Districts of AJK-Neelum is one of beautiful city of AJK. Neelum is re known for his natural beauty of mountainsides, landscapes, tall tress, sizzling scenes and beautiful rivers with lakes and waterfalls.
Neelum Valley is about 200 KM long situated to the North East of Muzaffarabad. Running parallel to the Kaghan Valley. It is disunited from if only snow-covered peaks, some over 4000 meters above sea level. Excellent scenic comeliness, panoramic view, towering hills on both sides of the strepitous Neelum river, lush green forests, enchanting streams and captivating circumvention make the valley a dream come true.
Neelum valley is one of the beautiful places of Azad Kashmir and it’s named after the river which has curves like snake and has blue color. It is also called as the “PARASIDE OF KASHMIR”. There is a contradiction that this valley was named after a precious stone called Neelum. Neelum Valley is located in the Kashmir Region and to the North & the North East of Muzaffarabad and running parallel to the Kaghan Valley. It is different from it by snowstorm covered mountain which are 4000 meters higher than the ocean level. It contains about 370 large and small villages. It mostly contains hills and mountains with great valleys. The valley has thick forest, streams and rivers. This valley is dipped in most amazing beauty and attracts lots of tourists from within the country and other foreign countries as well. The valley can be approached from two different points. One from Kaghan Valley and the other is Noori Top. Besides these two it has many minor passes as well.
Neelum valley from Islamabad
Neelum Valley Tour starts from Islamabad. The departure for Neelum Valley will be early in the morning. We take Murree expressway towards Kohala. Tea and roadside pakoras is a must at Kohala for dizzy heads due to rising elevation of the region. We will then drive through Muzzaffarabad or we can take a break and have lunch there depending upon mutual decision at the time. We will then drive on Neelum road aside Neelum River towards Keran.
Night Stay in Keran.
People of Neelum valley are generally considered as friendly and cultured and hospitable. They are fun loving, simple and bound in local traditional cultures. Tourism is one of the biggest marketplace of Neelum valley in Summer only, In winter usually its too much snow fall, and most of the main roads are block due to land sliding and heavy snow falls. But some curious people also travel to Neelum valley in winter as well!
Hindko and Kashmiri is the prominent language of this city. Other than Kashmiri people also speak urdu, Shina, Balti, Potohari and Pahari there.
The area is famous for its dishes like Gushtaba. The Kashmiri people love this food and are their most favorite. People eat rice a lot. They don’t consider a lunch or a meal with not having rice. Tabak Maaz is also quite eaten in this valley and the preparation of which is considered an art and a point of pride in Kashmiri culture.
The valley is no doubt a great place to visit specially with frends and family and in that way can enjoy the beautiful places and the nature aswell as can enjoy the local dishes and the fruits that can be found there. It can be a really good summer outing location where one can spend his vacations to relax and enjoy the wild thick forest and in that way being close to the nature.
Art and culture
People of this valley make good handicrafts as well which include Carpet, Namda, Gubba. They are also famous for their Silk Woolen Clothing. People also make Woolen shawls. Besides all these they are also good at Wood Carving and in making Rugs
Men of these valleys wear normal Shalwar Kameez and so does the women. The men mostly wear a weskit because in summers also the weather there is pleasant and cool and when we talk about winters the sweaters and the normal jackets comes into play. Women also wear the Shalwar Kameez and you won’t see a single lady wearing a tight jeans or t-shirt. Women of these valley like to cover their faces as well and mostly all of them wear a Burka or if not this than cover themselves with duppata and hence the
Famous places to visit
It is 74 kilometers from Muzaffarabad. Here, Jagran Nallah joins river Neelum which is being developed for trout fishing.
The Newly established Neelum Jhelum Power Project Dam is situated about 36 Kilometer from Muzaffarabad. The purpose of the dam is to diverting the water of River Neelum through Tunnel into River Jhelum for Power Generation. It is a tourist spot and attract the tourist during the traveling along the Neelum Valley Road.
it is the first village of Neelum Valley while opposite area is occupied territory of Indian occupied of Jammu & Kashmir.
The bewitching comeliness of Kutton permeated in the radius of 10 kilometers, makes Jagran Valley . The area is 16 kilometers from Kundal Shahi, is accessible by an unpaved road. For the accomodation of tourists, the tourism department has constructed two angler’s huts.
About 3 kilometers ahead of Kundal Shahi, there is another secluded spot of tourist interest of Salkhala across river Neelum where a trout hatchery has been established. A tourism rest house is available here for accommodation.
Authmuqam is 10 kilometers from Kundal Shahi of a height of 1371 meters. It is the sub-divisional headquarter of the area and accommodates as a take-off point for tourists fascinated with hiking and exploring the inner valley. It is an alluring place kenned for its variety of fruit. All obligatory facilities viz bazaar, post office banks, hospital, telephone and PWD east house.
At a distance of about 9 kilometers from Authmuqam. Neelum is situated on the right bank of the river Neelum 1524 meters above sea level. It has a fascinating scenery. The village has a population of about one thousand, a diminutive bazaar and a tourist rest house situated on the bank of meandering river Neelum across from where the Indian held Kashmir is withal visible.
The panoramic lush green valley, profound in wild fruit and wildlife, magnetizes the tourists from every nook and corner of the country. Owing to its tourist magnetization, AJK Tourism Department is orchestrating to develop this area. 2 motels, 15 tourist huts, cafeteria and a tuck shop will be constructed here
Dowarian is situated about 13 kilometers from Neelum at an altitude of 1615 meters. It is circumvented by mountains full of conifer trees. A mule track upto Rattigali Pass , about 30 kilometers towards west, connects the Neelum and Kaghan Valleys . There is a forest rest house on the top of the hill, a tourist rest house is available for accommodation near main road.
Located at a distance of 30 kilometers from Dowarian. It is a breath-taking green spot at an altitude of 1981 meters. Shardi and Nardi are two mountain peaks overlooking the valley, reputedly denominated after legendry princess Sharda, it has a captivating landscape with numerous springs and hill sides covered with trees. On the right bank, antithesis to Sharda, the Neelum is joined by the Surgan Nallah along which a track leads to Nurinar Pass and through it to the Kaghan Valley.
In Sharda, one additionally finds ruins of an old Budhist University . Facilities of a minuscule bazaar, post office, health centre, public call office and rest house are available in Sharda. The AJK Tourism Department has launched a sizably voluminous programme under the denomination of “ Tourist Village at Sharda” . The entire project is nearing towards culmination. Tourist rest houses, youth hostel, cafeteria, game room, bridal path etc. near the jungle have been consummated.
About 19 kilometers journey from Sharda upstream takes one to Kel. It is a minute valley at a height of 2097 meters. This is another picturesque place in the Neelum Valley . The Shounter Nallah joins river Neelum at this place and leads to Gilgit Agency over the Shandur Pass (4420 meters above sea level).
Buses ply daily on this route in good weather. It is adviseable to hire a jeep from Authmuqam for a peregrination into the Valley. Horses and ponies can additionally be hired locally for peregrinate to the interior of the Neelum Valley . Banks college hospital, bazaar and a reposal house of JAK Tourism are available for accommodation.
A village and tourist spot located on the hill top near KEL at the altitude of 8,379 feet (2,554 m) feet. It is accessible by a 2 kilometers (1.2 mi) trek from Kel.
The last station of the valley. It is 200 kilometers (120 mi) from Muzaffarabad and 39 kilometers (24 mi) away from Kel. A tourist hotel of AJK Tourism Department and many private hotel with basic facilities located here for tourists.
Lakes In Neelum Valley
Chitta Katha Lake is located in Shonter valley, a sub valley of Neelam valley at the altitude of 13,500 feet (4,100 m). The lake is accessible from Kel by a 20 kilometers (12 mi) jeep track and then 5 kilometers (3.1 mile) hiking trek. Kel is the base camp to this lake
Rati Gali Lake:
The famous and fascinating Rati Gali lake is situated about 18 kilometer from Dawarian. A Jeep track on left side of the Neelum Valley road is accessible to this lake which can be visited during months of May to October.
Gurez / Gurais also pronounced Gorai in local Shina Language is a valley located deep in the high Himalayas, about 38 Kms ahead of Kel and at an altitude of about 8,000 ft above sea level is a fascination yet unexplored. The valley is surrounded by snow capped mountains. It has diverse fauna and wildlife including the Himalayan Brown Bear and the Snow Leopard. The valley is also situated very close to the Burzil pass which leads into Astore district of the Gilgat Baltistan. Due to heavy snowfall in winter, the valley remains cut-off for the 5 months of the year. The essential commodities are stocked during the summer season for the consumption during the winter. The valley has much charismatic and panoramic view with traditional wooden home and culture. The area having beautiful places like Janawai, Pholawai, Saonar, Sardari, Halmat, Nikro, Cream abad, and Tao Butt, where dozens of guest houses are available with basic necessities of life for the visitors. A white floating gold Gagai Nullah and emerald River Neelum also meet at Tao butt. Tao But is ultimate tourist destination of tourists with calm, greenery meadows, neat and clean atmosphere.