Day 2: Saiful Muluk Lake (Naran)
From South End to North End of Pakistan, Karachi to Khunjerab [-12ft to 16,200ft]
Day 2: Saiful Muluk Lake (Naran)
Naran is a medium sized town in upper Kaghan Valley in Mansehra District of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province of the Pakistan. It is located 119 kilometers (74 mi) from Mansehra city at the altitude of 8,202 feet. By travelling on zig zag well-constructed and maintained road, with ups and downs due to mountainous region watching the scenic beauty and awesome mountain we reached last night to Naran.
As I needed to see the stars at Naran, I get up at 5:30 AM and went out, it was exceptionally dark outside, the darkness that I have never seen. The sky was brimming with stars and looks extremely excellent, but the night was too cold so I came back to my room and again hopped into the bed and hide under the blanket.
After an hour, I ask my family to wake up and begin preparation for seeing the most popular place in Naran Valley, the “Lake Saiful Muluk “. We have to press our clothes but due to a power failure, as a tree fallen on the power lines, we cannot do that at the hotel, so we went out to the market and asked a shopkeeper if there is a possibility that our clothes can be pressed and we were surprised to hear his reply in positive. He pointed us to a small shop opposite to the road where a person is sitting and awaiting for the customers. Wondering, how he will press the clothes without electricity we were excited to see that he hold an iron that can operate on Natural Gas. For nominal charges, he pressed all our clothes and we got back to our room.
Now, after dressing and preparing a backpack to bring with us to the lake, we again proceeded to the market for the breakfast. There was a real decent local restaurant along the opposite side of the road we went in and place an order for breakfast. As the waiter told us it will take a while for the breakfast to get ready, we started along the road to arrange for the jeep. At that place were many jeeps waiting outside, hence on that point was no issue in getting one, after some bargain we hired a jeep for a visit to Lake Saiful Muluk. As the jeep waits for us, we return back to the restaurant for the breakfast.
Naran is a town situated between the two mountains, the mountains covered with Pine Forest and the river Kunhar flowing in parallel to the town. You can feel the clean unpolluted air as soon as you enter the Naran town. The only street in the Naran is Mansehra-Naran-Babusar-Chillas highway that passes in the middle of the town and all the hotels, restaurant and houses are constructed along both sides of the road. The other street that is called “Naran Bypass” road is situated at the back side of the town and is only used during the rush hours on the main highway.
Later on receiving such a yummy breakfast of paratha's, omelets and tea we ride in the jeep and began our journey toward Lake Saiful Muluk, on the principal highway. Toward the end of the town, there is a street going on the right side encompassed by pine trees and that street leads to the lake Saiful Muluk. The road began climbing upward on the mountain with the beautiful scenic views in front.
Because of frequent rains and running water from the mountains, the road to Saiful Muluk get destroyed every year, but now the government is constructing a concrete road till Saiful Muluk so that it can last longer. On one side of the road is the High Mountain range and the other side is the deep valley below, with the coursing river. We stopped at different locations to capture the scenic beauty of the area in our camera.
After going nearly 8 KM up on the mountain and for almost one and half hours, our jeep stopped at a spot where there are hotels and some small tuck shops beneath that slope, we can see the delightful lake. Our driver told us that from here we have to trek down till the lake as jeeps are not allowed to go near the lake. It was a 10 minutes trek and we have reached the most popular lake of Pakistan, the Saiful Muluk.
Situated at the height of 10,578 feet (3,224 meters) above sea level, Saiful Muluk is the most beautiful lake in the Kaghan Valley. Offering splendid views of the Peak of Malika Parbat (Mountain) this lake is a water source for River Kunhar, the river that is going along with us from the Mansehra district.
Hardly a little up the lake at that place is a grassy land so we decided to spread the sheet that we have taken with us on the grass and sit there. The children took off running and playing with the ball and we were enjoying the breathtaking panorama of the lake and the mountains and talking over the beauty of this place. The pleasant smell and the pollution free environment, make us feel that we are in some other world. The weather is sort of undefinable as the wind is cold and the areas where there are clouds and shade it feels very cold but at the area where the sun is shining it feels too hot. At the place where we were sitting it was shaded in the beginning, but after an hour the sun started shining on us and the weather was turning hot, then after having just about snacks and tea we decided to go and posture at the side of the lake. As we go to the side of the lake the children immediately remove their shoes and jump into the water. The water was cold, but we all were enjoying it very much. The water is too clear and reflection of nearby mountain seen in the lake is amazing, it feels like a huge mirror lying on the ground.
After spending nearly two hours at such a beautiful place, we decided to return to Naran. Climbing back up on the hill where our jeep is parked we bought some fries and the cold drink and ride on the jeep. The jeep started descending back toward the Naran on the same path along which we reached Saiful Muluk. With capturing some photographs and videos, we reached Naran in about an hour. The harsh and bumpy drive makes us a little tired then we determined to get back to our room and have some sleep.
In the evening, we again went out and this time, we decided to walk down the hill to river Kunhar. We asked some shopkeepers for the route and started walking toward the river. The route toward the river passes through the houses and small farms of the local people. There were some children playing in the fields, we ask the children about the route to the river and they offer us to guide us to the river. The route to the river was rough as there are many rocks on the way, following those children on that rough route we reached the river bank. We give some candies to the children and sit beside the river bank and hear the gratifying sound of the water that runs into the river.
After spending some time at the riverside, we walked back to the Naran Bazaar (Market). We decided to have a walk along the Naran Bazaar, the bazaar is on both sides of the main highway started from the beginning of the town. It was likewise a very good experience walking along the Naran Bazar, my wife and daughter started the shopping part and I and my son just enjoyed the surrounding. The sun started setting behind the mountains and then in a few hours the fascinating moonlight covers the area.
We accord to have dinner at a local restaurant. The dinner, Charga Nan and Kabuli Pulao, was served after a short wait and after dinner, we walked back to our room. Our next day destination is Lalazar, another attractive place in this Kaghan valley. We hopped into our beds and fell asleep, after such a superb and charming day. This is the conclusion of the 2nd day of our journey.
VIDEO: Day 2 Toward Saiful Muluk Lake
VIDEO: Day 2 Saiful Muluk Lake
Day 2: Saiful Muluk Lake (Naran)
Day 3: Lalazar (Naran)
Day 4: Naran to Gilgit
Day 5: Gilgit to Karimabad (Hunza Valley)
Day 6: Karimabad (Hunza)
Day 7: Hunza Valley (Attaabad Lake, Hoper Glacier – Nagar Valley, Altit Fort)
Day 8: Eagle’s Nest (Duikar)
Day 9: Eagle’s Nest (Duikar) to Aliabad
Day 10: Pakistan-China Border, Khunjerab Pass [Zero Point] (Gulmit, Passu, Sust)
Day 11: Sust to Gilgit (Aliabad, Rakaposhi)
Day 12 & 13: Gilgit
Day 14: Gilgit to Rawalpindi