Editor’s Note: Rare black & white photos of Rawalpindi dating back to 1880s are in the last portion of this page.
Brief History: Rawalpindi, locally known as ‘Pindi’, is Pakistan’s prominent city located near the capital, Islamabad. Rawalpindi and Islamabad are called Twin Cities. The name ‘Rawalpindi’ means the abode of Rawals. The Rawals, a jogi tribe, founded ‘Rawal’ at the site where Rawal Dam is located. When Jhanda Khan, a Ghakkar Chief , founded a new town nearby, at the site of an old town known as ‘Fatehpur Baori’ he named it ‘Rawalpindi’. In 1765, a Sikh Chief Malik Singh, after a fierce battle with Gakhars, took the control of Rawalpindi. In 1849, Rawalpindi came under the British Raj and the pace of development increased rapidly.
Army’s General Headquarters (GHQ) is also located here. Rawalpindi is a thriving city ideally located between the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Province and Azad Kashmir. This city is a Gateway to Northern Areas. Tourists, mountaineers and local travelers use it as a transit city before traveling towards Gilgit-Baltistan Province in the north. Islamabad’s Benazir International Airport is also located in Chaklala area of Rawalpindi Cantonment.
A collection of images of Rawalpindi , a mix of old and new photos, is presented on this page exclusively for Pindi lovers.
Fauji Fertiliser Tower, The Mall, Rawalpindi.This newly constructed multi-storied building is just opposite Army Hockey Stadium.
Army Welfare Trust Plaza, The Mall, Rawalpindi.Army Welfare Trust (AWT) Plaza is located on the Mall Road, Rawalpindi. It houses headquarters of Askari Bank, while offices of other corporate entities of Army Welfare Trust are also located in this building.Infantry Officers’ Mess, Rawalpindi Cantt. One can also see the AWT Plaza, The Mall, in the background. Photo by WestendRaider.
Night View of KFC and Namak Mandi Restaurant in Saddar. This building is located at the intersection of Murree Road and Adamjee Road in Saddar, Rawalpindi. Photo by Hamadraza.
Flashman’s Hotel, The Mall, Rawalpindi
Intersection of Kashmir Road and Adamjee Road in Early 1960s.It is the intersection of Kashmir Road and Adamjee Road near GTS Stand (Its building is clearly visible behind Capstan signboard). This photograph has been taken from the Massey Gate side. The Tonga Stand on the left of Capstan signboard is still there but now it is Suzuki Stand. The Esso Petrol Pump is no more there. A tyre repair shop is in its place now.
Intersection of Kashmir Road and Adamjee Road. A mosque has emerged in the corner but GTS Bus Stand and Tonga Stand are still there. Esso petrol pump on the left side has vanished. New high-rise Poonch House building is visible in the background.Video of Rawalpindi.It is a short video from YouTube showing different places of Rawalpindi.
Jinnah Park with Cinepax at the Background
Chandni Chowk, Rawalpindi (April 2012)
Committee Chowk, Murree Road. While Committee Chowk underpass was under construction.
Kamran Market, Saddar, Rawalpindi
Poonch House. Poonch House is located on Adamjee Road, Rawalpindi Saddar, adjacent to old GTS Bus Stand. It is the property of Government of Azad Kashmir.
Railway Station, Rawalpindi
“Calcutta House”, Adamjee Road, Rawalpindi Cantonment. The building accommodates Ministry of Defence offices. Photo by Khalid P Marwat.
A Beautiful Mosque at Gulshan Dadan Khan, Rawalpindi
Pearl Continental Hotel. Pearl Continental Hotel (formerly Inter Continental Hotel) is located on The Mall Road, Rawalpindi. It is a five star hotel which serves continental and local cuisine.
Old British Cousulate Building at Rawalpindi. This building was British Consulate on Iftikhar Janjua Road (Old Napier Road) when Rawalpindi was interim capital of the country for ten 10 years 1959-1968. Later this building was named “Fauji Manzil” and hosued a library and some offices of Fauji Foundation. They too have vacated it after construction of Fauji Tower at Tipu Road. Photo by Khanpride.
Oldest Building of State Bank of Pakistan Rawalpindi. Situated at Napier Road (now Iftikhar Janjua Road), this building was known as Imperial Bank of India before Partition. After the Partition, National Bank of Pakistan Main Branch was accommodated by this building for some time. State Bank’s Rawalpindi Office was established in 1959 and remained housed here before it was shifted to newly constructed building at The Mall Road on 1st September 1965 (now called as Old Block). Another New Building was constructed in the early 90s at the place where once this elegant building situated. This picture was taken from the old British Consulate building (Later ‘Fauji Manzil’). Photo by Khanpride.
Old Block of State Bank of Pakistan, Rawalpindi (Facing The Mall Road). State Bank of Pakistan, Rawalpindi was shifted to this building on 1st September 1965 (now called as Old Block). Another New Building, adjacent to this building (facing Iftikhar Janjua Road) was constructed in the early 90s. Both the buildings are now in use by the bank. Photo by “S.A.Q”.
New Building of State Bank of Pakistan, Rawalpindi (Facing Iftikhar Janjua Road). This Building, facing Iftikhar Janjua Road, adjacent to the Old Block, was constructed in the early 90s. Both the buildings are now in use by the bank. Photo by Khanpride.
Yaadgar-e-Shuhada, Rawalpindi. It is located within the boundary walls of GHQ in the memory of all Shaheeds of Pakistan’s Armed Forces. Foreign dignitaries visit this site and lay flower wreaths.
Army Museum, Rawalpindi
Kashmir Road, Rawalpindi Saddar in 1976
The Mall Road, Rawalpindi. It is a famous road of Rawalpindi, the other prominent road is Murree Road.
The Mall Road, Rawalpindi in 1976. Both of the buildings, opposite Pindi Club shops, are still in tact.
An Old Milestone at The Mall Road, Rawalpindi. This old milestone is located on The Mall Road, Rawlpindi, opposite Flashman’s Hotel (near Army Hockey Stadium). Murree Road originates from this very place. The distances on this marker were originally in miles but were later changed to kilometres when Pakistan reverted to the metric system.
The Mall Road is actually a part of Grand Trunk Road (G.T. Road) which is also called ‘Jernaili Sarak’. It was made by Sher Shah Suri and connected Delhi to Kabul. G.T. Road, while passing through Rawalpindi, has three different names; its part from Katchery Chowk to High Court is called Jhelum Road, the portion from Katchery Chowk to MH & AFIC (Military Hospital & Armed Forces Institute of Cardiology) is known as The Mall, and the portion onward towards Kohinoor Mills is called Peshawar Road.
Milestone on The Mall, Rawalpindi – 1930s. In this photo, the Milestone, opposite the Flashman’s Hotel on The Malll, can be seen from a distance (The Milestone is encircled). This picture was taken around 1930s. One can also see the sign of Murree Road, which originates from The Mall.
Saint Paul’s Church, The Mall Road, Rawalpindi. Saint Paul’s Church is located in front of Army Hockey Stadium in a corner at the intersection of Mall Road and Murree Road. This elegant building was built in 1908 during British Raj era. Due to its pink colour, on can’t miss it while passing through the Mall.
Lal Haveli. The Lal Haveli, located in the bustling centre of Rawalpindi near the famous Raja Bazar, is owned by Sheikh Rashid Ahmad, a politician and former Federal Minister. The Lal Haveli is one of the most visited attractions in Rawalpindi. The magnificent building and the tastefully designed interiors of Lal Haveli attract the attention of tourists.
Ayub Park at Topi Rakh, Rawalpindi
Ayub Park, Rawalpindi
Car Chowk, near Safari Villas-1, Rawalpindi. Photo contributed by Jalal Hameed Bhatti.
Holy Family Hospital
Pir Mehr Ali Shah Arid Agriculture University Rawalpindi. It is also known as Barani University.
Fatima Jinnah Women University. Fatima Jinnah Women University (FJWU) is the first Women’s University of Pakistan. It was established on August 6, 1998 in the premises of the Old Presidency, situated at the Mall, Rawalpindi. This Victorian style building was originally built as a residence by two famous Sikh brothers, Mohan Singh and Sohan Singh. It became the Presidency of Pakistan around the mid 1960’s. The first batch of students from FJWU graduated in September 2001.
Gordon College. Gordon College, Rawalpindi is the oldest college of Rawalpindi. It was established as a Christian school by the Presbyterians in 1893. The college had many learned professors and principals. One of the most popular principal was Dr. Ralph Randles Stewart who died in 1993 at the age of 103. He joined the Gordon College in 1911 to teach elementary Botany and Zoology. He served as Professor in Botany (1917-1960) and Principal of Gordon College from 1934-1954. Gordonians can read more here about Gordon College.
Some famous Gordonians are; Shaukat Aziz (Former Prime Minister of Pakistan), two former Prime Ministers of Azad Kashmir (Ch. Muhammad Sulatn and Sardar Sikandar Hayat Khan) and Sheikh Rashid Ahmad, a former Federal Minister.
Stamp Issued on Centenary of Gordon College. Pakistan Post issued a stamp in 1993 on the centenary of Gordon College, Rawalpindi.
Government College, Asghar Mall. College’s history is very old. It was ‘Sanatan Dharam’ School, established by a Hindu Trust in 1904. The present building shown in this photo was constructed in 1914. After partition, the status of school was raised to status of a college on October 19,1948 and so The
Government College Asghar Mall Rawalpindi emerged.
Government College for Women, Satellite Town
Rawalpindi Medical College, Tipu Road. Established in March 1974 at Faisalabad, the college was shifted to its present premises in November the same year.
Rawalpindi Medical College, New Teaching Block at Holy Family Hospital
Army Medical College, Rawalpindi
Rawalpindi College of Commerce
Saint Mary’s Academy, Tulsa Road, Lalazar
Odeon Cinema, Rawalpindi. Located near Cantonment Board Office, The Mall Road, Rawalpindi. Photo by Tariq Khan.
Plaza Cinema Rawalpindi. It is across the road from Army Welfare Trust (AWT) Plaza on The Mall Road, Rawalpindi.
Nicholson’s Obelisk (or ‘Nicholson’s Memorial’), Tarnol, Rawalpindi. It is a monument situated at Tarnol in Margalla Hills close to the twin cities of Rawalpindi–Islamabad en route to the historical town of Taxila. It was erected in 1868 in honour of Brigadier-General John Nicholson, a famous military figure of the British Empire. The granite obelisk, approximately 40 feet (12 m) tall, stands on a rock overlooking the G T Road (Grand Trunk Road). There is also a small memorial fountain at the base of the hillock on which this Memorial stands.
Hustle Bustle in Raja Bazar, Rawalpindi
Shezan Restaurant, Kashmir Road, Rawalpindi-1960s. Shezan Restaurant used to be opposite GPO in Saddar. It sold yummy chicken patties.
A Road in Saddar-1964/65. Intersection of Kashmir Road and Haider Road, Rawalpindi, with American Centre on the right?
Drug Store, Saddar, Rawalpindi. This is 1960s photo of Drug Store which was located at the intersection of Haider Road and Kashmir Road. Walji’s Stop was next to it where one could board on a VW microbus for going to Islamabad. Its no more there. Now a mattress shop exists in its place. Photo contributed by Shaban Malik.
Kashmir Road, Rawalpindi-1960s. It is the intersection of Bank Road and Kashmir Road. Kwangson & Co Footwear signboard is clearly visible. The Chinese owner of the shop used to make flying shoes of Aviation pilots serving in Dhamial Camp.
Double Decker Bus at Chandni Chowk, Rawalpindi- 1963. Photo contributed by Lt Gen Tahir Mahmud Qazi. He took this photo in 1963 with his 120 mm Box Kodak camera which was gifted by his elder brother who was a doctor in Saudi Arabia.
Parade of Pakistani Security Guard at Rawalpindi- December 1947. (Photo Courtesy Life Magazine). Members of the newly formed Pakistani Security Guard marching past troops of the regular Pakistani Army during parade review for Quaid-e-Azam, who did not attend due to illness. Spire of Saint Paul’s Church, located in in a corner at the intersection of The Mall Road and Murree Road, is also visible at the background.
Pakistan Army Soldiers in Rawalpindi, December 1947. Members of the Pakistani regular Army raising their left hand in answer to the slogan “Pakistan Zindabad” during parade review for Quaid-e-Azam who did not attend due to illness, but was replaced by the Minister of Refugees. (Photo Courtesy Life Magazine)
Fawara Chowk-1940s. This picture was taken in 1940s and shows Fawara Chowk, near Raja Bazar. The photo is taken from the Raja Bazar side. The Tonga stand, seen in the foreground, is no more there.
Queeen Victoria’s Statue, Rawalpindi-1939. Queen Victoria’s Statue was sculpted in England and placed in Rawalpindi during British Raj. It was there in front of Army Stadium Gate No. 1. It was later removed and shifted to British High Commission in 1957. See some large size photos of Queen’s statue at The Mall, Rawalpindi…
Lalkurti (Red Shirt) Bazaar, Rawalpindi, 1920s. The name Lal Kurti (Red Shirt) has been derived from the red-coloured dress worn by the troops of the Royal British Indian Army. The Lal Kurti Bazaar was formerly known as B I Bazaar (British Infantry Bazaar).
A Rare Photo of The Mall Road, 1915
British Cavalry Barracks, Westridge, Rawalpindi, 1910
Saddar Bazar, Rawalpindi-1910. This photo was taken from the top of the Massey Gate. Haathi Chowk can also be seen at the end of the road.
Another Rare Postcard Painting of Saddar Bazar Rawalpindi
Motor Show held at Viceroy’s Body Guards Polo Ground at Rawalpindi- 1907. Natives called the motors as Shutar-e-Bay Mohar. They also called them Shaitani Charkaha.
Lockhart’s Memorial, Rawalpindi- 1900. General Sir William Stephen Alexander Lockhart was a British Army officer. He was Commander-in-Chief, India. He died of malaria whilst serving in office in Calcutta on March 18, 1900. Soldiers and their families paid for the construction of an obelisk in a Park on Peshawar Road, Rawalpindi. It is now called Roomi Park and located near AFIC, opposite MH (Military Hospital). The Memorial is still in tact but the cannon is not there.
The Mall Road, Rawalpindi-1890
A Rare Painting of Pindi Club on a Postcard
Rare Picture of Rawalpindi Club, The Mall, 1890s. The verandahon the left side has now been covered and converted into a small library and a Barbar Shop for the Club members.
Massey Gate, Saddar, Rawalpindi. Jain Public Library was on the top of this gate. Probably present day Indus Automobiles shop is at the place of Massey Gate. The street has been renamed as Adamjee Road.
Another Rare Photo of Massey Gate Street, Rawalpindi
A Rare Photo of Massey Gate Street, Rawalpindi. See a rarer photo of Massey Gate Street….
Rawalpindi Railway Station-1885
An Extremely Rare Photo of Rawalpindi Railway Station, 1884
Rare Photo of Rawalpindi in 1884. 2nd Cheshire Regiment at Rawalpindi Camp, 15th February 1884.
Rare Photo of a Street in Rawalpindi in 1883
An Old Photo of Pindi Club – 1877. Photo shows Out gate of Pindi Club which was on Canning Road, while the main entrance was from The Mall Road. Now the main entrance is from the Canning Road and the view of The Mall Road has been blocked by the construction of Plazas.
Sardar Sujjan Singh’s Haveli, Rawalpindi. Located at a walking distance from Raja Bazar. This haveli was a grand palace. This haveli’s present dilapidated condition can be seen in the next photo.
Sardar Sujjan Singh’s Haveli in a Dilapidated Condition. Due to the criminal neglect by the City District Government Rawalpindi, Sardar Sujjan Singh’s haveli is fast turning into ruins. We have simply no sense of preserving our heritage.
Click the following picture to see the Mementos and Photos that stir memories of good old ‘Pindi’.
Click the following picture and read the latest nostalgic articles about the life in ‘Pindi’ in the 1950s, 60s & 70s.
Photos of Punjab
Nostalgic Memories of Rawalpindi
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