Muzaffarabad the little majestic beauty of Kashmir

I am citizen of Muzaffarabad, the capital city of Kashmir.  I love to travel across Pakistan/Kashmir. I had seen remote villages of AJK but the beauty of Muzaffarabad makes me feel endearing. Last weekend I set my way to capture the mountainous ranges along city of Muzaffarabad covered by clouds, what I found the mighty formations of clouds on top of mountainous ranges, the dewy rain pebbles and soul touching cold breezes. I am sharing my experiences with people who love to travel and want to enjoy the little moments of their life.  Just after 10 minutes drive from Muzaffarabad city you will start viewing below captured scenes.

Muzaffarabad City

View of Muzaffarabad

Clouds forming in that manner where mountains and city hided somewhere beneath it.

muzaffarabad under cloud

After the rain, clouds started disappearing and asked sun to light up crystal clear mountains, city landmarks and rainbows.

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Muzaffarabad was destroyed in 2005 earthquake, it’s 11 years old story but still Muzaffarabad city is under development. You may not found the streets well paved , sanitary system good enough, landmarks and historical places well preserved but the city is still well renowned due to panoramic views.

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Clara Arrighi “Shukria Pakistan”

clara arrighi

When was told I was going to Pakistan I started to think about all the reasons not to go, how to convince my office not to send me. I did not want to spend the next six months of my life in between mud roads and traffic, dirt and smelly donkeys. I definitely did not want to share my time with radical people, extremists, and walk around all covered.

“Prepare to get sick and food poisoned,” they told me. “You should change your job”. “No, I´ve never been to Pakistan but I´ve been to Bangladesh and I know its the same”… or India, or Afghanistan.

Luckily, someone also told me: “When you go to Pakistan you cry two times: when you are sent there and when you have to leave”. Seven months afterwards I indeed have cried two times. The untouched gorgeous beauty of Pakistan is impossible to describe with words. Everything in this country is untouched; the nature, the culture, the cities. Women in their colorfoul dresses and the way they allow their Pashminas to fall loose over their heads, showing their dark hair. Men playing cricket, such a refined English sport to be played in white clothes drinking high tea, is here the street sport by far, played in every corner of every street. I have climbed stunning mountains, swam in incredible clear lakes amidst the most beautiful hills, visited majestic mosques and drank uncountable types of chai. I tasted lots of different dishes. I did not get myself sick or food poisoned at all, but I definitely got myself a bellyache for not being able to stop eating such delicious food! And the mangoes, oh the mangoes.

However… it doesn’t matter how beautiful a country is, you will always remember how it made you feel. And this is what makes the difference in Pakistan. I have never seen so much hospitality anywhere in the world. Incredibly warm people, genuinely kind. I have never felt so welcomed. There is this tendency to smile. A society that has been for so many years oppressed and still can be so tolerant.

I challenge you to come to Pakistan and don´t like it. Cause, so far, I haven´t met anyone who didn´t. I spent seven beautiful months in Pakistan and I encourage everyone to give this amazing country a chance.

Shukria Pakistan!

— in Lahore, Pakistan.

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Top 10 places to visit in Neelum Valley

List of Places to Visit in Neelum Valley

1)      Kutton Waterfall 2)      Keran 3)      Upper Neelum
4)      Sharda Valley 5)      RattiGali Lake 6)      Baboon Valley
7)      Kel 8)      Arrang Kel 9)      Chitta Katha Lake
10)  Taobutt

1.Kutton Waterfall

Travel Time: 3 hrs from Muzaffarabad ( At the road of Kutton Jagran Resort )

Best time to visit: March to October

Video: Kutton Waterfall

Kutton Waterfall is 2 kilometers from Kundal Shahi Bazaar of Neelum Valley at road Jagran Valley. Easily accessible via car. Kutton Waterfall is the first main place to visit in Neelum Valley.

kutton waterfall2. Keran Valley

Travel Time :  3 hrs from Muzaffarabad on Main Neelum Valley Road

Best Time to Visit: Throughout the year

Video: Keran Valley

Located at Bank of Neelum River, it’s LOC where you can see both Indian held Kashmir and Azad Kashmir. The river flows smoothly at this place.

keran Neelum Valley3. Upper Neelum

Travel Time: 3 hrs 20 minutes

Best Time to Visit: March to October

A small link road connected the main Neelum road to a hilltop with Upper Neelum Village, the landscape of the village is most beautiful.

4. Ratti Gali Lake

Travel Time : 3 hrs from Keran

Best Time to Visit: July to September

Video: Ratti Gali Lake

20 Kilometers jeep trek from Dowarian to Rattigali takes about 2 and half hours, Ratti Gali is an alpine glacier lake and one the best place to visit in Neelum Valley.

Ratti Gali Lake Neelum Valley

Ratti Gali Lake Neelum Valley

5.Baboon Valley

Travel Time: 3 hrs from Keran

Best Time to Visit: July to September

Video: Baboon Valley

You have to take the Jeep from Naqdar which is hardly five minutes drive from Keran. It’s the second-best place to visit in Neelum Valley. Baboon Valley is famous for water streams, waterfalls, lush greener meadows.

Baboon balley

Baboon Valley

6. Sharda Valley

Travel Time: 5 hrs from Muzaffarabad ( Located on Main Neelum Valley road

Best Time to Visit: March to December

Video: Sharda Valley

Sharda Valley is a small town located on the bank of the Neelum River, mainly tourist attractions in Sharda are water sports, hiking to Sharda Peeth, Sharda Bridge, and fishing.

Sharda Village with Neelum River7. Kel

Travel Time: 2 hrs 20 minutes from Sharda

Best Time to Visit: March to December

Kel is a very famous town in Neelum Valley, small huts, waterfalls, and Neelum River are the major tourist attraction. Kel is also the route to Shounter and Chitta Katha Lake. Astore to Kel tunnel is under consideration under CPEC.

neelum valley arrang kel8. Arrang Kel

Travel Time: 45 minutes hike from Kel

Best Time to Visit: March to December

Video: Arrang Kel

Most famous and visited tourist place of Neelum valley is Arrang kel, a small town but big green fields, glaciers, small huts, and hotels serving hot teas. With respect to landscape Arrang kel is the most beautiful destination of Neelum. Arrang Kel is not accessible by road it’s only connected by a chair lift and 30 minutes hike.

Kel Neelum Valley

9. Chitta Katha Lake

Travel Time: 1 day Tour (2 hrs jeep rides then 6 hrs hiking)

Best Time to Visit: July- September

Video: Chitta Katha Lake

Chitta Katha Lake is 2 hrs jeep ride to base and then a hiking trek of 6 hrs, it’s very hard to travel for families only full fit person could conquer this lake.

Chitta Khata Lake10.Toabutt ( Guraiz Valley)

Travel Time: 3 hrs jeep trek from Kel to Taobutt

Best Time to Visit: July- September

Taobutt is the last place of Neelum valley, places to visit during the visit from Kel to Taobutt are Helmet, Sardar, Phulawai, and Janawai. Taobutt is famous for landscape only 3 or 4 hotels are available for stay.

Taobutt Neelum Valley 

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Guest Houses Ruining the Beauty of Arrang Kel Neelum Valley

arrang_kel

As Arrang Kel is the beautiful valley of Kashmir, due to its biggest lush green fields, flowers and snow covered mountains. In recent year’s tourist’s boost toward kel valley is bringing down its natural beauty, forests being cut down and more and more locals are investing in building Guest Houses.

How Guest Houses in Arrang Kel are ruining Valley ?

– Locals Cutting forests to build Guest houses
– Fields are losing their area
– Dump of Tins, bottle, rappers etc
– No Community mobilization for ECO Friendly Tourism

Guest Houses impact on the Valley is no secret, but these shocking pictures give a snapshot to how far we’ve gone in our destruction of our natural environment.

Arrang Kel may be one of the most beautiful places on earth, but its proximity to the Great Garbage Patch, a huge, swirling mass of floating trash in the Valley, means that Kel on the tip of the big fields looks more like a Guest Houses Land than a paradise.

Authorities should think before giving NOC to any of Guest Houses operating in Neelum Valley.

Objections should be on;
– Excessive use of wood in buildings
– cleanliness methods
– Habitat Damage

PakistanTravelGuide promotes Eco Friendly Tourism in Northern Areas of Pakistan. Bring a Change towards nature for generations survival.

arang kel

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