Rawalpindi                                                                                         More cities

Population : 1,406,214
Language : Pothohari,Urdu
Phone Code : 051
Climate : Hot in summers , cold in winters
Activities/Interests : Parks, Cinemas
Shrines : Shah Chin Chiragh
Best Time to Visit : March,.April

Rawalpindi city, Punjab province, northern Pakistan. It was the capital of Pakistan from 1959 to 1969. The city lies on the Potohar Plateau and is situated 9 miles (14 km) southwest of Islamabad, the national capital. Rawalpindi ("Village of Rawals") occupies the site of an old village inhabited by the Rawals, a group of yogis (ascetics). Certain ruins on the site are identified with the ancient city Gajipur, or Gajnipur, the capital of the Bhatti tribe before the Common era. Destroyed during the Mongol invasion (14th century AD), the town was restored by the Gakkhar chief Jhanda Khan, who gave it its present name. It grew rapidly in importance when Milka Singh, a Sikh adventurer, occupied it in 1765 and invited settlers from the Jhelum and Shahpur areas to settle there. The British annexed it in 1849.
The Leh River separates the city from the cantonment (permanent military station), and a satellite town has been built on the Murree Road. Rawalpindi is an important administrative, commercial, and industrial centre. Its industries include locomotive works, gasworks, an oil refinery, sawmills, an iron foundry, a brewery, and cotton, hosiery, and textile mills; it also produces shoes, leather goods, pottery, newsprint, and tents. An annual horse fair is held in April. Rawalpindi was incorporated as a municipality in 1867 and contains Ayub National Park, Liaqat Gardens, a polytechnic school, a police-training institute, an armed forces medical college, and several colleges affiliated with the University of the Punjab. It is also the Pakistan army headquarters.
Rawalpindi is the starting point of the route into Kashmir and is connected by the Grand Trunk Road, rail, and air with the cities of Peshawar and Lahore and by rail and air with Karachi.
Wheat, barley, corn (maize), and millet are the chief crops grown in the surrounding area. The nearby Rawal Dam, on the Kurang River, completed in 1961-62, provides Rawalpindi and Islamabad with water.

In ancient times the locality formed part of Gandhara and was included in the Achaemenid Persian Empire. The ancient city of Taxila has been identified with ruins located near Shahderi, northwest of Rawalpindi. Mankial, south of Rawalpindi, is a Buddhist stupa site (3rd century BC) Pop. (1981) city, 794,843; (1981 prelim.) metropolitan area, 1,299,000. The materiel remained found on the site of the city of Rawalpindi prove the existance of a Buddhist establishment contemporary to Taxila but less celebrated than its neighbor does. It appears that the Ancient city went into oblivation as a result of the Hun devastation. The first Muslim endeavor, Mahmood of Ghasni (979-1030 AD) gifted the ruined city to a Ghakkar Chief, Kai Gohar. The town, however being on indavours route, could not prosper and remain deserted until Jahanda Khan, another Ghakkar Chief, resorted it and gave the name of Rawalpindi after the village Rawal in 1943 AD. Rawalpindi remained under the rule of Ghakkars till Muqrab Khan, the last Ghakkar rullar, was defeated by Sikhs in 1765 AD. Sikhs invited traders from other places to settle here. This brought the city into prominence. Sikhs lost the city to British Army and they established a contonment south of the old city. In 1879 , the Punjab northern Railway was extented to Rawalpindi but the train service was formally inagurated on January 01, 1886.
Over the years, Rawalpindi has retained its traditional flavor. However some modern residential areas and buildings have come up all over the town since the creation of Pakistan. Pakistan's new capital, Islamabad, being the twin city of Rawalpindi, equally shares the same archaeological and history backgroung.
The Old City and Bazaars

The bazaars of the old city offer exciting bargains. You can leisurely browse in the quaint old shops in Saddar bazaar, Moti bazaar, Raja bazaar and Kashmiri bazaar while Sarafa bazaar is famous for beaten gold and silver jewellery, brass and copper-ware.

Rawalpindi specializes in handicrafts such as inlaid sheesham and walnut furniture, Kashmiri silver, shawls and jackets, embroidered and woolen 'Kurtas' and household linen, Potohar Jooties and Chappals (slippers), cane baskets and furniture, walking sticks and hand-woven Kashmiri and Bokhara carpets. You can go shopping for these items at handicraft and carpet shops in Saddar bazaar, especially around Flashman's Hotel and Rawalpindi Club building on the Mall.


Liaquat Memorial Hall and Garden
This hall was built in memory of late Mr. Liaquat Ali Khan, the first Prime Minister of Pakistan. It has a large auditorium and library. Art exhibitions, cultural shows and stage plays are performed here frequently. A well-laid garden with sports facilities and children's park has been developed near the hall.

Ayub National Park
Ayub National Park is located beyond the old Presidency on Grand Trunk (G.T.) Road. It covers an area of about 2,300 acres and has a play-land, lake with boating facility, an aquarium, a garden-restaurant and an open air theater.                                                                          

Rawalpindi Golf Course
Situated near Ayub National Park, Rawalpindi Golf Course was completed in 1926 by Rawalpindi Golf Club, one of the oldest golf clubs of Pakistan, founded on 2nd November 1885. The facility was initially developed as a nine-hole course. After several phases of development, it is now converted into a 27-hole course. The successive Presidents of Pakistan are patronizing the club. From the elegant clubhouse, one can have a wonderful panorama of Faisal Mosque, the twin cities of Islamabad and Rawalpindi and the Golf Course itself. Major national golf tournaments are held here regularly. For more information, please contact the Assistant Secretary, Rawalpindi Golf Club, G.T. Road, Rawalpindi (Tel: 56131346).

Rawalpindi Public Park and Cricket Stadium
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. A cricket stadium was built in 1992 just opposite the Public Park. The 1992 World Cup cricket matches were held on this cricket ground. The stadium is equipped with all modern facilities.