Who We Are ? We are Beautiful Neelum Valley – Heart of Neelum Valley

Neelum is a beautiful valley containing about 370 small and large villages and near about two hundred thousand population. It starts from Chelhana and goes till Taobut 250 km long. It is named Neelum due to its river, curving like the snake with transparent sky colored water. Like any other population of the subcontinent it has the most heterogeneous population with variety of rituals, customs and traditions. The whole valley is full of beautiful and fascinating sceneries. Neelum Valley is dipped in beauty Neelum valley about 252 km long and 3620 sq km curvature shaped with majestic pine, fir and deodar trees, lies north-south of Muzaffarabad. This ninety-mile long kingdom of vegetation is ripped apart by the indigo blue Neelum river which flows serpentinely down hills to merge itself into the river Jhelum at Domail. Domail, the confluence of two mighty rivers, presents highly fascinating scene of youthful embrace. This heart-warning spectacle is most soothing to the eye. Neelum Valley is situated to the North & North East of Muzaffarabad and running parallel to the Kaghan Valley.

It is separated from it by snow covered peaks, some over 4000 meters above sea level. Excellent scenic beauty, panoramic view, towering hills on both sides of the noisy Neelum river, lush green forests, enchanting streams, high altitude lakes and attractive surroundings make the valley a dream come true. The swaying lush green forests, snow capped mountains, streams singing songs of joy, and fast flowing river Neelum, all go together to make it naturalist’s wonderland. The area is also ideal for mountain tourism. A part of Nanga Parbat gigantic falls in this area which is dominated by “Sarwaali Peak” (6326 meters) the highest mountain in Azad Kashmir. Moreover like Kaghan Valley it is famous for fishing and angling activities in Neelum river and Jagran Nullah which are stocked with trout fish. Its sole tourist attraction is a seventeen (17) century fort built by the town’s founder, a chief of the Chak tribe named Muzaffar Khan, to ward off the Mughal armies of Emperor Akbar. Neelum valley is an attractive place for tourists due to its famous lush greenery, springs, streams, lakes and hilly and sloppy mountains.

There are two approaches to the valley. One from the Kaghan Valley which is linked with it at two points, the Noori Top (Pass) and the Ratti Gali and many minor Passes. From Dawarrian it takes two days for hiking or riding and night stay at Dharian at 12,000 feet. The second approach is from Muzaffarabad. It is a distance of 55 miles which is jeep able in fair weather. The Neelum meets the Jhelum river at Domali (meeting of the two) on the outskirts of Muzaffarabad city. From Paticka forest one reaches Nosari, 24 miles ahead of Muzaffarabad. Next come Chelhana (height 3,200 feet), Qazi Nag, Barian, Salkhala, Jura, Kundalshahi, Authmuqam on this road. Some of its famous places like Shounter Pass, Chita Khata, Ratti Gali, Baboon, Noori Top, Sharda, Kel, Surgon and many more are mentioned by famous tourists like Mustansar Hussain Tararr, Ibn-e-Batota etc. Tararr even wrote a travelogue, Ratti Gali after visiting this place.

Traveling during May to October from the scorching heat of plains to the high land basin of Neelum Valley is indeed an escape from hell inferno to the cold breezes of paradise. The temperature remains in between 65°F to 90° F during the summer. The upper portion of the area normally receives first snow fall in the month of October and at some times even during September. The valley, starting from Muzaffarabad, the capital of Azad Kashmir, is about 150 miles long. The first district of Neelum is Chelhana about 43 km from Muzaffarabad just after crossing the Nosari Bridge by the route of Neelum road. It lies on both sides of the river Neelum. The geographical features enhance the natural beauty of the Valley. Its elevation, a mere 2,000 feet at the start, gradually rises till it attains a respectable height of 8,000 feet. On both sides there are high mountains and peaks. Nearly all the forest wealth of Azad Kashmir is to be found in this part of the State.

Here is the list of beautiful tourism points in Neelum Valley:

Neelum Valley Tour Guide:

Location:

About 240 km long picturesque deeply forested, dipped in beauty Neelum Valley is located to the north and northeast of Muzaffarabad, Azad Kashmir, Pakistan. The Valley runs parallel to Kaghan Valley, only snow-covered peaks separate both valleys. Neelum Valley represents excellent scenery, panoramic views, springs, waterfalls, enchanting streams, flowering trees and plants, towering green-hills, fast flowing noisy river, lush green forests, and attractive surroundings.

To escape hot plains during May to October Neelum Valley is best place to enjoy endurable temperature which remains in between 18°C to 30°C. Snow fall starts in upper areas in November usually. Newly constructed road runs halfway up the valley, and a 4WD track continues for much of the rest. From Muzaffarabad Buses and Wagons go to Athmaqam (least recognized town in valley), and passenger 4WDs go till Kel.

How to get there:

Via Jalkhad – Kaghan Valley

Gigantic snow-capped mountains separate Kaghan and Neelum Valley. Nuri (Pass), Ratti Gali and many minor Passes makes way to get in Neelum valley through Kaghan.

Muzaffarabad – Kaghan (104 Kms), Naraan (128 Kms), Julkhad (173 Kms), Noori Top (192 Kms), Sharda (228 Kms), Kel (251 Kms), Taobutt (340Kms)

 

Via Rawalpindi – Muzaffarabad

A newly built road makes approach easy to one of the most beautiful valley of Azad Kashmir. The road is built upto Dowarian whereas remaining part is yet to built. Roaring Neelum river runs parallel to road throughout the valley, makes scenic views with lush green mountains on both sides.

Rawalpindi – Muzaffarabad (138 kms), Muzaffarabad – Athmuqam (84 Kms), Jagran(100 Kms, a road goes up towards jagran from Kundal Shahi), Keran (93 Kms), Sharda (140 Kms), Kel (160 Kms), Taobutt (221 Kms)

A regular bus and wagon service from Muzaffarabad to Kel is available. Couple of Air conditioned coaches served in a day. Road upto Dowarian is well and can be accessed by 800 CC cars but remaining journey needs four wheel vehicle.

What to do:

Patika:

Patika a sagging town at the gateway of Neelum Valley. It is pretty suitable for the first journey break towards valley. The town has a modest bazaar with day-to-day activity provided with essential items. Water falls, running streams, water channels across the Patika village present a beautiful scene. The rhythmic flow of milky-white waterfalls and calm atmosphere covered into lush green fields absorbs the visitors.

Patika

Kundal Shahi:

After 74 kilometers drive from Muzzaffarabad, Kundal Shahi appears nearby Authmuqam. After 74 kilometers drive from Muzzaffarabad, Kundal Shahi appears nearby Authmuqam. A market with all necessary commodities for daily life. Jagran Valley can be reached from here.

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Kutton:

10 kilometers away from Kundal Shahi a road going west follows the Jagran Nallah mounts up to Kutton. AJK Tourism department has developed rest houses in very economical rents. Fisher department has several hatcheries for trout production. Heavy snow followed by extremely cold breeze in winter whereas it remained cool and charming in summer season.

SAMSUNG

Jagran:

Jagran Nallah (stream) has vital role in the founding of its landscape beauty and charm which reveals the richness of the valley. Jagran Nallah’s water adding unusual character on the side lane of a Tourists Resort, while rushing downwards all the way apparently looking a small river. Under the shades of the mighty snow-clad mountains the river is freezing cold. The melting snow of these sky heights beautifies into Jagran Nallah which is also known for trout fishing. The melting snow of these sky heights beautifies into Jagran Nallah which is also known for trout fishing.

Jagran

Athmuqam:

Athmuqam or Athmakam is a small town at a height of 1371 meters, about 84 kilometres from Muzaffarabad, Azad Jammu and Kashmir. It is the headquarters of Neelum Valley with population of 20,000 folks. 8th station from Muzaffarabad to upper valley is the reason of its unique name Athmuqam.

Public transport like buses, wagons and jeeps are available from Muzaffarabad to Athmuqam every 30 minutes. Athmuqam sub-divisional headquarters of valley places. The town fulfills necessities of life having bazaars, post offices, banks, hospitals, and telephone exchanges.

Many river-facing rest house and hotel make Authmuqam a perfect place for visitors. Some of them are being taken care by the Public Works Department. At one side of Neelum River is Athmaqam town and other side villages occupied by India.

Located in a cup like valley, Athmuqam is surrounded by lush green mountains and forests with deodar, pine, cheer and fir trees. Two hiking tracks, from Rawta leads to Guther and the other toward Dogga top.

Walnut and Apple are best production of Athmuqam and are supplied to other parts of Kashmir and Pakistan. Maize is the major crop of this area and vegetables are also cultivated in a limited way for personal usage. Water requirements are fulfilled by frequent natural springs.

Athmuqam

Keran:

A fascinating scenery at a distance of 9 Km from Athmuqam is known as Keran. It is located at the right bank of river profound in fruit and wildlife. Keran sector is another beautiful spot on the river side with comparatively better facilitated rest house. AJK tourism department has a beautiful rest house on the edge of the river is now sub-contracted to private sector resulting high rates of accommodation and food. The main attraction for this place is that Indian-occupied Kashmir is visible on the other side of the river. Military bridge is cool and calm after a cease-fire, making the spot finest place throughout the valley to spending a night.

keran

Neelum Village:

Upper Neelum or Neelum Village is located at a distance of about two and a half kms from Keran. A link road going up-hills leads to Neelum village which is one of the beautiful villages of Neelum Valley. This panoramic lush green village, profound in wild fruit and wildlife, attracts the tourists from every nook & corner of the country. A zoo and park is under construction. Another remarkable feature of the spot is that one can view the entire area of occupied Kashmir. Owing to its tourist attraction AJK Tourism Department has launched a development project to develop resorts in both the Upper and Lower Neelum village.

neelum village

Dowarian:

Dowarian is situated about 13 kilometers from Neelum village at an altitude of 1615 meters. It is surrounded by mountains full of pine trees. About 30 km from here, a track goes deep inside Ratti gali Pass, which connects Neeum and Kaghan Valleys. A high alpine lake (4000m), Ratti gali Lake, also exists near this pass. To get there you need to track or hire mules for the journey. The pride of valley is the large fresh water lake nestled in the mountains. Vast plain is surrounded by the small yet beautiful lake and gushing water. There is a Forest Rest House on the top of the hill and an Angler’s Hut.

dowarian (1)