Rate this
5 (2 votes)
"A tourist expedition to Pakistan’s Fairy Meadows"
5 out of 5 based on 2 user ratings

"A tourist expedition to Pakistan’s Fairy Meadows"

Isar Nazir picPakistan has tourism potential for nature and adventure enthusiasts, writes Isar Nazir, 23, a Correspondent from Jhang in Pakistan, who tackled challenging trails to reach the spectacular beauty of mountain forests and meadows.

This indeed was the most dangerous and perilous (counting only the landscape, nothing else) excursion of my life.

Although I’m not the guy who’s always travelling, I surely have travelled some. Riding the Jeep towards the sky on a path which is barely the width of the vehicle, one can be scared to death if he/she doesn’t have a strong heart. The 14 km long path, a terrifying and death-defying route, and above all the reckless steering and handling of the local Jeep driver, all add to that trepidation which remains in your heart until the Jeep stops after a lifetime, or it seems so. And this is just the beginning.

Pakistan’s northern areas are a tourist heaven and its best kept secret. It is about time the government promotes tourism and with it the real image of Pakistan.

Our journey started from Abbotabad. On a mini-bus we moved towards Naran via Mansehra and Balakot. We decided to visit lake Saif-ul-Muluk first – a few klicks from Naran – and hike to Ansoo lake as well but we abandoned this idea due to shortage of time and our bigger plans ahead. We stayed the night in Naran because the driver needed to relax and the areas ahead of Naran are not recommended for night driving. Anyways safety was the very first point in our book of rules.

We moved towards Chilas first thing in the morning – without having breakfast – since we knew we had a long way ahead to cover before sunset. It started raining without any warning but we kept moving – we had to. It took us five hours to reach Chilas and a further two hours to get to Rai Kot Bridge, where we had to ride Jeeps to Tatoo,  a small village 14 kilometres from Rai Kot Bridge and near the end of the track. From there onwards, there’s a three to four hours hike towards Fairy Meadows, which we’d heard was the most scenic and picturesque place on earth. The only thing more terrifying than that treacherous route was the carelessness and inattention of our driver. However, we survived that journey.

Pakistan can earn tens of millions of dollars through adventure tourism, with some of the highest mountain ranges in the world. Home to the Karakorams, Himalayas and Hindukush range, it can be a tourist paradise. Add to this the opportunity to see the real image of Pakistan and its people, and it is a win-win situation.

Porters and horses are available at the end of the Jeep track but we continued on foot, carrying our own rucksacks. The track is merely two feet wide, so a little misstep can lead you into the bottomless abyss. It was a challenging trek but the scenery makes you forget all the fatigue and exhaustion. We hiked through spectacular forests which predominantly consist of pine trees and several waterfalls. Pakistan is a country where one can find everything right from mountains to deserts, jungles and beaches, but still we are not able to develop ourselves from a tourism point of view. We are losing a great opportunity.phpgpuXfYAM

After a long trek, finally we were at Fairy Meadows – “Heaven on Earth”. And it was indeed a paradise, a dreamland. We were entranced and mesmerized by the splendor of that place. The mighty “Nanga Parbat” was in front of us; its snowcapped peaks reflected the glimmers of the evening sun. No camera could’ve caught the beauty and exquisiteness of the landscape which was before us. Our long and wearying journey towards that place was totally worth it. There are no fancy hotels or lodges, but the wooden cottages there are quite cozy and restful. There are no televisions or mobile networks so you are cut off from the rest of the world, which in itself is a wonderful experience. At an elevation of 16000-17000 ft. the temperature remains near freezing point even in summer. This place is a great gift for nature lovers and full of heart-touching picturesque views.

You’ll find two crystal clear lakes there, the smaller one is known as ‘Reflection Lake’. In this lake you can catch the mirror image of the entire view of ‘Nanga Parbat’. The next destination ‘Beyal Camp’ is a two hour hike from Fairy Meadows, and ‘Nanga Parbat Base Camp’ is a further two to three hours trek. We did not have enough food and water, time or energy to get to Base Camp, but we made it to ‘View Point 2’ with its spectacular and stunning view.

Northern Pakistan is amongst the most beautiful and mesmerizing places in the world, and safest as well. Unfortunately our government’s priorities are not nation-centric in this regard, but I’m optimistic about our future and that Pakistan will rise above its misfortunes, soon.

…………………………………………………………………………………………………………………

About me: I am a final year student in BS. Mechanical engineering at Ghulam Ishaq Khan Institute of Engineering Sciences and Technology, Pakistan. I have my A-Level degree from Beaconhouse Faisalabad campus, and I studied O-Level and the education before that at Chenab College Jhang.

A little bit about my hobbies and interests: My pastimes include watching movies/documentaries, reading biographies and& novels; and playing badminton. I would also like to mention that I love to travel, especially to mountainous areas.

…………………………………………………………………………………………………………………

Opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of the Commonwealth Youth Programme. Articles are published in a spirit of dialogue, respect and understanding. If you disagree, why not submit a response.
To learn more about becoming a Commonwealth Correspondent please visit: http://www.yourcommonwealth.org/submit-articles/commonwealthcorrespondents/

…………………………………………………………………………………………………………………

Comments

comments

Powered by Facebook Comments