Thursday, August 30, 2007
Editing of this article by unregistered or newly registered users is currently disabled. If you are prevented from editing this article, and you wish to make a change, please discuss changes on the talk page, request unprotection, log in, or
(Urdu: راولپنڈی) is a city in the Potwar Plateau near Pakistan's capital city of Islamabad, in the province of Punjab. It is the military headquarters of the Pakistan Armed Forces and also served as the nation's capital while Islamabad was being constructed in the 1960s. The city is home to many industries and factories. Islamabad International Airport is actually in Rawalpindi, and it serves the city along with the capital. Rawalpindi is located in the Punjab province, 275 km (171 miles) to the north-west of Lahore. It is the administrative seat of the Rawalpindi District. The population of Rawalpindi is approximately 3,039,550.
Rawalpindi, also known as Pindi, has a long history spread over several millennia. Archaeologists believe that a distinct culture flourished on this plateau as far back as 3000 years. The material remains found at the site prove the existence of a Buddhist establishment contemporary to Taxila and the Vedic civilisation (Hindu culture). Taxila has another significance; according to Guinness Book of World Records it has the worlds oldest university - Takshashila University.
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 till Muqarrab Khan, the last Gakkhar ruler, was defeated by the Sikhs in 1765. The Sikhs invited traders from other places to settle here. This brought the city into prominence.
Following the British conquest of the Sikhs and their occupation of Rawalpindi in 1849, the city became a permanent garrison of the British army in 1851. In the 1880s a railway line to Rawalpindi was laid, and train service was inaugurated on January 1, 1886. The need for having a railway link arose after Lord Dalhousie made Rawalpindi the headquarters of the Northern Command and Rawalpindi became the largest British military garrison in British India.
In 1951, Rawalpindi saw the assassination of the first elected Prime Minister of Pakistan, Liaquat Ali Khan, in Liaquat Garden. Today Rawalpindi is the headquarters of the Pakistani Army and Air Force.
The famous Murree Road has been a hot spot for various political and social events. Nala Lai, famous for its floods, runs in the middle of the city, dividing it into city area and Cantonment area. 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.
Rawalpindi is chaotic but relatively dust-free. The literacy rate is 70.5% (January 2006). The population is ethnically and linguistically heterogeneous, comprising Pothoharis, Punjabis, Muhajirs, and Pakhtuns. The weather is highly unpredictable. The average annual rainfall is 36 inches. In summer, the maximum temperature can sometimes soar up to 52C, while it may drop to a minimum of -5C in the winter.
Rapidly developing into a large city, Rawalpindi has many good hotels, restaurants, clubs, museums and parks, of which the largest is 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, Ayubia, Abbottabad, Swat, Kaghan, Gilgit, Hunza, Skardu and Chitral.
The best way to see Rawalpindi is by wandering through its bazaars, but you should orient yourself before setting out. The city has two main roads: the Grand Trunk Road runs roughly from east to west and is known as The Mall as it passes through the cantonment. Murree Road originates towards north from The Mall, crosses the railway lines and brushes the east end of the old city on its way to Islamabad. The two main bazaar areas are Raja Bazaar in the old city and Saddar Bazaar, which developed as the cantonment bazaar between the old city and the Mall.
The crowded alleys of the old city are home to many attractions, including Hindu and Sikh temples, Muslim shrines.
Rawalpindi has been know as military city since colonial times and therefore still remained Army head-quarter after independence in 1947. Due to this, also present in Rawalpindi is the Pakistan Army Museum, providing an interesting information about colonial and present day armies, armoury of historical significance and war heroes.
Ayub National Park is located beyond the old Presidency on Jhelum Road. It covers an area of about 2,300 acres (9.3 km²) and has a play-land, lake with boating facility, an aquarium and a garden-restaurant. Rawalpindi Public Park is located on Murree Road near Shamsabad. The Park was opened for public in 1991. It has a playland for children, grassy lawns, fountains and flower beds.
Rawalpindi Cricket Stadium, built in 1992, has a grass pitch, floodlights, and a capacity of 15,000. The home team is the Rawalpindi Cricket Association. Also located in the city is Rawalpindi Hockey stadium. This small but well built facility plays host to the national side throughout the year.
Rawat Fort is located 17 km east of Rawalpindi, on the Grand Trunk (G.T) Road leading to Lahore. Gakhars, a fiercely independent tribe of the Potwar Plateau built the fort, in early 16th century. The grave of a Gakhar Chief, Sultan Sarang Khan is located inside the fort. He died in 1546 AD fighting against the forces of Sher Shah Suri. If one dares to climb the broken steps inside the tomb, one may get a panoramic view of the plateau and the Mankiala Stupa. Besides Rawat, about an hours drive from Rawalpindi on the grand trunk road towards the city of Peshawar is Attock Fort. This impressive fort is easily visible and located near the Shrine 'Hazrat Jee Sahib', the tradition burial grounds for the 'Bati' Family of the Paracha clan from the near by (deserted) village of 'Malahi Tola'. Sadly this impressive Akbari fort is not open to the public as it is in active military use.
Pharwala Fort is about 40 km from Rawalpindi beyond Lehtrar road. It is a Gakhar fort built it in 15th century on the ruins of a 10th century Hindi Shahi Fort. Emperor Babur conquered the fort in 1519 AD. Later, in 1825, Sikhs expelled Gakhars from this fort. Though the fort is in a crumbling state, it is still an attraction for castle lovers. The fort, being situated in prohibited area, is only open for Pakistani visitors.
Rohtas Fort, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, is 109 km from Rawalpindi. It is located about 6 km south-west of Dina Town. Going from Rawalpindi/Islamabad, you have to turn right from G.T. Road to a narrow road just before Dina Police Station and then go left until you find the dry bed of Kahan River. The fort is visible from this point. However, you have to cross the river to reach it. During rainy season, you need a four-wheel-drive to cross the river. The fort is one of the most impressive historical monuments in Pakistan. It was built by Afghan people ruler Sher Shah Suri, between 1540 and 1547 AD. It served as a huge fortified base for military operations against Gakhars by Sher Shah Suri. It was later used by Mughal emperor Akbar and Sikhs. Within the huge terraced rampart walls with robust bastions and twelve gates, is located another fortress, palaces and ancillary buildings (see )
The City-District of Rawalpindi comprises seven autonomous tehsils:
There are many ways to get in and around Rawalpindi.
The Chaklala International Airport is actually located in Rawalpindi than Islamabad and is used by over 25 airlines, both national and international. Pakistan International Airlines (PIA), the principal carrier in Pakistan, has numerous routes, with many domestic and international flights every day. Construction on the new Rawalpindi/Islamabad international airport has now been started near the town of Tarnaul approx 10 miles from both cities.
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 Pakistan, from Lahore in the Punjab to Peshawar in the NWFP.
The city is also served by two nearby six-lane Motorways, M2 (Lahore-Islamabad) and M1 (Islamabad-Peshawar), which were completed in the 1990's. Somewhat further away is the famous Karakoram Highway, the world's highest international road, which connects Pakistan to China.
Public transport for travel within Rawalpindi is diverse, ranging from yellow taxis, auto-rickshaws, mini-buses and even tongas (horse-drawn carriages). Due to lack of planning of roads, mess of traffic is found even on small roads. For inter-city travel, air-conditioned and non air-conditioned buses and coaches are regularly available to many destinations in Pakistan.
There is also 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.
Rawal College of Commerce, Main Peshawar Road
Govt. Gordon College, Rawalpindi The oldest college of the city since 1891
St Mary's Academy and St Mary's Cambridge School the oldest and most renowned Missionary Schools for boys
Govt. College for Women, Satellite Town
F.G Sir Syed College for Boys, The Mall
F.G (C.B) College for Women
Government College of Commerce, Satellite Town
Fauji Foundation College for Boys
F.G. Sir Syed College, The Mall
Fauji Foundation Model School, Harley Street
Bahria Foundation College Peshawar Rd
Govt. Viqar un Nisa College for Women
F.G. Quaid-e-Azam College, Chaklala III
Presentation Convent High School
Govt Muslim Higher Secondary School # 1, Said Pur Road (Building stone laid in 1894)
Army Public School and College (APSAC), Ordinance Road, Lalazar
Govt. Asghar Mall College
Beacon-House Schools System
PAF Intermediate College, Chaklala
The City School (Murree Road)
Petroman Institute of Computer Science
Government Islamia High School No. 4, Liaquat Road
Asghar Mall Post Graduate College
Army Medical College (founded in 1977)
Fatima Jinnah Women's University (in commemoration of Fatima Jinnah)
Arid Agriculture University, Rawalpindi UAAR
National University of Science and Technology headquarters in Rawalpindi 
NUST Institute of Information Technology, Rawalpindi (an ordinary college deceptively named after NUST to attract admissions)
[College Of Electrical & Mechanical Engineering], Rawalpindi (an affiliated college of NUST)
RawalPindi Medical College, RawalPindi (an affiliated college of UHS)
Foundation University Medical College (FUMC) title
Foundation University Institute of Management and Computer Sciences
Fatima Jinnah Woman University Rawalpindi.
Virtual University of Pakistan main campus (VURWP01) Rawalpindi.
Islamic International Medical College (IIMC) 
Shah Balot Park
Maps and aerial photos for Coordinates:
WikiSatellite view at WikiMapia
VirtualGlobetrotting maps at VirtualGlobetrotting
Weather satellite image from NASA
Worldisround.com - Images of Rawalpindi
Rawalpindi Complete History, Photos, Maps, Videos Website
Explore the city of Rawalpindi in 3D by using Google Earth
Posted by allenwoow at 11:07 AM