Rawalpindi is a city in the Potwar Plateau near Pakistan’s capital city of Islamabad, in the province of Punjab. It is the military headquarters of the Pakistan Armed Forces and also served as the nation’s capital while Islamabad was being constructed in the 1960s. The city is home to many industries and factories. Islamabad International Airport is actually in Rawalpindi, and formerly known as “Chaklala” and it serves the city along with the capital. Rawalpindi is located in the Punjab province, 275 km (171 miles) to the north-west of Lahore. It is the administrative seat of the Rawalpindi District. The population of Rawalpindi is approximately 3,039,550.
Rawalpindi, also known as Pindi, has a long history spread over several millennia. Archaeologists believe that a distinct culture flourished on this plateau as far back as 3000 years. The material remains found at the site prove the existence of a Buddhist establishment contemporary to Taxila and of a Vedic civilisation (Hindu culture). The nearby town of Taxila has another significance; according to the Guinness Book of World Records it has the worlds oldest university – Takshashila University.
Sir Alexander Cunningham identified certain ruins on the site of the cantonment with the ancient city of Gajipur or Gajnipur, the capital of the Bhatti tribe in the ages preceding the Christian era. Graeco-Bactrian coins, together with ancient bricks, occur over an area of 500 ha (2 mi²). Known within historical times as Fatehpur Baori, Rawalpindi fell into decay during one of the Mongol invasions in the fourteenth century.
It appears that the ancient city went into oblivion as a result of the White Hun devastation. The first Muslim invader, Mahmud of Ghazni 979-1030), gave the ruined city to a Gakhar Chief, Kai Gohar. The town, however, being on an invasion route, could not prosper and remained deserted until Jhanda Khan, another Gakhar Chief, restored it and named it Rawalpindi after the village Rawal in 1493. Rawalpindi remained under the rule of the Gakkhars until Muqarrab Khan, the last Gakkhar ruler, was defeated by the Sikhs under Sardar Milka Singh in 1765. Singh invited traders from the neighbouring commercial centres of Jhelum and Shahpur to settle in the territory.
Early in the nineteenth century Rawalpindi became for a time the refuge of Shah Shuja, the exiled king of Kabul, and of his brother Shah Zaman. The present native infantry lines mark the site of a battle fought by the Gakhars under their famous chief Sultan Mukarrab Khan in the middle of the eighteenth century. It was at Rawalpindi that, on March 14, 1849, the Sikh army under Chattar Singh and Sher Singh finally laid down their arms after the battle of Gujrat.
Following the British conquest of the Sikhs and their occupation of Rawalpindi in 1849, the city became a permanent garrison of the British army in 1851. In the 1880s a railway line to Rawalpindi was laid, and train service was inaugurated on January 1, 1886. The need for having a railway link arose after Lord Dalhousie made Rawalpindi the headquarters of the Northern Command and Rawalpindi became the largest British military garrison in British India.
On the introduction of British rule, Rawalpindi became the site of a cantonment, and shortly afterwards the head-quarters of a Division; while its connexion with the main railway system by the extension of the North-Western Railway to Peshawar immensely developed both its size and commercial importance. The municipality was created in 1867. The income and expenditure during the ten years ending 1902-3 averaged 2-1 lakhs. In 1903-4 the income and expenditure were 1-8 lakhs and 2-1 lakhs respectively. The chief item of income was octroi (1-6 lakhs) ; and the expenditure included administration (Rs. 35,000), conservancy (Rs. 27,000), hospitals and dispensaries (Rs. 25,000), public works (Rs. 9,000), and public safety (Rs. 17,000). The cantonment, with a population in 1901 of 40,611, was the most important in India. It contained one battery of horse and one of field artillery, one mountain battery, one company of garrison artillery, and one ammunition column of field artillery; one regiment of British and one of Native cavalry; two of British and two of Native infantry; and two companies of sappers and miners, with a balloon section. It was the winter head-quarters of the Northern Command, and of the Rawalpindi military division. An arsenal was established here in 1883.
In 1951, Rawalpindi saw the assassination of the first elected Prime Minister of Pakistan, Liaquat Ali Khan, in Company Bagh now known as Liaquat Bagh Park (also called Liaquat Garden.) On 27 December 2007, Liaquat Bagh Park’s rear gate in Rawalpindi was the site of the assassination of former Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto. Her father, former Prime Minister Zulfikar Ali Bhutto was hanged in Rawalpindi in 1979.
Today Rawalpindi is the headquarters of the Pakistani Army and Air Force.
The famous Murree Road has been a hot spot for various political and social events. Nala Lai,in the middle of city, history describes Nala Lai water as pure enough for drinking but now it has become polluted with the waste water from all sources including factories and houses.
Kashmir Road, was renamed from Dalhousie Road, Bank Road from Edwards Road, Hospital Road from Mission Road, Jinnah Road from Nehru Road.
Rawalpindi is chaotic but relatively dust-free. The literacy rate is 70.5% (January 2006). The population is ethnically and linguistically heterogeneous, comprising Pothoharis, Punjabis, Muhajirs,Hindkowans and Pakhtuns. The weather is highly unpredictable. The average annual rainfall is 39 inches (990 mm), most of which falls in the summer monsoon season. However, frontal cloudbands also bring quite significant rainfall in the winter. In summer, the maximum temperature can sometimes soar up to 52 °C (126 °F), while it may drop to a minimum of -3 °C (27 °F) in the winter.
Rapidly developing into a large city, Rawalpindi has many good hotels, restaurants, clubs, museums and parks, of which the largest is the Ayub National Park. Rawalpindi forms the base camp for the tourists visiting the holiday resorts and hill stations of the Galiyat area, such as Murree, Nathia Gali, Ayubia, Abbottabad, Swat, Kaghan, Gilgit, Hunza, Skardu and Chitral.
The best way to see Rawalpindi is by wandering through its bazaars, but you should orient yourself before setting out. The city has two main roads: the Grand Trunk Road runs roughly from east to west and is known as The Mall as it passes through the cantonment. Murree Road originates towards north from The Mall, crosses the railway lines and brushes the east end of the old city on its way to Islamabad. The two main bazaar areas are Raja Bazaar in the old city and Saddar Bazaar, which developed as the cantonment bazaar between the old city and the Mall.
The crowded alleys of the old city are home to many attractions, including Hindu and Sikh temples and Muslim shrines.
Rawalpindi has been know as military city since colonial times and therefore still remained Army headquarters after independence in 1947. Due to this, also present in Rawalpindi is the Pakistan Army Museum, providing an interesting information about colonial and present day armies, armoury of historical significance and war heroes.
Ayub National Park is located beyond the old Presidency on Jhelum Road. It covers an area of about 2,300 acres (9.3 km²) and has a play-land, lake with boating facility, an aquarium and a garden-restaurant. Rawalpindi Public Park is located on Murree Road near Shamsabad. The Park was opened for public in 1991. It has a playland for children, grassy lawns, fountains and flower beds.
Rawalpindi Cricket Stadium, built in 1992, has a grass pitch, floodlights, and a capacity of 15,000. The home team is the Rawalpindi Cricket Association. Also located in the city is Rawalpindi Hockey stadium. This small but well built facility plays host to the national side throughout the year.
Rawat Fort is located 17 km (11 mi) east of Rawalpindi, on the Grand Trunk (G.T.) Road leading to Lahore. Gakhars, a fiercely independent tribe of the Pothohar Plateau built the fort, in early 16th century. The grave of a Gakhar Chief, Sultan Sarang Khan is located inside the fort. He died in 1546 fighting against the forces of Sher Shah Suri. If one dares to climb the broken steps inside the tomb, one may get a panoramic view of the plateau and the Mankiala Stupa. Besides Rawat, about an hours drive from Rawalpindi on the grand trunk road towards the city of Peshawar is Attock Fort. This impressive fort is easily visible and located near the Shrine ‘Hazrat Jee Sahib’, the tradition burial grounds for the ‘Bati’ Family of the Paracha clan from the near by (deserted) village of ‘Malahi Tola’. The Akbari fort is not open to the public as it is in active military use.
Pharwala Fort is about 40 km (25 mi) from Rawalpindi beyond Lehtrar road. It is a Gakhar fort built it in 15th century on the ruins of a 10th century Hindi Shahi Fort. Emperor Babur conquered the fort in 1519. Later, in 1825, Sikhs expelled Gakhars from this fort. Though the fort is in a crumbling state, it is still an attraction for castle lovers. The fort, being situated in prohibited area, is only open for Pakistani visitors.
There are many ways to get in and around Rawalpindi.
The Railway Station is located in the Saddar City.The Railway Station was built in the 1880s by the government of British India. The British built many railways across South Asia to help facilitate trade and more importantly to help consolidate their rule. The routes the British built from Rawalpindi, which contained a major military base, linked to Lahore, Karachi, Peshawar, Quetta, Multan, Faisalabad, Hyderabad, Sindh, Sukkur, Bahawalpur, Gujrat, Gujranwala, Kohat, Khanewal, Nawabshah, Nowshera and the Malakand Pass.
Islamabad International Airport is actually located at Chaklala which technically is a part of Rawalpindi. The airport is served by over 25 airlines, both national and international. Pakistan International Airlines (PIA), the national carrier of Pakistan, has numerous routes, with many domestic and international flights every day. Construction on the new Rawalpindi/Islamabad international airport has now been started near the town of Fateh Jang approx 25 kilometres (20 mi) from both cities.
The main route running through Rawalpindi is the Murree Road. This road runs West-East through the city and continues to the hill station of Murree, which is a major summer attraction for Rawalpindi residents. Murree Rd is one of the busiest roads in the Punjab Province of Pakistan.
Rawalpindi is on the ancient Grand Trunk Road (also known as G.T. Road or, more recently, N-5) which links Rawalpindi to nearly every major city in northern Pakistan, from Karachi, to Peshawar, Lahore, Quetta, Multan, Faisalabad, Hyderabad, Sukkur, Bahawalpur, Gujrat, Gujranwala, Kohat, Khanewal, Nawabshah, Nowshera and the Malakand Pass.
The city is also served by two nearby six-lane Motorways, M2 (Lahore-Islamabad) and M1 (Islamabad-Peshawar), which were completed in the 1990s. Somewhat further away is the famous Karakoram Highway, the world’s highest international road, which connects Pakistan to China.
Public transport for travel within Rawalpindi is diverse, ranging from yellow taxis, auto-rickshaws, mini-buses and even tongas (horse-drawn carriages). Due to lack of planning of roads, mess of traffic is found even on small roads. For inter-city travel, air-conditioned and non air-conditioned buses and coaches are regularly available to many destinations in Pakistan.
There is also an Islamabad/Rawalpindi central railway station that allows travel to every major city in Pakistan. In addition to freight, Pakistan Railways provides passenger rail service throughout the day, with train coaches that have air-conditioning in first-class.
The majority of the people in Rawalpindi is Muslim. There are many mosques throughout the city. Most famous Mosques are Jamia Mosque, Raja Bazaar Mosque and Eid Gah Mosque. Other minority religions are Christian, Hindu, Sikh and Ahmadiyya Religion.
Rawalpindi has numerous sights of architectural masterpieces. Few of the heritage buildings are Purana Qil’aa (The Old Fort), Bagh Sardaran (Chief’s Gardens), Haveli Sujaan Sigh, which is the remains of the Sikh Nawabs of Rawalpindi, the grand building has been converted into Fatima Jinnah Women University, which is the only female university to have established in the region. Other ancient buildings include Jain Mandir, Jain Temple.Gordon College, a prestigious institution of high learning was set during the British Raj.The shrine of Hazrat Sakhi Shah Chan Charagh is one of the centres devotees are flocked to.An institution of high devotion and solace located near the famous Raja Bazar He is the patron saint of the city and regarded as one of the two protectors of the twin cities, i.e Islamabad and Rawalpindi along with Hazrat Bari Imam, his cousin brother. The “Rawalpindi Public Library” was one of the earliest private public libraries organized after separation from India. The building was donated for public library by the then Deputy Commissioner Major Davis (also Mrs. Davis’ motel’s owner)on the initiative of a philanthropist Khurshid Anwar Jilani, an attorney, writer and social worker. However, the building was confiscated for election and political campaigning during the last days of Field Marshal Ayub Khan’s reign, and rare manuscripts and artifacts were taken away by the influential.
The PTCL provides the main network of landline telephone. Many ISPs and all major mobile phone companies operating in Pakistan provide service in Rawalpindi.
According to the general survey of industry conducted by Directorate of Industries and Mineral Development Punjab. There are at present 939 industrial units operating in the district. This district is not famous for industrial goods like other districts. The progress has been mostly in the private sector. The existing industrial units provide employment to about 35,000 persons i.e. about 1.6 % of district population is directly employed in large, medium and small industrial units.
Apparently there is no shortage of skilled manpower. The Technical/ Vocational Training Institute operating in the district turn out about 1974. Technicians/ Artisans annually trained in various fields of engineering. Airconditiong, Drafting, Metallurgy, Welding, Auto knitting and commerce etc.
” Kohinoor Textile Mills: Kohinoor Mills is the largest unit in the district,which is located near Naseer Abad and is equipped with 50,000spindles and 1,021 power looms.
” Wattan Woolen Mills: Next is Wattan Woolen and Hosiery Mills fitted 10,000 spindles.
” Rahat Woolen Mills established in 1954 is one of the oldest and most prominent mill in Rawalpindi.
Armed Forces Institute of Cardiology
” Silk industry
” Woolen Mills
” Hosiery Industry
” Engineering Industry
” Food Industry
” Flour Mills
” Soap Industry
” Glass Factories
” Chemical Factories
” Drink (Beverages)
” Foot Wear
” Furniture and Fixture
” Ayub National Park is located beyond the old Presidency on Grand Trunk (G.T.) Road. It covers an area of about 2,300 acres and has a play area, lake with boating facility, an aquarium, a garden-restaurant and an open air theatre.
” Liaquat National Bagh, sometimes known as Liaquat Bagh and formerly Municipal Park, is of historical interest. The first prime minister of Pakistan, Khan Liaquat Ali Khan, was assassinated here in 1950.
” Situated near Ayub National Park, Rawalpindi Golf Course was completed in 1926 by Rawalpindi Golf Club, one of the oldest golf clubs of Pakistan. The facility was initially developed as a nine-hole course. After several phases of development, it is now a 27-hole course. From the clubhouse, there is a panoramic view of Faisal Mosque, the twin cities of Islamabad and Rawalpindi, and the course itself. Major golf tournaments are regularly held here.
” Rawalpindi Public Park (well known as Nawaz Sharif Part)is located on Murree Road near Shamsabad. The Park was opened in 1991. It has a play area for children, lawns, fountains and flower beds. A cricket stadium was built in 1992 opposite the Public Park. The 1996 World Cup cricket matches were held on this cricket ground.
” Liaquat National Bagh
” Jinnah Park
” Ayub Park
” Rumi Park
” Shah Balot Park
” Race Course
” Children Park in Commercial Market
Museums and Arts Galleries
” Lok Virsa
” Pakistan Museum of Natural History
” National Military Museum of Pakistan
” Idara Saqafat-e-Pakistan
Places to Visit
” Gakhar Plaza
” Jamia Mosque
” Purana Qila
” The Mall
” Commercial Market
” Lal Haveli
” Daily Nawa-i-Waqt
” Daily Jang
” Daily Asas
” Daily Times
” Daily Nation
” National Herald Tribune
” The Daily Sada-e-Haq
” Daily Express
” Daily Dawn
” Daoly Din
” Sadai Potohar
” Simli Dam
” Rawal Dam
” Misriot Dam
” Khanpur Dam
Combined Militry Hospital (CMH)
Al-Shifa Eye Trust
District Headquarters Hospital
Militry Hospital (MH)
Armed Forces Institute of Cardiology (AFIC)
Holy Family Hospital
Rawalpindi General Hospital
Fauji Foundation Hospital
Maryam Memorial Hospital
Anwar Miraj Hospital
Markerts and Bazaars
Bank Road Saddar
City Sadar Road
Raja Sahabs Chamber
Gulf Centre Kashmir Road
Tehsils in Rawalpindi
The City-District of Rawalpindi comprises seven autonomous tehsils, besides Rawalpindi itself:
” Gujar Khan
” Kallar Syedan
” Kotli Sattian
” Taxila Tehsil
” Raja Shahid Zafar,Politician and Former Federal Minister
” Shaikh Rasheed Ahmad,Politician and Former Federal Minister
” Muhammad Ijaz-ul-Haq, Politician and Former Federal Minister
” Shoaib Akhtar, Crickter
” Sohail Tanvir, Crickter
” Yasir Arafat, Crickter
” Moin Khan, Crickter
” Raja Tariq Mehboob Kayani,First District Nazim and Twice President Rawalpindi Chamber Of Commerce.
” Iftikhar Thakur, Actor
” Muhammad Hanif Abbasi, Politician
” Veena Malik, Actress
” Pir Naqeeb-ur-Rahman, Darbar-e-Aalia Eidgah Sharif
” Ehsan Mani, Former President of the International Cricket Council (ICC)
” Azhar Mahmood, Crickter
” Nilofar Bakhtiar, Senator
” Mohammad Wasim, Crickter
” Mati ur Rehman, SCL Islamabad
” Nisar Qadri, Actor
There are many cinemas in Rawalpindi but these are most famous
” Cine Pex
” Ciros Cinema
” Gulistan Cinema
” Plaza Cinema
” Shabistan Cinema
” Rose Cinema
” Riyalto Cinema
” Liaquat Theatre
” CinePex Cinema
” Saleem Jan Mini Cinema
Schools and Colleges
” Army Public School and College (APSAC), Ordinance Road, Lalazar
” Bismah Army Public School, Hamza Camp,Murree Road, Rawalpindi
” Bahria Foundation College Peshawar Rd
” Beacon-House Schools System
” divisional Public School
” Fauji Foundation College for Boys
” Fauji Foundation Model School, Harley Street
” F.G. Quaid-e-Azam College, Chaklala III
” F.G School For Boys, Saddar, Cant
” F.G. Sir Syed College, The Mall
” F.G (C.B) College for Women
” Froebels Interantional School
” Government College of Commerce, Satellite Town
” Govt. college for Women Peshawar Road
” Govt. College for Women, Satellite Town
” Govt. Gordon College, Rawalpindi (founded 1891)
” Government Islamia High School No. 4, Liaquat Road
” Govt Muslim Higher Secondary School
” Govt. Post Graduate College Asghar Mall Rawalpindi
” Govt. Viqar un Nisa College for Women
” Grammar Foundation School, Peshawar Road
” Indus College of Commerce
” Haq Public High School , F block Satellite Town
” FIZAIA Intermediate College, Chaklala
” Petroman Institute of Computer Science
” Presentation Convent High School
” Punjab College Of Commerce
” Rawalpindi International School, Saidpur Road
” Rawal College of Commerce, Main Peshawar Road
” Rawalpindi College Of Commerce sadiquee chowk
” Roots School System
” Sir Syed Public School, Tipu Road
” Sir Syed Science College, Tipu Road
” St. John’s High School, Murree Road
” St Mary’s Academy and St Mary’s Cambridge School
” The City School (Murree Road)
” Saint pauls Cambridge school
” Westridge Academy
” Army Public College Of Management & Sciences (APCOMS)
” Barani Institute Of Information Technology
” Fatima Jinnah Women’s University (in commemoration of Fatima Jinnah)
” Foundation University
” Islamic International Medical College (IIMC)
” National University of Science and Technology 
” Rawalpindi Medical College 
” University of Arid Agriculture(UAAR)
” Virtual University of Pakistan main campus Rawalpindi.