Chitta Katha Lake in Pakistan

Are you planning a visit to the northern areas of Pakistan in 2023?  Well, let us give you our thoughts on why Azad Kashmir is the best place to visit. Azad Kashmir is renowned for its unmatched natural beauty and is sometimes referred to as “Heaven on Earth.” Azad Kashmir offers several stunning spots that draw tourists all year long by showcasing Pakistan’s natural beauty and breathtaking scenery.

The ideal time to travel to Azad Kashmir is spring to autumn especially in the summer months owing to the beautiful weather. The winters are chilly and covered in a heavy covering of snow. They close the border because of the bitterly cold winter weather and frequent snowfall and blizzards. Azad Kashmir is among the places where you may travel and take in the expansive beauty of the lovely nation, regardless of the weather. The calm landscape and the swanky surroundings with weather to die for make Azad Kashmir the best place to visit in 2023.

Here Is Our Top Pick from Azad Kashmir in 2023

1. Neelum Valley

One of the nicest spots to visit in 2023 is Neelum Valley. You can’t keep your gaze off of this stunning location, which is located in the centre of Azad Kashmir, which is filled with the land of illusions! Neelum Valley has a wonderful appearance; it appears to be a place of fairies. The 144 km long, bow-shaped Neelum Valley is situated to the north and northeastern of Muzaffarabad and is surrounded by the Neelum River’s crystal-clear waters. Neelum Valley’s picturesque surroundings, which include lush green hillsides and crystal-clear blue water, are known as “blue diamonds.”

Prior to the partition, the settlement was termed Neelam Valley and the valley was once known as Kishanganga. You may find a tonne of suburbs and small towns, lakes, hiking trails, mountainous terrain, and other fantastic things in Neelum Valley. The nice thing about Neelum Valley is that you can get to these spots for fantastic trekking and taking the best pictures of the valley. Don’t miss the mythical Neelum Valley if you want to see this famous and stunning location!

2. Rawalakot

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. Shounter Lake

The Shounter Lake is a lovely natural location, and the best time to go there is from May to August once that weather is beautiful. Shounter Valley, a sub-valley of Neelum Valley in Azad Kashmir, is home to Shounter Lake. The lake, which is tiny but rather deep and is surrounded by nature, is located at a height of 3100 metres (10,200 ft).

Shounter Lake is surrounded by glacial waters, lush grass growth, mountains, and scattered examples of different species. The lake freezes over during the winter, and the surrounding landscape are heavily snow-covered, creating a stunningly white landscape. Shounter Lake is risky to visit during blizzards and severe snowfall because of the risk of landslides, which makes jeep transportation challenging.

For those who enjoy camping, photography, and hiking, it is the ideal location. You will snap the nicest pictures of the surrounding environment while admiring the little but gorgeous Shounter Lake and looking for a location to go camping!

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. Patheka

Patheka, the gateway to the Neelum Valley, is one of Kashmir’s most picturesque locations. It is well-known for the Neelum Valley commercial sector, where visitors may get everything they need for their daily schedules or regular routines. In the Neelum Valley, there are several hotels equipped to handle a big influx of visitors.

Huge mountains, pleasant weather, and lush green knolls are Patheka’s key draws for travellers. You may marvel at the magnificent trees along the patheka road while taking in the cityscape. These are the most well-known tourist destinations in Azad Kashmir. Make sure to visit Patheka’s commercial area if you want to learn more about the Neelum Valley’s entry. At Patheka, you will delight in the lush green surroundings and fine weather!

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.

11. Keran

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.

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. Arang Kel

Arang Kel is a lushly green hamlet that is situated above Kel close to the hills in the Neelum Valley of Azad Kashmir. Arrang Kel is located 8,379 feet (2554 m) above sea level. The “Pearl of Neelum Valley” is Arang Kel because it resembles a bit of heaven on earth. The meadows are lush with greenery, and in the summer, horses, cattle, and birds chirp entrancing melodies in the background. The village is transformed into a stunning white palace in the winter when the area is covered in a thick layer of snow. This is a wonderful location to visit throughout the year.

There is a lengthy route that leads from Kel to Nanga Parbat for convenience. You may enjoy a glimpse of the Nanga Parbat Range from there, making it a must-see attraction. The journey from Arang Kel via the track with ambient music takes three hours. This is one of the most tranquil locations in Azad Kashmir to visit, so make hiking plans, take in the breathtaking scenery, and don’t forget to stop by the lovely Arang Kel!

Rounding Up

Azad Kashmir is home to several picturesque areas and lovely locales that have retained the natural beauty of the border region. These destinations in Azad Kashmir are worth travelling to in 2023 in order to take in the breathtaking scenery and the area’s serene, unhurried ambiance. Once you explore this beautiful territory in Pakistan, Azad Kashmir will never get old, whether it’s the panoramic vistas or the physical attributes! Don’t forget to visit these stunning and well-known locations!

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