murree apartment pakistan
murree apartment pakistan

Murree: Pakistan Charming Mountain Retreat with a Touch of British History

Discovering Murree: A Charming Mountain Retreat with a British Legacy

Nestled Amidst the Pir Panjal Range

Nestled amid the majestic Pir Panjal Range in Pakistan’s Punjab province is the charming town of Murree. Renowned for its natural beauty, rich history, and a climate that offers a delightful escape from the scorching plains, travelers have long loved Murree. In this in-depth exploration of Murree Pakistan, we’ll uncover its colonial beginnings, its transformation into a modern tourist hotspot, its captivating architecture, and the various facets of its enduring charm.

A Peek into Murree Pakistan’s Fascinating History

Colonial Origins: Major James Abbott and Sir Henry Lawrence

Murree’s journey as a hill station traces back to the mid-19th century during the British colonial era in the Indian subcontinent. Major James Abbott recognized the potential of this region as a haven from the relentless heat of the plains in 1847. However, Sir Henry Lawrence, the President of the Punjab Administrative Board, took the initiative in 1851 to develop Murree.

From Sunnybank to “The Mall”: Evolution of the Town

Originally conceived Murree as a recuperation center for British troops stationed on the volatile Afghan border in 1851. Construction work began and gained momentum with each passing day. By 1853, the permanent town of Murree, affectionately known as Sunnybank, had taken root. The consecration of the town’s church that same year marked an important milestone, signifying its permanence. Meanwhile, what is now known as “The Mall,” the town’s primary street, was taking shape, forming the backbone of Murree’s urban layout.

Colonial Life and Exclusivity

During this period of expansion, several commercial establishments, including the Post Office, general stores stocked with European goods, tailors, and a millinery, sprang up. This transformation saw Murree evolve into a bustling colonial hill station, with British residents mingling with visitors amid the scenic beauty. However, it’s essential to acknowledge that Mall Road had restricted access during the colonial era, excluding “natives,” or non-Europeans, from this central thoroughfare, a stark reminder of the rigid divisions of the colonial era.

Rebellion and Shifting Headquarters

1857 Rebellion: A Defining Moment

A significant event in Murree’s history occurred in the summer of 1857—the outbreak of a rebellion against British rule. Local tribes, including the Dhund Abbasis and others, launched attacks on the British Army garrisoned in Murree. Although the tribes put up spirited resistance, the British forces ultimately subdued them.

The Shifting of Headquarters

From 1873 to 1875, Murree played a pivotal role as the summer headquarters of the Punjab local government. However, in 1876, the government shifted its headquarters to Shimla, another renowned hill station in northern India. This transition solidified Murree’s reputation as a favored destination for Punjab officials and European families seeking refuge from the oppressive heat of the plains.

Enhanced Accessibility and European Ambiance

The introduction of a railway connection with Lahore, the provincial capital of Punjab, via Rawalpindi, enhanced the accessibility of Murree. Villas and houses accommodated English families, imbuing the town with a distinct European ambiance. During the summer months, the surrounding hills were adorned with encampments of British troops, while the town itself bustled with European visitors and travelers en route to the captivating realms of Kashmir. The journey from Rawalpindi to Murree, undertaken via tonga dak, was a mere five-hour endeavor, making it the most accessible hill station in the Punjab.

Murree Through the Eyes of Gazetteer

Geography, Climate, and Population

The Gazetteer of Rawalpindi District, compiled in 1893–94, provides an evocative description of Murree’s geography and climate. The town perches at a latitude of 33° 54′ 30″ north and a longitude of 73° 26′ 30″ east, commanding an elevation of 7,517 feet (2,291 meters) above sea level. During that period, the population of Murree stood at 1,768 inhabitants, though this number experienced a considerable surge during the May to November season due to the influx of visitors along with their retinue of servants and shopkeepers.

The Allure of Murree’s Climate

Winters in Murree Pakistan: A Snowy Wonderland

The winter season in Murree is marked by cold, snowy conditions. Average high temperatures fluctuate from 7.2°C (45.0°F) in January to 10.2°C (50.4°F) in December. Daily mean temperatures during the winter months range from 3.7°C (38.7°F) in January to 6.3°C (43.3°F) in December. These frigid temperatures provide the perfect canvas for heavy snowfall, which traditionally commences in January and lingers through February. Under this blanket of snow, the landscape transforms into a winter wonderland, making it an enticing destination for enthusiasts of snow sports.

Summer Respite in Murree

Summer in Murree Pakistan: A Cool Escape

With the receding winter, Murree awakens to a relatively cool and pleasant summer. Average high temperatures span from 14.5°C (58.1°F) in April to 25.1°C (77.2°F) in June. Daily mean temperatures during the summer months fluctuate from 10.3°C (50.5°F) in May to 20.6°C (69.1°F) in June. This moderate climate bestows Murree with a refreshing escape from the oppressive summer heat of the plains, rendering it a cherished destination for those seeking respite.

Murree’s Copious Rainfall

Rainfall in Murree Pakistan: Lush Greenery

Precipitation in Murree is evenly distributed throughout the year, exhibiting two notable peaks. The initial peak transpires during the winter months, while the second peak is observed in July and August. The annual mean precipitation hovers around 1,904 mm (75.0 inches), a generous sum in comparison to regions at lower altitudes. This copious rainfall contributes to the lush greenery and thriving flora that grace the town.

A Playground for Snow Enthusiasts

Substantial Snowfall and Winter Sports

One of the hallmarks of Murree’s climate is the substantial snowfall it experiences during the winter season. Traditionally, the town receives an average of approximately 62.6 inches (1,590 mm) of snow annually, based on data collected over a span of 13 years. Snowfall initiates in January and extends into February, blanketing the region in a pristine cloak of white. This transformation of Murree into a snowy paradise draws snow enthusiasts, who revel in a plethora of activities such as skiing and snowboarding. The serene, snow-draped landscape offers a tranquil escape from the cacophony of urban life, rendering it a must-visit destination for those enthralled by the allure of winter sports.

Tragedy Strikes: The 2022 Snowstorm

Weather Challenges and Safety Precautions

Notwithstanding its natural beauty and charm, Murree’s climate can also be unforgiving, especially during the winter season. In early January 2022, the town bore witness to a tragic incident in which over 20 individuals tragically lost their lives while attempting to reach Murree amid a severe snowstorm. This incident served as a stark reminder of the challenging weather conditions that can prevail in this mountainous region. It underscores the paramount importance of adequate preparation, caution, and adhering to safety guidelines when traveling to such destinations, particularly during adverse weather conditions.

Modern Murree: A Thriving Tourist Hub

Continuing Appeal Post-Independence

Since Pakistan achieved independence in 1947, Murree has steadfastly retained its status as a popular hill station. Its proximity to the Islamabad-Rawalpindi metropolitan area bestows upon it the distinction of being a convenient and coveted destination for both local and international tourists. Residents of the twin cities of Islamabad and Rawalpindi frequently embark on journeys to Murree to bask in its cooler climate and natural grandeur.

Architectural Splendor of Murree Pakistan

Colonial Heritage Preserved

One of the captivating facets of Murree lies in its architectural charm. The town boasts an eclectic fusion of Tudorbethan and neo-gothic architectural styles, a tangible testament to its colonial heritage. The buildings in Murree bear witness to the town’s historical significance during the British Raj. The town’s unique architectural ethos, characterized by ornate facades and intricate detailing, enhances the overall enchantment of Murree. Visitors are invited to traverse its streets, where they can admire the well-preserved structures that serve as living relics of a bygone era.

Accommodation: Apartments, Villas, and Hotels

Options for Every Traveler

For travelers seeking a comfortable stay in Murree, the town offers a range of accommodation options, catering to various preferences and budgets.


Murree boasts several apartment complexes that provide a home away from home experience. These apartments typically come furnished and equipped with modern amenities, making them ideal for families or larger groups. They offer the flexibility of self-catering and a cozy ambiance.


If you’re looking for a more spacious and private accommodation option, villas in Murree offer an excellent choice. Many villas are nestled amidst lush greenery, providing a serene retreat. They often come with gardens and outdoor spaces, allowing guests to unwind in nature’s embrace.


Murree is home to a variety of hotels, ranging from boutique establishments to larger, well-known chains. These hotels offer a wide range of services and amenities, including restaurants, room service, and concierge services. They cater to travelers with diverse needs, ensuring a comfortable and convenient stay.

Must-Visit Landmarks in Murree Pakistan

Exploring the Town’s Treasures

In addition to its natural beauty and historical significance, Murree boasts several notable landmarks and attractions that are worth exploring during your visit:

Pindi Point

This scenic overlook provides breathtaking views of the surrounding hills and valleys. It’s an ideal spot to capture stunning photographs and take in the panoramic beauty of Murree.

Kashmir Point

Named for its views of the nearby Kashmir Valley, this viewpoint offers a tranquil setting for relaxation and contemplation. It’s particularly enchanting during sunset when the sky is painted in hues of orange and pink.

Patriata (New Murree)

Located a short distance from Murree town, Patriata is renowned for its chairlift and cable car rides. Visitors can enjoy a thrilling journey through the lush green forests, offering a unique perspective of the landscape.

Mall Road

Despite its colonial history, Mall Road is now a bustling commercial hub where visitors can shop for local handicrafts, clothing, and souvenirs. It’s also dotted with restaurants serving a variety of cuisines.

The Mall

This historic road, reminiscent of the British colonial era, is ideal for leisurely strolls. It’s lined with shops, cafes, and charming architecture, providing a glimpse into Murree’s past.

The Murree Expressway: A Scenic Drive

The Gateway to Adventure

The Murree Expressway offers travelers an enchanting journey through picturesque landscapes, winding its way from Islamabad to Murree. Along this route, you’ll encounter several noteworthy spots:


Located on the way to Murree, Bhurban is famous for its five-star hotels and the Pearl Continental Bhurban, a luxurious retreat nestled amid the hills.

Golf Courses

Bhurban is home to some of Pakistan’s most scenic golf courses, where golf enthusiasts can enjoy a round amidst lush greenery.

Nathia Gali

A short detour from the expressway leads to Nathia Gali, another charming hill station known for its hiking trails and cool climate.

Nathia Gali Church

This historic church, dating back to the British era, is a testament to the town’s colonial heritage and architectural elegance.

Conclusion: Murree’s Timeless Allure Beckons

An Enduring Gem in Pakistan’s Tourism

In summation, Murree stands as a living testament to the harmonious amalgamation of natural splendor, colonial legacy, and contemporary tourism. From its inception as a British colonial hill station to its present-day status as a sought-after tourist destination, Murree continues to captivate visitors with its indomitable charm. Whether one seeks respite from the summer’s sweltering heat, the thrill of winter sports, or simply a glimpse into history through its colonial architecture, Murree offers a wealth of experiences. Despite the passage of time, this captivating mountain retreat remains an enduring gem in Pakistan’s treasure trove of tourist destinations, beckoning travelers to explore its timeless allure.

Embark on the Journey

So, pack your bags, embark on the scenic journey along the Murree Expressway, and discover the enchantment of Murree—a place where history, nature, and modernity converge to create an unforgettable experience.

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