Located four kilometres from Shinkiari town in Mansehra, Bhugarmang Valley, popularly known as Siran Valley, has all the scenic beauty that attracts thousands to neighbouring Kaghan and Naran. However, the picturesque vale remains off tourists’ itinerary because of a lack of facilities and government inattention. Many simply do not know the valley exists.
Kaghan’s popularity among visitors cannot be denied given its beautiful lakes and pleasant weather but Bhugarmang is a viable alternative. It is also replete with picnic spots which can be developed along Siran River that flows through the valley.
Bhugarmang is home to over two dozen small and large villages on both sides of the river, including Dadar, Jabori, Sachan, Panjool, Jachha, Mandaguchha, Jabbarh and Davely.
These villages are rich in natural resources: Forestland, fresh water and medicinal plants of various kinds. They offer a serene environment for sightseers who do make the trip, preferring to head to the quiet villages instead of the packed valleys of Kaghan and Naran.
Natural springs dot the landscape at every few yards. A manmade lake known as Shahzaib Jheel is also situated in Bhugarmang, creating a lovely lakeside picnic spot for visitors.
Where’s the food?
However, there are few eateries and snack shops, forcing families to plan and bring food from home. Small details like these are what tourists think will improve it as a destination spot.
Nabeel Khan who was visiting Bhugarmang from Abbottabad with his family for the first time told The Express Tribune, “We are regulars in Kaghan and have been for several years but Bhogarmang is as beautiful.”
Khan added tourists now crowd popular places like Kaghan, Naran and Shogran. For families seeking less crowded destinations, Bhugarmang could be perfect.
Neelam, a visitor from Islamabad, said she was visiting Mansehra and her relatives brought her to the valley. “We visited a place called Domail where two rivers meet. It was beautiful,” she said.
Neelam however criticised the Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa government for its lack of interest in developing scenic valleys of the province to promote tourism.
“The government can earn millions in revenue annually if it introduces facilities like boating, chairlifts, hotels and playgrounds for children,” she said.
Saqib Khan, a local landlord, said over the past two summers Bhugarmang has started attracting visitors because it is relatively calmer and less crowded than other popular places in Manshera.
He urged the government to introduce more amenities and
facilities in the area to boost tourism and employment opportunities for locals.
Published in The Express Tribune, September 4th, 2014.