Shah Allah Ditta village is a peaceful sanctuary in Islamabad. This nature preserve is surrounded by Margalla Hills and date backs some 2400 years. It is located 15 kilometers away from the main Golra intersection. Shah Allah Ditta village has mind boggling ancient Buddha caves, huge banyan trees, water wells, fresh water spring and breathtaking green hills. These prehistoric limestone caves were under use by Hindu and Buddhist monks for meditation. These caves are named after a Mughal era dervish.
History Of Shah Allah Ditta
Apart from its Buddhist significance, legend has it that Alexander the Great used this channel to invade the subcontinent by defeating the local king Porus. Furthermore, the Shah Allah Ditta road is also said to be the path of Sher Shah Suri. Mughal rulers and other emperors used Shah Allah Ditta village as a path while travelling between Afghanistan and India.
These caves truly are representative of the prehistoric times. The Buddhist era murals dating back 2,400 years are still seen on the walls of the Shah Allah Ditta caves. The outer wall of Shah Allah Ditta caves present red toned paintings. These paintings are like drawings with red and black paint. This nature reserve has a great historical importance for a number of researchers, students, and archaeologists who often visit this place to carry out studies on different aspects of this popular heritage site. The exclusivity of this place is that it has not one but two caves which further divide into portions. These caves are organized naturally in the form of crescent on the tufa rock at Margalla foothills. This cliff seems to be situated at Margalla Hills and it has Taxila city on the back. This is just not it; there is more to this beautiful place. There is a running stream in the middle that pours into a manmade pond. There are stairs that lead into the water.
Amazing views of Shah Allah Ditta village
Shah Allah Ditta village was once a retreat for the ancient, but it is a refuge for the modern as well. It is a place with breathtaking views. Residents of twin cities can visit this place as it is a few minutes’ drive away for them. If you are a person who loves natural beauty and has interest in historic architecture, this is the ideal place for you to reflect on your thoughts and clear your mind. The tall banyan trees form a thick canopy. You can sit under their shade in hot summer heat for some relief. These banyan trees have longed roped swings attached to them; you can take those swings and enjoy the gusts of wind. These swings will definitely remind you of your childhood days.
Although Shah Allah Ditta village is not very well managed, there are a few restaurants for the tourists. There is a café named Sadhu’s Retreat where visitors from twin cities come to enjoy food with mesmerizing view of hills. This small area has quite a few facilities for the interest of visitors like rock climbing, trekking, archery and pant ball. You can also enjoy camping in the vicinity. Another interesting attraction is the recently opened Jhoolay Lal Zip-line.
This historic sanctuary demands government’s attention. Some of cave walls used to be covered with unique paintings made from red clay, but nearly all of them have faded away or destroyed by the visitors. This place has great potential. Recently held, successful Shah Allah Ditta Mela is a proof. Although Prime minister has approved funds for the maintenance but no practical work has been done yet.
by: Abeer Arshad