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Murree Mall in Winter.jpg
Presidency: Bengal
Coordinates: 33.906905°N 73.395367°E
Altitude: 2,291.2 m (7,517 ft)
Present Day Details
Place Name: Murree
State/Province: Punjab
Country: Pakistan
Transport links

Murree (alternative spelling Murri) is a hill station in Punjab founded by the British in 1851.

The surrounding area of Murree Hills
Barian (Wikipedia) is situated in the Murree Hills, about 13 km north west of Murree, in the area known as the Galis (Gallis, Galies, Gallies, Gullies, Galiyat) where a number of small hill towns, many of which have Gali in their name, are situated along the crest of the ridge on the road that runs north from Murree to Abbottabad.[1] Galiyat is the plural of Gali which literally means an alley but in this case it probably alludes to a valley between mountains.[2] Barian Gali or Burean Gully[3] is probably the same place as Barian (Bharian). In 1901 this area became part of Hazara District , North West Frontier Province
Tret is situated 40 kilometers from Rawalpindi on the main road to Muree.
The location of Cherat or Charat is sometimes described as Murree, or Murree Hills, but this description is incorrect. Cherat is located near Peshawar.

Military history

Insurrection at Murree 1857


"The British began to establish summer camps for the troops in the Galliat area and by the 1880 Baragali, Kalabagh, and Khairagali were occupied by various artillery units. Gora Dhaka, Khanspur and Changlagali housed infantry units. Nathiagali and Dungagali were reserved for civil servants. Thandiani served as a hill station for the civil servants in Abbottabad. These summer camps (cantonments) had a mixture of permanent and semi-permanent buildings and were supplied by small bazaars to cater for the needs of the troops"[4]

In 1907:
"Murree is only a sanitarium. The mountain batteries go from Rawalpindi to the Hazara Galis. Clifden, Sunny Bank and Kuldannah form one cantonment. Clifden is, in summer, filled with a large number of women and children from Rawalpindi and Peshawar. A British Infantry Regiment is located at Kuldannah, and another in a temporary camp at Gharial, which also receives detachments from the summer garrison of Rawalpindi. Barian, on the borders of this district and Hazara, usually has a British Infantry Regiment from Peshawar or Nowshera".[5]

The Army summer camp known as Barian Camp appears to have developed into a more permanent cantonment . "Barian was a lovely one-battalion cantonment at six thousand feet".[6] In 1920 there was a RAF Hill Depot established at Lower Barian.[7]

Bara Gali about 40km from Murree, also was a small cantonment, occupied in the hot summer months by one of the British mountain batteries which were stationed at Rawalpindi in the winter.[8](Spelling variants: Bara Gali/Baragully)

Ghora Dakha was a small cantonment on the road between Dunga Gali and Murree, 3 miles from the former and 15 from the latter place. During the summer months it was occupied by a detachment of British infantry.[9] (Spelling variants Ghora/Gora Dakka/Dhaka)

Kalabagh was a small cantonment on the road between Abbottabad and Murree. During the summer months it was occupied by one of the British mountain batteries which were stationed at Rawalpindi in the winter. (Spelling variants: Kalabagh/ Kala Bagh)

Khaira Gali was a small cantonment on the road between Abbottabad and Murree, also occupied in the summer months by one of the British mountain batteries which were stationed at Rawalpindi in the winter.[10] (Spelling variants : Khaira/ Khair/ Khyra Gali/ Galli/ Khyragilly/ Khyragully)

There was a Rest Camp at Tret.

Khanspur was a hill station where a detachment of British Infantry were stationed during the summer months. (Spelling variants Khanspur/ Khan's Pur)

Thobba, Murree Hills was a hot season destination for regiments[11] and c 1899 there was a Convalescent Camp at Camp Thobba[12]

Military Hospitals

In 1899 the were military hospitals at

  • Bara Gali: 10 Beds
  • Camp Gharial: 40 Beds
  • Camp Thobba:14 Beds
  • Camp Upper Topa: 16 Beds
  • Camp Lower Topa: 25 Beds
  • Ghora Dakha: 30 Tents
  • Kalabagh: 15 Beds
  • Khyragully: 10 Beds
  • Kuldunnah: 60 Beds
  • Murree C.D: 43 Beds[13]

Postcards and photographs of the cantonments

A View of Cantonment General Hospital, Murree


Also see

Sites of Interest

The following are sites in and around the town.


  • Old Cemetery
  • Cliffden Road new Cemetery
  • Pindi Point New Cemetery

Images and Transcriptions from above three cemeteries in external links below.

See also:-

Also see "Historical books online", below.

Educational Institutes

  • The Lawrence College, originally called the Lawrence Military Asylum is situated at Ghora Gali, 4 km from Murree.
  • Convent of Jesus and Mary (originally boarding, now a day school). Dr Ali Jan’s Convent of Jesus & Mary Murree, now archived
  • St Thomas College, Murree, for boys, was opened in 1882[14], probably by the Capuchin Fathers, and was subsequently taken over by the (Roman Catholic) Mill Hill Missionaries [15]. However, it had probably closed by the 1930’s as there is no mention of this school in the entry for Murree in the Imperial Gazetteer of India, published 1909-1931
  • St Denys' School was the first Anglican Protestant School for British girls in the Murree Hills, established in 1882. Dr Ali Jan’s St Denys' School , now archived.

Volunteer Regiments

G Company, 1st Punjab Volunteer Rifles, had its headquarters at Murree, and was composed of cadets belonging to the Lawrence Military Asylum at Ghora Gali, near Murree.

H Company, 1st Punjab Volunteer Rifles contained civilian residents from Rawalpindi and Murree, and had its headquarter at Murree. In 1907 G and H Companies were "in strength 121 men, exclusive of officers"[5].

Ropeway at Patriata

There was a ropeway at Patriata of the heavy endless cable type, erected in 1910 for bringing firewood to the troops at Murree. This became the model for the Khyber ropeway erected in the Khyber Pass at the time of the 3rd Afghan War[16]

External Links

  • Murree Wikipedia
  • A letter written by Harry Beaumont, 1/6 East Surrey Regiment, No. 2297, from a collection of letters written by staff at the Audit office for the Great Western Railway (GWR) based at Paddington, London. The National Archives.
India: ‘the time of my life’ May 1915, written from Kuldana.

Historical books online

Punjab District Gazetteers, Vol.xxviiiA. Rawalpindi District 1907., Publicl Library of India Collection.
  • Gazetteer Of The Hazara District 1907. A volume in the series N W F Province Gazetteers., Public Library of India Collection.
  • "Murree" page 125 A list of inscriptions on Christian tombs or monuments in the Punjab, North-West Frontier Province, Kashmir and Afghanistan possessing historical or archaeological interest Part 1 by Miles Irving (1910) Hathi Trust Digital Library

Further Reading

  • Shaukat, Lala Rukh, "Mystique of Murree" Lahore: Ferozsons (Pvt) Ltd 2006 ISBN 969 0 01986 4. Article:Queen of the hills by Zahrah Nasir August 20, 2006


  1. "Murree and the Galis" by Hassan Humayun ( link)
  2. About Galiyat, The Pakistani Alps
  3. Google Books snippet view: page 129, Historical images of Pakistan by F. S. Aijazuddin
  4. ( link)
  5. 5.0 5.1 Page 228, computer page 251 Punjab District Gazetteers, Volume XXVIIIA, Rawalpindi District 1907, published 1909, available to read online on the Digital Library of India website.
  6. Google Books snipper search result: Unlikely beginnings: a soldier's life by Aboobaker Osman Mitha - 2003
  7. Snippet Google Books Military history of British India, 1607-1947 by Harbans Singh Bhatia, page 29 and Snippet Google Books The flying elephants: a history of No. 27 Squadron, Royal Flying Corps, Royal Air Force, 1915-69, page 96
  8. "Bara Gali" Imperial Gazetteer of India, Volume 6, page 425
  9. "Ghora Dakka" Imperial Gazetteer of India, Volume 12, page 236
  10. "Khaira Gali" Imperial Gazetteer of India, Volume 15, page 207
  11. Page 219 The Rifle Brigade Chronicle for 1897
  12. Navy and Army Illustrated June 17 1899, page 297
  13. Military Hospitals 1899 Retrieved 19 October 2014
  14. The magic mountains: hill stations and the British raj by Dane Keith Kennedy page 138 Google Books
  15. A Google Books search snippet from Into deserts: a history of the Catholic Diocese of Lahore, 1886-1986 by John Rooney c 1986 says: The Rome agreement provided that the Mill Hill Missionaries were to take over responsibility for the debts of St. Thomas College, Murree. Capuchin sources assess these at Rs.l. 00. Mill Hill sources say the debt amounted to Rs.25000.00. ... This book is available at University of Birmingham Library: Orchard Learning Resource Centre, Trinity College Dublin Library, Harvard University Library and UCLA Library
  16. Paper No 130 "Punjab Building Timbers and Methods of Extraction" by H M Glover IFS page 123 Proceedings of the Punjab Engineering Congress, Lahore, Volume 17, 1929. Article is pages 119-126b (total 18 pages pdf, including photographs of the Patriata ropeway.)