SHANGLA: Tourists and trekkers from Khyber Pakhtunkhwa have been visiting famous Takht Baram Khan Lake in Kana valley of Shangla in large numbers.
The lake is mysterious and the tracks to it go through lush green valleys and blue streams amid waterfalls and peaceful atmosphere.
Shangla and Mardan hiking clubs jointly organised a tour in which 25 tourists, including locals, visited the lake through the Braj Banda, Yakh Kandaw and Larai tracks. The serene lake is almost hidden and located in a deep narrow gorge surrounded by mountains about 12,060 feet above the sea level.
“I have been visiting lakes and picturesque spots, but Baram Khan Lake presents an amazing view. We found this place very unique and charming,” said Professor Ishaq Biland of Tourism Department at Abdul Wali Khan University. He said if road was built more and more ecotourism expeditions would come to the lake.
Jamaluddin, another nature lover from Peshawar, said that they reached the lake in two days while staying in base camps in Barat Banda and Yakh Kandaw where they cooked food for themselves and enjoyed it.
“I can’t explain the hospitality of the locals and peace of the area; the locals in every mountainous villages presented us drinking water and food too,” he added.
Tariq Rauf, a representative of Exploring Shangla Hiking Club, said: “I have recently visited Azad Kashmir and Naran valley, but this place seems to be more charming.”
He said there were beautiful lakes, serene valleys, springs and high waterfalls which attracted tourists to the destinations, but the lack of basic facilities for tourists were barriers for tourists to explore Shangla.
Ali Akbar, a local adventurist, said Baram Khan Lake was visited by tourists between July 15 and August 30 after which snowfall season started in the area.
Sardar Wajid, another local nature lover, said they enjoyed a lot the tour, especially climbing up through the mountainous and narrow tracks as it was his first experience with a big group of tourists. He said they sang folk songs during their tour.
Advocate Shakil Ahmed said that Shangla needed rehabilitation of roads, new link roads and nearby hotels which would help the local people to make handsome money besides generating revenue for the tourism department. He urged the hiking clubs to organise more tours to the Baram Khan and others lakes in Shangla to promote tourist destinations of the district.
Published in Dawn, August 20th, 2018