How to plan tour of Neelum Valley Kashmir ? Complete Travel Guide & Information
How to Plan tour Nellum valley Kashmir? If you are looking answer then yes you are in right place. From the calm twirling winds of the north that plays themselves like a chanting flute to the sapphire-tinted rivers and lakes with swirls of earthy mud impersonating the marbling effect of mother nature. The land of various hues, each giving its meaning, surrounded by lush shamrock-colored mountains hiding its beauty within itself yet to be seen by these eyes.
Neelum Valley, named after the Neelum river, was originally known as river Kishanganga, and so was the valley. Neelum valley is among the most beautiful Azad Kashmir districts that lie north and northeast of its capital, Muzaffarabad. It’s filled with vibrant traditions belonging to its ethnic groups that speak their languages, including its local language known as Hindko. Kashmiri, Shina, or locally known as dardi, Pashto, and an endangered tongue known as Kundal Shahi, are also spoken among approximately 200,000.
Why is Neelum valley famous?
In recent years, Pakistan has gained the spark of many tourists worldwide, especially in Azad Kashmir, for its breath-taking views and scenery leaving their mouth agape. There is no doubt why it’s often known as the paradise on earth as it’s blessed with every single thing a human eye can crave to calm itself from its daily stress of work. The district of Neelum is known for its vegetated thick meadows, streams, and rivers gushing along the boulders that is music to the ears. Dense forests and trees are often filled with fruits and nuts to the point they couldn’t hold any longer! And how can we forget about its green mountains that surround this land.
Neelum Valley weather
As the valley is situated on the northern side of Pakistan, the weather is lovely and breezy with calm winds. In Summer, the sky is mostly clear with cold and crisp breezes, while in winters, The mountains are covered with thick shawls of milky white snow with the temperature falling below 0 degrees with extreme winter winds whistling throughout the valley.
Best time to visit Neelum Valley – Azad Kashmir
It preferred to visit during March till October mainly because the area is as its most harvesting state where most of the local crops are grown, the trees and mountains are at their most lushes state, some of its parts still covered in snow which is perfect sight. Most of the heavy snow of December-January is almost melted, which gives a lesser chance of land sliding. The local businesses are striving which offers the tourists the perfect taste of the ethnic culture by their own hands. The weather in these months isn’t that extreme either but cool enough for everyone to enjoy their time.
How far is Neelum Valley from Islamabad?
A drive from Islamabad to Neelum Valley takes approximately 6 hours and 46 minutes, depending on which side you take. The distance between the Valley and Islamabad is 234.9 kilometers.
Neelum Valley road condition?
Mostly in winters, the road conditions are too bad due to heavy snow, which causes land sliding, but mostly, it’s safe enough to ride. From Athmuqam to Muzaffarabad, the road is quite good, but after that, it is preferred to continue your trip with a jeep because of the cracks left due to the earthquake in 2005. Most people enjoy their trips by road as they are mesmerized by the beauty that follows by during their journey.
Foods of Neelum Valley
The valley is gifted with its natural fruits, vegetables, and nuts, which are homegrown from scratch by its locals, carefully prepared into various mouth-watering and healthy yet fulfilling dishes, which can also be a secret to their old ages.
Kashmir is known for its rich foods that follow its history, but its traditional dish known as “Dum Aloo” can sure take your taste buds to a whole new dimension.
Other dishes include steamy Kashmiri pulao, a rice dish with meat, usually mutton or chicken.
Murgh Yakhni, a flavored chicken broth with pieces of tender chicken, emulsified in it; usually served hot to warm up the cold winter spirit of your body.
An unusual yet interesting dish known as Methi Maaz is flavored curry with lamb intestines and methi (fenugreek) leaves.
The last course, which can’t be forgotten, is the chai! This valley has its spin on its chai, known as namkeen chai, a green leaf-based tea with dried nuts and salt, which makes it stand out in its way.
Hotels in Neelum Valley
Due to the recent uprise in tourism near these areas, many people have started building and starting their hotels with the best imaginal services. Most of them are situated near the lakes and the mountains to get the best view possible for the customers. The hotels are often built in the local architectural style to reflect their culture and give it a sense of being in a cozy home. The hotels are quite affordable for their provided services, including breakfast, bonfires, etc. these hotels are built of wood with intricate designs to wow the visitor’s eye. The rooms can hold up to 5 members depending on which room you choose to stay. These are provided with blankets, wooden tables and chairs, and a clean bathroom; however, some hotel rooms might not have an AC in them due to their cold temperature most of the time. Most of the hotels have situated times for breakfast, brunch, and dinner mostly regulating them with various options of both western and local dishes. A full breakfast meal can include a freshly done omelet with fresh eggs and vegetables, juices, fresh preserves, fresh and rich homemade butter, and toasts but can be changed to the visitor’s liking. Local options include naan, chanay, and chai. Some hotels provide a facility of buffets with an assortment of goodies from bread to fruits to desserts. Popular hotels include Neelum Good View resort, Green Village resort, and Pine Park lodges Keran Neelum Valley.
Internet & cellular network facility?
In recent years, many famous networks of Pakistan such as Zong and Ufone have extended their facilities to these northern areas for more internet facilities for both the locals and the tourists. However, signals may sometimes lag due to the high altitudes of where the valley is situated, but many dhabas and hotels provide a stable internet and phone connection. However, many people prefer not to use the internet as they are mostly busy enjoying their lives.
Daily Budget/Trip budget
A budget can depend from person to person. A single-person trip can be quite inexpensive as many things are made quite affordable, and most need the money to enjoy the local Bazaars and Restaurants. A budget of 50 USD per day for a person is more than enough if you are on a tight budget.
What to Pack for neelum valley?
Mostly, there aren’t many things to be required besides your necessities as most travel guides provide your needs and hotels. The items you do need to pack up are:
- warm clothes
- A power bank to charge your phone at all times
- A 3-plug as most of the hotels are situated with a two plug
- router for a stable internet connection
- strong grip shoes if you are looking to hike but to walk on the sloppy areas in general
- A water bottle.
Is it safe to visit Neelum valley?
During the past few years, Pakistan became a victim of terrorism, and many destructions took place during those times, especially in the northern areas. Still, many improvements have been made during these recent areas and have been clean of any terror activities. As tourism is starting to verge up in these places, many foreigners ask, is it safe to visit here? And the answer is! The locals are highly heartwarming and welcome you with their open arms to look into their daily lives and culture, giving you the best they can. In terms of weather, in extreme winters, it can be sometimes unsafe to visit these districts due to heavy snow and landslides.
Things to do in Neelum Valley
But what can we do in Neelum valley besides sightseeing?! No worries, this place has a lot to offer! For our adventure-loving guests, hitch-hiking is the best place to start, and many sites give the facility to hike with the equipment through the green mountains, which can be the best way to enjoy your adventure craves.
The blue rivers are filled with fishes, mostly trouts, which are also the place’s specialty where you can fish your own fish and request it to be cooked by the local chefs as well! Some restaurants have a whole fish tank where customers can pick their fishes can eat it through the menu they provide near the gushing rivers and waterfalls.
The local villages are filled with family-owned businesses in the shape of Bazaars. Here you can find handmade traditional Kashmiri lebaas (garments), handmade wooden cutlery, and ceramics. There is a lot to do, but what to choose?
Famous places to visit of Neelum Valley Azad Kashmir
1. Dhani waterfall
3. Kutton village and Upper neelum
4. Ratti Gali lake
5. Keran valley
6. Sharda Peeth (A holy place for Hinduism)
7. Neelum River
8. Kel Village
9. Aurung kel
10. Taobutt village
11. Chitta khatta lake
13. Banjosa lake
14. Toli Pir
15. Pir Chinasi
16. Shounter lake
17. Leepa Valley
Read More: List of the best Neelum Valley Tour Packages