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Jshak

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My Journey from Karachi to Kumrat

The journey took me around to Islamabad same day around 17 hours with 5 x stop overs 20 min each, toll was in total 2500 Pakistan Rupees, from ISB to Kumrat was around 9 Hours 45 min drive via Chakdara, Dir, Thal.

I took my family and my son 7 months trying to explore this region. Thought of htting my birthday and my anniversary within Pakistan.
My journey started at 5.45 am from Karachi at 09 Aug 2020 towards Islamabad, which is doable in a day (just try to focus on the road) - Sleepy bumps may occur :).
I crossed Sukkur around 10.45 am taking 1 x fuel stop at Moro, then second at Saleh pat, third at some middle petrol station at M5, Fourth at M4, fifth at Bhera and last one Chakri before islamabad.
Total fuel was from Karachi to Kumrat ( 245 Litres )
Covering 3980 Kms
Karachi - Islamabad
Islamabad to Chakdara ( N45 ) - Malakand - Dir - Timergara ( N45 ) - Sheringal - Thal- Kumrat
- Karachi
- Hyderabad Motorway
- Jamshoro
- Qazi Ahmed Amri Bridge
- Moro
- Sukkur/Khairpur
- Saleh Put Multan ( sukkur - multan m5 ) motorway - Toll 670 rupees 392 kms
- Multan - Faislabad M4
- Faislabad Islamabad M2
- Islamabad - Swat Motorway ( Dargai exit )
- Chakadara
- Baab e Kumrat ( Must see )
- Timergara
- Sheringal
- Dir
- Thal
- Kumrat

Vehicle : Honda City 2019 Automatic
BIG NO for low ground clearance cars, after Sheringal as it's 4 hrs to reach thal from Sheringal around 60 Kms.
Islamabad to sheringal the road is superb
You can park your car at thal at around 200 Pakistan rupees per day ( so far safe )

Description :

Kumrat is a valley in the Upper Dir District of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa the Province of Pakistan. It is located about 90 km North East of Upper Dir, town.Kumrat Valley is located about 45 minutes away from the town of Thal. It is one of the valleys of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. It's in the Kohistan Region.
It is one of the scenic valleys of KPK and a picturesque spot being rated as most desirable holidays spot for travelers, these days.
Valley is covered with green pastures, snow clad mountains, the river Panjkora, foggy mounds and forests. There is no solid construction in terms of any hotel and place to stay , but there are numerios tent villages established along the Panjkora river in between unique storybook ambiance formed by the Deodar forests.
Water crossing towards the end of Kumrat is the final interest. Jungle tracks and meadows abound, are good for walking along.
To be honest in my own opinion, Kumrat is a very over hyped placed, beautiful indeed. If someone hasn't seen any nature sort of thing, this could be first time fascination. As an avid traveler, I would like to discuss my personal Pro's and Con's about this.
This is considered a trekking site, but it’s on the not much higher side of the altitude.
Hotels, Tent Camps, Free Camping are mostly available every 100 meters, the dirt track is the only way for you to get there. The people are very friendly and will help any one and all. Sleeping in own tent is a very good option.
The weather is mild. there is snowfall in the winter, but the road remains open. Still, good weather is from late May till early September/October.
Kohistani region people feel that their business is for today, not tomorrow. So whatever they can mint and slice the person with hefty quotation. It's like if you don't know about the food, they might charge you 3500 for a kg of Biryani (actually is 1300/kg )
Mixed reviews about the ppl as they are friendly, but they can charge you high. Negotiate initially, that is the key.

Jeep in 11000 from Thal. (asking price was 15000/17000). - But we got it through a friend for 4000 negotiated by spending 20 minutes arguing with driver :)
Since, my friend had his Toyota Rush 2018/19 Model. We all squeezed in and took a ride to the " Waterfall " exploring the road.

Surrounded with the dense forest pine trees which make it very attractive to the eye. Natural Beauty catches you for sure. I felt a bit Altitude sickness in the night, but it was manageable.

Keeping in mind that only thing in easy access is the " Water Fall " which was around 1 hour walk from where we were at " Al Jannat ". Car wise 20 - 30 min.
Water streams are very cold in August around 8- 12 Degrees, but refreshing

As you progress towards the Abshaar " Waterfall " side, their were some splendid container hut's with good bathrooms (costing around 6,500 approx.) per night. If you are thinking about luxury between the pine woods and breath taking scenery.
Quiet and Fresh Ambiance, Fuel is available up to Thal. A beautiful water falls over a single large rock
Some tourist came from Kalam side and they expressed the roads were painful and it took them around 6 - 8 hours to reach.

Hiking / Trekking
Gamm sher to taki top looks most difficult (50min with stays)
Taaki top to Jazbanda is mixed (3 hrs with lots of breaks)
Jaazbhanda to katora lake is medium (3 hrs with photo sessions)
Night stays costs around 2000 per night in a tin boxed room
Sanitation: We have a serious issue on it as you need to understand this is adventure.

Food : Available ( water bottle 1.5 ltr – 100 rupees ), chai, anything u like is mostly available

My overall review is : 7.5/10 ( one time visit for your bucket list )
 
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