Nilan Bhotu Chilla gah Islamabad is a perfect site for an early morning stroll or bike ride. At this time the weather is cooler and the Sun looks beautiful rising in front of you over the mountains of Murree, in the distance.
Nilan Bhotu History
There was a significant Hindu population in the jungles of the Islamabad area before the city was established. Nilan Bhotu is on of those villages that housed hindu population. It is actually a valley just behind Margalla hills in Islamabad. This village connects Islamabad to Murree and Abbottabad district.
Nilan Bhotu Islamabad Map
The stroll starts at Sangada town, Pir Sohawa , near Igloo Grill restaurant. You’d have to turn right and drop down into the valley.
Road and trek Nilan Bhotu Chila Gah
The road that leads to Nilan Bhotu Chilla gah Islamabad is gravel-filled and quite wide. You can easily walk, drive or cycle your way to the place.
Security for Hikers at Nilan Bhotu
Early in the morning people are barely awake and generally, the area is quite peaceful
The total time is taken for the Nilan Bhotu
It would take you 1.5 hours to walk to Nilan Bhotu chilla gah; it would take 20 minutes to drive or cycle there.
Things to see at Nilan Bhotu Chilla Gah
There are several hiking routes that pass through Nilan Bhotu Chilla gah.
- Nilan Bhotu Fish Pond
- The Nilan Bhotu Village
- Valley forest and Saffron fields
- Chila Gah (meditation site)
- Further hike from Nilan Bhotu to Tret Murree,
- Hike from Nilan Bhotu to Rakhala through Phrilla Forest rest house.
Nilan Bhotu Distance from Rawalpindi
The Nilan Bhotu Valley is 45 Kms from Rawalpindi Saddar. It is an old meditation site of some peers who lived here centuries ago.
Route to Nilan Bhotu
We have to climb towards Monal Restaurant on Pir Sohawa highway and further on to a place called Sangada (close to Hilander club). Just short of Sangada, there is a small turn right from the village bazaar, onto a road that leads into a valley right up to Nilan Bhotu Village. Further ahead is a dirt track that connects this road to Murree.
Transport to take to Chilla Gah
- Hike on Foot
- Lots of cyclists use this track to off-road on mountain bikes.
- I have gone there twice, once on my 4×4 vehicle
- mountain bike.
Beauty of Nilan Bhotu Village Islambad
It is a beautiful place, especially the pine trees, clear water, and the lovely peer’s meditation place at Nilan Bhotu village. Normal cars may not be able to get there.
While I was biking there with my buddies, a foreign lady fully decked in biking gear toppled off her bike and fell a full 360 degrees forward. So the track is tricky. The Centre of Gravity has to be ensured.
The road to the village is thicky forested on both sides. After a short drive, the track opens up into a valley with thick forestation on either side. A beautiful clear water stream runs through the bed. I had to switch to 4×4 to get my pickup through to the other side.
This valley is green and serene. The saffron fields look lovely in the green background. Not too many people visit the place due to its relative inaccessibility. The peer’s meditation site on top of a natural pointed stone formation, on the bank of a clear stream below, is breathtaking.
Pir Meditation Site
The site has a lot of trees too which adds to the serenity. We went up to the peer’s site and had a bird’s eye view of the surrounding. Then we walked towards the pond where there were lots of fish.
Sacred Fish Pond
Apparently, the local legend says that anyone catching this sacred fish dies! So no one even tries. I saw one-foot fish swimming inside. It’s fun feeding the fish and the ducks. There are no shops in the village except a small kiosk to get chips and biscuits. No tea stalls either. The locals are friendly and come up to chitchat. They even offer free tea to tourists.
Driving further ahead from the village about half an hour, we connect to the main road going towards Murree. We stayed there for a few hours and walked in the pond with fish and the ducks.
Lunch at Sangada (pronounced Sangra)
After that, we turned back to reach Sangada by late lunchtime. We ordered karahi at one of the restaurants with a beautiful view and had much-needed hot tea. On the return journey, we stopped at various sites to see the lovely landscape, on the pir sohawa road.
Party Central Highlander Resort
Some folks also visit the highland country club which is very close to Sangada. The coffee there is nice. Food is just okay, but the location is outstanding. Reaching the club is a little difficult as the cemented road is steep.
Lots of people hang out at this place on weekends to relax and sometimes to party at the numerous guesthouses and condos available on rent.
Other places to see around Margalla hills are:-