Islamabad is said to be a barren place regarding culture and heritage because the capital city of Pakistan has no history or historical background.
Before May 24, 1960, when President of Pakistan Field Marshal Muhammad Ayub Khan approved master plan and laid foundation of this city, there was a massive jungle with some parasitic small villages like Saidpur, Golra, Noorpur Shahan, Shah Allah Ditta Village, home of Syed Mehmood Shah, the father of Shah Abdul Latif Kazmi Bari Imam [now Shakarparian] and Baghan village [now Aabpara] etc.
This jungle was located at the northern edge of the Pothohar Plateau and at the foots of the Margalla Hills with some hilly towns like Pir Sohawa which is the highest point of Margalla Hills. Elevation of Margalla Hills is 540 meters (1,770 ft).
The modern capital city of Islamabad now has replaced this Jungle.
Geographically, Islamabad and the ancient Gakhar city of Rawalpindi stand side by side and are commonly referred to as the Twin Cities, where no exact boundary exists between the two cities.
To the northeast of the city lies the hill station of Murree, and to the north lies the Haripur District of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. Kahuta lies on the southeast, Taxila, Wah Cantt, and Attock District to the northwest, Gujar Khan, Rawat and Mandra on the southeast, and the metropolis of Rawalpindi to the south and southwest. Islamabad is located 120 kilometers (75 mi) SSW of Muzaffarabad, 185 kilometers (115 mi) east of
The capital city of Islamabad expanses an area of 906 square kilometers (350 sq mi). A further 2,717 square kilometers (1,049 sq mi) area is known as the Specified Area, with the Margalla Hills in the north and northeast. The southern portion of the city is an undulating plain. It is drained by the Kurang River, on which the Rawal Dam is located.
Margalla Hills are natural bodyguards of Islamabad but very few people know that these Hills are great treasure of history and have special relations with the great victorious, Alexander the Great.
Margalla Hills have the honor to welcome Alexander the Great in this area.
History tells us that once; Margalla Hills and its surrounding areas are core points of ancient Gandhara Civilization. This area has rich archeological background.
There is a trail which is going towards heights of Margalla from village Shah Allah Ditta. Muslim ruler of India, Sher Shah Suri constructed a “Bawli” [water well] on this trail to facilitate travelers as well as residents of the village but now this well is in dilapidated condition and no department of capital is willing to repair it.
“Lousar Bawli” is located in Haripur district of Khyber-Pakhtunkhaw province. It is also said that once this trail was a road for trade caravans coming to Rawalpindi from Kabul, Afghanistan via Taxila.
Near this bawli, another historical place “Buddha Caves” are located which are called “Shah Allah Ditta Caves” also.
Historians and researchers have declared that these caves are part of Gandhara Civilization and high priests and followers of Buddhism used these 2500 years old caves for their prayers “Gayan”.
Some yards away from these caves, shrine of Shah Allah Ditta is situated who was alive in Mughal Era. A large number of followers of Shah Allah Ditta still come here from different parts of the country annually.
According to historians, Alexander the Great also used this way to enter subcontinent around 326 BC. Raja Ambhi of Taxila welcomed Alexander the Great near these caves on ancient Kabul-Rawalpindi Highway. A stony throne is can also be seen here which was possibly used for welcome ceremony of Alexander the Great.
Near this throne and caves there was a garden namely “Sadhoo Garden” but now only remains of this garden can be seen. Time has destroyed this beautiful site but it is heard that new civil administration is now stepping ahead to restore this ancient heritage.