National heritage Margalla passes now called hiking trails
You may have heard the names of Khyber Pass, Gomal Pass and Bolan Pass, but are you also aware of the ancient gates of Margalla Hills which tell the stories of the past to the travelers? These are the passes that were used for transportation in the Margalla Mountains in ancient times.
Not long ago, all these passages were called by their real names. Then Dhok Jeevan became E-Seven, Kataria G-Five and Bagh Kalan G-Six. Gaddar Kotha became F-Seven and Bhika Syedan became F-XI. When Bamiyan F-9 and Ropar Jinnah became super, our sense of inferiority changed the names of these doors as well.
The baboos ashamed of all aspects of the local civilization names all Margalla passes as “trails”. So there is Trail Five, which is actually Janglan Pass known after a village. Along with the parking lot, which is the 400-year-old banyan tree and the shrine of Bari Imam, there is also the ancient cemetery of this village. If you go into the forest, there are still dozens of inscriptions on the graves which show that people have been buried here till 1985.
The mosque before the Wildlife Post is the oldest mosque in the village. If you go across the river, the remains of the villages are still there today. Two springs come in the way of this pass.
The Fountain of Figs and the Fountain of Bohri and then it passes through the settlements in the Talhar Valley from the top of the mountain and joins the roads leading to Hazara. There is also a large cave above which is said to have been inhabited by tigers at one time.
The Trail Six that emerges from the side of the Faisal Mosque is actually Dara Kawani. It connects the village of Dara Temba with Jabi and then with the Talhar valley.
Faisal Mosque is built in the same Temba village. This is also Hussain Dara. There is a river, there is a spring, and there are palm trees and a dense forest. This forest is also called Budhu Bun. Nowadays, the number of leopards in this forest has increased and it is not without danger to go there.
From Kawani Pass, when you cross the dense forest and reach the first hilltop, Boldar Pass is ahead. It is said that Sher Shah Suri traveled on this pass. If you walk on this pass, you can land in Kot Jindan and its valley.
The Kawani Pass has a marvelous forest. He who has not seen this forest in the morning, afternoon and evening while living in Islamabad has not seen Islamabad. Trail One’s real name is Kalingar Pass. It starts from a village called Kalingar a little further from Faisal Masjid and reaches the KPK range above. It is in the mountains behind E8 and E9. From here there is also a trail towards Dara Boulder. There is also a cemetery on the way.
If you walk along the mountain from Dara Kalingar, you can reach Dara Kawani. From here, if you go to Kot Jindan and look down at Islamabad, you will come to Dara Balimah. A spring is bursting under the fig trees on this pass.
If you go out on the path to the northeast, then there is Sanyari Pass and there is also a freshwater spring on it. Both these passes lead to KP and also to Hazara. If you dare here, you will come to a place from where you can see Rawal Dam on one side and Khanpur Dam on the other side. One pass from Marghzar goes up to Talhar and Pir Sohawa which connected the villages of Dhok Jeewan with the settlements of Jabi and Talhar above. It’s now called Trail Four. This tour is in the neighborhood of Kawani.
There are breathtaking views after crossing a hill on it. There is peace from this pass to Kawani Pass and these two passes are now obsolete. There are only a few fakirs whose passion drives them to these valleys. Due to the favorable and quiet environment, most of the wildlife is found here. The Air Blue flight crashed near a trail in the same valley.
A centuries-old trail is now called the Margalla Ridge Trail. Uncle Yaqub of Balimah Pass, had mentioned the name of this pass but I have forgot it. This is undoubtedly the most beautiful of these gates. It starts from Islamabad and ends in KP villages. It is 15 km in Islamabad and 30 km in KP.
The sense of inferiority of our decision-makers has erased all traces of local civilization and culture. Such a self-conscious creature is found only in our world. When the city was built, it was turned into sectors instead of being given a local cultural name.
This is Sector G, this is Sector F and beyond that is Sector E. When this creature turned to the forest with tar and cement in mind, the names of the ancient routes changed. Now they are called trails. I don’t know how they have left the name of Margalla intact.
The days don’t seem to be far off when this creature, ashamed of itself and of every aspect of its identity, will name it “Capitol Hill”.