Murree: Wikis

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Murree
مری
Coordinates: 33°54′15″N 73°23′25″E / 33.9042°N 73.3903°E / 33.9042; 73.3903
Country  Pakistan
Province Punjab
District Rawalpindi
Government
 - Nazim Sardar Muhammad Saleem Khan[1]
Elevation 2,291.2 m (7,517 ft)
Time zone PST (UTC+5)
Number of Union councils 1

Murree city (Punjabi, Urdu: مری) is a popular hill station and a summer resort, especially for the residents of Islamabad, and for the cities of the province of Punjab, Pakistan. Murree is also the administrative centre of Murree Tehsil, which is a sub-division of Rawalpindi District and includes the Murree Hills.

Murree is located along Islamabad-Kohala highway N75, some 30 km (19 mi) northeast of Islamabad.

The name Murree is derived from 'marhi', "high place"[2] although there is a popular belief it is named after the virgin Mary.[3]

Contents

Description

The Sindh House. Reserved for multiple officials.

Murree is one of the largest resort towns in the Galyat area of Pakistan, and is the capital city of Murree Tehsil (which is an administrative division of the Rawalpindi District). It is situated on the southern slopes of the Western Himalayan foothills as they ascend to the northeast towards Kashmir. During British Rule in the nineteenth century, its altitude was established at 7,000 feet (2,100 m), but its actual altitude has now been determined as 2,300 m (7,500 ft) above sea level[4].

Murree is accessible by road from the centre of the Islamabad and Rawalpindi areas. It is still associated with Britain; many British fruits (including cherries, raspberries and strawberries) thrive locally. There is a church, built in 1857, located at the centre of the town, which is still used as a place of worship. Many houses around the church are still standing, functioning mostly as hotels. Old traditional restaurants have been replaced by fast food shops and newer restaurants. Some old places of accommodation, such as the Rich Villa Inn and Gulberg Hotel, have completely disappeared. A typical hotel usually provides a motel type accommodation with breakfast and communication access. Newly built hotels are also accessible.

Murree has expanded since 1947 at a rate much greater than that which its infrastructure can sustain. Securing water and electricity has been a constant challenge. The jam-packed bazaar has caught fire a number of times in the last century, and the growth of tourism and a construction boom have had an adverse effect on the local environment.

History

Murree, aftermath of fire in 1875
A 19th century post office

Murree was founded in 1851 by the Governor of Punjab, Sir Henry Lawrence, and was originally established for the British troops garrisoned on the Afghan frontier[4] as a sanatorium.[5]

The permanent town of Murree was constructed at Sunnybank in 1853. The church was sanctified in May 1857, and the main road, Jinnah Road, formerly known as The Mall (and still commonly referred to as), was built. The most significant commercial establishments, the Post Office, general merchants with European goods, tailors and a millinery, were established opposite the church. Until 1947, access to Jinnah Road was restricted for "natives" (non-Europeans).

Until 1876, Murree was the summer headquarters of the Punjab local government; after 1876 the headquarters were moved to Simla.[5]

The railway connection with Lahore, the capital of the Punjab Province, made Murree a popular resort for Punjab officials, and the villas and other houses erected for the accommodation of English families gave it a European aspect. It was described in the Gazetteer of Rawalpindi District, 1893–94 as follows:

The sanatorium of Murree lied in north latitude 33° 54′ 30″ and east longitude 73° 26′ 30″, at an elevation of 7,517 feet (2,291 m) above sea level, and contained a standing population of 1,768 inhabitants, which was, however, enormously increased during the [May-November] season by the influx of visitors and their attendant servants and shopkeepers. It is the most accessible hill station in the Punjab, being distant from Rawalpindi only a five hours' journey by tonga dak. Magnificent views are to be obtained in the spring and autumn of the snow crowned mountains of Kashmir; and gorgeous sunset and cloud effects seen daily during the rains [July-August]. Part of the station, especially the Kashmir end, are also well wooded and pretty.[4] Murree also can boast of a world-class educational establishment: the *Lawrence School, Ghora Gali

In 1901 the population of the town was officially 1844, although if summer visitors had been included this could have been as high as 10,000.[5]

In the hot season it was the headquarters of the Lieutenant General of the Northern Command. The Commissioner of the Rawalpindi Division and the Deputy-Commissioner of Rawalpindi also resided here during part of the hot season, for which period an Assistant Commissioner was placed in charge of the subdivision consisting of Murree Tehsil. The site was selected in 1850 almost immediately after the annexation of the Province, and building operations commenced at once. In 1851 temporary accommodation was provided for a detachment of troops; and in 1853 permanent barracks were erected. The garrison generally consisted of three mountain batteries. In 1873, 1874, and 1875 Murree was the summer headquarters of the Punjab Government. It was connected with Rawalpindi town by a service of tongas.[6]

The houses crown the summit and sides of an irregular ridge, commanding magnificent views over forest-clad hill-sides into deep valleys studded with villages and cultivated fields. The neighbouring hills were covered during the summer with encampments of British troops, while the station itself is filled with European visitors from the plains and travellers to Kashmir. A fine view of the snowy peaks of Kashmir is to be had on a clear day, and the crest of Nanga Parbat (26,182 feet (7,980 m)) can sometimes be seen. The municipality was created in 1850.[6]

The income during the ten years ending 1902–3 averaged Rs. 49,500, and the expenditure Rs. 48,200. In 1903–4 the income and expenditure were Rs. 5r,400, chiefly from octroi, and Rs. 54,400 respectively. The income and expenditure of cantonment funds averaged Rs. 10,000 between 1893 and 1903. The chief educational institutions are the Lawrence Military Asylum for soldiers' children, and the St. Denys' and Convent English schools for girls. The station contains the Lady Roberts Home for invalid officers and a branch of the Alliance Bank of Simla. The Murree Brewery was the only industrial concern of any importance.[6]

Dark and Cloudy Murree Landscape

1857 War of Independence

In the summer of 1857, the local tribes of Murree and Hazara, including the Dhond Abbasi and Tanoli, planned to attack the British Army. The campaign was led by the chief of the Dhond Abbasi tribe, Sardar Sherbaz Khan, and by Malik Nawab Bahadur Khan of the Tanoli tribe. They fought respectably against the British Army, giving the British considerable difficulties. The British Army eventually signed an agreement with the local Abbasi tribe, which was refused by the Tanoli tribe, thereby dividing the opposition to the British. The British Army later ignored the agreement to take control of Murree again.[7]

British presence

After the British forces' occupation of Murree and Abbottabad, many English soldiers and administrators opted to spend the summers there because of the cooler climate. The British settled in and raised families. Some prominent people who were born here include:

  • Bruce Bairnsfather - a famous cartoonist during world War I
  • Francis Younghusband - an army officer and explorer. He established the Bible Society in the Christian High School in Geryal Murree. The society did in depth research into the local languages. This society translated a chapter of new testament book Loqas in Dhondi that was noted by the compilers of the "Linguistic Survey Of India".[8]
  • Reginald Dyer - officer responsible for the Amritsar Massacre

Climate

Murree
Climate chart (explanation)
J F M A M J J A S O N D
 
 
127
 
7
0
 
 
145
 
8
1
 
 
177
 
12
4
 
 
133
 
17
9
 
 
92
 
22
13
 
 
130
 
25
16
 
 
340
 
22
16
 
 
326
 
21
15
 
 
147
 
21
13
 
 
70
 
19
10
 
 
33
 
15
6
 
 
70
 
10
2
average max. and min. temperatures in °C
precipitation totals in mm
source: World Weather Information Service

Murree belongs to a sub-tropical continental highlands climatic type, situated in the outer Himalayas. This type of area has cold, snowy winters, relatively cool summer and frequent fog. Precipitation is received year round, with two maximas, first one during winter and second one at summer, July-August.[9] Total mean precipitation annually is 1,789 mm (70.4 in)[10]

Animals

Many rare animals can be found in Murree. One example is the leopard, which inhabits the neighboring Galiyat region. More common animals include the Rhesus Monkey, foxes and various species of pheasant including the chir and kalij. ‎

Tribes

The main tribe of Murree are the Dhond Abbasi, other tribes are the Kethwal Rajputs, the Dhanyals, Awans, Jasgam and the Satti Baig Mirza Barlas .

Administration

Union Council within Murree.

As well as being tehsil headquarters, Murree is also a Union council, it is bounded to the north by Darya Gali and Rawat, to the west by Ghora Gali, to the south by Numbal and Mussiari, and to the east by Ghel and Charhan.

Religion in Murree

Mosque in Murree

Islam is the mainly followed religion. However, there is also a significant Christian presence; churches from the British Era can be found in various parts of Murree.

Journalism in Murree

The earliest records of newspapers being sold in the Murree Hills are from 1936 during British rule. Today there are five daily newspapers (Daily Ousaf, Daily Musalman, Daily Azkar,daily Hill times and Daily Nawa-i-Hazara) published in Islamabad but edited by people in Murree Hills and Birote.Also three weekly newspapers Inqalab International,Hill Post and the Qoumi Tshakhus.A magazine DASTAK is publishing from 2006.[citation needed]

  • Ehtesham Ahmed Khan Abbasi is a compelling Journalist.Chief Editor Inqalab International, Ex Founding Director Daily Asas (Urdu newspaper), Ex vice Chairman Asas Publications Pvt Ltd.
  • The Murree Union of Journalists was founded in 1983. The first president of the union was Salim Shwalvi, a well-known and senior journalist from Kashmir.[citation needed]
  • Imtiaz ul Haq is the senior most journalist in Murree, working with leading news papers and tv network founding member of murree press club and president of Murree union of journalists ([citation needed]
  • Raja Afzaal Saleem is the Joint Secretary of Murree Union Of journalists and reporter of ATV.
  • Senior journalist Mohammed Obaidullah Alvi, Ishteaq Abbasi, Talib Abbasi and some other journalists from Circle Bakote are working for local and national media. They constitute a union of journalist a few years ago named GALYAT CIRCLE BAKOTE UNION OF JOURNALISTS. New president of CBGUJ is Ishteaq Abbasi.

New Murree Project

Usage of chairlifts is popular amongst tourists

The government of Punjab is at the brim of initiating the “New Murree Project” to promote tourism.[11] The location selected for this project is Patriata after considering the other three, Ban, Barian and Charihan. This project will cover 4,111 acres (16.64 km2) of land, including 3,849 acres (15.58 km2) of the Murree Forest Division and 262 acres (1.06 km2) of the Rawalpindi North Forest Division.[11] The water for Murree City will be supplied from River Jhelum.

This project has been Shelved indefinately by the Government of Punjab.

Famous people

Picture gallery

Localities & Union Councils

References

  1. ^ Election Commission of Pakistan
  2. ^ "Murree" Concise Dictionary of World Place-Names. John Everett-Heath. Oxford University Press 2005. Oxford Reference Online. Oxford University Press. Accessed 14 June 2008 <http://www.oxfordreference.com/views/ENTRY.html?subview=Main&entry=t209.e5014>
  3. ^ Mystery of the Tomb of Mary - Dawn Magazine
  4. ^ a b c Murree, in the Punjaub, 1863
  5. ^ a b c Murree - Encyclopædia Britannica Eleventh Edition
  6. ^ a b c Murree Town - Imperial Gazetteer of India, v. 18, p. 43
  7. ^ A view from Pakistan
  8. ^ This has now been republished as the "Linguistic survey of Pakistan, vol V" by sang-e-Mil publishers Lahore
  9. ^ Nazaria-i-Pakistan Trust. "Pakistan Essentials - Climate and Weather". http://nazariapak.info/pak-essentials/climate.asp. Retrieved 2009-07-01. 
  10. ^ World Weather Information Service - Murree
  11. ^ a b New Murree project in harmony with environment - Daily Times Pakistan

External links

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Travel guide

Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From Wikitravel

Murree is a former British hill station on the border between Punjab and Azad Kashmir in Pakistan.

An American journalist Camile wrote, that, "Everything and Anything can happen in Murree. Romance is in the atmosphere; intrigue is in the air. The roads to this happy holiday's resort embrace both the heaven and earth. In Murree it is easy to fall in love".

Murree remains charming all year round. In summer it is cool - even chilly in the evening - while light rain is common. In Winter Murree hides herself under thick blanket of snow. Which proves to be an extremely attractive vacation spot for travellers.

Get in

Taxis and buses run from Islamabad, and take about 1 hour. It is a picturesque drive and has a few well developed tourist spots at Charra Pani and Company Bagh. The Chattar water park is only 15 minutes outside Islamabad. There is also an alternate but longer route to Murree from Islamabad via Nilore and Simli Dam. The alternate route joins at Lower Topa. The mountain drive is refreshing and the scenery is breath-taking especially on the Nilore-Simli-Lower Topa route.

Another two way road is constructed from toll-plaza to Pataryata, the drive is very scenic and refreshing. An link road is available for those want to go to Murree.

Get around

Murree is the administrative Headquarters of the Murree district. It is well connected by road to other towns of the area. These small towns are Khanspur, Ghora Gali, Sunny Bank, Jhika Gali, Bhurban, Nathia Gali, Ayubia, Kalabagh and Patriata. Murree is also linked by road to the larger towns of Islamabad, Muzafarabad and Abbotabad.

The best option is to travel by own car. Public transport ( buses, taxis and vans ) are readily available but would be generally crowded.

Except for the Islamabad-Murree highway all other roads are single / two lane roads and the driver should be conversant with mountain driving skills.

The nearest air link is Islamabad International Airport and the nearest rail Link is at Rawalpindi Cantonment Station.

If you are to hire a taxi from Islamabad to Murree you need to pay just Rs.400 and the taxi will drop you from Faizabad to Murree and if you want it double way you may even get it in Rs.700 for Islamabad-Murree round trip. If you are to go by bus you have to pay just Rs.40 As one way fare.

  • Kashmir Point
  • Pindi Point - a chairlift runs up to here
  • The Mall - the main strip with shops, hotels and restaurants.
  • Lawrence College & Church
  • Many locals believe that Mary, mother of Jesus, is buried in Murree and that the town is named after her (formerly Mari). Her supposed tomb sits on a hill underneath a television tower. Locals can point you in the right direction. You may need special permission to visit.

Do

The main attractions of Murree are its natural scenery and refreshing atmosphere. It is an ideal place for a family get away and vacation. With its many places of interests like Patriata, Ayubia, Nathia Gali, Bhurban, Khanspur it offers many spots for picnics, mountain hiking and trekking. The best of these treks is from Dunga Gali to Murree on the water pipeline. The Golf Course at Bhurban is unique because of its altitude and tough layout. The area around Patriata has been developed and provides excellent hiking and trekking paths. It also has a scenic two stage cable car that would take the tourists up to the top. Those not interested in waiting in the queue for the ride can drive up to the Patriata top.

Buy

Murree has a variety of handicraft shops selling curios for the tourist to remind them of their visit to this hill station. Traditional clothing items , head wear, carved walking sticks, jewelery items and leather goods are abundantly available.

Also visit Millenium Mall - on main Mall road, next to Usmania Restaurant. A complete shopping mall with every kind of multinational brands in cosmetics, clothing, shoes, grocery, watches, leather, restaurants, coffee, ice cream parlors, sweets from all over the world, some of famous names are KFC, Pizza Hut, Indulge coffee shop, Nirala sweets, Gucci, Emporio Armani, Nike, Addidas, Piere Cardin, Rado, Tissot, Victoria Secrets, and many more have already got outlets in this mall. 1st floor is only for joy land amusement park for children.

Eat

There are many restaurants in Murree, mostly along The Mall. One very popular restaurant is called Al-mai-dah.

'Fuschia Restaurant' near Kashmir Point just before the Governors House is a newly opened restaurant. It offers a mix of English, Pakistani, Italian, etc. The Restaurant also has thrilling games for children such as a Jumping Castle, Trampoline, battery powered cars and an Arcade.

  • Red Onion Chain of Restaurants situated on the main mall road, stands one of the most modern restaurant in Murree. Established in 1993, pioneer to 'Buy one Pizza & Get the second one Absolutely FREE' this restaurant offers a wide range of cuisines not offered anywhere else in the vicinity i.e Mexican, Italian, Chinese, Pakistani & Continental. Prices are very moderate, ambiance is modern & customer service is very friendly! Other branches of Red Onion; Nathia gali, Abottabad, Rawalpindi, Islamabad, Rawal Dam & Karachi.
  • Saffron: An elegantly decorated restaurant with stunning views of the surrounding hills and valleys. Saffron offered the ultimate personalized culinary experience. The menu is a blend of continental and local favorites including our very own rendition of the ever-popular chicken karahi and chicken makhani. Saffron lies overlooking crisscrossing paths, beautiful hills and valleys. The restaurants outdoor patio allows you to dine under the roof of the world , in the most breathing natural surroundings our part of the world has to offer.
  • The Huqqa Pani Lounge with its gracious old world charm serves a variety of fruit flavored tobacco or sheesha. Apart from the shakes and drinks, the room offers a wonderful and relaxing atmosphere with a glorious view of Murree and the surrounding hills.
  • KFC, Millenium Mall Murree at the end of Mall road
  • Angeethi - the Grill is located adjacent to the Huqqa Pani lounge and follows the same earthen traditional theme. So after relaxing in the lounge, you can come and watch our chefs prepare a variety of mouthwatering barbeque dishes. The beautiful backdrop and the traditional ambience , combined with the delicious food make dining at The Grill an occasion to remember.

Drink

Hard liquor is only available to foreign passport holders at PC Bhurban hotel. However night receptionists at nearly all hotels are able to arrange some stuff for a little consideration. There are no bars and pubs where liquor is otherwise sold.

Health and medication

There are many well equipped medical centres in Murree and surrounding which can always provide you with basic medical treatement,like Abbasi hospital at Suny Bank,Tariq medical centre Bhurban,alshafa clinic Murree and many more.Along with these medical centres there is a military hospital "CMH" situated on Murree mallroad.So you donot need to worry for medical treatement in case of any emergency while visitin Murree and surroundings.

Sleep

Murree being a well established tourist destination has a wide variety of lodgings available to suit all pockets. The top of the line is the 5* Pearl-Continental Hotel at Bhurban. However PC Bhourban is 25 minutes drive away from Murree proper. Other good standard hotels are available in Murree proper besides a number of other hired lodgings of various standards. Another option is to hire summer houses. Murree also has a number of private and government owned rest houses or Dak bunglows. Generally the summer season rates are 5 to 6 times the winter off season rate.

There are a lot of hotels and restaurants on Mall Road Murree. In May 2007, Usmania Restaurant charged us Rs.3500 for five triple bedrooms. They serve good Pakistani cuisine as well.

  • Shangrila Resort Hotel Murree [1], adjacent to the Punjab House on Lawrence College Road in Murree is fabulous and a bit eccentric. Standard rooms begin at 7,000 PR, the Executive Suite (recommended) is 10,000 PR, and the Deluxe Room is 15,000 PR, Family Suite 2-Bed Rs. 8000.00 PR, Family Suite 4-Bed Rs. 12000.00 PR, Deluxe Room Rs. 15000.00 PR, Deluxe Suite Rs. 20000.00 PR. A nice and quiet get-away high up in the pine trees, Shangrila has a full restaurant, a grill, a tobacco bar, and a billiards room. Located near the shopping and commercial districts, as well as the famous Mall Road. Saffron all-day fine dining restaurant, offering breakfast, lunch, and dinner buffets as well as an extensive ‘a la carte menu with an emphasis on natural and fresh ingredients. Full Service Restaurant, BBQ-Buffet Restaurant, Lounge for Family Re-Unions and Private Gatherings, Dining and Entertainment facilities, as well as several individual cottages, which are located in a secluded corner of the premises.
  • PC Bhurban [2] The top of the line is the 5* Pearl-Continental Hotel at Bhurban. However PC Bhourban is 25 minutes drive away from Murree proper.
  • 34 Morning Side designer hotel [3] Nestled in the Murree Hills, 34 Morning Side is situated in the posh Kashmir Point area, 50 meters from the Governor’s Residence. The suites are fully-equiped with internet, flat-screen television, mini-bar, etc. The hotel also has an amazing terrace, gym, pool table, foosball, caram board, etc. It also houses a mini-cinema. This brand-new designer hotel has everything you can imagine. Check out the website for further details.
  • Murree Holidays (Murree Apartments), Mount view road Cecil Hotel Murree (5 Minutes walk from Murree Bus stant), +92 322 500 0106, [4]. checkin: 4:00 PM; checkout: 12:00 Noon. Amurree.com is the first service in Murree to provide online reservatin and booking. It is situated in main city with beautiful mountains and landscape PKR 1000/night. (33.90646,73.38855) edit
  • Cecil Hotel, Cart Road, 0513411131-32-34.  edit
  • Hotel Amore, Donga/Doonga/Dunga Gali, 0992-355101-4, [5].  edit
  • Maisonette Firhill Murree, Murree, [6].  edit
  • European Complex, Bhurban, [7].  edit

Get out

Murree can serve as a focal hub of your stay. Day trips can be planned for Nathia gali, Kalabagh, Muzzafrabad, Ayubia, Patriata, Khanspur, Bhurban and Gharial.

  • Nathiagali is about 32kms from Murree. The bracing air of the surrounding mountains is as pure as fresh spring water.
  • Ayubia is about 26kms from Murree, (Khairagali, Changlagali, Khanspur and Ghora Dhaka, these four mini resorts spread over an area of 26 km have been developed into a resort complex called Ayubia). In addition to riding trails, hiking places and picnic spots, Ayubia has a chair lift at Ghora Dhaka, which attracts visitors to enjoy scenic beauty of Pine Hills.
  • Thandiani is the coldest among other hill stations near Murree. It can be reached from the Murree-Nathiagali route, but it takes more time and the road is too winding. Thandiani is 31 km from main Abbottabad City and 25 km from Thandiani-Nathiagali crossing. The drive takes more or less 80 minutes from Abbottabad with lovely views on both sides of the road. The road spans more than 1219 m above Abbottabad. On the way along with tall majestic pine trees you come across groups of monkeys. The major place on the way is Kalapani at 23 km from Abbottabad. It has a beautiful local dak bungalow. Hule ka Danna is about two kilometres north of Thandiani. It is one of the most beautiful glades in the region. Thandiani offers lush green lovely views.

Trekking is the best sport to do, following are some of the treks:

  • Ayubia-Changla Gali
  • Ayubia-Khanaspur
  • Ayubia-Dungagali, 4km, a must to do
  • Dungagali-Mushkpuri Top
  • Mushkpuri Top-Nathiagali
  • Nathiagali-Miranjani Top
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1911 encyclopedia

Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From LoveToKnow 1911

MURREE, a town and sanatorium of British India, in the Rawalpindi district of the Punjab, 7517 ft. above the sea, about five hours' journey by cart-road from Rawalpindi town, and the starting-point for Kashmir. The houses are built on the summit and sides of an irregular ridge, and command magnificent views over forest-clad hills and deep valleys, studded with villages and cultivated fields, with the snow-covered peaks of Kashmir in the background. The population in 1901 was 1844; but these figures omit the summer visitors, who probably number Io,000. The garrison generally consists of three mountain batteries. Since 1877 the summer offices of the provincial government have been transferred to Simla. The Murree brewery, one of the largest in India, is the chief industrial establishment. The Lawrence Military Asylum for the children of European soldiers is situated here.


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Wiktionary

Up to date as of January 15, 2010

Definition from Wiktionary, a free dictionary

English

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Wikipedia

Proper noun

Murree

  1. A city in the Punjab Province of Pakistan.

Translations

  • Urdu: مری

Simple English

Murree is a city in the Rawalpindi District of Punjab, Pakistan. It is in the north of Punjab and is near to the North-West Frontier Province and Kashmir.


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