PESHAWAR: Over 70 tourists hailing from different walks of life enjoyed a day-long safari train tour to Attock Khurd.
A specially invited band performed music to welcome the guests at the platform of historic Peshawar Cantonment Railway Station. The picnickers were also presented bouquets on their arrival.
Officials of the Pakistan Railways and the Tourism Corporation Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (TCKP) warmly welcomed the tourists.
Attock Khurd, located in Attock district of Punjab, houses the historical Attock Fort built by the Mughal King Akbar in 1581. Bahram ki Baradari is another Mughal-era monument situated at the ridge of mountains on the southern side of the Grand Trunk Road near Attock Khurd.
“We provided government tourists a unique opportunity to avail an outing and at the same time we want to apprise them of the rich heritage and tourist spots of our country,” an official of TCKP told media as the decorated train started chugging towards the historic Attock Khurd.
The official said that this time the train tour had been arranged for the people hailing from the diverse strata of society so they could also enjoy recreational and entertainment opportunities.
He said that the activity was aimed at revitalising the train trip to historical sites such as Attock Khurd, Attock Bridge, Attock Fort, Indus River, promote the importance and awareness of tourism among the people and build a baseline for the domestic tourism.
Train tours had also been arranged for the minority and transgenders communities, orphan children in the past and would do so in future for other communities so they could know about the rich history, heritage, culture and tourist places.
The picnickers enjoyed the excursion when they passed through various railway stations including Pabbi, Nowshera, Khushal Kot, Akora Khattak, Jehangira, Indus River and Attock Bridge.
They were also briefed about the historic perspective of the train track and various railway stations.
As part of the joyride, the picnickers greatly amused with live instrumental music on this joyful excursion. Besides traditional rabab-managay, a number of fun-filled recreational activities and competitions were also arranged at the river bank like kite flying, camel ride, tug-of-war, uphill race, archery and making selfies.
Hailing the TCKP initiative, the tourists said that it was a good approach of the authorities to boost domestic tourism and provide entertainment opportunity to them.
They said the train tour was a source of enjoyment and learning experience for them s well.
The historical tourist resort complex of Attock Khurd is situated on the eastern bank of Indus River near the old iron girder bridge built in 1883, which connects Khyber Pakhtunkhwa with Punjab.
The Old British Railway Station built around 1880 with its magnificent stone masonry and beautiful Victorian architecture is set in a hilly backdrop of an area steeped in the romance of history.
The British established the North Western Railway Attock Khurd Resort as a popular fishing spot and hunting ground for the black partridge and wild fox. On the Western Bank is a tall First World War memorial in the shape of a .303bullet.
It was built in the memory of the men of the 40th Pathan Regiment, which took part in the Great World War. The Mughal Emperor Akbar built the grand Attock Fort in 1518 AD.