Pakistan is amongst the counties with the most alluring natural beauty. This land is blessed with countless captivating and breathtaking destinations and sights and is surely a heaven for tourists. From heavenly beaches to magnificent peaks, to rivers, waterfalls and lakes, this land possesses just about everything. Contrary to some foreigners’ beliefs, Pakistan is a hidden gem for tourists. Not only is this country perfectly safe, but is also inhabited by extremely friendly and welcoming locals.
While the tourist destinations in Pakistani are countless, the ones in Azad Kashmir are surely amongst the most beautiful of them. Azad Kashmir offers panoramic and picturesque sights that’ll take your breath away. Most of the area wears a snow blanket in winters however, thick pine forests and lush green meadows reveal themselves when the snow melts. Azad Kashmir features scenic freshwater glacial lakes, rivers and snow-capped peaks.
If you’re seeking refuge from the hectic city life, Azad Kashmir is surely the way to go. Here are the top 5 tourist attractions in Azad Kashmir that you simply cannot resist visiting.
The renowned Neelum valley is the most popular tourist destination in the whole province due to its easily accessibility. This valley is based alongside the river Neelum with thick forested regions covering most part of the valley. Neelum valley is significantly commercialized, making it easier to seek residence, food and entertainment here. The magnificent valley offers extremely beautiful and scenic views of the river paving its way through the valley.
Neelum valley can be approached via Muzaffarabad and the road leading to this valley is perfectly suitable for any kind of transport.
Neelum valley also hosts some extremely beautiful towns and villages in its vicinity, some of which are the bases for various renowned treks.
Chitta Khatta Lake
The magnificent Chitta Khatta lake is the definition of perfection. It is located in Shounter valley, Azad Kashmir and is only accessible by trek. It is situated at an elevation of 13,500 feet and remains frozen for most part of the year.
The scenic beauty of this lake is unmatchable in my opinion. It is a bowl shaped lake with breathtaking snow-capped peaks guarding the crystal clear blue water inside. Its vicinity is only as beautiful. The lake is surrounded by lush-green meadows, glaciers, streams and waterfalls.
There is absolutely no commercialization near the lake however, sighting wild-goats and goat herders would be common. You can plant your camps almost anywhere near the lake and spend a night.
On a clear day, you can experience the marvelous reflection of the lake unto the water, which I bet, will leave your eyes wide open.
The trek to this lake commences from Kel and is about 20 Km Jeep track and 5 Km hiking track. Even though the hiking is tough for beginners, the sight of the lake is surely worth the entire struggle. If you’re an adventure-seeking enthusiast and have got what it takes to hike up till the Chitta Khatta lake, you should definitely visit it at least once. This lake surely is an artist’s masterpiece.
Rawalkot is an area situated in the Pir Panjal Range, Azad Kashmir. Also known as the pearl valley, this is surely a place that should be on your list. Rawalkot is the ideal picnic spot for families, hands down. Not only is it easily accessible via any means of transport, the views and facilities it offers are certainly outstanding. While some part of this area is heavily commercialized and comfortable accommodation, grocery stores and eateries are easy to locate, it offers a lot of area with preserved natural beauty.
Rawalkot features lush green patches with exotic flora and fauna.
Apart from that, there are quite a lot of tourist attractions in its vicinity and Banjosa lake is one of them. It is situated around 19 Km away from the town of Rawalkot and features a few tourist resorts, resting on the bank of the Banjosa lake. The lake is surrodunded by lush green hills that offer spectacular views.
Another attraction near Rawalkot is ‘Tolipeer’. It is a plateau, 40 Km away from Rawalkot. This hilltop area is the highest spot in the whole Rawalkot region and offers scenic views of the region. Even though the road leading to the top isn’t in the best shape, you can easily approach Toli Peer. Some commercialization and development in the area lately has made it possible to spend a night or two here, gazing at the mesmerizing hills, covered in lush green forests.
Ratti Gali lake
Ratti Gali is another ravishing lake, resting in the secluded valleys of Azad Kashmir. This lake has fascinated hikers as if offers majestic views, second to none. Even the trek that leads to this lake is simply gorgeous. The track runs alongside beautiful streams, gorges and ravines. Apart from that, lush greenery and glaciers is all what’ll see on your way to this lake.
Due to rugged landscape, you’ll have to trek to approach the lake. The trek is kind of tiring but the sight up there will take your breath away. This lake is certainly one of its kind. It is surrounded by elegant glacial peaks that feed this lake. The lake also hosts marvelous flora and fauna on its bank, and that’s what makes this lake so unique. The beautiful surroundings of the lake shimmer onto the crystal-clear water, offering a mesmerizing sight.
This vicinity of this lake also hosts exotic wildlife including hawks and otters.
Leepa Valley is a scenic valley, located 45 Km away from the capital of Azad Kashmir. This valley is known for the amazing step-farming that is practiced here. This valley is extremely calm and composed. The heavily forested hills dominating the entire valley offer extremely beautiful views with some picturesque peaks complimenting the magnificent sights.
The pleasant weather and jaw-dropping sceneries make it just the perfect place to relax for a while.
So, what are you waiting for? Packs your bags and embark on a journey to one of these destinations!