Are you planning a visit to the northern areas of Pakistan in 2022? Well, let us give you our thoughts on why Azad Kashmir is the best place to visit. You might have overheard people claim Azad Kashmir the paradise in Pakistan, let me tell you they are not wrong and this blog is proof of that. The calm landscape and the swanky surroundings with weather to die for make Azad Kashmir the best place to visit in 2022
Fun fact: most foreigners that came to Pakistan claim that Azad Kashmir is the best place to visit.
Kashmir is covered with vivacious verdant valleys that will make it hard for you to even blink as the enthralling scenery will make you do mesmerize. It is a place with waterfalls, lavish lakes, and wildlife. Every single spot is worth the visit but just for the sake of this article, we have chosen 10 of the best spots that are a must-visit in Azad Kashmir.
Here Is Our Top Pick For the Tourist Destination Of Azad Kashmir For Vacationers
1. Neelum Valley
This valley is indeed one of the most beautiful places on Earth, which is sometimes even considered a ‘scene of Heaven on Earth.’ The valley is in the heart of the land of waters, Azad Kashmir. Visiting this spot is indeed like you have come inside a gorgeous picture.
You will never be able to forget the aspect of the beauty of the land. The cool zephyr blowing through the lush grassy mountains is just amazing. After visiting the spot you will come to know why this place is one of the most buzzing places to visit in peek tourists’ months.
When talking about the geographical minutiae of the land, it is an arc-shaped region of 144 km in length with limpid water of Neelum River on each side.
Along with that Neelum Valley also have a commuter belt of small-town villages, trekking trails, mountain routes, and lakes making it one of the most memorable places to visit.
Rawalakot is another renowned location in the area. It is a town located around 80 Kilometres from the capital, between steep hills. As the location is just a few hours away from the center, you can go there and make the most of it in just a day and be back by night.
Because this particular area is in the core of beautiful lush mountains, the weather in the fall and winters is very callous, perhaps the harshest in all of Kashmir. Summer, on the other hand, brings out Rawalakot’s alluring beauty. Tatta Pani, Sudhngalli, and Toli Pir are the places to be for everyone visiting.
3. Banjosa Lake
If you are done with the hustle and bustle of city life and want to travel to refresh your mind in nature, this place is our recommendation. As the Banjosa Lake offers such mesmerizing beauty with crystal clear water surrounded by an array of trees, it quickly becomes a treat for your eyes.
We recommend going to this lake in the fall season as at that time you will have just the right balance of weather. The summers have a temperature up to 25C which is not much fun and in winters the area is fully covered with a snow blanket, so in short useless, unless you want to see that.
4. Jhelum Valley
Next on the list is our personal favorite Jhelum Valley, well not just ours but a lot of locals and foreigners too love coming here for its beauty in the summers. The second you arrive you will get to see the pleasing view of the curling river as far as your eyes can see.
Leepa Valley in the area is one of the most understated attractions of the area. It will be perfect for you if you are a summer traveler, as you will witness ripened rice fields flowing through the area along with an assortment of cozy wooden cabins for the dwellers. Giving it a picturesque view.
Apart from the rice fields, you must definitely get your hands on the cherries, as they will without a doubt be the best cherries you have ever tasted. Such is the case with the walnuts too.
5. Ramkot Fort
History lovers don’t fret as we do have some recommendations for you too such as this Ramkot Fort, which borders the River Jehlum. The fort signifies modern contemporary Muslim military designs.
When viewing the history of this fort, it dates between to 5th and 9th centuries which left behind its fragments that were later found and removed by the Muslim leaders of the 17th century. The Fort in itself is a wonder to behold and we are sure that archeologists will be making their ways to it very soon.
6. Toli Pir
When you are on the lookout for satisfaction for all of your senses, this right here is the place that will transport you out of this world. The location is surrounded by lush foliage that creates a calm and welcoming atmosphere for the visitors.
You will be able to discover this amazing peak that is well over 8800 feet above sea level, which will give you the ‘high factor.’ You will find the paramount beauty of Toli Pir in the springs when the weather is benign. Any other time might get a bit rough given the high altitude of the place.
7. Pir Chinasi AJK
On to the capital of Azad Kashmir, Muzaffarabad to Pir Chinasi. The place is a gorgeous place to visit in the winters, as it brings forth a snowy summit through the curls of the roads. The paths are a bit tough to navigate, but if you are feeling daring, it’ll be one of the highlights of your tour.
However, if you are not ready to take the risk, we are here to help you get there with our expert tour guides and drivers that travel to and fro from this location on a daily basis. The place will open up to Sufism as the shrine of the greater Kashmir Saint, Hazrat Shah Hussain is situated there. Pir Chinasi is a place for explorers and for people looking for a greater life and that is also the reason why many locals visit the locale.
8. Leepa Valley
When you go to this place you will be so mesmerized that you will think that you are maybe in another place but Pakistan. The Leepa Valley boosts Azad Kashmir’s reputation as one of the best places to visit in Pakistan. This spot is recommended to visit between May to November when the climate is at its most cheery self.
High mountains with tall pine trees surround this sparsely populated valley, but you can easily reach there by Muzaffarabad. As after Reshian, there are abundant locals with jeeps willing to take you there for a price.
9. Red Fort
How could we forget one of the most important forts and historical sites in Pakistan? The fort is a fantastic exploration for archaeologists and travelers that are interested in learning more about the region’s history. Though it is somewhat of ruin now which shows the scars of numerous tragedies and is in need of repairs.
However, the place is indeed a bravura of art. You might have heard about it by the name of Muzaffarabad Fort if you have ever been to Azad Kashmir. This belt is one of Pakistan’s most prominent heritage sites that is continually attracting many foreign visitors.
10. Chitta Katha Lake – Shounter Valley
Chitta Katha Lake is a remarkable piece of nature that should be witnessed between the months of May and August when the weather is glorious and the transportation options are copious. You can simply get Jeeps to visit this spectacle from Kel or Neelum Valley
It is also an amazing place for campers by accounts of many tourists. Though the site is not that big area-wise, however, the scenery is a must-see when visiting Azad Kashmir. It will be wise to pay a visit on the last day as you can wrap the beauty and the tranquillity in a cute little bow and take it with you to live in your memories for life.
10. Kutton Jagran (Kundalshahi waterfall)
Kutton Jagran will be one of the best places you will ever see, and not just in Pakistan but all over the world. The waterfall have delectably scenery of the Neelum valley that is a treat for sore eyes.
The Kundashahi waterfall is so alluring that it can bewitch you in a way you would had never imagined. The best thing about this place is that you can find luxury accommodation and a car to take you to and fro from Muzaffarabad in just under 3 hours.
If you plan on going to this waterfall, we suggest you to visit during the summers as the atmosphere is so surreal that you would not want to come back. Especially if you are couple planning a honeymoon- trust us, this place will live in your memories for life.
Keran is centrally is tourist location in Azad Kashmir located just 2.5 kilometres from Neelum village at an altitude of 5,000 ft. The best thing is that the entire village is easy to get to from Keran village so people can visit many different places in Neelum Valley without moving accommodation.
Fun Fact: The bordering village on the other side of the Neelum River in Indian Kashmir is also with the name of Keran.
Now to what this Valley has to offer; it is a hypnotic location for sightseeing along with the streams, lakes and even the Neelum River flowing through it.
What makes this location popular is not only the all-around scenery around the village but also an array of tourist activities that make it a must visit for people with a knack of adrenaline pumping hard in their veins.
There is another thing that makes this place world-famous is their Kashmiri honey and the hand-woven Kashmiri shawls.
12. Sharda Valley
Sharda or Shardi as popularly known in the region is a small Tehsil in Azad Kashmir. It is situated at the base of the Shaeda and Nardi peaks and is one of the only two tehsils of the Neelum district on the bank of the Neelum River.
The Valley is one of the most gorgeous valleys around the world. It is famous for its serene river that flows through the valley. The name of the valley comes from the historical ruins of Hindu temples of the goddess Sharda. The place used to be a major religious site for Buddism and Hinduism.
Sharda is easy to reach by Muzaffarabad by even your own transport. There are varies accommodations and air BnBs to choose from when in the area.
If you do plan to visit this gorgeous place, we recommend you to sit at least half an hour on the bank of the river and dip your feet in it for an out of the world experience.
13. Ratti Gali Lake
Breathtakingly topographical scenery with captivating natural beauty is what makes Ratti Gali loved by local and international tourists equally. The eye striking view of the crystal clear water to the dancing meadows of wildflowers makes this place nothing short of a miracle.
The Ratti Gali Lake is amongst the highest lakes in the world in terms of the altitude. The water body of the lake is formed from the glaciers that melt down in the surrounding mountains. It is THE PLACE for adrenaline junkies as getting to the lake involves a lot of travelling and trekking, 4 hours on a good day.
You do not have much accommodation at this site but since there are plenty in the surrounding areas, you wouldn’t have much problem.
14. Upper Neelum
Upper Neelum is one of the very few places in Azad Kashmir with proper habitants of the region. The location is just 3 kilometres from Keran and have lush natural vegetation, several steams and wildlife that pulls the tourist towards itself.
Another amazing feature of this location is that because of its high altitude, you can get a panoramic view of the entire Occupied Kashmir.
Moreover, the green lush mountains of the valley with small roads along the river side just adds to the beauty of the Neelum Valley.
15. Kel and Arang Kel
Arang Kel is another magnetic village in Azad Kashmir, located on a hilltop of kel with an altitude of 8,379 ft. You can access the village with just 2km trek from kel. The main attraction of the place is the 1km long chairlift ride that will take you to the village of kel and an hour hike to reach this peak.
The place is definitely not for people with a faint heart.
Arang Kel or more commonly known as the “ Pearl of Neelum” is best to visit in the summers as the fields get green and the nomadic horses and goats gives a calming view. The chirping of the birds amongst the blanketed mountains with wooden huts makes one feel as if they are in paradise.
Taobat is about 200km from Muzaffarabad and is the last poiny of the beauty of Neelum. The village is easy to get from kel. Taobat’s beauty is the peak and is the place where the Neelum river enters Pakistan. Enroute to this village you will see places like Janawai, Halmat, and Sardari which can be your pit stop as well.
There is even a tourist motel in Halmat that provides accommodation to the people visiting there. The place is covered with snow for half of the year that is from October to April, so it is recommended to visit it in the other half.
17. Baboon Valley
Baboon Valley is a rather hidden place approximately 13000 feet above sea level but it is indeed a wonder to behold. If you want to see nature in quiet, this unspoiled piece of nature is just right for you.
This spell-bonding location is home to different waterfalls, springs, meadows, snow-blanketed mountain peaks and even some amazing glaciers. You may find this wondrous beauty on the route to Keran Valley and Jagran side. You may find accommodation in Shaal and Ghural village nearby .
18. Patlian Lake
Just a bit on the west of Ratti Gali Lake is this hidden beauty that is a dream for hikers and lovers of unmatched beauty and the fresh air and the equanimity of nature. This lake is one of the highest lake in the north of Lawat valley that is bordering between Azad Kashmir and KPK.
This unexplored lake is full of adventure and one should definitely visit the location once in a lifetime, the road towards this lake is hilly and unpaved so it is advisable to hire a local ride for the journey.
In June, the temperature stays around 10 degree Celsius, bringing fresh breezes yet a chilly feels of spring welcoming summers.
The place is only open for tourists between June to September. When you embark on the journey to the lake you can also touch Patlian valley, Lawat Bala, another wonder of Kashmir and our beloved Neelum Valley.
Most of the aforementioned places doesn’t have much of a place to stay (except for the ones that we have mentioned in the article itself) but on the plus side it does make it an amazing place for campers by accounts of many tourists. So what more is there to say? Check out our upcoming visits with an additional 10% discount, choose the one that best suits you, pack your luggage, and let’s embark on an enthralling expedition to Pakistan’s heart, our own Azad Kashmir.