At a distance of 34 km from Balakot, lies the green plateau of Shogran (2,362 m above sea level). Drive by car to village Kiwai, 24 km from Balakot and turn to right for Shogran for another 10 kms. From Shogran, you can visit Sari, Paye and Makra by jeep or you can go for hiking.
District Shangla Par is located in Swat Valley (North Latitude 34-31 to 33-08 and East Longitude 72-33 to 73-01) with its headquarter at Alpuri (8 km from Shangla Top). District Shangla was created out of District Swat on 01-07-1995 and it was fully functional w.e.f. 14-08-2001. The new district consists of two Tehsils namely, Alpuri and Puran.
The highest point of the district is Shangla Top (7001 feet or 2,125 meters above sea level), 56 km from Saidu Sharif and 45 km from Besham (Karakoram Highway), connected through a paved single road. The only accommodation available is the Forest Rest House at Shangla Top. It receives an average snowfall from 5 to 8 feet in winter. There is a trout hatchery in Alpuri proper. From Alpuri, on way to village Lilonai, there is a beautiful lake called Bashigram.
Swat, the land of romance and beauty, is celebrated throughout the world as the holy land of Buddhist learning and piety. Swat acquired fame as a place of Buddhist pilgrimage. Buddhist tradition holds that the Buddha himself came to Swat during his last reincarnation as the Guatama Buddha and preached to the people here. It is said that the Swat was filled with fourteen hundred imposing and beautiful stupas and monasteries, which housed as many as 6,000 gold images of the Buddhist pantheon for worship and education. There are now more than 400 Buddhist sites covering and area of 160 Km in Swat valley only. Among the important Buddhist excavation in swat an important one is Butkarha-I, containing the original relics of the Buddha.
Skardu, capital of Baltistan is perched 2,438 metres above sea level in the backdrop of the great peaks of the Karakorams. Balti people are a mixture of Tibetan and Caucasian stock and speak Balti, an ancient form of Tibetan. Due to the similarity of its culture, lifestyle and architecture with Tibet, Baltistan is also known as the “Tibet-e-Khurd” (Little Tibet). It borders on the Chinese province of Xinjiang and Indian-occupied Kashmir. The tourist season is from April to October. The maximum temperature is 27 C and minimum (October) 8 C. Apart from its incomparable cluster of mountain peaks and glaciers Baltistan’s five valleys – Shigar, Skardu, Khaplu, Rondu and Kharmang are noted for their luscious peaches, apricots, apples and pears
About 240 kilometers long picturesque Neelum Valley is situated to the North & North East of Muzaffarabad. Running parallel to the Kaghan Valley, it is separated from it by snow covered peaks, some over 5000 meters above sea level. Excellent scenic beauty, panoramic view, towering hills on both sides of the noisy Neelum river, lush green forests, enchanting streams, high altitude lakes and attractive surroundings make the valley a dream come true. Places of interest in Neelum Valley are; Kundal Shahi, Kutton, Salkhala, Athmaqam, Karen, Dowarian, Sharda & Kel.
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 picturious landscape and valley’s 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.
They are a series of wonderful Hill-resorts on the ridge between Murree and Abbottabad and are more attractive than other cities. Murree is a very popular hill station about 50 km north of the capital Islamabad while Abbottabad is a city in NWFP province with a very British atmosphere. However, between them is a wonderful road which has been fully repaired from being the “highway to hell” to being an excellent 2 lane road and protection on the sides. The main tourist stay on this road is the town of Nathia Gali and the resort of Ayubia. Nathia Gali is known as the City of Fog for it can get very foggy here. The usual definition of fog doesn’t stand here
On the west bank of the Indus, 580 km Karachi, lies Moenjodaro (Mound of the Dead), an archaeological site which has been rated amongst the most spectacular of the world’s ancient cities. Considered one of the earliest and most developed of urban civilizations, Moenjodaro flourished from the third to the middle of the second millennium B.C.
When it vanished leaving only traces of its culture. Moenjodaro alongwith Harappa (in the Punjab), some 1280 km away – formed part of the Indus valley civilization and its is now generally believed that these were the cities, referred to in the Rigveda that were destroyed by the Aryan invaders.
Lahore has been the capital of Punjab for nearly 1,000 years. Besides being the Mughal show-window, Lahore is the cultural, academic and intellectual centre of Pakistan. For 200 years, beginning from about 1525 AD, Lahore remained a thriving cultural centre of the great Mughal Empire, when the city was beautified with palaces, gardens, monuments and mosques. During the British regime, many monuments sprang up in Lahore which blended beautifully with the Mughal, Gothic and Victorian styles of architecture.
Legend has it that the city was founded by two sons of Rama about 4,000 years ago. Reminiscence of its hoary past are the remains of a subterranean temple (attributed to Rama, the legendary hero of Ramayana) found in the northern part of the Royal Fort. Historically, it has been proved that Lahore is about 2,000 years old. Hieun-tsang, the famous Chinese Pilgrim, has given a vivid description of Lahore city, which he visited in the early 7th century AD. Abu Rehan Al-Biruni, in his Tarikh-e-Hind, at the time of Mahmud Gazni’s invasion, also mentioned Lahore in detail.
Kirthar National Park (Dadu District) is a game reserve for wildlife. It is one of the four parks in Pakistan, which are included in the United Nation’s list of national parks. The 3,000 sq. km park is northeast of Karachi, and is four hours drive from the city. It is the habitat of rare species that include Sindh Ibex, Chinkara, Gazelles, Leopards, wild sheep and other animals. The best period to visit is from October to February. However, it turns lush green in August during the monsoons. The Sindh Wildlife Management Board has its office on Stratchen Road Karachi, from where booking can be made for the rest house in the Park area.
The area of Karachi, in Sindh, Pakistan has a natural harbor and has been used as fishing port by local fisherman belonging to Sindhi and Baloch tribes since prehistory. The port was known to the ancient ancient Greeks by many names: Krokola, where Alexander the Great camped in Sindh to prepare a fleet for Babylonia after his campaign in the Indus valley; ‘Morontobara’ port (probably the modern Manora Island near the Karachi harbor), from where Alexander’s admiral Nearchus sailed for back home; and Barbarikon, a sea port of the Indo-Greek Bactrian kingdom. Karachi was called Ramya in some Greek texts. The Arabs knew it as the port of Debal, from where Muhammad Bin Qasim led his conquering force into Sindh (the western corner of South Asia) in AD 712. According to the British historian Eliot, parts of district of Karachi and the island of Manora constituted the city of Debal. Lahari Bandar or Lari Bandar succeeded Debal as a major port of the Indus it was located close to Bhambore, in modern Karachi.
These are a group of three small valleys: Brir, Bumburet and Rambur. Brir lies at the southern most tip of Chitral at a distance of 34 km (21 miles) and is easily accessible by jeep-able road via Ayun. It is especially ideal for those not used to trekking. Bumburet, the largest and the most picturesque valley of the Kafir Kalash, is 36 km.(22 miles) from Chitral and is connected by a jeep-able road.
Rambur is 32 km (20 miles) from Chitral, the road is jeep-able. Foreign tourists require permits for visiting the Kalash valleys. Permits are issued free of cost by the Deputy Commissioner, Chitral, Tel: 1. Foreign visitors have to pay a toll tax of Rs.10 per person while Re. 1.00 per person is charged from domestic tourists.
Kaghan is a jewel among the many beautiful valleys in the Mansehra District of Hazara in the North West Frontier 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 banks of the river are the towns of Balakot, Paras, Mahandari, Kaghan and Naran. The local people are friendly and simple. Gujar nomads are one of the most interesting features of the Kaghan Valley. They take their herds of cattle to the high pastures of the upper Kaghan Valley in spring 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 herds of pack animals, sheep and goats.
The city of Islamabad, the capital of Pakistan, is located on the Pothohar Plateau within the Islamabad Capital Territory—one of the earliest known sites of human settlement in Asia. Some of the earliest Stone Age artifacts in the world have been found on the plateau, dating from 1 mln to 500,000 years ago. The crude stones recovered from the terraces of the Soan River testify to the endeavours of early man in the inter-glacial period. Items of pottery and utensils dating back to prehistory have been found in several areas.
Hyderabad, once the capital of Sindh and now the third largest city of Pakistan, is one of the oldest cities of South Asia. Its history dates back to pre-Islamic times, when Ganjo Takan (Barren Hill), a nearby hill-tract, was used as a place of worship. The city traces its early history to Neroon, a Hindu ruler of the area from whom the city derived its previous name, “Neroon Kot” (Fort of Neroon). The next important phase of its history began when the Indus changed its course from Khudabad, the then capital of Sindh, to its present position. As a result, the Kalhora rulers (1700-1782) decided to shift the capital to the present location, then a small settlement on the left bank of the Indus. The construction of a fort was then also undertaken which dominated the skyline of old city, but of which little is intact.
The visitors to Hunza are overwhelmed by the rugged charm, the fragrant breeze singing through graceful Poplar trees and the velvet-like green carpet of wheat fields, set against the background of snow-covered mountains.
Situated at an elevation of 2,438 metres, Hunza Valley’s tourist season is from April to October. The temperature in May is maximum 27 C and minimum 14 C. The October temperature are: maximum 10 C and minimum 0 C. However, one can visit Hunza round the year.
Most of the people of Hunza are Ismaili Muslims, followers of His Highness the Aga Khan. The local language is Brushuski. Urdu and English are also understood by most of people.
Originally, Haleji Lake was small. During World War II the then-British Government of Sindh decided to increase the capacity of the lake by introducing a feeder canal from the River Sindh. The work was placed on a war footing and was completed within 24 months. During the war, thousands of American and British troops were stationed in Karachi; the water supply was provided by Haleji Lake….. Haleji originally was a salt-water lake which was formed by seasonal water, collecting in a depression. During World War II, additional water was required for troops stationed at Karachi. Salt water was drained out and an embankment was constructed around the lake which was fed by fresh water through a canal. Resultantly, Haleji became one of the major sources of water supply to the increasing population of Karachi as well as an exquisite refuge for waterfowl.
A water reservoir, home to Siberian migratory birds from November till February – birds lover paradise in these months. Some crocodiles as well, and fishing.
Gorakh, described by some as nature’s best preserved rock garden, is a high peak (157 m) in the Kirthar range of mountains about 100 km from Dadu. Plans to develop it as the first hill station of Sindh, have been on the anvil and, as a first step, an all weather road is under construction. On way to the top, there are clumps of almonds, pistachios and wild olives as well as aromatic herbs and weeds. The view from the top affords magnificent vistas of the surrounding hills. The peak has a spring in Gaji Bunjo, about a kilometer away from the summit. Gorakh is cool during the day and cold at night. A trip to Gorakh is captivating for trekkers and the local district administration can make arrangements for such tourists in advance.
Cholistan is locally known as Rohi. This famous desert is 30 Km from Bahawalpur and comprises of an area of 16,000 sq.km. which extends upto the Thar desert extending over to Sindh. The word Cholistan is derived from ‘Cholna’ which means moving. The people of Cholistan lead a semi-nomadic life, moving from one place to another in search of water and fodder for their animals.
This 322 km.(200-mile) long mountain hideout, nesting high in the Hindu Kush range, is a place of fascinating scenic beauty and grandeur. Chitral’s collection of rugged mountains, sulphur springs, rivers teeming with trout, orchard-dotted slopes, friendly people and annual festivals are enchanting beyond description. For the modern day traveler this scenic region offers an exciting experience. It is easily accessible by air from historic city of Peshawar.
Alexander of Greece marched through this valley in 327 B.C, and left behind traces of Greek heritage, which can still be seen.
Balakot 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 accompany 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
Abbottabad, is 1,222 m. above sea level, is a neat and clean town in a spacious valley surrounded by green hills. It is a popular summer resort. It serves as a base for trips to Kaghan valley and the Gallies. PTDC maintains a Tourist Information Centre here to facilitate the visitors. Places worth visiting in and around Abbottabad are; Ilyasi Mosque with a water spring, Shimla hill view point. Thandiani is another attractive hill resort 30 km east of Abbottabad at an altitude of 8,800 feet