Natural beauty of Pakistan





Balakot
At a distance of 72 km from Abbottabad, Balakot is the gateway of the Kaghan Valley. It takes about one and half hours to reach Balakot from Abbottabad, passing through the busy town of Mansehra. The journey between Mansehra and Balakot is a charming experience. The black top road winds through beautiful green hills and the thick forest of Batrasi. Views from Batrasi towards Kaghan Valley are spectacular.

Balakot is a small town located on the bank of Kunhar River yet has tremendous historical significance. A famous battle was fought here between the Sikh Army and Muslim freedom fighters in 1831. It is here that Hazrat Syed Ahmed Shaheed and Hazrat Shah Ismail Shaheed sacrificed their lives here while fighting for the liberation movement. Balakot has faced more recent turmoil as well, as it was badly hit by the earthquake of 8th October 2005. Almost all the houses, hotels and shops were destroyed in this devastating tragedy, but because of its strategic location, Balakot has once again become a leading trading centre in Kaghan Valley.

Shogran

One of the most beautiful plateaus in the valley, is situated 34 kilometers from Balakot via Kawai. To reach this quaint place, take a side road on the right after passing through Kawai. From here it is a steep 8 kilometers to Shogran. The road is metalled and normal cars and vans can easily make the drive.

Surrounded by thick pine forests and with an altitude of 7747 feet, the summer climate of Shogran is very mild and pleasant. One of the nicer place to visit is Shogran’s forest rest house. From the rolling grassy lawns of the rest house, one can become immersed breathtaking panoramic views of snow covered mountains. Kaghan Valley’s highest peaks, such as Musa Ka Musalla (4419m), Makra (3885m) and Malika Parbat (5290m), are visible from here. For those sishing to stay the night or have a meal, there are a number of small and medium size hotels in Shogran.

A wonderful excursion from Shogran is a visit to Sari and Paya. A rugged eight kilometer road climbs 2300 feet through thick pine forest to the top of Paya ridge, a lush green meadow with spectacular view of Malika Parbat. One can also see varieties of wild alpine flowers on the rolling grassy slopes of Paya. Visitors can then hike up Makra (Spider) Mountain, which is 12743 feet from see level. From Paya, trekkers must climb around 2000 feet to reach the top of Makra, on the border Northwest frontier Provence’s Kaghan ValleyNeelum Valley. This mountain climb is recommended only for those who have previous experience in high altitude hiking, are familiar with the mountain wilderness safety rules and are properly equipped. and Azad Kashmir’s

Sari Paya
Sari is a small lake on the way to Paya. One can stop here for a while for rest and refreshment. This place also has a small forest rest house and some tea stalls. Travelers enjoy sipping hot tea from one of the stalls while soaking in the majestic views of snow covered mountains reflected in the lake.

Lalazar
Lalazar is an extremely picturesque pasture at an elevation of 3200m. It is linked to Naran by a 21 kilometers jeep track via Batakundi. Lalazar is a scenic spot with thick forests of pine and fir. The grassy mountain slopes are full of wild flowers.
A rest house and two very basic hotels provide food and drinks to day visitors from Naran. Limited accommodation facilities are also available here. Adventurers may prefer to camp at Lalazar as a base to ready themselves for the trek to Lake Saiful Muluk via Hans Gali.

Lake Saiful Muluk
At 10,500 feet, Lake Saiful Muluk is surrounded by impressive snow clad mountains and crowned by the summit of Malika Parbat (Queen of the Mountains). The highest peak in Kaghan Valley, the majestic Malika Parbat has a height of 5291 meters. Words cannot describe the beauty and serenity of the setting and picture postcards do no justice. The crystalline waters of Lake Saiful Muluk reflecting the surrounding snow peaked mountains is an image that must be seen in person.

There are several ways to reach the lake. Along the side of the valley to the east of Naran, a 10 kilometer track leads through a picturesque valley. A jeep can be rented in the bazaar and driven up in one hour, or the more adventurous can walk to a small glacier about 3 km up and hire a pony for about Rs.200/- one way. Walking the entire way is also an option, and takes about three hours for the 8 km trek. This option is only for those who are fit enough to climb about 3000 feet in eight kilometers.

1 comment:

Another Blogger said...

I love the picture of the rice field. In Indonesia there's a lot of place like that. I always like being out door with the fresh air.
Thanks for the picture and the post brother. Keep On Blogging!

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