There is more to Pakistan than just guns and religious fanaticism, enjoy the natural beauty and soak in the atmosphere. In recent times, Pakistan has acquired a reputation of being a dangerous country. Politically, it may be true to a large extent. However, that does not take away the natural beauty of the country.
Pakistan is blessed to have the fantastic Himalayan Range in the North. The Pakistan occupied Kashmir or Azaad Kashmir as these people prefer to call it, is a heaven on the Earth. Many romantic writers have written that ‘If ever there is a heaven on the Earth, It is here, it is here’.
Keeping aside all the negative publicity that Pakistan has gained as a country, one should learn to admire the natural resources of Pakistan. In this article, we shall list out the ten best natural places to visit in Pakistan without any order of preference. This is because each of them deserves to be the No. 1. Can you have ten different No, 1’s in a list of the Top Ten? If you can, then you have the freedom of treating each of these locations as No. 1. Here are the top 10 most beautiful natural places to visit in Pakistan 2019.
10. Neelum Valley:
Situated in Azaad Kashmir (POK), The Neelum Valley is a bow-shaped thick forested region. It derives its name from the Neelam River that runs through the entire length of this valley. Having a length of 144 km, this valley lies parallel to the Kaghan Valley. Situated in the North Eastern part of Muzaffarabad, the snow covered peaks separate this valley from the Kaghan Valley. You have some of the highest mountains in the region in this valley. The view is a stupendous one at any time of the year. A large number of lakes and small town dot the entire length of this beautiful valley.
9. Hunza Valley:
The Hunza Valley is a mountainous valley in the Gilgit-Baltistan region of Pakistan. Situated in the extreme north of the country, this valley shares its borders with China. Historically, Hunza was a princely state ruled independently by the Royal Princes until 1974 when the Pakistan Government headed by Zulfikar Ali Bhutto annexed the valley to the mainland of Pakistan. One of the most beautiful landscapes of Pakistan, the Attabad Lake is the major attraction in the area. Created from a landslide in 2010, this lake has blocked a major portion of the Karakoram Highway. Situated into 3 subdivisions, the Gojal Valley, the Lower Hunza, and the Central Hunza, this valley is the home to several high mountains towering more than 6000 m above sea level. In a country with average literacy levels, this valley is an exception with more than 90% of the inhabitants being literate.
8. Swat Valley:
The Swat Valley is a beautiful valley situated in the northern parts of Pakistan in the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province. This is also famous as the Uddyana, a garden valley. The Swat River flows through the upper part of the valley. It was a princely state, now annexed to Pakistan since 1969. This part of Pakistan has a historical name as well, the North West Frontier Province. Inhabited by the Pashtuns and the Gujjars, this place is the birthplace of the Frontier Gandhi, Khan Abdul Gafar Khan. Though situated in Pakistan, the valley has a great connection with the Hindu scripture, Rig Veda. This part has special mention in the Vedas. This might be the only area in Pakistan having many Buddhists.
7. Kalash Valley:
Situated in the northern parts of Pakistan bordering Afghanistan, the Kalash Valley has the Hindukush Mountains on all its sides. The unique aspect of this valley is that the inhabitants of this valley practice an ancient form of Hinduism. One of the most picturesque sites in Pakistan, this area sees a lot of international tourists. The Kalash people are a minority in the Islam dominated country of Pakistan. Hence, they face constant threats from the Islamic extremists and the Afghan people as well. However, this valley is a beautiful one with lots of natural resources.
6. Kaghan Valley:
Extending over a length of 155 km, the Kaghan Valley runs parallel to the Neelam Valley. Located in the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Province of Pakistan, this valley has an Alpine climate making it one of the most beautiful places on Earth. The snow covered peaks separate this region from the POK. The devastating earthquake in Kashmir caused heavy landslides and cut off the valley from the other parts of the country. Along with the Neelam Valley, this is one of the most beautiful natural places in Pakistan.
5. Murree Hills:
Murree Hills is a scenic spot located in the PirPanjal Range in Rawalpindi district of Pakistan. Constructed in 1851, this town served as a sanatorium for the British forces. Until 1876, this place was the summer headquarters of the Punjab Government. Subsequently, it moved to Shimla. After its independence from the British, this town has become a famous hill station. The place has very pleasant climate in the summer months. Hence, people flock to this scenic spot in the mountains.
4. Shandur Pass:
Shandur Pass also known as Shandur Top is located in the Gilgit-Baltistan area. This is a plateau with a flat top. The locals refer to this place as the “Roof of the World.” Usually covered with snow, this area is accessible in the summer months between April and May. One can cross this Shandur Pass at that time. The highlight of this pass is the annual polo match played at the plateau between the teams of the Chitral and the Ghizer districts.
The POK region or Azaad Kashmir as the Pakistanis refer to it is one of the most beautiful places in the world. Rawalakot is a small township in this area of Azaad Kashmir. This valley has another name as well, Pearl Valley. This is because you can find almond blossoms in plenty in this valley. When you have a view form the mountains, it gives the impression of scattered pearls. This is one of the most beautiful places in Pakistan. Surprisingly, this town has a very high literacy rate as well when compared to the average levels in Pakistan.
Ziarat is a beautiful holiday resort in the Baluchistan area of Pakistan. This place is a tourist attraction for various reasons, one of them being the place where the Quaid-E-Azam spent his last days at his residency. The months from May to September are the best months to visit this place full of lush green forests and huge mountains.
1. Jhelum Valley:
The Jhelum Valley is also located in the Azad Kashmir area. About 50 km in length, the river Jhelum flows along through the entire stretch. You have beautiful green mountains on both the sides. The waters of the Jhelum piercing the mountains make for a heavenly sight. You have lots of facilities for tourists in this area. However, the constant conflict between India and Pakistan over this disputed piece of land known as Azaad Kashmir has created a huge problem for the development of tourism in the area. Otherwise, one can equate this area to Switzerland. The natural beauty of these areas can soothe the eyes of everyone.
The northern and the North-Eastern parts of Pakistan are beautiful with the scenic mountains and picturesque valleys with the flowing rivers. However, the guns have become a big problem for the development of tourism in this area. We do not know when the problem will cease. However, when it does cease, people from Asia need not spend huge amounts of money to go to Switzerland. This area of Azaad Kashmir can give Switzerland a run for its money.