Shogran village is situated on a green plateau in northern Pakistan at a height of 2,362 meters above sea level. It is only 10 km from village Kiwai or 34 km from Balakot.The road from Islamabad to Kiwai is metalled and measures 212 km From Shogran, you can ride a jeep or horse or hike to several picturesque places like Siri Paye and Makra Peak.
On Thursday the 1oth of June, a sudden plan came up to visit the Valley of Naran and spent a night out at Lake Saiful Maluk to see the full moon night in the lake water, on thrusday night and bunked our bags and decided to leave at around 1 pm.
Initially it was the group of 5 but due to some unavoidable reasons we split into the party of 2 and 3 and both parties ended up being at different destinations. Our journey started from Islamabad to Abbotabad and the further to Manshera. Here i would like to mention about one of most exciting driver i ever met, Fayaz Bahi, he offered us to take us to Shogran Valley at the cost of Rs. 1500/- and which we refused initialy as we wanted to to go Naran valley but we had limited time and we bargained for Rs. 1000/- and he got agreed. So at around 9 pm we left for Shogran and the road to it is quite Zig Zag in shape and there were some dangerous cuts going down as well but i never saw his car meter speed going down from 90 which was quite amazing skills of driving at such dangerous route and altitudude..so we kept on descending from the mountains and river banks and Kunhar we finally reached at a deserted and peaceful Shogran. We discovered that many of the people we had befriended on previous visits including drivers, guides, and restaurant owners had perished in the earthquake. Almost everyone we came across in Balakot and the Kaghan Valley had lost family to the calamity.
Pine View Hotel
we did see some development projects and roads flaunting big boards of different development agencies in the area, for most parts, the land was largely deserted.
Beautiful Meadows at Paye
There has been resurgence in a region where tourism is the principal source of earning. Hotels and restaurants have been the quickest to rebuild and resume work and most owners pride themselves at earning amounts in three months of last year that were to sustain them until the tourism season opened again.
The next day was a beautiful day for trekking and when we opened our eyes were greeted to the beauty of the mountainous area of Shogran. It was indeed picturesque scenery with overbearing mountains with some that were snow capped; we prefer to hike to the top of Siri Paye and Makra top. Sarri and Paya is accessible on foot, jeeps and mules being of little use until the thick snow relented. The forest is as fresh, serene and brimming with life as ever.
Seri Paya is a plateau above the hill station of Shogran.
The views are breathtaking. On one side are the Black Mountains of Kaghan Valley, and the other side gives you a view of Mt. Makra. One can stay in camps installed by some local peoples and the rent is cheap. One can hike all the way to Mt. Makra and can reach to Kashmir and the other route for hiker is down jungle starting from Paye to Balakot, both the routes are more than which 12 hours continuous hike.
The pictures will speak itself for rest of trip just to inform that the best months to Visit the Valley of Kaghan is June to August and best time to go to Siri Paye from Shogran is early morning. The weather up at Siri Paye can change dramatically and you may experience snow at the mid summer season, so do bring warms clothes and good sun block J