Camping and being close to nature is a different and unique experience for people who exhaust their daily routine life and want to spend their leisure time in such a serene environment. There are various such spots in the north of Pakistan; Sharan forest is one of those most beautiful and tranquil places to spend time with nature.
This untouched gem of Kaghan valley is located amid KPK at the height of 2425 meters. It is 16 kilometers away from Paras and 30 kilometers from Balakot. You have to take a 4×4 jeep for the 16 kilometers (Paras to Sharan) rough mountainous track to reach the forest. Both sides of the road have dense pine trees and lush green grass.
It becomes famous for tourists after the KPK government developed wooden huts and camp pods, but it is not commercialized than other tourist places; therefore, it is more serene, clean, and sophisticated. Mosa ka mussalla peak, which keeps 13,370 ft and is very near Sharan forest.
If you are a passionate trekker, hiker, you can go from here to summit the peak. But you have to need a local guide along with the hiking of Mosa ka Mussalla peak because Sharan forest is the home of leopards and black bears.
As I have mentioned above, you may face difficulty finding many hotels or restaurants here because it has not become a commercial destination yet.
How to Reach Sharan Forest from Lahore Islamabad:
There are two ways to get to Sharan valley by travelling public transport like Faisal Mover, Daewoo express, or other locals coaster services. The bus transport will take you till Mansehara, then change some other transportation to reach Balakot or direct Paras and then 16 km jeep track leading to Sharan forest. But most people opt to reach the forest with private transport like car/bike.
Attractions in Sharan Forest: Upper kaghan Valley, Manor Valley, Manshi Top
Things to Do in Sharan Forest: Hiking, Trekking, Fishing, Horse Riding, BBQ party, camping
Average Temperature: Sharan forest is a beautiful place and has delightful weather, minimum 15 degrees Celsius and 25 degrees Celsius.
Sharan Forest Distance from Lahore
To reach the Sharan forest is not as challenging but having breathtaking beauty all the way. The road condition till Paras is relatively better. Just park your vehicle at Paras and take a jeep to reach the forest.
Accommodation Facility – Sharan Forest Pods
Here I would appreciate the efforts of the KP government to fantastic work to facilitate the tourists and took the initiative to arrange smart wooden huts and camps in the heart of the dense forest, available at very reasonable rent. Capsulated pods introduced by TDCKP are the best accommodation option, and staying in the pods will take you to another world of wonders. One pod keeps the capacity for two persons having two comfortable beds, a table, and an arrangement of solar electricity.
Mobile Charging Facility at Sharan Forest
Because solar panels are generating electricity, only 12v dc is available in the pods. Mobiles, cameras, straighteners, dryers, or any other such device would not charge in these campsites. The standard of these pods is excellent and up to the mark.
A camp is also established for a dedicated kitchen. Where dining room available to serve the food. You can also cook some eatery for your kids like noodles, porridge or cerelac. A separate washroom also exists with every wooden hut where water is available for 24 hours. All water is supplied kitchen and bathrooms for daily use from streams or waterfalls. Geysers facility is not available in the pods yet.
My Journey to Sharan Forest
A repeated routine of the same activity and work makes us sometimes exhaust and fed up, and it is the time to revive ourselves by taking a short break from hectic life. For a long time, I was planning for off to sharan forest as it is the best destination to tone the mood and spend leisure time in the lap of the natural landscape and serene beauty.
Accompanying with my two friends, we made a plan to spend our holidays in newly established capsulated smart wooden huts in sharan forest. The day finally came, planning ended, and we off to Sharan by our private vehicle. We reached Paras at night after a five-hour comfortable drive. The road till paras is very good, and we enjoy the journey a lot.
“Paras” is a beginning point where a route leads to sharan forest by a jeep. It has a small market and some grocery shops, and few restaurants on Naran road. Although we can go to the forest even this time as the jeeps are available to take you even late at night, we decided to spend the night here in the hotel at Paras.
We checked in the hotel, and after taking dinner, we thought it better to sleep. The next day in the morning, we were fresh and excited to travel for the sharan forest. The mind-blowing journey of the fantastic landscape gets to begin. We took a local guide also with us to get in touch with everything in the area.
Passing through a rocky and rough road, it took one and a half hours to reach the Sharan forest, where wooden huts and campsites were established.
On reaching the camping site, I was so happy to see the arrangement and cleanliness of the area. We did not see any plastic bottles, wrappers, or garbage there to litter. The sunlight was giving cosy feelings in the cool winter. We took rest for some time in the chairs placed in a lush green ground near a campsite.
It was a fantastic place, precisely what was in my thought. We left to explore the area and took our way to Manshi meadows with some snacks and water bottles.
Hiking Experience at Sharan Forest
Hiking is relatively easy, even for beginners. Both sides’ passage was lined with chinar trees with yellow golden leaves that give stunning beauty. What were the feelings of taking fresh and dust-free air with the buddies? As soon as we started trekking to our destination, more scenery and spectacular landscape were ahead to welcome us.
The track was more clean and beautiful with no trash and dung smell. Wherever we saw the stream, we took a shortstop and spent some leisure time. After short stays on the way, we reached the Manchi peak after 2 hours. Giant snow-capped mountain ahead of us and chilly winds were touching our hearts. We were in the lap of lush green lavish meadows, and this was something to cherish for a long time.
There was a small beautiful village at the lower side of manchi where most homes were made with wooden pallets. The locals were very hospitable. They were pleased to have us with them and offered us tea that we tended biscuits from our snack bags. The magic of the area did not permit us to go back to sharan for the night, but eventually, we have to say goodby to this magnificent place with a smile and started the hike back towards the campsite.
It was necessary to get back to the campsite before the evening from the security point of view because leopards and black bears are in the forest. So we trek back hastily and reach in 55 minutes back to the campsite.
There were a nice bonfire and meeting at night with an ideal adventurous family. Late-night there was gossip and music in the background that made our million memories. I thought this type of journey won’t ever stop. I was mentally renovated and revived by this fabulous tour.
Do’s and Don’ts
- It is better to take permission from locals before photography, particularly in villages.
- Purchasing of local products, food, etc., will help in inhabitants in their finance.
- Use dustbins to throw litter and support the efforts to clean the destination.
- Take snacks and bottled water along with you during the hike.
- Behave in a good manner with the locals.
- Don’t forget to keep battery banks with you.
- Don’t miss the starry sky at night.
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- Total cost: 7000/Rs per person with food and camping pod fare.
- Camping pod twin sharing: 2000/Rs per night in the offseason and 3000/Rs per night in peak season
- Camping pod quad sharing: 3000/Rs per night in the offseason and 4000/Rs per night in peak season
- Camp for four persons: 1000/night in the offseason
- Jeep rent from Paras to Sharan forest: 5500/Rs jeep with one-night stay (it may slightly up and down).
- Click Pakistan-Tourism Service offer customize the tour to Sharan forest to our valued guest.