Excursions and popular sites to visit
Khanian Village – Do take
the easy 20 minute walk along the riverside to this serene little settlement
inhabited by friendly locals. Along the way, as you pass by apple and walnut
orchards, stepped cornfields and crystal clear mountain streams, you may want
to wander down to the river on your right and have some fun on the rocks amidst
the raging white waters (while being mindful of safety, of course).
Khanian Waterfall – A must-see for guests staying in Khanian, this
lovely waterfall drops down a beautiful forested gorge just past the village.
The best time to visit is in the months from May to September when the water
flow is at its maximum. Make sure to hike up the path alongside the falls, as
it climbs up the mountain – the higher you go the more impressive the views!
This is a perfect place to have a relaxing picnic lunch while soaking your feet
in the numerous cool swirling pools.
Kamal Ban Forest – A 10 km, one hour, jeep ride on an exciting
off-road track that skirts along a densely wooded ridge will get you to the
Kamal Ban forest guesthouse, one of the oldest buildings in the Kaghan Valley
and a remnant of the British Era that dates back to 1924. A few minutes before
the guesthouse you may want to stop and pose for a photo with the famous 2,000
year old tree (so we are told) that your driver will surely point out to you.
Manoor Valley – The entrance to this exquisite side valley (that so few tourists know
about) is close to Khanian. Ask our Arcadian staff to order a local jeep for
you and head out with your lunch to explore one of the most breathtaking
destinations in the entire region. Depending on how far up the valley you go,
the drive will take you anywhere from 2 to 3 hours, one way. You may have to
walk a bit and switch jeeps if a bridge along the track has been washed out (as
it sometimes is).
Danna Meadows – Danna is another of those hidden gems of the valley that most
visitors are unaware of. Sitting on top of the mountains next to our resort at
a height of 10,000 feet, these lush green rolling meadows and the panoramic
views of snow clad mountaintops rival the very best of Switzerland. The catch
is that you’ll have to hike 12 km from the resort to get there, which makes
this an option for avid hikers only.
Naran – The popular tourist town of Naran has become rather overcrowded in
recent times for visitors looking to enjoy a peaceful and tranquil holiday. This
is why Khanian is increasingly becoming the alternative of choice for such discerning
guests. That said, Khanian is located only 32 km from Naran on the main Kaghan
Road, which translates to an easy 45 minute drive if you would like to visit
the town’s bazaar and tourist shops.
Lake Saif-ul-Maluk – The crown jewel of the valley, Lake
Saif-ul-Maluk, is also a convenient 1.5 hour drive from Khanian. Hire local jeeps
from Arcadian Khanian or you take your car up to Naran and then rent a jeep
from there for the second half of the trip. The lake is truly a treat to see,
especially in the less busy months of May, September and October. You’ll find
plenty of local storytellers eager to enthrall you with magical tales of
princes and water dwelling fairies while squatting under the shadow of the
majestic Malika Parbat (Queen of Peaks). At 17,356 ft. (5,290 mtrs.), this is
the highest mountain in the valley and with the lake at her feet, she really is
a regal sight to behold. Make sure to take lunch boxes with you, as food
options at the lake are limited to pakoras and French fries. You’ll also need a
warm jacket as it can get cloudy and cold very quickly up at the lake’s 10,500
ft. If you leave Khanian at a leisurely 11 a.m., you’ll easily be back by 5 or
6 p.m. at the latest.
Lulusar Lake and Babusar Pass – Another popular tourist destination that you
may want to visit while at Khanian is the serene Lulusar Lake, situated in the
Babusar Pass. 2 hours of driving through spectacular landscapes will get you to
the lake, which is accessible by both cars and jeeps. The
highest point of the pass, marking the border between the provinces of Khyber
Pakhtunkhwa and Gilgit Baltistan, is a further 30 minutes beyond the lake. Once at the top, be ready to have your breath
taken away, both figuratively and literally, by the magnificent views and the
biting cold winds – you will, after all, be standing at 13,800 ft. (4,200 metres.)!!
If you’re lucky, on clear cloudless days you’ll get to see Nanga Parbat (Naked
Peak), the 9th highest mountain in the world and one of the most dangerous
to climb, which lends to the nickname ‘Killer Mountain’. The weather can change
almost instantly at such altitudes, so make sure to take a warm waterproof top
with you. As always, a packed picnic lunch is also strongly recommended.
Islamabad to Khanian –
4.5 to 5.5 hrs. (depending on traffic and driving speed)
Khanian to Kamal Ban
Forest Guest House – 1 hr.
Khanian to Manoor
Valley – 2 to 3 hrs.
Khanian to Naran – 45 min.
Naran to Lake
Saif-ul-Maluk – 30 to 45 min.
Naran to Lulusar Lake
– 1 hr. 15 min.
Luluzar Lake to Babusar
Top – 1 hr.