Pakistan has been blessed with some of the most exotic tourist destinations that one cannot simply see all of them in a whole life time. The claim sounds unrealistic but it nevertheless does not understate the fact that Pakistan is a beautiful country with such diverse topography and landscapes that vary from region to region. The more you explore this country, the more you would fall in love with its immense beauty.
Not many people have heard about ‘Neelwahn Ponds’, which is a tourist destination located approximately 15km from Kallar Kahaar of District Chakwal, Punjab province. From Lahore and Islamabad, tourists can easily visit this spot as a day tour. The nearest airport is of Islamabad, Benazir International Airport. Neelwahn ponds are almost 140kms from Islamabad and from Lahore this place is approximately 275 kilometers.
From the motorway, you need to take a turn towards Khoshab and on reaching Khairpur area, only the local people can guide you to this place since there are no signboards to Neelwahn. The area is less populated and it has been recently explored place over a span of 5-7 years but still it is far-fetched in terms of reaching the tourist point. From the Neelwahn Valley, you need to hike down for like 45 minutes. The hike is strenuous thus not recommended for children or people who do not have hiking experience at all. Since there are no porters so you need to carry a small backpack or stuff that is necessary only. There are thorny bushes on the hiking track. However, the local people are really friendly and helpful.
Neelwahn ponds have 3 ponds at distance from each other. The color of the water is turquoise blue when you have a look at the ponds from above. The first time I went to Neelwahn ponds was back in 2013. The place was far off from the motorway so the tour guides that we were traveling with, knew the way to the ponds. Since then I have always went to Neelwahn ponds on my own with friends. The hiking experience is tiring but totally worth it. The valley has two waterfalls, one at Pond 1 and 2nd one in mountains after pond 3.
One pond is my favorite since it is not very deep and vacant for tourists. The local people usually go in the 3rd pond since it is really deep. Loving the experience of the first one, I have multiple times been to Neelwahn ponds and the beauty is mesmerizing that compels me to visit again.
Points to keep in mind while planning to go for Neelwahn ponds:
- The place is deserted after evening so you should be returning back to the top before sunset. Do not forget to carry a torch along with you.
- There is no shop, no electricity, no mobile phone signals and no rescue from the Ponds.
- Some parts of the ponds are really deep so one should think before taking a dive. It’s usually the perfect swimmers that lose their lives.
- The water of the ponds is not drinkable, better to carry a bottle of water along with you since trekking and hiking leads to thirstiness.
- Wear proper hiking shoes, to avoid feet issues.
- Carry extra clothing if you plan to swim.
- There is no option of hotel ling or accommodation at this place, so one has to return back from the ponds.
- This place is usually visited by men tourists, however, if you are a woman and you want to swim in the water of the ponds, Pakistani men are generous enough to vacant the space for you, as a gesture of goodwill. This is just based on my experience.
The best time to visit Neelwahn ponds is the spring and summer season, from March-September. If one really wants to enjoy fun in the water and swim too. However, for a visit just to see the ponds you can always go throughout the year. Tourists usually go to the ponds in groups and enjoy barbeque and sheesha nearby the pond. Since there are no hotelling options one could only stay if plans to camp at this site. It should be noted that there is no and very less plain land, the terrain around the ponds is rocky.