was donated for a public library by the then-Deputy Commissioner Major Davis on the initiative of 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.

Transport[edit]

Peshawar Road Rawalpindi

There are many ways to get in and around Rawalpindi. Public transport in Rawalpindi is diverse, ranging from yellow taxis, auto-rickshaws, mini-buses and even tongas (horse-drawn carriages). Due to the lack of street planning, traffic jams are found even on smaller roads. For inter-city travel, air-conditioned and non-air-conditioned buses and coaches are regularly available to many destinations in Pakistan.

Bus rapid transit[edit]

The work on Rawalpindi-Islamabad Metrobus Service was inaugurated in February 2014 and the work is scheduled to complete in 2015. It will be similarsimilar to Lahore Metrobus Service.

Rail[edit]

There is 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.

Rawalpindi Railway Station

The Rawalpindi Railway Station is in the Saddar. It was built in the 1880s by the government of British India. The British built many railways across South Asia to facilitate trade and to consolidate their rule.

The routes the British built from Rawalpindi, which contained a major military base, linked to Lahore, Karachi, Peshawar, Quetta, Multan, Faisalabad, Hyderabad, Sindh, Sukkur, Bahawalpur, Jhelum, Gujrat, Gujranwala, Kohat, Khanewal, Nawabshah, Nowshera and the Malakand Pass.

Airport[edit]

Benazir Bhutto International Airport in Rawalpindi

Islamabad International Airport is at Chaklala presently known as Benazir Bhutto International Airport 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, has numerous routes, with many domestic and international flights every day. Construction on the new Rawalpindi/Islamabad international airport has been started near the town of Fateh Jang approximately 25 kilometres (20 mi) from both cities.

Roads[edit]

Mall Road

The main road running through Rawalpindi is the Peshawer Road. It is locally stated that "Every road in Rawalpindi ends up on Peshawar Road." It runs through the city in an east-west direction and links up with the N-5 in doing so. Another major artery in Rawalpindi is the Murree Road. It runs south-north through the city (after branching from Peshawar Road) and continues to the hill station of Murree, which is a major summer attraction for Rawalpindi residents. Murree Road is one of the busiest in the Punjab Province of Pakistan; significant construction and expansion work is being done on it.

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 and southern Pakistan, from Karachi, to Peshawar, Lahore, Quetta, Multan, Faisalabad, Hyderabad, Sukkur, Bahawalpur, Jhelum, Gujrat, Gujranwala, Kohat, Khanewal, Nawabshah, Nowshera and the Malakand Pass.

The city is 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.

Other forms of public transportation[edit]

General Bus Stand, Pir Wadhai is the principal station for interstate buses and other public vehicles which regularly transports passengers. GBS, Pir Wadhai caters government and private buses. It has many reasonable hotels. Luxury Hino, Mercedes buses also operated from Pir Wadhai.

Rawalpindi houses stations of high quality private bus services. Daewoo Express has a terminal on Peshawar Road along with the likes of Faisal Movers and Niazi Express.

Taxis and rickshaws are readily available on the hotspots of the city.

Telecommunication[edit]

The Pakistan Telecommunication Company (PTCL) provides the main network of landline telephone with minority shares of other operators. All major mobile phone companies operating in Pakistan provide service in Rawalpindi.

Pakistan's broadband revolution has had a significant impact on telecommunications in Rawalpindi. The city, along with other major cities of Pakistan, enjoys a widespread coverage from WiFi and WiMAX operators, with Wateen, WiTribe, Qubee having the most shares. DSL internet also has a major coverage in the city with NayaTel and PTCL the main stakeholders.

Recently a high speed 3G Network, EVO Nitro, was also set up by PTCL with maximum speeds of 9.3 Mbit/s to add up to the already established EVO 3G Network. Though localized, it is the first instance in the history of telecommunication that EVDO RevB technology was commercially launched.

The city also has a significant optic fibre network, with nearly all major commercial and household areas covered. This network allows the local residents to enjoy maximum internet speeds of 50 Mbps, IPTV services and along with high-quality telephony services.[27] Nayatel and PTCL are the market-leaders in the 'triple-play' service. While another operator named DHA-Teleman also has a rapidly expanding network and currently serves all the military residential areas in addition to civil areas. PTCL currently has the largest optical fibre network (providing triple play services), DHA-Teleman has the second largest (providing Digital and Analogue Cable TV and HFC and FTTH based internet service), Nayatel has third largest network (providing triple play services).

There is also a large number of Cable TV service providers in the city. The largest is DHA-Teleman followed by Unicom Cable and Ocean Cable. Others include Worldcall, WTN Haji Shahid, Pindi Plus Cable, 5-Star cable, Pasban Qazi Cable and SA cables.

Parks[edit]

Artistic minarets on Peshawar Road
A view of Rawal Dam
  • Ayub National Park formerly known as 'Topi Rakh' (keep the hat on) is by the old Presidency, between the Murree Brewery Co. and Grand Trunk Road. It covers an area of about 2,300 acres (930 ha) and has a play area, lake with boating facility, an aquarium, a garden-restaurant and an open air theater. This park hosts "The Jungle Kingdom" which is particularly popular among young residents.[28]


  • Liaquat Bagh, formerly known as the "company bagh" (East India Company's Garden), is of great historical interest. The first prime minister of Pakistan, Liaquat Ali Khan, was assassinated here in 1950. Pakistan's Prime Minister Banazir Bhutto was assassinated here on 27 December 2007. She was the youngest elected prime minister in the world.
  • Rawalpindi Public Park (also known as Nawaz Sharif Park) is located on Murree Road. 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 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.
  • Playland is another public park parallel to Ayub Park; its nearness to many classy colonies and housing schemes makes this wonderland an attractive hotspot during the holidays.
  • Liaquat National Bagh
  • Jinnah Park
  • Ayub Park
  • Rumi Park
  • Army Race Course Ground (Race Course Road, Rawalpindi)
  • Children Park
  • 502 (Workshop) Park
  • Rose and Jasmine Garden
  • Triangular Park (Tikoona Baagh) located just opposite to Military Hospital Rawalpindi.

Media[edit]

Rawalpindi, being so close to the capital, has an active media and newspaper climate. There are over a dozen of newspaper companies based in the city including Daily Nawa-i-Waqt, Daily Jang, Daily Asas, The Daily Sada-e-Haq, Daily Express, Daily Din, Daily Aajkal Rawalpindi, Daily Islam, and Daily Pakistan in Urdu and Dawn, Express Tribune, Daily Times, The News International and The Nation in English.

The prominent online newspaper of the city is Rawalpindi Times (راولپنڈی ٹائمز).

Television channels based in Rawalpindi include:

  • ATV
  • Lights Asia
  • Aapna Channel
  • Pothohari TV (Regional language channel)
  • City 51
  • Pahariwood Network (Regional language channel)
  • K2 TV
  • Oxygene TV

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Principal Cities of Pakistan". citypopulation.de. Retrieved December 16, 2013. 
  2. ^ "Takshashila – World’s Oldest University". Retrieved 20 August 2012. 
  3. ^ Dutt, Nalinaksha (1998). Buddhist Sects in India. Motilal Banarsidass Publ. ISBN 9788120804289. 
  4. ^ a b c "Imperial Gazetter of India, Volume 21, page 272 - Imperial Gazetteer of India - Digital South Asia Library". Dsal.uchicago.edu. 2013-02-18. Retrieved 22 November 2013. 
  5. ^ "UK tested poison gas on Indian soldiers". Usatoday.Com. 2007-09-01. Retrieved 22 November 2013. 
  6. ^ "Benazir Bhutto killed in attack". BBC. 2007-12-27. Retrieved 2007-12-31. 
  7. ^ Siddiqui, Salman. "No Morning English Daily Carried the News of Bhutto's Hanging". Daily Dawn. Retrieved 20 August 2012. 
  8. ^ "Pakistan Air Force". Defense General. Retrieved 20 August 2012. 
  9. ^ "PAF Active Bases". Pakistan Air Force. Retrieved 20 August 2012. 
  10. ^ "It Be Blog". Momers.tumblr.com. Retrieved 23 December 2011. 
  11. ^ "Picasa Web Albums - Omer Sheikh". Picasaweb.google.com. 2010-07-23. Retrieved 23 December 2011. 
  12. ^ a b "Climate: Rawalpindi - Climate graph, Temperature graph, Climate table". Climate-Data.org. Retrieved 7 September 2013. 
  13. ^ "Weather History for Islamabad, Pakistan | Weather Underground". Wunderground.com. 2006-10-13. Retrieved 22 November 2013. 
  14. ^ Malik Riaz, Chief Executive of Bahria Town (April 14, 2005). "Housing boom a solution to Pakistan’s problems". Speech given at the NAB conference in Islamabad (Daily Times). Retrieved May 24, 2009. 
  15. ^ "Murree Brewery". Murree Brewery. Retrieved 22 November 2013. 
  16. ^ [1]
  17. ^ http://www.arl.com.pk/profile.php
  18. ^ http://www.dhai-r.com.pk/
  19. ^ "About Bahria Town Rawalpindi - Bahria Town - Your Lifestyle Destination". Bahriatown.com. Retrieved 22 November 2013. 
  20. ^ "Pak Army Museum Rawalpindi". museum.com. Retrieved 22 November 2013. 
  21. ^ "Cinepax". Cinepax. 2011-12-02. Retrieved 23 December 2011. 
  22. ^ Abbasi, Obaid (2011-11-10). "Eid festivity: Picnics, sightseeing and a lot of swings for the young ones – The Express Tribune". Tribune.com.pk. Retrieved 23 December 2011. 
  23. ^ "Digital fountain installed at Jinnah Park | Provinces". Dawn.Com. 2011-08-22. Retrieved 23 December 2011. 
  24. ^ Arena, The. "The Arena: About Us". Bahria Construction. 
  25. ^ "Pakistan’s first gold class 3D cinema: ‘The Arena’ opened at Bahria Town". The Nation. 
  26. ^ "NUST". Nust.edu.pk. Retrieved 22 November 2013. 
  27. ^ Nayatel, Communications. "Nayatel Coverage Area". Nayatel.pk. Retrieved 22 November 2013. 
  28. ^ "Two tiger cubs draw crowds to Rawalpindi park – The Express Tribune". Tribune.com.pk. Retrieved 23 December 2011. 

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