When you think of a fairyland, what do you imagine it looks like? Sure you may have thought of fairies roaming in it but what else? Maybe a beautiful grassland, a crystal clear lake mirroring the beautiful snow-capped mountains across it, happy animals drinking the fresh lake water and a pleasant breeze refreshing everything it touches. Sure sounds magical, doesn’t it?
Behold, for you are going to witness a place that looks exactly like a fairyland. What’s more? It is located right here in our homeland, Pakistan. Yes you guessed it! We are talking about the famous Fairy Meadows. Fairy Meadows was name by an Australian climber Hermann Buhl in 1953, who was electrified by its enchanting beauty.
Here’s a guide to visiting Fairy Meadows, and everything you need to know about the journey.
According to travel and tour guides, the best time to visit Fairy Meadows is either in the spring (April or May) or in autumn (September or October). That is because Fairy Meadows is a place that is crowded by tourists in vacations. You don’t want to be overwhelmed by too many camps or people around, do you? So it’s best that you visit in spring or autumn, specially if you are going away to relax and wanna have the place all to yourself.
The journey to Fairy Meadows starts from Gilgit, the capital of Gilgit Baltistan province, located in the north of Pakistan. There are a number of options to get to Gilgit. You can take a plane, which would cost you around PKR 10,000 for a one way ticket. A cheaper option would be to travel with tour groups that take you there by road and provide affordable packages.
Once you reach Gilgit, it’s best that you leave some of your stuff back at the hotel for the journey forward. Because you will be trekking and hiking and you would wanna carry the least possible weight.
From Gilgit, you will have to reach the Railkot Bridge located 80km south of Gilgit. The road to Railkot Bridge is only one hour and you can go by any bus or local transport. If you are with a tour guide, they’ll sort it all out for you.
From Railkot Bridge is where your real journey to Fairy Meadows starts. From the bridge, you will head for the Fairy Meadows Trailhead by a jeep. The journey is only 1.5 hours up the rocky mountains but it will be one of those rides that you remember your entire life. That is because it is one of the most dangerous roads in Asia. It is carved through rocky mountains with the narrowest pathways. So only a really experienced driver can take you there. Do not, I repeat, DO NOT dare to drive on these roads by yourself because you would most probably end up falling hundreds of meters down from the mountains. So do not risk it.
The road to trailhead would feel like a long, scary ride in an adventure park. When you look down your window, you would be driving just by the edge of the gravelly road and able to see the valley of death just next to you, sending shivers down your spine. You will feel like your heart is in your throat. But worry not, these drivers will safely drive you to the trailheads, despite the bumpy ride because they have been driving there for years.
Once this thrilling ride ends, you will arrive at a village. A 2 hour walk from this village will get you to your final destination – fairy meadows. You will be needing boots with strong grip for this trail which is levelled and not that difficult. However, it does get a bit steep in the last half hour.
When you arrive to Fairy Meadows, you can choose to either camp outside or stay in a resort or hotel. Preferably choose a hotel that offers best views of the majestic Nanga Parbat. The hotels help you with accommodations and provide quality local food.
The reason why people go away from cities to these places is to relax and refresh their mind from the busy life of cities. But they forget to do so by keeping themselves engaged in outdoor activities.
Fairy Meadows offers the best views right from your camp or hotel. So you can just sit back and immerse yourself into the impeccable view of Nanga Parbat and meadows around you. The sunlight reflecting from the majestic snow-covered grandeur will leave you speechless.
If the wanderlust inside you wants to explore more, you can trek to Beyal camp site. It is a 2 hour easy trek with astonishing views. The trail follows into a forest outside of Fairy Meadows and takes you to the Beyal campsite, which is less crowded and offers better views, with a much closer one of Nanga Parbat. You would want to spend the night here to truly experience its beauty.
You can trek even further to Nanga Parbat base camp. The 3 hour steep trail to the base camp is rough, but worth it. As they say, the journey gets even better as you move forward. You will notice how the green grasslands change into icy lands with glaciers alongside you, as you trek through the trail. You will be surrounded by ice rocks and may even get to see snowfall, as it snows every now and then.
When you arrive at the base camp, there you’ll see standing tall in its magnificence, the great Nanga Parbat.
Now that you know everything about Fairy Meadows, you might be planning your visit soon. Fairy Meadows Packages here you can get in touch with tour professionals to book your magical journey to Fairy Meadows.
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