A girl’s Solo Adventure to Arang Kel

Arrang kel is located in Neelum Valley of Azad Kashmir. It is known as heaven on earth. You know traveling is one of the most amazing experiences you can have in life. It has the potential to open up your mind, create amazing opportunities you would never get otherwise, we can let go tensions off, all the hustle and bustle of crazy cities environment and set yourself free. It enables you to meet some of the humblest people on the planet, a worthy challenge with absolute limit.

That’s why at the end of my final year of university I decided that I needed to go on a solo trip. I wanted to explore the natural beauty of Northern areas of Pakistan, the culture, the landscape and the adventure.

Where to go and how?

The next part was, where to go ? and how to get there ? I started looking for tourist attractions in the northern areas. I came across a video showing a small village on a hilltop with a boom I had found my destination.I decided to go by public transport and also because public transportation is readily available to Kel. I planned to stay in Arrang Kel for two nights. I asked a local tour guide to supervise my trip and arrange my night stay. Oh, the excitement.

Also See : Neelum Valley Tour Packages 2019

The start of my solo girl’s trip:
I started my journey from Islamabad keeping in mind that it takes approximately 10-12 hours to reach Arrang Kel. One smart move we made was packing lots off snacks and water bottles with hiking boots because i learned from my previous trip that they are necessary. So thus began my adventure at 6:00 am in the morning. As trip started i realized that this will be a best trip of my life and will help me rest of life to meet the challenges.

From Islamabad to Muzaffarabad I went on the same bus. I had at, and throughout the ride, i set my mood according to the songs playing in the bus. This is the best part when everyone is fresh and energetic and also because, after the first few hours, the maniac excitement begins to drop. Traveling from Murree via Motorway, I absorbed the landscape slowly change. The flat land slowly turned to rocky roads and small hills. The altitude gradually increased, and so did my anticipation. It indeed was a treat to see the difference in natural beauty change from Islamabad to Muzaffarabad as it flyers past you. From Muzaffarabad, I took another bus straight to Kel, at 5:00 pm i was at Kel stop and after that a local guide arranged a porter for me to hike for 30 minutes, there was a chairlift which we have to choose from Kel to Arrang Kel.

Guess what, i went for? But by God it was scary. The wind was blowing at speed of bullet train, the cabin was thrilling but fun at the same time. After crossing the river, a steep hill of 30 to 60 minutes awaited me. By then it was late, and i decided to call it a night.

I made camp close to a small group of villagers. The sun was setting, women were doing daily routine work. A group of women came across carrying buckets of water, we started talking, They were so friendly and supportive. One told me that I should have medicine ready for tomorrow’s hike which thankfully I had. They were kind enough to offer me some food, but instead, I provided them some as a thank you. Overall it was a pleasant interaction which warmed my heart, and i gained a newfound respect for the locals.

Neelum Valley Tour Packages 2019 https://www.pakistantravelguide.pk/package-category/neelum-valley-tour-packages/

On Top of the World

I started my hike early in the morning, later on the ice would melt and trek gets slippery. It was difficult, but all made worth it by all the laughter and company of girls of Kinnard College Lahore, who were on trip to ArrangKel . Now i was not alone i made few friends from girls group, seen innocent gestures from some of the local children and they would from time to time run ahead of us, Teasing us about our slow speed.

Then all thoughts of a tiring journey left my mind as soon we reached the top because heaven was before my eyes.it was so beautiful. The land ahead was on a hilltop but flat with small tents, snow-covered houses, and tall trees. Surrounded by mighty mountains, all I could think off was how unique and isolated this village is.The first 3 hours we spend roaming around and just taking in the landscape. Then we checked into our accommodation and had lunch. There was also a small canteen available which is a huge plus.

What I loved about Arrang Kel was that most tourists were families who made a very secure and comforting environment. Then we got ready for our evening adventure. We took into breath-taking view, and of course, selfies are a must. It was amazing to enjoy each others company and to interact with so many people, who were visitors just like us.

I meet a courageous couple in their 50s who regularly came to this paradise. We also had dinner with them, and they told us they had been coming here for the past 20 years. It was a magical last evening, and as night came, we sat by a fireplace and sang songs, it was so peaceful. The night sky was clear, and I had never seen so many starts.
Next morning we started our journey back, and apparently, we were all sad but, we met with local girls from the village, and promised that next time I will come, she would make a hand made necklace for me.

These are the kinds of interactions and experiences that make life unique and beautiful. It indeed was a magical experience, few new friends, bench of memories and a solo adventure.

 

 

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5 Adventure Destinations in Pakistan You Love To Travel In 2019

They say once a year you should go somewhere you have never been before. Because to travel is to live. These 5 heavens in Pakistan will certainly leave you breathless. You will want to come back again I promise. Let’s begin.

Naltar:

Your journey to Naltar will begin upon leaving Karakorum highway by Gilgit and up the journey is a two-hour jeep ride because the track is so difficult you cannot take cars. Many people are hesitant because of the road conditions but trust me when I say,the beauty and treasure ahead are worth it.

Naltar is truly magical with its forests and fresh air. The three lakes are collectively known as Bashkiri lakes. The vast valley leading to the lake is lush green and you will see it attacks many Gujjar nomads with their livestock. They graze during the summer months.

So the first lake is Satrangi. Not even your wildest dreams will prepare you for what you will experience. Clear water, landscape, so many colors reflecting from the surface of the water. The pictures I took were not good enough to describe what I felt standing there.

The second Lakepari was different and bigger and people go on a boat ride which was fun. Also, there was a campsite along the lakeshore. The third lake has to be visited on foot because it is not accessible. It is a 45-minute trek. You will enter a ‘maidan’ 10 minutes into it and far ahead I could see the snow capped mountains. The air grew steadily colder but still determined we moved on.

At last the most beautiful Firoza lake came into view and my excitement grew. It was breathtaking. Sitting on my slope it seemed the lake and the maidan flowed side by side in harmony. On my way back I was already on the conclusion that this was life-changing.

naltar valley
water stream at Naltar Valley.

Baboon Valley:

Some places live in our hearts and baboon is certainly one of them. Lushgreenmeadows and tall trees reaching for the clear sky. Breathtaking is the word. I even saw horses running; it seemed to come straight out of a movie.

 Baboon is in Neelum valley, from Islamabad it takes 4 hours to reach muzaffarabad that is the gateway to Azad Kashmir. From muzaffarabad to kutton, theroad leads to khillun and then destination baboon.

I mostly spent my time walking in the meadows with cattle grazing and soaking in the white snowy patches. It’s the kind of place where you can rest and meditate, as weird as it sounds. It is peaceful and beautiful at the same time. Definitely go there if you want to clear your mind and soul.

Patlian Lake Baboon Valley
Patlian Lake Baboon Valley

Dudipatsar:

The next on the list was Dudipatsar. It is a lake that circles the Lulusar natural park. It lies in kaghan valley Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province. The park and lake are accessible for four months a year from June to September.

During the first phase of the journey, the road was alright and can be traveled by an ordinary vehicle. Onward a good jeep is needed. The trip is amazing. ‘Dudi’ means white, ‘pat’means mountains and ‘sar’Means Lake.

Go in the month of July, the lake is lush greenish blue and the landscape green. Again I found myself surrounded by snow capped mountain peaks and air cold. But all of the traveling was worth it. There are many other lakes in the valley and it is said that Dudipatsar is more beautiful than lake saiful maluk. Although both lakes are beautiful in their own aspect.

The park near it has snow leopards, lynx, marmot, black bear and more. This wildlife and the wetlands are very important for the ecosystem there, and definitely a unique experience.you will definitely want to visit this heaven again.

Dudipatsar in Kaghan Valley

Karimabad:

Karimabad is the capital of the amazing Hunza district. It is said to be the top 5 tourist attraction in Pakistan and I agree. It’s beautiful a vibrant.

You can go by bus that drops outside the city to protect it from pollution. One plus point is hotels are easily available. After checking into your hotel, you can set out to tour this magnificent city. Along the way, you will pass by many houses that are thousands of years old. If you are a dreamer like me you will want to touch and feel everything, soak in the history and beauty.

The main valley is surrounded by mountains and divided into levels. The valley named after Prince Karim Aga Khan is home to mountains like Rakaposhi (7788 m) and Ghenta peak (7090 m).

While roaming and looking at shops you can eat a number of apricot delicacies that are a staple in the region. All year round you can see a lot of tourists there especially in summer.

The valley in front of me was lush and alive with apricot, walnut and apple trees. The air filled with the smell of fresh fruit that will make you feel welcome. It is a beautiful mix of nature, tradition, and civilization. Fit for a prince indeed.

Khata Lake:

Chitta Katha Lake is located in Shounter valley, Azad Kashmir administered by Pakistan. It is located at the elevation of 13,500 feet (4100 m).

From Islamabad to Muzaffarabad it will take 3 and a half hour on personal transport. Then from Muzaffarabad to Kel, it takes 11 hours on Bus, and about 9 hours on your own vehicle. Then you can travel from Kel to Chitta Katha Domel and Chitta Katha Lake which is about 7-8 hours away.

It is a beautiful area, high up in the mountains. With a lake that has so many colors that you will get lost in its beauty. It lies between snowcapped mountains reaching for the sky. The road leading to Khata Lake maybe tough but it is also an adventure to brag about.

There is a small hotel at Kel, Ajk Tourism Resort Kel , you can stay and plan accordingly.

What are you waiting for, start your adventure.

chita Katha Lake
Chita Katha Lake

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Snowfall in Gujranwala? The Hailstorm Yesterday Sure Looks Like It!

Yesterday suddenly rain started in Gujranwala which took u turn and converted into snowing/hailing although it was predicted in Kashmir, Malamjabba, Hunza and Skardu but no one expected Gujranwala turned white today.

https://www.instagram.com/p/Btnf8rKluTP/

It’s a natural phenomena but rare to sight in areas of Punjab, people saying it’s snowfall but it is not.

We started receiving pictures from everywhere in Gujranwala and they sure look pretty, but it is an alarm for everyone who believes global warming is not real!

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Why friends planned tours got cancelled ?

Friends plan tours but could not execute them, why ?

here are the few reasons ?

Not preparing proper itineraries .

Most people only think of going on vacations but could not plan it, for a tour you need preparing proper itinerary : Day wise details, attractions to visit, places to eat and stay and time management. Suppose you are planning to go Gilgit Baltistan, as GB is not one destination it has attractions on the way, off road and some within the communities so prepare a detailed itinerary.

Cost Calculation .

Went on tour with friends and thought it will cost PKR 15000/- per head approximately but didn’t calculated the exact cost is another blunder for managing tour, calculate your cost w.r.t Hotel booking, transport rent, fuel prices, food and tickets.

Permission from Family.

 Most friends don’t take permission while preparing tours, when everything is done but don’t granted permission is another dilemma of cancelled tours.

https://www.instagram.com/p/BtnBbEYFO6O/

A quick advice from the experts of Pakistan Travel Guide that you must note the following points before planning tour , booking a tour with travel company makes your vacations hassle free, enjoy your holidays 🙂

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