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Best Places To Visit In Pakistan | Naran and Kaghan

Pakistan is abundant in diverse natural beauty. My cousins and friends would tell me the accounts of their journey and their tales of euphoria would spark an interest in me to visit those places myself. I have been married for over 25 years, and my relationship with my wife had almost burned out. We both needed a break from life. I had some annual leaves and decided to visit the northern areas of our country to rekindle our relationship; away from our daily routine.

It was fairly easy to convince my wife, in fact, she was so excited that she bombarded me with questions about the trip. But there was a hiccup; we could not let our children know of our intentions. I wanted to get my marriage back on track and did not want anyone to interfere in our venture, not even our children. We fooled them into believing that we were embarking on a business trip. The stage was set, but the destination wasn’t.

I called one of my oldest friends Tajammul. He had made a habit of taking a vacation to the northern parts of the country every year. I asked him for expert advice, and after some careful considerations, he suggested that we visit the valleys of Naran and Kaghan. “Places like Swat would freeze you to the bone,” he said. He even arranged for our trip through the travel agency he prefers. My wife and I packed our luggage most clandestinely, kissed our kid’s goodbye, and made our way to the rendezvous point.

Journey Begin Towards Amazing Place Of Pakistan

 

Winter Hit Home

We booked a private sedan from Peshawar since we were just 2 people and did not have a lot of luggage. Thus, the journey of all journeys began. The weather was unusually chilly for July, but my wife and I could already feel positive energies around us. The environment was pleasant, there were trees almost everywhere and mulberries lying on the road. The roads were zig zag and curvy with an abyss on the left, waiting patiently to clinch you in their pit.

While on our way to the valley, it started raining. I was awake and could actually smell the rain. I woke up, with my wife sleeping next to me on my shoulder. I asked the driver to stop the car by the roadside. We got out of the car and enjoyed in silence the raindrops trickling down our bodies. The rain was falling on the trees, blending with the wood and creating a dazzling, organic aroma.

Our driver came out of the car and politely suggested that we walk a little to the east, which we did and saw a waterfall. We had never seen a natural waterfall before in our lives; it did our dopamine a world of good. It was scenic, natural and above all, had a sense of tranquility. The water was crystal clear and transparent, we both could actually see our reflections in it.

Heaven Is Your home

After almost 6 hours, we reached the valley of Kaghan. I could see my soulmate’s face beaming with delight. That was just what our marriage needed! There was no traffic, no noise, no banners or billboards. Instead, there were pine trees bearing fruits, diverse flowers, greenery and above all, clouds suspended in the horizon!

We trekked up to Naran, where we saw settlements of the native people. They all passed smiles and greeted us with polite waves. It was beautiful; they were even trying to communicate with us in their native language. Those people were the most courteous I have ever come across. One of the little girls liked my wife’s embroidered dress so much that she requested my wife to give it to her. It was a priceless moment.

We trekked further up, and my wife looked at me with the most radiant smile and said, “Nature was the answer to all of our problems.” Like a traditional husband, I nodded in agreement. The mountains were not sky high, but one could look at the beauty below them by standing atop the plateau. I remember, she held a firm grip of my hand. I did not want that moment to end; it felt as if we were frozen in time and unable to move.

We set our base camp near the mountains and spent the night sleeping under the sky. It was the most peaceful sleep we ever had. The next morning, we got up to the golden rays of the sun falling on us. The sun was placed behind the mountains, creating a breath-taking effect. We knew where we had to go next.

Next day, we saw a flock of sheep grazing on the grass. The land was lush in greenery, serving as the perfect spot for sheep to satiate their appetite. There were cute lambs, alongside their mothers. My wife adored them and made snapchat stories with them. Nothing made me happier than watching her enjoy every moment of the trip.

Dinner under the Stars

 

A place Like Heaven
Of Stone and Bridges. Picture Courtesy : Tehreem Naeem

 

We headed to the Babusar Pass, passing several bridges that were supported entirely by wood logs. I remember my wife shivering with fear. Her eyes were closed, and she was reciting Ayat ul Kursi. We managed to reach the Babusar Top. One of the sights instantly recognizable were the stones and rocks. They were scattered all over the plain like sea shells on a sea coast. We played a game of skipping stones; it was exhilarating. There was a mini river flowing and I could actually see little fishes swimming in unison. I wished I could keep one of them as a souvenir.

Towards the horizon and beyond. Picture Credit : Tehreem Naeem

 

We made our way towards a restaurant that our guide said was renowned for its ambiance. We had to trek up a bit and witnessed the much talked about pomposity of the restaurant with our eyes. The restaurant had no formal sitting arrangements. Instead, it had an open barbecue type atmosphere.

A lot of families were enjoying the spectacular ambiance. We asked what their specialty was and the crew responded that their Batair Masala Karahi is one to savor. We ordered it, and not long after, we realized that the restaurant had no artificial lights! Instead, the moon and the stars were twinkling, making for a heavenly setting.

We had the most delicious dinner of our lives under natural light. The cherry on top was the soothing music playing in the background. I could not resist myself but kiss her forehead. It was just the type of release we were both looking for.

Those 3 days changed our lives completely. The trip did not only put our marriage back on track; it made us realize that Pakistan has a plethora of beautiful spots, all worth your time. It is all about taking out time and willing to accept the challenge to explore!

 

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