Nature has bestowed Pakistan with wonderful sights. The beauty of Pakistan is unmatchable and the climate here is amazing. People are always seen in the attraction of its beautiful places like Naran, Kaghan, Swat, Murree, Chitral, Nathiagali, Shogran, Kashmir, and other Northern areas. One cannot put the charm and beauty of Pakistan in a nutshell and there are numerous places hidden from the eyes of tourists.
One of the names among such exotic places is ‘Kumrat Valley’ situated in Swat (Province of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa). This area is splendid with the amazing site of mountains with spectacular views. This blog is written to help you know each bit of this beautiful place and to guide your way if you are going to visit it.
About Kumrat Valley
It is located in the Upper Dir in Pakistan. It has been seen that majority of people miss visiting this place and travel the rest of Swat but from the past years, people are seen to explore this site too. The reason behind its matchless beauty is its curvy mountain ranges, flowing streams, giant waterfalls, and cool, pleasant weather. River Panjkora here is adding double allure to the beauty of Kumrat Valley.
Another beautiful spot here is the Badge spot which is the source of amusement for families and gatherings. They come to enjoy their picnic time and relish themselves by seeing the bloom and beauty of it.
Kumrat Valley is right in the foothill of Hindu the Kush mountain range. The valley is sited with other beautiful places like in its North there is Chitral, in its South is Lower Dir, Ayun Valley lies in its West, Kalam and Swat Valley lies in its East. Not only the beautiful sites, but the valley is also blessed with snowy mountains, green meadows, and cut through streams.
This Valley is the best resort to visit in summers and winters too. If you are a snow lover or haven’t seen snow falling in your life or you prefer light pleasant weather with a cool breeze, Kumrat Valley is the best place for you. The temperature in summer is about 20 degrees Celsius which is quite calm. The winters are very cool with heavy snowfall while it is seen frequently that unpredicted rainfall comes which is a little troubleshooting. The average temperature is 4 to minus 10 (it is advisable to pack your bag with enough woolen clothes to save yourself from cold).
Famous appealing places in Kumrat
Kumrat Valley offers a variety of attractions to its visitors including trekking, mountaineering, and climbing. If you are a hiker and love to take rest in camps, you can live in a base camp in Katora lake which is famous for its salivating beauty with an elevation of 11,800 sq.ft. Other famous places here are:
- Jahaz Banda
- Panjkora River
This area is sometimes spelled and pronounced as “Jazz Banda” is a wide and alluring meadow of Kumrat Valley. Situated on the elevation of 3100 meters above the sea, the snow pastures with thick snowy mountains and tall towering trees enhance the glamour of Kumrat Valley.
Another beautiful spot in the valley with clear and fresh water. This viewpoint makes everyone stunned at first sight. The most famous thing here is fishing and different kind of species are found here for tourists who love fishing.
Things to do at Kumrat
Kumrat Valley is a splendid place offering a variety of fun and enjoyment for its visitors. The village form valley is a small yet superb place for the joy of all young and old. You can do
- Born fire night
- Lush scenes
- Snow-capped mountains
- Adventurous nights
- Lovely and pure nature
- Unpredictable pleasant weather
- Wooden forests
- Trout fishing
- Trekking in woods
And more fun in Kumrat Valley by exploring such a charming place.
The reason why one should not miss out a visit to Kumrat
Kumrat Valley is not only a resort for amusement, but it is a wonderful place which must be visited.
This valley is considered to be the “Heaven on earth”. The remote valley is especially popular with local tourists from KPK, but is mostly a secret from other Pakistani tourists. Few foreigners ever visit Kumrat.
I recently ventured to Kumrat from Kalam in Swat Valley, though for a far shorter time than planned (read on to learn why). In the name of helping out future travelers, here’s a guide on traveling to Kumrat Valley. The guide includes info on how to get to Kumrat Valley and where to stay in Kumrat Valley.
A bit about Kumrat Valley
Kumrat Valley is located in the Upper Dir district of KPK. The nearest town to the valley is Thall. Thall is around 45 km from Kumrat Valley and is used as the launching point for trips to Kumrat Valley. Thall is perhaps one of the most conservative places in Pakistan, so make sure to behave appropriately when you visit.
The Panjkora river, which originates in the Hindu Kush mountains, runs through Kumrat Valley, and the valley is incredibly lush and green.
Kumrat Valley is mostly known for its beautiful deodar forest. The large deodars give Kumrat a fairytale-like ambiance. Unfortunately, many of the large deodar trees in Kumrat Valley and the surrounding areas are quickly disappearing, as their wood is used for warmth and cooking by locals.
Below you can find more information on getting to Kumrat Valley.
How to get from Kalam to Kumrat Valley
The village at the entrance to Kumrat Valley is named Thall. It’s a small village with very basic amenities.
To reach Thall from Kalam in Swat Valley, you must first go to Utrar, a village about one hour from Kalam. You can take a shared taxi from Kalam’s main bazaar to Utrar. They leave when full. I aimed to leave early, and our taxi left around 7:30 in the morning. The shared taxi costs 150 -200 Rs per person, depending on how many people they manage to squeeze in the car.
From Utrar bazaar, shared Jeeps to Thall leave when full (10 passengers), and cost 500 – 700 Rs per person. If there is limited demand, the driver will ask if you want to go anyway, but you’ll have to pay a higher price. The driver charged 1,000 Rs each with three people.
The driver from Utrar to Thall is bumpy but gorgeous. You’ll cross a 3,000m+ mountain pass dividing Swat Valley from Upper Dir district before descending into forested mountains and hills. The drive takes roughly four hours, and if you make the drive during the travel season, there will be a few small shops and makeshift tea houses along the way.
Where to stay in Thall
When you arrive in Thall, it’s best to stay there for the day to organize onward travel and supplies. However, it’s possible to make it into Kumrat Valley on the same day. There’s one official hotel, Hotel Green Hills, off of the main road running through Thall Bazaar.
How to get from Thall to Kumrat
To get from Thall to Kumrat, you need to hire a Jeep with a driver. Prepare for a bumpy ride. Depending on how far into the valley you want to be brought, a Jeep should cost 2000 – 4000 Rs.
It will be more if you want the driver to pick you up a few days later. It will take an hour or two to drive through the narrow valley to the point where the mountains open wide again. You’ll pass an army checkpoint along the way. Make sure to bargain, and be clear as to where you want to be dropped off and picked up.
Where to stay in Kumrat Valley
There are plentiful tent camps in Kumrat during season, and generally, offer similar facilities at similar rates. When I visited in late September (the offseason), the tent camps were still standing. Not all of them were manned, though. I was quoted 200 Rs per night for a tent. However, a bunch of local boys were charged 800 Rs for their tent. Bargain hard.
Basic food amenities are available at the tent camps, and there are small convenience stores every once in a while. Options are limited (and costly, of course), so bring your own food and snacks if you can.
Getting from Thall to Dir and Chitral
If you want to head out towards Dir from Kumrat—ideal is to share taxis leave for Dir from the main Thall bazaar, close to where the turnoff for Kumrat is. The ride should take 6 to 8 hours depending on the driver, and seats are around 300 Rs per person.
Foreigners and women in Kumrat Valley
And so I arrive at the problematic part of the journey to Kumrat Valley.
Kumrat Valley sees very few foreigners (if any), let alone foreign girls. I was told I could only stay the night if I slept in the army guest house ($25/2,500 Rs per night) or had a local companion.