Islamabad, the Capital City of Pakistan; is the most sought after place and one of the most beautiful capital city of the world. Garden like presentation of whole city surrounded with Margalla hills complimented with monumental places like; Faisal Mosque, Pakistan Monument, Saidpur Village, Bari Imam Shrine, Lok Virsa Heritage Museum and Centaurus Mall, make this a whole package for tourists.
Today I am sharing my 4th hiking but, truly the most fascinating experience also, this is the toughest challenge for all my good words vocabulary. As I am just writing experience with some pictures, but for sure no word can describe that enchanting magical experience. Further, This story will serve more as a guide for tourists looking for quick hike in a most preserved natural environment with only one day in hand. Why I am particularly emphasizing on quick hike; because for Northern areas or more remote areas tour, you must have to take break of at least 3-4 days. But these trails only required 3 to 6 hours of a day and you can travel back within Punjab and KPK for next working day.
A Little Brief on Margalla Hills & Tracks
Margalla Hill range has an area of 12,600 hectares with highest peak of 1,604 meters (5,262 ft); maintained and administered by Islamabad Wildlife Management Board (IWMB). According to research 300 plus species of plants have been found on range along with various species of wildlife including monkeys, exotic birds, deer and leopards. Margalla range have six hiking trails. Margalla range enjoys the status of National Park.
Regarding trails you can find specific information on IWMB website. Today I am going to cover my tour of trail 3; the most popular decorated and facilitated track, with proper marked pathways, benches and view points.
Lets Begin the Journey!
After renovating and establishing my own office; I took break to visit my partner in crime for my 3rd hike on Margalla. This hike was more planned and resourced as compare to previous one’s. Before, going into magical experiences; here is my list of to dos if you are planning for any tour or hiking activity:
- Choose right partner for hiking; because you must have to have partner who can push you for more.
- Check weather and set appropriate time. I strongly encourage early morning time range from 7 am to 9 am. First benefit you will get is; far less traffic, second you will get ample time to be back and lastly, no thing can replace the pleasantness of early morning breeze.
- Have a light backpack with ample water, basic first aid kit, any snacks item, mobile accessories and stick. Don’t take too much with you and also don’t forget to bring back your trash with you.
- Wear good and solid tracking or jogging shoes.
- Take less and small breaks during hike, as big breaks will make things difficult for you and your body.
The day was September 01, 2020 and the weather was as splendid as you can imagine. Weather forecast was all day cloudy with drizzling shower expected. We started our hike at 7 am sharp with aim to make it to the top as quickly as possible.
Here is some interesting facts about trail 3:
- Trail top is Monal Restaurant or Gokina Chauki with ascend of 600 meters,
- It may take 2-3 hours, depends on climber speed,
- This is the most marked, well decorated and properly maintained track with benches, smart stalls, prayer area and gazebo set view points.
Good thing about going higher is that things will get more preserved and untouched with far less and serious traffic. Ratio of meeting enthusiasts like you increases with ascent.
During walk there is two pathways; one less risky with round ascend and second one is more risky and steep path. Before going to steep option, do check your shoes and support around you.
Almost at mid of the way you find cross over point between trail 5 and trail 3. Also you will find prayer spot just before that cross over spot. If you keep going on trail 3, first you have to ascent at top and then you will find down hill pathway towards Monal Restaurant. Where you can fill up and refresh again with options of Gloria Jeans, snacks shops etc.
Normally tracks got rush on weekends; Saturday and Sunday, and on public holidays. But rush factor only lasts for 1/3rd of track. After that you will get more peaceful environment. If you are having time constraints, then you can save down time by taking any taxi service from Monal.