Farkhanda Shahid Khan
BIOPHILIA is what makes you keen of
beauty, because nature carries the hues
of one’s inner self with it. Nature with its absolute beauty and creativity has power to intrigue mankind. If we see nature, while using the faculty of mind what we call ‘to observe’, we gain knowledge and acquire better understanding of existence. It is a combination of natural objects, or heaven for someone, and harmony for others, as American distinguished poetess puts it:
“Nature” is what we see—
The Hill—the Afternoon—
Squirrel—Eclipse—the Bumble bee—
Nay—Nature is Heaven—
Nature is what we hear—
The Bobolink—the Sea—
Nay—Nature is Harmony—
Nature is what we know—
Yet have no art to say—
So impotent Our Wisdom is
To her Simplicity” (Emily Dickinson)
Pakistan has the most incredible natural wonders and landscapes of picturesque splendor which give a creative outlook and a mesmerizing spiritual touch. Her capital city Islamabad, ranked second among the most ten beautiful capitals in the world, surrounded by the fabulous Margalla hills, is a leisure stroll for tourists. ‘Isloo-glamour’ is common among aristocratic clubs and the other circles of the town, where romance and politics go side by side. Lok Virsa Museum is a big cultural centre, and a tangible asset, preserving the folk culture and traditions of the land.
Moreover, the magnificent Faisal Masjid, a mosque-cum-university, is the city logo of Islamabad, and Pakistan Monument situated on western Shakar Parian hills is the landmark for visitors. Rawal Lake is another spot which shows a wonderful sunset view, analogous to the gathering of people on Stonehenge in Salisbury to view Solar Eclipse. Within such attractive sights, botanical research gardens in the city, are also working for the protection of biodiversity. Auxiliary to this, the green infrastructure of the capital with clean air and less carbon emission is providing a vigorous ecosystem to its inhabitants. With amusing cockcrows, totoucha flower in Rose and Jasmine Garden or to talk to a bird in nearby Aviary is a revitalizing and healing experience.
This sophisticated city, an epitome of beauty, is brimming with new life due to its well planned residential structure, super markets, skyline buildings, five star hotels, notable universities, Spas and the popular hilltop dining of Pir Suhawa. Its Jinnah Super Market is another attraction for the reading lovers due to big book stores, while National Library of Pakistan is a beautiful mix of ancient and the contemporary knowledge. On the other hand, Saidpur village, a historic countryside with a big Haveli, called ‘Photo Gallery’ of the colonial time period, with a gothic and macabre outlook presents a far-reaching account of this marvelous city. Furthermore, Blue Area is the business bay and economic nerve of the metropolitan. Aabpara and D-Chowk are the habitats of slogans and political power shows, while the journalists’ hub, National Press Club has reverence in itself.
Welcoming the foreigners and local elites, global flagship stores and cafes are located in Kohsar Market. This niche market is distinctive for daily groceries, dining, and leisure activities. Located within a close radius from Diplomatic Enclave and high-end localities of Red Zone, Kohsar Market is popular as meeting-junction for parliamentarians, broadcasters, diplomats and the gentry. Whether to play Polo or Tombola in the community, the prestigious Islamabad Club there, is exclusive social club providing all recreational activities with the finest privileges and amenities.
Among fresh water streams, dense forests and low sailing clouds, hiking trails in this charismatic city are the further natural wonders, which entice the hikers towards it, and the pleasure gets double, if it is drizzling as well. Seasonal rains are the impeccable time for the adventure lovers. With a solitary experience, hikers on these tracks encounter monkeys, reptiles, exotic birds and other animal species. Youngsters also organize camping during their dawdling travel. Music, bonfire and sleeping under the naked sky are the treats for these backpackers. Additionally, stunning spot of Daman-e-Koh, also called ‘Hill Top Garden’ heightens visitors’ experience. It is a point where Cheetahs and pigs are commonly seen during snowfall. Its green belts and diverse species of trees not only provide tranquillity, and a company of nature, but also add in environment to keep it cleaner and healthier. Moreover, it is a preserving place for flora and fauna of the country.
With already better climate index and quality air, Islamabad has become one of the least polluted cities of the world, especially in lockdown scenario amid COVID19. It is considered as ‘Queen of Capitals’ in diplomatic circle, where every nature lover wishes to be stationed. Candidly speaking, Islamabad is Beautiful.
—The writer is Lecturer in English Literature at GC University Faisalabad. Currently, she is a PhD Scholar.
Farkhanda Shahid Khan