The thing with Islamabad is that it offers almost everything. You might just not be here long enough to know that Islamabad isn’t like any other city, having all its markets and restaurants in one line of road or in one specific area – This city has hidden gems all over the place. Here are a few that should keep you busy next time you bless yourself with a visit to the capital.
1- Hotspot Cafe
Home to the youth of Islamabad, this place is known for its desserts, crowd, phadday and more *regulars know what I’m talking about*. Either way, Hotspot has been and will remain to be one of the city’s most sought after hangout spots for a long time.
2- The Hiking Trails
Wait, Islamabad has hiking trails?
YES! Now that’s something you won’t find in most cities. There’s nothing better than an early morning Sunday hike all the way up to Monal, and the clear breeze and greenery definitely makes the climb easier. Quite often you can find teenagers gathered in groups going on an early morning hike up some of the more popular trails such as Trail 3 and Trail 5.
You could say the view at the top definitely makes up for all those tiring steps along the way.
3- Saidpur Village
A village set near the Margalla Hills, this place is a must-go for all types of desi-food lovers. It has a rich cultural history and is home to many including an orphanage as well. It hosts a variety of restaurants such as Des Pardes, which are absolutely worth your time and money, and the view at night is quite the sight for sore eyes.
4- The Monal Restaurant
Arguably one of the biggest tourist attractions that the capital has, this restaurant is set into the side of the mountain and hosts a huge amount of customers almost every day. Finding a table on a weekend? Wouldn’t want to be that guy, that’s for sure. There’s nothing better than good food, one of the most breathtaking views that you will ever see, and a cool breeze. Oh, and the Cheese naan. Can’t ever forget the Cheese naan now, can we?
5- Taimoori Roll Paratha (TRP)
Looking for a quick fix for a roll paratha to satisfy your cravings? Look no further. Based in the F10 Markaz of Islamabad, TRP has saved countless late night hunger pangs for the past two decades. No school event is complete without it, and many students can testify to that, as TRP is definitely a favorite to stay.
Sometimes my mind sparks, I might just be a better archaeologist than a computer professional. Maybe the reason for my thoughts has something to do with the historical city I was born in or maybe its just my curious nature that makes me want to know about the past of everything that comes my way. In short, I feel history in my blood. I am a resident of Bahawalpur and I’ve been exploring it ever since I was a child. And every now and then I end up at a place or arena that’s got so much history attached to it but then again seeing the terrible condition these places are in today, mainly because of Punjab Government’s neglecting practices, is just heartbreaking.
This time around, my divine love for historical places took me inside the walled city of Bahawalpur. The tribe of Abbasid Caliph traveled through Sindh and stayed at the area where Bahawalpur is situated today. Soon, the foundation of the state of Bahawalpur was laid down in 1802 by Nawab Bahawal Khan Abbassi II after the breakup of the Duarrani Empire. He signed the first treaty with British on 22 February 1833 and soon became one of the wealthiest princely states of British India. Bahawalpur later became a part of Pakistan on 7th October 1947 after independence of Pakistan was declared.
Today, Bahawalpur is known as the ‘city of palaces‘ in Southern Punjab. Bahawalpur is full of colonial age infrastructure with interesting stories attached to almost all of them. Passing through Farid Gate, Bab-e-Farid, shows the unsurpassed affection Nawab of Bahawalpur had towards the great Sufi saint, poet and philosopher Khawaja Farid.
The Rangeela Bazaar is known for its popular fish market and thus called Machli Bazaar locally.
“It was a fish market at the time of Nawab, my grandfather was also a fish seller in this market.” a local resident Akram said.
Today, jewelers dominate the ancient bazaar.
The bazaar used to be situated in the heart of the walled city and used to connect the remaining parts with each other through a dense network of thick and thin streets that are still, to some extent, preserved which ultimately reflects the architecture wonder this city used to be.
My target was to reach a street named Phattun Wali Gali (wood piece market). When I enquired a local named Allah Baksh about this strange name, he told me that at the time of Nawab, the street used to be a home to the city’s lumberjacks.
Kala Dhari, which used to be a Hindu temple has now turned into a primary school. Kala is the Urdu word for ‘black; and Dhari means ‘strip’ in Urdu and ‘color changer’ in Hindi. The original entrance main gate was replaced by a new one but is preserved in a museum.
“Before the partition, there was a barren ground where Hindu worshippers would usually stay before entering through the main gate but now it’s been cemented into a playground for school children” Chacha Mirza Afzal said
There’s a local popular myth that there is an underground passage that connects Kala Dahri Mandir with Delhi in India. Although no one was ever able to find this passage, it’s still pretty interesting to me and maybe, just maybe, there is actually a passage beneath the temple. It may just be true because let us not forget that the Nawab of Bahawalpur was insanely rich and keeping in mind the famous Rolls Royce adventure, the Nawab may even have dug a passage all the way to Delhi!
According to locals the temple is around 300 years old and its original name is Shiri Nani Dev Kaala Dhari Jee Maharaaj Mandir. The temple is an architectural masterpiece with its beautiful masonry and wooden work, it is surely a delight to one’s eyes. The temple is in a pretty good condition despite of government archeology department’s ignorance to preserve it.
Mr. Akthar Ali, an old resident of the street, told me: “The pillars and wood work of temple was done by the best craftsmen of that time and it took years to complete”.
The carvings of sacred Hindu gods are eye-catching on the walls of the temple are surely a masterpiece. It is, however, difficult for a human eye to detect the carvings marked on the doors, floors and walls as because of continuous rains and hot harsh weather has worn them off pretty badly. Locals complaint that most of its beautiful paintings, carved wooden doors and statues were taken away by the local administration and shifted to an unknown place. When I checked, only the main gate was still present in the Bahawalpur Museum.
The first floor of the temple used to be the residence of the preacher and care takers of the temple. One of old resident recalled his memory and told me there were statues of Hindu Gods fixed on the walls of first floor but were taken down after partition.
Muslims living around the temple say they respect and host Hindus when they sometimes visit their ancient temple.
Today, the temple serves as a prominent symbol of interfaith harmony and shows that Pakistan, especially Bahawalpur, respects and protects its minorities
What happened to Bahawalpur?
A glimpse of Bahawalpur’s history and its current problems:
House of Entremuse is currently working on an article covering Bahawalpur’s glorious history, the reasons for its economical and social collapse and the current problems it’s facing. If you wish to contribute in this project then kindly message us on Facebook or Email us at: email@example.com
This article was written by Irfan Mehmood, a resident of Bahawalpur, and edited by House of Entremuse Editorial Board. If you wish to contribute your work then visit: www.houseofentremuse.com/writeforus
Los Glaciares received the Google Doodle treatment as it celebrates its 80th anniversary.
The part is full of massive ice caps, in-a-way world’s biggest outside only Antarctica and Greenland. Los Glaciares is also a UNESCO World Heritage Site, as declared in 1981, and it’s considered to be one of the world’s most beautiful places.
Los Glaciares is one of world’s biggest national parks
Argentina’s biggest national part, at 2 800 square miles, Los Glacieres is one world’s biggest.
It lies on the border with Chile in the south of Argentina, where the climate is colder than in much of the continent.
The icy park
The huge Patagonian ice cap covers almost a third of the park, and straddles the two lakes that connect to Los Glaciares.
The cap actually covers much of the Andes mountains, and stretches into other national parks across South America.
The amazing glaciers
There are 47 large glaciers and thus the name ‘Los Glaciares’. Glaciers – masses of ice that slowly moves under its own weight – are what the national park is known for, and create its most visually stunning areas.
The glaciers aren’t going anywhere
Glaciers form when enough snow collects in the same area that it starts to pack together into an ice structure. Each year, more snowfall can mean the glacier packs in more snow and grows.
Most glaciers are shrinking as the world heats up, but the Perito Moreno glacier, one of the most famous in Los Glaciares, is expanding. Scientists have no firm conclusion on why this is.
Nothing like Kashmir though, Chile and Argentina have argued over areas of the park. The dispute has been going back decades – and is still hotly contested, not fought over.
The two countries hope for international arbitration on the border.
Well, I promised you people that I’ll let you know everything about Malaysia! So here I am, with another interesting article.
The ultimate reason for human survival is food! So basically food comes first. Why don’t we start our travelogue with an article about food. Not ordinary food! We are talking about Malaysia and trust me nothing is ordinary about Malaysia.
The title above is the name of a restaurant located at Putra Jaya ( The administrative capital of Malaysia). The reason why i’m writing about a restaurant before anything else is that whenever I’ve been to Malaysia, the first place I visit is this restaurant, not even my hotel. Directly from the airport I head off to savour the delicious Indian food served at Putra Palace. Believe me, it’s mouth watering!
Their menu had been the same for years and I thank them for it and you’ll do too once you enter this heaven.
At Putra Palace, I only taste food for there is so much to devour that you can’t stick to one dish. Their buffet consists of the famous Daal Chawal which isn’t your normal Daal Chawal.
Moreover, they serve you with a dry orange coloured dish which is unbelievably tasty, until you find out that it’s only a Cauliflower that you are eating!
The menu, if enlisted here fully, will cause me to run out of words. Hence I’ll skip to the dessert and leave the rest for you to taste and try yourself.
To be honest, this is the sole reason I keep coming back here. Yes! This dessert with is basically a mixture of custard ice cream and Sujee Ka Halwa, will make you eat it until you are impossibly full. I ate it for the first time 6 and a half years ago and trust me my taste buds weren’t ready to forget this delicacy until I got to Putra Palace few months ago.
Except for the wonderful food this place offers, there is a beautiful garden and a pavement which leads to a lush green alley.
Standing here, you can view the magnificent building, the Malaysian Prime Minister’s Office. The Putra Mosque, which reflects high degree of art and design, is also viewable from here.
No doubt, this place is a must-visit! So all the foodies out there get this one on your list because “You can’t simply miss this!”