Pakistan is abundant with natural beauty. And one of the most beautiful places in Pakistan is the Kaghan valley.
For me, if heaven were located on earth, then – besides Kashmir – Kaghan valley would be it!
Kaghan is named after the town of Kaghan that lies within it and is also known as the valley of lakes. The Dudipatsar, Lulusar and Saiful Muluk (the most popular) lakes are some of the more famous of the dozens of lakes found here.
The valley has everything you can think of when planning a great vacation. It has glaciers, mountains, dales, streams, lakes, waterfalls, ideal villages, forests and more. The following are some of the most popular destinations in and around Kaghan valley.
This village looks like a scene out of a fantasy novel except that it is real. A quaint settlement in the middle of a forest, surrounded by mountain peaks and a beautiful river flowing through it. It’s the stuff that dreams are made of my friends. Another famous lake called the Siri Paye is also found here.
Saiful Muluk Lake
One of the places to visit when in Kaghan is the Saiful Muluk Lake (although it lies in the nearby Naran valley). A three hour drive from the village of Shogran, the lake is breathtakingly beautiful; in fact there are no words to describe the beauty of the lake under the full moon. Some say that the rays of the moon look like fairies descending on the lake.
The lake has a famous folktale attached to it called ‘Qissa Saiful Muluk’. According to the story, this was the place where a Persian prince and fairy met.
The Dudipatsar Lake
If you are in for an even more serious adventure you can go hiking for 7 hours to reach the Dudipatsar Lake. Sounds like a very difficult trek, but the green pastures and blue green water of the lake makes you forget all the hardship faced.
The Lulusar Lake
This is a lake shaped like an ‘L’ and has an unmatched view of the surrounding snowcapped mountains. The blue and green water of the lake reflects the surrounding mountains giving a magical experience.
As you may have guessed by now, Kaghan is a very popular tourist destination. To get to the Kaghan valley one needs travel upwards from Abbottabad and then north east from Mansehra. On your way there, you will pass the Naran valley and the Babusar pass which lies at approximately 13,690 ft.
The local residents are generally shepherds. You can see them all across the valley, on road sides, in their pastures, walking their herds, etc. Although the local language is Hindko and Gojri, due to the heavy tourism, you can also get by with Urdu.
The best time to visit Kaghan is during the summer as it gets too cold in winter!
Kaghan Valley “Explore the Real Beauty of Pakistan”
Kaghan Valley: Pakistan has been blessed with natural beauty that rivals that of all other countries in Europe and Asia. There are lush green valleys which are so magnificent that they appear like a dream. One of these amazing valleys is the Kaghan Valley located in the northern parts of the country. This valley has become a focal point of tourism, with both foreign and local tourists coming to the place, in the past few years. There are a lot of treks and trails that both start and end in this valley. Furthermore, there are many lakes and peaks which are the crowning glory of the Kaghan Valley. Despite being a focal point of global tourism, the Valley has been left in its natural shape up to a large extent. The human effect on the natural side of the valley has been minimal in many places, so when people visit the valley there is a high chance that they will be able to see the true natural beauty of the valley with their own eyes.
Kaghan Valley Geography
The Kaghan Valley is located in the district of Mansehra in the province of Khyber Pakhtun Khwah in the north of Pakistan. The elevation of the valley makes it one of the few valleys in the country that are in the alpine climate range and are accessible by road. The valley has been connected to the rest of the country with numerous roads and most of them are metaled roads. During a recent earth quake, most of the infrastructure of the valley was destroyed but much of it has been rebuilt in the past few years and the valley has regained its hustle and bustle.
The valley is quite large and has many natural spots in it. The length of the valley is more than 155 kilometers. There is diverse range in the elevation along the valley. The lowest point of the valley is at a mere 2,134 feet above the sea level coming in at 650 meters, while the highest point of the valley is the famous Babusar Top which extends to the height of 13,690 feet equating to 4,170 meters.
Best Time To Visit Kaghan Valley
The Kaghan Valley can be accessed almost the whole year round, but there are many problems about visiting the valley in the winter season as it is very hard to go through jeep tracks and there is land sliding, glaciers moving on the roads and other blockages. And even if these are surmounted, there is not much to see in the winter tie as the entire valley is covered in a blanket of snow and ice which makes going out difficult. Even the locals go to lower altitudes during the winter months.
The best time to visit the valley is in the early and mid of summer months. The people who want to see some of the snow and ice intact on the lakes and in the forests should visit the valley in the very start of the summer months and those who want to trek in the lush green surroundings and see the animals that come out during the summer to breed should opt for the mid-summer months to trek through the valley.
Kaghan Valley Visit Guidance’s
There are four ways to visit and travel in the Kaghan valley and you can pick either of them according to what suits you best.
The first way is to go to the valley in a personal vehicle such as a car or a personal jeep and then visit all the places that are connected by a metaled road. This will allow a family to reach almost all of the local hot spots. Many places allow a person to stay for the night and have good accommodation.
The second way is to trek through the valley on foot camping at the various places which are of natural beauty. This does not require much experience and new people should do this fairly easily. The equipment needed for this kind of a journey is not much and only minimal carrying equipment is needed.
The third way is to hire jeeps in the valley and then hire pack animals such as mules. This allows a person to visit the various lakes and other natural hot spots without the burden of carrying the equipment at all. However, there are many places which the pack animals will not be able to reach so the trekking which is done with the animals will not be able to take the people of the group to all the places that are there to be explored in the valley.
The fourth way to travel through the valley is a hiking tour where people with special hiking equipment will try to visit various peaks and lakes which are difficult to reach and out of the way. This kind of tour is recommended for only the experienced hikers who have at least had one previous hiking journey in this kind of situation.
Each kind of trip will require different kinds of equipment. For a hiking trip full hiking gear is needed along with some carrying equipment. Personal equipment remains the same for all tours and includes warm clothes, good boots, sun protection and gloves, etc.
For a tour on the car with the family, the only equipment needed is tool kit for the car and extra fuel as well as some extra clothes.
For a tour by the jeep where camping is an option, the things required are camping gears and carrying equipment.
For a tour by foot where camping is required, the group will need food and other necessities as well as camps, and walking sticks, sleeping bags, etc.
Precautions and Survival Tips at Kaghan Valley
Some precautions should be taken when visiting the Kaghan valley so that all members of the group return safely.
- Make sure the trip is well planned
- Travel with all the equipment needed. Make sure the equipment is in good order.
- Travel only with experienced guides and experienced drivers.
Nature Reserves of Kaghan Valley
The entire area is full of untouched natural beauty. There are small mammals such as weasels, rodents, wild sheep, marmots, deer and other herbivores. Carnivores such as foxes and wolves have also been seen in the valley. Leopards are present in the valley as well.
Birds include the blue tit, the blue jay, the wood pecker, hawks, falcons, vultures, various kinds of peasants and wood cocks as well as some migratory birds.
The flora of the area includes herbs such as the one used in local remedies, cedar and other hardwood trees. Conifers forests and various varieties of pine are also present here.