CITY OF ABBOTTABAD
HEADQUARTERS of Hazara Division
A refreshing view of the valley of Abbottabad from atop Shimla Hill
Abbottabad, the headquarters of Hazara Division, situated at an altitude of 1,225 m (4002 ft) above sea level and surrounded by refreshing green hills of Sarban, is one of the best-known hill resorts of Pakistan. It is situated on the Karakoram Highway (Silk Route) to China, 120 Km from Rawalpindi/Islamabad and 205 Km from Peshawar. The climate is temperate with 4 distinct seasons-spring, summer, autumn and winter. The summer is pleasant while the winter is moderately cold with occasional snowfall. The city is non-industrial, situated in the green Orash valley and is free from environmental pollution. It has a population of over 300,000.
Like Hazara, Abbottabad has seen many invasions from outside by the conquering forces of diverse races, tribes and kingdoms. The modern city of Abbottabad was founded by Major Abbott, the British deputy commissioner of Hazara (1849 to 1853) during British rule in the subcontinent. Major Abbott is credited with making major changes in the administrative setup in the region, so that after his departure, the city was named after him. The British maintained a sizeable military presence here, evidenced even today by the Pakistan Military Academy (PMA), which has remained as the major training academy for military officers. The PMA provided fame to Abbottabad for many years, prior to the recent development of the city, from a non-industrial backward area, to a busy modern business, economic and academic centre. The creation of Ayub Medical Complex has once more brought the city into the national limelight and spurred a lasting chapter of growth and development.
Views of rural & urban Abbottabad - the transition took place in the last 25 - 30 years
Abbottabad has a natural beauty endowed by its location amid surrounding mountains and high altitude. It is neither too cold in winter, nor too hot in summer and enjoys a refreshing spring season. Gradually it has become one of the most sought after summer resorts of Pakistan.
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Views of the famous Chinar trees in Abbottabad
Some of the varieties of foliage seen in Abbottabad
With the arrival of modern amenities such as good roads, telephone and telegraph, natural gas, internet, modern banking, small scale industry, etc., the city has been transformed to a thoroughly livable and year-round pleasant dwelling place for all kinds of inhabitants. People have flocked from all parts of the country to settle here, build houses, and start business and commerce. The easy approach to Islamabad and Peshawar has helped the growth of the city tremendously. The Karakoram Highway or 'Silk Route' which links Abbottabad to Northern Areas of Pakistan and further to China, has increased trade and tourism.
Abbottabad boasts the highest number of educational institutions in the country per population or area. The literacy rate is also among the highest in the country. Two other medical colleges in private sectors are already established with one in the pipeline. Besides PMA, Abbottabad Public School, Army Burn Hall, Beacon House and some other very famous educational institutions are situated here.
Visitors and tourists are pleasantly surprised to note the abundance of good hotels, restaurants, dining places and tourist facilities.
A sketched map of Abbottabad
More Abbottabad Pages