Silk Road: The Picturesque Mansehra and Abbottabad-VI

    Written by: Amna Javed
    Posted on: March 25, 2015 | Post your comment here Comments | 中文

    A scenic view of Abbottabad - Silk Road Route: Mansehra and Abbotabad

    A scenic view of Abbottabad

    Continuing our journey southwards, the Pakistan-China Economic Corridor hits the culturally rich region of Mansehra. With its long and fascinating history, the city is also an important transit point for those who are keen to travel to tourist destinations further north, including the Naran Valley, Lake Saif-ul-Mulook and Babusar top, among others.

    Various rulers, from Alexander the Great to the British East India Company, have occupied Mansehra in the past; therefore, the city has a wealth of attractions for history enthusiasts. For example, local Hindus celebrate the festival of Durgashtami on Bareli Hill, where they worship the ‘Devi’ and present their sacrifices. The boulders near the hill are noticeable due to the Ashokan inscriptions on them. Moreover, the nearby village of Chitti Gatti is home to one of the oldest Shiva lingas in the region.

    Silk Road: Mansehra and Abbotabad

    Abbottabad remains one of the busiest tourist destinations of Pakistan

    The culturally diverse Mansehra region is bestowed with natural beauty, and has been an important transit point of the past, due to which it was once a hotspot for international tourists.

    The route going through Mansehra then touches the picturesque Abbottabad. Located in the Orash Valley, the city is famous throughout Pakistan for its pleasant weather, as well as its high-standard educational institutions and military establishments. Till this day, the city remains one of the most popular and attractive hill stations for tourists. 

    Silk Road: Mansehra and Abbotabad

    Ashokan Inscriptions in Mansehra

    Abbottabad, with its rich history and cultural heritage, is a center of tourism for this region. It boasts one of the most beautiful golf clubs, where several national and international golf events are held from time to time. The Pakistan Army maintains the Piffers’ Golf Club Abbottabad, which is surrounded by lush green gardens. The nearby Dubran Village, comprising 17 settlements spread over ridges surrounding the main village, houses wildlife species such as the common leopard, banking deer, grey goral, fox, wild cat, jackal, as well as birds such as the black partridge, chakur, falcon and cheer pheasant. However, illegal hunting of wildlife, both for subsistence and commercial purposes, is common in the area. This practice particularly threatens the endangered wildlife species, such as the grey coral, deer, wildcat and common leopard. River Haro and its tributaries surround the Dubran Mountain, from where Thandiani, Galliyats and Murre Hills are all visible. If properly developed, this mountain could attract a significant number of tourists.  

    The economy of Abbottabad is driven by its thriving tourism industry. Similar to all Northern areas, the main source of income for the locals here is tourism, especially during the summers, when temperatures rise in Punjab and KPK and a large number of tourists travel to this city for relief.  Famous for its scenic gardens, church bells and wide streets in the cantonment area, the centrally located city of Abbotabad has attracted a large number of tourists since the colonial era. The city also provides easy access to tourist destinations such as Nathiagali and Ayubia.

    Silk Road: Mansehra and Abbotabad

    Aerial view of Mansehra

    Located on the bank of Dor River, Havelian is the second largest municipality in the Abbottabad District. The outskirts of the city are home to Pakistan’s largest ordinance factory. A new motorway is also under construction, which will be the road link of the economic corridor connecting northern Pakistan to the mainland country. In addition to providing easy access to Havelian Dry Port, the fenced motorway will also reduce driving time from Islamabad to Havelian to a mere 30 minutes. This project is expected to generate thousands of business and employment opportunities, significantly contributing to the socio-economic uplift of the entire region. Since agriculture and business are the main occupations of the residents of Havelian, better connectivity and improved road linkages would bring enormous benefits.


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