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Day 4: Naran to Jalkhat

Author: Nawab Tanweer Ahmad
Date of Trip: September 2015

Date: 18th September 2015

After spending two wonderful days at Naran, during which we visited Saiful Muluk Lake, Lalazar, Batakundi, and Kunhar River also roamed in Naran Bazar, now is the time to move toward Gilgit. Gilgit is the Capital city, of the most spectacular part of Pakistan in terms of its geography and scenic beauty, the Gilgit-Baltistan. It is at a distance of 250 KM from Naran and it is the region where world’s three mightiest mountain ranges: the Karakoram, the Hindukush and the Himalayas – meets. Godwin Austen or K-2 (world’s second heights, peak) along with five out of the fourteen highest mountains are located in Gilgit-Baltistan region. Some of the largest glaciers outside Polar Regions are also part of this region. This area is filled with the Beautiful landscape, unique cultural heritage and rich biological diversity and also holds a deep cultural heritage and a diversity of rare fauna and vegetation.

The 8-hour journey took off on the same road that leads toward Batakundi, the same place from where a road goes to Lalazar. The road is metalled and well-constructed, there were waterfalls, steel & wooden bridges, shops and houses on the route. After crossing Batakundi we spotted a remaining part of Glacier, this glacier is formed during the winter season, but as this is the end of summer season only small part of this glacier remain. This is the first time in our life that we took in a glacier. We went along after taking some photos at this place.

We were having an awesome drive along the beautiful valley and after almost an hour of drive, our jeep stops at a spot called Jalkhad. It is an area where at one side of the road is High Mountain and on the other side is Kunhar River, with its fresh and clear water flowing toward Naran. We were told by our jeep driver that we will stop here for 10 to 15 minutes as he requires to hold teatime. We also resolved to deliver tea to such marvelous spot.

After having tea and using up some photographs our journey once more started toward Chillas, Chillas is a town between Naran and Gilgit. It is a point at which the Mansehra-Naran-Chillas highway connects with Karakorum Highway, with hotels, restaurant, and marketplace this town serves as the short-term stop or even for a night stay for those travelling on Karakorum Highway.

In this area there are many lakes and the two most popular lakes, the Payala (Bowl) lake because of its appearance that resembles a bowl and the Lulusar Lake, passes along the itinerary we are travelling along. After a 2 km drive we stop to view the Payala Lake, the lake is deep down from the road but it can be seen. Another lake that rests on this route is Lulusar Lake. Lulusar is a group of mountain peaks and a lake in the Kaghan Valley. At 11,190 ft. it is the primary headwaters of Kunhar River, and is some 48 kilometers from Naran, on the road ascending toward Babusar. With mirror-like water reflecting the surrounding snowcapped Lulusar Mountains, it is believed the biggest lake in the Kaghan Valley.

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