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Top 20 Azad Kashmir Beautiful Places to Visit in Pakistan

Azad Kashmir emerges as a cherished travel haven, distinguished by its unique blend of diverse wildlife, numerous crystalline lakes, and captivating green valleys. This region has gained global acclaim for its extraordinary natural wonders, featuring stunning lakes that reflect the azure skies, swift rivers that carve through the landscape, lush green valleys that evoke a sense of tranquility, and towering mountains that paint a majestic backdrop. The area’s outstanding beauty extends beyond its picturesque lakes and verdant landscapes; it is also renowned for its diverse wildlife, creating a harmonious ecosystem. 

Moreover, Azad Kashmir stands out for its high mountain elevations, contributing to the region’s distinctive charm and making it an irresistible destination for nature enthusiasts and adventure seekers. Azad Kashmir lies in its ability to offer a perfect blend of serene natural beauty and thrilling landscapes, promising an unforgettable experience for those who venture into its embrace.

List of 20 Beautiful Places In Azad Kashmir

Here is the list of 20  beautiful places in Azad Kashmir.

  1. Neelum Valley
  2. Shounter Lake
  3. Leepa Valley
  4. Banjosa Lake
  5. Rawalakot
  6. Keran
  7. Toli Pir
  8. Sharda
  9. Ramkot Fort
  10. Arang Kel
  11. Banjosa Valley
  12. Poonch River
  13. Jehlum Valley
  14. Mangla Dam
  15. Dudipatsar Lake
  16. Kel
  17. Red Fort Chak
  18. Leepa
  19. Lasdana
  20. Samahni Valley

1. Neelum Valley

Neelum District, the largest in Azad Kashmir, shares borders with Gilgit-Baltistan and Indian-administered Jammu and Kashmir. Formerly known as Kishanganga, the Neelum Valley stretches 144 kilometers along the Neelum River, marked by mountain peaks reaching 17,000 feet. The Line of Control traverses the valley, impacting some villages. Administratively consisting of Athmuqam and Sharda tehsils, the district transitioned from Muzaffarabad District in 2005. Despite educational challenges, Neelum Valley, with an elevation between 4,000 and 7,500 feet, is gaining significance in tourism, offering activities such as hiking, fishing, and water sports. Neelum Valley is the best place to touch nature deeply and enjoy quality time with your friends and family. 

  • Best time to visit: March to October

2. Shounter Lake

Shounter Lake, a captivating gem nestled in the scenic Shounter Valley, which is a sub-valley of Neelam Valley in Azad Kashmir, Pakistan, sits majestically at an elevation of 3,100 meters (10,200 ft). This pristine lake is fed by the crystalline waters flowing down from the surrounding mountains, creating a serene oasis surrounded by snow-draped peaks, and verdant grasslands. The journey to this natural wonder begins from Kel town in Neelum Valley, accessible via a rugged yet adventurous jeepable track, offering enthusiasts a thrilling ride through the beautiful landscapes that lead to the tranquil shores of Shounter Lake. 

As visitors approach, they are welcomed by the harmonious symphony of nature, where the symmetrical blend of mountains, meadows, and the shimmering lake form an idyllic tableau, inviting exploration and contemplation amidst the unspoiled beauty of Azad Kashmir.

  • Best time to visit: May to August

3. Leepa Valley

In the Hattian Bala District of Azad Jammu and Kashmir, Pakistan, the Leepa Valley unfolds as an idyllic, arable expanse, beckoning travelers approximately 83 kilometers (52 mi) away from the bustling capital city of Muzaffarabad. This enchanting valley is intricately divided into distinctive sectors, each contributing to the rich tapestry of the region’s topography. The Nowkot, Kasirkot, Dao Khan, Leepa, and Chananian sectors collectively paint a diverse picture of natural beauty and cultural heritage.

Leepa Valley was integral to the Karnah tehsil of the Kupwara district in Jammu and Kashmir. However, it has since become an integral part of the Jhelum Valley District in Azad Kashmir, Pakistan. The transition has been challenging, as the valley has witnessed historical tensions and disputes between the neighboring countries. Despite its troubled past, the Leepa Valley stands resilient, captivating visitors with its lush landscapes, agricultural richness, and a blend of cultural influences that reflect the complex history of this serene yet historically significant region.

  • Best time to visit: May to November

Also Read: Picnic points in Lahore

4. Banjosa Lake

Banjosa Lake is a cool place in Azad Kashmir, Pakistan, just 18 km from Rawalakot. It’s not far from Rawalpindi, about 160 km away. Shoukat Hussain, a local builder, fixed up the lake. It’s surrounded by tall trees and big mountains, making it really pretty. You can easily reach the lake from Rawalakot by a good road. In winter, the lake freezes, becoming a giant ice rink for people to walk and skate on. It’s a fun spot to enjoy nature and have a good time.

  • Best time to visit: April to October

5. Rawalakot

Known as the “Pearl Valley,” Rawalakot is a charming city in Azad Kashmir that captivates visitors with its scenic beauty and pleasant weather. Located at an altitude of 1,630 meters, Rawalakot is surrounded by hills and lush forests, creating a picturesque setting. The city is adorned with beautiful gardens, making it an ideal destination for nature lovers.

Rawalakot is not just a feast for the eyes; it also offers recreational activities such as boating in the scenic Banjosa Lake, which adds to the overall charm of the region. The Banjosa Lake View Park is a popular attraction, providing a perfect spot for picnics and leisurely walks. The city’s architectural heritage, combined with its natural splendor, makes Rawalakot a must-visit destination in Azad Kashmir.

  • Best time to visit: April to October

6. Keran

Situated on the banks of the Neelum River, Keran is a serene town in Azad Kashmir that offers breathtaking views of the surrounding mountains and landscapes. The town is known for its lush greenery and proximity to the Line of Control, providing visitors with a unique experience of being close to the border.

Keran is an ideal destination for those seeking tranquility and a break from the hustle and bustle of city life. The Neelum River flowing through the town adds to its charm, creating a soothing ambiance. Adventure enthusiasts can explore the nearby areas through hiking trails and immerse themselves in the natural beauty that Keran has to offer.

  • Best time to visit: April to September

7. Toli Pir

Toli Pir is a hilltop area near Rawalakot that offers panoramic views of the surrounding mountains and valleys. Located at an elevation of approximately 8,800 feet, Toli Pir is accessible via a trek or a jeep ride, adding an element of adventure to the journey. The hill station provides a refreshing escape with its cool breeze and stunning vistas.

Visitors can trek through the pine forests to reach the Toli Pir viewpoint, where the expansive landscapes of Azad Kashmir unfold before their eyes. The journey to Toli Pir is as rewarding as the destination, making it a favorite spot for nature lovers and adventure seekers.

  • Best time to visit: May to September

8. Sharda

Sharda, a town in Neelum District, is renowned for its historical and cultural significance. It is home to the Sharda Peeth, an ancient Hindu temple that attracts pilgrims and tourists alike. The town is nestled along the Neelum River, surrounded by lush greenery and mountains, creating a serene atmosphere.

Apart from the spiritual aspects, Sharda offers picturesque landscapes and opportunities for trekking and exploration. The Sharda Fort, perched on a hill, provides panoramic views of the surrounding areas. The combination of history, spirituality, and natural beauty makes Sharda a compelling destination in Azad Kashmir.

  • Best time to visit: April to October

9. Ramkot Fort

Located on the banks of the Mangla Dam, Ramkot Fort is a historical site that dates back to the Mughal era. The fort offers a glimpse into the region’s rich history and provides a stunning view of the Mangla Dam and its vast reservoir. The serene surroundings and the architectural beauty of the fort make it a popular attraction for history enthusiasts and nature lovers.

Ramkot Fort is accessible by boat, adding a unique element to the visit. The boat ride on the Mangla Dam enhances the overall experience, making it a memorable journey for those exploring the historical and natural wonders of Azad Kashmir.

  • Best time to visit: All year round

10. Arang Kel

Arang Kel is a breathtaking hilltop village in Neelum Valley, accessible through a trek from Kel. The village is situated at an elevation of around 8,379 feet, offering stunning views of the surrounding mountains and the Neelum River. Arang Kel is known for its lush green landscapes, wooden houses, and a tranquil environment.

The trek to Arang Kel is an adventure in itself, taking visitors through dense forests and scenic trails. Once in the village, the beauty of the landscapes and the hospitality of the locals create an unforgettable experience. Arang Kel is a hidden gem that provides a perfect retreat for nature lovers seeking solitude in the lap of Azad Kashmir’s pristine beauty.

  • Best time to visit: May to September

Also Read: Beautiful places in Islamabad

11. Banjosa Valley

Banjosa Valley, nestled in the heart of Azad Kashmir, is a hidden gem that enchants visitors with its mesmerizing landscapes and serene ambiance. Surrounded by lush greenery and snow-capped peaks, the valley is a haven for nature enthusiasts and those seeking a peaceful retreat. The Banjosa Lake, with its crystal-clear waters, adds to the charm of the valley, offering opportunities for boating and leisurely walks along the lakeside.

The valley is dotted with quaint villages, each with its unique character and hospitality. Banjosa Valley provides a perfect escape from the hustle and bustle of city life, allowing visitors to immerse themselves in the tranquility of nature.

  • Best time to visit: April to October

12. Poonch River

Poonch River meanders through the picturesque landscapes of Azad Kashmir, creating a breathtaking canvas of natural beauty. The river is flanked by rolling hills and dense forests, offering a scenic backdrop for visitors. The soothing sound of flowing water and the cool breeze along the riverbanks make it an ideal spot for relaxation and rejuvenation.

Adventure seekers can explore the Poonch River through activities such as fishing and boating. The surrounding areas provide opportunities for trekking, allowing travelers to discover the hidden treasures of Azad Kashmir.

  • Best time to visit: April to September

13. Jehlum Valley

Jehlum Valley unfolds as a captivating region in Azad Kashmir, characterized by its lush green valleys and snow-capped peaks. The Jehlum River adds to the beauty of the landscape, creating a picturesque setting for visitors. The valley is dotted with charming villages, each offering a glimpse into the local culture and traditions.

The Muzaffarabad-Chakothi Road winds through the Jehlum Valley, providing stunning views of the surrounding mountains and valleys. Adventure enthusiasts can explore the valley through hiking trails and immerse themselves in the natural grandeur that defines Jehlum Valley.

  • Best time to visit: September to November

14. Mangla Dam

Mangla Dam, one of the largest earth-filled dams in the world, is a marvel of engineering nestled in the Mirpur District of Azad Kashmir. The dam’s vast reservoir, surrounded by green hills, offers a serene environment for visitors. Boating on the Mangla Dam provides a unique perspective of the surrounding landscapes and the dam’s massive structure.

The Mangla Dam is not only a source of water and power but also a recreational destination. The Mangla Dam Viewpoint allows visitors to appreciate the sheer scale of the dam and the beauty of the reservoir.

  • Best time to visit: June and July

15. Dudipatsar Lake

Dudipatsar Lake, often referred to as the “White Pearl,” is a pristine alpine lake situated in the Kaghan Valley of Azad Kashmir. Surrounded by snow-clad peaks and lush green meadows, the lake is a visual masterpiece. The trek to Dudipatsar Lake is an adventure in itself, taking visitors through challenging yet rewarding terrains.

The crystal-clear lake reflects the azure skies, creating a captivating sight. Dudipatsar Lake is a paradise for nature photographers and trekking enthusiasts, offering a surreal experience amidst the untouched beauty of Azad Kashmir.

  • Best time to visit: June to September

16. Kel

Kel is a village in Neelum District is surrounded by snow-covered peaks and dense forests, creating a mesmerizing panorama. The valley is accessible through a picturesque drive from Muzaffarabad, offering breathtaking views along the way. Kel serves as a gateway to other scenic destinations, including Arang Kel and Shounter Lake.

The vibrant culture of the local people adds to the allure of Kel, providing visitors with a glimpse into the rich heritage of the region. The landscapes around Kel are ideal for hiking and exploration, making it a must-visit destination for those seeking a blend of natural beauty and cultural experiences.

  • Best time to visit: April to October

17. Red Fort Chak

Red Fort Chak, also known as Chak Khoi, is a historical fort located near Muzaffarabad. The fort’s distinct red color and architectural grandeur make it a notable landmark in Azad Kashmir. Built by the Chak rulers, the fort offers panoramic views of the surrounding mountains and the Jhelum River.

Exploring the Red Fort Chak provides a journey into the region’s rich history, with remnants of the past scattered throughout the site. The strategic location of the fort adds to its historical significance, making it a fascinating destination for history enthusiasts and those interested in architectural marvels.

  • Best time to visit: All year round

18. Leepa

Leepa, a picturesque valley in Azad Kashmir, is renowned for its terraced fields, vibrant orchards, and traditional wooden houses. The valley is accessible via a scenic drive from Muzaffarabad, offering glimpses of the stunning landscapes along the way. Leepa is a serene destination, perfect for those seeking a peaceful retreat amidst nature’s bounty.

The cultural richness of Leepa is evident in its architecture, handicrafts, and local festivals. The valley is dotted with charming villages, each contributing to the unique charm of Leepa. The terraced fields, adorned with blooming flowers, add to the visual appeal of this hidden gem in Azad Kashmir.

  • Best time to visit: March to December

19. Lasdana

Lasdana, a tranquil village in Neelum Valley, beckons travelers with its pristine landscapes and serene ambiance. The village is surrounded by lush greenery and offers panoramic views of the surrounding mountains. Lasdana is an ideal spot for those seeking solitude and a break from the hectic pace of life.

The simplicity of life in Lasdana, coupled with its natural beauty, creates a charming atmosphere for visitors. The village provides opportunities for leisurely walks, photography, and connecting with the local culture. Lasdana is a testament to the untouched beauty that defines Azad Kashmir.

  • Best time to visit: June to September

20. Samahni Valley

Samahni Valley, situated in Bhimber District, is a hidden treasure in Azad Kashmir that awaits exploration. The valley is characterized by rolling hills, fertile plains, and meandering streams, creating a diverse landscape for visitors to discover. Samahni Valley is a haven for birdwatchers, with its rich avian biodiversity.

Exploring the valley allows visitors to witness the rural charm of Azad Kashmir, with traditional villages and agricultural fields dotting the terrain. Samahni Valley provides a peaceful retreat for those seeking a connection with nature and a glimpse into the authentic rural life of the region.

  • Best time to visit: March to September

Conclusion

Azad Kashmir is a stunning destination in Pakistan, boasting picturesque spots like Banjosa Lake and Red Fort Chak. With a blend of natural beauty and cultural heritage, it promises an unforgettable experience for visitors. Discovering these beautiful places is more than a sightseeing tour. It’s a delightful exploration of Pakistan’s serene charm and captivating landscapes.

FAQs

Which region of Azad Kashmir is renowned for its beauty?

Azad Kashmir is renowned for its beauty, with Neelum Valley often regarded as the most captivating part. The valley boasts stunning landscapes, including Shounter Lake and lush greenery, making it a top destination for nature lovers.

What stands out as the most enchanting spot in Kashmir?

Among the numerous beautiful places in Kashmir, Neelum Valley, with its pleasing features like Shounter Lake and Leepa Valley, is often considered the most picturesque. It’s diverse landscapes and cultural richness contribute to its reputation as the most beautiful destination in the region.

What makes Azad Kashmir famous?

Azad Kashmir is famous for its exceptional natural wonders, including pristine lakes, swift rivers, and towering mountains. Its unique blend of diverse wildlife, cultural heritage, and high-altitude charm has gained global acclaim, establishing Azad Kashmir as a sought-after destination for both nature enthusiasts and adventure seekers.

Can you highlight a special place in Kashmir?

One of the special places in Kashmir is Sharda, a town in Neelum District known for its historical and cultural significance. Sharda is home to the ancient Sharda Peeth, a Hindu temple, and offers picturesque landscapes along the Neelum River. This blend of history, spirituality, and natural beauty makes Sharda a truly special destination in Kashmir.

Oleksandra Mamchii

Working as a academic lead at Best Diplomats.

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