Pakistan is abundant with natural beauty. And one of the most beautiful places in Pakistan is the Kaghan valley.
For me, if heaven were located on earth, then – besides Kashmir – Kaghan valley would be it!
Kaghan is named after the town of Kaghan that lies within it and is also known as the valley of lakes. The Dudipatsar, Lulusar and Saiful Muluk (the most popular) lakes are some of the more famous of the dozens of lakes found here.
The valley has everything you can think of when planning a great vacation. It has glaciers, mountains, dales, streams, lakes, waterfalls, ideal villages, forests and more. The following are some of the most popular destinations in and around Kaghan valley.
This village looks like a scene out of a fantasy novel except that it is real. A quaint settlement in the middle of a forest, surrounded by mountain peaks and a beautiful river flowing through it. It’s the stuff that dreams are made of my friends. Another famous lake called the Siri Paye is also found here.
Saiful Muluk Lake
One of the places to visit when in Kaghan is the Saiful Muluk Lake (although it lies in the nearby Naran valley). A three hour drive from the village of Shogran, the lake is breathtakingly beautiful; in fact there are no words to describe the beauty of the lake under the full moon. Some say that the rays of the moon look like fairies descending on the lake.
The lake has a famous folktale attached to it called ‘Qissa Saiful Muluk’. According to the story, this was the place where a Persian prince and fairy met.
The Dudipatsar Lake
If you are in for an even more serious adventure you can go hiking for 7 hours to reach the Dudipatsar Lake. Sounds like a very difficult trek, but the green pastures and blue green water of the lake makes you forget all the hardship faced.
The Lulusar Lake
This is a lake shaped like an ‘L’ and has an unmatched view of the surrounding snowcapped mountains. The blue and green water of the lake reflects the surrounding mountains giving a magical experience.
As you may have guessed by now, Kaghan is a very popular tourist destination. To get to the Kaghan valley one needs travel upwards from Abbottabad and then north east from Mansehra. On your way there, you will pass the Naran valley and the Babusar pass which lies at approximately 13,690 ft.
The local residents are generally shepherds. You can see them all across the valley, on road sides, in their pastures, walking their herds, etc. Although the local language is Hindko and Gojri, due to the heavy tourism, you can also get by with Urdu.
The best time to visit Kaghan is during the summer as it gets too cold in winter!