Margalla Hills

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Margalla Hills
مارگلہ پہاڑیاں
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Margalla Hills
Highest point
PeakTilla Charouni
Elevation1,604 m (5,262 ft)
Coordinates33°46′33.7506″N 73°7′26.4822″E / 33.776041833°N 73.124022833°E / 33.776041833; 73.124022833
Geography
CountryPakistan Pakistan
Range coordinates33°44′40″N 73°2′30″E / 33.74444°N 73.04167°E / 33.74444; 73.04167Coordinates: 33°44′40″N 73°2′30″E / 33.74444°N 73.04167°E / 33.74444; 73.04167
View of the Margalla Hills from Shakarparian
Tilla Charouni, highest peak with 1,604 metres (5,262 ft)
Daman-e-Koh lookout park in the Margalla Hills, Islamabad

The Margalla Hills (Urdu: مارگلہ پہاڑیاں) is a hill range within the Margalla Hills National Park on the northern edge of Islamabad Capital Territory, Pakistan, just south of Haripur District, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. It is part of the Himalayan foothills. The Margalla range has an area of 12,605 hectares.[1] It is a range with many valleys as well as high mountains.

Infrastructure[edit]

View of The Margalla hills

Khayaban-e-Iqbal, arises on the north east side from the 4th Avenue (Nur Pur Shahan), runs between E and F sectors, and ends at Service road West of F-11 and E-11 (Golra) sectors in the south-east. It will be extended up to Grand Trunk (GT) Road in the near future.[2]

Paleontology and archeology[edit]

According to the research carried out by scientists and archaeologists of the project "Post-Earthquake Explorations of Human Remains in Margalla Hills", the formation of the Margalla Hills dates to the Miocene epoch. The dominant limestone of the Margalla is mixed with sandstone and occasional minor beds of shale. The archaeologists of the project have also found two human footprints over one million years old here, preserved in sandstone.[3]

Flora and fauna[edit]

Blue region on the Islamabad map denotes the Margalla Hills region.
Original Grand Trunk Road passing through Margalla Hills to Kala Chitta Range

There are around 250 to 300 species of plants on the Margalla Hills. As many as two-thirds of them are used by the people for their medicinal effects to treat or cure various diseases.[4]

The Margalla Hills are home to various species of wildlife, including monkeys, exotic birds and carnivores such as the rare and presently endangered Margalla leopard.[5]

Much less common are leopards, which occasionally come down from the Murree area but usually remain high up in the hills. Villagers dwelling in the Margallas do report sighting of leopards off and on.[6]

Recreation[edit]

Setting Sun at Margalla Hills

Bird watching[edit]

The Margallas are an excellent place for bird watchers. The area is home to a large number of birds, including robins, sparrows, kites, crows, larks, paradise flycatchers, black partridge, shrikes, pheasants, spotted doves, Egyptian vultures, falcons, hawks, eagles, Himalayan griffon vulture, laggar falcon, peregrine falcon, kestrel, Indian sparrow hawk, white cheeked bulbul, yellow vented bulbul, paradise flycatcher, cheer pheasant, Khalij pheasant, golden oriole, spotted dove, collared dove, wheatears and buntings.[5]

The cheer pheasant, indigenous to the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, was being reared in Margalla Hills as a part of conservation campaign by the World Pheasant Association and Capital Development Authority.[7]

Hiking trails[edit]

There are several hiking trails in the Margalla Hills.[8] Trail 3 and 5 are the most popular ones, starting from the Margalla Road opposite sector F-6 and ending at the Pir Sohawa Road.

Environmental conservation[edit]

Nekka Phullai Hill of Margalla Range beside Faisal Mosque

The ecology of Margallas faces threats from quarrying by stone-crushing plants,[9] deforestation,[10] illegal encroachments,[11] and buildings, and poachers.[12] Crush plants situated around the hills near Taxila are busy eroding the hills for extracting building material.[13] Deforestation is resulting from fires and illegal felling of trees.[14]

Margalla Hills Society[edit]

The Margalla Hills Society[15][16] was established in 1989.[17][18]

World Wildlife Fund (WWF) Pakistan[edit]

The WWF-Pakistan's 'Green School Programme', in collaboration with the Capital Development Authority (CDA), carries out 'Eco-Adventure Activities' on the Margalla hills to raise awareness in the school children regarding the conservation of natural environment and about the importance of being environmentally responsible.[19]

Events[edit]

  • On 28 July 2010, Airblue Flight 202 crashed in the Margalla Hills.[20]
  • On 6 January 2012, snowfall over Margalla Hills.[21]
  • On 11 February 2016, snowfall over Margalla Hills.[22]

Places in Margalla Hills[edit]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Reporter, The Newspaper's Staff (2021-05-27). "Another fire breaks out on Margalla Hills". DAWN.COM. Retrieved 2022-02-26.
  2. ^ "Work on Margalla Avenue likely to start in 6 months". www.thenews.com.pk. Retrieved 2022-02-26.
  3. ^ "1m-years-old footprints found at Margalla Hills". DAWN.COM. 2007-07-28. Retrieved 2022-02-26.
  4. ^ "64 per cent plants on Margalla Hills used for treatment of diseases - thenews.com.pk". 2012-12-17. Archived from the original on 17 December 2012. Retrieved 2022-02-26.
  5. ^ a b "Margalla Hills National Park". Wildlife of Pakistan. Retrieved 2017-05-23.
  6. ^ "Leopards seen on Margalla Hills - Pakistan". Dawn.com. 2015-12-24. Retrieved 2017-05-23.
  7. ^ "Cheer pheasant reintroduced successfully into the wild". The Express Tribune. 2021-11-06. Retrieved 2022-02-23.
  8. ^ "Trails - Islamabad". www.cda.gov.pk. Retrieved 2022-03-06.
  9. ^ "Environmental hazard: Stone-crushing plants nibbling away Margallas". The Express Tribune. 2014-12-28. Retrieved 2022-02-23.
  10. ^ "Encroachers causing deforestation on Margalla Hills". www.thenews.com.pk. Retrieved 2022-02-23.
  11. ^ Iqbal, Nasir (2021-11-10). "IHC orders survey of damage caused to Margalla Hills National Park". DAWN.COM. Retrieved 2022-02-23.
  12. ^ "Experts call for halt to poaching of pangolin". The Express Tribune. 2022-01-30. Retrieved 2022-02-23.
  13. ^ [1][dead link]
  14. ^ "Daily Times - Leading News Resource of Pakistan". 2013-12-03. Archived from the original on 3 December 2013. Retrieved 2022-02-26.
  15. ^ "Roedad Khan - Margalla Hills Society". Roedad.com. Retrieved 2017-05-23.
  16. ^ Khan, Aurangzaib (2015-02-25). "Herald Exclusive: The whole Roedad". DAWN.COM. Retrieved 2022-02-23.
  17. ^ Salam, Afia (2013-10-07). "A tunnel without vision". DAWN.COM. Retrieved 2022-02-23.
  18. ^ Reporter, The Newspaper's Staff (2021-12-20). "PM's intervention sought to halt work on Margalla Road". DAWN.COM. Retrieved 2022-02-23.
  19. ^ "Eco-adventure activity launched on Margalla Hills - thenews.com.pk". 2012-12-26. Archived from the original on 26 December 2012. Retrieved 2022-02-26.
  20. ^ Crilly, Rob (28 July 2010). "Passenger plane crashes outside Islamabad". The Daily Telegraph. London. Retrieved 28 July 2010.
  21. ^ "Margalla Hills receive snowfall after 6 years". 2013-12-02. Archived from the original on 2 December 2013. Retrieved 2022-02-26.
  22. ^ "Margalla Hills turn snowy after a decade - Pakistan". Dawn.com. Retrieved 2017-05-23.