A Memorable Trip to Kumrat Valley, A Beautiful Place to Visit in KPK.

Photo by Ghayoor Ul Hassan on Unsplash

Kumrat Valley is an exquisite valley in the upper Dir region of KPK, Pakistan. It is home to a diversity of flora and wildlife thanks to its lush green meadows, snow-capped peaks, rushing river Panjkora, mesmerizing misty mounds, and enchanting forests. All this adds up to the peaceful, romantic ambiance of Kumrat Valley, attracting thousands of visitors from all over the nation during the summer to soak in the verdant greenery and cool atmosphere.

What is the best time to visit Kumrat Valley?

Peak seasons to visit are May, June, July, August, and September when the temperature is pleasant between 5 and 16 degrees Celsius. The temperature dips below -16.1 °C (3.1 °F) or lower during the winter peak months of December, January, and February, which is excellent for snowfall experiences and winter sports activities.

What are the best tourist attractions and places to visit in Kumrat Valley?

Before we move on to our story let us see what are the most beautiful and visited tourist points in Kumrat valley. There are many attractions and places to visit in the Kumrat Valley, covering a wide area that is just waiting for you to explore! Perhaps Kumrat valley is the most famous gem of a place to visit in the Dir District. Here is the list of some:

  • Kumrat Town Centre
  • Jaaz Banda (Jahaz Banda) Kumrat
  • Kumrat’s Katora Lake
  • Kumrat Panjkora River
  • Kumrat Majestic Mountains
  • Kumrat National Park
  • Kumrat Wild Life
  • Kumrat Wild Trout Habitat
  • Kumrat Valley Jungle
  • Kumrat Waterfall
  • Kumrat Camp Site (Camping Pods)

Read Also: 10 Most Beautiful Places to Visit Hunza Valley, Gilgit Baltistan.

I’ve been yearning to visit this esoteric and renowned valley for a long time, but I’ve been putting it off due to the prevalent corona. But now that I can travel freely again, I am committed to making the best of this trip.

Which route to take from Islamabad to Kumrat Valley?

We set out at 4 a.m. to enjoy most of the day pondering the region, with my brother driving and our two cousins snoring in the back seat of our civic. While I was bursting with exhilarating emotions, I kept my gaze fixed on the moving images outside the window. The total driving distance between Islamabad and Kumrat Valley is 370 km, and it takes about 9 hours to get there by taking the M1, then the M16 towards Chakdara, and afterward the N45, Dir Road to Kumrat. However, this route seemed a little too straightforward for us, so we took the alternative route through Swat Valley.

First, we drove three hours to Mingora, which is a city at the bottom of the Swat valley famous for its Mingora bazaar. The Swat Muzeum, Fizagat Park, Saidu Sharif, and Mingora Bazaar are some of the few popular sites in Mingora. We had our breakfast there and then continued towards Kalam, which was another three hours away.

Where to stay at night?

We spent the night in Kalam. It boasts the best hotel options, numerous lakes, and several tourist attractions, making it a must-see. After lunch and about two hours of rest, we visited a few tourist spots. The next morning, we rented a 4×4 jeep to go to Kumrat, which took three and a half hours.

Thal and Panjkora River.

By the time we reached Thal, I was humming with ecstasy, although quite drowsy due to fatigue. The Panjkora river accompanied us on the path from Thal to Kumrat. Gazing at the tranquil turquoise-blue stream crashing on rocks washed away my tiredness. We first reached our hotel, “Panjkora Hotel & Resort Kumrat”. It is indeed very pricey, but in comparison to others, it’s the best option available in Kumrat. After freshening up, we left to give the marvelous Panjkora river a closer look.

As I step down the jeep in the valley with the river in front of me, a sweet flowery wind rushes over us, ruffling our hair. We see a handful of cottages with grass roofs and a herd of goats grazing on meadows far in the background, while in front of us we see the calm Panjkora creek meandering through the mist-ridden forests filled with towering pine trees. It was surreal and enchanting.

Photo by Ghayoor Ul Hassan on Unsplash

Camping sites in Kumrat Valley.

Along the river were multiple camping sites and a few makeshift restaurants. They were grilling fish over the blazing wood. The aroma of delicious fish was picked up by the cool breezes coming our way, which subsequently heaved us towards the restaurant. There we ate some appetizing fresh trout, a delicacy of Kumrat.

Read also: Top Traditional Foods of Hunza Gilgit Baltistan

A local family was seated at a table next to ours, and after noticing us, they invited us to join them. They even paid for our meal later on and welcomed us to their camping excursion that evening into the dark forest. Indeed, these mountain people are truly the most generous and hospitable. Throughout our trip, I witnessed this virtue numerous times.

Is Kumrat Forest perfect for camping?

That evening, we followed them into the Kumrat forest. In the middle of this majestic, unrivaled forest, we set up our camps and bonfire, enclosed by trees that are hundreds of feet tall. It was a wonderful experience, perfect for camping. In the morning, the sun was up, spilling golden light over the forest in little droplets. It all looked very glamorous.

Kumrat Waterfall.

After our departure, we went to Kumrat waterfall, which is a tiny stream that descends from a height of about 150 feet. It’s a beautiful waterfall with a small pond of clean water at its base.

Kumrat Waterfall Photo by Shujaat Muzaffar on Unsplash

Kala Pathar Chashma and Dojanga.

From there, we go up ahead to Kala chasma (Black Spring), a natural water spring that emerges from black rock and is known locally as Kala Pathar Chashma (Black Rock Spring). It flows into a shallow pond on the ground. It is about 10 km from the waterfall. 12 km from here is our next spot,Dojanga. It is the point where the Panjkora river divides into two streams. A good place to camp with picturesque views.

Kala Chashma, Kumrat Valley, Upper Dir, KPK, Pakistan. Photo by asad on Unsplash

Beautiful lakes to visit in Kumrat Valley.

The next day, we managed to relish the splendor of three distinct lakes: Gorshy lake, Shahroze lake, and Zhagi lake, all on the same stream with their own marvels. At Gorshy lake, there is a rushing cascade of Panjkora passing by an equal number of lush green pastures and rugged regions. Shehroze Lake, on the other hand, is a blue-tinted lake walled by snow-capped gigantic mountains on one side and grasslands on the other. It is simply gorgeous. Zhagi Lake is encircled by grey rocky ranges with streaks of white snow here and there. It is idyllic scenery and best seen in daylight, with the sun reflecting on the lake and cotton-like clouds filling the sky.

Read also: 4 Most Beautiful Fresh Water Lakes in The Vicinity of Skardu City.

This marks the end of my hectic yet one of the most precious trips of my life. The next morning, truly enamored of the Kumrat valley, flaring with inspiration and gratitude, we travel back to Islamabad with countless delightful memories. It was indeed an unforgettable trip, one that will always stay close to my heart.

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