DISCOVER KALAM : A HEAVEN ON EARTH
BEST ROUTES TO VISIT KALAM
SWAT MOTORWAY M-16
PM IMRAN KHAN AND TOURISM
PLACES TO VISIT IN KALAM
ACCOMODATION IN KALAM
SAFETY AND SECURITY OF THE AREA
SOUVENIRS TO TAKE FROM KALAM
WHAT WILL THE HEAVEN ON EARTH LOOK LIKE ? Just lush green grass, gushing streams, colorful flowers and splendid mountains.
One of Swat’s most scenic towns: Kalam is a true attractiveness of nature. Rather, words cannot truly describe the breathtaking beauty of this area, its lavish streams and splendid mountains. Kalam is now reviving as one of Pakistan’s famous tourist spots. Swat is locally known as Pakistan’s Switzerland due to its snow-capped mountains and lush green landscapes.
In terms of altitude, it seems far higher than the other popular hill stations because you’re surrounded by tall peaks as far as the eye can see. The most prominent peak is Falaksar (5,918m), capped by spotless white snow at the top.
Kalam is the most attractive and charming tourist point situated in the Swat Valley of Pakistan. With the nearby mountains and rivers surrounding it, Kalam holds much worth seeing places to visit. The snow melting in the mountains shapes the beautiful rivers of the valley.
Kalam is a valley located at distance of 99 kilometers (62 mi) from Mingora in the northern upper reaches of Swat valley along the bank of Swat River in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province of Pakistan. The area has become a popular tourist attraction, known for its mountains, forests and lakes. It is the birthplace of Swat river, which forms with confluence of two major tributaries of Gabral river and Ushu river.
Kalam valley is a sub-valley of Swat, at an elevation of about 2,000 m (6,600 ft) above sea level. It provides area for a small but fertile plateau above the river for farming. From Kalam, the metaled road ends and single road leads to the Ushu and Utror valleys. From Matiltan, some snow-capped mountains are visible including Mount Falaksar 5,918 meters (19,416 feet), and another unnamed peak 6,096 meters (20,000 feet) high.
PM IMRAN KHAN AND TOURISM
Pakistan is one of those countries, working tirelessly to improve their tourism sector. The country is discovering various areas and sites to open for public for tourism.
For the first time in the country’s history, Prime Minister Imran Khan has directed its cabinet members to make tourism policy. Thus, to improve the image of the country.
KPK province is one of those provinces, working hard to launch more tourist sites in the province. The provincial government of KPK built Swat motorway which is gateway to the Kalam valley and Kumrat valley. With the opening of Swat motorway, the tourism in Swat and other surrounding areas is likely to enhance. In order to boost tourism in the province, KPK government has selected 20 spots which will be immediately developed as tourist destinations. Kalam, Swat, Malam Jabba, Ayubia, Nathia Gali Governor House and various sites are prominent in this regard.
BEST ROUTES TO VISIT KALAM
The easiest way to get to Kalam by road is to take the N95 route from Mingora in Swat. The N95 road along the bank of Swat River will take you Kalam passing through Manglor, Charbagh, Khwazakhela, Madyan, Bahrain to your destination Kalam Valley.
There is an alternative road to Kalam through Kanju road. This route to Kalam starts from Mingora, going through across the Swat River to Kanju, Derai, Bandai, Ningolai Village, Shakardara, Baidara, Kalakot, Damlai, Madyan, Bahrain to your destination Kalam Valley.
SWAT MOTORWAY- M16
Swat Motorway (M16) also called Swat Expressway is a high-speed route of about 160 km (90 Miles). It starts from Kernal Sher Khan Interchange on M1 Motorway. The expressway terminates in the vicinity of the Chakdara bridge on National Highway N-45 at the far south of Swat Valley. This recent addition to the Swat Valley road infrastructure is, in fact, a dual carriageway which officially is now called Swat Expressway.
Traders who left the area during the Taliban era have returned to Swat and Kalam valley. The city of Mingora has once again become a business hub. Tourists have also made a steady comeback to escape the hot summers of the big cities.
The hotel industry, which bore the stress of militancy, is also picking up the pieces. According to the provincial tourism department, one million people including foreigners visited Swat in 2018. The authorities expect this figure to surpass one million in the coming years. The government led by Prime Minister Imran Khan also invited foreign travel bloggers to the country. Hence, to paint a rosy international image of Pakistan to internet savvy millennials abroad.
PLACES TO VISIT IN KALAM VALLEY
There are many attractions and places to visit in Kalam, covering a wide area which is just waiting for you to explore! Perhaps Kalam valley is the most famous attractive place to visit in swat.
There are breathtaking lakes, soaring mountains, picturesque valleys, green lush forests, and other natural attractions in Kalam valley. These wonders of nature make Kalam the most beautiful places to visit on everyone’s list when they are in swat.
THE KALAM BAZAAR
The Kalam Bazaar is the main marketplace and commercial center of the Kalam valley. Despite being small, Kalam Bazaar has hotels, restaurants, cafes, medical stores, and a good number of general stores. This Bazaar serves as a high street or Downtown for locals and tourists in Kalam and surrounding areas.
Gabral is a hill station of Swat valley. This valley lies between 35° 20′ to 35° 48′ N latitudes and 72° 12′ and 72° 32′ E longitudes over an area of about 38733 hectares. The population of Gabral is 3238. The valley is surrounded by Chitral District in the north, Utror valley in the south and south-west, upper Dir district in the west and Bhan and Mahodand valleys in the east. It is 5 km distant from Utror and 20 km from Kalam.
Gabral is a fascinating hill station. It is well-known for brown Swati trout fish. You can see lush green hills and mountains in this area.
Ushu is a village in Ushu Valley, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province of Pakistan. It lies at the height of 2,300 meters. It is accessible through a non metaled road from Kalam by jeeps only.
Ushu is known for its beautiful cloudy and rainy forest. Tourist attraction Mahodand lake is 27 kilometers from there. In winter, the famous Ushu glacier blocks the only path to the Mahodand lake and this path is only opened again in Summer, when the snow of the glacier melts and the authorities wipe of the remaining snow from the road.
This forest is near to Kalam Valley. Deep shadows of scrapping trees and shrubs weaving with a slight breeze make the filmy scenic woodland into the famous tourist attraction.
It is a beautiful picnic point in Kalam valley which is 15 km away from Kalam. It’s one of the lovely valleys in the place. This valley is surrounded by snow-clad mountains. Moreover, the beautiful Kundol lake within the vicinity is worth seeing.
It is one of the vast & scenic lakes within the Swat valley. It lies at a distance of about 35-40 km from Kalam. Within the Ushu Sub-valley of Kalam that is laid out inside the Hindu-Kush mountains. It is on hand with a 4×4 vehicle. Moreover, there is a superb motel for fishing, boating, and camping. It is surrounded by snow clad mountains, lush green meadows and thick forests which hypnotize one to its center.
Matiltan is about 13km from Kalam which is roughly under 50 minutes of travel by drive. Alternatively, the journey to Matiltan through the Ushu road along the swat river is a wonderful hiking trail. This hiking trail is 13km from Kalam to Matiltan through Plain Forest Kalam, Kalam Forest Playground, and other breathtaking landscapes. By walk, this journey is around 3 hours. Hence, Matiltan is a perfect day out in Kalam.
Another best thing to do in Kalam is to go to the Kalam festival or Kalam mela which is also known as the Swat summer festival. Kalam summer festival is a grand display of cultural and recreational events held yearly in July or August.
During the holiday season in summer, the grand Kalam festival gathering attracts locals and tourists from Pakistan and abroad to celebrate and enjoy holidays in the cold weather.
Kalam Summer Festival is a week-long activity which comprises paragliding, local handicraft display, jeep rally, cycling, canoeing, cultural shows, local music, dances, food stalls, etc.
ACCOMODATION IN KALAM VALLEY
As mentioned above, there is a variety of hotels and suites in Mingora Swat where you can stay. But coming towards Kalam, currently there are some hotels and accommodation not as good as Mingora Swat. These are the ones with medium facilities. But the tourists can not find the high-end amenities over there. Currently, the following hotels are present in Kalam.
- GOLDEN STAR HOTEL
- PTDC MOTEL
- NEW HONEY MOON HOTEL
- MID HILLS HOTELS
- FOREST VALLEY COTTAGES
- WALNUT HEIGHTS
Recently, a new tourist attraction is going to make an entry in the hospitality industry in Kalam valley. LANDSTER SPANISH HOTEL APARTMENTS is an upcoming tourist attraction in this area. It will offer high end amenities to the tourists visiting Kalam. It is a project of Landster PVT LTD. With Spanish Style Suites, this will be the first time in history of Kalam that Landster will construct a hotel offering high-end amenities . The developers expect that they will complete the project within a 2 year duration. Moreover, the investors will get asset as well as monthly return on their investment. It will offer the following features:
- Ideal location (Tehsil road)
- 7 story building with 3 Kanal area
- Parking Plaza
- CCTV cameras
- Capsule lift
- Central heating
- Fun city, Gym, Pool
- TMA approved
- Rooftop Restaurant
- International food chain
- Smart and luxury furnished apartments
In conclusion, if you are planning your visit after a period of 2 year, you will enjoy all the lavish facilities offered by this hotel/restaurant. If you’re looking for a home away from home where you can relax in your own space, then LANDSTER SPANISH HOTEL APARTMENTS is the way to go!
SAFETY AND SECURITY OF THE AREA
Travelers apprehensive about security don’t have to worry as the region is pretty safe and secure. You will find army check-posts around every corner. While military personnel carry out the surveillance on a regular basis.
SOUVENIRS TO TAKE FROM KALAM
Take the following souvenirs back home with you.
- Peshawari chappal is a footwear that the local people wear.
- Peshawari embroidered koti (a sleeveless jacket) which Pashtuns wear over Shalwar Qameez. It’s traditional. Sometimes the koti is not embroidered, so you can easily choose if you want something fancy or buy a plain koti
- Jewelry, especially, handmade bracelets with real stones are a popular Peshawari souvenir
- Nuts are cheaper in this part of the country. You will find Kaghazi Badaam, Chilghoza (Pine Nuts) in abundance here
- Kalash embroidered dress is what the local Kalash women wear. It is intricately designed and embroidered with an elaborate headgear.
God has bestowed Pakistan with so much natural beauty and landscapes. There are so many scenic views that are worth seeing. On the other hand, it can be beneficial for our economy as well. If these areas are exploited properly and we put resources on their development, we can boost tourism in our country. As tourism is the backbone of any country’s economy. In this blog, we have tried to highlight some beautiful places in Kalam valley where you would love to go. We must consider this while planning our vacations, that besides going abroad we can visit our own country’s spectacular places. Hence, this will improve our economy and boost the tourism sector.
So, which of these tourist attractions in Kalam are you planning to visit next?
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