Khyber Pukhtoonkhuwa formerly known as North West Frontier Province (NWFP) is the northern western province of Pakistan. In 2010 by the 18th amendment the name was changes to Khyber Pukhtoonkhuwa. Peshawar is the capital of KPK. Afghanistan is located at the west of KPK, while Kashmir is at the northern side, Punjab is towards the east and Baluchistan is located to the southwest. Federally administered tribal areas (FATA) are at the west of the province along with the Afghan border. Urdu is the national and official language of KPK. Pashto language is spoken by the majority in the province. Other popular languages of Khyber Pukhtoonkhuwa are Saraiki, Hindko, Khowar, Chitrali and Kohistani. The major ethnic group is Pashtoon while other smaller groups are Hindkowans, Chitralis and Gujjars. The majority of the residents of Khyber Pukhtoonkhuwa are Muslims but there are followers of other religions also reside in KPK such as Christians, Ismailia, Hindu and Sikhs.
TOURISM IN KHYBER PUKHTOONKHUWA
Khyber Pukhtoonkhuwa was badly hit by the terrorism that had affected the tourism in the region as well but the law and order situation is under control now and is safe for the residents as well as tourists.KPK is known as tourist’s favorite spot. You will see varied landscapes from mountains to the valleys, the hills and agricultural farms. Every single place of KPK is worth to see.We have compiled a list of top tourist destinations of Khyber Pukhtoonkhuwa. Following are the top tourist attractions of KPK.
Lush green swat valley known as the Switzerland of Pakistan because of its natural beauty. Swat valley is in Malakand division. Swat is the easily accessible area. You can travel to swat valley both by air and by road. Swat was the center of Buddhism and the remains of Gandhara kingdom can also be seen here. Swat is one of the best tourist destinations in KPK.
Malam jabba is a hill station in swat valley. It is 40 kilometer from Saidu Shareef and 314 kilometers from Islamabad. Tourists can reach here through Saidu Shareef airport. Malam jabba is famous for skiing. Tourists from all over Pakistan visit this place to enjoy skiing. But it’s not only famous for skiing but you can find many Buddhist remains here such as stupas and monasteries which are about 2000 years old.
Kalaam is another tourist destination in Swat valley that is very well-known. It is 99 kilometers away from Mingora, located along the bank of Swat River. Kalaam is a lush green valley that is surrounded by beautiful mountains. You will witness beautiful hills, lakes, meadows and waterfalls in Kalaam valley. The famous tourist spots of Kalaam are Usho, Matiltan, Utror, Gabral, Mahodand and Kundol Lake. The best time to visit this attractive valley is summers.
Galiyat region is most famous tourist place in Pakistan. It is about 50 to 80 kilometers from Islamabad. The Galiyat region is extended both in Punjab and Khyber Pukhtoonkhuwa between Abbottabad and Murree. Galiyat is the plural of the Urdu word “Gali” which means alley between the two mountains. Many villages located in Galiyat region have word Gali in their names. The famous places of Galiyat situated in Khyber Pukhtoonkhuwa are Ayubia, Bara Gali, Chnagla Gali, Dunga Gali, Khera Gali, Kala Bagh and Nathiagali which is very famous amongst tourists. Galiyat region is busy all the year round but the best time to visit Galiyat is summer as winters are bit harsh in these areas.
The word Thandiani means very cold. It is a breathtaking spot located in the northeast of Abbottabad, it’s about 37.5 kilometers from Abbottabad. The valley represents the view of lush green hills and fields in summers and snow covered landscapes in winters. People all around Pakistan visit Thandiani especially in summers.
Mushkpuri is the second highest hill of Galiyat in Nathiagali hills in Abbottabad district. The beautiful view of the Mushkpuri is breathtaking. The beautiful water pond at the top which showcases a amazing reflection of sky and trees. On the top of Mushkpuri, you can see the valleys of Kashmir as well. Mushkpuri is a very renowned tourist spot and thousands of people from all around world visit this place.
Kalash valleys are located in Chitral which is surrounded by Hindu Kush mountain range. There are three valleys in Kalash Birir, Rumbur and Bumburet. The residents of Kalash are Kalash people. They have unique culture, language and followers of the Hinduism. It is the most famous tourist attraction in Pakistan. People all around world and Pakistan visit this valley.
Kumrat valley is one of the most attractive valleys of Khyber Pukhtoonkhuwa, thus a great tourist spot for the travelers. Covered with the green pastures, snow covered mountains, forests and the Panjkora River are the main attractions for the tourists. In the summer season thousands of the people visit Kumrat valley and enjoy its weather and the greenery.
The beautiful Khanpur Lake is situated at about 25 miles from Islamabad in Khanpur. Khanpur is the source of drinking water to the nearby areas including Islamabad and Rawalpindi. It also supplies irrigation water for agricultural and industrial purpose. It is a well-known tourist spot in Khyber Pukhtoonkhuwa. Tourists enjoy boating and cliff hanging here.
Saif-ul-Malook Lake is in the northeast of Mansehra district of Khyber Pukhtoonkhuwa. It is sited in the Kaghan valley near Naran. Saif-ul-malook is one of the highest lakes in Pakistan. The lake is accessible through road by Naran in summers but in winters the access to the lake is limited. The water of the lake comes from the glaciers. Lake Saif-ul-malook also known as lake of fairies. Different stories are associated with the lake. Saif-ul-malook is a must visit place in Khyber Pukhtoonkhuwa.
Lulusar is another lake that is situated in Kaghan valley. Lulu means “Red” and Sar means “Lake” and in Pashto language Sar means “top”. Lulusar is a group of mountain peaks. Lulusar is the key source of Kunhar River. It is the largest lake in Kaghan valley. Lulusar is at the height of 11,190 feet.
NARAN AND KAGHAN
Naran and Kaghan are one of the top tourist destinations in Pakistan. Kaghan valley is located in Mansehra district of Khyber Pukhtoonkhuwa and Naran is a town in Kaghan valley. Shogran, Kundu and Babusar top are the most attractive areas of Naran and Kaghan. Beautiful green fields and hills, the wonderful view and hospitable people of the valley make it the top tourist attraction of the region. If you love if you love trekking, hiking and fishing then Naran and Kaghan are the places to visit.
BALA HISAAR FORT
Bala Hisaar is a historic fort that is located in Peshawar Khyber Pukhtoonkhuwa. The Bala Hisaar fort was the residence of Durani Empire and now it is used as the headquarter of Frontier Corps (FC). Bala Hisaar is a Persian word that means high fort. The name was given by Afghan Pushtoon king Taimoor shah Durrani, who used fort as his winter residence.
MASJID MOHABBAT KHAN
Masjid Mohabbat Khan was built in 17th century in Mughal era. It is situated in Peshawar. The mosque was built in 1630 and is named after the name of the governor of Peshawar Nawab Mohabbat Khan Bin Ali Mardan Khan. The architecture of the mosque is very beautiful and presents an iconic sight.
Kafir Kot are the ruins of Hindu temples that are located in the Dera Ismail Khan of Khyber Pukhtoonkhuwa. Kafir Kot consists of ruins of 5 temples. These temple ruins are the sign of the presence of Hindu civilization in this area. Pakistan has many historical and beautiful locations that are worth to visit. If you are planning a vacation, you should pick from the locations mentioned above.