Shogran, Kaghan, Naran and Lake Saiful Malook

Naran Travel Blog

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Way to Naran

In August 2007, Me and my 10 friends visited the northern area of Pakistan. We decided to visit Shogran, Kaghan, Naran and Lake Saiful Malook. We hired a Toyota Hiace van. From Wazirabad we travelled towards Islamabad The capital city of Pakistan. From Islamabad we traveled along the road that took us to Abbotabad. A cool, green and vibrant town Abbotabad is also the divisional headquarter of Hazara and Kohistan districts. It is a two hours drive from the capital Islamabad. Abbotabad is also the gateway to the valley of Kaghan. Here you can have a wholesome lunch or refresh yourself with a cup of tea before driving onward to Mansehra and Balakot.

The road from Balakot ascends along the Kunhar through lovely forests and the villages of Paras, Shinu, Jared and Mahandri.

Way to Lake Saiful Malook
The valley is somewhat narrow along this stretch and the views are limited, but as you ascend, the surrounding peaks come to view. One spot that is quite famous for its spectacular view is Shogran. This tiny hamlet surrounded by peaks and forests, is east of the main Kunhar River and hosts the famous Siri-Paye Mountain with a breathtaking view. We spend 2 days at Shogran and one whole day we spent at Siri-Paye. There is also arrange of camping and you can rent out camps and other accessories from the shops.

The next stop of our journey is Khanian. This small town has the best trout you can taste in the north. Even you can see a fish form of trout fish. The slippery glaciers on way to Naran are quite an experience. The steep sides of the valley were high and terraced with agricultural crops. Houses and small villages seemed to cling precariously to the steep slopes. The tops of the mountains surrounding the valley seemed to disappear into the clouds.

Inside the Glacier

The Kunhar River flows along the length of the valley about 100 miles. Halfway up the Kaghan village is Naran at an elevation of 8000ft, where we spent our next night. Late in the afternoon, after we had checked into the hotel we wandered though the small village bazaar. The street was unpaved and muddy, with a mountain stream flowing through the center of the town. we went out to the edge of the village and down by the river Kunhar, found a cave in the side of an enormous boulder wall. The cave is tied to the legend woven around the intense love between a fairy and her lover Saiful Malook.

Next morning we went to Lake Saiful Malook. Here you can find lots of story teller who can describe stories of fairies and prince which are associated with this lake.The lake and stream is named for Saiful Malook, the prince who spotted a mountain fairy bathing in the stream flowing from the lake, and stole her clothes just to tease her but then fell into love with her.

Lake Saiful Malook

The lake is at a distance of six miles from Naran at a height of 10500 ft (3200.40 meters) above sea level. It’s easily accessible by jeep or by trekking. If you wanna trek, you need around two hours. Trekking is real fun. There is huge glacier on the way and crossing it is both adventure and fun.

Saiful Malook is one of the most beautiful lakes one can imagine to exist on the surface of this earth. When I talk about the lake, words fail to describe its beauty. Anyone who has been there once can never forget the time that was spent in the company of this enchanting lake.

The lake itself is so charming, so luring and so tempting that I fall in love with it.

Lake Saiful Malook1
But as the fairy tales are. There are demons too. The landslides, the thunderstorms and heavy rains though have a romance of their own, yet in the hilly areas they do often reverse their roles with demons of the fairy tales. So even if I don’t want to leave, these villains of the mountains force me to. It’s a pity there is no proper rest area, no hotel or a guesthouse so I must come back even though I don’t want to (neither the federally owned PTDC nor any private organization has ventured to put up a facility here where you can find a shelter from the heavy rain). There is no hotel either where you can have a rest or can enjoy the serene, cool and magical evening in the company of this most enchanting lake. So visitors beware! Take meals with you, there is no restaurant. No place to refresh and no building except the loony hut maintained by the forest department, which most of the times remains closed.

Once you have your food with you and have complete gear to travel, you will enjoy your stay, as you never did before.

Lake Saiful Malook2
It’s here at my lovely Saiful that I met the queen of the mountains, the “Malka Parbat (Mountain Queen)” peak which reigns over its kingdom at a majestic height of 17360 ft. Standing in the east and looking in the transparent waters of Saiful Malook I can view the majestic Malka in blue waters of the lake for the lake itself is like a mirror. It has the shape of a bowl where water from surrounding glaciers and peaks falls to form one of the loveliest wetlands in Pakistan.

Boating facility at the lake is available to but can’t recommend because the lake is so deep, its depth has not been measured yet. And there is no emergency equipment or help. So dudes boating at your own risk! We did boating in the lake.

Siri Paye
There are a few camping sites available though which I would strongly recommend because its here that beautiful lake meets with all its charm, grandeur and its magnificence. There are small huts and shops near lake selling items you may need.

Elders in the valley tell the story of a prince by the name of Saiful Malook who fell in love with a fairy. The prince was a fond lover and explorer. He would usually come to the lake in wilderness, which was surrounded by tall snow clad peaks. One day the young prince saw a fascinating spectacle. A beautiful fairy was dancing on the surface of the lake. Curiosity brought him close to her and he stole her clothes. The modest fairy agreed to marry him in return for her clothes, an incident which turned into intense love.

Trout fish farm
The couple started meeting but the union enraged the fairy’s demon lover, who was so angry that out of anger flooded the entire Kaghan valley. When the floods subsided, Saiful Malook went up the lake only to find that nobody was there. After waiting all day he would come back in the evening. This went on for some days until he started to worry for the safety of the fairy. But he had no other way of finding about her whereabouts besides coming to the lake. One day he was waiting by the lake when he spotted a group of fairies having bath in the waters at the other side of the lake. He went to the other side and begged them to let him know about Badar Jamal’s (that was the name of that beautiful fairy the prince loved) whereabouts but the fairies laughed at his abysmal state. Yet a kind-hearted fairy came forward and told the prince that Badar Jamal’s movements had been confined to the close vicinity of the Koh Qaaf; a mystical range of mountains located in the Caucasus. The prince left for the Koh Qaaf, braving all odds, and finally succeeded in his mission ��" getting married to the fairy Badr Jamal.
Trout fish farm1

At the end I would like to say it was one of  memorable trip of my life.

 

 

samink says:
How is the road from Balakot to Naran Fakz? Is it safe for my young kids and Honda car?
Posted on: May 08, 2014
seraphimkarlien says:
Looks like a great area, and a nice fairy tale too :)
Posted on: Apr 03, 2010
anupa_rk says:
Nice reading :)
Posted on: Mar 13, 2010
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Way to Naran
Way to Naran
Way to Lake Saiful Malook
Way to Lake Saiful Malook
Inside the Glacier
Inside the Glacier
Lake Saiful Malook
Lake Saiful Malook
Lake Saiful Malook1
Lake Saiful Malook1
Lake Saiful Malook2
Lake Saiful Malook2
Siri Paye
Siri Paye
Trout fish farm
Trout fish farm
Trout fish farm1
Trout fish farm1
Bridge on River Kanhar
Bridge on River Kanhar
Lake Saiful Malook3
Lake Saiful Malook3
Way to Saiful Malook2
Way to Saiful Malook2
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Lake Saiful Malook4
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Lake Saiful Malook5
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Lake Saiful Malook6
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Me @ Siri Paye
Me @ Siri Paye
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Me inside the glacier
Me inside the glacier
Glacier on Way to Saiful Malook
Glacier on Way to Saiful Malook
Boating @ Saiful Malook
Boating @ Saiful Malook
My friend is attemting suicide
My friend is attemting suicide
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Me @ Lake SaifulMalook
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Me @ Lake SaifulMalook1
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Weird Kind of monkey species which…
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Weird Kind of monkey species which…
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Beautiful Sky
Beautiful Sky
Inside The Glacier on our way to N…
Inside The Glacier on our way to …
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Lake SaifulMalook38
Kaghan Valley
Kaghan Valley
8,524 km (5,297 miles) traveled
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photo by: Fakz