What makes Islamabad so special?

This article was written by Ahmad Humayun, who is from Pakistan and knows better than anyone else what makes Islamabad so special.

Islamabad is special thanks to its culture, its diversity, and its people. The capital of Pakistan offers very special scenery for tourists who want to discover a city of peace, eco-friendliness, and traditions.

What makes Islamabad the City of Peace?

The name “Islamabad” originates from the Persian language meaning “The City of Islam or Peace”. The “City of Peace” is a reflection of the ideology which initially fueled the creation of Pakistan, i.e., Islam. This shows the importance of the city in the country and its impact on the spirit of the city.

Islamabad, sitting in the heart of lush green Margalla hills is the central capital of Pakistan. Filled with the ultimate divine presence of nature, many things make the place stand out. Although perfectly well-developed, it oozes a sense of peace and harmony. The peace reigning in Islamabad prevails not just in the natural settings but all corners. This makes it your dream urban center.

grey concrete building at golden hour in special islamabad
Faisal Mosque in Islamabad. Credits to Syed Bilal Javaid

The special blend of traditional and modern ways of life in Islamabad

Islamabad offers a fine number of advanced luxuries gracefully intertwined with the eye-catching innate and pure charms of the city. Peaceful, and utterly soothing, this land stretching up to 906 square km is a field of natural planes and meadows highlighting a blend between traditional and modern values of life. Places like Lok Virsa Heritage Museum, Pakistan Monument, Pakistan National Council of Arts, Museum of Natural History, Faisal Masjid, and Rawat Fort are a reflective gateway to the history, art, tradition, and literature of the country.

Similarly, properly constructed roads, underpasses, overpasses, and skyscrapers signify the developed and modern infrastructure of the city. Large malls like Centaurus Mall and Giga Mall, along with the advanced cinemas also explore the modernism that dominates the land. Hence, an elegant and dignified equilibrium exists in the city itself. In the following video, you can even see what to expect when it comes to malls when visiting or living in Islamabad. This traveler visits Giga Mall and wants to know how modern it is.

Credits to Moonshine and Lemongrass

Natural musings and reflections of the Divine

The morning breeze enriched with the scent of trees and the newly born sun gently falling on one of the rose petals seizes your mind and soul guiding them to the true realities of this world. This journey that you take to the inner depths of the universe can take place in the arms of Islamabad in a beautiful and cozy way. There’s a solitude that runs through the air of Islamabad touching the fingertips of the unseen which presents a broad room for physical and spiritual growth.

As Miguel de Unamuno, a Spanish essayist, writes, “Only in solitude do we find ourselves; and in finding ourselves, we find in ourselves all our brothers in solitude”. The hiking trails stretching on the Margalla Hills provide that mirror to the realities which wrap the entire universe because “time spent among tree is never time wasted”.

The special restaurants and cafes in Islamabad of a unique quality

Apart from the natural environment, there is a vast number of neatly and skillfully constructed restaurants and cafes that the city has to offer. The quality of food ranges from traditional or desi to completely western giving an in-depth understanding of the diverse culture of the land. As solitude is a significant feature of the capital, cafes play an essential role in promoting that alleviating calmness with a hint of flavors.

The Monal Restaurant, Hometown Café, Roasters, Howdy, Savour Foods, Jessie’s, and many more are among the top prominent dining places in the capital. In those restaurants, you can maybe find traditional dishes like Biryani Pakistani rice, like you can see in the following picture.

food in special islamabad
Biryani Pakistani Traditional Food in a restaurant in Islamabad. Credits to Kashif Afridi

Additionally, exquisite ice-cream parlors and small sitting areas with a welcoming environment are a cherry on top of all the beauties this place has to offer. These comforting venues denote the gradual progress in all areas of an Islamabadian’s life.

Special cultural, ethnic, religious, and social diversity of Islamabad

The warm and homely city of Islamabad is a densely packed society of many cultures, ethnicities, religions, and social classes. In a very small and confined vicinity, people from all over Pakistan gather together to make their lives better. Sindhis, Balochis, Pathans, Punjabis, Kashmiris, and so on.

All strive for a better future leading to a strong sense of nationalism and acceptance among the inhabitants of Islamabad. Similarly, being a capitalist country, all social classes are present in Pakistan. Especially Islamabad, working every day hand-in-hand manifesting a harmonic balance. In an article called Here is why Pakistan is more diverse than you thought“, Nadeem F. Paracha gives precise data to explain the reasons behind diversity in Pakistan.

Besides that, religious minorities like Hindus; Christians; Sikhs, are also present here displaying an active impression of love and peace. Maya Angelo preaches the importance of diversity in the development of individuals or greater nations, “… in diversity there is beauty and there is strength.”. When joined together, the vast variety among the minds and souls of the people of Islamabad is an indirect promotion of prosperity and compassion. This diversity is something you can expect in other places in the world like the Intramuros in the Philippines, or some states in the United States like Texas for example.

Availability of commodities

Islamabad is a man-made city where the elements are designed to give an extended number of opportunities to its citizens. This availability of commodities leads to the mass migration of people from various areas of Pakistan to this heavenly place. Thus, many companies have their headquarters in Islamabad providing a great number of job opportunities. Also, those jobs are mainly for youth striving to settle and earn money. To show you the kind of efforts made by the government, you can simply visit the National Jobs Portal website by clicking this link. On this website, you will be able to find lots of jobs in Islamabad and in Pakistan in general.

Moreover, hospitals, universities, schools, and developed housing schemes make life in Islamabad easier than elsewhere. Being a land that is constantly expanding results in a rapid increase in good circumstances for the people living there.

Since it is the capital city, the main focus of the governing parties has always been to develop the city. The government also focuses on providing a secure life to form a good impression on the international forums. This political agenda proves to be a blessing in disguise for the citizens of the city.

Ecofriendly setting offering a special space for growth

The land is best known for its scenic beauty and the presence of beautifully cultivated parks and forests. As the second most beautiful capital in the world, there are lots of green spaces. For example, the green parks, and meadows are an opening to a rather more artistic era. The alluring natural fields, like the very famous Lake View Park, Kachnar Park, Fatima Jinnah Park, Rose and Jasmine Garden, Ayub National Park, Daman-e-Koh, and Shakarparian National Park are great tourist attractions.

One of the best ways to see how green the city looks is by watching the drone shots in the following video.

Credits to Drone Snap for those beautiful drone shots of the city of Islamabad

Furthermore, the weather is also a mirror to the symphonic balance that wraps this land. One of the major reasons for this eco-friendly environment is the behavior of its people towards nature. Each day, new organizations are being built to keep the land clean and healthy promising a fresh surrounding. This is a little bit like what you can expect in cities like Singapore for example, where everything is cleaned very often.

The cool morning breeze, the illuminating sun and its effects on the residents at midday, and the peace of night under the spell of stars make life in Islamabad a lot more beautiful. Grab a bottle of water, maybe some homemade sandwiches, and the hand of a friend, and explore this beautiful city. You might end up exploring yourself too.

What to Visit in Islamabad?

There are 5 places tourists must see when visiting Islamabad:

  • The Heritage Museum
  • Pakistan Monument
  • Faisal Mosque
  • Shakarpariyan forest
  • Damin-i-koh mountain

What to visit outside of Islamabad?

30 KM northeast of central Islamabad lies the heavenly hill station of Murree. Sitting at 7500 ft of altitude, the place is one of the major tourist attractions in the country. Cool temperatures in extreme summers and snowcapped mountain peaks in winters make the place a must-visit. Besides the scenic beauty of the hill station, it offers a rich wildlife experience. You may pass by some friendly monkeys as you drive through the beautiful Murree expressway.

If you are fond of peaceful places with advanced life commodities, the Pakistani capital is the end of your search. The serene evening drives through dense forests of the city, noisy supermarkets, and a diverse community to thrive in all give Islamabad a special place on your “to visit” lists.

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