Kotli Sattian – A New Hill Station In The Pothohar Region
Kotli Sattian – A place gifted with beautiful getaways and mesmerizing forests on its way to becoming another hill station. Positioned near the banks of Jhelum River, Kotli Sattian is a subdivision of Rawalpindi. The region is shielded by Soan River from the southwest, while its northwestern division is near the queen of hill stations – Murree.
Boasting of captivating view of the hills, and cultural ethos that speak of simplistic living amidst nature and harmony – Kotli Sattian is home to a population of almost 100,000 people. The people of Kotli Sattian are referred to as Pahari people. The highest point being the Phofandi peak is over 7,035 feet above sea level and the lowest point 1,587 feet above sea level.
It is a land of inspiring natural beauty. To top it off, it’s the availability of numerous can’t-miss experiences ranging from camping, sightseeing to trekking which makes the place tenfolds worthwhile.
With its name derived from the mountain town as Kotli and the Satti, the delightful station standing only 50 km apart from Islamabad via Lehtrar Road is a real treat to the eyes. The terrain enjoys long and clear summers while winters are short, cold and mostly cloudy with the temperature dropping as low as 2 degrees. Keeping that in view, the best time of the year to visit Kotli Sattian is from March until December. It is interesting to know that Kotli Sattian is amongst one of the four places: Fort Munroe, Murree and Soon Valley, which experiences snowfall in winters.
Knowing its great potential, the Government of Punjab is all set to build the Tourism Highway which will link Murree, Kotli Sattian and Kahuta. Starting from lower Topa Murree to Chowk Pindori via Kotli Sattian, spread over 123.62 KM the, the cost amounting to 4051.660 (M), the road is a gateway to economic growth.
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Salient features of the road:
- Shortest possible road to connect New Murree to Panjpeer Rocks.
- Reduced traveling distance and time thus encouraging commute.
- Beautiful scenic view on either side of the road link throughout the passage.
- Stop Overs & Camping Sites on either sides of the track.
- Two beautiful natural water streams (flowing throughout the year) crossing the track.
- Rock Climbing Sites & Hiking Trails.
- A new transport & trade link between three tehsils and tourist destinations of district Rawalpindi.
- Facilitation of the local inhabitants leading to economic & tourism growth in this hilly belt of Punjab.
Timely completion of development schemes is the foremost priority of the Punjab government. Punjab Tourism for Economic Growth Project adds to the mega project by developing Destination Investment and Management Plans.
Once completed it will bring tremendous amount of relief to the people and increase the tourism potential exponentially by generating economic activities for the locals in the area. While facilitating the tourists and making their trip memorable, the initiatives will aid in better protection and conservation of natural/cultural resources.
That being said, if you are planning a trip to the God given beauty for retreat there are a number of things you should have on your list:
- Visiting Phofandi: One of the most interesting experiences to indulge in would be the Burj Trek which will lead you to the highest point, Phofandi. Once mounted, you will be facing the magnificent views of the Jhelum River and the scenic beauty of Azad Jammu Kashmir.
- Chevra Hills: On your visit, you do not want to miss the stop by Chevra Hills. If in winters you would witness snowfall coupled with rocks and exotic species of trees and wildlife.
- Climbing Forest Fire-watch Tower: Built to watch out for forest fires, only 0.8 Km away from the main road, the tower allows you to have an extensive view of the forest.
- Camping: There are a number of places ideal for camping for you to catch a glimpse of the Milky Way or the sunset. With winters approaching, you can camp and set bonfire. It’s a great idea to carry coals for barbecue and chai and of course, the essentials like blankets, pillows and sleeping bags to beat the cold.
- THINGS TO KEEP IN MIND WHEN VISITING KOTLI SATTIAN!
Before you set off here are some things you keep in mind:
- The Hill Station has only one fuel station as of now so make sure you fuel up your tank and carry extra fuel to avoid any inconveniences.
- The temperature drops significantly while driving up so carry a sweater or a shawl.
- Wear comfortable shoes.
The place itself is an experience of a lifetime and with the government mulling over the idea to make Kotli Sattian a new tourist spot to help reduce congestion in Murree, we cannot wait till it all happens and we have then found ourselves another retreat.
Fun Fact: Kotli Sattian Tehsil has the highest mountains after Murree in District Rawalpindi.
Munnaza Ahmad is a freelance writer and a communication specialist by profession. She can be followed @MunnazaAhmad on Instargam.