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Naran Valley

 
Ansoo Lake  ||  Babusar  ||  Baisal  ||  Balakot  ||  Batakundi  ||  Dudipatsar Lake  ||  Kaghan  ||  Kiwai  ||  Lalazar  ||  Lulusar Lake  ||  Malakandi Forest  ||  Manoor Valley  ||  Naran  ||  Paye  ||  Rati Gali Lake  ||  Saiful Malook  ||  Saral Lake  ||  Sharan  ||  Shogran  ||  Siri  ||  Siri Lake  || 

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Naran valley is the most beautiful & picturesque valley. That's why it is called virtual paradise, unbelievably in pristine state and still unspoiled by the human. You'll find the Himalayan peaks hidden with clouds or snow, somewhere you'll find the beautiful fairy tale lakes, which will attract you toward them, and you might decide not to leave this at any cost. Where Kaghan is full of scenic beauty there it is full of thrill and excitement for the mountaineers and treks.

Naran Valley is a 155 kms long scenic wonderland. Lofty peaks crown the mountains ranges on either side like turrets, ranging in height from 12,000 to 17,000 ft and more, with the eastern range higher than the western. The bed of valley slopes up from 3,000 ft at Balakot, which, as it were, the gateway of the valley, to 12,000 ft at Gittdas beyond which the valley crosses at Babusar Pass 14,000 ft. The first ten miles or so are largely barren, but when the valley raises to about 5,000 ft forests of pine and fir appear, densely overgrown with a variety of plants, which has won for Kaghan the epithets of 'the botanists paradise'. The forests continue till about Naran 8,000 ft.

Road goes along the river Kunhar, meandering now to one side and now to the other. But keeping most to the bed of the valley and never too far above the bank of the stream except in the very first state.

The Naran Valley is accessible by road from Abbottabad. From Abbottabad, 72 km drive to Balakot, the gateway to Kaghan valley. Here you have to switch over to jeeps for your drive 100 km to Kaghan Valley.

Balakot

Kaghan valley starts from Balakot, which is famous for the Mausoleum of two Muslim warriors Syed Ahmed Shaheed Brelvi and Shah Ismail who laid their lives fighting against Sikhs in the 18th century. Balakot is situated at the foot of the mountains that goes thousands of feet above. The toy huts, which are amazingly perched on their slopes. On other side is the Kunhar River, which accompanies you all along your journey. The river is muddy in the plains but as you go towards the mountains it becomes clearer. The road to Kaghan is frightening because on your left are the deep slopes to the river and on your right are the lofty mountains.

Kawai:

13 miles away from Balakot to Kaghan is Kawai in these 13 miles you'll reach the altitude of 4000 feet starting from 3000 feet which means that you have covered 1000 feet of altitude in just 13 miles. The main place here to visit is Shogran, which is 5 miles jeep able trek now in these 5 miles you'll go up another 3000 feet. Now you are 7000 feet above the sea level and rightly so because Shogran means "Forest in the sky". You'll be able to view the some of the lofty peaks from here, which are " Moosa Ka Musalla " and " Makra "having height of 14000 feet, and Malika-e-Parbat (Queen of the Mountains) (17000 feet). Then comes Mahandri village the altitude here is 5,800 feet now the landscape and the scene changes here and becomes wilder the river Mahandri is still with you but you'll feel it much closer to you. Another 11 miles from here is the village Kaghan at 7000 feet is the wonderland here river is 800 feet below the road.

Naran

Naran is the middle point of Kaghan Valley and it is a place where you defiantly want to spend few days of your leisure. This is the place of out-door pleasure. Here you'll depart from the river Kunhar and on both sides of road there are vast fields. Don't look here and there the melody you are hearing is provided by the river Kunhar who is with you on same level. If you like climbing this is a place for you because there are mountains all around you. You can explore the scenic and pictorials landscape and valleys by climbing up hiking. If you like fishing get your fishing license we have trout and mahasheer for you fishing here for tourist is must.

Sharan:

Known for its Silence. Home to the echo of Owls, this is Sharan, The trek starts from Paras, which is accessible by drive on Balakot - Naran Road, about seven kilometers from Kewai towards Naran, one can take a trek across the river Kunhar to Sharan (7700 feets from the sea level). It is about 16 kilometers from Paras. The most spectacular thing about Sharan is walnut trees. So many walnuts to eat and jungle to explore. From Early night till four in morning you can hear owls.. and after that some sparrow starts to sing till the sunlight.Sharan is a thick forest and isolated from the outside world. A wonderful place to get out of this world.

Shogran:

Shogran is a serene resort in the Kaghan Valley. Unlike Naran, Shogran has less hotels and a much smaller bazaar. However, this is where its appeal lies. Around Shogran the area is heavily forested and you can see across the valley. Shogran is much cooler than the plains in Pakistan as it is a much higher altitude. The only form of public transport between Kawai and Shogran are jeeps. The journey takes about 45 minutes and climb up the road though luxurious pine forest. Look out of the windows of the jeep and you will see some spectacular views of the valley across and below.
Shogran is a haven for wildlife sadly much of it rare now such as leopard, lack bear, wolf, wild cats, musk deer, goral, pheasants, eagles and many smaller birds belonging to the thrush, warbler, tit, woodpecker families too. Shogran is a village situated on a green plateau in the Naran Valley, northern Pakistan at a height of 2,362 meters above sea level. The village was affected by the earthquake of 2005 when some building were damaged.[1] It is only 10 km from Kiwai village and 4 km from Balakot. The road from Islamabad to Kiwai is metalled and measures 212 km. From Shogran, you can ride a jeep or horse or hike to several picturesque places like Siri, Paye and Makra Peak. Hotels and motels are easily available at affordable costs. The local people are friendly and helpful.

Siri:

Siri Shogran village is situated on a green plateau in northern Pakistan at a height of 2,362 meters above sea level. It is only 07 km from village Kiwai or 27 km from Balakot. The road from Islamabad to Kiwai is metalled and measures 212 km. From Shogran, you can ride a jeep or horse or hike to several picturesque places like Siri. There is a lake also.

Paye:

Payee Shogran village is situated on a green plateau in northern Pakistan at a height of 2,362 meters above sea level. It is only 10 km from village Kiwai or 34 km from Balakot. The road from Islamabad to Kiwai is metalled and measures 212 km. From Shogran, you can ride a jeep or horse or hike to several picturesque places like Siri, Paye and Makra Peak. Hotels and motels are easily available at affordable costs. The local people are friendly and helpful.

Malkandi Forest:

8 miles on the western slopes of Kaghan is Kamalban, a heavily populated forest of black bears and leopards, which do incalculable harm to the crops and young trees. Killing a bear is a big game and you'll get reward for shooting down a bear from forest officer as well as from the peasants. Besides these you'll be able to find Muskdeer, thar and goral, Chikore and Himalayan pheasants all over the valley. And if you'll go a little higher you'll be able to find red bear, snow leopard and ibex and occasionally a snow partridge or Ram Chikore or Murgh-I-Zarrin.

BattaKundi and Lalazar:

16 Kilometers from Naran is the Battakundi another enjoyable spot and is the turning point for Lalazar connected via jeepable road which a plateau of rare scenic beauty.
Babusar Pass: Babusar pass is the end of the Kaghan valley is blocked by the mountains but the Babusar pass is the gate between Kaghan and Gilgit valley at the altitude of 13600 feet. From here you can have the glimpse of the naked mountain Naga Parbat with a towering height of 26,660 feet. Road at Babusar Pass is remained closed, because of snowbound, from October to June, also restricted during monsoon season.

Manoor Valley:

Manoor Valley is a beautiful remote valley in the Kaghan area. It is accessible via a jeep road from Mahundari. There is a forest department rest house in the Manoor Valley called Manoor Bangla.It is a beautiful rest house in absolute wilderness. It can be booked in advanced from Forest department office at Mansehra to remain on the safe side. However you can always pitch your camp there or get a room (depending upon the availability) from the chacha (bungalow keeper).

Baisal:

Baisal is a small village and starting point for many treks to Naran areas.If you follow stream of Purbinar, you will reach Dudipat Sar Lake. While if you move on, you will reach saral. If we follow from Baisal to Babusar Pass then there is Lulusar Lake. Baisal is a small stony village.

Babusar Pass:

Babusar Pass is at a distance of 80 km from Naran. It is on the way to the pass that the Kaghan valley's scenery becomes most dramatic. Battakundi is at a distance of 16 km from Naran and provides access to Lalazar Plateau, lake Dodiputsar and lake Lulusar which is the biggest natural lake in Hazara and the source of Kunhar river. From Babusar Top mighty Nanga Parbat (8126 m) can be seen on a clear day. It is located at an altitude of 4146 m (14,000 ft). From here, the whole panorama lies spread out before the visitor. On a clear day the great Nanga Parbat (26,660 ft) can also be seen from here.

Lakes in Naran:

Saiful-Malook Lake:

Five mile away another 3000 feet above the Naran is Fairy Tale Lake Saiful Maluk the lake is accessible by jeep or by tracking because there is a mere trek to reach the lake. It is almost impossible to describe the beauty of this lake, which is like mirror at the altitude of 3200 meters. The Queen of the Mountains is standing in the east and looking her image in the mirror of Lake Saiful Maluk. You can spend few days here to monitor the guards of lake, which are towering peaks and spread all around the lake.

Aansoo Lake:

Elevation : 4000m
People who have just heard about this lake and never came across any of its picture, get disappointed to see its size. It is however the path that leads to it is attractive rather than the lake itself. Aannsoo means ‘tear’ and is called so because of its shape which looks very much like a tear drop from the top. It can be accessed via Saif ul Mulook or Manoor valley. It takes 3-4 hrs of walk to reach it from lake Saif ul Mulook including a tough ascend just before it. From Manoor, it can be accessed via Manoor gali and Kuch gali which is described in another post of mine here.

Lulusar Lake:

48 kilometers away from Naran, on Naran-Babusar road is Lulu Sar Lake which is wreathed in blue and gold wild flowers, and is the main source of river Kunhar. Near Gittidas is the 11,000 feet high Lulusar Lake out of which river Kunhar issues anew with redoubled strength to flow down the valley first as placid blue stream and then a roaring torrent until it joins the Jhelum. Lulusar has very enchanting beauty and its view remains in the mind of tourist for a long time. The is surrounded by snowcapped hills whose purple and white forms are reflected in the green-blue waters of the silent lake, making it one of the most beautiful spots in the valley. From Gittidas the road goes on through the Babusar Pass into Gilgit. This road is one of the highest in the world.

Lulusar is a lake near the Naran Valley in the North-West Frontier Province of Pakistan. The word "sar" means "top or peak" in Pashto. Actually Lulusar is the name of the mountains that contain the lake. So, it is the lake of Lulusar. It is located at N35.0804 E73.9266, at a height of 11,200 ft (3,410 m) from sea level.

The lake is the main source of the Kunhar, which flows through the entire Kaghan Valley through Jalkhand, Naran Valley, Kaghan, Jared, Paras and Balakot until it joins the Jhelum River. The lake is 48 kilometers away from Naran, on the Naran-Babusar road. Lulusar marks the historic place where 55 participants of the 1857 war of independence were arrested.

The lake is much bigger in size as compared to other lakes around the valley, and is surrounded by snowcapped hills, making it a natural tourist attraction. From Gittidas, the Naran-Babusar road, one of the highest in the world, goes through the Babusar Pass to Gilgit. In the summer, when the water reflects its surroundings like a mirror, a large number of both domestic and international visitors make the lake a destination stop.

Dudipat Sar:

Elevation : 3900m
Dudipat lake is the crown of all lakes of Kaghan valley. The fact that it cannot be accessed through any vehicle has so far kept it in with its original charm and matchless beauty. The trek to Dudipat starts from Besal which is at a distance of around 55 kms from Naran and is accessible through jeeps. From there the trek remains mainly along with the Purbi Nar (Nar is ‘Nala’ in local language) and takes around 6-8 hours. Best months to visit this lake are July and August. Isobel Shaw’s book mentions that one can view Nanga Parbat and other snowy peaks from the pass and further top of the hill towards northeast after 2-3 hrs of climb.

Saral Lake:

Elevation : 3500m
From Dudipat, a trek of 5-6 hours can take you to Saral Lake. From Saral, one can come back to Naran or can try descending into the Neelum valley. A trek of 6-8 hours from Besal can take one to Noori Nar top from where jeeps can be taken for Sharda in Neelum Valley.

Rati Gali Lake:

On the way to Jalkhad(Near Baisal) to Sharda, there is a top called as Nori Nar Top. from a day trek from Nori Nar Top on right side is Rati Gali. Secondly, you can move from Barawai in two days to Rati Gali. There are two beautiful lakes there. A night at Lake will be a dream night

Siri Lake:

Siri Lake is a small lake in Siri, shogran valley. It is on the path way to Paye.


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