Shahdara Valley, also known as Shahdara Picnic Point, is one of the most famous picnic points in Islamabad that is ideal for family visits. It is situated approximately 8 kilometres away from Barakahu and 16 kilometres away from the main city.
It is located on the valley floor below the Margalla Hills, with a striking cold-water stream.
Moreover, this valley is surrounded by lots of green areas, freshwater streams, mountains, and a rock climbing point. Additionally, the weather is usually pleasant, which is why people often come here during the summer season to escape the scorching heat (especially since the water provides a refreshing backdrop).
It is advised to visit as early as possible in the morning and depart the area well before dusk. That gives you plenty of time to explore the place, as well as visit any surrounding areas.
If you want to avoid busy crowds, you can plan a visit during the weekdays instead of the weekends as that is when most tourists come.
There is also a splendid picnic area in the vicinity of Shahdara Valley, which always attracts a number of tourists, particularly on the weekends. You can either pack your own food and have lunch at this spot or visit the popular Shahdara Valley Restaurant.
These also serve traditional snacks like ‘pakoras’ and ‘samosas’ with tea, which you can enjoy while admiring the view. You can even sit on chairs or ‘charpai’ that have been seated right on the water. Pack some open-toed shoes with you, and additional clothing for any children with you.
Location of Shahdara Valley
Shahdara Village is situated 7 kilometres away from Barakhao, 10 kilometres from Aiwan-e-Sadr, which is the official residence of the President of Pakistan, and 15 kilometres from Faizabad.
The village of Shahdara can also be found in close proximity to Quaid-e-Azam University. Hence, it is easily accessible through direct routes from several main areas of the city.
Activities at Shahdara Valley
You can take part in a variety of activities that await you in Shahdara Valley. Those aged between 8 and 15 can participate in rock climbing; by utilising boulders as stepping stones, a steep slope has been scaled and developed for this purpose.
In addition, there is a play area for children that is equipped with different rides and swings for them to enjoy. Climbing and trekking are popular activities for adults in this area.
The picnic spot at Shahdara Valley encompasses a large area that comprises green meadows, steep mountainsides, and a glittering stream.
You can drive far into the valley in your vehicle to take in the beautiful sight. When they are in full bloom, yellow amaltas dot either side of the road, which makes the scenery even more breathtaking.
How to Visit Shahdara Valley From the Twin Cities
Even though Shahdara Valley is located away from the hustle and bustle of the city, it is in proximity to areas like Bani Gala (which is just a half hour’s drive away) and Barakahu (which is just 20 minutes away).
For residents of Rawalpindi, however, it can take up to one hour and fifteen minutes to reach Shahdara. Despite the long distance, the journey is not too difficult due to the well-structured, straightforward routes.
Just make sure to go there during the day and return before sunset as it may be hard to navigate the roads at night.
Restaurants in Shahdara Valley
Apart from the numerous restaurants lined up in Shahdara Valley, there is one unique restaurant named Hidden Terrace.
There is a private seating area here, right in the middle of the moving river stream. People indulge in mouthwatering meals while dipping their toes in the chilly water at the same time.
Other Things to Note
The tips listed below can also help you plan your trip to Shahdara Picnic Point:
- You can pack a telescope so you can observe any wildlife in the area.
- Be sure to wear comfortable shoes like boots or running shoes as a lot of walking is involved and the rocky path might cause your feet to get injured.
- Use an ice box to store juices and other beverages, especially if you are visiting during the summer season.
- You should always make sure to protect yourself from the sun by applying sunscreen.
Because the water is clean and refreshing, the Shahdara Valley Picnic spot in Islamabad is a place that should not be missed, particularly if you are looking to plan a summer getaway.
For more guides on popular tourist areas in the capital city, visit the Graana blog.