Stressed by the daily routines, packed schedules, work deadlines another day ended after being exhausted and tired. The tough life these days often regarded by us as “Life is tough”, “Life is difficult” and with all those varying phrases. And in return what we all end up in the evening with the gadgets on our lap’s coffee on our side table going through YouTube and searching for motivational lectures about how to make life great. Though many end up listening to some good speakers and have their sprits high for the next day and then continue their same life next day.
But what we all overlook is the space and time what we give to our mind, body and soul. In the modern life, time is depleting and ‘eager to earn’ and ‘be in a race’ have become a way of living. Bored with the same routine and searching through internet I came across “Once a year go to the place you have never been to before” for a moment I was lost and though I can’t go to heaven now but then my senses struck it looked like everything had fallen in the right place on right time. For a moment, I tried to realize where do I live and that’s exactly what I haven’t given a thought ever beginning to realize I live in a country which is known to have the world’s two peaks out of highest top ten (The K2 and the Nanga Parbat) trying to think more form my high school knowledge I remembered we have always heard that Pakistan has its own mini Switzerland yes mini Switzerland( the Swat Valley) where lies numerous lakes such as Saif ul Malouk that has been tranquil camping sites for over years. This all lies in the northern part of Pakistan that has been a heaven for the adventure seekers. The north has it all, the snowy mountainous peaks, the pristine, the lakes, lush green valleys which have made traveling throughout the North more interesting and fascinating.
That was it, I made up mind to give myself a go with vacations next week I contacted group of friends and after a brief discussion planned for the hiking trek in Mushkpuri. We were very careful not to be too adventures for our first trip outside our residing city Lahore thus chose Mushkpuri for hiking after all we have always read hiking helps in decreasing hypertension and improves mental health. So we all were set to boost our energies on a one day tour.
Mushkpuri trek has been a blessing for tourists, with the 3 hour long trek, one will be amazed by the majestic beauties that will humble you to the concept of nature. Mushkpuri is the 2nd highest hill of Galyat, settled within the marvelous Hills of Nathia Gali District Abbottabad, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Pakistan. It’s about 9452 feet (2,800 meters) above sea level. The Nathia Gali is about 90 km to the north of the capital city of Pakistan (Islamabad). The Nathia Gali itself is a small town by the Ayubia National Park which has 3 small towns Thandiani Ayubia and Khanspur. Resorts have also been developed around the park. The Park and the small towns were carefully established to protect wildlife species and the species of plants and still to date the area have 104 different species of plants.
The climate of the area is cold within the summers that lie in May, June and July however harsh within the winters. Whereas the cold sets, once the monsoons return to lash in late July and early August. Within the winter’s cold will increase in severity bit by bit till the west winds bring rains that eventually turn out to be snow covering the top of Mushkpuri making it difficult for the hikers to climb. The average temperature however has been seen hovering between 3 to 11 degree Celsius across the year.
Set off from the Grand Trunk road to the trip to Abbottabad we reached our destination within 6 hours. While on the highway and up to the hills of Nathia Gali, the greenery and carpet full of flowers overwhelmed the beauty. Sweet fragrance of flowers on the way sets its quixotic charm that was present as it was the end of snowfall and beginning of the spring season in late Jan.
While going through the forest it felt like every step is a one step closer to nature, one step closer to self-discovery, and in a very strange yet comprehensible way, one step closer to God. If you are willing to take that first step, the rest will follow.Upon reaching the Nathia Gali the trek to hike Mushkpuri starts from different locations. One starting from the Shangrlia resort and spirals up to 2800 feet. The other takes a start from the Dunga Gali a bit steeper than the track from the resort but provides a great sight to Ayubia National Park.The picture below shows a local hotel which is just at the beginning of the trek:
We started our hiking from the Dunga Gali route and as we hiked the air got thicker on us and with roaming clouds and blue sky the view is simply mystical. The trek was mostly clear until we started reaching top experiencing slipping tracks and it clearly gave indication it had snowed there last few days.
The sumptuous spiral trek through lush green forest throughout winter, the mix of snow flakes, pine trees and sedge like land all the manner on is astounding. It is an ideal place to respire some recent air and revel in natural sceneries. The sound of birds in deep silence casts a spell capturing one’s soul to feel the ability of nature. It’s ideal to be alone in the ground forest and spend your time with nature. The 2800 trek is divided into three parts and when you reach the first top huts are built. We completed our journey to the top in 4 hours and were completely mesmerized by the beauty. Simply the place is heaven for the tourists to explore, relax and enjoy the nature of the beauty.