BARIKOT: To break away from the sweltering heat, scores of families are flocking Jarral Park along the Swat River in Shamzoo valley. The park is a popular for its scenic view and serene environment.
Usama, a seventh-grader who had come with his family from Thana village, said the cool water along and pleasant weather had a soothing effect.
“We had only heard about this park and its beauty. But seeing is believing. We can even swim here,” said Fawad, who was sitting with his friends.
Meanwhile, others were seen climbing mountains or enjoying the rubab, which was being played by a member of a lively group.
“We have come here with a group of friends accompanied by a rubab performer. I have never seen such a beautiful place,” said Zarif Khan, adding the place had the perfect combination for an entertaining vacation.
“It has breathtaking views, great weather and folk music,” the tourist said, swaying to the rhythm of the rubab.
He added that Swat valley was a peaceful and serene place, saying more tourists should vacation there.
There are various routes to Jarral Park, but taking the cable car has its own charm. The aerial lift, installed across the river from Panjigram village is the shortest way from Peshawar-Mingora on Grand Trunk Road.
“We came via the cable car, which seemed a bit risky. We were afraid at first, but it turned out to be very different from what we were expecting,” said another tourist.
According to the cable car operator, a ticket costs Rs10 on a weekday. However, on the weekends the fare doubles as more tourists visit the park. “I normally earn around Rs10,000 to Rs15,000 a month,” said Bakht Sheawan, businessman.
Published in The Express Tribune, May 20th, 2013.