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Places to Visit >> Major Cities & Towns >> Abbottabad
Abbottabad, PakistanAbbottabad is the principal city of the Abbottabad District in the Northwest Frontier Province of Pakistan. It is 4120 feet (1256 m) above sea level, and is located 63 miles (101 km) from Rawalpindi, 52 miles from Kohala Bridge, Bakote and Birote in East and is undoubtedly one of the cleanest, the most beautiful cities of Pakistan. The city is much like a valley with scenic beauty and beautiful romantic weather at its peak. The city is also called "The City of the Maple Tree". The name was charecteristic to Abbottabad because prior to the early 1980s large Maple trees lined the main highway cutting through Abbottabad en route to Mansehra, a road from Murree. These trees were cut down to widen the Mansehra Road.


In 1998 the population of Abbottabad District was 881,000. According to the 1998 census, over 94% of population has Hindko as their first language, while Urdu and English are also spoken & understood.

Tourism, travel and transportation

The famous Karakoram Highway (KKH), which traces one of the paths of the ancient Silk Road, starts from Havelian in the Abbottabad District, and passes through the city. The KKH has become an attraction for adventure tourists. Abbottabad, with its mild climate in the summers, is a relief from the searing summer heat of the lowlands of Pakistan. By road, Abbottabad a two hour drive from Islamabad. Kashmir Highway intered in District Abbottabad from Birote and crossed Kohala Bridge in Kashmir.

Abbottabad as Gateway to Silk Route

Abbottabad is a small neat and clean town in a spacious valley surrounded by green hills. It is a popular summer resort, located at the end of Murree-Abbottabad hill tract at a height of 1,220 meters, noted for its verdant parks, gardens, golf course and pine covered hills. Abbottabad, apart from being famous for its educational institutions and Military Academy, also serves as the gateway to most beautiful places in Pakistan.

The formidable Karakorams, the enchanting Himalayas and the deadly Hindukush, can also be approached from Abbottabad. Though the importance of the city has been diminished a little by the completion of Karakoram Highway because, in the past, the only track available to reach Karakoram was through Babusar Pass, which in its turn, could only be approached through Abbottabad. In spite of this development, the city continues to be a transit city for tourists. Abbottabad is the junction from where one can go to places like Hunza, Gilgit, Skardu and Indus Kohistan, of the Karakoram Range. One can reach Swat, Swati Kohistan, Dir and Chitral of the Hindukush Range. One can approach Naran, Saif-ul-Muluk Lake, Shogran and Babusar Pass of the Himalayan Range. Neelum, Lipa and Jhelum Valley of beautiful Azad Kashmir are also connected through Abbottabad.

While other hill stations are deserted during winter this place has visitors due to the bracing winter. The place has beautiful gardens, Jinnah Garden, Ladies Garden and another garden maintained by the Cantonment Board. To the splendid stretch of turf with plenty of room for polo, football, hockey and golf. At the back of the station, to the West, is the Brigade Center, ideal for walks and picnic. The Cantonment area of Abbottabad is still very British. The European bungalows, the club, the church and cemetery are still there. Abbottabad is an hour's drive from Nathiagali, the summer capital of the North West Frontier Province, emerging steeply through beautiful valleys with trees right to the riverbed.

Ayubia Chair Lifts

A cluster of four small hill stations of Khanaspur, Khairagali, Changlagali and Ghora Dhaka is called Ayubia and was named after former President Ayub Khan. The complex is spread over an area of 26 KM. The central place of Ghora Dhaka has Chair Lifts, which gives a panoramic and mesmerizing view of the surrounding. Ayubia is 38 KM from Abbottabad.


Dungagali is a picturesque small resort situated on the slopes of the Mukshpuri hill (2,376 meters.). It commands a charming view of a series of wooded spurs projecting towards the river Jhelum on the western side. From Dungagali one can climb the 2,813 meters peak of Mukhshpuri, which is the highest Abbottabad, Pakistanpoint in the range. Natural springs abound on the slopes. It is 34 KM from Abbottabad.


Nathiagali is clad in pine, walnut, oak and maple trees, is the prettiest hill resort in the Galliat region. It can be approached both from Murree and Abbottabad. It is 32 KM from Abbottabad as well as from Murree. Nathiagali is 2501 meter above sea level and is surrounded by lush green lofty mountains. Breathtaking landscapes, spring water and fresh air make it one of the most peaceful hill stations in Pakistan.


Thandiani means “cold” in the local language. Therefore being a cool place it got the name of “Thandiani”. It is 2,700 meters above sea level on a small plateau surrounded by pine forests. This beautiful spot can easily be approached from Abbottabad, and is 31 KM from main Abbottabad City and 25 KM from Thandiani-Nathiagali crossing. The drive takes more or less 80 minutes from Abbottabad with lovely views on both sides of the road. The road rises more than 1,219 meters above Abbottabad. On the way along with tall majestic pine trees you come across groups of monkeys. The major place on the way is Kalapani at 23 KM from Abbottabad. It has a beautiful local Dak bungalow. Hule Ka Danna is about two KM North of Thandiani. It is one of the most beautiful glades in the region.

Thandiani offers lush green lovely views. At night the lights of Abbottabad District and Azad Kashmir are clearly visible. To the East beyond the Kunhar River, may be seen the snow covered mountain ranges of Kashmir, to the North and NorthEast, the mountains of Kohistan and Kaghan are sighted, to the NorthWest are the snowy ranges of Swat and Chitral.


Abbottabad was a city of British India, the headquarters of Hazara Division (then a district), and named after its founder, Major James Abbott. Abbott settled this district in 1853 after the annexation of the Punjab, and became its first Deputy Commissioner. It was an important military cantonment and sanatorium, being the headquarters of a brigade in the second division of the northern army corps. In 1901 the population of the town and cantonment was 7764. Before leaving Abbottabad, Major Abbott wrote a poem Abbottabad. Point of interest for Tourism in Abbottabad.