Murree

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Murree

مری
Sunset in hills-kpk.jpg
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Ayubia Picture22.jpg
Murree Mall.jpg
GPO Mall Road Murree.jpg
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Clockwise from top: Sunset over Murree's Holy Trinity Church, Ayubia National Park, General Post Office, view of valley and Mall Road, colonial-era Mall in central Murree, Patriata's Gondola Lift
Nickname(s): 
The Depot (British India), The White City
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Murree
Location within Pakistan
Pakistan location map.svg
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Murree
Murree (Pakistan)
Coordinates: 33°54′15″N73°23′25″E / 33.90417°N 73.39028°E / 33.90417; 73.39028 Coordinates: 33°54′15″N73°23′25″E / 33.90417°N 73.39028°E / 33.90417; 73.39028
CountryFlag of Pakistan.svg  Pakistan
Province Punjab
District Rawalpindi
Government
   MNA (NA-57) Sadaqat Ali Abbasi (PTI)
Elevation
2,291.2 m (7,517.1 ft)
Population
  Total233,471 [1]
Time zone UTC+5 (PST)
Union Councils 8

Murree (Punjabi, Urdu : مری, marī, meaning "apex" [2] ) is a mountain resort town, located in the Galyat region of the Pir Panjal Range, within the Rawalpindi District of Punjab, Pakistan. It forms the outskirts of the Islamabad-Rawalpindi metropolitan area, and is about 30 km (19 mi) northeast of Islamabad. It has average altitude of 2,291 metres (7,516 ft). [3]

Contents

Construction of the town was started in 1851 on the hill of Murree as a sanatorium for British troops. The permanent town of Murree was constructed in 1853 and the church was consecrated 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. [4]

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. [5] 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. [4]

Since the Independence of Pakistan in 1947, Murree has retained its position as a popular hill station, noted for its pleasant summer. Many tourists visit the town from the Islamabad-Rawalpindi area. [6] The town also serves as a transit point for tourist's visiting Azad Kashmir and Abbottabad. [7] [8] 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. [9] [10]

History

Murree or Marhee as it was then called, was first identified as a potential hill station by Major James Abbott (Indian Army officer) in 1847. [lower-alpha 1]

The town's early development was in 1851 by President of the Punjab Administrative Board, Sir Henry Lawrence. [lower-alpha 1] It was originally established as a sanatorium for British troops garrisoned on the Afghan frontier. [4] Officially, the municipality was created in 1850. [11]

The permanent town of Murree was constructed at Sunnybank in 1853. The church was sanctified in May 1857, and the main road, Jinnah Road, originally known as Mall Road and still commonly referred to as "The Mall"), was built. The most significant commercial establishments, the Post Office, general merchants with European goods, tailors and a millinery, were established opposite the church. Until 1947, access to Mall Road was restricted for "natives" (non-Europeans).

In the summer of 1857, a rebellion against the British broke out. The local tribes of Murree and Hazara, including the Dhund Abbasis and others, attacked the depleted British Army garrison in Murree; however, the tribes were ultimately overcome by the British and capitulated. [12] From 1873 to 1875, Murree was the summer headquarters of the Punjab local government; [11] after 1876 the headquarters were moved to Shimla. [4]

The railway connection with Lahore, the capital of the Punjab Province, via Rawalpindi, made Murree a popular resort for Punjab officials, and the villas and other houses erected for the accommodation of English families gave it a European aspect. The houses crowned the summit and sides of an irregular ridge, the neighbouring hills were covered during the summer with encampments of British troops, while the station itself was filled with European visitors from the plains and travellers to Kashmir. It was connected with Rawalpindi by a service tangas. [11]

It was described in the Gazetteer of Rawalpindi District , 1893–94 as follows:[ citation needed ]

The sanatorium of Murree lies in north latitude 33° 54′ 30″ and east longitude 73° 26′ 30″, at an elevation of 7,517 feet (2,291 m) above sea level, and contained a standing population of 1,768 inhabitants, which was, however, enormously increased during the [May–November] season by the influx of visitors and their attendant servants and shopkeepers. It is the most accessible hill station in the Punjab, being distant from Rawalpindi only a five hours' journey by tonga dak. Magnificent views are to be obtained in the spring and autumn of the snow crowned mountains of Kashmir; and gorgeous sunset and cloud effects seen daily during the rains [July–August]. Part of the station, especially the Kashmir end, are also well wooded and pretty.

In 1901 the permanent population of the town was 1,844; if summer visitors had been included this could have been as high as 10,000. Murree has received 9.1 Million in 2018 mostly in the tourist season that starts from early January and ends in mid October. Footfall remains hire in tourist months ranging from 20,000 to 25,500 tourists. Domestic T&T contributed PKR 89 Bn in Pakistan Contributing 30% of total Domestic T&T spending in 2018. Seasonal. Murree Economy relays heavily on tourism standalone 481,000 Jobs are created on an average in Murree every year. [4]

Climate

Murree features a subtropical highland climate (Cwb) under the Köppen climate classification. It is situated in the outer Himalayas, retaining high altitude. This type of area has cold, snowy winters, relatively cool summers with drastically escalated rain, in relation with lower altitudes, and frequent fog. Precipitation is received year round, with two maxima, first one during winter and second one at summer, July–August. Total mean precipitation annually is 1,897 mm (74.7 in). [13] Murree receives around 62.6 inches of snow per year according to a 13-year data.

Climate data for Muree
MonthJanFebMarAprMayJunJulAugSepOctNovDecYear
Record high °C (°F)17.2
(63.0)
19.8
(67.6)
23.0
(73.4)
26.0
(78.8)
32.0
(89.6)
32.2
(90.0)
31.7
(89.1)
27.2
(81.0)
25.6
(78.1)
25.0
(77.0)
22.3
(72.1)
21.1
(70.0)
32.2
(90.0)
Average high °C (°F)7.2
(45.0)
7.5
(45.5)
11.6
(52.9)
17.2
(63.0)
21.7
(71.1)
25.1
(77.2)
22.4
(72.3)
21.4
(70.5)
20.9
(69.6)
18.6
(65.5)
14.5
(58.1)
10.2
(50.4)
16.5
(61.8)
Daily mean °C (°F)3.7
(38.7)
4.0
(39.2)
8.0
(46.4)
13.2
(55.8)
17.3
(63.1)
20.6
(69.1)
19.1
(66.4)
18.4
(65.1)
17.2
(63.0)
14.3
(57.7)
10.3
(50.5)
6.3
(43.3)
12.7
(54.9)
Average low °C (°F)0.1
(32.2)
0.5
(32.9)
4.3
(39.7)
9.1
(48.4)
12.8
(55.0)
16.1
(61.0)
15.7
(60.3)
15.4
(59.7)
13.4
(56.1)
10.1
(50.2)
6.2
(43.2)
2.4
(36.3)
8.8
(47.9)
Record low °C (°F)−8.4
(16.9)
−10.6
(12.9)
−7
(19)
−3.3
(26.1)
0.6
(33.1)
3.6
(38.5)
8.9
(48.0)
10.0
(50.0)
6.0
(42.8)
1.1
(34.0)
−3.3
(26.1)
−10.5
(13.1)
−10.6
(12.9)
Average precipitation mm (inches)126.5
(4.98)
145.0
(5.71)
176.8
(6.96)
133.0
(5.24)
91.9
(3.62)
135.3
(5.33)
418.3
(16.47)
336.3
(13.24)
161.5
(6.36)
70.2
(2.76)
32.5
(1.28)
70.3
(2.77)
1,897.6
(74.72)
Source: NOAA (1961–1990) [14]

Ecology

A variety of rare animal species can be found in Murree, including the leopard, which inhabits the neighboring Galiyat region. Common animals include the rhesus monkey, wild boar, foxes and various species of birds, including the cheer pheasant and kalij pheasant. Murree gives its name to the Murree vole, a rodent species endemic to Pakistan. Murree's climate is unpredictable. It can change any time. [15]

Notable residents

Notes

  1. 1 2 The earliest British discovery of Murree, like many of the adjacent hill resorts in the Galyat range of the Hazara region, was first made by Major James Abbott in 1847. Please see Charles Allen Soldier Sahibs: The Men who made the North West Frontier London: Abacus Books, 2001 p. 141, ISBN   0-349-11456-0; and Journals of Honoria Lawrence eds. J.Lawrence and A. Widdiwis, London: Hodder & Stoughton, 1980 edition. For an account of Abbott's early time in Hazara and founding of Abbottabad, see Omer Tarin and SD Najumddin, "Five Early Military Graves in the Old Christian Cemetery, Abbottabad, Pakistan, 1853–1888", in The Kipling Journal (ISSN 0023-1738) Vol 84, No 339, p.35-52

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References

Murree Weather