Pakistan is a land of natural beauty and has been blessed with the abundance of awe-inspiring outdoor areas. From the unspoiled golden beaches,across the desolate desserts and through fertile plains onto the mighty snow capped peaks, Pakistan is the land of many lands. There are few areas in the world where mountains rise in such awesome splendor as they do in the northern areas of Pakistan and I can also acclaimed it now as I experienced it all myself. I started my journey from Lahore to this lavishly adorned area at 20th march 2015 with some of my friends and colleagues. We approached a well-famed local travel agency The Trekkerz for our voyage which gave us three days package of Swat, Malam Jabba and Kalam.
It was decided by agency to start out travel in evening due to office timings but they got a bit late because they could not gather all the trip members on time, so we started journey at 10PM. We traveled whole night to reach Swat; meanwhile we crossed Kallar Kahar, Islamabad, Mardan, Takhat Bhai, and Dargai post which gave me memorable experience of travelling. It was sunrise when we arrived at Malakand Top and the view of dawn was simply worth seeing. Then we reached at our destination Fiza Ghat in Swat where advance booking was done by The Trekkerz in Grand Season Hotel. Swat is known as the Switzerland of Pakistan and beyond any argument, I do admit it. Our hotel was in front of Swat River which hasvery clear water and started from Ushu rage of mountains. It is the greenest valley of Northern Areas of Pakistan and well connected to rest of the country.
The hotel where we resided was a comfortable and staff was very friendly and helpful by the name of Hotel Grand Season. We took our breakfast without wasting any time as we had to leave for Malam Jabba which was our next destination. Malam Jabba, the fairytale land of romance and beauty, offers unlimited sights that the eye can behold and during traveling toward it, we came across to the mighty ranges of Hindu Kush, black mountains, gentle slopes, placid plains, torrential streams, lush green meadows, snowy peaks and thick green forests of pine. Surrounded by wonderful diorama of scenic splendor and mighty mountains, Malam Jabba is more than a Ski resort.
Skiing was great a fascination for me as it was for the very first time in my life, I was doing it. Ironically, sticks were not enough for all tourists which should be managed by travel agency but in spite of these petty issues, I really enjoyed Skiing and had lots of fun there. After this amazing activity, we took astonishing pictures with friends and management and even selfies. One thing was very startling over there and it was an unnumbered beggar which was really astonishing for me. After this rigorous exertion, we enjoyed a delicious lunch, arranged by trip management and after that we left Malam Jabba at 4:30 and came back to our Hotel Grand Season at 5:30 in the evening.
This day of my tour was stunning but I was hell tired and slept soon after reaching hotel because there was ample time for dinner. When I woke up at 9pm, dinner was ready and I was very hungry, so I took my meal first with my friends and then went on roof top of the hotel to enjoy beautiful Swat River and lights on hills on other side of river. There were fabulous views from the roof of the hotel; I spent almost 2 hours there, gossiping with friends and enjoyed special tea. The whole night and whole day were the best moments of my life which I got from this short trip.
Next day, we have to leave for Kalam which was the final destination of our trip. We woke up early in the morning at 7:45 am, took our breakfast and started our journey to Kalam which was approximately 6 to 7 hour far away from Swat. Kalam is the most beautiful part of Swat Valley and I was dazed by the glitz of this place. Kalam is the land of numerous hotels, water falls, lakes, pastures, site of hiking and lush green forests of pine and glacier. Strawberries are found everywhere in the forest of Kalam and I enjoyed all the places during our traveling. We passed through Khowaza Khela Bazar, Fateh Pur, Madiyan Bazar and Bahreen.
The Hotel where we lodged in Kalam was very comfortable and indulgent and the staff was also very cooperative and courteous. We enjoyed the gesture of nature a most but the only thing which annoyed me was network coverage especially Telenor which was not available there along with internet/wifi, cable TV. For a while, I really felt isolated being disconnected from family and whole world. After taking lunch, we visited Ushu forest and Ushu & Utrar rivers and it was again an amazing experience.
This valley offers magnificent views of Mount Falaksir, numerous picnic points and superlative fishing and hiking spots and our tour package covered all these surrounding areas of the valley. We took snaps over there and in the evening we came back to our Hotel after saying our Maghrib prayer in the historical Mosque of Kalam. In hotel, bonfire and movie show was arranged by our travel agency.
All the members of the trip including me enjoyed this Bar BQ dinner, bonfire and movie in great deal. After this superb partying, we slept at 1am because we had to get up early to come back to our home town, Lahore.
We woke up early in the morning as we were told by trip management that we will leave at 8am sharp. We took breakfast and spend some time at river’s bank, and then we left Kalam at 10am for Lahore. During our journey to return, we passed through Fiza Ghat where we took our lunch at Akbari Hotel. We left Fiza Ghat near 4:30pm. At Malakand Top I enjoyed sunset that I never seen before. Next destination was White Palace but we did not stop there because of some VIP movement due to 23rd march and we didn’t stop at Takht Bhai and Mardan due to time shortage but these places were included in our package.
We stopped at Fairy Meadows Hotel at Chakri during our travelling at motorway to take our dinner which was not of good quality and when we inquired, hotel manager told us that due to large number of people, we could not operate it appropriately but eventually, we reached Lahore at 4am. Altogether the journey was very impressive and unforgettable apart from some food and timing issues. Well, I came home with endless pleasant, beautiful and enduring memories that I gathered in these three days. This trip gave me a precious time of my life which I could never forget and always keep it very close to my heart.
Have you ever visited Swat, Malam Jabba or Kalam? How was your experience?