SWAT: The majestic beauty of Swat has a lingering charm. Tourists from across the country find its fragrant air, lush green fields and cold streams irresistible.
Usually the district valley, however, takes a break in winter to rejuvenate itself for the upcoming season. The offseason is marked by snowfall and sub-zero temperatures, which starts from December and stays till the end of March.
However, despite heavy snowfall and freezing temperatures, hundreds of tourists from other parts of the country have flocked to the scenic valley, particularly its Kalam area which is now entirely covered in a thick blanket of snow.
Irshad Hussain, hailing from Karachi, told The Express Tribune, that visiting Swat during the snowfall had been a dream that had come true.
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“It is very cold here at Kalam and the snow is falling but I cannot simply keep myself away from the falling snow. This is amazing,” he said, adding that earlier he had seen snowfall only on television.
Muhammad Hussain, another visitor from Karachi, said they faced a lot of trouble in their journey from Mingora to Kalam but the stunning panorama of snow gave them courage not to call off their plan.
“The dilapidated road, extreme weather conditions and risky driving over snow – all were not enough to keep us away from visiting Kalam Valley,” Hussain said.
He said they had to fix iron chains around their vehicle’s tyres to prevent them from slipping on snow-filled roads. However, the miseries of cold and other hurdles were nothing as compared to the fun they were having from snowfall, he added.
“We will never give up visiting Kalam Valley, even in winter season as it is fun to be here in the snowfall,” said Hussain with a sense of wonder.
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Meanwhile, the heavy snowfall and chilly weather at Kalam has forced the locals to relocate to lower parts of the valley to avoid the harsh weather conditions. Sharafat Ali, belonging to Kalama’s Mankiyal area, said the local residents were relocating as the heavy snowfall had completely buried their houses.
Published in The Express Tribune, January 22nd, 2017.
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