Pakistan is home to some of the most stunning natural wonders in the world, and Kumrat Valley is no exception. Located in the Upper Dir district of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province, Kumrat Valley is a hidden gem waiting to be discovered by nature lovers, adventure seekers, and anyone looking for a peaceful escape from the hustle and bustle of city life. In this article, we will explore Kumrat Valley in detail, including its geography, climate, attractions, and activities.
Geography of Kumrat Valley
Kumrat Valley is a beautiful valley in the Upper Dir district of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province, Pakistan. The valley is located at an elevation of 2,500 meters (8,202 feet) above sea level and is surrounded by towering mountains and lush green forests. The valley is situated on the banks of the Kumrat River, which flows through the valley and adds to its natural beauty.
Attractions in Kumrat Valley
Kumrat Valley is a paradise for nature lovers, adventure seekers, and anyone looking for a peaceful escape. Here are some of the top attractions in Kumrat Valley:
1. Jahaz Banda
Jahaz Banda is a picturesque meadow located at an elevation of 3,100 meters (10,171 feet) above sea level. The meadow is surrounded by towering mountains and offers stunning views of the valley. The name Jahaz Banda means “ship’s deck,” and the meadow is said to resemble the deck of a ship. Jahaz Banda is accessible by a jeep track, and the journey takes about six to seven hours from the town of Thal.
2. Katora Lake
Katora Lake is a beautiful alpine lake located at an elevation of 3,500 meters (11,482 feet) above sea level. The lake is surrounded by snow-capped mountains and is accessible by a trek of about four to five hours from Jahaz Banda. The trek to Katora Lake is challenging, but the views are worth the effort.
3. Do Kala Chashma
Do Kala Chashma is a stunning waterfall located in the heart of Kumrat Valley. The waterfall is accessible by a short hike from the town of Thal and is a popular picnic spot for locals and tourists alike.
4. Panjkora River
The Panjkora River is a major river in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province, and it flows through Kumrat Valley. The river is a popular spot for fishing and rafting, and it offers stunning views of the valley.
Activities in Kumrat Valley
Kumrat Valley offers a wide range of activities for visitors, including:
Kumrat Valley is a paradise for trekkers, with a variety of treks ranging from easy to challenging. The most popular trek in Kumrat Valley is the trek to Katora Lake, which takes about four to five hours from Jahaz Banda.
Camping is a popular activity in Kumrat Valley, and there are many campsites available for visitors. The most popular campsite in Kumrat Valley is Jahaz Banda, which offers stunning views of the
Islamabad to Kumrat Valley (Distance / Route Map / Location)
The distance between Islamabad and Kumrat Valley is approximately 415 km. The journey can take around 10-12 hours by road depending on the mode of transportation and the condition of the roads.
There are two main routes that can be taken to reach Kumrat Valley from Islamabad:
1. Via Dir: This is the most commonly used route, and it takes you through the scenic towns of Lower Dir and Upper Dir. The route starts from Islamabad and passes through Mardan, Chakdara, and Timergara before reaching Dir. From Dir, you can take a jeep or a horse to reach Thal, which is the starting point for most of the treks and tours to Kumrat Valley.
2. Via Swat: This route is longer than the Dir route, but it is also more scenic. The route starts from Islamabad and passes through Mingora, Bahrain, and Kalam before reaching Kumrat Valley. From Kalam, you can take a jeep or a horse to reach Kumrat Valley.
Here is a rough route map of both the routes from Islamabad to Kumrat Valley:
Islamabad – Mardan – Chakdara – Timergara – Dir – Thal – Kumrat Valley
Islamabad – Hasan Abdal – Mansehra – Balakot – Kawai – Madyan – Bahrain – Kalam – Kumrat Valley
Alternative Route to Kumrat Valley
In addition to the two main routes mentioned earlier, there is an alternative route that can be taken to reach Kumrat Valley from Islamabad. This route is longer and less commonly used, but it offers a unique and scenic journey through the mountainous regions of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.
The alternative route starts from Islamabad and passes through the following towns and cities:
1. Abbottabad: The route starts from Islamabad and passes through Abbottabad, a beautiful city known for its natural beauty and pleasant weather.
2. Manshera: From Abbottabad, the route continues to Manshera, another scenic city located in the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province.
3. Besham: After Manshera, the route leads to Besham, a small town located on the banks of the Indus River.
4. Chilas: From Besham, the route continues to Chilas, a picturesque town located in the Gilgit-Baltistan region.
5. Shangla Pass: After Chilas, the route leads to Shangla Pass, a high mountain pass located at an altitude of 10,000 feet. The pass offers stunning views of the surrounding mountain ranges and valleys.
6. Dir: After crossing Shangla Pass, the route leads to Dir, a small town located in the Upper Dir district.
7. Thal: From Dir, you can take a jeep or a horse to reach Thal, which is the starting point for most of the treks and tours to Kumrat Valley.
8. Kumrat Valley: From Thal, you can continue your journey to Kumrat Valley, which is located approximately 2-3 hours away by jeep or horse.
This alternative route is longer than the other two routes, but it offers a unique and scenic journey through the mountainous regions of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. It is recommended for those who have more time and are looking for a different and more adventurous route to Kumrat Valley.