You probably must have seen pictures, been to or experienced Khanpur Lake’s beauty in summers when the sky is clear blue and the water’s color is bright blue or green. This time of the year is unique to visit Khanpur because it’s winters and chilly. Although it might seem dull and gloomy with the sun not shining brightly but the experience is distinct than the usual one. Khanpur Lake is about 40 kilometers (25 miles) away from Islamabad (the capital of Pakistan) in Hazara Division of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Pakistan. The lake is sighted near the town Khanpur, on the road between Taxila and Haripur. The lake was constructed along with the construction of Khanpur Dam in 1983. The dam is 51 meters (167.33 feet) high and has total capacity of 140,000,000 cubic meters.
The weather in some areas is Pakistan is as unpredictable as anywhere else in the world. While it’s sunny in the morning, we could see showers of rain in the evening. However, in December it is normally very cold in the Northern areas. During the day, it is pleasant to wander around some of the tourist points to enjoy the view of the cloudy sky along with the light rain at times and the foggy weather with winter specialties to eat and drink.
When you truly have a soul of a traveler you just can’t stop yourself from roaming around. Whether it’s a day trip, a random trip to some nearby locality or a planned tour. You’re always on the go. With New Year’s first day and a pleasant weather to visit some nearby locality from Islamabad, I randomly decided to visit Khanpur Lake. From Islamabad, it takes an hour and a half to reach the lake view point of Khanpur Lake and Dam. One can easily go on his/her own car.
On the way, you see nature’s creative way how trees are grown all along the road. That was the moment I couldn’t resist and I had to take out my camera to capture the glory of the road decorated with drooling trees merging into each other presenting a unique picturesque. This was probably on the way to Haripur, which is a town that comes on the way to Khanpur. I can recall seeing such roads on the way to Swat where the trees are taller though.
Since it was the middle of Winters and one of the chilly days where the sky is usually filled with heavy clouds, yet you do get to see the sun every now and then during the day. The first glimpse of the Lake was when I saw motor boats, paddle boats and jet skis around the lake.
Contrary to my expectations, there was a crowd near the harbors of the lake, despite the intense cold. Youngsters and children could be seen enjoying boat rides and Jet skis at the lake. You can have a ride at very cheap cost as low as PKR 300 for a single ride. The only drawback of this ride would be that the people managing it would send a driver along with you and would not let you go by your own. On asking why it was like that, the guy told me that it was for the security of the people who wanted to enjoy. Since not many people know really how to control it when it’s on high speed. The fascinating thing was how the little chap was accompanying me while he was not sitting along with me and was standing at the side on the Jet Ski. Sounds funny, doesn’t it? Just like any other water sports, this was one experience that I had not tried before and it was a good one to lighten up my mood. Fresh oranges are quite famous of this region and while traveling you see a lot of stalls of oranges, specifically in winters.
There are a few options of local eateries and dhabas where you find desi cuisines and local food to snack or have lunch. Other than that, if you wish to visit during winters, you can enjoy fresh fried fish too. The weather was cloudy, cold and foggy, yet the sun’s rays and color could clearly be seen as sharp orange shade. Viewing the sun setting over the mountains across the lake is itself an enchanting experience. Nature is always beautiful. It is usually the landscape that makes the sun rising or setting to demonstrate beauty. After staying there for an hour, I set off to go back to Islamabad. Here are some of the pictures I tried to capture with my phone of the sun setting.
Khanpur is a good place for a day trip for adventure, camping, fishing, water sports and picnic with the family. It is among one of the best places for tourists to visit in Pakistan and have an enjoyable experience. With historical tourists places of Haripur, Taxila and Taxila Museum to visit nearby, one can plan a great itinerary for a day to explore this area.