Kaghan valley The
Kaghan Valley is located in Northern Pakistan northeast of Hazara, NWFP. It's
one of the valleys that's relatively easy to reach from Rawalpindi /
The mountain scenery, the dales, lakes, water-falls, streams and
glaciers are the main reason to come here. The Valley extends for 155 km
rising from an elevation of 2,134 meters to its highest point, the
Babusar Pass, at 4,145 meters. Further north from Babusar Pass, a jeep
track leads to Chilas, which is now on Karakoram Highway. Before
Karakoram Highway was opened in 1978, the only road access to Gilgit was
through Kaghan Valley.
Kaghan valley is a very beautiful & attractive valley. That's why it is
called virtual paradise, unbelievably in pristine state and still
unspoiled by the human. You'll find the Himalayan peaks hidden with
clouds or snow, somewhere you'll find the beautiful fairy tale lakes,
which will attract you toward them, and you might decide not to leave
this at any cost. Where Kaghan is full of scenic beauty there it is full
of thrill and excitement for the mountaineers and treks.
Kaghan Valley is a 155 kms long scenic wonderland. Lofty peaks crown the
mountains ranges on either side like turrets, ranging in height from
12,000 to 17,000 ft and more, with the eastern range higher than the
western. The bed of valley slopes up from 3,000 ft at Balakot, which, as
it were, the gateway of the valley, to 12,000 ft at Gittidas beyond
which the valley crosses at Babusar Pass 14,000 ft. The first ten miles
or so are largely barren, but when the valley raises to about 5,000 ft
forests of pine and fir appear, densely overgrown with a variety of
plants, which has won for Kaghan the epithets of 'the botanists
paradise'. The forests continue till about Naran 8,000 ft.
The road from Balakot ascends along the Kunhar River through lovely
forests and the villages of Paras, Shinu, Jared and Mahandri. The valley
is somewhat narrow along this stretch and the views are limited but as
you ascend, the surrounding peaks come into view. One spot that is quite
famous for its spectacular view and scenery is 'Shogran'. This village,
surrounded by peaks and forests, is east of the main Kunhar River. It
hosts the famous Siri-Paya mountain with breathtaking views at its top.
Road goes along the river Kunhar, meandering now to one side and now to
the other. But keeping most to the bed of the valley and never too far
above the bank of the stream except in the very first state.
Balakot :Kaghan valley starts from Balakot, which is famous for
the Mausoleum of two Muslim warriors Syed Ahmed Shaheed Brelvi and Shah
Ismail who laid their lives fighting against Sikhs in the 18th century.
Balakot is situated at the foot of the mountains that goes thousands of
feet above. The toy huts, which are amazingly perched on their slopes.
On other side is the Kunhar River, which accompanies you all along your
journey. The river is muddy in the plains but as you go towards the
mountains it becomes clearer. The road to Kaghan is frightening because
on your left are the deep slopes to the river and on your right are the
Kawai : 13 miles away from Balakot to Kaghan is Kawai in these 13
miles you'll reach the altitude of 4000 feet starting from 3000 feet
which means that you have covered 1000 feet of altitude in just 13
miles. The main place here to visit is Shogran, which is 5 miles jeep
able trek now in these 5 miles you'll go up another 3000 feet. Now you
are 7000 feet above the sea level and rightly so because Shogran means
"Forest in the sky". You'll be able to view the some of the lofty peaks
from here, which are " Moosa Ka Musalla " and " Makra "having height of
14000 feet, and Malika-e-Parbat (Queen of the Mountains) (17000 feet).
Then comes Mahandri village the altitude here is 5,800 feet now the
landscape and the scene changes here and becomes wilder the river
Mahandri is still with you but you'll feel it much closer to you.
Another 11 miles from here is the village Kaghan at 7000 feet is the
wonderland here river is 800 feet below the road.
Naran : is the middle point of Kaghan Valley and it is a place
where you defiantly want to spend few days of your leisure. This is the
place of out-door pleasure. Here you'll depart from the river Kunhar and
on both sides of road there are vast fields. Don't look here and there
the melody you are hearing is provided by the river Kunhar who is with
you on same level. If you like climbing this is a place for you because
there are mountains all around you. You can explore the scenic and
pictorials landscape and valleys by climbing up hiking. If you like
fishing get your fishing license we have trout and mahasheer for you
fishing here for tourist is must.
Lake Saiful Maluk : Five mile away another 3000 feet above the
Naran is Fairy Tale Lake Saiful Maluk the lake is accessible by jeep or
by tracking because there is a mere trek to reach the lake. It is almost
impossible to describe the beauty of this lake, which is like mirror at
the altitude of 3200 meters. The Queen of the Mountains is standing in
the east and looking her image in the mirror of Lake Saiful Maluk. You
can spend few days here to monitor the guards of lake, which are
towering peaks and spread all around the lake.
Malkandi Forest: 8 miles on the western slopes of Kaghan is
Kamalban, a heavily populated forest of black bears and leopards, which
do incalculable harm to the crops and young trees. Killing a bear is a
big game and you'll get reward for shooting down a bear from forest
officer as well as from the peasants. Besides these you'll be able to
find Muskdeer, thar and goral, Chikore and Himalayan pheasants all over
the valley. And if you'll go a little higher you'll be able to find red
bear, snow leopard and ibex and occasionally a snow partridge or Ram
Chikore or Murgh-I-Zarrin.
Lulu Sar Lake :48 kilometers away from Naran, on Naran-Babusar
road is Lulu Sar Lake which is wreathed in blue and gold wild flowers,
and is the main source of river Kunhar. Near Gittidas is the 11,000 feet
high Lulusar Lake out of which river Kunhar issues anew with redoubled
strength to flow down the valley first as placid blue stream and then a
roaring torrent until it joins the Jhelum. Lulusar has very enchanting
beauty and its view remains in the mind of tourist for a long time. The
is surrounded by snowcapped hills whose purple and white forms are
reflected in the green-blue waters of the silent lake, making it one of
the most beautiful spots in the valley. From Gittidas the road goes on
through the Babusar Pass into Gilgit. This road is one of the highest in
Battakundi and Lalazar : 16 Kilometers from Naran is the
Battakundi another enjoyable spot and is the turning point for Lalazar
connected via jeepable road which a plateau of rare scenic beauty.
Babusar Pass: Babusar pass is the end of the Kaghan valley is
blocked by the mountains but the Babusar pass is the gate between Kaghan
and Gilgit valley at the altitude of 13600 feet. From here you can have
the glimpse of the naked mountain Naga Parbat with a towering height of
26,660 feet. Road at Babusar Pass is remained closed, because of
snowbound, from October to June, also restricted during monsoon season.