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An idyllic vacation spot

On the outskirts of Islamabad near Bara Kahu, amidst the Margalla Hills lies Shahdara Valley – a picturesque recreational area with immense natural beauty.

Picture perfect and idyllic… Lush green and dotted with mud brick houses and cornfields, Shahdara is an idyllic spot, frequented by visitors from all over Islamabad and beyond. The highlight of Shahdara is the crystal clear stream which meanders down the mountains. Visitors flock to the stream to swim and splash in the cool waters while the less adventurous perch themselves on the large boulders that dot the stream and dip their feet into the water. Shahdara’s natural beauty is so breathtaking that it has served as a location for countless Pakistani films.Barbequing along the stream

Barbequing along the stream

Adventures in the Valley… Along with splashing in the stream, Shahdara offers visitors several recreational activities. Despite a lack of proper trails, trekking up the Margalla Hills is a popular activity and people willing to undertake the trek are rewarded by spectacular panoramic views from the top. DIY style barbequing is a favourite activity among visitors.

Eating over the stream… A strip of dhaba style restaurants line the stream. Diners can partake of local specialties, including karhai, naan-kabab and fried fish while sitting on benches affixed in the stream, and there is nothing more relaxing than sipping a steaming cup of tea while dipping your feet in the cool water. If you pay attention, you might catch a glimpse of the indigenous wildlife there, including wild ducks and white cranes among other birds.SMALLL 2

Approaching the Valley

In a nutshell… Located close to Islamabad and Rawalpindi, Shahdara Valley offers the best of nature. Often referred to as ‘heaven on earth’, Shahdara offers brilliant views and exciting dining experiences.

– Arsalan Khan
First published in the Real Estate section of The DAWN National Weekend Advertiser on November 24, 2013.