Pakistan – heaven on Earth! This often overlooked part of the world is one of the most mesmerizing places that the avid traveler or adventurer can experience. The lush green valleys, clear blue lakes, snowcapped mountains, roaring rivers and endless desert make up the rich and diverse scenes that are Pakistan. It is amongst these beautiful panoramas and endless natural beauty that one finds some of the most unbelievable rural settlements, nestled deep within green valleys, surrounded by the mightiest mountains, on river banks, or in the middle of lush green pastures, and even forests. Whether you are visiting Pakistan for the natural beauty, to satisfy your need for adventure, or for work, you must spare some time out of your hotel in Karachi and visit these villages.
In the foothills of majestic mountain peaks, and surrounded by dense, lush forest, lies this rustic little settlement, secluded from urban chaos. One of the reasons, this charming little village has managed to hold on to its rustic roots, is that it is not easily accessible, being surrounded by a beautiful forest. Matiltan is situated approximately 11 km away from Kalam, which is an established tourist destination. Once in Maltitan, one is treated to marvelous views of snowcapped mountains, a lush green forest, and the Mighty 22 waterfall (aka Matiltan waterfall). An unforgettable experience awaits those willing to take the path less trodden, or those who really want to experience the simple or should we say good life.
ARANG KEL VILLAGE
The natural beauty of Kashmir is unparalleled, and situated in the Neelam valley of Azad Kashmir is this gem of a village called Arang Kel. Standing at an altitude of 8,400 feet, Arang Kel is not the standard, pull up in your car type of place. To get to Arang Kel and experience the true nature of this wonder, travelers can ride the chairlift from Kel and trek approximately another half an hour to reach the village, or trek all the way from Kel in about 3 hours. Once at Arang Kel, the effort is totally worth it, and the weary traveler is greeted by the panoramas of lush green meadows, forest, waterfalls and mountains. The people are very hospitable, as people in those parts usually tend to be, and staying over for a night or two is recommended.
One of the oldest settlements on the ancient Sil Road is Ganish village. Home to not only breathtaking views and delicious food, but also mosques and architecture of the years gone by. 4 of the mosques in the area are between 300 to 400 years old, and have been awarded the status of UNESCO Heritage award for Culture and Heritage conservation. Situated close to the Hunza River and part of the larger Hunza valley, this is a pristine and beautiful village that one cannot afford to miss it. So come for the natural beauty and stay for the culture and the heritage that is Ganish.
Easily one of the more accessible villages on this list, Passu is situated along the Karakoram Highway near the Hunza valley. The mighty mountain peak of Passu Sar stans at approximately 24,500 ft., while the Batura glacier and the Passu glacier are also located in the vicinity. A visit to the Batura glacier will bring one face to face with a 56 km behemoth of a glacier, which is the 7th longest non-polar glacier in the world. Another attraction of the Passu village is the nearby Borith Lake and the views of the Passu Cones.
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