Travelling is a passion, and one who does not travel cannot fully enjoy all the bounties of life. Pakistan is one of the most beautiful countries in the world and now it has started shining on the radar. That has intrigued travelers and adventure-seekers all over the world to visit Pakistan and uncover its beauties. The northern areas of Pakistan hold a very special place in the heart of foreign tourists, exotic wildlife combined with mesmerizing views is everything that you can wish for.
Previously, the government had some restrictions on travelling, especially for the foreign tourists, but as per the new policies, this has changed. Foreign tourists can now seamlessly travel to Pakistan without any kind of restrictions imposed upon them. During the last two years consecutively, British Backpackers Society named Pakistan as the Best Travel Destination in 2019. This listing got so famous that it was even mentioned in the Forbes magazine, so you can imagine what kind of impact it would have ultimately made.
Travelling and photography go hand in hand, you need to make memories and that is where photography comes into play. Now we will be discussing some of the most amazing places you can visit in the northern areas of Pakistan, where your photography cravings will definitely be quenched.
Naran Kaghan Valley
The first place to top our list is Naran Kaghan Valley in the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa region of Pakistan. There is a reason why this magical place deserves all of your attention. This beautiful valley stretches to almost 140-150 kilometers and there is not even an inch here that you won’t find interesting. The whole Kaghan valley is covered in lush green trees and radiant rivers to provide a most spectacular view.
Naran is the most popular city in Kaghan and that is what tourists prefer whenever they visit the valley. Naran has a wide array of hotels and inns; the city is filled with tall pine trees so it adds to the attractiveness. If one wants to do some amazing photography here then the Himalayan peaks covered in snow and clouds is going to be a great opportunity. Although Kaghan is an exotic valley, the road leading to it is very dangerous. We have dangerous slopes to the riverside at the left and on the right, we have huge mountains, so precaution is highly advised whilst travelling there.
The best time to visit this valley would be in the summers, because that is when you can enjoy then most out of it. May it be trekking, fishing, or hiking, the summers time is definitely going to be a blast for you. Picture yourself nailing down some sweet pictures of bears feasting on salmons by the riverside.
This goes without saying, but one of the major reason why people actually visit the Kaghan Valley is because of Saif Ul Muluk Lake. Its radiant and crystal blue color deeply fascinates the tourists. Another reason why it is so attractive is because of the exotic location, the lake is cushioned within snow-capped mountains, which adds to the beauty. The icing on top over here is if you visit the lake during nighttime then it would seem as if fairies are descending and this provides a golden chance for photography.
Just some kilometers away from this location, is the famous Ansoo Lake, the reason why it is called Ansoo Lake is because of its shape like a humanoid eye. The distance to this lake can be covered via horses or foot if you feel like walking but getting there is worth it. The climate there is immensely chilly, even in the summers. Cold weather combined with chai and spicy food is going to be an amazing combination. Therefore, that is one location down for some awesome photography.
Hunza Valley- Heaven On Earth
Pakistan is one of those very few countries on earth, which has been blessed with such a dynamic and exotic landscape that includes rivers, deserts, lakes, waterfalls, springs and glaciers. As we have mentioned, hunza is most preferably known as heaven on earth. Hunza valley is carefully enveloped between the Himalayan and the Karakoram ranges so ultimately it becomes a very famous tourist spot nationally and internationally.
The best time to visit hunza starts in early April, so you could say spring. My first personal experience of hunza was also in the spring, and that is when I witnessed true beauty. We as Pakistanis, tend to find beauty in other countries whereas we are in possession of it. I saw plants enriched with white, pink, and orange flowers; it looked something directly out of a fantasy novel. That picture had to be captured and the result was amazing.
When I look back on the scenery I witnessed all those years back, it was the actualization of primrose path, it became my first love, and all of us know that we can never forget about our first love. If you are looking for a good photography opportunity then you are going to have almost endless options in Hunza.
If you are looking for ancient culture along with some photography opportunities, then the Baltit and Altit fort are going to be more than enough. They are forts built around 8-10 BC and now through some proper renovation have become great museums. Every single inch of these forts need to be captured on camera so everyone can witness their beauty.
Another famous place to visit while in Hunza is the bazaar, there you can find local handicrafts, rugs (Specially made by the females), shawls and of course, the traditional caps. Gemstones are also very famous in the north, especially the mines, which are renowned tourist attractions.
Skardu Valley- Nature’s Perfection
Everyplace has a point of convergence and that is the case of Skardu, this central valley in the region of Baltistan is famous all over the world, it attracts thousands of tourists annually. One of the reason for this valley being famous is the renowned mountain range of K2 and K3. They are connected on the path to Skardu.
These two towering mountains attracts adventure seekers and mountain climbers from all over the world. This is the best place for photography; maybe post some of your pictures online too for reputation. After crossing, the famous and ancient bridge built on the path to Skardu, you will come across Shangrila. Now this is a magical place built around the surreal mountains of the Himalayan range. Shangrila can also be considered the real life version of the utopia mentioned in the novels. All the credits of this magical place can be given to Arif Aslam, the chairman of these resorts.
Enjoy a boat trip in Shangrila or walk around the lush forest, everything can be captured on camera and that would be a wonderful opportunity. Moving a bit further from Shangrila is the kachhura village is known for its famous crystal clear lake, which is surrounded by exotic trees. There is a very famous myth ranging in Skardu Valley, the locals believe that the Indus River flows from the mouth of a lion that’s why they call it “Sher Darya” (Lion River). Over there you can expect many fun folktales and myths just like this one.
The northern areas of Pakistan are something of a wonder, everywhere you go, you will certainly experience something new and extraordinary. Make sure to make those memories radiant and permanent by capturing them in camera, so that their essence stays with you wherever you go.