Northern areas of Pakistan is tourists main destination in Pakistan. Pakistan is multi culture and multi season Country. Land of rivers, snow peaks, lush green meadows and cultural places of great value. That is Pakistan which has been victim of terrorism of past few years due to so many factors but this one factor has caused great issues for habitants of our holy land. Pakistan offers diverse landscape to its visitors. The language changes each after 15 miles and cultural changes are also evident if you move from one area to another. Our rich cultural values are deeply rooted into our system. We shall only focus on Northern areas of pakistan in this article.
There are various locations which are spectacular but we are only going to discuss top 5 tourist destination in Northern areas of Pakistan.
Hunza ( Gilgit )
Hunza is wonderland of northern areas of Pakistan. Hunza has always been famous in Northern areas of Pakistan as it has been frequently listed in international Magazines, during late 90s Hunza grabbed international attention when it featured in book cover of National Geographic Magazine as “Hunza Road to Heaven”. Since then it has lived up to its reputation of being mysterious in all weather, colorful like majestic painting carefully crafted by God. Hunza is just 102 kilometre away from City of Gilgit. The Gilgit is getting one flight daily from Islamabad Airport via Pakistan International Airline. Though the flight is weather dependant as weather in northern areas of Pakistan is really unpredictable.
Hunza has too many places to Visit and you need ample time when you decide to touch this part of Pakistan. Some of notable areas are mainly Karimabad, Duiker, Naltar, Chalt, Nagar Valley ( not part of hunza but near Hunza), Gojjal, Passu, Sost Dry port and Khunjerav Top ( Pak China international Border).
Hunza has famous Baltit and Altit fort which are preserved nicely by Agha Khan Foundation in order to preserver the rich culture of Hunza and habitants of Hunza are always friendly, lovely and caring.
Skardu is 763 Kilometre away from Capital city of Islamabad. Skardu is another remarkable place offering abundance of sightseeing places. Skardu is primarily known for climbers as matter of fact all the ways towards worlds most highest peaks are approached from here. During Summer season you can always get glimpse of expedition tiding there shoes and luggage towards K2 and other neighboring peaks. Skardu does posses airport and daily flight comes from Islamabad.
Skardu has various lakes which invites each visitor to see there beauty and fell in love with them. Most famous lake is Shangrila lakes in khachura region which is artificial lake but has got fame due to world famous Shangrila resort. Just few minutes walks from shangrila resort can take you towards green lake of Upper khachura which is natural lake and its warm waters welcome swimmers to enjoy here. The Sadpara Lake is one other lake in heart of Skardu city. This blue color lake is biggest lake in skardu region with big stock of clean water.
Skardu also posses few forts one of them is present in Skardu city up high on mountain. This fort has lost its past glory and could not be preserved being at very high mountain but yet few people reach there and see all skardu beneath. Other two famous forts are Shiger Fort and Khaplu Fort. Shiger fort is near 40kilometre away from Skardu city on banks of Shyok river. If you go towards Shiger fort one must be able to see Cold Desert that is also very famous among tourists. Khaplu fort is also quite famous and has rich history this fort has been preserved and now converted into three start hotel managed by Serena Group of Hotels. Though rates are very very high. Khaplu fort is ancient fort and was built near 800 years ago. Near Khaplu Fort there is one famous mosque largely knows us Mosque Chanqchan.
Skardu journey never completes if we don’t visit Deosai National park. Deosai National park is just 50kilometre from skardu city. The Deosai national park is second highest plateau in the world. Deosai national park is famous for its natural life, Himalayan brown bears, Mighty Sheoshar Lake near astore region.
Naran is famous domestic location for tourists. It is part of district Mansehra and has so much to offer. Naran has been fetching more then 2 millions visitors each year and this growth ration is improving by each passing year. There are various nice locations in Naran the most interesting is Lake Saiful malook. This lake is most visited in Pakistan. Saiful malook offers sublime beauty in Northern areas of Pakistan. It is half an hour Jeep ride from Naran Baazar. The road is bumpy and only accessible by 4×4 Jeeps. During summer season Naran is full of tourist. You won’t find more tourist any other part of Pakistan then Naran. Naran top point is Babusar Top on elevation of 13600 Feet from there you can see glimpse of Rakaposhi Peak 280km away from there. Some other famous places of Naran region is Shogran, Sharan, Siri Paye Meadows, Lalazar Meadows and Nori Top. Lulusar Lake is one other nice lake in Naran Region.
Kalam ( Swat)
Kalam is land of rivers, towering mountains, waterfalls and lovely people. Kalam is one of top visited place in northern areas of Pakistan. Kalam has all ingredients to be termed as top tourist destination in Pakistan. Kalam has great forests for camping, nice mountains for treeking and climbing, lakes for boating and various nice resorts to stay. Mohdand lake is one of most refreshing lake of norhtern Pakistan. Mohdand Lake is 2 hours jeep drive from Kalam Bazar. On they way you can visit USHU Jungle, and Mataltan areas which has one of biggest waterfalls. The climate always remain chilled there and you need to have warmer outfit to stay easy. The road structure is being imrpoved as road from Madyan towards kalam is not fine but it is being carpeted.
There are some other areas in swat which needs worth visiting. Murghzar is extremly green and nice location in swat area which is 30 minutes drive from Saidu sharif which is capital of Swat. White palace is also in swat offering great cutltural value which was built in 1940’s with same marble as used in Taj Mahal. There are ancient places in swat as well. Malam Jabba is highest point in Swat most famous during winter season for skiing.
Chitral is part of Kyber pakhtunkwa province and it was princly state till 1969. The chitral is in foots of Tirch Mir Peak which is highest peak of Hindukush range. It was first scalled in 1950 by Norwegian team. Tich mir can be seen from central bazar of Chitral. Chitral has famous Badhshai mosque. Chitral also posses airport which offer one daily flight from Islamabad and Peshawar. Most famous area of Chitral Region is Kalash ( Kafiristan) which has population of 2000 Kalashi People. These people are non muslims and has there own religion. These people are totally different from other poeple of Pakistan with there unique culture and differnt religion like no other. There language, food and way of life is different. Chillam jotish is there main festival when visitors from different parts of world and domestic tourist come Pakistan.