Pir Sohawa – A Guide to Islamabad’s Hidden Gem
Margalla Hills offer an incredible lust green view from the foothills of the Himalayan mountain range. It is famous for its serene atmosphere, so it is a fantastic weekend getaway option near the twin cities. Enjoy the picturesque view of the capital city of Islamabad as you climb to the top. It is located at the top of Margalla Hills, approximately 17 km from Islamabad. It is easily accessible because of the carpeted road and convenient directions. If you want a day out in a lush green landscape, Pir Sohawa Islamabad, Pakistan, is the best option.
Getting to Pir Sohawa
Many people like to hike to the Sohawa top, as many hiking trails have perfect markings. You can also opt for a car and drive effortlessly. If you are coming from GT Road, you may hop on to the Islamabad Expressway and reach here through 7th Avenue or Faisal Avenue. You can also drive on N5 to get within an hour. Take a local bus, taxi, or vehicle to reach Pir Sohawa.
Since it is a cherished tourist hotspot, be ready to join a huge crowd, especially on weekends and national holidays. To enjoy the scenery fully, plan your weekday visit and start your day trip in the early morning.
Weather in Pir Sohawa
Its weather is usually delightful and perfect for trips. The average temperature on the top ranges between 20 to 35 degree Celsius, with about 3 to 10 rain days every month. Winter sparks snowfall in some areas of The Hills. June is the hottest month, where the temperature exceeds 40 degrees Celsius, and July is the wettest, with heavy rainfall, thunder Storms, and cloud bursts. January is the coldest month when temperatures fall below zero degrees Celsius and become windy and cold.
· Spring (March to May): 15°C to 25°C.
· Summer (June to August): 25°C to 40°C.
· Autumn (September to November): 15°C to 25°C.
· Winter (December to February): -4°C to 15°C.
Best Time to Visit
Undoubtedly the best time to visit is during spring or autumn when the weather is quite pleasant, and the hills are covered with lush green bushes and trees. It is a perfect time for outdoor activities like picnics and hiking. It would be best to reach your destination early or late afternoon to avoid crowds.
Attractions and Activities
It offers a lot of outdoor activities in addition to hiking. There are several picnic spots to enjoy camping, bird watching, and rock climbing with your friends and family. It is a perfect must-visit destination for true nature lovers and adventurous souls, offering a peaceful escape from bustling city life into a serene environment. There are several luxury restaurants in the area where you can enjoy International and local cuisines.
Stunning View from Daman-e-Koh
Daman e koh is a mid-point on your journey to Pir Sohawa Islamabad. It is a central point on the Margalla hills at about 1050 m. It is an excellent spot for a picnic as you can also witness exciting animals like monkeys and cheetahs descending from the mountains. It offers the most beautiful view of the Faisal mosque and 7th Avenue. Telescopes are also installed to provide the best ideas for observers. It has a wide range of amenities for all ages, like live music, delicious snacks, slides, and swings are a few to mention. It is undoubtedly unmissable as you head up here.
Monal Restaurant and its Exquisite Food
The Monal restaurant is one of many options for a fine dining experience in Pir Sohawa. It offers the most delicious traditional and contemporary cuisine at affordable prices. The food is delicious and appealing, but Monal is even more popular with its location and panoramic views. The restaurant is usually dipped in low clouds and cold wind, which adds to your experience. Monal has a vast menu, so you can easily choose according to the weather and personal preference. Weekends are jam-packed, and you will hardly get a place to park your car.
Hiking and Trekking Trails in Pir Sohawa
While most people hop into vehicles, some adventurous souls may want to enjoy nature by passing through the twist and turns of the hiking trails. Multiple trails lead to the final destination. Some are steep, and some are crowded.
· Trail 1: If you take Trail 1, you will reach the Monal restaurant in no more than 2 hours.
· Trail 2: The trail starts at the Islamabad Zoo and passes through Daman e Koh, from where you can also visit the cactus ridge if you walk a little further.
· Trail 3: It is the most popular trail but also tricky because of inclination. You can reach your destination in 2 hours. It offers numerous viewpoints as you climb to the top.
· Trail 5: This trail is easy for beginners but a little long and takes about 3 hours to reach the top. You can also spot waterfalls and fantastic scenery on this trail. It is also the most frequently used trail of all.
Horse Riding at Pir Sohawa
Another way to enjoy the scenic beauty is through horse riding. The horses and well-mannered and trained to take you around the place so you can feel close to mother nature.
Nearby Tourist Destinations
Faisal mosque is the most prominent landmark of the capital. It is easily visible from most parts of the city. You will find it on your way to Pir Sohawa on Faisal Avenue. It is the largest mosque in South Asia and 5th largest globally, made with radiating white marble and extravagant architecture. It is visited by millions of tourists and Muslims who love to pray in such a great and beautiful location. It is located right at the foothills of Margalla, creating a beautiful combination of emerald backgrounds with a nestled white pearl.
Margalla Hills National Park
Margalla hills national park is another prominent tourist attraction here. It is not incorrect to say that it is a part of the Margalla National Park. It is known for its lush greenery and beautiful weather. Interestingly the national park is home to many animals like Leopards, Central Asian Boar, White-footed Foxes, Rhesus Macaques, Golden Jackal, and many more. You will also see many birds and wonder why the park is an ideal bird-watching location.
It is advised to strictly follow the code of conduct of national parks to ensure no other living being is distributed because of us.
Rawal Lake near Pir Sohawa
Rawal Lake is an artificial water reservoir that provides water to the twin cities. It is so well managed and located that it has become one of Islamabad’s most popular tourist destinations. This man-made reservoir has become a top attraction and adds to the undeniable beauty of Islamabad. You can enjoy boating and all other essential amenities around Rawal Lake. The lake is about an hour from Pir Sohawa but easily accessible by public and private vehicles.
Lok Virsa Museum
The Lok Virsa Museum is home to some of the most fascinating and incredible traditional handicrafts, including jewelry, wooden masterpieces, costumes, and much more. You can use the reference library and other digital media to get more information about the art pieces in the museum. It is easily accessible and is located on Garden Avenue on Shakarparian Road.
Wildlife in Pir Sohawa
This place is bust and touristy, so most wildlife prefers deep into the Margalla National Park woods. Local and winter migrants from higher altitudes in the north, spring and summer visitors for breeding, and short-day journey species arrive in spring. Some popular birds are the Himalayan Vulture Laggar Falcon, Common Kestrel, Eurasian Sparrowhawk, White-eared Bulbul, and Yellow-vented Bulbul.
Mammal species include the Indian Leopard, Jungle Cat, LeopardCat, Central Asian Boar, Golden Jackal, White-footed Fox, Rhesus Macaque, Grey Goral, Indian Pangolin, Indian Crested Porcupine, Yellow-throated Marten, Fruit-bat Indian Flying Fox.
Accommodation and Stay Options
You can easily find many hotels and accommodation options near Pir Sohawa. Even though most of these options are a little expensive, they are worth it. Marriott, Hotel One Super, Highland Hill Resort, and Chalet Islamabad are the most prominent hotels.
On which hill is Pir Sohawa?
Pir Sohawa is one of Islamabad’s most popular tourist destinations, which has been rapidly developing in the past few years. It is located on the top of Margalla Hills.
How high is Peer Sohawa from sea level?
Pir Sohawa is essentially a highland located at 3000 feet above sea level. It is a tourist and visitor resort at the top of the beautiful Margalla Hills. Haripur district is its geographical location. This resort is located near Monal village, which is situated on an incline.