Theme Week Pakistan – Islamabad

Wednesday, 24 June 2020 - 12:00 pm (CET/MEZ) Berlin | Author/Destination:
Category/Kategorie: General
Reading Time:  11 minutes

Constitution Avenue © Zacharie Grossen/cc-by-sa-4.0

Constitution Avenue © Zacharie Grossen/cc-by-sa-4.0

Islamabad is the capital city of Pakistan, and is federally administered as part of the Islamabad Capital Territory. Islamabad is the ninth largest city in Pakistan, while the larger Islamabad-Rawalpindi metropolitan area is the country’s fourth largest with a population of about 7.4 million. Built as a planned city in the 1960s to replace Karachi as Pakistan’s capital, Islamabad is noted for its high standards of living, and abundant greenery. The city is the political seat of Pakistan and local government setup is run by the Islamabad Metropolitan Corporation, supported by the Capital Development Authority (CDA). Islamabad is located in the Pothohar Plateau in the northeastern part of the country, between Rawalpindi District and the Margalla Hills National Park to the north. The region has historically been a part of the crossroads of Punjab and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa with the Margalla Pass acting as the gateway between the two regions.

The city’s master-plan, designed by Greek architect Constantinos Apostolou Doxiadis, divides the city into eight zones, including administrative, diplomatic enclave, residential areas, educational sectors, industrial sectors, commercial areas, and rural and green areas. The city is known for the presence of several parks and forests, including the Margalla Hills National Park and Shakarparian Park. The city is home to several landmarks, including the Faisal Mosque, the largest mosque in South Asia and the fourth largest in the world. Other landmarks include the Pakistan’s National Monument and Democracy Square.

When Pakistan gained independence in 1947, the southern port city of Karachi was its provisional national capital. In 1944 Qaid-e-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah coming back from Srinagar to Rawalpindi proposed location of capital near Rawalpindi as per Islamabad history book of Muhammad Ismail Zabeeh In 1958, a commission was constituted to select a suitable site near Rawalpindi for the national capital with particular emphasis on location, climate, logistics, and defence requirements, along with other attributes. After extensive study, research, and a thorough review of potential sites, the commission recommended the area northeast of Rawalpindi in 1959. In the 1960s, Islamabad was constructed as a forward capital for several reasons. Karachi was also located at the southern end of the country, and exposed to attacks from the Arabian Sea. Pakistan needed a capital that was easily accessible from all parts of the country. Karachi, a business centre, was also considered unsuitable partly because of intervention of business interests in government affairs. The newly selected location of Islamabad was closer to the army headquarters in Rawalpindi and the disputed territory of Kashmir in the north. Greek firm of architects, led by Constantinos Apostolou Doxiadis, designed the master plan of the city based on a grid plan which was triangular in shape with its apex towards the Margalla Hills. The capital was not moved directly from Karachi to Islamabad; it was first shifted temporarily to Rawalpindi in the early 60s, and then to Islamabad when essential development work was completed in 1966.

King Faisal Mosque © Tahsin Shah/cc-by-sa-4.0 Pakistan Monument © Usmanifakhruddin/cc-by-sa-3.0 Shrine of Meher Ali Shah © Balochlens/cc-by-sa-4.0 Centaurus Mall © Ahmed Iftikhar Sarmad/cc-by-sa-4.0 © Kamranmangrio/cc-by-sa-4.0 Constitution Avenue © Zacharie Grossen/cc-by-sa-4.0 Faisal Masjid from Damn e koh © Abdul Baqi/cc-by-sa-3.0
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Faisal Masjid from Damn e koh © Abdul Baqi/cc-by-sa-3.0
Islamabad’s architecture is a combination of modernity and old Islamic and regional traditions. The Saudi-Pak Tower is an example of the integration of modern architecture with traditional styles. The beige-coloured edifice is trimmed with blue tile works in Islamic tradition, and is one of Islamabad’s tallest buildings. Other examples of intertwined Islamic and modern architecture include Pakistan Monument and Faisal Mosque. Other notable structures are: Secretariat Complex designed by Gio Ponti, Prime Minister’s secretariat based on Mughal architecture and the National Assembly by Edward Durell Stone. The murals on the inside of the large petals of Pakistan Monument are based on Islamic architecture. The Shah Faisal Mosque is a fusion of contemporary architecture with a more traditional large triangular prayer hall and four minarets, designed by Vedat Dalokay, a Turkish architect and built with the help of funding provided by King Faisal of Saudi Arabia. The architecture of Faisal Mosque is unusual as it lacks a dome structure. It is a combination of Arabic, Turkish, and Mughal architectural traditions. The Centaurus is an example of modern architecture under construction in Islamabad. The seven star hotel was designed by WS Atkins PLC. The newly built Islamabad Stock Exchange Towers is another example of modern architecture in the city.

Islamabad is home to many migrants from other regions of Pakistan and has a cultural and religious diversity of considerable antiquity. Due to its location on the Pothohar Plateau, remnants of ancient cultures and civilisations such as Aryan, Soanian, and Indus Valley Civilisation can still be found in the region. A 15th-century Gakhar fort, Pharwala Fort is located near Islamabad. Rawat Fort in the region was built by the Gakhars in 16th century and contains the grave of the Gakhar chief, Sultan Sarang Khan. Saidpur village is supposedly named after Said Khan, the son of Sarang Khan. The 500-year-old village was converted into a place of Hindu worship by a Mughal commander, Raja Man Singh. He constructed a number of small ponds: Rama kunda, Sita kunda, Lakshaman kunda, and Hanuman kunda. The region is home to a small Hindu temple that is preserved, showing the presence of Hindu people in the region. The shrine of Sufi mystic Meher Ali Shah is located at Golra Sharif, which has a rich cultural heritage of the pre-Islamic period. Archaeological remains of the Buddhist era can also still be found in the region. The shrine of Bari Imam was built by Mughal Emperor Aurangzeb. Thousands of devotees from across Pakistan attend the annual Urs of Bari Imam. The event is one of the largest religious gatherings in Islamabad. In 2004, the Urs was attended by more than 1.2 million people. The Lok Virsa Museum in Islamabad preserves a wide variety of expressions of folk and traditional cultural legacy of Pakistan. It is located near the Shakarparian hills and boasts a large display of embroidered costumes, jewellery, musical instruments, woodwork, utensils and folkloristic objects from the region and other parts of Pakistan.

Faisal Mosque is an important cultural landmark of the city and that attracts many tourists daily. Faisal Mosque built in 1986, was named after the Saudi Arabian King, Faisal bin Abdul Aziz. It also serves the purpose of accommodating 24,000 Muslims that pray at this mosque. Faisal Mosque that is designed by the Turks and financed by the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia includes calligraphy of Quranic Versus along the walls of the mosque. One of the landmarks for tourists is the Pakistan Monument built in 2007 located in Islamabad. This tourist attraction represents the patriotism and sovereignty of Pakistan. The design is shaped as a dome with petal-shaped walls that are engraved with arts portraying Pakistan’s other tourist landmarks such as the Badshahi Mosque, Minar-e-Pakistan and Lahore Fort. Islamabad holds some of Pakistan’s most prestigious museums such as Lok Virsa Museum, Institute of Folk and Traditional Heritage Shakarparian Park and prominent galleries such as the National Art Gallery and Gallery 6. The Islamabad Museum contains many relics and artifacts dating back to the Gandhara period of the region, an intriguing fusion of Buddhist and Graeco-Roman styles. The living culture of Islamabad and Pakistan is best explored at Lok Virsa Museum, as well as the Institute of Folk and Traditional Heritage in Shakarparian Park. Islamabad is built upon civilization and architecture that ranges from the 10th Century to the modern era. As Islamabad is situated on the Potohar Plateau, the remains of civilization descending from stone-age era include the Acheulian and the Soanian traditions and these are tourist landmarks. Islamabad has an array of historic landmarks that reflect the Hindu civilization that dates back to the 16th Century with examples such as Saidpur. Saidpur that is situated in Islamabad has progressed from a village to a sacred place that includes temples where the Hindu Mughal Commanders worshipped. Margalla Hills National Park is located in the North sector of Islamabad and is in close proximity to the Himalayas. The National Park includes of picturesque valleys and scenic hills that include various wildlife such as Himalayan goral, Barking deer and leopards. Flanked by wildlife and vegetation, Margalla Hills National Park also includes accommodation and camping grounds for tourists.

Here you can find the complete Overview of all Theme Weeks.

Read more on lonelyplanet.com – Islamabad & Rawalpindi is the modern face of Pakistan, List of tallest buildings in Islamabad, Developments in Islamabad, Economy of Islamabad, Culture of Islamabad, List of tourist attractions in Islamabad, Wikitravel Islamabad, Wikivoyage Islamabad and Wikipedia Islamabad. Learn more about the use of photos. To inform you about latest news most of the city, town or tourism websites offer a newsletter service and/or operate Facebook pages/Twitter accounts. In addition more and more destinations, tourist organizations and cultural institutions offer Apps for your Smart Phone or Tablet, to provide you with a mobile tourist guide (Smart Traveler App by U.S. Department of State - Weather report by weather.com - Global Passport Power Rank - Travel Risk Map - Democracy Index - GDP according to IMF, UN, and World Bank - Global Competitiveness Report - Corruption Perceptions Index - Press Freedom Index - World Justice Project - Rule of Law Index - UN Human Development Index - Global Peace Index - Travel & Tourism Competitiveness Index). If you have a suggestion, critique, review or comment to this blog entry, we are looking forward to receive your e-mail at comment@wingsch.net. Please name the headline of the blog post to which your e-mail refers to in the subject line.






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