Daman-e-Koh lures tourists for a panoramic view | Pakistan Today

Daman-e-Koh lures tourists for a panoramic view

Amid the lush green hills of Margalla around 3000 feet above the sea level and 1000 feet from the federal capital, a salubrious spot called Daman-e-Koh (in the lap of the mountain) is surely a place where natural and man-made beauty intrigues the heart and mind of every visiting individual.
As soon as one starts the journey through a vehicle on a carpeted road from the base of Margalla Hills, there is the Capital Development Authority (CDA) Zoo on the left side and a tuck shop on a few steps ahead on the left. All the way through to Daman-e-Koh, a number of naughty monkeys welcome you to the serenity of natural environ of the area. Because of Daman-e-Koh’s close proximity to Islamabad, taxi drivers are delighted to take visitors to the park at a nominal cost, while cabs are available for return trip to Islamabad at the parking lots.
Haseeb Ahmed, a young visitor from Gujrat with his family, said, “It is a wonderful place to hang out with families where cool breeze is blowing across all the time and natural environment with fresh air fills my lungs.” “The view is marvellous and the atmosphere is so peaceful and tranquil. With so many places to venture and wildlife that will entertain you for hours, it’s a must see for all living in Pakistan,” he added.
Daman-e-Koh is a midpoint for tourists on their way to the higher view point of Pir Sohawa, which is located at the top of Margalla Hills at an elevation of about 5000 feet. Geologically, it is a spur, off shooting from the main Margalla Hills, which comprise the Margalla National Park.
Daman-e-Koh is a viewpoint in north of Islamabad at the foot of and in the middle of the Margalla Hills. This extra-ordinary garden has two wings known as the ‘north’ and ‘south’ viewpoints and is accessible by a zigzag road or by feet from a number of walking tracks.
Car parking facility is provided close to the Northern Spot where a cafe and some small tuck shops cater the needs of guests. A restaurant is located on the Southern Spot overlooking the city. The Southern Spot is the main attraction as it provides a panoramic view of Islamabad where telescopes are installed for keener observers to have a bird eye view of the city. A board displaying basic information about Islamabad is installed for the people coming from outside the city. There is a view of Faisal Mosque, the newly-constructed Seventh Avenue and Rawal Lake, which poses a nice glittering view in southeast.
In order to add to the visitor’s entertainment, the CDA had also decided to start chairlift at Damn-e-Koh but failed to do so, as the environmentalists raised concerns on the project. CDA spokesman Ramzan Sajid told Pakistan Today that the said project was feasible and environment-friendly, adding that deliberation on the subject was underway.
At the same time the visitors of this beautiful sight have to face some problems which are some how ignored by the CDA. One of the major problems is non availability of proper transport service for the area. Although the high-ups of the authority time and again claim to promote tourism by introducing proper transport for recreational spots but no headway has been made in this regard by the civic body due to which many people, who have not their own cars, cannot visit the place. “Despite having a wish to visit Damn-e-Koh, I cannot go there because the fares of cabs are unaffordable,” said Sajid Akhtar, a visitor. He stressed the tourism organisations and the civic body to introduce transport facility for places like Daman-e-Koh and Pir Sohawa, saying it was not possible to visit the area with the family members in the absence of proper transport. However, everyone wants to visit the beautiful spot through which one can see almost all the prominent places of the federal capital. Last time, when Pakistan Today had contacted the CDA spokesman and asked him about the issue, he replied that the CDA chairman had decided to launch four special buses for the recreational spots, adding that the launching of tourism train was a step forward to resolve the problems being faced by the citizens while traveling to the recreational spots.
On Tuesday, when this scribe asked Ramzan about his previous statement, he could only reply, “I cannot comment on the issue and let me contact with the concerned high-ups.”

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