Rawalpindi If Islamabad reflects the face of modern Pakistan, Rawalpindi is the traditional city steeped in culture and history. The history of Rawalpindi takes us back to the 18th century, when the city came under the Sikh rule. By the 1849 AD, the city was under the British, whose imprints on Rawalpindi are still visible. British turned Rawalpindi into a cantonment and today Rawalpindi has a sizeable military presence of the Pakistan Army.
Not too far from Islamabad, Rawalpindi makes a wonderful tourist destination. Rawalpindi is known for its colonial-style buildings, rich cultural heritage and colorful bustling bazaars. Though modernity has not made much inroad to this ancient city.
Walking through the bustling bazaars of Rawalpindi is an exciting experience. You may come across a number of items that you would like to shop. Rummaging thorough a maze of shops and wares they sell is an ultimate high for a shopping enthusiast. You can meander through the streets of the Raja Bazaar, which is the old bazaar in Rawalpindi. Sadar Bazzaar, the new market is a different experience altogether. If you have some idea about gold and silver jewellery, Sarafa Bazaar is worth checking out.
The Liaquat Bagh is another interesting tourist destination in Rawalpindi. Quite popular among tourists, the Liaquat Bagh or Liaquat Garden is a fine picnic spot. The Bara Market nearby is the favorite haunt of tourists traveling to Rawalpindi.
If it is scenic views that you are looking forward to on your Rawalpindi tour, head to Shakar Parian Hill. The other tourist places that present scenic views are Murree and Nathiagali. These places are also a serve as the excellent summer-escapes from the heat and dust of Rawalpindi, when the mercury heads northwards during summer.
The other places of tourist attraction in Rawalpindi are Lal Haveli, which is located near the Purana Quilla. A leisurely stroll down the Thandi Sarak or the Mall as it is known is a wonderful experience.
If archaeology is your cup of tea, you can travel to archaeological sites of Gir and Jaulian. Taxila, some 56 kilometers from Islamabad is another historical site associated with the Buddhism.
The materiel remained found on the site of the city of Rawalpindi prove the existence 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 cantonment south of the old city. In 1879 , the Punjab northern Railway was extended to Rawalpindi but the train service was formally inaugurated 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 background.
Rawalpindi is well connected with Rawalpindi and rest of the country by rail and road. Islamabad International airport has air linkage to all over the country as well as all over the world.