Going to Naltar Valley
We were in Gilgit finally and our friend Major Yasir recommended in fact insisted to visit Naltar Valley. After having breakfast at our hotel, we left for Naltar Valley. This valley is approximately 40 km away from Gilgit and you will have to pass through a village Nomal to reach Naltar valley. If you are driving your car, leave it at Nomal and take a jeep from here. I am not sure how much they will charge you but as we had our own Jeep so we carried on moving.
Naltar valley has a couple of villages, Naltar Pine (which comes first in the valley) and then Naltar Bala. Naltar Pine has a mettaled road so it is an easy ride till then. After crossing Naltar Pine, road is unmetalled and bumpy. The track to Naltar Bala is a bit dangerous. Our jeep engine was overheated once on the way up but it cooled down soon due to pleasant weather. As I recommended in my Skardu Diaries that please use a consistent acceleration while climbing the mountains. Naltar valley has a wildlife sanctuary. Those who are wondering what is it? a sanctuary is a place that provides protection for wildlife species that are endangered or going to be in future. The flora and fauna of this valley is a treat for nature enthusiasts.
We were in Naltar Bala around 1 pm. And what a valley it was. Temperature in valley was totally different from the weather of Gilgit city. In city, you need to turn on air conditioning all the time but in Naltar valley things were different. Weather was amazing, a bit chilly and we lay down on the grass. Something started changing after half an hour. The stress which we brought from us from urban life started diminishing. The serenity of Naltar valley had finally accepted us and solaced us.
Shinrin-Yoku in Naltar Valley
It was the first time in my life where i believed ‘Nature heals’. Japanese business related philosophies (Lean, kaizen etc) are awesome but there life philosophies are also great i.e. ‘Shinrin-yoku’ or forest bathing. It is the way of spending time in Nature which not only reduces stress but also improves cognitive,circulation and many other functions of human mind and body. Guys, try it once or twice in a year.
In valley, there are some army and air force related setups. They are offering accommodation and mess to civilians as well. Mountains surround this valley from every side. The weather and scenery of Naltar valley is second to none. So, we had a open air lunch in an army mess.
Naltar also got a Ski resort that is run by Pakistan Air-force. It happens on the famous slopes of Naltar every winter. Naltar is also famous for its lakes which are Satrangi (means 7 or multiple colors), Feroza Lake and Pari Lake. First lake you reach to is approximately an hour drive from Naltar Bala. These are most beautiful and unspoiled lakes in the region. As the pictures will suggest. However, we were too easy in Naltar Bala that we didn’t even think about going there. I still regret it. But may be sometime soon.