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    Eid holidays: Naran, Kaghan attract domestic tourists in droves amid blossom of flowers

    Eid holidays: Naran, Kaghan attract domestic tourists in droves amid blossom of flowers

    PESHAWAR (APP): Enjoying the hide and seek between the sun and clouds with prediction of moderate to erratic rainfalls over the snow-clad mountains of Malka Perbath at Kaghan valley, the domestic tourists, adventure sports enthusiasts and ecotourists arrived in large numbers from plain districts of KP and Punjab provinces during Eid holidays, enjoying the breathtaking natural beauty of Saiful Malook, Lalusir and Anso lakes, which takes them into the lap of serenity.

    Following an increase of mercury level in the plains districts of Khyber Pakthunkhwa and Punjab provinces during Eid days, the domestic tourists, adventure sports enthusiasts, mountaineers and hikers along with families started arriving in droves to picturesque the Kaghan and Naran valleys to make these days memorable.

    The tourists explore Saiful Malook-a famous lake known for Persian Prince, Saiful Malook and fairy princes Badri Jamala, Anso and Lalusir lakes located in snow-clad Malaka Perbat mountains in eastern side of Kaghan. 

    The tourists enjoy traditional food cusines including Chappli Kabab, Paye, Rice Polao while children play around them amid great fun and laughter.

    The lake takes thousands of visitors into pipe-dream with fairy world’s thoughts popping up with peace and serenity after entering the natural wonder spreading on 1.06 square miles having 113 feet depth and 3,224 meters height from sea-level following completion of boredom of tedious journey from plain areas of Pakistan to Kaghan valley where seasonal flowers started blossom signaling arrival of spring season.

    “Saiful Malook’s natural beauty are beyond one’s imagination. I have visited many lakes in Pakistan and foreign countries but no one can match the mesmerizing beauty of this oval shape lake blessed with crystal greenish-blue water emanating from Malka Perbat glaciers,’ said Taj Khan, former Ambassador while talking to APP.

    Enjoying boating at the famous lake with his family, he said the clean-water of Saiful Malook emanating from the lofty glaciers of Malaka Perbat on its northeast and prince Malook-Jamala fairytale leaves mesmerizing effects on the minds of tourists that can’t be explained in words.

    The enhanced roads connectivity including Hazara Motorway, establishment of camping pods, construction of jeepable tacks and improvement in links roads besides deployment of tourism police have helped increase tourists flow to Naran, Kaghan, Nathiagali and Galiyat valleys.

    Tourists along with families could easily come here to spend some time in its relaxed environment due to better roads connectivity before exploring the nearby Anso and Dudipatsar lakes in Upper Kaghan through jeeps and horse riding.

    KP Tourism and Culture Authority officials told APP that under Ecotourism Project, camping pods were established at Sharan near Saiful  Malook lake to facilitate tourists. Besides Sharan, 10 more camping pods installed at different tourism places to provide affordable accommodations to tourists’ families.

    These camping pods established at Sharan Kaghan Mansehra, Gabeen Jaba Swat, Mahaband Buner-Swabi, Allai Batagram, Bamburait Chitral, Tandyani Abbottabad, Bisigram Swat, Yakhtangi Shangla, Saheed e Sir and Malka Swat and Sheikh Badin in DI Khan.

    Bishigram, Shran, Yakhtangi, Shaheed e Sir and Malk camping pods have already been opened for tourists while the remaining pods would be shortly opened after completion of renovation works.

    Each pod has two to four beds for families, a wash room and a small kitchen,” he said, adding Rs4500 to Rs5000 per day/night stay was being charged against Rs15,000 to Rs20,000 per room by a private hotels at Khagan, Naran and Galiyat valleys,” he said.

    Keeping in view of the camping pods successful’s experience, it has been decided to install 10 more camping pods at Jargo and Sulatanr in Swat, Lashkargha Broghal Valley and Surlaspur Shandor valley Upper Chitral, Kumrat velley in Upper Dir, Laram Top and Shahi Bin Shahi in Lower Dir, Lilowani Alpuri in Shangla  Samanah Top in Orakzai/Hangu and Kalam Swat.

    Muhammad Ali Syed, General Manager, Tourism and Culture Authority said that five tourists’ facilitation Centres at Chitral, Donga Gali, Abbottabad City and Peshawar established. Waterfalls of Lamchar, Sajkot, Noori, Chajjian Haripur, Jarogo Swat, Lanchar Dir and Umbrella Abbottabad were being developed to promote ecotourism. 

    To reduce tourists’ load at Galiyat, Kaghan, Naran, Kalam, Malam Jabba and Dir, jeepable tracks was being constructed in 15 areas to reduce load on existing tourists destinations.

    To promote sustainable and planned tourism, he said KP government has announced construction of Integrated Tourism Zones (ITZs) at Ghanool Mansehra, Mankiyal Swat, Madaklasht Chitral and Thandiyani Abbottabad with assistance of the World Bank.

    ITZs of Ghanool Mansehra would be established on 59.6 acres, Mankiyal Swat on 29.5 acres, Madaklasht on 540 Kanal and Thandyani on 640 Kanal of land respectively. 

    As a pilot project, the Govt has decided to first develop Ghanool with a proposed cost of Rs5.5 billion and Mankiyal with an estimated cost of Rs2.9 billion.

    The pre-qualification bids of Mankiyal and Ghanool ITZs would soon be awarded for which rules and regulations were being prepared and to be completed in two years on the patterns of ITZs of Malaysia and Indonesia.

    These ITZs are expected to create 200,000 direct and indirect job opportunities and about USD 2.8 billion investment.

    Similarly, tourism spots, jeep tracks and roads to link waterfalls of Abbottabad, Haripure and Mansehra were being developed.

    Also, ecotourism spots are being developed at premises of small dams include Tanda dam Kohat, Chatri dam in Haripur, Naryab Hangu, Kundal Swabi and Chalgoza Abbottabad, and that a road from Maidan to Bishigram lake was being  constructed while a jeep track at Kandal lake was already built.

    PC-1 of Chatri, Naryab and Tanda dams tourism sites were completed and practical work to soon start.

    Feasibility of Cable Car project to be started from Dir Upper to Madaklast Chitral has almost been completed, and the mega project would be financially supported by the World Bank through Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Integrated  tourism project (KITE).

    The rest houses of KP tourism departments including Batakundi Naran, Kund Parak Swabi, Malam Jabba Swst, Tanda Dam Kohat, Landakai Swa and four cottages at Nathiagali Abbottabad were also outsourced to provide better accommodation to tourists.

    Four colonial era tracks’ development including Thandyani-Nathiagali having 8, 200 feet height, 40km length and 1500 old trees belt, Thandyani-Biringali track, Dagri Bangla-Meera Jani-Nathiagali track and Kaghan- Mahnoor track starting from Shinkyari to Kund Bangla and onward to Shaheed Pani-Nadi Bangla to Musa Ka Musallah were in pipeline.

    Deployment of tourism police in tourist destinations of Malakand and Hazara divisions and tourists assistance app were launched to facilitate tourists.

    As a result of these pro-tourism measures of the government, he said influx of tourists started coming to various tourists’ destinations during Eidul Fitr holidays in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. 

    The Government needs to project these picturesque destinations through digital media to attract foreign tourists. 

    These sites is required to be showcased through social media platforms to bolster rural economy and project the country’s soft image of being tourists friendly.

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