There is a palpable sense of magic as one steps into Azad Kashmir, the self-governing region administered by Pakistan. Here, you will uncover the best 30 places to visit in Azad Kashmir, a landscape endowed with unrivaled natural beauty, rich culture, and deep-rooted history.
Azad Kashmir, often referred to as “Paradise on Earth”, is famous for its lush valleys, vibrant wildlife, serene lakes, and towering mountains. The scenic beauty and tranquility of this region make it a popular destination among tourists worldwide.
Azad Kashmir’s rich history dates back to the ancient civilization of the sub-continent, filled with historical and archaeological treasures that add to the region’s appeal.
Best 30 Places to Visit in Azad Kashmir
1. Neelum Valley: This blue gem offers mesmerizing landscapes and crystalline rivers.
2. Rawalakot: Known as ‘Pearl Valley’, it’s a picture-perfect destination with charming weather.
3. Ratti Gali Lake: An alpine glacial lake that offers awe-inspiring views.
4. Leepa Valley: Characterized by its vast green expanses and dense forests.
5. Pir Chinasi: A tourist spot known for its shrine and stunning panoramic views.
6. Toli Pir: A hilltop area offering breathtaking vistas of surrounding valleys.
7. Red Fort: A historical fort in Muzaffarabad with intriguing architecture.
8. Jhelum Valley: This picturesque valley is perfect for nature enthusiasts.
9. Banjosa Lake: A beautiful man-made lake nestled amidst lush green mountains.
10. Mirpur: Known for its modern infrastructure and cultural diversity.
11. Shounter Lake: A scenic lake located in the Shounter Valley.
12. Hajira: A small town known for its pleasant climate and panoramic views.
13. Kutton: Also known as Jagran Valley, it offers picturesque views and a serene environment.
14. Baghsar Fort: A historical fort located in Bhimber offering panoramic views of the Samahni Valley.
15. Kotli: A city with mesmerizing landscapes and rich culture.
16. Ramkot Fort: A historic fort located on the summit of a hill on the banks of Mangla Lake.
17. Samahni Valley: Renowned for its green meadows and dense forests.
18. Sharda Peeth: A historic Hindu temple and study center.
19. Machiara National Park: Famous for its wildlife, particularly for bird-watching.
20. Azad Pattan: Known for its railway bridge over the Jhelum River.
21. Palandri: Known for its captivating beauty and historic sites.
22. Chikar: A hill station with a cool, pleasant climate and scenic landscapes.
23. Poonch River: Enjoy the serene beauty of this river flowing through the district of Poonch.
24. Ganga Choti: A high peak offering spectacular views of the surrounding areas.
25. Trarkhal: Known for its beautiful weather and panoramic views.
26. Halmat: A beautiful and serene village in Neelum Valley.
27. Mangla Dam: A significant hydroelectric power generation site and a scenic spot.
28. Sudhnoti: Known for its lush green hills and comfortable climate.
29. Khillenmarg: A hill station known for its rolling green hills.
30. Ali Sojal: A beautiful village offering tranquil surroundings.
How to Get Around
Local transport services, including buses and jeeps, are common for commuting. For far-flung areas, hiring a local guide or a 4×4 vehicle is recommended.
Best Time to Visit
The best time to visit Azad Kashmir is from May to October when the weather is pleasant, making it ideal for exploring and sightseeing.
Top 5 Local Cuisines to Try
- Kashmiri Pulao: A flavorful rice dish cooked with an assortment of dried fruits and nuts.
- Rogan Josh: A delectable meat curry with aromatic spices.
- Gushtaba: A dish made with minced meatballs in a yogurt gravy.
- Dum Aloo: Potatoes cooked in a rich and flavorful curry.
- Kashmiri Kahwa: A traditional green tea with spices and almond slices.
Language People Speak There
The widely spoken languages in Azad Kashmir are Urdu, Pahari, Gojri, and Kashmiri. However, English is also understood in urban and tourist-centric areas.
Weather in Azad Kashmir
Azad Kashmir experiences a subtropical highland climate, with hot summers and cold, snowy winters.
Frequently Asked Questions
- What is Azad Kashmir famous for?
- Azad Kashmir is famous for its extraordinary scenic beauty, lush valleys, serene lakes, and rich history.
- What is the best time to visit Azad Kashmir?
- The best time to visit Azad Kashmir is between May and October when the weather is pleasant for sightseeing.
- What are the top local cuisines to try in Azad Kashmir?
- The top local cuisines to try in Azad Kashmir include Kashmiri Pulao, Rogan Josh, Gushtaba, Dum Aloo, and Kashmiri Kahwa.
As ‘I’ unfold the wonderous experiences offered by Azad Kashmir, it becomes evident that this region is indeed a ‘Paradise on Earth’. If you’re a nature lover or history buff, or simply a wanderer seeking tranquility, Azad Kashmir is the perfect destination for your next ‘experience’.