Long holiday, a bunch of friends, and an exhilarating road trip ending at a scenic destination, isn’t that the dream? It is undoubtedly an experience that turns you into a storyteller. A trip like this recharges your soul from within and you come back as a whole new person.
Lucky for us, Pakistan is full of places like these that leave you in awe. And believe that even a lifetime is not enough for to explore the entirety of this magical land. There is nothing in the nature that Pakistan lacks. There are waterfalls, deserts, forests, mountains, ocean, meadows and whatnot. You don’t need to spend thousands of bucks traveling to different countries in search of these natural gifts because you can find them all right here, in Pakistan.
Among these hundreds of magical spots is the Kumrat Valley, located in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Pakistan. Have you ever seen those enchanting forests in Disney movies which have towering trees touching the skies, gusts of winds whooshing through them and leading to a crystal-clear river, that can be seen clearly to its depth.
Right across that river are the snow clad mountains reaching the skies. That is exactly how Kumrat Valley feels like. Straight out of a movie! Oh and the best part? You can find fresh trout in that river, with the juiciest meat!
So stay with me! Let’s take a look at how the journey to Kumrat unfolds, a gem that is still unseen and unheard by many.
It’s best to visit this place during spring to witness it in its full bloom. Winters here are very snowy and rough, making it nearly impossible to access the roads leading to the valley. Summers are the best time to visit.
So this experience of a lifetime starts from Thall, a launching point for trips to Kumrat located in the Upper Dir district. You would want to visit with tour guides as they are familiar with all the nooks and corners of the region. They would make the experience hassle-free for you.
A 4×4 jeep should be your go-to mode of transport as the road to Kumrat is bumpy. The jerky drive takes less than an hour but it is a time well spent. The scenic way to Kumrat is worth all those jerks.
As you reach Kumrat Valley, it’s better to rest that day and start your adventure fresh, the next day. There are not any hotels or lodges here for tourists as the place is still uncommon among the tourists. However, you can camp out under the stars, if you want to experience it like a ‘true’ explorer.
Start your day by having local breakfast, prepared by small cafés run by the locals just alongside the river. Lachay daar parathas with chana and doodh patti, a perfect desi breakfast! Next, go for a trek with your friends in the dense forest to inhale cool and fresh breeze. There is a river that runs alongside the forest, the Panjkora river, coming from the melting glaciers.
The fresh water is at freezing temperatures and is inhabited by, you guessed it, trout! The trout found in Panjkora river has the most delicate texture and is loaded with healthy fats. If you have a knack for fishing, this is the perfect stop. Or you can simply ask the locals to catch them for you.
The people of Kumrat are very humble, hospitable and generous. They would come and ask what you want to eat, and get it made for you right away!
The valley is also inhabited by horses, sheep and goats. The view of horses galloping in the green pastures feels like a fairytale. By the time you finish trekking the entire forest, fishing and lunch, it would nearly be dark. So you should probably head back to the camp to gaze at the stars.
When it’s dark, gather a few locals and your friends, light a bonfire outside your camp and start a wonderful night while having tea or kahva. The reason why you would want to share the bonfire with locals is because they are great storytellers.
They have wandered and lived in the place long enough to know every story. And believe me, they have interesting stuff to share. They also love to hear about the city life. So share your anecdotes with them too. Tell them about what’s new in the city. This is one of those moments that stay with you for a lifetime. Cherish them fully.
The next day, there is a surprise, hidden gem for you in Kumrat that is not known by many. A waterfall, called Kumrat waterfall, located at a short distance from the river. You will have to trek to the waterfall with the help of a tour guide. Make sure you take comfortable shoes with you as the trek is rough. But once you get, there, it’s all worth it.
A waterfall flowing down through the rocks in all its glory. Rays of sun piercing through the trees above and into the crystal clear water. The sound of water falling is so peaceful that it would enchant you and leave you in awe. It is a perfect spot to bath. The water is so fresh it would make you feel like you just had a full detox done. This is one of those spots where you take a moment and praise God for the beautiful world He created for you.
Some other tourist attraction in that region include the Jahaz Banda meadows, the famous Katora Lake (located in the upper region of Kumrat), Do Kaala Chashma (which is white, contrary to its name), a few other waterfalls, streams, lodges maintained by Pakistan Army, wooden canals and the last spot of Kumrat, Do Janga.
All of these spots are located at a distance from Kumrat so it is better to accompany a tour guide with you. These people are familiar with all the spots and would help you navigate through the entire region.
Let us know when you are planning your trip to Kumrat and we will take care of all the arrangements for you.
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