Daman-e-Koh is a viewing point and hill top garden north of Islamabad and located in the middle of the Margalla Hills. Its name is a conjunction of two Persian words, which together means foot hills. It is about 2400ft from sea level and almost 500ft from the city of Islamabad. It is a popular destination for the residents as well as the visitors to the capital.
It is a midpoint for tourists on their way to the higher view point Pir Sohawa which is located at the top of Margalla Hills at an elevation of about 3600ft, According to some sources, there is a plan to construct a chairlift from Daman-e-Koh to Pir Sohawa to facilitate the tourist. Pir Sohawa is another breathtaking tourist spot just uphill from the Daman-e-Koh.
Daman-e-Koh is a viewing point and hill top garden north of Islamabad and located in the middle of the Margalla Hills, Elevated 2400ft from sea level and almost 500ft from the city, provides a panoramic view of Islamabad.
The place is just marvelous in the green woods of Margalla Hills and the best thing to do is having a stunning birds eye view of panoramic Islamabad city.
There are around 250 to 300 species of plants on the Margalla hills, These plant species belong to various families of trees, shrubs, herbs, climbers, grasses and fodder crops. The vegetation of the southern slopes is deciduous and evergreen trees with most of flowering trees like Bauhinia variegata, Ficus carica, and trees like Pinus roxburghii, Quercus leucotrichophora. In the north stand pines, eucalyptus, peepal trees (Ficus religiosa), paper mulberry and groves of oak, e.g. silver oaks.
The Margalla Hills are home to various species of wildlife, including monkeys, exotic birds and carnivores such as the rare and presently endangered Margalla leopard, Commonly found animals include rhesus monkeys, jackals (often heard cackling at night near the hills), wild boars, porcupines, mongoose and the pangolin or scaly anteater.
Much less common are leopards, which occasionally come down from the Murree area but usually remain high up in the hills. Villagers dwelling in the Margallas do report sighting of leopards off and on.
There are a number of species of poisonous snakes in the area, including cobras, Russells vipers, kraits known in local parlance as the half-minute killer and indian phython. The snakes hibernate in the winter months; but tread carefully in the hotter months and particularly the monsoon months, when snakes abound. While they are to be found mainly in and around the hills, occasionally an overgrown garden can prove the ideal home.
As a result of a series of faunal survey of the park, 54 species of butterflies, 37 species of fish, 9 species of amphibians, 20 species of reptiles, 380 species of birds, 21 species of small mammals and 15 species of large mammals have so far been recorded.
Birds in the park include Himalayan griffon vulture, laggar falcon, peregrine falcon, kestrel, Indian sparrow hawk, Egyptian vulture, white cheeked bulbul, yellow vented bulbul, paradise flycatcher, black partridge, cheer pheasant, Khalij pheasant, golden oriole, spotted dove, collared dove, larks, shrikes, wheatears and buntings.
panoramic view of Islamabad: The Southern spot is the main attraction as it provides a panoramic view of Islamabad. The visitors experience a unique view of Faisal Mosque, the Seventh Avenue (Islamabad) and Rawal Lake.
Telescopes are installed for keen observers. There is also a large sign installed showing an original map of Islamabad.
Bird watching: The Margallas are an excellent place for bird watchers. The area is home to a large number of birds such as larks, paradise flycatcher, black partridge, shrikes pheasants, spotted doves, Egyptian vultures, falcons, hawks and eagles.
Hiking and trekking: The Margallas are excellent for hiking and cater for both the regular serious hikers and the less serious occasional enthusiasts.
The safest and most frequented hike path is from the zoo park to Daman-e-Koh.
The best season for hiking is from February to April, when there is less rain and the weather is extremely pleasant.
Rock climbing: There are many spots for rock climbing in Margalla Hills. Few crags have been developed but, still a lot of potential available to explore virgin lines.
Although, sport climbing is becoming increasingly popular among the youth of Rawalpindi and Islamabad, but only few local climbers can climb at advance level.
Paragliding and hang gliding: Facilities for Paragliding and Hang gliding are provided by private clubs based in Islamabad.
The route to this place is simple and short. If you are in Islamabad, there are two possible routes.
7th Avenue: If you are coming through 7th Avenue, this road ends in the foothill of Maragalla Hills, from there take Pir Sohawa road which will lead you to Daman-e-Koh(4 km) and Pir Sohawa(15 km).
Margallah Avenue: Coming through the Margallah Avenue which runs at the right angle with the 7th Avenue, you need to reach the end of 7th Avenue, from there take left to Pir Sohawa Road.
The best thing about visiting this place is, you can visit all monumental places in just one visit because they all on the same route. Like if you are following Margallah avenue then you can visit Faisal Mosque first and then move ahead towards the Islamabad Zoo which is just at the start of the Pir Sohawa road.
Also, if you are visiting the Daman-e-Koh you can move uphill towards Pir Sohawa because the same road will lead you on the top of the hill.