Daman-e-Koh is a prominent tourist attraction and a viewpoint in the heart of Margalla Hills, located to the north of the capital city, Islamabad. The name “Daman-e-Koh” is a blend of two Persian words “Daman” and “Koh” which together mean “Lap of the Mountain”.
Historically Daman-e-Koh was established in the early 80s and was later developed with modern amenities in 2007 as a major tourist point under the leadership of Kamran Lashari. It is located at an elevation of 2400ft from the sea level and almost 500ft from the city of Islamabad.
While driving from Islamabad to Pir Sohawa – another attraction and viewpoint at the top of the Margalla Hills at an elevation of 3600m – Daman-e-Koh serve as the midpoint. It is a popular and a must-visit point for tourists visiting the capital city and for local residents who visit the site frequently. Its cool climate attracts voluminous visitors during summers, especially on weekends. The weather at Daman-e-Koh and Pir Sohawa always remain pleasant.
There are two major spots – the northern viewpoint and the southern lookout. The northern viewpoint is adjacent to the parking lot with tuck shops and a café catering to the needs of visitors. With a spacious parking lot and other amenities for visitors including eateries, private benches and tables on the carpeted grass under shades of green trees, electric powered cars to shuttle visitors to the northern viewpoint, Daman-e-Koh has always been filled with tourists.
The southern viewpoint located at an elevation provides a panoramic view of Islamabad. Telescopes are installed for keen observers. The tourists experience an exclusive view of the Seventh Avenue, Faisal Mosque, the Centaurus towers, Blue Area, Shakar Parian Hills, Rawal Lake, and Rawalpindi city to the south on a clear day.
The Margalla Hills are a great bird sanctuary and while travelling by car or hiking through different tracks, one can see different bird species. Moreover, Margalla hills are home to monkeys and during winters when it snows heavily, there are chances that one can sight the Cheetah.
The road to Daman-e-Koh and Pir Sohawa is quite adventurous and scenic with every turn giving a panoramic view of the city and surroundings. At only 5km from the Zoo, taking 15 to 20 min by car, Daman-e-Koh is a well-managed tourist attraction.
Daman-e-Koh and Pir Sohawa are also accessible through various hiking trails with each trail given specific name ranging from Trail 1 to Trail 6. Trail 2 starting from the Zoo (starting either side of the Zoo as both trails meet up) leads up to Daman-e-Koh and it hardly takes 40 minutes.
- Do not walk through the hills all alone.
- Do not enter the hills very early or when it is dark.
- Do not make a fire in the jungle.
- Always follow the trail.
- Never try to disturb wildlife.
- Dress properly
- Do not litter in the hills.