Kaghan Valley

Overview

Introduction

This impressive region is set in the heart of the Himalaya. Kaghan Valley offers the beautiful, deep blue Lake Saiful Muluk (at an elevation of 10,000 ft/3,200 m), interesting bazaars, stunning waterfalls, glaciers, boat rides and picturesque small villages. Pony rides can be arranged to help you see the area, but most visitors tour by four-wheel-drive vehicle (road conditions are very poor). You will want to travel with a reliable guide, and keep in mind that travel permits are difficult to obtain. At the southern entrance to the valley is Balakot—stop there to see the Syed Ahmed Shaheed Mosque and the Ismail Shaheed Brelvi shrine.

We suggest spending three nights in Naran, about halfway through the valley, which makes an excellent base for excursions. The best time to visit Kaghan is May-September, though it can get very cold: The lowest point is 7,000 ft/2,000 m, and the highest point, Babusar Pass, sits at 13,600 ft/4,150 m. There's good fishing (rentals available), and guides are abundant for treks (never hike alone). 150 mi/240 km north of Islamabad.

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