Neelum valley is considered as one of the most beautiful places on earth. If we call it ‘Heaven of Earth’, it would not be wrong. It is situated in the heart of the land of fantasies, Azad Kashmir. For me, visiting this spot was like dream come true thing. I can’t forget each and every aspect of beauty this land portrayed like a painting in front of my eyes. The cool breeze blowing through the lush green fields… I can still feel it rubbing my cheeks. After visiting this spot, I came to realize about the fact that why people are so much passionate to come here.
Looking into the geographical details of this land, it is a bow shaped region 144 km long through which the crystal clear water of Neelum River flows. There are 5 most popular spots of this valley which must be visited to relish the tour in a proper way. Here is a brief intro of these five spectacular places:
A beautiful village situated 95 km away from Muzaffarabad on the bank of Neelum River with lush green surroundings is a worthy to visit spot. You can have a glance of mesmerizing scenery with lush green fields extending towards mountainous area. Small hut like residencies are situated in this region which enhance the beauty of this area. What else can be better from having a house situated on a bank of a river! People living in this area are very much hospitable and warmly welcome tourists. This spot was like one of the most relaxing regions of Azad Kashmir and I daydreamt of having a small hut there to enjoy a full of pleasure life away from the hustle and bustle of cities. We stayed in Keran resort famous to provide best facilities in the region. After having some rest, I thought of having a walk outside resort while having a hot cup of tea which was a perfect match for me at that time. The time I spent there is always worthy for me to remember.
A part of Neelum valley which is known for having historically rich sites is also considered as one of the most beautiful regions of Azad Kashmir named as Sharda. It is a small town in Neelum district which is located 136 km away from Northeast of Muzaffarabad. To reach this town, you can go easily by road or even you can take a bus. As I always like to visit such places which are historically rich and famous, so I loved visiting Sharda University which is also known as Sharda Peeth temple. It was dedicated to Sarasvati Sharda who was known as the goddess of literary arts and learning. Hindus believed that there goddess belong to the region of Kashmir and so in the respect of her, they named this town as ‘Sharda Desh’. The ruins of this temple were telling their story themselves, making me feel more intrigued to research on the in depth history of it. I was thinking that these ruins are our heritage and must be worked on for preserving them as well as letting people know having a knowledge about the historical importance of this structure still standing from a long period of time on this beautiful piece of land. This town is surrounded by mountains like other regions and sketches a wonderful scenery for visitors. There is a rest house for tourists to reside in the town named as AJK tourism and archeology department. Other historical sites you can visit in this region are Kishan Ghaati and Nardi which are actually two historical huge mountains overseeing Sharda. History narrates that this spot was known as the center of learning for Buddhists and Hindus.
Kel is a beautiful village of Neelum valley located 155 km from Muzaffarabad. It is located near the line of control. You can easily travel by buses which keep on moving on roads taking tourists to this spot. The lush green surroundings are worth seeing and one feels like standing in any part of paradise. The mesmerizing view of Neelum River passing across is breathtaking. The overlooking mountains of Azad Kashmir are like cherry on top in this region. The cool breeze with the refreshing odor of plants all around is something inexplicable. I wasn’t trusting my eyes to have a such a a paradisiac view of a region located in Pakistan. I was having a regret that why I wasted so much time to explore about how beautiful my motherland is. I happened to meet residents of this area who were so much kind and warmly welcoming people that they openly offered us to have a stay and some food in their hut like homes. Really it is still a breathing memory in my mind. The land is also suspected to have a wild life as well because brown bears and even leopard have been seen there.
It is another village of Neelum valley with utmost beauty all around. It is good spot for camping as well. The lake flowing through this area adds up to the beauty of this region. The mountains in this area are covered with Conifer trees. There is also a link through a way to Ratti Gali. To have a stay there, you can avail services of Forest rest house which is located on the top of the hill.
Have you ever fanaticized about seeing doll houses like huts in reality? Taobat village located 200 km away from Muzaffarabad can make you have a look of such a region with cute huts randomly distributed and located over a small piece of land. The area is surrounded by lush greenery and huge mountains all around portraying a view of heaven. It is the last station of Neelum valley. Nearest to it is the location where Kishenganga River enters the territory of Pakistan. A stream of water passes through this area which is known as Gagai Nala that joins Neelum River later on.
These five places made my tour a worthy one and I planned there and then to visit it again very soon to explore the beauty of this region even more closely. Without visiting these spots, the tour to Azad Kashmir is purposeless and will turn into a regret, so don’t forget to enjoy a calm and serene life provided with the best of nature’s splendor spread all around. I have visited many hill stations but I can say it without any doubt that the magnificence of these mountains is incomparable with any other region of Pakistan. Our beloved country is a land comprised of small heavens compiled together to make it a wonderful region across the globe and we must visit and explore it to promote tourism among people of Pakistan as well as from other countries.