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Introduction

Neelum Valley

Neelum Valley, with excellent scenic comeliness, panoramic view, towering hills on both sides of the strepitous Neelum river, lush green forests, enchanting streams and captivating circumventions make the valley a dream come true.

Also spelled Neelum Valley,  is a 144 km long bow-shaped thick forested region in Azad Jammu and Kashmir in Pakistan Administered Kashmir. It is named after the Neelum river, which flows through the length of the valley.

Neelam Valley Azad Jammu Kashmir is situated in the north-east of Muzaffarabad, running parallel to Kaghan Valley. The two valleys are only separated by snow-covered peaks, some over 4,000 meters (13,000 ft) above sea level.

The area is ideal for trekking. A fair weather road opens the valley to tourists upto Kel, 155 kilometers from Muzaffarabad, of which about 150 kilometers has been ebony topped while the remaining portion is being matalled. Buses ply daily on this rout and accommodation facilities are additionally available in the rest houses of places of tourist magnetization. Simple cooking facilities are available but one has to make his own arrangements for special dishes.

Location: Neelum Valley is located in the Azad Kashmir region of Pakistan, bordered by India to the east and surrounded by the majestic peaks of the Himalayas. Accessible from Muzaffarabad, the capital of Azad Kashmir, Neelum Valley is approximately a 3-4 hours drive away, making it easily reachable for visitors.

Accessibility: Neelum Valley is accessible by road from major cities such as Islamabad and Muzaffarabad. The journey offers stunning views of the lush valleys, winding rivers, and snow-capped mountains, making it a memorable experience in itself. Public transport, as well as private taxis and tour operators, are available for transportation within the valley.

Attractions in Neelum valley:

Historical places

In Neelam valley there are dozens of beautiful and historical places, Sharada Peeth in Sharda and Janawai town is one of the most beautiful and historical place in Neelam valley.

In Neelam valley there are dozens of beautiful and historical places, Sharada Peeth in Sharda and Janawai town is one of the most beautiful and historical place in Neelam valley.

Kundal Shahi:

It is 74 kilometers from Muzaffarabad. Here, Jagran Nallah joins river Neelum which is being developed for trout fishing.

Jura: The most popular and most populated area in district neelum is jura, which is famous for its Bazar and its beautiful places and highest mountains. There are many colleges, private and government schools, hospitals and other facilities.

Kutton:(Jagran Valley)

The bewitching comeliness of Kutton permeated in the radius of 10 kilometers, makes Jagran Valley . The area is 16 kilometers from Kundal Shahi, is accessible by an unpaved road. For the accomodation of tourists, the tourism department has constructed two angler’s huts.

About 3 kilometers ahead of Kundal Shahi, there is another secluded spot of tourist interest of Salkhala across river Neelum where a trout hatchery has been established. A tourism rest house is available here for accommodation.

SalkhalaAuthmuqam:

Authmuqam is 10 kilometers from Kundal Shahi of a height of 1371 meters. It is the sub-divisional headquarter of the area and accommodates as a take-off point for tourists fascinated with hiking and exploring the inner valley. It is an alluring place kenned for its variety of fruit. All obligatory facilities viz bazaar, post office banks, hospital, telephone and PWD east house are available here.

At a distance of about 9 kilometers from Authmuqam. Neelum is situated on the right bank of the river Neelum 1524 meters above sea level. It has a fascinating scenery. The village has a population of about one thousand, a diminutive bazaar and a tourist rest house situated on the bank of meandering river Neelum across from where the Indian held Kashmir is withal visible.

The panoramic lush green valley, profound in wild fruit and wildlife, magnetizes the tourists from every nook and corner of the country. Owing to its tourist magnetization, AJK Tourism Department is orchestrating to develop this area. 2 motels, 15 tourist huts, cafeteria and a tuck shop will be constructed here.

Dowarian

is situated about 13 kilometers from Neelum at an altitude of 1615 meters. It is circumvented by mountains full of conifer trees. A mule track upto Rattigali Pass , about 30 kilometers towards west, connects the Neelum and Kaghan Valleys . There is a forest rest house on the top of the hill, a tourist rest house is available for accommodation near main road.

Sharda:

Located at a distance of 30 kilometers from Dowarian. It is a breath-taking green spot at an altitude of 1981 meters. Shardi and Nardi are two mountain peaks overlooking the valley, reputedly denominated after legendry princess Sharda, it has a captivating landscape with numerous springs and hill sides covered with trees. On the right bank, antithesis to Sharda, the Neelum is joined by the Surgan Nallah along which a track leads to Nurinar Pass and through it to the Kaghan Valley.

In Sharda, one additionally finds ruins of an old Budhist University . Facilities of a minuscule bazaar, post office, health centre, public call office and rest house are available in Sharda. The AJK Tourism Department has launched a sizably voluminous programme under the denomination of “ Tourist Village at Sharda” . The entire project is nearing towards culmination. Tourist rest houses, youth hostel, cafeteria, game room, bridal path etc. near the jungle have been consummated.

About 19 kilometers journey from Sharda upstream takes one to Kel. It is a minute valley at a height of 2097 meters. This is another picturesque place in the Neelum Valley . The Shounter Nallah joins river Neelum at this place and leads to Gilgit Agency over the Shandur Pass (4420 meters above sea level).

Arang Kel : A village and tourist spot located on the hill top near KEL at the altitude of 8,379 feet (2,554 m) feet. It is accessible by a 2 kilometers (1.2 mi) trek from Kel.

Tehjian: Tehjian is most beautiful Village of Neelum Valley. Total Population of Tehjian is nearly 5000, There is 40 years old Middle School, but for highly populated village there is no Post Office or Basic Health Unit. Few private hotels and a tourist hostel of AJK Tourism Department located there for tourists stay.

Dudhnial It is a very famous and beautiful town of Neelum Valley. There is a government college, Girls high school and Hospital and other government offices. There are many shops and restaurants. Private rest houses facility is also available there.

Halmat:The area from Kel to Taobat is called the Halmat. The border village about 49 kilometers ahead of Kel, is a fascinating but unexplored optical discernment Janawai, Sardari and Halmat are the most pulchritudinous places of this area. A tourist rest house has been constructed of Halmat to provide accommodation facilities to the visitors.

(Taobat: The last station of the valley. It is 200 kilometers (120 mi) from Muzaffarabad and 39 kilometers (24 mi) away from Kel. A tourist hotel of AJK Tourism Department and many private hotel with basic facilities located here for tourists.

Lakes in Neelum Valley:

Chitta Katha Lake is located in Shonter valley, a sub valley of Neelam valley at the altitude of 13,500 feet (4,100 m). The lake is accessible from Kel by a 20 kilometers (12 mi) jeep track and then 5 kilometers (3.1 mile) hiking trek. Kel is the base camp to this lake.

Shounter Lake is a minuscule lake located in Shounter valley at the altitude of 10,200 feet (3,100 m). It is accessible from Kel by a jeep track.

Ratti Gali Lake is located in Neelam valley at the altitude of 12,130 feet (3,700 m). The lake is accessible from Dowarian by a 19 kilometers (12 mile) hiking trek. Dowarian is the base camp to this lake.

Saral Lake is located in Neelam Valley, at an altitude of 13,600 feet (4,100 m). Sharda is the base camp to this lake.

Popular Tourist Attractions:

  1. Ratti Gali Lake: Trek through lush green meadows and pine forests to reach the mesmerizing Ratti Gali Lake, known for its crystal-clear blue waters and panoramic views of surrounding peaks.
  2. Shounter Lake: Hidden amidst snow-capped mountains, Shounter Lake is a tranquil oasis offering opportunities for camping, fishing, and hiking amidst pristine natural beauty.
  3. Keran Village: Experience rural life in the picturesque village of Keran, where you can enjoy leisurely walks along the Neelum River, surrounded by terraced fields and fruit orchards.
  4. Sharda: Sharda is renowned for its ancient Sharda Peeth, a historic site of religious significance, as well as its lush greenery and panoramic views of the Neelum Valley.
  5. Kel: Explore the quaint village of Kel, situated at the base of the towering Makra Peak, and embark on thrilling adventures such as trekking, mountaineering, and sightseeing.

Weather and Temperature: Neelum Valley experiences a moderate climate during the summer months (April to September), with temperatures ranging from 20°C to 30°C. The weather is pleasant, making it the ideal time to visit for outdoor activities and sightseeing. During the winter months (October to March), Neelum Valley receives heavy snowfall, transforming it into a winter wonderland with temperatures dropping below freezing point.

Best Time to Visit: The best time to visit Neelum Valley is during the summer months (April to September) when the weather is pleasant, and the valley is in full bloom with vibrant colors. This period offers ideal conditions for trekking, hiking, camping, and exploring the natural beauty of the region. However, for those seeking adventure in the snow, the winter months (December to February) provide opportunities for skiing, snowboarding, and enjoying the magical winter scenery.

Embark on an unforgettable journey to Neelum Valley and immerse yourself in the enchanting beauty of this Himalayan paradise. Whether you’re seeking adventure, tranquility, or simply a connection with nature, Neelum Valley offers something for every traveler. Come and experience the magic of Neelum Valley with Vertical Explorers.

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