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—  City District  —
Murree Road in Rawalpindi
Rawalpindi is located in Pakistan
Location in Pakistan
Coordinates: 33°36′0″N 73°02′0″E / 33.6°N 73.033333°E / 33.6; 73.033333
Country  Pakistan
Region Punjab
Division Rawalpindi Division
Autonomous towns 8
Union councils 170
Elevation 500 m (1,640 ft)
Time zone PST (UTC+5)
 - Summer (DST) PDT (UTC+6)
Area code(s) 051

About this sound Rawalpindi (Urdu: راولپنڈی) Rāwalpindī) is a city in the Majha region of Punjab near Pakistan's capital city of Islamabad, in the province of Punjab. Rawalpindi is the fourth largest city in Pakistan after Karachi, Lahore and Faisalabad. Locally known as Pindi, the area was home to the pre-historic Soanian culture indigenous to this region. Numerous shopping bazaars, parks and a cosmopolitan population attract shoppers from all over Pakistan and abroad. In the 1950s, Rawalpindi was smaller than Hyderabad and Multan, but the building of Islamabad in the 1960s boosted the city's economy, resulting in a tenfold increase in population, from 180,000 to over 2.1 million.

Rawalpindi is also the military headquarters of the Pakistan Armed Forces and also served as the nation's capital whilst Islamabad was being constructed in the 1960s. The city is home to several industries and factories. Islamabad International Airport, formerly known as "Chaklala" airport, now known as "Benazir Bhutto International Airport" is actually in Rawalpindi; 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 total area of the city is approximately 154 square kilometres (59 sq mi). It is a bustling town strategically located between the Punjab and Azad Kashmir. Many tourists use the city as a stop before traveling towards the northern areas.



A map representing the Rawalpindi Division, pre-independence

Rawalpindi has been inhabitied for thousands of years, it is believed that a distinct culture flourished on this plateau as far in c1000BC. The material remains found at the site prove the existence of a Buddhist establishment contemporary to Taxila and of a Vedic civilisation. The nearby town of Taxila has another significance; according to the Guinness Book of World Records it has the world's oldest university - Takshashila University.[citation needed]

Sir Alexander Cunningham identified certain ruins on the site of the cantonment with the ancient city of Gajipur or Gajnipur, the capital of the Bhatti tribe in the ages preceding the Christian era. Graeco-Bactrian coins, together with ancient bricks, occur over an area of 500 ha (2 mi²). Known within historical times as Fatehpur Baori, Rawalpindi fell into decay during one of the Mongol invasions in the fourteenth century.[1]

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 until Muqarrab Khan, the last Gakkhar ruler, was defeated by the Sikhs under Sardar Milka Singh in 1765. Singh invited traders from the neighbouring commercial centres of Jhelum and Shahpur to settle in the territory.[1]

Early in the nineteenth century Rawalpindi became for a time the refuge of Shah Shuja, the exiled king of Afghanistan, and of his brother Shah Zaman. The present native infantry lines mark the site of a battle fought by the Gakhars under their famous chief Sultan Mukarrab Khan in the middle of the eighteenth century. Rawalpindi was taken by Sikh ruler Maharaja Ranjit Singh in 1818. It was at Rawalpindi, on March 14, 1849, that the Sikh army under Chattar Singh and Sher Singh finally laid down their arms after the battle of Gujrat and were decisively defeated.[1]


British rule

Queen Victoria's Statue sculpted in England was placed in the city during the rule of the British Empire, 1939

Following the British invasion of the region 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 1 January 1886. The need for a railway link arose after Lord Dalhousie made Rawalpindi the headquarters of the Northern Command and the city became the largest British military garrison in British India.[citation needed]

On the introduction of British rule, Rawalpindi became the site of a cantonment and, shortly afterward, the headquarters of 2nd (Rawalpindi) Division. Its connection with the main railway system by the extension of the North-Western Railway to Peshawar immensely developed its size and commercial importance. The municipality was created in 1867.

The income and expenditure during the ten years ending 1902-3 averaged 2–1 lakhs. In 1903-4 the income and expenditure were 1-8 lakhs and 2-1 lakhs respectively. The chief item of income was octroi (1-6 lakhs); the expenditure included administration (Rs. 35,000), conservancy (Rs. 27,000), hospitals and dispensaries (Rs. 25,000), public works (Rs. 9,000), and public safety (Rs. 17,000). The cantonment, with a population in 1901 of 40,611, was the most important in all of British South Asia. It contained one battery of horse and one of field artillery, one mountain battery, one company of garrison artillery, and one ammunition column of field artillery; one regiment of British and one of Native cavalry; two of British and two of Native infantry; and two companies of sappers and miners, with a balloon section. It was the winter headquarters of the Northern Command and of the Rawalpindi military division. An arsenal was established here in 1883.[1]

It has been recently disclosed that the British Government tested poison gas on Indian troops during a series of experiments that lasted over a decade.[2]

After independence

In 1951, Rawalpindi saw the assassination of the first elected Prime Minister of Pakistan, Liaquat Ali Khan in Company Bagh now known as Liaquat Bagh Park (also called Liaquat Garden.) On 27 December 2007, Liaquat Bagh Park's rear gate in Rawalpindi was the site of the assassination of former Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto.[3] Her father, former Prime Minister Zulfikar Ali Bhutto was hanged in Rawalpindi in 1979.[citation needed]

The famous Murree Road has been a hot spot for various political and social events. Nala Lai, in the middle of city, 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. Kashmir Road, was renamed from Dalhousie Road, Haider road from Lawrence road, Bank Road from Edwards Road, Hospital Road from Mission Road, Jinnah Road from Nehru Road. Today Rawalpindi is the headquarters of the Pakistani Army and Air Force.[citation needed]


Climate chart (explanation)
average max. and min. temperatures in °C
precipitation totals in mm
source: World Meteorological Organization

Similar to neighboring Islamabad, Rawalpindi features a humid subtropical climate with long and very hot summers, a monsoon and short, mild, wet winters. Rawalpindi during the summer season experiences a number of Thunder/Windstorms that sometimes cause damage to property. Windspeeds could reach an astonishing 168 km/h in some windstorms which results in the collapse of walls and roofs causing injuries and sometimes death.[citation needed]

Rawalpindi is chaotic but relatively dust-free. The weather is highly variable due to the location of Rawalpindi. The average annual rainfall is 39 inches (990 mm), most of which falls in the summer monsoon season. However, frontal cloudbands also bring quite significant rainfall in the winter. In summer, the maximum temperature can sometimes soar up to 47 °C (117 °F), while it may drop to a minimum of −4 °C (25 °F) in the winter.[citation needed]


The population of Rawalpindi is approximately 3,039,550 according to the 2006 census which includes many people who come from Punjab villages looking for work in the city. The majority of the people of Rawalpindi are Muslims. There are many mosques throughout the city. The most famous Mosques are Jamia Mosque, Raja Bazaar Mosque and Eid Gah Mosque which attract thousands of visitors daily. Other minority religions are Christian, Zorastrian, Bahai, Parsi, Hindu, Sikh and Ahmadiyya Religion. The literacy rate is 70.5% (January 2006). The population is ethnically and linguistically heterogeneous, comprising Pothoharis, Punjabis,Paharis, Kashmiris, Pakhtuns, Gilgiti, Muhajirs, Hindkowans and Afghans.


Administrative subdivisions of Rawalpindi District.

The City-District of Rawalpindi comprises eight autonomous tehsils, besides Rawalpindi city (divided into Rawal & Potohar Tehsils):

  1. Gujar Khan
  2. Potohar (Southern Rawalpindi)
  3. Taxila Tehsil
  4. Rawal (Northern Rawalpindi)
  5. Kallar Syedan
  6. Kahuta
  7. Kotli Sattian
  8. Murree

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, in the middle of city, 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.

Kashmir Road, was renamed from Dalhousie Road, Haider road from Lawrence road, Bank Road from Edwards Road, Hospital Road from Mission Road, Jinnah Road from Nehru Road.

Rawalpindi also holds many private colony's who have developed them selves rapidly for eg baharia town which is the Asia's largest private colony


The Murree Road during the construction of Committee Chowk underpass
The Saddar Bazaar

Rapidly developing into a large city, Rawalpindi has many good hotels, restaurants, clubs, museums and parks, of which the largest is the 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, Rawlakot, Muzaffarabad, Bagh, Abbottabad, Swat, Kaghan, Gilgit, Hunza, Skardu and Chitral.

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 toward 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. Another developing market is the Commercial Market in the area of Satellite Town near Islamabad.

The crowded alleys of the old city are home to many attractions, including Hindu (in ruins now), Zorastrian, Sikh temples and Islamic shrines. There are several museums and arts galleries such as the Lok Virsa, Pakistan Museum of Natural History,[4] and the $Idara Saqafat e Pakistan.

Rawalpindi has been a military city since colonial times and remained Army headquarters after independence in 1947. Due to this, the city is home to the Pakistan Army Museum, with displays on 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 (930 ha) and has a playland, lake with boating facility, an aquarium and a garden-restaurant. Rawalpindi Public Park is on Murree Road near Shamsabad. The Park was opened to the 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 initial capacity of 20,000. In mid-2008 it was being upgraded and to hold more than 40,000 people. The home team is the Rawalpindi Cricket Association. The Rawalpindi Hockey stadium is a small but well-built facility that plays host to the national side throughout the year.

Rawat Fort is 17 km (11 mi) east of Rawalpindi, on the Grand Trunk (G.T.) Road leading to Lahore. Gakhars, a fiercely independent tribe of the Pothohar Plateau, built the fort in the early 16th century. The grave of a Gakhar Chief, Sultan Sarang Khan is inside the fort. He died in 1546 fighting against the forces of Sher Shah Suri. A climb up the broken steps inside the tomb is rewarded with a panoramic view of the plateau and the Mankiala Stupa. Besides Rawat, about an hour's drive from Rawalpindi on the Grand Trunk Road toward Peshawar, is Attock Fort. This impressive fort is easily visible and 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'. The Akbari fort is not open to the public as it is in active military use.

Pharwala Fort is about 40 km (25 mi) from Rawalpindi beyond Lehtrar road. It is a Gakhar fort built it in the 15th century on the ruins of a 10th century Hindi Shahi Fort. Emperor Babur conquered the it in 1519. Later, in 1825, Sikhs expelled Gakhars from this fort. Though in a crumbling state, it is still an attraction for castle lovers. The fort, situated in prohibited area, is only open to Pakistani visitors.

Rawalpindi has numerous sights of architectural masterpieces. A few of the heritage buildings are Purana Qil'aa (The Old Fort), Bagh Sardaran (Chief's Gardens), Haveli Sujaan Sigh (the remains of the Sikh Nawabs of Rawalpindi; the grand building has been converted into Fatima Jinnah Women University, which is the only female university established in the region).

Other ancient buildings include Jain Mandir, Jain Temple. Gordon College, a prestigious institution of high learning was set during the British Raj. The shrine of Hazrat Sakhi Shah Chan Charagh is one of the centres devotees flock to. An institution of high devotion and solace located near the famous Raja Bazar. He is the patron saint of the city and regarded as one of the two protectors of the twin cities, i.e., Islamabad and Rawalpindi, with Hazrat Bari Imam, his cousin brother.

The Rawalpindi Public Library was one of the earliest private public libraries organized after separation from India. The building was donated for a public library by the then-Deputy Commissioner Major Davis (also Mrs. Davis' motel's owner) on the initiative of philanthropist Khurshid Anwar Jilani, an attorney, writer and social worker. However, the building was confiscated for election and political campaigning during the last days of Field Marshal Ayub Khan's reign, and rare manuscripts and artifacts were taken away by the influential.


Bank Alfalah branch in Rawalpindi

According to the general survey of industry conducted by Directorate of Industries and Mineral Development Punjab, there are 939 industrial units operating in the district. This district is not famous for industrial goods like other districts. The progress has been mostly in the private sector. The existing industrial units provide employment to about 35,000 people, i.e., about 1.6% of district population is directly employed in large, medium and small industrial units.

Apparently there is no shortage of skilled manpower. The Technical/Vocational Training Institute operating in the district turns out about 1,974 technicians/artisans annually. They are trained in engineering, air conditioning, drafting, metallurgy, welding, auto knitting and commerce, etc.[5]

  • Kohinoor Textile Mills is the largest unit in the district. It is located near Naseer Abad and is equipped with 50,000 spindles and 1,021 power looms.
  • Wattan Woolen and Hosiery Mills is fitted 10,000 spindles.
  • Rahat Woolen Mills, established in 1954, is one of the oldest and most prominent mills in Rawalpindi.

Jinnah Road, formally known as City Saddar Road, is one of the busiest business markets. It could be considered as business headquarters northern Pakistan including retailers, wholesalers, distributors, manufacturers having an approximately cash flow of more than 1 billion per day. The importance of Jinnah Road can be seen by the presence of more than nine banks on the road with more opening soon.


Rawalpindi Railway Station

There are many ways to get in and around Rawalpindi. Public transport for travel within Rawalpindi is diverse, ranging from yellow taxis, auto-rickshaws, mini-buses and even tongas (horse-drawn carriages). Due to the lack of planning of roads, traffic jams are found even on smaller 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.


The Rawalpindi Railway Station is located in the Saddar City. The Railway Station was built in the 1880s by the government of British India. The British built many railways across South Asia to help facilitate trade and more importantly to help consolidate their rule. The routes the British built from Rawalpindi, which contained a major military base, linked to Lahore, Karachi, Peshawar, Quetta, Multan, Faisalabad, Hyderabad, Sindh, Sukkur, Bahawalpur, Jhelum, Gujrat, Gujranwala, Kohat, Khanewal, Nawabshah, Nowshera and the Malakand Pass.


Benazir Bhutto International Airport is actually located at Chaklala which technically is a part of Rawalpindi. The airport is served by over 25 airlines, both national and international. Pakistan International Airlines (PIA), the national carrier of 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 Fateh Jang approx 25 kilometres (20 mi) from both cities.


Mall Road, Saddar

The main route running through Rawalpindi is the Murree Road. This road runs West-East through the city and continues to the hill station of Murree, which is a major summer attraction for Rawalpindi residents. Murree Rd is one of the busiest roads in the Punjab Province of Pakistan.

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 Karachi, to Peshawar, Lahore, Quetta, Multan, Faisalabad, Hyderabad, Sukkur, Bahawalpur, Jhelum, Gujrat, Gujranwala, Kohat, Khanewal, Nawabshah, Nowshera and the Malakand Pass.

The city is also served by two nearby six-lane Motorways, M2 (Lahore-Islamabad) and M1 (Islamabad-Peshawar), which were completed in the 1990s. Somewhat further away is the famous Karakoram Highway, the world's highest international road, which connects Pakistan to China.

General Bus Stand

General Bus Stand, Pir Wadhi is the principal bus station for interstate buses and other public vehicles which regularly transports passengers. GBS, Pir Wadhi caters government and private operated buses. It also constitutes large number of reasonable hotel for stay. Luxury Hino, Mercedes buses also operated from Pir Wadhi.


The PTCL provides the main network of landline telephone with minority shares of other operators. All major mobile phone companies operating in Pakistan provide service in Rawalpindi. Broadband internet access is available from DSL, FTTH to state of the art WiMax technology from many ISP, WiMax and WiFi operators like Witribe,Wateen,Micronet,Nayatel etc


Govt College for Women
Rawalpindi Medical College, Tipu Road
General Post Office, Saddar
Beauty of Mall Road
Jinnah Park
A view of Rawal Dam
  • Ayub National Park formerly known as "topi rakh" (stay hat or remove hat) is located by the old Presidency, and between the Murree Brewery Co. and Grand Trunk (G.T.) Road. It covers an area of about 2,300 acres (930 ha) and has a play area, lake with boating facility, an aquarium, a garden-restaurant and an open air theater. This park hosts 'The Jungle Kingdom' which is particularly popular among young residents of the city.
  • Liaquat Bagh formerly known as the "company bagh" (East India Company's Garden), is of great historical interest. The first prime minister of Pakistan, Liaquat Ali Khan, was assassinated here in 1950. Pakistan's Prime Minister Banazir Bhutto was assassinated here on 27 December 2007. She was the youngest elected Prime Minister of the world.
  • Rawalpindi Golf Course was completed in 1926 by Rawalpindi Golf Club, one of the oldest golf clubs of Pakistan. The facility was initially developed as a nine-hole course. After several phases of development, it is now a 27-hole course. From the clubhouse, there is a panoramic view of Faisal Mosque, the twin cities of Islamabad and Rawalpindi, and the course itself. Major golf tournaments are regularly held here.
  • Rawalpindi Public Park (also known as Nawaz Sharif Park) is located on Murree Road. The Park was opened in 1991. It has a play area for children, lawns, fountains and flower beds. A cricket stadium was built in 1992 opposite the Public Park. The 1996 World Cup cricket matches were held on this cricket ground.
  • Playland is another public located parallel to Ayub Park, its nearness to many classy colonies and housing schemes makes this wonderland an attractive hotspot during the holidays.
  • Liaquat National Bagh
  • Jinnah Park
  • Ayub Park
  • DHA Jungle Park (DHA Phase I, Rawalpindi)
  • Rumi Park
  • Shah Balot Park
  • Race Course
  • Ladies & Childrens Park, Dhoke Hassu
  • Children Park in Commercial Market
  • 502 Workshop Park (Zia Park) Lalazar
  • Dussehra Ground Asghar Mall
  • Ladies & Childrens Park, Gawalmadi


The city has an array of stadiums and grounds to meet the needs of all the popular sports played in the country.

Rawalpindi is home to some of the most recognised players in the history of Pakistani cricket. The Rawalpindi Cricket Stadium is the official cricket stadium used for international tests and ODIs. However, there are plenty of other cricket grounds such as Army Cricket ground (home to the Pindi Club), KRL Cricket ground, CMTSD Cricket stadium as well as the Attock Oil Refinery cricket ground.

There are stadiums for hockey such as the Army Hockey Stadium, Army Signals Hockey ground as well as the Noor Station Ground Dhoke Hassu. There are stadiums for football including the Municipal Football stadium and the Army Football ground. Other sports complexes include the COD Sports Complex and the Railway Ground Dhoke Matkial.Kabadi.


Lal Haveli

Rawalpindi, being so close to the capital, has an active media and newspaper climate. There are over a dozen of newspaper companies based in the city including Daily Nawa-i-Waqt, Daily Jang, Daily Islamabad Times, Daily Asas, Daily Times, Daily Nation, National Herald Tribune, The Daily Sada-e-Haq, Daily Express, Daily Dawn, Daily Din, Daily Aajkal Rawalpindi, Daily Islam, and Daily Pakistan.

See also


External links

Travel guide

Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From Wikitravel

Asia : South Asia : Pakistan : Punjab : Rawalpindi

Rawalpindi is in Pakistan. It is a bustling town strategically located between the Punjab and Azad Kashmir. It has a strong colonial influence and possesses a large military cantonment with the headquarters of the Pakistan Army. It is the sister city of Islamabad, and is essentially the older sister of Islamabad. To locals, it is simply known as "Pindi".

Get in

By plane

Islamabad International Airport is located within the city of Rawalpindi. Daily flights to and from various International and Local destinations are available and new airport under construction.

By train

Rawalpindi has its own central railway station, with regular sevices to many destinations within Pakistan.

By Road

Rawalpindi has extensive road networks, linking it directly to various major cities such as Lahore, Peshawar and Taxila to the north. Apart from that the twin city, which Rawalpindi is otherwise called, has a complete structure of traveling around in the city through local buses. However, this is not a recommended mode of transport to tourists. Taxis are cheap, and you'll be looking at around Rs250 or so for a trip from Ghakar Plaza to the outer sectors of Islamabad, so travel within Rawalpindi will be around Rs100 per trip - very affordable for a foreign tourist. Make sure you haggle the price before getting into the taxi.

By bus

Skyways and Daewoo are 2 of the nicer long-haul operators. Skyways offer some direct services to/from Islamabad and Lahore, Peshawar and Karachi. Daewoo has its own terminal on the road from Islamabad just outside Rawalpindi. You can call the Daewoo Station in advance for booking. They shall confirm a seat for you. The number is 051 111 007 008. You can travel to Peshawar, Lahore, D I Khan, Murree, Sialkot, Abottabad, Bahawalpur, Faisalabad, Multan, and recently they have started service between Karachi and Hyderabad [cited from Islamabad page]

Coach is a very comfortable way to travel in Pakistan, and is very popular for travellers between Rawalpindi and Lahore. You will receive a small meal on the coach, and a first class ticket is between Rs1000-Rs3000.

Get around

As a hub for the many parts of upper and northern Pakistan, Rawalpindi is gaining more attention of visitors every day. The major supplies and trades are being made from the wholesale markets of Rawalpindi, NWFP (North West Frontier Province), AJ&K (Azad Jammu and Kashmir), FANA (Federally Administered Northern Areas) and FATA (Federally Administrated Tribal Areas) are mostly accessed from the Rawalpindi.

Murree, the most visited and popular countryside of Rawalpindi is a definite crown for the city. With its magnificent mountain scenery, thick pine and deodar forests and lush green landscapes, Murree is renowned globally for its natural beauty. Well-developed and furnished with all traveling and residential facilities, visitors spend a major portion of their visit here.

In other major attractions and visiting places in and around Rawalpindi are Rawal Lake, Ayub National Park, Rawalpindi Food Park, Mughalia Wah Gardens, Taxila, Lui Bher Safari Park and all the picnic and public places of Islamabad.

  • Nawaz Sharif Park
  • Ayub Park
  • Eidgah Sharif
  • Shah Chun Charagh


There are various things you can do in Rawalpindi. A few of them are:

1) Plan a trip to Raja Bazar, Bara Bazar and Murree Road. Although the traffic gets horrible at times, but you will find such amazing stuff at amazing prices that you'll forget the pain. Be careful in Raja Bazar in particular - it is not recommended for lone female travellers.

2) Go to Ayub Park, have a pleasant walk around, it will give you hours of walk in green meadows without having to worry about anything else. If you take the family along, you can eat snacks and even take you own for added fun !

3) If you have more time on your hands, go to Murree. Murree is one of the hottest attractions (attraction wise, temparture wise its very cold) where you can spend even weeks if you like to, every day is a new day.


Saddar Bazar is the most versatile, modern and easily approachable market place of Rawalpindi. Its connected to Mall Road on one side, City to the other, and Railway station on the 3rd side.

Saddar Bazar has certain good looking plazas, banks, fun houses for children and has a few recreational parks for children and elderly

Gakkahr Plaza is one of the most renowned shopping markets in Saddar Rawalpindi. You can buy leather jackets, trousers, all sorts of garments, kameez salwar, khussas, sandals and all gents garments from Gakharr Plaza. Unfortunately, on 20 December 2008, Gakhar Plaza was completely gutted down by a huge fire.

Close to Gakhhar plaza, you will find Jabbar Tailors which is one of the oldest tailors in Rawalpindi. Mostly busy with military uniform stitching.

  • Metro shoes. A well known shoe shop.  edit


In Pakistan there is a big fascination with these large fast-food chains, particularly "Pizza Hut", "McDonalds", "KFC", and "Subway". As a tourist, it is recommended to try the local food, as these fast food chains do not live up to their hype, and are in way a cleaner establishment than local restaurants. They are also quite overpriced, with combo meals costing around Rs 300, (whilst this is still a mere £2.50 or $5 (very competitive with any branch of these restaurants found in the Western world) it compares poorly with the Rs 7 (6p or 11 cents)you could expect to pay for a naan bread at the local market.

The first "McDonalds" opened in Rawalpindi at Jinnah Park . It is huge with a lot of parking space and it is open until late. KFC is the best place for getting international-style fast food, and it is situated just in the cantonment area of the city and also has a big parking area.

Eating in these chains is more of a statement of status in Pakistan than anything else, and you will notice that there is usually quite a fashion parade in many of these establishments !

In rawalpindi, do as the pindites do! Grab a bag of the most yummy and juicy local sweet called "jalebee" from gratto on murree road, or the luxuriously garnished icecream from "Chaman" at saddar, or the famous 'samosas' from 'karim hotel', or 'fresh from the pan' halwa poori from satelitown, or 'rabri' (milky drink) from 'nirala' in saddar ... Its a neverending list!

For local food restaurants like 'lasania' and 'jehangir' are worth tasting.


Alcohol in Pakistan is forbidden but one can find drinks at many modern hotels like Pearl Continental(PC), Shalimar hotel and Flashman Hotel. There are no bars and night clubs in Rawalpindi city but all the big markets are open til late-night. Drinking culture in Pakistan is essentially soft-drink culture, where Pepsi is the drink of choice. Be warned as a traveller about the cleanliness of bottles - always drink from a straw, and always request that bottles be opened in front of you, as a cleanliness measure. Drinking culture also revolves around tea, called 'chai' in Urdu, and this is available everywhere and anywhere. Coffee is not impossible to come by, however iced coffee tends to be the popular coffee drink of choice.


Rawalpindi has only one hotel that can be termed as 5 star. It is called Pearl Continental or more famously known by its acronym PC. Other that this one can go to Hotel Shalimar or Flashman.

Stay safe

Rawalpindi is not necessarily as safe as it's sister, Islamabad. Islamabad has higher foreign tourist traffic, and thus has become accustomed to it, however foreign tourists are somewhat rare in Rawalpindi. Pakistan on the whole is not recommended to lone young female travellers, however Pindi is relatively safe for larger groups of females, or mixed gender paired-travellers. For female travellers, it is highly recommended to purchase a shawl upon arrival in Pakistan (even better to bring one over on your flight, for airport arrival purposes). It is not necessary or expected for you to wear this on your head at all times, however to avoid unwanted attention, and gain local respect, cover your chest with this shawl (i.e. drape it across your neck). Also attempt to purchase/wear a long shirt/top, that covers your backside region - this again, will draw away unwanted attention.

Avoid flashing large amounts of cash around - Rs 1000 notes are commonplace, however the haggling process is often easier when you show the limited cash you have (e.g. "I only have Rs 200 on me"). Keep your larger notes on the inside, and only allow small notes to be seen, for example, when paying taxi drivers, purchasing items, etc.

Do not feel compelled to give money to all beggars, not matter how young or needy. Of course exercise discretion, and it not unacceptable to give them money, however, the beggars are regulars in Pindi, and have their regular locations, and are known to beg in the same place, everyday - with a new outfit each day.

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1911 encyclopedia

Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From LoveToKnow 1911

RAWALPINDI, a town of British India, which gives its same to a district and a division in the Punjab. The town is situated on the north bank of the little river Leh, 1726 ft. above the sea, III m. E. by S. of Peshawar, and 1443 m. N.W. of Calcutta. Pop. (1901) 87,688. It is chiefly notable as the largest military station in India, and the key to the British :system of defence upon the North-West Frontier. Railways radiate to Peshawar, Kohat, and the Malakand Pass, and a road runs to the Abbotabad frontier. It is also the startingpoint of the cart-road to the hill-station of Murree and of the route into Kashmir. It is protected by a strong chain of forts, connected by the Circular Road. It is the headquarters of the second division of the northern army with a strong force of all arms, and contains an arsenal. Besides the locomotive works of the North-Western railway, there are gas-works, a tent factory, an iron foundry, and a brewery. An annual horse fair is held in April.

The District Of Rawalpindi has an area of 2010 sq. m., Attock having been separated from it and formed into a separate district in 1904. It is situated on the southern slopes of the north-western extremities of the Himalayas, including large mountain tracts with rich valleys traversed by mountain torrents. It contains the Murree hills with the sanatorium of that name, the chief hill-station in the Punjab. The Indus and the Jhelum are the chief rivers, and the climate is noted for its healthiness. The principal crops are wheat, barley, maize, millets, and pulses. The district is traversed by the main line of the North-Western railway, crossing the Indus at Attock, and also by a branch towards the Indus at Kushalgarh. The population in 1901 was 558,699, showing an increase of 4.7% in the decade.

The Division Of Rawalpindi lies in the north-west of the Punjab. It consists of the five districts of Gujrat, Attock, Shahpur, Jhelum, and Rawalpindi. The total area is 15,736 sq. m. and the population in 1901 was 2,799, 360. (This information is obsolute and based on 1911 history).

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Up to date as of January 15, 2010

Definition from Wiktionary, a free dictionary


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Proper noun


  1. A city in the Punjab Province of Pakistan and capital of the district by that name.


  • Urdu: راولپنڈی

Simple English

Rawalpindi (Urdu: راولپنڈی Rāwalpindī) is a city in the Pothohar 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 formerly known as "Chaklala" 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.


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