The home of lakes, mountains and ultimate greenery; Swat

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Pakistan is not less than a gem as a country. This beautiful land is blessed with many beautiful wonders of nature to attract its natives as well as people from all around the world. The geographical significance of Pakistan makes it one of the most popular places in the world in terms of tourism. In the past few years, tourism has taken a smart pace especially in the northern region. Millions of tourists visit northern areas of Pakistan every year especially in summers. The commonly visited tourist destinations lie in the territory of two provinces in northern Pakistan which are Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Gilgit-Baltistan. Both these regions warmly welcome tourists from within the country as well as from other parts of the world.

If we particularly talk about Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, there is a beautiful tourist spot in the boundaries of this province known as Swat. Swat is a beautiful destination with numerous wonders of nature to be explored. It is not only a popular tourist spot in the north, but also holds a historic importance. Unlike other areas of northern Pakistan, Swat is blessed with infinite beauty that cannot be explored in a single visit. Places like Murree and Naran can be visited and explored well in a single tour of 3 to 4 days. Swat, however, requires a lot of time as there are many famous spots in the district worth visiting. Let’s look through the utmost beauty and famous tourist destinations of Swat.
Valleys of Swat

Madayan Valley

Madayan Valley is situated at about 56 km in the north of Mingora city. Tourists usually tend to stay in Madayan because it gives out ways to all the other famous valleys and spots of Swat. This beautiful valley is a central point before all the other ones as it is located on the main road leading to Kalam, Bahrain and other valleys of Swat. Madayan is facilitated with all basic necessities of modern living standards including hotels, restaurants, cellular network, internet etc. Visiting tourists can also visit markets in the valley to buy different sorts of goods. Tourists can enjoy the lovely sight of high mountains covered with lush green carpets of plants and trees during their stay at Madayan. The famous river of Swat flows through the valley and presents a breath taking view to the visitors. One of the refreshing features of the area is that most of the trees are full of fresh fruits. These colorful fruits include peach, apple, pear and apricot.Madyan

Bashigram Valley

The beautiful valley of Bashigram is located at a drive of about fifty minutes from Madayan. Bashigram is the last village on the main road and houses of local natives are constructed on an uneven landscape. Tourists take time to reach Bashigram Valley as the road is not in very good condition to travel. This lush green valley has a number of spots for tourists to trek as well. There are dense green forests which surround the whole valley. These forests are heavily covered by snowfall in winters. Apart from the ultimate greenery, tourists can also entertain themselves with several streams flowing through the valley which present a beautiful picture of the area. Bashigram Valley is also facilitated with electric supply and network services. The people of the valley are highly hospitable in their conduct. They welcome the tourists and visitors quite warmly and help them know the local culture. Bashigram

Mankial Valley

Mankial Valley is among the most famous valleys of Swat. It is popular for its high mountain peaks and summits which can be sighted even from hundreds of kilometers away. This valley is popular among international mountaineers who have visited the area to attempt hiking for these high edged summits. The tallest peak in the valley is 18750 feet above the sea level. Several climbers from around the world have lost their lives in their attempt to climb snowcapped high peaks. However, a Japanese mountaineer attempted and successfully climbed mount Mankial back in the year 1975. The breathtaking high peaks of Mankial Valley remain covered in snow throughout the year and attract a lot of tourism every year from local as well as global communities.  Mankial

Lakes

Mahodand Lake

Mahodand Lake is a beautiful gift of nature to fish lovers. This charming lake of the area is a home to trout fish. Tourists from different areas visit the lake to amuse themselves with a wonderful fishing experience. Although, the road to Mahodand is not much fine and has bumpy track but tourists can reach the lake through jeeps. The beautiful valley of Mahodand and its famous fish lake is located in the north of Kalam at a drive of about four to five hours.Mahodand lake

Bashigram Lake

Bashigram Lake is located in the east of Bashigram Valley. The whole travelling experience to reach the lake is highly mesmerizing. The trail is full of lush green forests and colorful fresh flowers in the surrounding. Tourists can also enjoy beautiful and crystal clear streams flowing in the area. The enchanting lake welcomes its visitors with birds of different kinds singing around. The road towards Bashigram Lake is partly fine and tourists can travel by means of jeeps or other vehicles. Bashigram_lake

Kundal Lake

Kundal Lake is situated in the north of Utror Valley. It is one fine wonder of nature in the whole district. Kundal Lake is very huge in terms of its area. As the local people state, the lake is about 2 km long and about 1 km wide. The most refreshing sight is of the huge stream flowing into the lake at one side where huge glaciers melt down in the season of summer. It is widely believed that Kundal Lake is a duplicate of Saifulmaluk Lake as it seems exactly the same in size. The difference is the beautiful surrounding of high mountains of Swat around the lovely lake.Kundal Lake

Spin Khwar Lake

Spin Khwar Lake is a beautiful lake of Swat located in between huge mountains towards the north of Kundal Lake. This lake is popular because of a small crystal white stream flowing into Spin Khwar Lake. The lake is surrounded by high mountains on all sides except one where it flows under the rocks to meet Swat River. Due to its hidden locality, Spin Khwar serves as a refuge for a lot of local as well as migratory birds. Despite of all the mesmerizing beauty, the lake is not much popular among tourists as yet because of limited publicity. However, Spin Khwar Lake has enough potential to attract tourism from all around the world. The lush green trees and colorful birds of all kinds living around the lake make it simply irresistible. Spin khwar

Daral Lake

Daral Lake is located in the northeast of Saidgai. In order to reach the lake, tourists have to trek for about 3 hours. The trail towards Daral Lake is quite entertaining for tourists. They can look at panoramic views of the area through sky touching heights of beautiful mountains. Daral Lake is spread on a wide area in the shape of an Amoeba (Much Bigger in size). There are beautiful lush green carpets of grass and flowers covering the edges of lake. Daral Lake presents a beautiful appearance of blue water waving over the surface. Tall mountains surround the lake such that the beautiful water of lake does not trickle down from the area and remains in the place. If trekking for another hour from Daral Lake is done, a small lake known as Dand Ghara appears. This little lake is surrounded by nomads in the area. Daral Lake

Swat is full of historic as well as natural wonders. It has been actively promoting tourism for a long time now. However, the unfortunate activities of terrorism in the past had disturbed the local citizens and tourism in the district for some patch of time. But, for last few years, tourists have put a lot of their attention in exploration of Swat and its breathtaking valleys. If someone wants to visit the paradise on Earth then without any doubt Swat is one of the greatest tourist destinations in the north of Pakistan which is rich in all aspects of natural beauty. The surroundings are so welcoming for tourists that anyone who visits there, considerate difficult to leave that place after roaming all around. The hues of nature have diverse variety and such a level of attraction that enchants tourists in its charm. Not only that but the people living in this region have been considered as the most generous of all and best at hospitality who consider everyone to be their family member. Tourism demands for mental satisfaction and peaceful atmosphere which is something like a treat for soul. Swat is one of those spots in Pakistan which holds the attributes to soothe all five senses of visitors with marvelous creations of Allah. If someone is fond of tourism and they have not visited Swat, they have surely missed a huge wonderland of nature.

Talal Ahsan Farooqi is a student of Mass communication at Forman Christian College University, Lahore. He has been…

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