Naran and Kaghan Valley of Pakistan:
Naran is an average-sized town in the upper kaghan valley in the Mansehra district of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Pakistan. It is 119km away from Mansehra city. Waadi Naran is one of the most delightful places in northern regions in Pakistan which is raised 2500 meters above ocean level. The Kaghan Valley is an alpine-climate valley and the weather is cold all the time. The total length of the Kaghan valley is 155 kilometers.
The total height of this valley is 2,134 feet minimum while it elevates up to 13,690 feet to the Babusar Top. Moreover, the valley of Naran Kaghan lies in the lower Himalayan Range. If you are a fan of hiking, trekking, or fishing, then Kaghan Valley is a whole package for you.
While traveling to Naran Kaghan the road to Naran valley is along the side of River Kunhar which Starts from the icy masses of Kaghan and flows to Mansehra. 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. If traveling via car, it would take 4 hours and 51 minutes from Islamabad to reach Naran Valley. While from Lahore, it would take 9 hours and 30 minutes.
History of Naran Kaghan Valley:
The Naran Valley of KPK is famous for its history dated back to the British Colonial period. From the stone-age to the present era, the area had been inhabited by several castes like Swati, Awan, Kashmiri, Durai, Mughal, and Quraish.
The region of kaghan is diverse in terms of historical buildings and monuments. There are temples of Buddhist and stupas, monuments of the Islamic period, Hindu’s and Sikh’s temples, Buddhist monasteries, and buildings from the Colonial period.
Moreover, there are several folklores, archaeological graves, and different legendary buildings that are renowned for their historical background.
Culture and Heritage:
Picnic spots in Naran Valley:
The best time to visit Naran Kaghan Valley is from April to September. There are also parks with swings on the main road of Naran where you can take them to enjoy. You can also take your children to the beautiful lakes of Naran-Kaghan valley.
If your children have good stamina and they can climb mountains, take them to trek on trails. But make sure you carry some dates, a water bottle, and hiking sticks with you.
Ansu is a tear-shaped lake at a very high altitude situated parallel to Malika Parbat. The Queen of the Mountains “Malka Parbat” at a height of 17,360 feet (5291.33 meters) is standing in the east and looking at her image in the mirror of Lake Saiful Maluk. It can be reached via an 11 km trail starting at Saif-ul-Malook jheel. Lake is accessible from early May till late December, with harsh weather making it tough at the start and end of the season.
River Kunhar passes through the town. Some of the hotels are situated at the banks of this river. At night you can hear the soothing sound of river water flowing and striking with the stones. This makes the place more aesthetic. In the daytime, tourists enjoy fishing in the river. While Some of them just sit by the river, put their feet in the cool water, and relax by enjoying the beautiful scenery. You will feel a type of shade in Naran valley especially in the afternoon because the high mountains will stop sunlight to reach the valley.
Saiful Malook is a lake which is located in the center of mountains, which are covered with snow for the whole year. One of the famous mountains is the Malika Parbat which is located on the left of the lake. Saif-ul-malook is named after a folk tale. The impact of lake beauty is so much that people believe that fairies come down to the beautiful lake in the full moon. The color of water in this lake is blue and it is crystal clear which makes it even more attractive. Because of the cold water, you cannot put your feet under it for more than 30 seconds.
Lalazar is a plateau that is famous for its beautiful wildflowers and pine forests which are soothing. Although recently cultivation of potato and some other crops reduced the natural beauty to some extent, still mesmerizing view of Malika Parbat lush meadows make it a place of must-visit. You can reach lalazar through a muddy jeep track of one hour starting from Battakundi. Some people fond of trekking prefer trekking overriding the jeep. One famous, the moderate trek starting from Lake Saif ul Malook ends at Lalazar.
At a distance of 34 kilometers from Balakot, lies Shogran, which can be reached via Kewai. One spot that is quite famous for its aesthetic view and scenery is ‘Shogran’. It hosts the famous Siri Payee Lake mountain with breathtaking views at its top. The road leading up to Shogran is a mission in itself. It makes one feel like being part of a video game. The road here was much more narrow and steep in comparison to other routes.
Paye means “high grazing ground” in the Hindko language. Paye is a green meadow at a height of 2800 meters above the Shogran plateau. Paye blooms with flowers of different colors and with a backdrop of white Makra Peak; Paye becomes the ultimate weekend destination from the capital of Pakistan during the spring season. In winters it becomes a wide meadow of snow. While ‘Siri‘ a small lake situated before the Paye meadows. In winters this lake gets frozen in such a way that you can walk over it.
Babusar pass is a gate located between Kaghan and Gilgit valley. From here you can have a glimpse of the naked mountain Naga Parbat with a height of 26,660 feet.