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Into the fairyland

On looking at the north face of the mighty Nanga Parbat lies Fairy Meadows at an altitude of 3,300m. I remember when I was five and there was this one generic picture we would all draw, of cows munching grass, with a forest, snowy mountains, a bright blue sky, and never to forget, the big rainbow that used to fan out across the page. Born and bred in Karachi, where snow capped peaks aren’t exactly found everywhere, yet every child in my class drew that one picture. It was a fanciful image, inspired by fairy tales.

Fourteen years later, that same picture I drew when I was five came to life this June when visiting Fairy Meadows. The image was accompanied by the smell of heather, pine cones and fresh manure, along with the light headed feeling and sausage fingers that come with altitude sickness. Accompanied now with the ability to prance around the cows, to trek through the forest, and to watch falling stars under the night sky which bathed the Naked Mountain with star light.

The surreal feeling that Nanga Parbat was right in front of me, the snout like shape the rocks and snow made on its surface, looking down at me as if challenging me to climb it. I can’t help but snigger at the thought. As if! – Text and photos by  Kulsum Ebrahim.


Comments (23) Closed

Sana Ullah Khan Marw Jul 05, 2011 05:09pm
Thanks for sharing.. Indeed a great experience with all these people...Ahmad Jan at tatoo, Rehmat jeep driver ,Abbas of chai koka at the base camp, farman ali and ghulam nabi. lovely people and picturesque land to forget. regards
Faisal Sattar Jul 05, 2011 06:25pm
Hi, If you haven't seen this place. You are not alive. I strongly recommend everyone to visit at least once. Heaven on earth!!!
mahha Jul 05, 2011 07:05pm
Impressive photographs kindly add description of every Photo... so it will become more meaningful
Manzoor H. Khatana, Jul 05, 2011 09:02pm
I have lived all my life away from the Land of the Pure, but my heart had never left the country. May God bring peace and tranquality to the land of my ancestors, and my our children value the nationhood of the beautiful Fatherland.
Manzoor M. Panhwer Jul 05, 2011 09:41pm
Thanks for such beautiful picture Kulsum. Its indeed recalling my memories as I too visited northern areas and saw and feel the beauty of nature which is like paradise. But my heart sheds blood due to insecure environment and no-go areas there. Its all due to insecurity, that no one visit Pakistan though it has one of the most soothing vistas of nature. May Allah bless us all and our country.
A. S Jul 05, 2011 10:40pm
This is how all of Europe, Russia, N. America is! It is like a fairy land except even the people are like fairies (we call them "hoor"). The houses are modern and there is excellent sanitation and electricity and the most modern books and universities. We need to convert our "non fairy land" or warzone (karachi) and the desert lands (sindh, balochistan) into a fairyland and above all we need to turn our PEOPLE (the most important resource : human resource) into angels and fairies or better.
waseem iqbal chaudhr Jul 06, 2011 03:16am
Brother i couldn,t agree more with,,and can not say batter then you,,,thanks
Ashok Sharma Jul 06, 2011 09:24am
I think mother nature has given us more than ehough, it is us who need to rise above all and make our contribution. Beautiful pictures of I am sure, much more beautiful place. Wish I could be there to experience it.
abid Jul 06, 2011 09:27am
I haven't these areas, but your photos have inspired me a lot, and I strongly wish to see these beautiful sites of my beloved country.
Uzair Jul 06, 2011 11:18am
Absolutely a heaven on the earth.
Leslie Jul 06, 2011 12:35pm
Wonderful pictures. if only peace comes soon... I would love to see it with my own eyes. Leslie Mumbai
Ib Jul 06, 2011 12:48pm
its been a long time since ive been up there and seeing these pics is giving me goosebumps !
Muhammad Naqvi Jul 06, 2011 02:19pm
Great pictures. It is heaven on earth indeed. Who would not wish to visit it. But it is our own people and the Government, of course, that have made it now hell on earth. It is shame because the place should be teaming with visitors, instead people are afraid to venture out. But still I'll go and see it again. Becuase it is haeven in Pakistan. Our Pakistan.
Saima Jul 06, 2011 09:01pm
First of all i just want to thank you for these beautiful pictures. I am originally form Machulo but was raised in Islamabad. My family and i use to visit our grandparents and from the roof top and certain places, i spotted Naga Parbath, Siyachin and other beautiful mountains. I never appreciated it until i moved to New York where i am dying to see all these. Sometimes i just close my eyes and imagine to be there surrounded by natural grass, cows and little kids with red cheeks playing in the field. I miss that dirt and dusk that use to follow me. After 5 years i am coming back to Pakistan and i am just counting days :)
G.A. Jul 07, 2011 12:14am
Breathtaking! Perhaps its a good thing that law and order doesn't allow people to visit. Tourists, especially from Pakistan's urban centers, and the corrupt builders mafia would trash this place given what they have done to Pakistan's major (and not so major) cities.
H.Nguyen Jul 07, 2011 02:10am
I look at the photos with amazement. God bless your country.
Mazhar Hussain Jul 07, 2011 05:12pm
Pakistan is one of the most beautiful countries, If you go to these regions, your soul absorbs a natural fragrance, a melody of leaves and the river, a touch of fresh air and you cannot leave these places metaphysically.
Rehan Siddiq Jul 08, 2011 12:00pm
Beautiful Pictures, thanks kulsum, May Allah bless our country, Regards
W Alam Jul 08, 2011 10:45pm
Wonderful pictures, I must say that. I wish and pray that security situation improves and with good infrastructure, all of us living in other parts of Pakistan are able to visit the place....Thank you for sharing the pictures with us.
Husein Jul 09, 2011 09:33am
If anyone intends to go please take an electric water heater (2 if possible <1000W or less) as a gift for people over there .... they are burning wood ... They have a nice 3kW (if my memory serves me right) power plant via a sync generator ... and need to keep a few lights on to keep it loaded ....
Tony Jul 09, 2011 12:55pm
I hope I get to go 2 these places once in my life time thnx for sharing the pics
NOOR KHAN Jul 10, 2011 04:42am
SALAM 2 ALL, what a lovely set of amazing pictures of our gracefully beautiful land Pakistan. We all know v love or country so much .......i really miss all these scenes. I have been also quiet lucky to have witness few of the areas like these. Back in the late 80s while boarding at APS( Abbotabad Public School), Abbotabad.... visited Naaraan , and nathaigali and few other northen mountainos areas. I loved those days and the time i have spent there. I miss every moment of it. Just wish for God sake if these poilticians and the Government start having some fear of God and stop destroying our sweet charming and breathtaking Pakistan , for the sake of the meaningful and shameful fame and lust of money. I pray to God that Inshallah Insahllah those loveable days will be back soon..... Kindly plez plez do special prayers and duaas for our nation. Proud to be Pakistani.
muddasir Jul 12, 2011 03:38pm
very nice words .. very nice .. picture .. i always look to fly away in this valley of paradise ...