Islamabad: To promote tourism industry, the Tourism Development Corporation Punjab (TDCP) has identified 15 new tourism destinations in Rawalpindi district, The Reporters has learnt.
TDCP’s regional Manager Zahid Ashraf told that TDCP has completed over 50 percent development work and will formally open the designated destinations for the tourists by the end of this year.
Zahid Ashraf said that Rawalpindi district is known as the most favorite tourists’ attraction of Punjab province, having Murree Hills, religious tourism points in Taxila, Hassanabdal and others.
To a question, he said, the TDCP generates its revenue from these tourists’ points, adding that they also financially support other regions of Punjab from earning finances from Rawalpindi region.
Briefing about the new tourism destination, the Manager said Murree Hills are one of the most favorite destinations for the tourists across the country in the summer, adding that even during snowfall season.
But due to influx of the tourists from across the country, the administrative affairs, including traffic arrangements, stay and other related matters, are badly affected to overcome this problem.
To provide multiple tourism options to the citizens, the PTDC has identified at least 15 new tourism points in Rawalpindi.
They are developing and promoting these points to attract tourists not only from the Rawalpindi district but across Pakistan. In this regard, 50 percent work has been completed, he added.
These points will be formally opened for tourists by the end of 2021, he hoped.
Ashraf maintained that the PTDC has installed sign boards inscribed with details at roads of twin cities of Rawalpindi and Islamabad to guide the citizens about these new destinations.
Moreover, the locals are also briefed about the impact of tourism activities on their social economic status.
He added that instead of promoting construction of the hotels and motels in these areas, PTDC is trying to promote the concept of pods in these areas, which are environment friendly.
Tauseef Satti, a social worker, appreciated the efforts of the provincial government for the promotion of tourism in Kotlisattian.
He said Kotlisattian has more natural beauty as compared to Murree, but due to the lack of road and hotel infrastructures, the area could not attain visitors’ attention.
Satti, however, said just installing boards on the road sides is not enough to promote tourism in this region, adding that there are many points among the identified tourist points which do not have road access.
Similarly, most areas even don’t have internet facilities and without addressing these issues, tourists can’t be attracted, Satti maintained.
Let’s have a brief visit to newly identified destinations
Danoi Forest Rest House: The rest house is located some 44 km from Rawalpindi. Danoi Forest Rest House was constructed during the Colonial Rule by the British in 1928. Current elevation of the Rest House is 4,314 feet above sea level.
Prandla Top: The newly identified tourist destination is situated some 50 km from Rawalpindi.
There is no proper road leading to Prandla village as one has to drive more than 6 km on jeep from Danoi intersection. Prandla has amazing rock formations, natural springs and caves. The plateau or the ridge of the Prandla gets some snow in winters as well.
Panjpeer Rocks: The rocks are situated some 55km from Rawalpindi. The place is called PanjPeer because locals believe that once five saints came to the area and got settled here. There is a shrine up in the area as well. The plateau or the ridge of the Panjpeer gets some snow in winters as well. Panjpeer is the highest point of Danoi Ridge in Kotlisattian and Kahuta.
River Jhelum is also visible from the ridge. The place not only offers the amazing rocks but also waterfalls, streams, a thick forest and local species of plants and animals.
Forest Fire Watch Tower: The distinction is situated 48 kilometer from Rawalpindi. The tower, according to the sources, was installed for the purpose of monitoring forest tires of the surrounding area. Trek of 0.8 kilometer from the main road leads to this point. The site provides a spectacular view of the surrounding areas.
Balawra Shareef: This religious tourist point is situated some 51 kilometer from Rawalpindi. The name of Balawara Sharif village was kept after the name of Qibla Hazrat Subedar Musanjaf AliSarkar’s Alayhi Rahma, great-great grandfather Hazrat Balawal Khan Alayhi Rahma.
This village joins the mountains of Himalayas in the north through neighboring Kashmir and Murree. In the south, it joins the twin cities of Islamabad and Rawalpindi. An annual Urs (festival) is also held at this site, commemorating the great Sufi Saint.
Simly Dam: The Dam is situated some 30 kilometer from Rawalpindi. Simly Dam is an 80 meters (260 ft) high earthen embankment dam on the Soan River and 30 kilometers east of Islamabad and Rawalpindi.