How I Managed TO Escape a Catastrophe During My Journey To Azad Kashmir?

Azad Kashmir is among the world’s most mesmerizing and pleasurable places I’ve been to. Being a passionate traveler, I’ve visited thousands of places in Pakistan. I’ve even travelled abroad to taste the relish of the beautiful meadows, and that cozy sound of the Niagara Falls, but I would say that Azad Kashmir is one of the best places. Although the entire Pakistan is full of heavenly places, but one must visit Azad Kashmir.

My Journey

I still remember the most exciting Sunday of my life, because the next day it wasn’t a day to attend my boring University Classes, rather I had to depart from Lahore sharply at 9:00 AM. I packed my clothes, and all such things that were a necessary part of this journey. Because my dream is to become a tourist and explore the world, I prefer to live in Tent instead of Hotels. Of course, I didn’t left my Laptop and Internet Device behind to update my fans about my journey to Azad Kashmir.

As I love travelling alone, and because it was one of the prolonged journeys of my life, I had some pocketful of cash, 5 Mobile batteries, a Solar Battery Chargers, 2 Sunscreens and 15 different cloths. The bus reached Islamabad in 5 hours. We had a stay of about 30 minutes and then set off, and the next stop was Azad Kashmir without any further delays.

Finally Reached

At last after a long and tiring journey the bus arrived, and we all boarded off from the bus. Most of the passengers had reservations for hotels, and I was the only person who headed towards a safe place to dig up his tent and build a shelter to live.

The worse thing happened was we reached Azad Kashmir, and I was hardly left with 1:30 hours because it was evening time and the sun was about to set. I had to do things in a hurry, and was tired as well. Somehow, I managed to setup all things in time. I lit up the LED light, had a small Skype Call with my family members and told them that I reached safely. Don’t be astonished, you can easily catch Internet Signals in nearly all places of Pakistan except a few.

The Bad Incident

My bad luck that while I was hiking on the 18th day of my journey I was robbed away a big sum of money. I nearly lost 80% of my money and was worried. There was no chance that my family members could send me money. I tried to contact my friends but all in vain.

The last option left was my brother who was living in Australia. I saw some Money Exchange services, and thought they could help. Luckily I had a successful Skype session with my brother and he said that the only option available was to send me Money through PayPal.

Unfortunately, PayPal doesn’t support its services in Pakistan, and to receive money we must have a verified PayPal account. I got depressed. However, this post helped me to get a verified PayPal account. Double the luck was that I already had a Payoneer Master Card and it played a vital role in verifying my PayPal.

Anyhow, my brother sent me money and I withdrew it from my PayPal to my Payoneer card and swiped it at the nearest ATM to get the Cash. The rest of the journey was successful, but I came back early as I feared that the thieves may rob me again.

Alternate To Northern Areas Tourist Spots in Pakistan

Pakistan is a diverse country and is blessed with mountains, beaches, sea views, natural places, hill stations and various cultural sites. Despite unfavorable law & order conditions, Pakistani Tourism Sector attracted 1 million people in 2012. Tourism in Pakistan was on Peak during 1970s as foreign tourists feel save, moving between northern areas, Middle Punjab, Sindh and Balochistan was safe enough without security measurements. During the same era of 1970s, Hollywood producers also Picturized a movie named Bhowani Junction.

Attraction for Tourist in Northern Areas:

Pakistan is home to various mountains above 7000 meters and hence attract adventurers, mountaineers, sky-divers and relevant sports lovers. Apart from high altitude mountains, Pakistan is also homes to various fortresses, ancient architectures build by various Kings and warriors during their peak time. The Guardian published an article with title “Top 5 Tourist Sites in Pakistan” after 2005 Kashmir earthquake including Taxila, Karakoram Highway, Karimabad, Lahore and Lake Saiful Muluk.

In 2007, Pakistani Prime Minister launched Visit Pakistan campaign to promote Tourism in Pakistan. The campaign includes fairs, regional sports, religious festivals, handicrafts exhibitions, historical museums and others. Pakistan is also home to the Highest Polo Ground in World in Shandur.

The recent operation by Pakistan Army will help to improve and secure the areas by cleaning up the terrorists from northern areas, so we can hope that Tourism in Northern Areas will get attention of local and international tourists.

Alternates for Northern Areas:

Pakistani people rush northern areas during their vacations and holidays. The accommodation rates boom during summer season. The sign is good for the growth of area, however the heavy rush is disturbing the natural ambience of these areas. As every year, people rush these beautiful natural spots, the needs of accommodations, recreational facilities, amusements, leisure activities, monuments arises by day by day to overcome the demand. Though Pakistan has infrastructure of all sort of transportation including Roads, Rail Network and proper Air travelling facilities, but Pakistani Tourism authorities must develop the sites with proper recreational facilities and start awareness campaigns to market the Tourism Sector of Pakistan and shift the burden equally to other Tourism sites.

The recent agreement between Pakistan and China to develop the Silk Road that will connect China with Pakistani Sea Ports will also help to improve the Tourism and Travelling Industry. The heavy investment by China in infrastructure will accelerate not only construction industry, but will also add fuel to Tourism, Travelling and Hospitality industry of Pakistan. We should avail the opportunity by investing in Tourism and Hospitality to attract people by facilitating them with state of art Tourism services.

Here are some alternatives to northern areas that can provide leisure, recreational and fun activities to visitors.

Gorakh Hill Station:

The lovers of Hill Stations can visit Gorakh Hill Station located in the Kirthar Mountains at the elevation of 5688 feet or 1734 meters of height. Gorakh hill station is about 94 kilometer northwest of Dadu City and spans over 2500 acers of area. Its elevation is a reason that the site’s temperature remain below 20 degree during summer and -5 degree in winter. The area also receives Snow Fall occasionally.

Government of Sindh is working on a project for the construction of road from Dadu to Gorakh Hill Station. A Rest House is serving the visitors, however lack of proper facilities is a way that the picturesque site is unknown for most of Pakistani People. Sindh’s coldest Tourism and Picnic site require attention of authorities to make the site more attractable. If you want to visit the site, you must plan properly and don’t forget to get a jeep and a local driver as well for safe journey.

Ranikot Fort:

Ranikot Fort is dated back to 836 when Imran Bin Musa Barmaki started the construction of fort. Ranikot is listed in the UNESCO World Heritage Sites and is located near Sann Jamshoro District in Sindh Province. Ranikot Fort is also known as Deware Sindh or Sindh Wall. The Fort is known as the world’s largest Fort with 26 kilometer of perimeter. Visitors to Ranikot can approach the site via Kirthar Range about 30 KM southwest of Sann. The site is located about 90 KM from Hyderabad. Ranikot fort is visible from a distance of 5 KM, while the zigzag and rolling walls presents the twist and dip over the hill. Ranikot Fort has 4 entrance gate including Sann gate for main entrance, Mohan fate towards west, Amri gate on north, while Shah Pir gate is located towards south.

The local myth about fort suggests the arrivals of fairies for bathing on full moon from an underground water source near the Mohan gate. Other main attractions include harem, guest rooms, quarters of soldiers and court. Ranikot has two further forts inside including Shergarh Fort which offers an entire view of Ranikot and Meeri Fort. You will enjoy hills, ditches, streams, ponds, watchtowers, bastions and valleys during your trip to Ranikot Fort.

Cholistan Desert:

Cholistan Desert is located 30 KM from Bahawalpur and spans over an area of about 26300 square kilometers. The desert further joins the Thar Desert that further moves into Indian side. A Visit to Bahawalpur is not a complete visit without visiting the Cholistan Desert. The famous tourist spot if famous for an annual Jeep Really, while the tropical rain forest in Cholistan named as Dodhla Forest also serves tourists. Cholistan is also home to several Forts including Derawar Fort, Phoolra Fort and Marot Fort. Derawar Fort is famous as a historical sightseeing spot among tourists. Its walls have a circumference of about 1500 meters with 30 meters of height. The fort is included in the UNESCO World Heritage Sites in Pakistan. Cholistan Jeep Rally is main attraction for visitors to Cholistan and Bahawalpur, Tourism Development Corporation along with Punjab government arranges the Cholistan Jeep Rally that attracts about 100,000 visitors.

Other attractions during Bahawalpur visits may include Bahawalpur Wildlife Zoo (hyenas, leopards, Asiatic lions, Bengal tigers and other regional wild life animals), Lal Suhanara National Park (Wildlife Park). Paying a visit to Noor Mahal could add sweet memories to your trip.

Beaches in Pakistan:

Pakistan has a coastline of about 1046 KM. Pakistan owns several beaches including the most famous one Clifton Beach. Following beaches in Pakistan are serving tourists and travelers searching sites for leisure and recreational activities.

Clifton Beach:

Clifton beach also known as Sea View located on Arabian Sea. Clifton beach was once popular for its silver sand and best health resort during 20th century, however an oil spill in 2003 destroyed the beauty of most accessible beach totally. Clifton Beach is still a popular spot for public of Karachi for enjoying the cool water of beach. Restaurants and food chains are providing the food items on waterfront of Clifton Beach.

SandsPit Beach:

SandsPit beach is located southwest of Karachi is a famous and lucrative spot for tourists. SandsPit Beach is famous for Yachting from October to March as the sea is clam and cool during that period, however it is advised that not to visit the site during monsoon. You will enjoy the marine life of SandsPit Beach. Visitors can enjoy swimming and sunbathing, horse and camel riding at SandsPit Beach.

Paradise Beach Point:

Attraction for Paradise Beach is a sandstone horn promontory rock that attracts families and tourists from Karachi and across Pakistan. Paradise Beach Point is accessible from Mauripur Road. The visitors to Paradise Beach can also visit Nathia Gali Beach where you can enjoy the marine life including reptile species.

Conclusion:

These are the some of the Tourist spots which can reduce the pressure on Northern Tourism Sites. Further Pakistani authorities must pay attention to restore the natural beauty of sites in order to promote the sustainable tourism and to maintain the charm and attraction of any site.