Summer holidays provide the best time to have fun with family and as Pakistan is full of natural beauty, so people are never short of ideas to spend summer vacation in the most beautiful surroundings.
However, not all places are perfect to visit every season due to weather conditions. For example, Hunza is best visited in autumn while Murree Hills, Kaghan and Naran are favourite ‘summer’ holiday spots.
Galiat is also preferred by many families as a place to spend a happy and fun filled summer. Not only families, but Galiat attracts people from different walks of life. Students, researchers, wildlife enthusiasts, photographers, environmentalists, poets, hikers, trekkers and writers — people belonging to different fields love to spend time here to quench their thirst for fun and adventure.
The word galiat is a plural form of the word gali. It’s named so because the area consists of a number of streets (galian) namely, Bara Gali, Nathia Gali, Dunga Gali, Kuza Gali, Changla Gali, Khaira Gali, Sawar Gali, Darya Gali, Ghora Gali and others — together they are called Galiat.
Geographically, these areas fall in the mountainous region of Himalaya where climate is moist temperate, receiving mean annual rainfall between 1065mm to 1424mm, and snowfall between four to eight feet.
During their visit to Galiat, Ayubia National Park remains the centre of attraction for many people. It was declared a ‘national park’ in 1984. The park provides natural attractions to the people and the information centre of the park inspires visitors to protect its natural resources. The information centre presents stuffed birds and animals which provide the visitors with a glimpse of the park’s faunal diversity.
The two highest peaks of Galiat — Makshpuri peak (8300 feet elevation) and the Miranjani peak (9400 feet elevation) — offer great adventure to the hikers and trekkers.
Near Nathia Gali, a famous summer resort, is Lalazar Wildlife Park that has rare animals like the endangered snow leopard and bird species, and serves as a biological treasure for visitors. A long walk through the dense forest of the Ayubia Park is another wonderful experience that offers visitors with an opportunity to explore nature.
According to an estimate, nearly 100,000 tourists visit this area every year — majority of the visitors choose summer season to enjoy the scenic beauty of Galiat.
During rainy season, the area becomes even more beautiful because of its blooming natural beauty. People also buy beautiful handicrafts sold in the local market. These represent the culture heritage of our beautiful homeland.
Along with the beautiful picture of this favourite summer spot, there is a troublesome truth as well. The growing population in the area, improper arrangement of waste disposal during the peak tourist season and expanding hotels’ network has been creating many problems, particularly that of solid waste disposal — all these factors have been contributing towards the environmental degradation of the scenic tourists’ spot. The concerned authorities should play their part in this regard but as responsible citizens, it’s our duty that if we visit this place or any other, we must take care of the environment there — we must not forget our responsibility in our quest for fun.
It’s our duty to keep our natural resources neat and clean and pollution-free, because this is our homeland and we are responsible for the protection of its treasures.