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Islamabad Holidays Overview
Islamabad is the capital of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan.
The city whose name translates as ĎAbode of Islamí is the tenth largest city in Pakistan.
Islamabad is located in the Potohar Plateau which is located in the North West part of Pakistan. The city is located within the Islamabad Capital Territory which is located at the cross roads of the Punjab region and the North West Frontier Province. This area has much historical importance as it was one of the main routes used by various invaders like Alexander the Great and the Mughals to access the Indian subcontinent.
The Potohar Plateau is often regarded as a cradle of ancient civilizations as archeological digs conducted here have unearthed the evidence of prehistoric cultures that existed here centuries ago. The relics and human remains that have been found here indicate that this region was home to people of the Stone Age who lived in settlements along the Swaan River around 5000BC.
The modern settlement of Islamabad is located on the site of an ancient Sikh town known as Saidpur which was an important trading center. The British annexed Saidpur in 1849 and built Asiaís largest cantonment on the site of this town.
Islamabad has functioned as the capital of Pakistan since 1963. Initially after the partition of the Indian subcontinent in 1947 and the creation of the new state of Pakistan, Karachi was declared as the capital of Pakistan. In the 1960ís, the then president of Pakistan, Ayub Khan after consulting with a specially set up commission decided to shift the capital of Pakistan to Islamabad for a variety of reasons.
He wanted the development process which up until then had been concentrated solely on the port city of Karachi to be shared by other cities, Karachi was vulnerable to an attack from sea in the event of a war with arch-enemy, India and Islamabad which was located inland and was surrounded by mountains was more secure. Also Islamabad had a far more agreeable year round climate than Karachi.
A Greek firm of architects called Konstantinos Apostolos Doxiadis was then entrusted the job of creating a master plan for this new capital city. The firm drew up a plan in 1960 which was based on a grid system. Following this the city was built using local services and talents though over the years nearly 17 major changes have been made to the master plan of Islamabad.
Today Islamabad is one of the cleanest and best planned cities in Pakistan which is divided into eight self-sufficient zones each of which is equipped with its own shopping area and a park. In the early years of its existence Islamabad was mainly occupied by federal government employees and the city had a rather sterile and dull ambience but in recent times this has changed as the city has begun to attract diverse people from all over the country. In fact the city is also used as a base by tourists who travel to northern parts of the country like the Swat valley and other areas in the Himalayas.
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holidays - Top Events
The city of Islamabad celebrates most of Pakistanís religious festivals like:-
This religious festival is celebrated at the end of the Muslim holy month of Ramadan on the first day of Shawwal. Like all festivals, this event is also celebrated in the company of friends and family and involves the purchasing of new clothes, feasting of good food and exchanging of gifts.
Eid Ul Azha
This day is also known as the Festival of Sacrifice which falls on the 10th day of the month of Dhul Hijja of the lunar Islamic calendar. This festival is celebrated over three days and involves the sacrifice of a sheep, goat or cow to commemorate the willingness of Ibrahim to sacrifice his son Ismael as an act of obedience to God. This event also marks the end of Haj or the annual pilgrimage to Mecca which is undertaken by thousands of Muslims every year.
This is another religious festival which is celebrated by Muslims all over the year. Muslims believe on the night of Shab-e-Barat , Allah(the almighty) determines the destinies of all people for the following year by taking into account their actions of the past. This festival also features prayers, the exchange of sweetmeats, fireworks and visits of family and friends.
Aside from these religious festivals the city also holds elaborate celebrations for national holidays and other events.
Pakistan Day which is celebrated on the 23rd of March every year to commemorate the anniversary of the Pakistan resolution passed by the Muslims of South Asia on March 23, 1940 at Minto Park is celebrated with a grand parade in Islamabad.
Lok Mela is a celebration of folk culture which is held at various venues Islamabad during the first week of October. The celebrations feature folk music and dance performances, music contests, the exhibition and sale of handicrafts. The festival also gives tourists and the local people a chance to observe the native craftsmen at work as they create their wonderful creations.
holidays - How to Get There
Airlines like Etihad and Qatar airways provide air links to Islamabad from Australian cities like Sydney and Melbourne. The flight time of these journeys depends however on the route that you choose to take and the stops that you are compelled to make.
Australiaís high commission is located in the capital of Pakistan, Islamabad.