Kashmir is a Hot Topic
Kashmir nowadays is a hot topic and very much in the news. However, my reason for writing this article about Kashmir is quite different. I want to tell the world about the beauty of Kashmir, which it truly deserves. People call it heaven on earth. When I recently visited Kashmir and went exploring, I started believing it to be a true wonder. The scenery is a blessing. Azad Kashmir is one of the most splendid areas of Pakistan you will visit. It is on the border between Pakistan and India.known as the Line of Control, which separates India and Pakistan. When you see this area combined, you see it as a stunning destination.
For me, as a Pakistani, I was not aware of the wonders of my land. I always wanted to visit Europe and especially Switzerland for their alpine beauty and incredible history and way of life. Yet, I think each of us dreams about living in other parts of the world or at least to explore and experience. However, a few years ago, I began to realize that we each have our own beautiful treasures and have totally ignored them. I realized nobody seemed to care about the natural beauty we have in Pakistan.
But when I visited Kashmir, my perspective about traveling and exploring our own country changed. When I visited Kashmir for the very first time, I immediately felt that this an area where the travelers should go to explore, which is why I’m writing this article.
Welcome to Azad Kashmir
Upon arriving in Pakistan, I don’t know if you are coming to Lahore airport, Islamabad or Karachi. However, the most convenient for you would be the Islamabad airport. Lahore is also not a bad option, a little further away, but a fun and exciting city to explore. Lahore is the cultural hub of Pakistan.
If you fly into Lahore, your Travel Agent can set up a meet and greet service, which will take you from the airport to your hotel. Your travel company guides will meet you outside of the customs area. If not, don’t worry, you can easily get to your hotel via taxi or Uber with a safe and comfortable drive.
From Islamabad Airport, you will probably be coming to Faizabad bus stop, which is the famous bus terminal of the twin cities, Rawalpindi Islamabad. From here you can find a bus to Azad Kashmir. It’s up to you if you want to take a rest in Islamabad for a night, you can stay in the city’s lavish hotels or guest houses in town. Otherwise, you can arrange to begin the bus trip to Kashmir from Faizabad. If you want to travel with a group of people, maybe part of a tour group with a guide, that will be a good idea as you will get local knowledge and history.
For your information, there is no railway or airport in Azad Kashmir, so over-land bus or car travel is the option. From Islamabad, it is almost 85 miles (134 km) to Rawlakot, a famous destination in Kashmir. You will fall in love with Rawlakot!
On the way to Kashmir, you will have stunning views of the landscape. You will find steep roads surrounded by beautiful greenery. You will also notice that as you travel up the mountain, you will feel the cooler air due to the altitude. My experience in Rawlakot was the most amazing. We stayed there in an army guest house, which was an ideal location at the destination. If you want a more lavish hotel, you do have the more expensive option topnotch hotels. However, if you are on a budget, you can stay in the Army Guest House and spend your money on dining and touring during your stay in Rawlakot.
Upon reaching Rawlakot, we found the night air was rather cold. So we put on our jackets and wrapped our legs in blankets and sat on the lawn area. This special spot at the guest house offered a stunning view of the Rawlakot city lights. We rounded out the evening with a combination of cold air and hot coffee! This was really an incredible experience that you can have from staying at the Army’s guest house in Rawlakot.
Tourist Attractions in Azad Kashmir
Banjosa Lake, which was our next destination, was equally delightful! You will be traveling via Jeeps and cars, which are excellent for those mountain roads. We set out for Banjosa Lake, which was nearly 20 kilometers from Rawlakot and a lovely place to explore. For me, with friends, sitting silently and exploring all the natural beauty was more important than taking pictures. I could see families and couples roaming around the lake, taking rides in the little peddle boats on the lake, eating and gossiping. I was thinking about how wonderful the scenario of the lake could be when no one is around, and you had the entire lake to yourself surrounded by the chirping birds and nature.
Only 30 kilometers from Rawlakot, about an hour and a half away, you will find another perfect destination called Toli Pir. This is a place with picturesque green meadows, which might only be seen in a painting. I’m very sure you will fall in love with the Toli Pir. The stunning views of the very green mountains and the surrounding area will mesmerize you.
Other famous places to go are Pir Chanasi, Leepa Valley and Neelum Valley. If you travel all the way to Kashmir, you must see Neelum Valley. I would recommend that you arrange your visit to Neelum Valley when you are in Muzaffarabad. This is because it takes almost three hours to get to Neelum from Muzafrabad. While the journey is long, it is worth the effort as it is an incredibly beautiful place you are sure to enjoy.
Neelum Valley in Kashmir is very famous among tourists who come from around the world to see its beauty. You may have seen pictures on the internet, but when you see Neelun Valley in person, it will amaze and delight. You must visit these places if you journey to Neelum Valley. Also, consider visiting Rati Gali lake and Gurez Valley.
While your journey will take you to different cultures, you will be experiencing the unique food and beauty that is the land of Kashmir. So welcome to this part of Pakistan. Pakistan invites you to explore and praise it.