History about Murree 349

History about Murree

An Overview:
History about Murree is Pakistan most popular hill station. Murree lies 50 kilometers northeast of Pakistani capital Islamabad at a comfortable altitude of 7500 feet (2286 meters) in the Himalayan foothills at 33.35° north latitude and 73.27° east longitude. Murree Sanitarium (US sanatorium), as it was initially known, was selected because of its cool climate to serve as recuperation area for British troops and was one of the several such hill stations established in the foothills of Himalayas across the Indian subcontinent. Murree is a mountainous area, forming part of outer Himalayas. It consists of four gradually increasing supers.

On highest among them is situated Murree city itself at height of 7500 feet. Others include Patriata, Kuldana and Gharial. It is bounded by River Jhelum in the east, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa districts of Abbottabad and Heripur to the North and West, Islamabad Capital Territory to the Southwest and Kotli Sattian Tehsil (town) of Rawalpindi district to the South. Murree town was built in line with the European cities with Church in the centre and main road, The Mall, running along with commercial places and administrative offices around the same. The Mall was and still is still the centre of attraction. Non Europeans were not allowed access to the Mall till independence in 1947.

Origin of the Name:
Historians differ on origin of Murree’s name. According to one theory Murree derives its name from local Marrhi which means a ridge. According to another it is derived from Turkish marg which means a meadow. It may not be far from reality as there is considerable Turkish cultural influence in the area. The the local dialect derives a number of words from Turkish language. Besides historically the locals used to spend most part of the year in the valleys and used top of the hills as pastures or fields to grow seasonal crops.

Murree, Land and the people:
Murree hill station was constructed by the British colonial government soon after it captured this part of then India in 1850. Murre lies between Kashmir Point and Pindi Point. As the names suggest Kashmir point gives a panoramic view of snow laden Himalaya and Pir Panjal ranges in Kashmir while the Pindi point overlooks national capital Islamabad and adjacent Rawalpindi. At Pindi Point one can enjoy ride on a Chairlift three kilometers down to Bansragalli and enjoy a panoramic view of Hazara mountains as well as Rawalpindi Islamabad.

Buildings and Tourist Attractions:
History about Murree houses headquarters of 12th infantry division of Pakistan Army and large number of educational and training institutions of Pakistan Army which situated at Upper Topa, Kuldana and Barain. Combined Military Hospital established to cater the needs of civilian population of Murree and adjoining areas. Pakistan Air Force also maintains base at Lower Topa. For administrative purposes the military areas of Murree are divided in two separate cantonment cantonments, Murree Cantonment and Murree Hills Cantonment. Murree Houses residence for Punjab Governor at the Kashmir point. The imposing building was built in nineteenth century by the British.

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