A holiday in the Kaghan
Valley, the Himalayan hide-away, north-east of the Hazara district of
Pakistanís North West Frontier Province, is an unforgettable experience.
Its mountains, dales, lakes,
water-falls, streams and glaciers are still in unbelievable pristine state, and
unspoiled paradise. That is why it can be such a deeply satisfying experience to
spend a few days in Kaghan. The Valley extends for 155 kms. Rising from an
elevation of 2,134 metres to its highest point, the Babusar Pass, at 4,173
metres. Kaghan is at its best in the summer months (May to September). In May
the temperature is: maximum 11 C and the minimum 3 C. From the middle of July up
to the end of September, the road beyond Naran, snow-bound throughout the
winter, is open right up to Babusar Pass. Movement is restricted during the
monsoon season also.
to Get There
The Kaghan Valley is
accessible by road from Rawalpindi/Islamabad and Peshawar.
You can drive in your own or
a rented car, taxi, station-wagon or bus to Abbottabad which is 122 kms. from
Rawalpindi and 217 kms. from Peshawar. Abbottabad is a charming town spread out
over several low, refreshingly green hills. From there you drive 72 kms.
to Balakot, the gateway to the Kaghan Valley. Balakot has the shrines of Syed
Ahmed Shaheed and Ismail Shaheed Brelvi, the subcontinentís great freedom
For your drive to Kaghan,
you switch over at Balakot to a jeep. Your first stop is 34 kms. away at Shogran
at 2,362 metres above sea level. At Kaghan, the little village that gives the
valley its name-61 kms. from Balakot- you get down to stretch your legs.
23 kms. From
Kaghan you reach the half-way point. Naran also serves as the base for the whole
valley. From here you can ride a jeep or horse or hike in excursions to several
picturesque lakes, valleys and peaks.
Lake Saiful Muluk has a
touch of the unreal about it, nestling 3,200 metres high in the shadow of the
(Queen of the mountains) 5,291 metres high. You can go boating on
the lake and hear the local legend about Prince Saiful Muluk
who fell in love
with a fairy. Further up are quaint woodland villages; Battakundi, Burawai,
Besal Gittidas and Lalazar.
The Kaghan Valley is blocked
at the end by high mountains but a pass lets the jeep-able road snake over into
the Chilas Valley. This is the 4,173 metres high Babusar Pass
which commands the
whole Kaghan panorama as well as gives you, on a clear day, glimpses of the
Nanga Parbat (Naked Mountain) glistening at 8, 126 metres.
Fishing is the chief sport
in Kaghan. Brown Trout and Mahasher are stocked in the pure silvery waters
between Kaghan and Naran. The Kunhar river trout is considered best in the
Fishing licenses are issued
by either the Fisheries Department at Naran or the Trout Hatchery at Shinu.
There is the comfortably
furnished PTDC Motel Complex at Naran and Balakot, beside hotels and reasonably
To Buy :
Kaghan is noted for its artistically-carved walnut handicrafts,
embroidered shawls, shirts, woolen blankets and "namdas" (woolen felt