Kaghan is a jewel among the many beautiful valleys in the Mansehra District of Hazara in the Khyber Pakthunkhwa Province of Pakistan.This 160 kilometer long valley is most popular summer holiday spots for both Pakistanis as well as foreigners.The valley features pine forests, alpine meadows, crystal clear lakes and cool mountain streams. Kunhar River, the main feature of the valley, is famous for its trout. Nestled along the banksll‘of the river are the towns of Balakot, Paras, Mahandari, Kaghan and Naran. The local people are friendly and simple. Gujar nomylQDy§y0f the most interesting features of the Kaghan Valley. They take their herds of cattle to the high pastures of the upper Kaghan fling and bring them down again in autumn. While going to Kaghan you will find them camped along the road in their traditional tents or moving up and down the valley with their herdtsiloaipack animals, sheep and goats.
A vacation in Kaghan Valley is an unforgettable experience!
At 7,888 feet above sea level, Naran is the main center of tourism in the Kaghan Valley. It is located 85 kilometers from Balakot. The town is situated on the bank of Kunharriver is also QUllL€ smooth here and ideal for trout ﬁshing and situated easy grade rive on the bank of the Kunhar River at a point where the valley widens. The river is also quite smooth here and ideal for trout fishing and easy grade river rafting.With more than 100 hotels of different categories and a 60 beds capacity Youth Hostel. Naran is without doubt the main base for most tourists.There is one central bazaar where all the shops, restaurants and hotels are situated. Naran becomes alive only in summer starting in late May, when the snow melts and the road to Naran become passable. In winter majority of the population descends to warmer climates of Balakot and Mansehra. Most visitors stay in Naran for a few days while enjoying the various day excursions to Lake Saiful Muluk, Lalazar, Lake Lulusar and Babusar Pass. There are also several short walks and treks around Naran.
LAKE SAIF UL MULUK
No trip to Kaghan Valley is complete without a visit to the legendary Lake Saiful Muluk. The lake is named after Prince Saif-ul-Muluk. Who fell in love with a fairy from the mountains.At 10,500 feet, Lake Saif ul Maluk is surrounded by impressive snow clad mountains and crowned by the summit of Malika Parbat(Queen of the Mountains). The highest peak in Kaghan Valley, the majestic Malika Parbat has a height of 529! meters. Words cannot describe the beauty and serenit_y of the setting and picture postcards do no justice. The crystalline waters of Lake Saiful Muluk reﬂecting the surrounding snow covered mountains is an image that must be seen in person.There are several ways to reach the lake. Along the side of the valley to the east of Naran, a I0 kilometer track leads through a picturesoue valley. A jeep can be rented in the bazaar and driven up in one hour, or the more adventurous can walk to a small glacier about 3 km up and hire a pony for the trip. Walking the entire way is also an option, and takes about three hours for the 8 km trek. This option is only for those who are fit enough to climb about 3000 feet in eight kilometers.There are several good trekking opportunities from Lake Saiful Muluk. See trekking section for more details..
Malika Parbat (Queen of the Mountains) is the highest mountain of the Kaghan Valley. The best view of this peak is from Lake Saiful Muluk when on a clear day the pointed peak is mirrored in its deep blue waters. Although it is a low height peak compared to the gigantic mountains of Karakuram, but it is considered a difficult peak due to its steep summit and several hanging glaciers on upper slopes. It is still famous as a virgin peak as no one has successfully climbed it to date. The easiest approach to its base camp is from the Lake Saiful Muluk side.Lalazar is an extremely picturesque pasture at an elevation of 3200m. lt is linked to Naran by a 21 kilometers jeep track via Batakundi.Lalazar is a scenic spot with thick forests of pine and fir. The grassy mountain slopes are full of wild ﬂowers. A rest house and two small hotels provide food and drinks to day visitors from Naran. Limited accommodation facilities are also available here. Adventurers may prefer to camp at Lalazar as a base to ready themselves for the trek to Lake Saiful Muluk via Hans Gali.
There are many side valleys in Kohistan, which are excellent for hikers, trekkers, mountain bikers. fishing enthusiasts, photographers and nature lovers. One such area is the Supat Valley which lies in the Himalayan Mountain series, parallel to Kaghan Valley in Hazara Kohistan with its boundaries touching both Kaghan and Babusar Top. Tourism Corporation Khyber Pakhtunkhwa is taking initiatives to open up Supat Valley under Eco-Tourism Project for the promotion of Adventure Tourism in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.After the town of Naran a track turns to the left across the Kunhar River taking you to the village of Sohch (8400 ft) which is the starting point to Supat. From Sohch, a 5 to 6 hour trek takes you to Domel ( 9900 ft) and then on to Supat. On the way and in Supat you will see glaciers, waterfalls, lakes, wild life, ﬁelds of wild ﬂowers, cultivated land and dense forests. The area is also well known for its gemstones, especially Peridot. There are two beautiful lakes in Supat, the Srikatha and the Maheen Lakes. In September 2008, Trout ﬁsh were introduced into the Maheen Lake.Tourism Corporation Khyber Pakhtunkhwa is compiling information on Supat Valley, which will be available in 2012 at all the TCKP Tourist Information Centres at Abbottabad, Dungagali, Islamabad, Chitral and Peshawar. Telephone numbers are given at the end of this brochure.
NARAN TO BABU SAR PASS
For the thrilling experience of Babusar Pass, one must wait until mid Iuly, when the road from Ialkhad onward become accessible. With a height of I 3,687 feet (4, I 73 meters) Babusar Pass creates the border between the Kaghan Valley and Distt. Chilas of Northern Area’s. From the top of Babusar Pass one may behold a panoramic view of snow-covered peaks and sweeping mlleys. The British built a pony track across the Babusar in I892 to give access to Gilgit.Before this, the only route to Gilgit was from Srinagar across the Burzil. Passy until the building of Karakuram Highway, the track was the main route to Chilas and Gilgit.Today jeeps to Babusar can be hired from Naran. For those who want to make it a day excursion from Naran, it is advisable to leave early in the morning. The best option, however, is to enjoy an overnight stay at Basil or Burawai.The first village on the road to Babusar Pass is Batakundi, I6 kilometers beyond Naran. Nestled at the conﬂuence of Siran Nala and Kunhar River, Batakundi offers travelers a rest house and two small hotels. Batakundi is a fertile area and is famous for the cultivation of good Quality seeds of potato and peas which are distributed across Pakistan. A 5 km jeep track from here leads right up to the Lalazar pasture.Continuing on the main road, one will reach Burawai after an other 8 km. Situated at the conﬂuence of Joar Nala and the River KunharBurawai has PWD rest house and a small road side hotel. At the conﬂuence of Noori Nala and River Kunhar, Ialkahd is the next stop after covering an other I I km. Few years ago, a jeep road from here has been constructed to link Kaghan Valley with Neelum Valley in Azad Kashmir xta Noori Pass.Besal, a nomad settlement, is 23 km from Jalkhad. A road side restaurant offers tea and simple food to travelers who wish to observe nomad life at the conjunction of Purbi Nar, Saeedullah Nar and Kunhar River. From Besal, one can deviate I 5 km east to another beautiful area. Lake Dudupat Sar, famous for its lush green surroundings and good trout fishing. This lake is accessible by foot or hired pony. For those interested in the main source of Kunhar River and a pleasant spot of picnic, a three kilometer journey beyond Basal will take you to the beautiful deep blue Lake Lulusar. The largest of the Kaghan Valley lakes, Lulusar is surrounded in color by many varieties of wild ﬂowers. A sense of culture can also be observed through the summer encampments of the Gujar nomads.Passing through the last summer settlement of Kaghan Valley at Gittidas I2 km from Besal), Babusar Pass is the end of Kaghan Valley. Along the way, Gujar nomads spend the summer months on this high pasture with their herds of sheep and goats. The last 7 kilometers to the top is a steep climb. A stone cairn marks the highest point of the pass. From the stone cairn marking the highest point of the pass. many take the time to enjoy the gorgeous vistas surroundings Kaghan and Babusar Valleys and the white topped snow mountains in the backdrop. Chilas town is 50 kilometers from here. From Chilas one can go towards Gilgit, Hunza, Skardu and other valleys of Northern Areas.
Shogran, one of the mostbeautiful plateaus in the valley, is situated 34 kilometers from Balakot via Kawai. To reach this Quaint place, take a side road on the right after passing through Kawai.From here it is a steep 7 kilometers to Shogran. The road is metalled and normal cars and vans can make the drive.Surrounded by thick pine forests and with an altitude of 7747 feet, the summer climate of Shogran is very mild and pleasant. One of the nicer place to visit is Shogran‘s Forest Rest House. From the rolling grassy lawns of the rest house, one can become immersed breathtaking panoramic views of snow covered mountains. Kaghan Valley’s highest peaks, such as Musa Ka Musalla (441 9m), Makra (3 885 m) and Malika Parbat (5290m), are visible from here. For those wishing to stay the night or have a meal, there are a number of small and medium size hotels in Shogran. For more information on hotels please consult list of hotels.A wonderful excursion from Shogran is a visit to Sari and Paya. A rugged eight kilometer road climbs 2300 feet through thick pine forest to the top of Paya ridge, a lush green meadow with spectacular view of Malika Parbat. One can also see varieties of wild alpine ﬂowers on the rolling grassy slopes of Paya. Visitors can then hike up Makra (Spider) Mountain, which is I 2743 feet from see level. From Paya, trekkers must climb around 2000 feet to reach the top of Makra, on the border Between Kaghan Valley and Azad Kashmir’s Neelum Valley. This mountain climb is recommended only for those who have previous experience in high altitude hiking, are familiar with the mountain wilderness safety rules and are properly equipped.Sari is a small lake on the way to Paya. One can stop here for a while for rest and refreshment. This place also has a small forest rest house and some tea stalls. Travelers enjoy sipping hot tea frorr. one ofthe stalls while soaking in the majestic views of snow covered mountains reﬂected in the lake.
Back on the main road to Naran, 6 kilometers further north of Kawai is the small town of Paras. The main bazaar consists of some shops and road side restaurants and is worth stopping at to have a cup of tea or simple lunch. Public transport usually makes a tea stop here while going to Naran. There are also orchards of apple and apricot in the nearby village
Paras is the starting point for a detour to Sharan which is at a distance of 16 kilometers from Paras and is accessible only by jeeps. This place is famous for its lush green meadows and thick pine forest. This area is not on the main tourist route but is ideal for nature and adventure lovers. From here one can go on an exciting two to three days trekking and camping trip to the top of Musa Ka Musala and onwards to the Siran Valley
A little ahead of Paras, Shinu is a place which has a trout hatchery. This is one of the oldest hatcheries of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Province Fisheries Department. It is from this hatchery that brown trout and rainbow trout are stocked in the upper Kunhar River, Lake Saiful Muluk, Lulusar, Dudupat Sar. If you want to have a closer look at this beautiful fish you can make a short stop at Shinu hatchery which is located right on the road along the river banK