Published On: Thu, Feb 8th, 2018

Kaghan/Naran Valley Travel Guide

Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmail

Naran Valley

Ever wondered why people are so anxiously willing to travel back to places they have once explored? A precious gift nature has bestowed upon us that soothes the sights as well as peace and calmness from all worldly hues and cries. People, do need a break after being stressed out from daily hectic routines and this time we are packing bags and assembling our gears for the trip to Naran Valley.  Situated in Mansehra district of Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa. This valley is 160km long, with magnificent mountains guarding the valley against all sides. River Kunhar flows alongside valley and you can hear the springing water all the day.

 Location/distance from Islamabad

Form Islamabad, you can opt any one of the following two routes leading to Naran Valley.

  1. Islamabad to Naran Valley (via Abbottabad)

Islamabad to Abbottabad:          2 hours 59 min (161.6 km)

Abbottabad to Naran Valley:     4 h 30 min (147.3 km)

  1. Islamabad to Naran Valley (via Muzaffarabad)

Islamabad to Muzaffarabad:    3 h 42 min (144.2 km)

Muzaffarabad to Naran:          3 h 36 min (121.7 km)

Once in Balakot, you may travel to Shogran, another natural scenic beauty offering mesmerizing natural landscape and adventure via Kiwai.

Balakot-Kiwai- Shogran

Balakot to kiwai:                  41 min (22.9 km)

Kiwai to Shogran:                32 min (7.4 km)

Temperature/ Best time to visit

Naran Valley remains cold in most part of the year and weather tends to show great change particularly in winters, when heavy snowfall block the roads and everything comes to standstill. It is, therefore, advised to plan your trips in summers usually from April to September, when the weather gets better and you can enjoy the beautiful greenery and serenity of atmosphere. In a meanwhile, you can arrange the trip to Shogran which is open to tourists across the year.

Naran Valley

 

Food items for Foodies

For cold weather enthusiast and those in love with winter adventure, it is the best place to enjoy the mouth-watering and delicious cuisine.  Ranging from Chicken and Mutton karahi, a famous dish loved by every Pakistani to finger licking, spicy Biryani. Aroma of freshly cooked cuisines i.e. roast and barbeque, alongside with famous offering of Naran Valley, Trout Fish will make you feed your appetite without a minute delay with such superb variety of taste. While you are deciding on the menu, better first ask for Kabuli Pulao or Lamb sajji with complimentary Peshwari kehwa, you will always carve for these foods this moment onward, if not tasted yet.

There are many fast food corners in Valley, which offer a vast variety of burgers, shawarma, macaroni, etc

Road conditions

Roads are fully carpeted and are in good condition, few bad patches along your way will not cause any interruption. In fact, you can take any type of car to Naran even to the babusar top, whether you take a route via Abbottabad or Muzaffarabad.

Hotels and Places to Stay

Naran/Kaghan

  • Kunhar View Hotel: 0333 5746739
  • Sayyam Heights: (0997) 430256
  • Maisonette Hotels & Resorts Naran: (0997) 430083
  • New Park Hotel & Restaurant: (0997) 430223
  • Fairy Meadows Hotel : (0997) 430139
  • Arcadian Riverside Luxury Resor: (051) 8436971

Shogran

  • Pine View Hotel: (0997) 432346
  • Green Park Hotel: 0331 8583393
  • Shogran Hotel Shogran: 0346 9624137
  • Faisal Hotel & Centurion Cottage: 0346 5006466

Activities/ Things to Do

While in Naran valley you can look for entertainment rather adventurous in nature like trekking, camping and fishing. You can hike 8km to Lake Saif Ul Muluk or you may hire a pony ride to the astonishing lake. While in Shogran you may trek to Siripay which is roughly 3 hours of trekking, taking you to the lap of marvellous lakes and green meadows. There are other outdoor activities as well in the valley. Tent motels are also present which rent family size tents to tourists to stay in.

Once you have availed the fishing permit from fisheries department in Naran and Shinu you can enjoy fishing for brown trouts and mahasheer in silvery waters. Also, trout found in Kunhar River is considered best in South Asia.

Places to See

Naran valley serves as a destination for most of the beauties carved by nature, in the magical north of Pakistan. It is also a gateway to many other natural jaw-dropping scenery located in areas alongside this valley.

Lake Saif-Ul-Muluk

The stunning Lake Saif-ul-Muluk 10km from Naran, a beauty treasure stocked by Naran valley leaves tourist amazed. From here you can also view the famous Malika Parbat (Queen of mountains) 17,360 feet, the highest peak in Naran/Kaghan Valley.

Lalazar

Lalazar, at a distance of 21 km from Naran via Battakundi, located at 3,200m, it is a 1/2-day jeep excursion with several twists and turns.

Babusar Top

The snowy peaks of Babusar Top, Naran – One of the top tourist attractions, The total distance of Babusar Pass is 161 km from Balakot and 75 km from Naran.

Dudipatsar Lake

Queen of the lakes as it is called, the Dudipatsar lake, comes in between Nand Babusar top, it is a breathtaking trek with white lake catching your sights once you reach the destination.

Saral Lake

Saral lake, situated in Naran valley often referred to as black and blue lake.

Batakundi/ Jhal khad

Sixteen kilometres from Naran is the Battakundi another enjoyable spot. Jalkhad is a name of a place 50 kilometres from Naran at a height of 3200 meters from the sea level. The lake is situated one kilometre from Jalkhad. The water of this lake is dark blue and during the summer seasons the red lotus blossom around the lake.

Sat-Sar Mala Lake

Seven lakes in one place, 9 km ahead of Lulusar, an epitome of merging waters is Sat-Sar Mala lakes

Gittidas

Gitti das is basically a big green ground on way to Babu sir pass. It is a beautiful place at the height of 12500 Ft. It’s like almost 2-hour drive from jhal khad.

Shogran

The main place here to visit is Shogran, which is 5 miles jeep able trek from Kiwai, and further 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”.

Siri/Pai

From Shogran onwards Sri and Paya are one of the most beautiful places. It is also a viewpoint of Makra peak.

Ansuu Jheel (Trek)

A tear shaped Ansuu Jheel is another wonder of nature. Form lake saif-ul- muluk four hours are required to reach a peak of 14000 feet, a place from where you can only sea Ansuu jheel, going to jheel requires horse ride and tracks are tough.

Culture/Art and Languages spoken

People of Naran Kaghan valley speak Hindko and Gojri but they do understand Urdu as well. People are friendly and the major chunk of their income comes from dry fruits and handicrafts. In Naran valley, you can buy beautifully carved walnuts, Namdas (woollen rugs), woollen shawls, embroidery shawls and shirts. Handmade articles can be found in abundance and also you will find cottage industries.

About the Author

- Business Graduate, Blogger Enthusiast, Article writing and Research.