Margalla Hills

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Margalla Hills
مارگلہ پہاڑیاں
Margalla Hills in Islamabad, Pakistan (2006).jpg
Margalla Hills
Highest point
PeakTilla Charouni
Elevation1,604 m (5,262 ft)
Coordinates33°47′53″N 73°7′00″E / 33.79806°N 73.11667°E / 33.79806; 73.11667
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 which is part of the Himalayan foothills located within the Margalla Hills National Park, north of Islamabad, Pakistan. The Margalla range has an area of 12,605 hectares. The hills are a part of Murree hills. It is a range with many valleys as well as high mountains.

On 6 January 2012, after almost six years, Pir Sohawa, the city's highest tourist spot, received a few inches of snowfall.[1] Another measurable snow event occurred on 11 February 2016 where 2 inches fell after four years.[2]


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 and then it will be able to connect Nur Pur Shahan with the GT road.[3]

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.[4]

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.[5]

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.[6][7]

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.[8]

High diversity of birds in the Margallas is due to the combination many ecological components that together make it a unique location. No other Pakistani location could come even near in the number of species seen. As a result of a series of faunal survey of the park, 54 species of butterflies, 37 species of fish, 9 species of amphibians, 20 species of reptiles, 380 species of birds, 21 species of small mammals and 15 species of large mammals have so far been recorded.[9]


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.[7]

The cheer pheasant, indigenous to the North West Frontier Province, is being reared in Margalla Hills as a part of conservation campaign.[10]

Environmental conservation[edit]

Nekka Phullai Hill of Margalla Range beside Faisal Mosque

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

Margalla Hills Society[edit]

Margalla Hills Society[14][better source needed] established in 1989, with objective to preserve the natural environment of Margalla Hills National Park and prevent shrinkage of the green areas; to promote public interest in conservation, development and management of forests, wildlife and other natural resources of Margalla Hills National Park, and to disseminate information about the park, including its history, geography, flora, fauna, culture, and its benefits to the citizens of Islamabad.

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.[15]


  • On 28 July 2010, Airblue Flight 202 crashed in the Margalla Hills.[16]
  • On 6 January 2012, snowfall over Margalla Hills.[17]
  • On 11 February 2016, snowfall over Margalla Hills.[2]

Places in Margalla Hills[edit]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Wasif, Sehrish. "After six years, Pir Sohawa gets a blanket of snow - The Express Tribune". Retrieved 2017-05-23.
  2. ^ a b "Margalla Hills turn snowy after a decade - Pakistan". Retrieved 2017-05-23.
  3. ^ "The News International: Latest News Breaking, Pakistan News". 2017-05-19. Retrieved 2017-05-23.
  4. ^ "1m-years-old footprints found at Margalla Hills". 28 July 2007.
  5. ^ "The News International: Latest News Breaking, Pakistan News". 2017-05-19. Retrieved 2017-05-23.
  6. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2006-09-11. Retrieved 2006-08-12.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  7. ^ a b "Margalla Hills National Park". Wildlife of Pakistan. Retrieved 2017-05-23.
  8. ^ "Leopards seen on Margalla Hills - Pakistan". 2015-12-24. Retrieved 2017-05-23.
  9. ^ "Margalla Hills Park a hub of birds, animals diversity". 2012-08-03. Archived from the original on 2013-07-21. Retrieved 2017-05-23.
  10. ^ [1][dead link]
  11. ^ "The News International: Latest News Breaking, Pakistan News".[permanent dead link]
  12. ^ [2][dead link]
  13. ^ [3] Archived 2013-12-03 at the Wayback Machine
  14. ^ "Roedad Khan - Margalla Hills Society". Retrieved 2017-05-23.
  15. ^ "The News International: Latest News Breaking, Pakistan News". 2017-05-19. Retrieved 2017-05-23.
  16. ^ Crilly, Rob (28 July 2010). "Passenger plane crashes outside Islamabad". The Daily Telegraph. London. Retrieved 28 July 2010.
  17. ^ "Margalla Hills receive snowfall after 6 years". 2012-01-08. Archived from the original on 2013-12-02. Retrieved 2017-05-23.

External links[edit]