The city of Abbottabad was founded in 1853 by Maj. James Abbott, who was the first Deputy Commissioner of Hazara District in the British Raj. Abbottabad is a small neat and clean town in spacious valleys surrounded by green hills. It is a popular summer resort, noted for its verdant parks, gardens, golf course and pine covered hills. Abbottabad, apart from being famous for its educational institutions and Military Academy, also serves as the gateway to almost all-beautiful places in Pakistan. The formidable Karakorams & the enchanting Himalayas can be approached from Abbottabad, That is why it is also known as the gateway to heaven.
Each year, the city continues to be a transit city for the tourists. Abbottabad is the junction from where one can go to places like Hunza, Gilgit, Skardu and Indus Kohistan, of the Karakoram Range. One can reach Swat, Swati Kohistan, Dir and Chitral of the Hindukush Range. And one can approach Naran, Saif-ul-Muluk, Shogran and Babusar Pass of the Himalayan Range. Neelum, Lipa and Jhelum Valley of beautiful Azad Kashmir are also connected through Abbottabad. While other hill stations are deserted during winter this place has visitors due to the bracing winter. The place has beautiful gardens, Jinnah Garden, Ladies Garden and another garden maintained by the Cantonment Board. To the splendid stretch of turf with plenty of room for polo, football, hockey and golf. At the back of the station to the west is the Brigade Center, ideal for walks and picnic.
The Cantonment area of Abbottabad is still very British. The European bungalows, the club, the church and cemetery are still there. Abbottabad is an hour’s drive from Nathia Gali, the summer capital of the North West Frontier Province, which is from Nathia Gali to Abbottabad is about 34 km dropping steeply through the beautiful valleys with few trees to the river bed.
Places to Visit
Shimla Hill (or Shimla Pahari in the local dialect) is a hill of the Sherwan range extending to the west of Abbottabad, Pakistan. The latter place’s name derives from from the Hindko (Punjabi) word Shamla or Shumla, that is, the crest of a turban, since the Sherwan range at this point comes up to Abbottabad in the shape of a crest, or ridge. This hill is a spot for the visitors standing there like the crown of the city and it is worth the view.
Ilyasi Masjid (or Illyasi Masjid in the local dialect) is a famous mosque built in 1927 over a stream of water that flows from the mountain. This Mosque is situated in Nawansher town of Abbottabad, Khyber Pakthunkhwa, Pakistan. Illyasi Mosque is the oldest and the largest mosque of Abbottabad, there is also a small hill with walking tracks just behind the mosque. Besides the mosque’s divine fountains and tales, this place is also famous for the pakoras, they are worth trying.
Harnoi (or Harno) is an emerging tourist spot. People not only from Abbottabad but also tourists flock towards here to enjoy this place, evenings are very enjoyable as there is s lot of hustle and bustle. Cold water streams known as Nadi Dhorr in local language is the main attraction for the tourists here. It is a perfect spot to beat the heat in summers.
An amusement park is also opened now that includes Ferris wheel, Roller coasters and others. The hills around are beautiful as well and can provide a great track for trekking and hiking.
The Abbottabad chairlift are now open at the start from Township (Nawansher) to Mera Rehmat Khan. They provide a ride worth your time, watching the best view from the best seats.