Travels Through Pakistan: Neelum Valley

Here at Allshore, we like to be as educated as possible when it comes to our Pakistani team members and their homes. One of the first surprising things I learned about Pakistan was how beautiful of a country is it. Given its geological location, not many people expect it to be home to such diverse natural and manmade wonders.

Tucked away in the northern corner of Pakistan, is a valley full of rich greens and blues, where rivers run through pristine fields. This is the Neelum Valley, a popular site for nature tourism in the country.

 

 Habba_Khatoon

 

The Neelum Valley is in the Pakistani state of Jammu and Kashmir, and stretches on for over 100 miles. The draw of this region is its untouched nature. Though parts of the valley can be difficult to travel to, a surge in tourism has helped bring money to the region to develop roads and accommodations for visitors.
Neelum_Valley_of_Paradise_Kashmir

 

Several rivers, that slowly helped to shape the landscape, wind through the area. The Jagran River is so large and powerful that it is used to created hydroelectricity for nearby towns. Farther down, the Jagran River merges with the larger Neelum river which dominates the rest of journey through the valley. Along with lazy rivers, there are several amazing waterfalls in the area. The Machal Waterfall is over 100 feet in height, and provides a cold shock for swimmers brave enough to take a dip in the melted snow-water of the river.

 

Taobutt_JIu
Besides hiking and camping, fishing is a popular sport in the area. The rivers have plenty of fish, and a trout fishery was established at Salkhala, where tourists can visit. Fruit picking and other agro-tourism activities are common near the smaller villages. Authmuqam is one of the more popular towns during the fruit growing season, since it is famous in the region for the numerous varieties that can be grown there.

 

Sharda_Peeth_2
There are plenty of small towns with lodgings for tourists and hikers. The boarder village of Taobat is one of the largest, and rests at an elevation of 7,500 feet. The village of Neelum is relatively small, with a population of just one thousand. Kel is the largest town in the entire area, and is high up on the side of the mountains overlooking part of the valley. Near there you can visit the remains of Sharada Peeth, the ruins of an old Buddhist University, believed to have been built around the year 1100 CE.

 

Buddhist_University_-_Sharda,_Neelum_Valley_Pakistan
Though a popular tourist attraction, Neelum Valley remains wild and mostly untouched. It is exactly that wild beauty that draws so many visitors from distant cities.

 

 
Sources:

http://www.neelumvalley.net/
http://tribune.com.pk/story/257149/neelum-valley-heavens-unleashed/
http://www.ajktours.com/index.php/2011/07/visit-neelum-valley/
http://www.ajkcouncil.com/TourismNeelumValley.asp
http://www.industcards.com/hydro-pakistan.htm

http://www.visitpakistanonline.com/travelguides/passes/valleysntowns/neelum.htm

http://islamicrop.blogspot.com/2013/01/sharda-crown-of-neelum-valley.html

http://www.pakwheels.com/forums/biking/198842-visiting-neelum-valley-taobutt-shonter-bikes-august-2012-a-2

 

 
Photos:

 http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Habba_Khatoon.jpg  Author: Zahid samoon
http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Neelum_Valley_of_Paradise_Kashmir.jpg   Author: Dralisaqlain
http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:WP_20140815_208.jpg
  Author: Uzair9
http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Buddhist_University_-_Sharda,_Neelum_Valley_Pakistan.jpg Author: Mudabbirmaajid
http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Taobutt_JIu.jpg Author: Jmsharry

Banner Photos:
http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Broad_Peak.JPG
http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Peshawar_Museum.JPG Author: Khalid Mahmood
http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Rohtas_Fort_Magnificent_Kabuli_Gate.jpg Author: Omar mukhtar
http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Pakistan_Khyber_Pass_IMG_9928.jpg Author: Anthony Maw
http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Habba_Khatoon.jpg Author: Zahid samoon
http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Arcs_at_Night.jpg Author: Yaser619

 

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Anne Sutherland

Administrative Coordinator at Allshore Virtual Staffing
Anne Sutherland is an Administrative Coordinator at Allshore Virtual Staffing, a remote staffing agency. Having a BA in Asian Studies, minor in Japanese, and time spent abroad, Anne excels at multi-cultural communication and continually stays up to date on cultural events and research.

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