Peshawar



Tarbela Dam Swabi:
The world’s largest earth-filled dam on one of the world’s most important rivers – the Indus – is 103 km from Islamabad. The dam was completed in 1976 at a cost of Rs.18.5 billion. Over 15,000 Pakistani and 800 foreign workers and engineers worked during its construction. It is the biggest hydel power station in Pakistan having a capacity of generating 3,478 MW of electricity. Its reservoir is 97 km long with a depth of 137 meters while total area of the lake is 260 sq.km. With a reservoir capacity of 13,690,000,000 cubic m, the dam is 143 m high and 2,743 m wide at its crest. Permits are required to visit the Dam. Please contact Public Relations Officer (PRO), Water and Power Development Authority (WAPDA), Tarbela (Tel: 0995-660562) or Member (Power) WAPDA House, Shahrah-e-Quaid-e-Azam, Lahore.
Attock Fort:
It is situated about 101 km west of Islamabad on the left bank of Indus River. The fort was completed in 1583 under the supervision of Khawaja Shamsuddin Khawafi, a minister of Emperor Akbar. The Mughal caravan sarai outside the fort, which is almost on the G.T. Road, was also built during this period. Please note that no visitors are allowed inside the Fort.
Takht-I-Bhai:
Takht-i-Bhai is another well-known and preserved monument, a Buddhist monastery located on a rocky ridge about 10 miles northeast of Mardan. This structure dates back to two to five century AD and stands 600 feet above the plane. The feature, which distinguishes this site from others, is its architectural diversity and its romantic mountain setting. The uphill approach has helped in the preservation of the monument.
The exposed buildings here include the main stupa and two courtyards in different terraces surrounded by votive stupa and shrines, the monastic quadrangles surrounded by cells for the monks, and a large hall of assembly. In one of the stupa courtyard is a line of colossal Buddhas, which were originally 16 to 20 feet high.
The site’s fragmentary sculptures in stone and stucco are a considerable wealth but its most remarkable feature is the peculiar design and arrangement of the small shrines, which surround the main stupa. These shrines stood upon a continuous sculptured podium and were crowned alternately with stupa-like finials forming an ensemble. The beauty and grandeur provided by the entire composition is unparallel in the Buddhist world.
Takht-i-Bhai had a wealth of ancient Buddhist remains. A long range of different sized Buddha and Buddhistavvas from Takht-i-Bhai fill many museums. Some of the best pieces of Gandhara sculpture, now to be found in the museums of Europe, were originally recovered from Takht-i-Bhai.
Swat:
Swat, the land of romance and beauty, is celebrated throughout the world as the holy land of Buddhist learning and piety. Swat acquired fame as a place of Buddhist pilgrimage. Buddhist tradition holds that the Buddha himself came to Swat during his last reincarnation as the Guatama Buddha and preached to the people here. It is said that the Swat was filled with fourteen hundred imposing and beautiful stupas and monasteries, which housed as many as 6,000 gold images of the Buddhist pantheon for worship and education. There are now more than 400 Buddhist sites covering and area of 160 Km in Swat valley only. Among the important Buddhist excavation in swat an important one is Butkarha-I, containing the original relics of the Buddha.

The lush-green valley of Swat, with its rushing torrents, icy-cold lakes, fruit-laden orchards and flower-decked slopes is ideal for holidaymakers. It has a rich historical past, too. This is “Udayana” (The Garden) of the ancient epics; the land of enthralling beauty, where Alexander of Macedonia fought and won some of his major battles before crossing over to the delta of Indus River. This is the “valley of hanging chairs”, as described by the famous Chinese pilgrim-chroniclers, Huaen Tsang and Fa-Hian in the fifth and sixth centuries. Swat was once the cradle of Buddhism of all of its schools – Mahayana, Hinayana and Tantrayana, where once 1,400 monasteries flourished. It was the home of the famous Gandhara School of Sculpture that was an expression of Greco-Roman form in the local Buddhist tradition. Swat was also the historical land where the Muslim conquerors, Mahmud of Ghazni, Babur of Ferghana and Akbar fought their battles preparatory to the conquest of South Asia. The valley of Swat sprawls over 10,360 sq. km at an average elevation of 875 metres. The maximum temperature in July is 38 C and minimum (during January) is 1 C. The normal temperature is maximum 21 C and minimum 7 C. The tourist season is year-round.
WHAT TO SEE IN SWAT?
Saidu Sharif, Mingora & Murghzar: Headquarters of Swat Valley, Saidu Sharif houses the Swat Museum that contains one of the finest collections of Gandhara art in the world. Mingora, the twin city of Saidu Sharif, has yielded magnificent pieces of Buddhist sculpture and the ruins of great stupas. Marghazar, 16 km from Saidu Sharif, is famous for its “Sufed Mahal” the white marble palace of the former Wali (Ruler) of Swat. Kabal is 6 km from Saidu Sharif with its excellent golf course.
Malam Jabba,
At 2,636 m above sea level, Malam Jabba Ski Resort stands on top of a mountain of the Hindukush range, north east of Saidu Sharif. It is 314 km from Islamabad and 51 km from Saidu Sharif. After driving for 10 kms on Saidu Sharif-Kalam road, turn right from Manglor for Malam Jabba. Amidst its natural beauty and imprints of Gandhara civilization, lie the modern tourist facilities of a 52 rooms motel, 2 skiing platforms, chairlifts, roller/ice skating rinks, restaurant, telephone and snow clearing equipment etc. The food, lodging and skiing facilities are all managed by foreign trained staff and offered at competitive prices. The summer temperatures of 10oC to 25oC give way to lush green meadows and thick green forests of Pine & Deodar trees. In the winter when the temperature falls to –5oC to –10oC, the angel white snow makes it an ideal place for skiing.
Miandam: At 1,830 m above sea level, Miandam Valley is 50 km from Saidu Sharif and recommended for those looking for a peaceful place full of fragrance and scenic beauty.

Madyan & Bahrain: Both the towns are a good stop-over while travelling from Saidu Sharif to Kalam. Madyan is famous for its trout hatcheries and Bahrain for its meeting of two rivers and its handicrafts.
Kalam: The most popular tourist spot in Swat Valley (2,073 m) is 100 km away from Saidu Sharif. In addition to PTDC’s seasonal coach service, there is a regular private bus and van service between Mingora and Kalam,
Ushu, Matiltan and Mahodand Lake: This is the most spectacular area of upper Swat Valley. While staying overnight at Kalam, you can enjoy a day trip by jeep to these beautiful tourist spots. Distance is just 13-16 km from Kalam.
Utrot-Gabral: Another scenic valley of upper Swat, located 21-29 km from Kalam. The road is jeepable and jeeps can be hired from Kalam. A day trip with picnic lunch is recommended.
WHAT TO BUY?
Local handicrafts include embroidered linen, hand-woven rugs and shawals, silverware, tribal jewellery and carved wood work.
Shangla:
District Shangla Par is located in Swat Valley (North Latitude 34-31 to 33-08 and East Longitude 72-33 to 73-01) with its headquarter at Alpuri (8 km from Shangla Top). District Shangla was created out of District Swat on 01-07-1995 and it was fully functional w.e.f. 14-08-2001. The new district consists of two Tehsils namely, Alpuri and Puran.
The highest point of the district is Shangla Top (7001 feet or 2,125 meters above sea level), 56 km from Saidu Sharif and 45 km from Besham (Karakoram Highway), connected through a paved single road. The only accommodation available is the Forest Rest House at Shangla Top. It receives an average snowfall from 5 to 8 feet in winter. There is a trout hatchery in Alpuri proper. From Alpuri, on way to village Lilonai, there is a beautiful lake called Bashigram.
Ancient remains of Greek period are discovered at Pirsar. It is said that Alexander of Macedonia stayed here for few days. There some more archaeological finds between Chakaisar and Daut. Alexander reached Indus river passing through Daut. Remains of Hindu Shahi period are also found in Qlandar-Ajmair.
Another place worth visiting is Yakhtangi located 28 km away from Shangla Top at an altitude of 6,000 ft. or 1,820 m. above sea level. It takes about 40 minutes by car to reach Yakhtangi from Shangla Top. There is a Forest Rest House with two rooms at Yakhtangi. However, there is a shortage of running water and only source of water are Nullahs.
Abbottabad:
It is a charming town spread out over several low, refreshingly cool and green hills. Abbottabad is 116 km (2 hours) from Rawalpindi and 208 km (3 hours) from Peshawar. Places worth visiting in Abbottabad are: Simla Hill, Ilyasi Masjid etc.
Abbottabad, is 1,222 m. above sea level, is a neat and clean town in a spacious valley surrounded by green hills. It is a popular summer resort. It serves as a base for trips to Kaghan valley and the Gallies. PTDC maintains a Tourist Information Centre here to facilitate the visitors. Places worth visiting in and around Abbottabad are; Ilyasi Mosque with a water spring, Shimla hill view point. Thandiani is another attractive hill resort 30 km east of Abbottabad at an altitude of 8,800 feet
Shogran:
At a distance of 34 km from Balakot, lies the green plateau of Shogran (2,362 m above sea level). Drive by car to village Kiwai, 24 km from Balakot and turn to right for Shogran for another 10 kms. From Shogran, you can visit Sari, Paye and Makra by jeep or you can go for hiking.
Kaghan Valley:
Kaghan is a jewel among the many beautiful valleys in the Mansehra District of Hazara in the North West Frontier Province of Pakistan. This 160 kilometer long valley is most popular summer holiday spots for both Pakistanis as well as foreigners.
The valley features pine forests, alpine meadows, crystal clear lakes and cool mountain streams. Kunhar River, the main feature of the valley, is famous for its trout. Nestled along the banks of the river are the towns of Balakot, Paras, Mahandari, Kaghan and Naran. The local people are friendly and simple. Gujar nomads are one of the most interesting features of the Kaghan Valley. They take their herds of cattle to the high pastures of the upper Kaghan Valley in spring and bring them down again in autumn. While going to Kaghan you will find them camped along the road in their traditional tents or moving up and down the valley with their herds of pack animals, sheep and goats.
A vacation in Kaghan Valley is an unforgettable experience!
Balakot:
Kaghan valley starts from Balakot, which is famous for the Mausoleum of two Muslim warriors Syed Ahmed Shaheed Brelvi and Shah Ismail who laid their lives fighting against Sikhs in the 18th century. Balakot is situated at the foot of the mountains that goes thousands of feet above. The toy huts, which are amazingly perched on their slopes. On other side is the Kunhar River, which accompany you all along your journey. The river is muddy in the plains but as you go towards the mountains it becomes clearer. The road to Kaghan is frightening because on your left are the deep slopes to the river and on your right are the lofty mountains
Balakot was the most affected area in the earthquake of 2005, in which the city was totally collapsed and the hotel / tourism industry was badly affected. The rehabilitation and reconstruction of the city is in process.
Kawai:
13 miles away from Balakot to Kaghan is Kawai in these 13 miles you’ll reach the altitude of 4000 feet starting from 3000 feet which means that you have covered 1000 feet of altitude in just 13 miles. The main place here to visit is Shogran.
Naran:
Naran is the middle point of Kaghan Valley and it is a place where you defiantly want to spend few days of your leisure. This is the place of out-door pleasure. Here you’ll depart from the river Kunhar and on both sides of road there are vast fields. Don’t look here and there the melody you are hearing is provided by the river Kunhar who is with you on same level. If you like climbing this is a place for you because there are mountains all around you. You can explore the scenic and picturious landscape and valley’s by climbing up hiking. If you like fishing get your fishing license we have trout and mahasheer for you fishing here for tourist is must.
Malakandi Forest:
8 miles on the western slopes of Kaghan valley is Kamalban,a heavily populated forest of black bears & leopards,which do incalculabe harm to he crops & young trees…but forget all about it & enjoy the nature at its best…
Lalazar:
Lalazar Plateau another pleasant 1/2-day jeep excursion from Naran is up to the Lalazar Plateau. A jeep track climbs up the plateau from battakundi, some 16 km N of Naran. Located at 3,200m, this beautiful, meadow is awash with colourful alpine flowers in spring and summer, and set amongst the cool pine forests. A footpath leads from Lalazar Plateau down to lake Saiful Malik, taking 5-6 hrs.
Lalusar lake:
At the extreme northern end of the Kaghan Valley about 50 km from Naran on the Naran-Babusar road is Lalusar Lake, surrounded by clusters of wild flowers in a carpet of blue and gold. This is the source of the Kunhar River, which winds through the length of the valley. Lake Lalusar offers a splendid opportunity for fishing in dark blue waters surrounded by high mountains. The serene beauty and peace, which permeates the Kaghan Valley, makes this an ideal spot for relaxation and reflection.
Battakundi:
A small & beautiful village about 16 Km from Naran is the turning pint for Lalazarconnected via jeepable road with plateu of rare scenic beauty.
Babusar Pass:
The summit of Babusar Pass (4148m) is reached after traversing 70 Km of narrow, winding road from Naran. Once the pass is attained, a fantastic panorama of eternally frozen peaks and windswept valleys lies before the visitor. Nanga Parbat (8125m) magnificent in her gleaming gown of snow can be seen on a clear day. Babusar Pass, gateway to the mountain passes linking Gilgit to the Kaghan Valley is only open from July to September, the remainder of the year it is buried under many tons of snow.
In May 2001, we decided on a trip to the Kaghan Valley, one of the most picturesque vales of Pakistan, which boasts deep forests, lush green meadows, and high alpine lakes, surrounded by snow-capped mountains. Kaghan Valley starts from Balakot and extends 160 km, ending at Babusar Pass (which is at 4,175 meters).
Lovely Lakes & Meadows:
If you love hiking, trekking or fishing, then Kaghan Valley is like heaven. There are many lakes and meadows high up in the mountains waiting for you. Some of them are: Lake Lulusar, Lake Dodipatsar, Danna Meadows, Sharan, Sri, Paya, Makra Peak, Malika Parbat and Musa Ka Musalla (Prayer Mat of Moses).
Around Kaghan:
Around Kaghan,
Lake Saiful Maluk & Lalazar: Lake Saiful Muluk has a touch of the unreal about it, nestling 3,206 metres high in the shadow of the Malika Parbat (Queen of the mountains – 5,291 m). You can go fishing or boating in the lake and hear the local legend about Prince Saiful Maluk who fell in love with a fairy. Further up are quaint woodland villages, Battakundi, Burawai, Basal, Gittidas and Lalazar. At a distance of 19 km from Naran, Lalazar is unique place for a day excursion.

Lake Saiful Maluk the lake is accessible by jeep or by trekking because there is a mere trek to reach the lake. It is almost impossible to describe the beauty of this lake, which is like mirror at the altitude of 3200 meters. The Queen of the Mountains is standing in the east and looking her image in the mirror of Lake Saiful Maluk. You can spend few days here to monitor the guards of lake, which are towering peaks and spread all around the lake.

Lake Saiful Muluk is situated at 3000+m, about 40 minutes jeep ride from Naran. Best time to visit is early in the morning when the air is cool, resulting in a picture perfect reflection on the lake. Camping facilities are also avaialbe, but you will have to check with the hotel that you will stay at. Nice view of Malaka Parbat

The Land of Fairies ” Five mile away another 3000 feet above the Naran is Fairy Tale Lake.Local legend relates that Prince Saif-ul-Muluk fell in love with a fairy from the mountains. One day, he saw her bathing in the stream and crept up and stole her clothes. To preserve her modesty the not-so-reluctant fairy promised to be his wife. The fairy’s demon lover appeared in time to see the happy pair together, and in a fit of jealous rage flooded the entire valley. Saiful Maluk the lake is accessible by jeep or by tracking because there is a mere trek to reach the lake. It is almost impossible to describe the beauty of this lake, which is like mirror at the altitude of 3200 meters. The Queen of the Mountains is standing in the east and looking her image in the mirror of Lake Saiful Maluk. You can spend few days here to monitor the guards of lake, which are towering peaks and spread all around the lake.

How To Get There?
Kaghan Valley is accessible by road from Rawalpindi/Islamabad and Peshawar. PTDC runs its seasonal coach service between Rawalpindi and Naran from 1st June till 31st August.The Kaghan Valley is blocked at the end by high mountains but a pass lets the jeepable road snakes over into Chilas Valley. This is 4,173 m high Babusar Pass, which commands the whole Kaghan panorama as well as gives you, on a clear day, glimpses of Nanga Parbat (the Naked Mountain) glistening at 8,126 m.

Where To Stay?
There are many moderately priced hotels, motels in Kaghan Valley at Balakot, Shogran, Kaghan, and Naran.
What To Buy?
Kaghan is noted for its artistically carved walnut handicrafts, embroidered shawls, shirts, woollen blankets and “Namdas” (woollen felt rugs).