The Margalla Hills National Park was instituted in 1980 and is located in Islamabad, the capital of Pakistan. It comprises the Margalla Hills (12,605 hectares), the Rawal Lake, and Shakarparian Sports and Cultural complex. The hill range nestles between an elevation of 685 meters at the western end and 1,604 meters on its east.
The National Park is the most accessible in Pakistan due to its close proximity to the national capital, Islamabad. There are several hiking trails, with the most famous being Trail 3 and trail 5. It is also home to a large number of birds such as larks, paradise flycatcher, black partridge, shrike’s pheasants, spotted doves, Egyptian vultures, falcons, hawks and eagles. Reptiles such as the Russell’s viper, Indian cobra and saw-scaled viper are found here.
Margalla hills have beautiful torrents gushing down in the monsoon and also natural springs. Margalla has a variety of mammals, they include the leopard, gray goral, barking deer, wild boar, jackal, red fox and the porcupine among others.
The vegetation of the southern slopes is short stuttered, comprising deciduous and evergreen trees with diverse shrub growth. In the north, stand pines and groves of oak. The fauna is mainly Indo Himalayan, with some overlapping of Palearctic species. The birds found here are residents as well as winter migrants from higher altitudes of the north, spring and summer visitor for breeding, and short day transit species arrive in spring.