5 Best Historical Places in Islamabad to Visit

If you don’t know history, then you don’t know anything. You are a leaf that doesn’t know it is part of a tree.

~ Michael Crichton

Pakistan is a country known for its beautiful hill stations, breathtaking deserts, Majestic mountain ranges, and blue lakes. As we all know, Islamabad is the capital of Pakistan. It is the world’s second most beautiful capital, located on the Pothohar Plateau on the northern side of the Punjab region. Islamabad was formed in 1960 in the replacement of Karachi city as Pakistan’s capital. Comparatively to other cities, Islamabad is clean, green, and pretty modern. It is divided into different zones and sectors and is well-managed. It’s known for its extraordinary beauty, calm ambiance, several places to visit, delicious restaurants, and elite shopping malls. As well, it’s playing a massive role in the development of the tourism industry. Thousands of domestic and international tourists visit the capital and its historical places. If you are looking for a city that holds several historical places in Pakistan, then Islamabad should be at the top of the list.

Positioned at the gateway to Gandhara civilization and the foothills of the Himalayas, Islamabad is home to several archaeological sites. In this blog, we have listed down the top 5 historical places in Islamabad.

List of Top 5 Historical Places to Visit in Islamabad

Place Location Year Founded Type
1. Pakistan Monument Shakarparian Hills, Srinagar Hwy, Islamabad 23 March 2007 Museum
2. Golra Sharif Railway Museum Sector E-11 on Golra Road 1882 Railway Museum
3. Taxila City 32 km in the northwest of Islamabad near Grand Trunk Road 600 BCE Museum
4. Lok Virsa Museum Garden Avenue، Shakarparian Rd, Islamabad 1974 Museum
5. Pakistan Museum of Natural History Near Jinnah Avenue in zone IV of Islamabad 1976 Museum

1. Pakistan Monument

Located at the peak of the Shakarparian Hills, Pakistan Monument is a heritage museum. It signified the loyalty of the people who live here and also honors those who sacrifice their lives for their beloved country. The design is rooted in Mughal architecture, where large petals present the four provinces, and the three smaller petals represent the Minorities, Azad and Jammu Kashmir, Gilgit Baltistan, and the Federally Administered Tribal Areas. The museum covers a total area of 2.8 hectares – 6.9 acres, which is not a small area. It describes the four different cultures of Pakistan – Punjabi, Balochi, the Sindhi, and the Pakhtun. Holding each other together, they are defending the star and the crescent of the national flag. The foundation stone was placed on 25 May 2004, eventually built in 2006, and inaugurated by former President General Pervez Musharraf on 23 March 2007. The reason for being one of the best places to visit in Islamabad is its wax museum that consists of an exceptional collection of wax statues of great peoples from history. Additional facilities include a source library, audio-visual archive, convention hall with a 62-seat limit, and auditorium known as Panorama Hall.

The average capacity of tourists is 1500 per day. If you see this one of the most beautiful places in Pakistan from the air, it will show you a star – center and a crescent moon – shaped by walls outlining the petals. It absolutely gives a stunning look to the entire museum. Because it is in the heart of hills, therefore from the top, it presents a marvelous view of Islamabad city, which seems even more mysterious at nighttime.

2. Golra Sharif Railway Museum

Golra Sharif Railway Museum is located near sector F-13, Islamabad. It is one of the most artifacts museums that date back to the beginning of railways in the subcontinent of the British colonial period. It was renovated in 2003 as a Golra Sharif Junction Railway Station, which combines the city with Peshawar. The reason for being a popular and one of the most historical places in Islamabad is various movies and advertising campaigns that showcased the museum. It almost had a railway history of 150 years. Basically, it’s a joint station in Rawalpindi and Islamabad and located at an altitude of 1,994 feet above sea level. Every day more than 20 trains pass through this station. Initially, it was built in 1882 during British rule then upgraded as a junction in 1912.

It’s a railway station with a museum that was built in 2003 and consists of many antique items like decades of steam, electric locomotives, saloon cars of Lord Mountbatten, and Maharaja of Jodhpur are marshaled impressively in the museum. Moreover, you can also see old furniture like trolleys, coaches, and tracks that are virtually extinct now. It had a striking combination of artifacts covering the many aspects of the railway system like mechanical models, signaling systems, communication instruments that are stored and chronologically represented.

Trust me, if you are a railway enthusiast, you must visit this marvelous railway museum and one of the best historical places to visit in Islamabad.

3. Taxila City

If you are a history fanatic or wish to travel to the old times, you must visit this one of the most magnificent and historical places in Pakistan. Taxila is an ancient city located 32 km – 20 km away in the northwest of Islamabad near Grand Trunk Road. The word Taxila means the city of cut stone. The ruins of the city dated back to the Achaemenid Empire of the 6th century BCE. In the region of Islamabad, Taxila city is the most visited and one of the most historical places. In the mid of the 19th century, a great archaeologist named Sir Alexander Cunningham rediscovered the Taxila City. UNESCO declared it as a World Heritage Site in 1980. In 2006, it was noticed that Taxila became one of the best tourist destinations. Some of its ruins revealed the city evacuated after the destruction of the Indus Valley Civilisation. It is famous as the Home to Gandhara Civilization. It shows the ornament of urban evolution on the Indian subcontinent through four settlement sites that are:

  • Bhir
  • Saraikela
  • Sirkap
  • Sirsukh

These sites include several monuments and other historical places. Global Heritage Fund declared in 2010 Taxila city as the 6th worldwide heritage site that is getting destroyed, damaged, and looted. It is not wrong to say that if you visited Islamabad and didn’t visit Taxila City, your trip is incomplete. 

4. Lok Virsa Museum

Lok Virsa Museum is located at the heart of the Shakarparian hills. It expresses the living cultures, traditions, and history of Pakistan. It was established in 1974 as a tribute to Pakistan’s culture. The museum consists of buildings and an outdoor museum as well. Later in 2002, the museum became an independent institute. Lok Virsa, one of the most historical places, had a great collection of antique items like statues, pictures, ceramics, music, and textile work. It covers a total area of 60,000 sq with various exhibition halls. Usually, it’s known as a museum for the people of Pakistan. Besides, all in all, it also had a library consisting of a tremendous collection of old antique books. The museum is controlled and maintained by Lok Virsa – the National Institute of Folk & Traditional Heritage.

The management also arranges several exhibitions to present antique jewelry, shiny metalwork, block printing, beautiful woodwork, ossein work, and horn products. Lok Virsa is also listed as one of the top historical places in Islamabad, Pakistan.

5. Pakistan Museum of Natural History

Pakistan Museum of Natural History

Pakistan Museum of Natural History is a public museum operated by the Pakistan Science Foundation. It was established in 1976 and is located at Shakarparian, Islamabad. The museum is divided into four different parts:

  • Botanical Sciences
  • Earth Sciences
  • Zoological Sciences
  • Public Services

The exhibits and galleries display the ecology, geology, and archaeology of the country. It has more than 600,000 collections of antique objects. Moreover, they also show the fossils, stones, parts of various animals, and life-size images of extinct species. It is also considered to be a research center. Additionally, it organizes several workshops, lectures, and studies to teach society about the safety and classification of plants, animals, and mineral sources. All these are the reasons that make this museum one of the best historical places in Pakistan.

So these were the top five historical places in Islamabad that emphasize the history of Pakistan. If you are planning to visit the capital of Pakistan for the first time, don’t forget to visit these places. We are sure all will take you back to the past. We hope the article was helpful. You can also visit our blog places to visit in Peshawar.

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