Kaghan Valley attracts tourists in droves

Enhanced roads connectivity, camping pods, deployment of police promote tourism

APP June 17, 2024
A view of a traffic gridlock on Shahrah-e-Kaghan. PHOTO: FILE


Enjoying the hide and seek between the sun and clouds amid forecast of moderate to erratic rainfalls over the snow-covered mountains of Malka Perbath, domestic tourists, adventure sports enthusiasts and eco-tourists arrived in at Kaghan Valley in large numbers to spend their Eid holidays.

The visitors from the plains of Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa (K-P) and Punjab amid a scorching summer there, throng Saiful Malook, Lulusar and Anso lakes and several other spots, overlooked by the snow-clad Malaka Perbat mountains on eastern side of Kaghan valley.

The tourists, including women and children, enjoy traditional food cuisines such as chapli kabab, paye, rice polao, at the big or small eateries dotted across the major tourists spots which also offer play area for the children.

Saiful Malook lake takes thousands of visitors each year. Spreading over 1.06 square miles and 113 feet depth, the late is 3,224 meters above sea level.

“Saiful Malook’s natural beauty is beyond imagination,” former diplomat Taj Khan told APP

“I have visited many lakes in Pakistan and foreign countries but no one can match the mesmerising beauty of this oval shape-lake blessed with greenish-blue water emanating from Malka Perbat glaciers,” Khan added.

An enhanced roads connectivity, including Hazara Motorway, establishment of camping pods, construction of jeepable tacks and improvement in link roads, besides deployment of the tourism police have helped increase tourists flow to Naran, Kaghan, Nathiagali and the Galiyat valleys.

Tourists along with families could easily come here to spend time in a relaxed environment due to better roads connectivity before exploring the nearby Anso and Dudipatsar lakes in Upper Kaghan through jeeps and horse riding.

Tourism and Culture Authority (K-P TCA) officials said that under the Eco-tourism Project, camping pods were established at Sharan near Saiful Malook lake to facilitate tourists. Besides Sharan, 10 more camping pods set up at different places to provide affordable accommodations to visiting families.

K-P TCA official Muhammad Ali Syed said that five tourists’ facilitation Centres at Chitral, Donga Gali, Abbottabad and Peshawar had been established. Waterfalls of Lamchar, Sajkot, Noori, Chajjian Haripur, Jarogo Swat, Lanchar Dir and Umbrella Abbottabad were being developed to promote ecotourism.

To promote sustainable and planned tourism, he said, the K-P government had announced construction of Integrated Tourism Zones (ITZs) with assistance of the World Bank.

ITZs of Ghanool Mansehra would be established on 59.6 acres, Mankiyal Swat on 29.5 acres, Madaklasht on 540 Kanal and Thandyani on 640 kanal of land respectively. These ITZs were expected to create 200,000 direct and indirect job opportunities and attract about $2.8 billion investment.

As a result of these pro-tourism measures of the government, tourists have started arriving at various destinations during the Eidul Azha holidays in Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa. The Government needs to project these picturesque destinations through digital media to attract foreign tourists.


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