Pir Sohawa is a highland picturesque rural sight, at an altitude of more then 3000 feet, located near Islamabad. Many people think its part of Islamabad but geographically it is located in Haripur District, KPK.
The scenic place is praised for trips and holiday picnics in Islamabad and is sighted near Monal Village, which exist on the incline against Islamabad city. The place is linked to Islamabad with Pir Sohawa Road, 35 minutes (17 km) drive to reach there from the city.
The sight is an ideal place for enjoying picnics in forest while listening to singing birds and watching wildlife. After rains of monsoon forest in the hills of Pir Sohawa turns green. The sight is end point for hiking trips from the foot of Margla Hills, rising 3000 feet (914 meters) almost vertically upward from the Saidpur Village, Islamabad.
Pir Sohawa is a tourist resort located 17 km from Islamabad on top of Margalla Hills. The sight presents a fantastic and picturesque view of Islamabad city during day and night.
It has elevation of 3000 plus ft and located in Monal village which is geographically part of Haripur District.
The sight presents a fantastic and picturesque view of Islamabad city during day and night.
A restaurant called Monal Resturant is located at Pir Sohawa. Completed in 2006, the restaurant presents a breathtaking view of the city of Islamabad in day and amazingly beautiful show of the city lights during night.
One can adore fragrance and breeze, especially in hot days of summer, with thick forest present all around. The place also attracts tourist during winter.
On 6 January 2012, after almost six years, Pir Sohawa, the citys highest tourist spot, received few inches of snowfall.
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, Russell's 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 Pir Sohawa, you can also visit Daman-e-Koh.
Pir Sohawa is the most beloved place for picnics and tours among the citizens of Islamabad and also liked by foreign visitors and tourists. A beautiful view of Faisal Mosque and Islamabad city can be seen from this place.