Neelum Valley AJK: Experience the Magic of Kashmir

Introduction

The Neelum Valley AJK is a scenic valley located in the Azad Kashmir region of Pakistan. It is known for its breathtaking natural beauty, green forests, cascading waterfalls, and crystal-clear rivers. The Neelum Valley is a popular tourist destination. Visitors to the Neelum Valley can enjoy a variety of activities, such as hiking, camping, fishing, boating, and whitewater rafting. The valley is also home to several historical and cultural attractions, including several forts and shrines.

neelum valley view

History of Neelum Valley

The Neelum Valley shares a historical connection with Kashmir. Kashmiri people might have migrated to the valley over time, influencing its language, customs, and cultural practices. The partition of India in 1947 resulted in the creation of Azad Kashmir, where the Neelum Valley lies. The construction of the Neelum Valley project in the 2000s improved infrastructure and accessibility, attracting more visitors to the region. Furthermore, The Neelum Valley’s history is a blend of ancient settlements, cultural influences, and a connection to the broader Kashmir region.

Where is Neelum Valley Located?

The Neelum Valley is situated in Azad Kashmir. It lies in the north of Muzaffarabad and parallel to Kaghan Valley.

Neelum Valley Places to Visit

The Neelum Valley boasts a range of captivating places to visit, each offering a unique experience. Here are some of the must-see destinations:

Ratti Gali Lake

ratti gali lake

This captivating lake, perched at an elevation of 12,130 feet, offers stunning reflections of the surrounding mountains. Enjoy the serene ambiance by visiting Ratti Gali Lake which is a must-visit place for any adventurer.

Kel and Arrang Kel

kel and arangkel

These twin towns are located amidst towering mountains and offer a glimpse into the local culture. Arrang Kel is accessible by chairlift or hike.

Kutton Waterfall

kutton waterfall

Witness the cascading beauty of Kutton Waterfall, surrounded by greenery. Take a refreshing dip in the natural pool at the waterfall’s base.

Sharda Valley

sharda valley

Explore the enchanting Sharda Valley, known for its fertile meadows, fruit orchards, and charming villages.

Sharda Fort

sharda fort

This historical fort is strategically located in the Sharda Valley and offers a glimpse into the region’s past.

Upper Neelum Valley

upperneelum valley

Upper Neelum Valley is a stunning spot, located within the broader of Neelum Valley. It is approximately 2 kilometers away from the town of Keran, which lies on the banks of the Neelum River. Upper Neelum Valley is widely considered the most scenic part of the entire Neelum Valley. The valley also offers a variety of accommodation options.

Tao but Neelum Valley

Tao but neelum valley

Tao But or Taobat, is the last village you’ll encounter within the Neelum Valley. It is situated at the farthest end of the Neelum Valley, roughly 200 kilometers from Muzaffarabad and 39 kilometers from Kel. It marks the entry point where the Neelum River enters Pakistani territory and becomes known as the Neelum River. Due to its remote location, Tao Butt has limited amenities compared to other tourist spots in the Neelum Valley.

Keran Neelum Valley

Keran Valley

Keran sits on the banks of the Neelum River, approximately 93 kilometers from Muzaffarabad. It’s situated next to the Indian-administered village of Keran, with the Neelum River acting as the natural border. Keran has emerged as a popular tourist destination in the Neelum Valley due to its scenic beauty, accessibility, and range of activities. Keran lies close to the Line of Control (LOC), the border between Pakistan and India-administered Kashmir. While tensions might exist, the village itself is a peaceful haven for tourists.

Kel Neelum Valley

Kel NeelumValley

The Kel lies at approximately 2,097 meters (6,880 feet), offering a cool and refreshing escape from the summer heat. It is a hub of Kashmiri culture, with traditions passed down through generations. Kel serves as a base for exploring the surrounding mountains and valleys. Kel is accessible by a scenic road from Keran, but some parts might be rough and require a 4×4 vehicle, especially during the monsoon season.

Waterfalls in Neelum Valley

waterfalls in neelum valley

Other than Kutton Waterfall, Neelum Valley also has Dhani Waterfall. Dhani Waterfall lies around 33 kilometers away from Muzaffarabad, making it one of the most accessible waterfalls in the Neelum Valley. Dhani Waterfall is known for being the highest waterfall in the Neelum Valley. The cascading water surrounded by rocks and greenery creates a majestic sight. Lastly, Shounter Waterfall and Chitta Katha Waterfall are also part of Neelum Valley.

Famous Villages of Neelum Valley AJK

The Neelum Valley boasts a collection of charming villages. From Keran, known for its scenic location and accessibility, to Kel, a haven for adventure amidst snow-capped peaks, each village offers a unique character. Explore the traditional architecture of Sharda Valley, or delve into the remoteness of Tao Butt. Whether you seek cultural immersion in Dowarian, the gateway to Ratti Gali Lake, or breathtaking views from Arrang Kel, Equally important the villages of the Neelum Valley offer a glimpse into local life and a chance to connect with the valley’s soul.

Neelum Valley Camping

camping in neelum valley

The Neelum Valley, with its stunning scenery and abundant natural beauty, is a paradise for campers. Kel, Upper Neelum Valley, and Sharda Valley are ideal spots for camping. While some campsites are easily accessible by car, others might require hiking or a 4×4 vehicle. In Addition, Camping facilities in the Neelum Valley are generally basic. Prepare to be self-sufficient concerning water, food, and sanitation.

Neelum Valley Weather

weather in neelum valley

The Neelum Valley experiences a distinct four-season climate with significant variations in temperature and precipitation throughout the year. Moreover, Weather patterns can vary slightly from year to year. It’s always wise to check the forecast closer to your travel date for the specific location you plan to visit within the Neelum Valley.

Best Time to visit Neelum Valley AJK

best time to visit neelum valley

The best time to visit the Neelum Valley is from April to October. The Valley is most pleasant to visit during spring (April-May) and autumn (September-October) when the weather is mild. Winters can be quite cold, with snowfall in higher areas.

Neelum Valley Road Conditions

road conditions to neelum valley

The Neelum Valley AJK road stretches for approximately 149 kilometers from Muzaffarabad to Kel, the valley’s endpoint. The initial part of the road from Muzaffarabad to Keran (around 93 kilometers) is generally well-maintained and suitable for most vehicles. The road condition deteriorates further into the valley. It becomes narrower, with steeper climbs and sharp turns. Lastly, Some areas require a jeep or 4×4 vehicle. Upper Neelum Valley and Arrang Kel might involve some steeper climbs.

Distances From Various Cities

Neelum Valley AJK Distance from Muzaffarabad

The Neelum Valley technically begins around 43 kilometers (26.7 miles) from Muzaffarabad.

Mirpur to Neelum Valley

The total distance is approximately 517 kilometers (321 miles) and the estimated driving time is 12 hours and 6 minutes. The route via Mansehra – Naran – Jalkhad – Chilas Rd/N-15 offers breathtaking views of the mountains.

Peshawar to Neelum Valley

Depending on the route you choose, the total distance can range from approximately 363.8 kilometers (225.4 miles) to 486.5 kilometers (302.3 miles).

Lahore to Neelum Valley Distance

The distance between Lahore and Kel in the Neelum Valley is approximately 723 kilometers (450 miles). The drive is estimated to take about 13 hours and 36 minutes.

Murree to Neelum Valley Distance

The distance from Murree to Kel village of Neelum Valley is approximately 291 kilometers (180.8 miles). It takes about 9 hours and 39 minutes to drive there.

Neelum Valley to Naran

The distance between Neelum Valley and Naran is approximately 212.5 kilometers (132 miles) via the Neelum Valley Road and the Mansehra-Naran-Jalkhad-Chilas Road. The estimated driving time is 7 hours and 17 minutes.

Abbottabad to Neelum Valley

The distance between Abbottabad and the Neelum Valley depends on which specific location within the valley you’re interested in. The Neelum Valley technically begins around 67 kilometers (41.6 miles) from Abbottabad.

Neelum Valley AJK Hotels

neelum valley hotels

Here are some hotels available in Neelum Valley:

  • Neelum Valley Hotels – Price: Rs 8,408 per night.
  • Midway Lodges Neelum Valley – Price: Rs 5,312 per night.
  • Pine Park Lodges AJK Pakistan – Price: Rs 4,225 per night.
  • The Twin Hills Resort, Pakistan Occupied Kashmir – Price: Rs 4,751 per night.
  • Mir Continental Hotel, Sharda Valley, Pakistan Occupied Kashmir – Price: Rs 9,010 per night.

Conclusion

Neelum Valley offers a captivating escape for nature enthusiasts and adventure seekers. From the cascading waterfalls and charming villages to the heart-pounding treks and serene camping grounds, the valley caters to diverse interests. Neelum Valley promises an unforgettable experience. Explore the wonders and get ready to discover the magic of this hidden gem in Pakistan.

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