Murree and the Galliyats
Murree is a colonial era town located on the Pir Panjal Range within the Murree Tehsil, Rawalpindi District in Punjab, Pakistan. It forms the outskirts of the Islamabad Rawalpindi metropolitan area, and is about 30 km (19 mi) northeast of Islamabad City. It has average altitude of 2,291 metres (7,516 ft).
Murree was founded in 1851 as a sanatorium for British troops. The permanent town of Murree was constructed in 1853 and the church was sanctified shortly thereafter. One main road was established, commonly referred to even in modern times, as the mall. Murree was the summer headquarters of the colonial Punjab Government until 1876 when it was moved to Shimla.
Murree became a popular tourist station for British within the British India, several prominent Englishmen were born here including Bruce Bairnsfather, Francis Younghusband and Reginald Dyer. During colonial era access to commercial establishments was restricted for non-Europeans including the Lawrence College. In 1901, the population of the town was officially 1,844, although if summer visitors had been included this could have been as high as 10,000.
Since the Independence of Pakistan in 1947, Murree has retained its position as a popular hill station, noted for its pleasant summers. A large number of tourists visit the town from the Islamabad-Rawalpindi area The town also serves as a transit point for tourist’s visiting Azad Kashmir and Abbottabad. The town is noted for its Tudorbethan and neo-gothic architecture. The Government of Pakistan owns a summer retreat in Murree, where foreign dignitaries including heads of state often visit.