Monday, March 25, 2013

Lakes and Rivers of Swat Valley

The pastoral valley of Swat has abundance of precious resorts of nature. The valley can truly be called the Valley of Lakes, which not only feeds the emerald Green River Swat but also provides ideal camping sites for adventurous people and nature lovers.  Exploring these miracles of nature demand endurance, patience, and courage and above all love for natural beauty.


The River is one of the main sources of tourist attraction and a source of recreation for the local people. The pleasant climate of the valley and its rich fertility is also mainly due to the River. It provides water for irrigation and domestic use and is a habitat for, beside other flora and fauna, a number of fish species and waterfowl..Ayub Bridge is one of the attractions for visitors which attracts many tourists from all over Pakistan during the summer
Swat river source is in the Hindukush Mountains, from where it flows through the Kalam Valley and Swat District. It is fed by melting snow and glaciers.
Swat river start from Kalam with the confluence of Ushu and Utror Rivers and flows for about 160 kilometer across the valley up to Chakdara. The total length of the River is 250 kilometers from Kalam to River Kabul near Charsadda. Many large and small tributaries like Gahil, Mankial, Daral, Chail, Barwai, Arnowai and Jambil and Marghazar streams join the river along its course. A number of streams in the lower Swat, Swat Ranrizai and Adinzai also contribute to the river. The river with its tributaries forms the drainage basin for the valley.
River Swat flows with a higher speed in a narrow gorge with an average width of 35-40m, from Kalam to Madyan; the narrow course of the river continues up to Thalapand (Baghderai). Downstream the river may spreads up to 400m. In the extreme south of the valley, the meandering river once again enters into a narrow gorge and joins Panjkora River at Qalangi.
The Swat River irrigates large areas of Swat District and contributes to the fishing industry of the region.Trout fish is found in abundance in Swat river.
There are two main hydro-electric power projects on canals from the Swat River which generate electricity for local usage.


Bashigram Lake is situated to the east of Bashigram valley near Madyan. It is at the elevation of 11,600 feet above sea level. The road to this valley is partly metal and difficult to travel.

 It takes almost forty to fifty minutes to reach  picturesque valley. The landscapes on the way are very panoramic The lake can be reached after a daylong strenuous trek From here, a trek of four to five hours leads to the serene and enchanting lake of Bashigram.

Strong, jagged and gigantic mountains from three sides surround the lake. Towards the west, the face of the lake is open and the shimmering water of the lake creep silently under the huge rocks, and appears in the form of an attractive foamy waterfall. Huge glaciers, which melt down, feed the lake and remains around it till the end of September. During a fall moon night, the atmosphere and surrounding look so mysterious and hypnotizing that one feels to have landed in an alien world where there is so calm that you can here silence moments of solitude and seclusion, the mystic inside arises and exhorts one to identify and know the Creator of these sublime beauties.

The most famous tale associated with Lake Bashigram is of a golden bowl, which is believed to float over its surface every Friday night. But the most interesting and in a way shocking tale is of a procession of a marriage. Long long ago, would start an elderly person, there was a procession of people who were to take a bride to a village situated to the other side of the mountain in the dark and freezing months of winter.when the procession reached the lake, it was almost dark and they decided to spend the night there as the area was plain and ideal for a night stay. The lake was completely covered with snow and frozen which had turned it to a vast plain ground. Theses innocent people started preparing their evening meal and set a fire a huge pile of logs, as the fire started to blaze, the frozen ice gave way to the intense heat and caved in , which resulted in the death of the doomed procession. All of them drowned in the lake and were perished from the face of the earth, mysteriously.

Lake Bashigam is heaven for trekkers and people who love solitude. There are colorful flowers with fragrance breeze which creates magical atmosphere.


Daral lake is situated to the northeast of Sidgai Lake and can be accessed through Saidgai after two three hours rigorous trekking. A look towards the south will reveal the long and winding river Swat on the horizon. After walking and trekking for about two and a half hours on bare and naked mountains, the trail start descending towards the east where Daral Lake is located.

 The trail to Daral is full of fun and amusement because it runs over sky touching heights of the mountains provides spectacular sights and panoramas for the nature lovers. A close look towards the south will reveal the long and winding sellouts of river Swat in the horizon.

After walking and trekking for about two and a half hours on bare and naked mountains, the trail start descending towards the East where Daral Lake is located.The descend towards the lake is tricky and treacherous; therefore, utmost care and precaution must be taken climbing down the gully.

Lake Daral is sprawled over a huge area. Large rugged and jagged boulders of various shapes and sizes surround it. Lush-green grass and erotic flowers cover the edges of the lake. The blue and wavy water of the lake presents a welcome contrast to rugged and jagged mountain cliffs in the background. The vast and sprawling pasture and grasslands sustain different communities of nomads who make the valley lively busy during summer. The magnificent Daral Lake is surrounded from all sides by gigantic mountains and not even a trickle of water escapes the huge and sprawling lake.

Trekking for about an hour from Daral Lake lands in a small lake-let called Dand Ghara (Lake edge) in local vernacular. A small mosque built by the nomads on its edges provides relief and respite for the trekkers after their long exhausting walk. One can spend a night here and relish the calm surrounding, and company of the inquisitive nomad kids for whom the trekkers in their strange attire and backgrounds is the only source of attraction.

A small stream pours from this lake to the roaring Daral river.  The track down to Bahrain valley is an extremely long but easy to walk trail which winds up in Bahrain valley after relentless trekking for eight to nine hours. The beautiful sights and landscapes on the way down are saved forever in your memories to cherish later in moments of tranquility.

Izmis Danda (Lake)


The name Izmis means "caves" in Kohistani language and as the lake is surrounded by several natural caves, the people have named the lake after these caves. Izmis Lake is located to the North-east of Utror valley at a high altitude above the tree line. A small jeep-able link road from Utror leads towards the location of the lake which ends in a valley called Loypanrghalay. The lake can be accessed from here after trekking for almost two hours.The lake lies almost at a distance of one hour from this heavenly locale.
Izmis is a huge lake with shallow depth and little water. Most of the water which feeds the lake comes from the surrounding glaciers and small springs.
The Lake is surrounded by towering mountains covered with sheen green grasses and herbaceous plants.  The eastern and western faces of the lake are open with wide gullies at both ends. The grazers have constructed small stone and earthen structures in the peripheries of the lake which provides the temporary residence during summers. It also serves as a watershed for a small stream which mingles with River Swat in Utror. The watershed areas of the lake have turned to marshes and are an excellent feeding ground for the migratory birds as well as local bird and animal species.


 Pari/Khapiro (Fairy) Lake-1

Pari 1 is a very high altitude lake in Upper Swat Valley located to the north-east of Utror valleyPari lake is also called  Khapiro lake. The water of lake is very cool, pure and crystal clear. This lake is surrounded by sharp jagged rocks and peaks with scanty grass and flowers growth. Pari Lake is one of the lakes in Swat region which is located at a very high altitude in the foot of the tallest peak in the range with a considerable depth.

Pari Lake I is a small lake which feeds the greater Pari Lake located below it. The lake is triangular in shape and is surrounded by tall mountains with western face opening to the greater Pari Lake. Several white gushing waterfalls from the surrounding peaks and glaciers feed the lake with crystal clear water. The lake remains submerged in glaciers almost all-round the year except in the months of August and September. Pari Lake I is important only in the context that it is the major source of water for the greater Pari Lake. The emerald green water of the lake, the green highlands, the sky-touching mountains and the serene environment around has extraordinary potentials for Eco- tourism which can play a vital role in the development and conservation of the lake and the area.

It can be accessed only by trekking.The lake is triangular in shape and is surrounded by tall mountains with western face opening to the greater Pari Lake Trekking to the lake needs endurance and love for nature as the trail is exasperating as well as dangerous on the narrow bends and turns leading to the lake.
The lake is accessible from both Izmis and Kundal lakes. Two ascending tracks lead to this lake from Kundal and Izmis lakes taking almost five hours to reach this roof top of Swat. The trail is very steep from both sides but the surrounding beauty and eye-cooling green pastures and exotic flowers not only boost the trekker’s stamina but compel him to explore further. The lake is surrounded by sharp jagged rocks and peaks with scanty grass and flowers growth.

Pari/Khapiro (Fairy) Lake 11


Pari Lake II is located at the highest altitude in the mountain ranges of Swat near Pari Lake I. It is comparatively greater in size and depth than the other lake situated in its vicinity and remains open in the months of July till September. The western face of the lake is open and its water flows down to the gigantic Kundal Lake which is situated in the foothills down. 

The towering mountains surrounding the lake are a safe haven for the bulky Snow-cock and brightly coloured Monal pheasants. These birds can be heard and seen during the early hours of dawn here. 

The lake is almost quarter a kilometer in length and is surrounded by steep pastures where the grazers take their livestock in the hot months of summer when fodder is scarce in the plains. Due to its alarming height and uncertain weather, the lake remains undisturbed.
  Pari Lake II has a twofold importance; it provides a huge share of water to Kundal Lake and is a safe feeding ground for the indigenous as well as migratory birds. The lake has a strong potential for eco-tourism which will not only help conserve the lake but also create a new source of income for the local community. 

Pari or Fairy Lake II is a place worth visiting not only due to its ecological importance but the immense natural recreational potential the lake posses. The unadulterated and serene environment around the lake is an amenity and the picturesque beauty all-around keep the visitor in a state of frenzy all the time during the stay near the lake. The wide horizon, spectacular panoramas, haunting silence and cool breeze are some of the priceless gifts which a nature lover can find here in abundance.
The lake is accessible from both Izmis and Kundal lakes. Trekking to the lake needs endurance and love for nature as the trail is exasperating as well as dangerous. Two ascending tracks lead to this lake from Kundal and Izmis lakes taking almost five hours to reach the lake.


Kundol Lake is a lake in Swat Valley Pakistan,  It is 2743 meters (9000 feet) above sea level. Kundal is a huge and sprawling lake.  The length of the lake is two kilometers and its width is one kilometer  A huge stream feeds it in eastern side where huge glaciers melt down in summer.

The trail to the lake from Ladu is easy to follow as a huge stream flows down from the lake, which mingles with River Swat in Kalam valley. It goes beside the stream and leads you to the lake. The trail is a joy to walk on but proper care should be taken because one accidental slip can prove fatal. Therefore wearing good qualities shoes with gripping soles must be arranged in advance. The first two hours walk is in a narrow valley beside the roaring stream but later the narrowness gives way to wideness and the valley starts expanding till you reach the lake. The mountains around the lake have scarce trees scattered far and wide but grass and thick vegetation pervade the surrounding landscape that reinforces the beauty of the lake.

 The mountains around this small valley are covered with tall cedar and pine trees and meandered by different streams and torrents. Kundal or Kandolo Lake is one such place with so much beauty and outstanding view. This Lake is situated in the north of Utror valley. One can easily access it from Kalam via Utror from where a link road ends in a green valley called Ladu in the foothills of the lake. You can either hike to Ladu from Utror or take a four-wheeler to ease and minimize your journey. It consumes almost two hours to reach the beautiful valley of Ladu. A walk in the romantic valley will unravel several new mysteries. The people who take temporary residency over here during summer plow the open land and harvest potatoes and turnips, which are famous all over the country for its exotic taste. There is also a small hut in Ladu where you can take tea and get something for eating. From Ladu it takes almost four hours to reach the lake. Some locals can guide you and even take your luggage if properly paid. The mountains around this small valley are covered with tall cedar and pine trees and meandered by different streams and torrents.Two other lakes, Khapiro (Faries), and Spin khwar (White Stream) are located in the peripheries of Kundal Lake and can be accessed through the lake in five to six hours.



Mahudand Lake is a lake about 40 km from Kalam, in Ushu Valley Pakistan. It is accessible with a four-wheel drive vehicle, and is a good location for fishing. It is famous not only among nature lovers, and escapists but also the exotic trout fish hunters. Several spectacular waterfalls reinforce the beauty of the valley. They are of different lengths and sizes. The greater the size, the greater the sound that echoes throughout the valley. The murky water of these waterfalls not only feed the river but also leaves the visitor awestricken and baffled looking at the immense height from which the water falls with cracking sound on the rocks.

In a nutshell, Mahodand valley is a process and artistic gift of nature for those who love nature, meditate and identify their creator through His creation. The spectacular landscapes, the canopy of tall cedar trees, the vast pastures, the roaring waterfalls, the shimmering lakes, the sky touching mountains, and the exotic fragrance of wild flowers and herbs leave such strong imprints on the mind that the visitor is always in search of other opportunity to become one with nature again. 



Spin Khwar is a beautiful lake hidden in the lap of mountains towards the north of Kundal Lake and east of Utror valley. The name Spin Khwar has significance as a small white stream in the east flows down to the lake from the surrounding mountains and is a major source of water for the lake. The lake is accessible through two tracks, one from Kundal and the other from Ladu valley. The track from Ladu is easy to walk and less tiring while the track from Kundal is not only difficult but dangerous although it is short and links Kundal and Spin Khwar. The grazers in the area have built small huts and a mosque where one can stay but a personal tent is recommended as these huts are in a poor condition due to lack of maintenance.

Saidgai Danda (Lake)

Saidgai Lake is located in the peripheries of Swat and Dir mountain ranges and serves as a huge reservoir of water for Hushirai Khwar (Stream), Dir.   This Lake is situated in the Hindukush chain of mountains, interspersed by several small and large lakes, which runs from the western edges of the Pamir plateau, west of the Karakoram. The mountains have snow-covered tops and are crossed by some minor glaciers.

The lake can be accessed through three different trails and sides; Hushirai valley,Dir , Sulatanr,upper Swat and Sakhra lalko,upper Swat. The Lalko, name of village, trail to the lake is the most easy and breathtaking regarding accessibility and natural beauty. A jeepable and unmetlled road ends in the beautiful and exotic valley of lalko where your trekking and hiking chapter starts. From here, continuous trekking for almost seven to eight house lead you to your desired destination. On the way dark green pine, conifer and cedar forests keep you cool and refreshed; and small scurrying streams quenches your unquenchable thirst. On the way you will come across a vast pasture, which is called Gabina jaba (Honey marshes) in the local vernacular. This highland of pastures and grasslands is so exquisite and picturesque regarding natural beauty and generosity that its breathtaking landscapes linger with through out your life. Several streams and torrents like winding snakes of immense length cross these pastures. During April and May. The pastures wear a blanket of countless and innumerable variety of flowers of different shads that tempt different species of rare birds and insects. These buzzing insects and singing birds swarm these huge natural carpets of various colours and shades.

The ascend to the lake is exasperating and laborious but the surroundings are so strikingly beautiful that the sense of exhaustion and aching body never ventures in your way. Everywhere, different landscapes and panoramas will nourish and soothe your tired nerves and bodys.

A spring called lalko cheena (Lalko Spring) lies on the way to Saidgai that provides extra attraction and amusement. The spring is situated at the foot of tall rugged mountains and is famous for it therapeutic effects. Several patients of diverse nature throng the spring to take a bath and immerse themselves in its cool and curing water.

Saidgai Lake is situated at a very high altitude above sea level. The best season to visit and explore the lake is during the months of July to September every year. In the remaining, a thick coat of snow covers the lake and makes it difficult for the observer to differentiate it from the surrounding landscapes.

Saidgai is considered as one of the largest lake in the area and several adventure loving people swarm the area to discover and explore this spectacular jewel of nature. Splendid company and availability of essential trekking paraphernalia quad ruples the delight and enjoyment of this extraordinary journey. Clean and unexploited nature accompanies and welcomes you at every step. The shimmering and sparkling water of the lake, and the circular ripples created by the cool gusts of winds in the lake are some of the precious memories which will soothe and revive your senses in moments of solitude eternally..



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  2. Thanking for liking it. There are so many beautiful places in Pakistan.