A Tour to Neelum Valley
And then I saw the places where magic coincides with the real world, I saw the places my nan told me of during childhood stories, places of mystery and magic, places which had feeling of belonging and yet were uniquely out of this world, As a child, I often wondered what was such a place, then I saw these jewels of Earth, and I realized, to appreciate the beauty around, we need eyes and sense of right direction, let nature guide us, take its course.
Pakistan is one of the countries which hold exotic landscapes in their regions. One such place where the boundary between reality and fantasy blurs is Neelum Valley. If you live in Pakistan and can afford to travel, it is a must that you travel to this beautiful place. Whether it is the lush green vegetation or the glorious mountains hiding haunting valleys in their feet, whether it is the solitude of forests you seek, or perhaps the sight of running water of fresh stream calms you, the Neelum valley of Pakistan offers all these and more.
Athmuqam is the capital city of Neelum valley. It is further subdivided into two sub districts. These sub-districts are Athmuqam and Sharda. By travelling through a road, you will reach from Muzaffarabad to Sharda. To travel further, you will need the help of jeep. The normal cars aren’t designed to handle the rocky and treacherous path. By traveling on a jeep, you can reach to furthest parts of this place. One such example is Tau Butt,
The Mountain Slope
I remember travelling to Jehlum district. The place is a true jewel for the sight. The river Jehlum below continued its smooth flow. This muddy river enters the Pakistan from Azad Kashmir. This river has relatively a slow movement when it enters Punjab. However, the same river is dynamic in its flow in the mountainous region. The sight of green waters among the narrow mountain passes is surely a feast for eyes.
One of most wonderful sights I saw was of a green mountain plain. There were a few wooden houses at the feet of mountain. It is amazing to know how different the cultures become when simple boundary is crossed. We can view the advances of modern tech while seeing the 1800s lifestyle at the same time. The people here are living a lifestyle which in our eyes is not more than a well preserved relic of past.
It was a sunny day. I could see the light azure texture of sky. The sunlight with its glimmering golden shade surrounded the whole valley. While sitting on the grassy soil of mountain resting my back on a tree, I thought about the wonders of life. The place is silent yet dynamic. A man never begs for company or fulfilment there. It is as if one learns to enjoy one’s company. This solitude is necessary part of our life. I thanked God for such bounties of nature. We don’t have much access to our mystical nature. These parts of outside nature reveal a lot about us.
While travelling on jeep, I wanted to stop it at many points. We can never fully relish the beauty here. Every part of land is a marvellous wonder. While passing through the beautiful forests beside river, I had a long stroll alone. Although family was present there enjoying the delicacies they had brought, I was more starved for the scenery and the feels. The flowing river is one of the sights which have calming effect. Taking slow steps beside it while seeing the moss covered trees reveal a new side of mother Earth. In our lives, we are often so busy; we forget to see the beauty of nature around us. Our busy routines never allow us to savour the moments. However, these places attract us with new mentality. We go there for relaxation of mind. That is exactly what we find here and more.
I had longed for such a walk for a very long time. It calmed my nerves. Seeing the wild horde of horses and goats was refreshing.
River of Life
I also came across the marvellous sight of river Neelum Bridge. The view has forever imprinted on my mind’s eye. The serene river flowed beneath the bridge. Its flow was as calm as the air around. I could see many groves of trees. For a few moments, I kept observing the lush green and yellowish textures of forests. A few of the trees had golden glimmer in them. It felt as if a portion of sunlight is trapped in them. One portion of this cluster of trees was of pine trees. They stood tall, blocking the sunlight beneath them with their dark green leaves.
Across the bridge, I could see a village with wooden houses of steel roofs. I imagined how messy it would become if rain would occur. While the idea of crossing the bridge was somewhat scary to me, I saw the women holding bundle of wooden sticks on their head, holding the weight while crossing the bridge with great finesse. Their bodies had perfected the necessary ratio of balance and strength for such feats. I am sure the women and even children have better health than many of city dwellers.
Standing across the rivers and sometimes in middle of these lush green valleys are guest houses. They are strong structures with wooden architecture. The wood seems old yet strong. They are often attractive to look at. Fresh blend of different radiant colour paint is visible in their design.
While the place is surely where heaven ascends on Earth, our normal lives are much profound in many ways. I saw how many facilities the people lacked. While we have nearly everything at our disposal except the beautiful sights, the dwellers there have merits of health and honest lifestyle. All in all, I loved that place. If you are a traveller like me, do remember to go there.