Kaghan valley The Kaghan Valley is located in Northern Pakistan northeast of Hazara, NWFP. It's one of the valleys that's relatively easy to reach from Rawalpindi / Islamabad.The mountain scenery, the dales, lakes, water-falls, streams and glaciers are the main reason to come here. The Valley extends for 155 km rising from an elevation of 2,134 meters to its highest point, the Babusar Pass, at 4,145 meters. Further north from Babusar Pass, a jeep track leads to Chilas, which is now on Karakoram Highway. Before Karakoram Highway was opened in 1978, the only road access to Gilgit was through Kaghan Valley.Kaghan valley is a very beautiful & attractive 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.Kaghan 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 Gittidas 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.The road from Balakot ascends along the Kunhar River through lovely forests and the villages of Paras, Shinu, Jared and Mahandri. The valley is somewhat narrow along this stretch and the views are limited but as you ascend, the surrounding peaks come into view. One spot that is quite famous for its spectacular view and scenery is 'Shogran'. This village, surrounded by peaks and forests, is east of the main Kunhar River. It hosts the famous Siri-Paya mountain with breathtaking views at its top.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.
Attractions: 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 : 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.Lake Saiful Maluk : 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.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.Lulu Sar 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.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.
The Kaghan 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.