Deosai.. A wilderness Apart

In the words of Aleister Crowley, “In front of us lay the Deosai, an absolutely treeless wilderness of comparatively level country framed by minor peaks. It gives a unique impression of desolation. I have never seen its equal in this respect elsewhere. Yet the march was very pleasant with many flowers and streams.”And in Gypsy Davy’s words, “It was such an expanse of immensity as I have harldy imagined… It seems you cannot talk in a matter-of-fat way in a place like that”.

Deosai is a place with a magic of all its own. Nature is at her most inventive and extravagant here. Covering an area of almost 3,000 sq Km, all of it above 4,000m, the Deosai plateau is stunningly beautiful. Frozen beneath a deep blanket of snow for mch of the year, the Deosai is surprisingly rich in plants and animals, bursting into life during the brief spring and summer months. Gently rolling hills and grasslands extend into the distance as far as the eye can see, carpeted with brightly colored flowers, the scales of which is largest in the Karakorams and the Western Himalyas. Surrounded by snow-capped peaks, the Deosai has ultra-pure air that plays tricks on the eyes. There is an unmistakable sense of the elevation in the huge expanse of horizon, the wide open space and the clarity of light and color typical of such high altitudes. 

The spectacular plateau of the Deosai can be visited as a full-day excursion from Skardu by jeep. A jeep track crosses the Deosai between Skardu and the Astore Valley (Skardu-Astore 130km), and down to the KKH at Bunji. It continues west across the Deosai plateau, crossing large clear streams via bridges. As it leaves Deosai, it skirts the northern shore of the deep blue Sheosar Lake. The lake is nestled in the pass and offers sublime scenery. 

Deosai means “The Lands of Giants” in local Balti dialect and it isn’t hard to see how a landscape on such a massive scale could have inspired stories of giants. 

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Pir Chinasi Travelogue

Pir Chinasi house of Saint Hazrat Syed Hussain Shah Bukhari located 24 kilometers from Muzaffarabad Azad Kashmir, over the hills and vale, no doubt beautiful meadow on top with one of the classic road as compared to other Areas of Azad Kashmir. Pir Chanasi is at 9500ft from sea level, every year thousands of tourist rush to explore the landscape and to pray at holy shrine. Local community is very tourist friendly, hospitable, simple and nature lovers. Leopard, pheasants and other species of birds found remotely in Jungles. 

Road to Pir Chanasi Azad Kashmir

Saran at 19 Kilometers from Muzaffarabad where AJK Tourism Department constructed a guest house before earthquake is one of the finest location, 4 rooms available for stay.

Saran Top Pir Chinasi
Saran Top At Pir Chinasi

Chacha of Pir Chinasi constructed a small restaurant in Saran where he offers Lassi, Dhoodh Chahye, Pakoras, Samosas and other food Items, on back of the restaurant there are wooden chairs offering sightseeing to Jhelum Valley hills.

Pine trees and the lush greenery signals brain to sooth the whole environment of body, it’s one of the best sensation you have at Pir Chinasi Top.

Road Condition is quite good but you should avoid in heavy rains and try to as slow and careful as Possible even in normal days.

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Nanga Parbat As seen from Fairy Meadows

Most tourists who come to see Nanga Parbat stay at Fairy Meadows ( 3,300 m), so named because of local superstition that fairies inhabit this spectacularly forested alpine meadow. Fairy Meadows are idyllic Aline pastures surrounded by pine forests on the northern slopes of Nanga Parbat, with breathtaking views of the snow-clad North Face above. It is the best place to view the majestic beauty of Nanga Parbat. There are several short walks on this plateau, including the full day excursion up to the Base Camp, (3900m) of Nanga Parbat. The North or Raikot Face dives over 7000 meters from the summit to the Indus River, forming one of world’s deepest and finest gorges.

Nanga Parbat has always been associated with tragedies and tribulations. It is an angry mountain for climbers. A lot of mountaineers have perished on its treacherous slopes. It was one of the deadliest of the eight-thousandths in the first half of the twentieth century. Even in recent years it has claimed a heavy toll of human lives of mountaineers, in search of adventure and thrill.

The race to conquer Nanga Parbat started very early. In 1895, an English mountaineer Albert F. Mummery led an expedition to the peak and reached almost 7,000 m on the Diamir side, but later disappeared with his two porters. Then in 1932 a German-American expedition climbed the Raikot Peak and reached the east ridge before being beaten by lack of Himalayan experience. In 1934, five German climbers and elven Sherpas attained a height of around 7,800m when three climbers and six Sherpas perished in a blizzard. Another German attempt in 1937 was beaten when all seven climbers withe their nine high-level porters were overwhelmed by avalanche. More attempts were made in 1938 and 1939, each time reaching around 6000m. After the death of 31 people, Nanga Parbat was first climbed on July 3, 1953 by a single man, Austrian climber Hermann Buhl, a member of German-Austrian team. Nanga Parbat was yet to be climbed in winter, 28 expeditions have tried this feat as of 2015.

Nanga Parbat has three faces, Diamer face, Raikot and Rupal. The local name of the mountain is Diamir, meaning “Monarch of the Gods.” It is said that the mountain is inhabited by fairies and superlatives.

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Over the Hill and Vale

Pakistan is blessed with extensive range of mountains that are an attraction for tourists, trekkers, mountain climbers and geologists from all over the world. Apart from the mountain ranges of Himalayas, Karakorams and Hindu Kush, there are several valleys running in a north-south direction which connect the high mountains with the foothills. These foothills provide the relaxing hill stations where people go to escape summer in the plains. These Valleys provide some of the most fertile and hauntingly beautiful alpine panoramas anywhere in the world. Here each day’s travel brings constant revelation an the magic of incomparable vistas, breathtaking views of snowy mountains, jade lakes, murmuring streams, dancing waterfalls, dynamic and colorful cultures and rare wildlife.

If you take the flight from Islamabad to Gilgit or Skardu, you can see how the mountains get higher and higher. The aircraft carry you in minutes over the pine-crested brow of the Margalla Hilss, rising in a series of parallel ridges, one after the other– each higher than the other. From the 10,000 meter peaks of Margalla Hills you reach the Himalayan giant Nanga Parbat at 8126 meters. 

In Gilgit-Baltistan, the valleys of Gilgit, Hunza, Nagar, Skardu, Naltar, Astore and Ghizar are noted for their beautiful landscape and unique cultural heritage. In these areas the hills are more like mountains, as the mountains in the region are world’s highest. Alone the valley of Hunza contains dozens of peaks over 7000 meters. 

The Valleys of Chitral , Swat and Kaghan in the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province are also well-known for their distinct mountain scenery and are popular tourist destinations. The Neelum Valley in Azad Kashmir is another paradise for tourists with its deeply forested moutains. 

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when snowfall starts in murree 2017

As per predictions snowfall in Murree will start in December 2017, you can enjoy your holidays with friends and families in month of December. We are offering Murree Tour Packages in month of 2017, In our packages we are offering sightseeing to Murree, Patriata, Bhurban, Nathiagali and Ayubia. Murree is ideal place for tours n travels in Month of December where snow blankets the green hills and accords a mesmerizing experience.

 

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Ganga Choti The Lush Green Land

Ganga Choti is Lush green peak located 7 kilometers from Sudan Gali is a jeep track,Sudan Gali enters you to the green plateau offering sights to sheeps , horses over wondering wild in nature.

Recommended is to Visit via Muzaffarabad to Chikar while Chikar is 1 hr drive from Muzaffarabad. You will found greenery every where and temperature will be quite moderate in summers.

View from Chikar Guest House

Few Picutres of Ganga Choti

 Ganga Choti

Sheeps and Sunset in Ganga Choti AJK

Ganga Choti

Horse Over Ganga Choti Peak 

 

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TREK GUIDE TO SHOUNTER LAKE

shounter trekking

Neelum Valley is situated in the North & North-East of Muzaffarabad, on the elevation of 4,000 metres above sea level. Marvellous scenic beauty, panoramic view, sky-high hills located on both sides of the noisy River Neelum, lush green thick forests, enchanting streams and attractive surroundings make the Valley a dream place to visit and spend a time in leisure.

Shounter valley spreads in Upper Neelum Valley and it can be accessed through a jeep track from Kel which remains open for a few months of the year. From Shounter Valley, one can come across the Shounter Pass which opens into Astore Valley at Rattoo. A small sized Shounter Lake is a beautiful Lake, situated in the Shounter Valley and from this is base camp of Sarvali Peak, Chitta Katha Lake and crossing point of the Shounter Pass into Astore Valley.

Shounter Pass is elevated on 4,420 metres (14,501 feet) above sea level, in Neelum Valley, Azad Kashmir, Pakistan.

Shounter Lake is a famous lake in Shounter Valley, which is a sub-valley of Neelum Valley in Azad Kashmir and located at an elevation of 10,200 feet (3,100 metres). The water resource of the lake is the inflow of the glacial water of the surrounding mountains. The lake is encircled by snow-capped mountains, greenery and specimens of Iris hookeriana, which are dispersed around the lake. The lake is accessible through Kel, Neelum Valley, by a jeep track.

The best time to Shounter Valley is from May to August, because it mostly remains snow-stricken. It is accessed by a jeep track in the open month in the summer otherwise trekking is the only option left to get there. The valley is famous for its beautiful lakes, not only in Pakistan but all over the world. The landscape and scenery is so enchanting and breathtaking.

For the alpine trekkers, Neelum valley offers a lot of trekking opportunities. Tourists can be reached Naran through Noori Nar Top from Sharda. Ratti Gali Lake is another beautiful lake that can be accessed from Dowarian and the trek reaches further to Naran. Tourists can be reached to Chitta Katha Lake from the Domail village in Kel. There is an exciting opportunity to cross the Shounter Pass from Shounter village and to reach Astore Valley in 2 to 3 days. This area has been very rarely explored by the trekkers and it is very promising to explore it. Its beauty is well narrated in the Travelogues and the peak time for trekking in the valleys is, in the months of July and August. There is another trekking passage from Jagran as well as a trek to Baboon valley can be explored. From the Lower Neelum Valley, tourists can reach to Makra and from there down-ward to Shogran from Bhairi in 2 days. Another alternate trek reaches to the Neela Pahar and Ganja Pahar from Bhairi area of Neelum Valley, where Machiara National Park lies, for the protection of the vanishing wild-life species.
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BUDDHA TOURIST SITES IN SWAT

 

The arrival of Buddhism in Pakistan is a phenomenon of some 2,300 years ago, through the Mauryan King Ashoka, who was known as “greater than any other king or emperor”. Buddhism is deep rooted in Pakistan and remained under the Bactria, the Indo-Greek Kingdom, the Kushan Empire, the Mauryan Empire Ashoka, the Punjab Region and the Indus River Basin Civilization.

It is believed that the Buddhist scholar Padma-Sambhava has been born in a village near the town of Chak-Darra, located in the present day Lower Dir District (it was the part of Uddiyana State). Padma-Sambhava, known as Guru Rinpoche in Tibet, had introduced the Vajrayana, a branch of Buddhism in the Tibetan Region.

There are numerous of Buddhist monuments, like Stupas, Monasteries, Viharas, Settlements, Caves, Rock-Carvings and Inscriptions, scattered here and there in the Swat Valley. This is our own ancient cultural heritage and should be protected, preserved and renovated.

Fa-Hein, who came to Swat Valley in 4th century A.D, wrote about the 6000 Monasteries, found in the valley. Sung-Yun also visited the valley in the 6th century A.D and he reported 6000 images in the sacred Monastery of Talo (Butkara). A Chinese pilgrim, Hsuan-Tsang, who came in the valley in the 7th century A.D, wrote about 1400 monasteries in Swat, which clearly indicated of the remains of the Buddhist monuments. We could find ruins of over 400 Buddhist Stupas and monasteries in Swat even today. Let’s find out a few of them.

Butkara:

Butkara was a Buddhist holy place in Swat, ruins of a Monastery are still found here at Ta-Lo, which was mentioned by Sung Yun, who visited the area in 520 A.D. 9t was also described by the Buddhist pilgrims from China in the 5th, 6th and 7th centuries A.D. It lies in the East of Mingora, the ancient capital of Udyana. The main Stupa stands tall in the middle, surrounded by other Stupas, Viharas and columns. The main building is on its Northern side and inhabited area is in the North and West. The Great Stupa was renovated and extended for several times, from 3rd century B.C down to 10th century A.D.

butkara stupa Mingora Swat

Nemogram Stupa and Monastery:

The place of archaeological importance, Nemogram is in the Shamozai Valley of Swat, which is located about 45 kilometres in the West of Saidu Sharif and 22 kilometres from Birkot, on the right bank of Swat river. It was discovered in 1966.

It consists of three main Stupas in a row, from North to South. There is a courtyard with 56 consecrated Stupas and a Monastery, adjacent to the West of the main Stupas. The definite history of Nemogram Stupas could not be revealed till date yet the coins found there, indicating towards the period of Kushana, dated back to the 2nd or 3rd century A.D. Besides the coins and pottery of Scytho-Parthian period, there are a large number of stone-carving and Stucco sculptures, which illustrates the Buddhist Mythology. These sculptures are now exhibited in the Swat Museum.

Elephant Paw:

The place where one can examine the Elephant Paw is Shahkot Pass, which exists between Mura Pass in the East and Malakand Pass in the West. There are vast plains and a small Hamlet (Shahkot Banda) in the North-East of this beautiful valley. In the South-West of the valley, there lies the famous Hathi Darra (the Elephant Paw) near the village Zalam Kot. It is at the distance of about 10 miles from the village Thanra.

It is called Hathi Darra because of 20 feet wide and 6 miles long road which joins both the sides of the Pass. It was constructed for the caravans of elephants, during the Kushan Empire and became popular as “The Elephant Paw”. The “Queen’s Throne” is also located there, on the top of a hill near Hathi Darra.

 

Statue of Buddha Ghaligay Swat:

This colossal statue of Buddha is found near the village of Ghaligay, at the distance of 18 kilometres from Mingora, on its left side a main road leads to Mardan. The Buddha Statue is situated about a kilometres away from the left bank of the River Swat.

 

Gumbatuna Stupa:

Gumbatuna (singular: Gumbat) is a Pashto word for “dome”. This is a Buddhist establishment, located on the right bank of the Swat River, 6 kilometres away in the West of Barikot village, along the metalled road leading to Nimogram Valley. The sites of archaeological interest are scattered on a large area of 1500 metres from North to South and 1000 metres from East to West and known as Shamozai Range.

Amlok Darra Stupa:

The track to the Stupa of Amlok Darra is situated a couple of kilometres away, in the North of Nawagai village, a beautiful small valley of Amlok Darra, near Buner.

 

Tokar Darra (Najigram) Stupa and Monastery:

The Buddhist site of Tokar Darra is situated near Karakat Pass, about 5 kilometres away in the South of Barikot. It lies on the side of a small picturesque valley, which is about a kilometer away from the present day village of Najigram.

The site consists of a large Stupa, which is attached with a Monastery, Quarters, Assembly Hall, and an Aqueduct Cave.

 

Janabad Seated Buddha:

It is a high rock-carving, the image of the seated Buddha. It is a reddish-brown coloured cliff that rises on the hillside to the South-West of Janabad (Shakhorai) village. It is at a distance of 5 kilometres from Manglawar. This huge illustration of the Buddha can be seen from the road, on the way to Malam Jabba.

 

Author: Fehmeeda Farid Khan

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neelum valley road conditions 2016

-> January to March Roads will be safe to travel

-> In March Road will be closed due to heavy rainfall expected.

-> March to July Rods will be remained opened for any kind of travel.

Road in Month of March 2016 likely to be closed due to heavy rainfall at Muzaffarabad. But after March till July Roads will be  opened for any kind of tourist activities.

 

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