Culture of Islamabad

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National Art Gallery Islamabad

Islamabad (Urdu: اسلام آباد کی ثقافت) is the capital city of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan that has a modern culture by synchronising itself with other capitals around the globe. Islamabad lies in a province of its own called Islamabad Capital Territory.


Faisal Mosque

Faisal Mosque is an important cultural landmark of the city and that attracts many tourists daily. Faisal Mosque built in 1986, was named after the Saudi Arabian King, Faisal bin Abdul Aziz. [1] It also serves the purpose of accommodating 24,000 Muslims that pray at this mosque. Faisal Mosque that is designed by the Turks and financed by the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia includes calligraphy of Quranic Versus along the walls of the mosque.

One of the landmarks for tourists is the Pakistan Monument built in 2007 located in Islamabad. This tourist attraction represents the patriotism and sovereignty of Pakistan. The design is shaped as a dome with petal-shaped walls that are engraved with arts portraying Pakistan’s other tourist landmarks such as the Badshahi Mosque, Minar-e-Pakistan and Lahore Fort.[2]

The Pakistan Monument

Islamabad holds some of Pakistan's most prestigious museums such as Lok Virsa Museum, Institute of Folk and Traditional Heritage Shakarparian Park and prominent galleries such as the National Art Gallery and Gallery 6.

The Islamabad Museum contains many relics and artifacts dating back to the Gandhara period of the region, an intriguing fusion of Buddhist and Graeco-Roman styles. The living culture of Islamabad and Pakistan is best explored at Lok Virsa Museum, as well as the Institute of Folk and Traditional Heritage in Shakarparian Park.

Islamabad is built upon civilization and architecture that ranges from the 10th Century to the modern era. As Islamabad is situated on the Potohar Plateau, the remains of civilization descending from stone-age era include the Acheulian and the Soanian traditions and these are tourist landmarks. Islamabad has an array of historic landmarks that reflect the Hindu civilization that dates back to the 16th Century with examples such as Saidpur. Saidpur that is situated in Islamabad has progressed from a village to a sacred place that includes temples where the Hindu Mughal Commanders worshipped.[3]

Margalla Hills National Park is located in the North sector of Islamabad and is in close proximity to the Himalayas. The National Park includes of picturesque valleys and scenic hills that include various wildlife such as Himalayan goral, Barking deer and leopards. Flanked by wildlife and vegetation, Margalla Hills National Park also includes accommodation and camping grounds for tourists.


Islamabad is home to many diplomats, government officials and foreign workers and is reflected in their cuisine. Islamabad celebrates food festivals through its ethnic groups with examples such as the Food Festival 2011, Austrian Food Festival 2013 [4] and Swiss Food Festivals.[5] As Pakistan is known for its diverse, traditional food options such as Nihari, Halwa Poori, Daal, Chapli Kebab, Islamabad's cuisine has further developed as they now have foreign franchises such as McDonald's, KFC, Hardees, Subway, TGI Fridays,Cinnamon Café and China Grill. Fast food chains are as common as traditional food outlets in Islamabad.


Entrance of the National Art Gallery in Islamabad

Islamabad is frequently mentioned and referred to in popular culture and fiction. The 2010 movie Slackistan is notably based on young teenagers living in Islamabad.[6]

Entertainment facilities in Islamabad include:

  • Rawal Lake
  • Pir Sohawa
  • Cinepax Movie Theatre
  • F1 Tracks – Go Kart Racing
  • Shakarpariyan Hills
  • Cloud 9 International Club
  • Monal Restaurant
  • Centaurus mall
  • F-9 Park Mega zone

Islamabad fashion scene mainly focuses on the various designer clothes that fit in with categories such as Mehndi Dressing and Wedding Dressing . The city hosts their annual Islamabad Fashion Week in which renowned designers present their best seasonal collection.

See also[edit]