Islamabad - Trail-3 of Margalla Hills National Park has been the main attraction for a large number of visitors from twin cities of Rawalpindi and Islamabad due to its unique plants along the route as compared to other trails of the parks.

With the advent of spring season, especially March and April, it is the time to enjoy Kachnar buds as vegetables as these would become beautiful white flowers at a later stage. Eventually, it adds to natural beauty of the track.

Hiking and towering the trail, visitors were seen busy plucking Kachnar buds of sizeable quantity as cooking stuff. A group of children, hailing from nearest villages were also seen collecting Kachnar buds for their families, besides selling these at Rs 80 per Kg in different markets of the federal capital.

A visitor from Rawalpindi, Muhammad Yousaf said that he always preferred Trail-5 due to water streams and with the onset of spring season he opted for Trail-3 due to its alluring natural beauty, besides collecting Kachnar. “After every week I visit Margalla Hills to enjoy its natural scenes and beauty and return with full quantity of Kachnar buds for my family,” he added.

Another visitor from the Capital, Imdad Hussain said that his family regularly visits the Margalla Hills as a part of healthy activity for keeping them fit and active. On weekends, their family starts collecting Kachnar buds from trees along the route, from down to top during hiking, he added.

He said, “On return from the top of the mountains, we all have a sizeable quantity of Kachnar buds which will nutritionally enrich the dinner for family, relatives and dear ones.”

Nasima Ejaz said that “health is the wealth” that’s why she regularly visits the beautiful hiking tracks of Margalla Hills.

Plants of different fruits and vegetable such as Kachnar, loquats and other are blessings of Allah Almighty, she added.

A vegetable shop owner at F-8 Market, Muhammad Sajid said that this year produce of Kachnar buds was very low and its price has increased from Rs 50 to Rs 80 per kg. Chopping of Kachnar trees is also a reason of its low harvest in the city, he added.

Medical specialist Dr Khizar Hayat said, “No doubt an activity is better than none but hiking has special health benefits.”

He said that it has been observed the people who go for hiking are more active, energetic and enthusiastic as compared to other people.

“Regularly hiking not only brings good and positive impacts for the mental and physical health, but also strengthens the immune system,” he added.