Rawalakot Travel Guide

Get to know Rawalakot, a city tucked away in Azad Kashmir, Pakistan. Explore its best attractions, enjoy delicious local cuisine, and learn about its vibrant culture with our comprehensive tour guide.

Introduction to Rawalakot

Rawalakot, a hidden gem tucked away in Azad Kashmir, Pakistan, is a picturesque destination that offers a unique blend of natural beauty, cultural heritage, and warm hospitality. Surrounded by lush green hills, Rawalakot is known for its breathtaking landscape, pleasant weather, and a serene environment.

Apart from its scenic beauty, Rawalakot is also home to a rich cultural heritage dating back to centuries. Its museums, historical places, and local festivals offer a glimpse into the city’s vibrant past and its people’s culture.

List of Places to Visit in Rawalakot

Rawalakot has a lot to offer in terms of sightseeing and adventure activities. Here are some of the must-visit places in Rawalakot.

Culturally Important Attractions: Museums and Historical Places

  • Poonch Art and Culture Center: The center is a treasure trove of ancient artifacts, manuscripts, art, and craft that provide an insight into the region’s cultural heritage.

  • Toli Pir Temple: A famous Hindu temple situated on the top of a hill overlooking Rawalakot. The temple is dedicated to Lord Shiva and attracts a large number of devotees every year.

  • Red Fort Rawalakot: An ancient fort built by the local Raja in the 16th century that offers a glimpse into the region’s history and architecture.

Natural Attractions of Rawalakot: Outdoor Adventures and Scenic Views

  • Banjosa Lake: A picturesque lake surrounded by pine trees and snow-capped mountains. Boating and other water sports activities can be enjoyed here.

  • Toli Pir: A majestic hill station known for its scenic beauty and cool climate. It offers panoramic views of the surrounding mountains and valleys.

  • Banan Valley: A popular tourist spot known for its natural beauty, streams, waterfalls, and lush green meadows. It is an ideal spot for hiking and camping.

Hiking/Biking Routes of Rawalakot

Rawalakot offers some thrilling biking and hiking routes, which offer scenic views and a chance to explore the natural beauty of the region. Some of the popular routes are:

  • Rawalakot to Toli Pir: A moderately difficult hike that offers breathtaking views of the region’s natural beauty.

  • Rawalakot to Jandali: An easy to moderate hike famous for its scenic views and the local flora and fauna.

  • Rawalakot to Banjosa Lake: A popular biking route that offers a chance to explore the region’s natural beauty while enjoying an adventurous ride.

Best Things to Do in Rawalakot: Activities and Tours

Apart from sightseeing, Rawalakot offers plenty of adventure activities and tours that can be enjoyed.

  • Paragliding: Experience the thrill of flying over the scenic hills and valleys of Rawalakot.

  • Camping: Enjoy a peaceful night under the stars amid the breathtaking natural scenery.

  • Fishing: Go fishing in one of the many streams and rivers near Rawalakot.

Week-Long Itinerary for Rawalakot

Here’s a week-long itinerary that covers all the major attractions in Rawalakot:

Day Activity
Day 1 Arrival in Rawalakot
Day 2 Visit Poonch Art and Culture Center, Red Fort Rawalakot
Day 3 Hiking at Toli Pir, Visit Toli Pir Temple
Day 4 Visit Banjosa Lake
Day 5 Explore Banan Valley
Day 6 Paragliding, Camping
Day 7 Departure from Rawalakot

Food and Drink Scene of Rawalakot

Rawalakot has a diverse food scene that reflects the region’s cultural heritage. Here are some must-try dishes and local beverages.

Must-Try Dishes

  • Goshtaba: A traditional meatball dish made of mutton and spices.

  • Khatta Meat: A popular meat curry made with yogurt and tangy spices.

  • Chapshurro: A type of bread stuffed with spiced meat and rolled into a ball.

Local Beverages

  • Kahwa: A traditional Kashmiri tea made of green tea leaves, cinnamon, and cardamom.

  • Shikanji: A refreshing lemonade made with sugar and mint leaves.

Where to Stay in Rawalakot: Hotels, Hostels, and Guesthouses

Rawalakot has a range of accommodation options that cater to all budgets and requirements. Here are some of the best options:

  • Pine View Hotel: A luxurious hotel known for its scenic views, spacious rooms, and excellent hospitality.

  • Hotel Sun Beam: A mid-range hotel that offers comfortable rooms, modern amenities, and great food.

  • Greenview Guesthouse: A budget-friendly guesthouse that provides comfortable rooms and friendly service.

What to Buy in Rawalakot: Souvenirs and Local Products to Bring Home

  • Pashmina Shawls: Handwoven shawls made of the finest wool.

  • Walnut Wood Carvings: Intricately carved wood pieces made from walnut wood.

  • Dry Fruits: Fresh, locally grown dried fruits like apricots, figs, and almonds.

Local Culture and Customs of Rawalakot

The people of Rawalakot are known for their hospitality and warm-heartedness. They take great pride in their cultural heritage and celebrate various festivals throughout the year. Visitors are expected to respect local customs and dress modestly.

Best Time to Visit Rawalakot

The best time to visit Rawalakot is from May to October, when the weather is pleasant and outdoor activities can be enjoyed.

Do’s and Don’ts of Rawalakot


  • Respect local customs and traditions.

  • Dress modestly while visiting mosques and religious places.

  • Carry a valid ID with you at all times.


  • Drink or smoke in public places.

  • Disrespect local traditions or customs.

  • Enter restricted areas without permission.

Safety and Health

Safety in Rawalakot

Rawalakot is a safe and peaceful city. However, visitors are advised to take basic precautions like keeping their valuables safe and avoiding isolated areas at night.

Health in Rawalakot

Rawalakot has a good healthcare system with several hospitals and clinics. Visitors are advised to carry their necessary medication and take precautions for water and food hygiene.

Getting to Rawalakot: Transportation Options and Logistics

Airports Near Rawalakot

The nearest airport to Rawalakot is Islamabad International Airport, which is around 150 km away from the city. From there, visitors can hire a taxi or take a bus to Rawalakot.

Bus Stations Near Rawalakot

Rawalakot is well-connected by road with major cities like Islamabad, Lahore, and Karachi. Visitors can take a bus from these cities to Rawalakot.

Other Options

Private taxis are also available from major cities to Rawalakot.

How to Get Around in Rawalakot

The best way to explore Rawalakot is on foot or by hiring a local taxi. Buses and minibusses are also available for longer distances.

Where to Go Next from Rawalakot: Nearby Destinations and Excursions

  • Muzaffarabad: The capital city of Azad Kashmir, known for its beautiful scenery, ancient forts, and local markets.

  • Neelum Valley: A scenic valley known for its lush green forests, meadows, and streams.

  • Pir Chinasi: A famous religious tourist spot that offers breathtaking views of the surrounding landscape.


Rawalakot is a hidden gem of a tourist destination that offers a unique blend of natural beauty, cultural heritage, and warm hospitality. With its picturesque landscape, adventure activities, and cultural attractions, Rawalakot is a must-visit destination for travelers seeking an authentic and off-the-beaten-track experience.