Glaciers are made up of mass snow accumulation on a land over a long period of time. Glaciers vary according to their sizes and play a major role in keeping the atmosphere cool. There are many glaciers in Pakistan that are famous as trekking sites and tourist attractions. Most of the glaciers are located in Northern areas of Pakistan, especially around Karakoram mountain range. These glaciers are a special focus of attention for travelers all around the world and are frequently visited by people coming from all parts of the world. Their undisturbed beauty and lack of pollution in the surrounding environment makes them great trekking locations. The glaciers are a valuable asset of Pakistan because of helping the region keep its temperature normal which would have been enormously hot. These glaciers also add to the scenic beauty of Pakistan making her a beautiful country with rich natural scenery. The glaciers are quite large in number and therefore all of them cannot be mentioned here. However, a list of top ten glaciers of Pakistan on the basis of being the largest ones with their locations has been jotted down below:
1) Siachen Glacier at Karakoram range, Baltistan
2) Batura Glacier at Karakoram range
3) Hispar Glacier at Karakoram range
4) Biafo Glacier at Karakoram range, Shigar
5) Baltoro Glacier at Karakoram range
6) Yengunta Glacier at Karakoram range, Baltistan
7) Chianter Glacier at Hindukush, Chitral
8) Tirich Mir Glacier at Hindukush, Chitral
9) Chogo Lugma at Karakoram range-2
10) Passu Glacier at Karakoram range, Hunza Valley
Trekking is an activity that comprises of travelling along wide distances on foot. It is especially done on places where travelling by car or any other means is not possible or difficult to do. There are many geographical areas that are regarded as trekking sites or treks all around the world because of being of interest to travelers. Similarly, Pakistan is proud to offer travelling opportunities to people all over the world to walk on the famous trekking sites here. The particular areas reserved for trekking in Pakistan are located in Himalayas, Karakoram and Hindukush and are fascinating places to look at. Pakistanis and foreigners both can enjoy trekking in the Northern Areas of Pakistan to get in touch with natural beauty at its peak. Another feature of the trekking sites at these areas is the lack of pollution and virgin beauty of the enormous mountains and lakes flowing side-by. It is difficult to list down all the famous trekking sites of Pakistan due to the abundance to treks in Pakistan. However, an attempt has been done to selectively present a list containing top ten treks of Pakistan based on their popularity which is given below:
1) Trek of K-2 Base Camp
2) Trek of Biafo-Hisper Glaciers
3) Treks of Nanga Parbat
4) Trek of Batura Glacier
5) Trek of Chillinji Pass
6) Trek of Spantik Base Camp
7) Trek of Charakusa Glacier
8) Trek of Masherbrum Base Camp
9) Trek of Shimshal Valley
10) Trek of Thalle La
It was called Iravati or Parushani by Indians in Vedic times. It flows from west to southwest in Punjab Province of Pakistan near Bahawalpur for about 475 miles then joins the River Chenab
It is an integral part of the Indus River system as it forms the heads waters of the Indus basin. The river drains into the Indian Ocean through the River Indus. It rises in the Rohtang Pass in Himachal Pradesh, India. This is the smallest of the five rivers in Punjab Province. It originates in the Mid Himalayas from the glaciers and follows north wertern path. It is mostly fed by snow melt.
|Origin of River Ravi||Mouth of River Ravi||Basin of River Ravi||Length of River Ravi||River System||Tributaries of River Ravi||Elevationof River Ravi|
|Chamba District of India||River Chenab (Indo Pak Border)||Pakistan and India||901 kilometers||Indus River System||Sutlej and Bias on the left, Chenab and Indus on the right||14,000 feet|
River Ujh is on eof the tributary of River Ravi whose source is in Kailash mountains at an elevation of about 4,300 meters near Jammu district. It joins Ravi at Nainkot in Pakistan.
The main river flows past the Chamba town which is located at an elevation of 856 m. There used to be a long wooden bridge to cross the River Ravi. It flows along the border between India and Pakistan for about 80 kilometers or 50 miles before entering Pakistan and then joins with the River Chenab. . It skirts the historic city of Lahore below Amritsar In India so it is also called ‘The River of Lahore’. The famous tomb of Jehangir and the tomb of Noor Jahan is located on its west bank in the town of Shahdara in Lahore. It once skirted the Multan city and once flew near Lahore Fort. After passing form Lahore it turns at Kamlia joining River Chenab in the south of the town named Ahmadpur Sial.
It is a tributary of the of River Indus flowing past the town of Gilgit in Pakistan. The river is located in the northern areas of Azad Kashmir and originates from the Shandur lake. Gilgit river is very beautiful. Driving up from Gilgit up to Shandur top, the river flows side by side. It is extremely picturesque. It can be very easily said that some of the most beautiful spots in Pakistan naturally suitable for photography are located near this river. River Gilgit eventually joins river Indus down the stream.
Shandur is a route from Gilgit to Chitral in the Hindu Kush range and is at a height of approximately 12,000 feet. Annual polo game is played in this area with the representation of the Gilgit and Chitral cities. Gilgit river is one of the most important rivers in the Northern areas of Pakistan. As that region is completely mountainous, there are many rivers which flow through those mountains and later fall into the mighty river indus. However, Gilgit river is more important due to the size of this river. Also, this river is located near the most developed and urbanized city of Gilgit baltistan region which adds to the importance of this river.
|Origin of River Chenab||Length of River Chenab||River System||Basins of River Chenab|
|Himalayas in Himachal Pradesh, India||1,242 kilometers||Indus River System||Pakistan and India|
The River Chenab was called Iskmati or Ashkini in Vedic times by Indians. The river is generally considered to be the second healthiest river of Pakistan after River Indus. It originates from the Mountains of Himalayas in the Indian state of Himachal Pardesh. Passing through the area of Indian occupied Jammu and Kashmir the river takes a south western turn into the Punjab Province of Pakistan. The river is joined by River Jehlum at Trimmu and then by River Ravi. It then forms the Panjnad by joining River Sutlej near Uch Sharif before falling into the River Indus at Mithankot.
The waters of the river are allocated under the terms of the Indus Water Treaty between Pakistan and India. India has build many hydro power dams along the river and for that it has been storing and channeling the waters of Chenab. This is a continuous violation of the terms and conditions of the treaty and despite protesting of the Pakistani government many times the Indian government has always rejected the claims.
The importance of River Chenab is the same as Rhine is for Germans and Danube for Hungarians. The great love stories of Heer Ranjha and Sohni Mahiwal revolves around this iconic river giving it importance in the Punjabi culture.
It is the longest river out of the five in Punjab of Pakistan and India. Its location is south of the Hindu Kush, north of the Vindhya range (India) and east of the Sulaiman range in Pakistan. It is also known as the Red River and is the eastern tributary of River Indus.
It originates in Tibet near Mount Kailas and flows generally towards the west entering Pakistan through the historical fomer state of Bahawalpur. On its south is arid known as Cholistan which is a part of Bahawalpur state. It then joins River Beas (India) and then continues to flow southwest in Pakistan to join River Chenab near Bahawalpur and finally drops into the great River Indus at Mithankot.
|Origin of River Sutlej||Basin of River Sutlej||Length of River Ravi||River System|
|Mt. Kailash in Western Tibet||Pakistan and India||1,551 kilometers||Indus River System|
The allocation of waters of River Sutlej are under the Indus Water Treaty between India and Pakistan. India has built many projects on the river and most of its waters are diverted to their irrigation canals. They only opens the bridges when the floods come in their areas creating more problems for Pakistan. There is another pending project in India of a lond heavy freight canal by connecting the Yamuna and Sutlej river but is has been objected by the Pakistani government through Supreme Court.
|Origin of River Jehlum||Basin of River Jehlum||Length of River Jehlum||River System|
|South Western Jammu and Kashmir||Pakistan and India||813 kilometers/ 505 miles||Indus River System|
It is on the western end of all the five rivers of Punjab. It is a tributary of River Chenab and passes through the Jehlum district of Pakistan. It originates from a spring in the south western side of Jammu Kashmir. It flows through Srinagar and Lake Wular then enter Pakistan through a narrow gorge. River Neelam joins River Jehlum at Domel in Muzzafarabad and then the River Kunhar of Kaghan Valley.
The river also connects Pakistan with the Azad Kashmir at the Kohala Bridge which is east of circle Bakote. River Poonch joins it and then flowing through the district of Mirpur it flows into the Mangla dam. It enters the Jehlum district in Punjab Province flowing through the plains forming a boundary between Sindh Sagar Doabs and Chaj. It then joins River Chenab at Trimmu of Jhang district, which in turn joins River Sutlej forming the Panjnad by joining River Indus at Mithankot.
As a result of the Indus Basin Project few control structures are built to the waters of the Jehlum, namely:
- Mangla dam: It was built in 1967 and is considered to be one of the largest earth fill dams of the world with storage capacity of about 5.9 million acre feet.
- Trimmu Barrage: It was built in 1939 and located at the confluence with the River Chenab near the town of Mari Shah Sakhira. It has the capacity of discharging a maximum of 645,000 cubic feet/s i.e. 18,000 cubic meters/s.
- Rasul Barrage: It was completed in 1967 and a flow of about 850,000 cubic feet/s i.e 24,000 cubic meters/s.
- Harahpur Bridge: It is also called the Victoria Bridge and was constructed in 1933. The location is about 5 kilometers from Malakwal near the village of Chak Nizam. It is about a kilometers long and mainly used by the Pakistan Railways with a small passage for light vehicles as well.
This is a range of mountains in Punjab and as the name tells is rich in rock salt. It extends from River Jhelum to River Indus across the northern side of Punjab. The range has great mines of Kewra, Kalabagh, Mayo and Warcha yielding huge supplies of salt and medium quality coal as well.
There are two famous sites namely Kutte Mar and Tulaja Fort. The area of Kutte Mar has a history of being a centre of Buddhism and has extensive remains related to archeological importance. There are no drains in the area and the leakages for the range have created several lakes with salty water. There are two important lakes in the area which are Uchhali and khabikki lake. The highest peaks of this range are Sakaser and Tilla Jogian. Sakaser is located in Pothohar from where the Soan Sakaser valley starts. It is in the Khushab district. The valley is about 47 miles in length and 12 miles in width.The Tulaja fort is on a huge rock overlooking the Plains of Punjab and the shrine of Kacchianwalla.
|Fact sheet of Salt Range in Pakistan|
|No.||Names of Imp. Peaks of Salt Range||Height of Salt Range Peaks (m)||Location of Salt Range Peaks|
|2||Tilli Jogia||975||95 km west of Jehlum city|
There are two beautiful and historic forts in Muzzafarabad; the Red Fort and the Black Fort. Both of them are popular tourist spots in Muzzafarabad.
The Red Fort
The Red Fort in the Muzzafarabad city of Azad Kashmir, Pakistan is an ancient fort. The Chuk rulers started its construction primarily to save the territory from invaders. The fort was finally completed in 1646 during the time of Sultan Muzzafar Khan who is also the founder of present day Muzzafarabad.
The Red Fort was a specimen of great architectural expertise. It was surrounded by Neelum River on three sides and was constructed in such a way that it remained safe even when the river flooded. A flight of steps led down to the river on the Northern side and this side was a bit vulnerable to flood waters. An inn was constructed at the entrance of the fort.
This beautiful monument was damaged by the earthquake which hit the area in 2005.
The Black Fort
Little is known about the Black Fort located in Muzzafarabad except that it was built by the Moghuls above the river junction. At present the fort is under the use of the army and people are strictly prohibited to enter it.