Pakistan is more than Lahore vs Karachi, Aloo ki Biryani, Gol Gappay, Bhail Puri and Humayun Saeed being the macho man in every movie. This I explored when I got the chance to visit Swat last week.
The exquisite view, the lush green mountain areas, the purest Swat Valley and the welcoming nature of the people, I think the heavenly place will last in my memory forever.
It all started with a sudden plan when I and my business partners decided to take a break from work and venture around Swat.
Although we have visited Kashmir before but since we were drowning into work, so we marked it a necessity to have some fun. And we have grown up about listening Swat so much, so, touring it ultimately becomes our mission.
And to our fortune, we got a helpful tourist with whom our journey became a fabulous experience.
Unfolding the Beauty of Swat
Swat is known as the ‘mini Switzerland’ of Pakistan. It constitutes a majority of Pathan community and the best thing that is worth praising about Swat is their hosting, they make their guests feel like home.
I first came across the magnificent Darya e Swat; best leisure seeking and the perfect spot to gain peace and harmony. It was as pure as a newborn baby.
A hot cup of tea at the landscape of the natural beauty makes me forgot the worldly affairs for long. I was so lost that all I can inhale was the nature vibes and the serenity of the moment. I can feel the purity and transparency of the water. I wish humanity in Pakistan to be as pure as this river.
Winding up the glorious Swat Valley venture, we travelled to White Palace which is located in Marghazar Valley in Swat.
I was impressed by the flora and fauna of this beautiful place and was eager to learn about the history. Then I came to know that the royal family of Swat used to live in this place. It’s not merely a hotel but a cultural heritage of Swat, Pakistan. The white marbles used in the construction of this Palace was brought from Jaipur in India, the same place where the Taj Mahal’s marble came from. The Bronze used in the ceiling was brought from Belgium, its artisan from Turkey and the electrical equipment were brought from England.
Then later we came around the mirthful Fizagat Park.
If you’re visiting Swat Valley, KPK, you can’t skip this recreational park in the vicinity of Mangora. If you eye the view of Darya e Swat from this park, you’d find it breathtaking. It’s a beautiful place to gather with your loved ones, the hotels around are worth to capture in your travel diaries. At the night, the location spellbound the atmosphere, believe me.
Opposite to the park, we find the Burj Al Swat Hotel, it holds the same value as Burj Khalifa to Dubai.
You must be taken away from the beautiful structure of this hotel, I was also. It’s a multi-story, luxury hotel located opposite to Fizagat park. It’s one of the spacious spots where you can enjoy the city life with state of the art facilities, attend your business conferences and step in with your loved ones. Home to the world-class services and tailor-made programs.
Then we came across the most memorable Shangla Top. I was tempted by the beauty of the mountain top, it reminds of the verses in Quran that describes Heaven. If the glimpses of heaven are worth dying for then how would heaven be?
It’s 360 degree greenery all over, not a minor area is deprived of the lush green view of nature. Taking the benefit of the moment, I started to meditate to refuel my energy.
We came across this beautiful Waterfall in Shangla, Pakistan
Nestled deep into the tall mountains, this waterfall give dwellers a mesmerizing experience. The cherry on the cake was the birds chirping and making the scene filled with pleasure. Such a picturesque natural beauty. The whole Shangla is surrounded by thick mountains full of forests making it a must place to visit.
I have also toured Kashmir but I haven’t seen the gigantic mountains as here in Swat. Mountains in the sky and Swat River on the earth – a breathtaking, mesmeric scene overall.
Winding up the beauty of Shangla we headed to Bahrain and in between the trip, we stopped at Miandam. It’s the main city of Swat located in the valley, covered by the lush green lawns overshadowed by majestic Chinar trees.
Then we headed to Bahrain. The hustling and bustling of Bahrain reminded me of Karachi. We took a pause to shop and explore this Bazaar. Here, men dominate the streets and earn the livelihood of their family. Their day starts early in the morning and they wind up after Isha prayers. That’s the reason you’ll never find any men complaining about the crisis in their business. Allah has blessed their business with Barakah, Alhamdulillah
It’s 9:00 p.m and you can see some of the shops are already shutter down while others are about to close. The day has come to an end and people are heading to their homes to rest and summon their energy for the next day.
Bahrain has a Big Bazaar, we stayed and toured there and stepped down from our car to enjoy Traut Fish and Chapli Kabab which are the popular cuisines and a must to try. The taste is still engraved in my taste buds.
The next day, we headed to Madyan and come across the beautiful Chail Valley. It’s fifteen minutes away from Madyan by road and thirty minutes by walk. There are two villages connected by the bridge in this valley, one is called old Chail and the second is called New Chail.
While soaking my feet in the water, a stranger came across asking if I was from Karachi, we then chatted for more than 20 minutes reminiscing the hullabaloo of Karachi.
We then moved to the upper side of the Valley where the adventures of Kalaam Valley was ready to welcome us.
Kalam is the perfect destination for tourists and adventure seekers. Surrounded by the abundant green hills, bulky forests, you’d be mesmerized magnificent, lakes and waterfalls. It’s the source of Swat river.
Kalam is one the best tourist spots in Pakistan. If you’re looking for local adventure for trekking, I’d recommend you to list this place on top. A true gem of nature covered by the gushing streams and spectacular mountains.
The road to Kalam is under construction so it took a long time to reach the place. We stayed at a hotel where we can see the beautiful River Swat flowing from the surreal view. The temperature was 6 degree there and we couldn’t resist the cold even after wearing our cardigans.
After exploring the points in Kalam, we headed to Mahodand lake which is almost 40 km from Kalam. Since the place is on heights and the road is not perfect, we hired a car to travel further. We spotted the Ushu Forest in our way which was on the peak of beauty with long-legged trees.
The truck drivers in swat loves to decorate their trucks like brides. You’ll find the cultural art and crafts in all the lorries out there.
Then later came across the waterfall which was mind-boggling like other points in Swat. And then we explored Chashma-e-Shifa which is famous for curing the sufferers through its water. People specifically come here to drink its water.
The water is crystal clear and the best part is you’ll only get positive thoughts seeing this beautiful carnation of Allah the Almighty
Experiencing all these pleasant views for 4-6 hours, we then finally came to Mahodand Lake. There were a lot of families hooked to the splendid beauty of the lake. It was covered with the gigantic mountains and greenery all over.
This place of Swat is known as majestic Switzerland. It’s a popular tourist spot. The picture above is not enough to define the beauty of this piece of land holds. But the view of this land will remain etched in my memory forever.
Regardless of our urge to stay longer, we departed from the lake taking the everlasting memories of nature with us. If you’re visiting Swat, this place is a must to visit. You’ll be overwhelmed while unfolding the beauty of this place, I bet it.
The boating in this lake took our experience to new heights. Sharing the glimpses of the moment with you.
With every passing moment in the boat, we were like ‘Wow, Amazing.’ We explored waterfalls, tall, big mountains, alpine trees and snow-draped mountains peak. The lake has recorded a luring number of tourists every year.
Bidding our farewell to this beautiful place, we returned to Kalam again to stay in our hotel.
Some other places we explored
The everlasting beauty of Gabin Jaba resting in the heart of Swat.
Gabin Jaba is pashto word which means honey marshes. It grow medicinal plans that helps in curing the diseases. According to the researchers honey bees are found here and the extracted honey is known all over KPK.
Jarago Waterfall – the constantly running beauty
This marks the end to our tour. However, 10 days are not enough to unfold the beauty of Swat but since we have to return to work so we winded our journey here taking the portfolio of nature with us.
If you want to start travelling, I’d recommend you to explore our local beauty before foreign travelling. I feel proud of Pakistan tourism, the lush green views deserve to unfold so people from other countries can also see the endearing places in Pakistan.
And at last: Some Advice for Travellers
- Take your trekking shoes whenever you’re travelling, it’s a must.
- If you’re snapping the nature’s view and accidentally any Pashtoon women come in the snap, then you’re going to be punched by their men. So, be careful.
- Please don’t clutter the places with trash, collect it in plastic bags and take it with you and throw in trash cans.
- If you’re driving, please don’t use your mobile, you can lose the track accidentally, take care.
- When you’re travelling, don’t only focus on the views but also learn about the history of the place. It will expand your learning about Pakistan.
- Once in a year, unplug from your routine chores and choose to travel, and you’ll be spell bounded.
So, I’m done with Kashmir and Swat. Any guesses what I’d be touring next?
Also, do tell me if my blog helps you in enjoying the tour with me. I’m getting butterflies in my stomach while waiting for your response.
And to Pakistan:
Jab tak hai ye dunya Baki, hum dekhay Azaad tujhe
(May you live long my dear Pakistan)