Sharan Forest: Eco-Tourism Gem

Introduction

Sharan Forest is a beautiful and lesser-known tourist destination located in the Kaghan Valley, amidst the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province of Pakistan. It presents a peaceful retreat amidst nature’s beauty, offering a range of accommodation options and outdoor activities for those seeking a serene and natural getaway in the Kaghan Valley.

sHARAN fOREST

Sharan Forest Height

sharan forest height

The Sharan Forest is situated at an elevation of about 2425 meters (7959 feet), and provides a refreshing escape from the heat, especially during the scorching summer months in Pakistan.

Sharan Forest in Winter

During winter, Sharan Forest experiences snowfall, making the 16-kilometer jeep track potentially inaccessible. Reaching the forest might require special winterized vehicles or waiting for snow clearance, depending on the severity of the snowfall.  During winter, visitors can enjoy the enchanting views of the snow-covered landscape and engage in activities such as snow trekking and photography.

Sharan Waterfall

sharan waterfall

Sharan Waterfall is a short trek away from the camping pods or wooden huts where visitors typically stay. The waterfall is a sight to behold. The cascading water creates a refreshing atmosphere. The trail, surrounded by thick forest trees and the soothing sound of the Kunhar River, offers a serene and picturesque experience. Visitors can embark on a 45-minute to 1-hour downhill hike from the Sharan Camping Pods to reach the Sharan Waterfall.

Animals in Sharan Forest

The mountainous terrain of Sharan Forest might surprise you with elusive Himalayan Musk Deer or the flash of a Golden Jackal. Soaring birds like the Lammergeyer with its impressive wingspan might grace the skies, while the vibrant plumage of the Himalayan Monal could add a splash of color to your trek.

Hike towards Sharan Forest

sharan forest hike

The forest itself sits at an elevation of about 7959 feet, the hike will take you through stunning mountainous scenery. The trails are generally well-maintained and suitable for most fitness levels. Manshi Top, a majestic destination, can be reached through a 2-3 hour steep hike in the dense Sharan Forest, providing visitors with breathtaking views and serene landscapes.

Manchi top Sharan Forest

manchi top

It is situated at the border of Allai Valley and Kaghan Valley in Sharan Forest. Manchi Top is located at an altitude of 9000 ft. At the top of Manchi Top, visitors can find a small hut with basic facilities and a tuck shop managed by locals, providing snacks and tea for visitors. This makes it an ideal spot for a rest and refreshment during the hike. The scenic beauty of the area, coupled with the availability of trekking options such as Musa ka Musalla Track, Siran Valley Track, Rajkani Top Track, and Chambar Peak Track, makes Manchi Top a captivating destination.

Paras Sharan Forest & Chamber Peak

paras valley sharan

It is a small town located 30 kilometers from Balakot. Paras, located on the Kaghan-Babusar Road, serves as the gateway to Sharan Forest. It is the starting point for the 16 km long jeep track leading to Sharan Forest. Chamber Peak, a prominent trekking destination, is accessible from Sharan Forest. It offers a challenging yet rewarding trekking experience. Special permits are required to trek Chamber Peak. These can be obtained from the Pakistan Tourism Development Corporation (PTDC) office in Islamabad.

Sharan Forest Camp at night

sharan forest camp

Spending a night at Sharan Forest Camp can be a truly magical experience. Away from light pollution, the night sky at Sharan Forest Camp explodes with a million twinkling stars. The Milky Way stretches across the vast canvas, offering a breathtaking view, unlike anything you might see in a city. The crackling flames from a campfire cast a warm glow on your fellow campers and flickering shadows on the surrounding trees. Sharing stories, roasting marshmallows, and stargazing next to the fire creates a sense of camaraderie and connection with nature.

Sharan Forest Weather

sharanforest weather

Sharan Forest’s weather varies significantly throughout the year. Spring (March-May) offers pleasant temperatures with blooming wildflowers, while summer (June-August) is warm and ideal for outdoor activities, but with less water availability. Autumn (September-November) brings comfortable temperatures and fall foliage but with a higher chance of rain. Winter (December-February) is the coldest with snowfall, potentially making the area inaccessible, but offers a winter wonderland experience for those who can brave it.

Sharan Forest Location

Kaghan Valley is a broader region where Sharan Forest is situated and Mansehra is the specific district where it falls under. Its geographical coordinates are 34° 41′ 30″ North and 73° 26′ 20″ East.

SharanForest Road Map

Distance Of SharanForest From Different Cities

  • Naran to SharanForest Distance.
  • The distance from Naran to Sharan Forest is approximately 64.9 kilometers along Mansehra – Naran – Jalkhad – Chilas Rd/N-15. It should take about 2 hours and 22 minutes to drive
  • Islamabad to Sharan Forest.
  • The distance from Islamabad to Sharan Forest is approximately 239 kilometers along Hazara Motorway/M-15. It should take about 4 hours and 44 minutes to drive.
  • Lahore to Sharan Forest.
  • Traveling from Lahore to Sharan Forest involves a journey of roughly 566-583 kilometers, depending on the route you choose. Expect a driving time of around 8-10 hours, depending on traffic conditions and the chosen route.
  • Distance from Sharan Forest to KumratValley. There isn’t a direct route between Sharan Forest and Kumrat Valley. While they’re both located in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Pakistan, they fall under different regions. Sharan Forest is situated in Mansehra, while Kumrat Valley lies in Upper Dir.

Accommodation options in SharanForest

The Sharan Forest offers a variety of accommodation options, including camping pods, youth hostels, and glamping resorts, catering to different preferences and budgets for visitors. Here’s a detailed overview of the accommodations available at Sharan Forest,

Sharan Forest Pods

podssharanForest

The main attraction of Sharan Forest is the Camping Pods, developed by the KPK Government to promote eco-tourism activities in the area. There are approximately 11 pods, each with different occupancies, some with two beds and others with four. The camping pods have a separate area for camping and a small play area for kids. They also provide a dedicated kitchen tent and a dining tent for visitors. The pods run entirely on solar electricity.

Sharan Forest Resort

The Chinar Resorts Sharan is another luxury option available in Sharan, providing an upscale accommodation experience for visitors. The resort offers a comfortable and luxurious stay, with food available on order from their menu.

Sharan Forest Glamps

sharan forest glamps

It offers a luxury and comfortable option for accommodations in Sharan. With a few Glamps accommodating 20 to 25 people at a time, the resort also features a small camping setup for adventure lovers and provides a kitchen from where visitors can order their food. The glamps offer an exceptional view of the surroundings, providing an added advantage for guests.

Conclusion

Sharan Forest provides an ideal outdoor setting for trekking, camping, and wildlife observation. The availability of diverse accommodations, including camping pods, youth hostels, glamping resorts, and luxury options, caters to the preferences and budgets of different visitors.  The forest promises a memorable and immersive escape into the tranquility of the natural world, making it a must-visit destination for those looking to reconnect with nature and create lasting memories.

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