The last time I visited Simly Dam was probably somewhere in early August 2003. The bad news is that the place hasn’t changed much. Simly Dam is about 43 kilometers from where I live currently i.e. E-11/4, Islamabad.
Yes, the biggest change that has indeed come is not in the ambiance or the route to the destination, rather it has come in my personal life i.e. I had two children then and now Al-hamdullilah I have three. And I must hasten to add that we do have ‘Green Star’ offices in the neighborhood. Actually I wanted to have a daughter and after having this lovely fairy we call Ayesha, we called it a day!
(On the way to Simly Dam)
This time around I visited the place again in early April 2009 with the notion that things would have changed and I will probably not get a good parking place in the vicinity of the dam.
A little bit of background:
The Simly Dam is the largest reservoir of drinking water to people living in Islamabad, the capital of Pakistan. The water stored in this dam is fed by the melting snow & natural springs of Muree hills.
The route to the dam is quite boring actually. On the way to Muree, one passes through the small village of Bara Kahu, a place which I love to call ‘Twelve Cows’. You need to make a right turn here and after passing through pot holed roads which could be quite uncomfortable to you and devastating for your car; you hit another small village called ‘Phul Garan’ literally meaning ‘Flower Village’.
Another 10 – 15 kilometers from this village where houses are cropping up like nobody’s business, you end up at Simly Dam. Back in the eighties, most of the water supply to Islamabad was coming from this particular dam. I wonder where the water is being channelized these days, though.
(The fanatic Shaikh family before the sumptuous biryani feast)
The dam is tucked away in a nice, sleepy area where there are hardly any passer byes leave aside tourists. It is such a shame that this place could be developed into such a beautiful little family picnic abode but probably since it is outside the jurisdiction of Islamabad Capital Territory (ICT) limits therefore CDA does not seem to be interested in developing it.
The children were of course not allowed initially to get into the water since none of them knew how to swim in the first place. We took lunch with us and before anything else we all feasted on the sumptuous biryani made by my better half. After stuffing our faces, we headed for the waters and the children enjoyed making their feet wet.
(The younger Shaikh brats near the water; Mohsin & Ayesha)
There is only one guest house in Simly Dam operated by CDA (Capital Development Authority), Islamabad. Before you plan to stay here, you need to have permission to stay & visit this beautiful guest house from CDA Head Office located in Islamabad.2
About 100 meters before the Simly Dam, a road goes directly to Gulahrra Gali, Patriata. Beside this road, there are small cities like Crore and Bun operated by MKDA (Muree Kahuta Development Authority). After you cross Crore and Bun, you can directly reach Gulharra Gali, Patriata.3
(The Shaikhs at Simly Dam)
After having lunch and making our feet wet, there was not much left for us to do since we did not intend to stay here overnight & thus returned home with sweet memories of the trip probably to return after two to three years.
1. Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Shaikh Muhammed Ali
‘The Wandering Dervish’
Note: This article was first published on the Internet in June 2009.