Naran is a medium sized town situated in upper kaghan valley which is a part of Khyber Pakhtun khwa province of Pakistan. It is one of the most beautiful part of northern areas in pakistan which is elevated 2500 meters above sea level. Its beauty captures a lot of people towards itself and thus it is a famous resort for tourists and trekkers. The weather of Naran is very cold. The ice on the moutain tops never melts, even in months of June and Jully there are glaciers and mountains are covered with snow.
The road to naran valley travells alongside with River Kunhar which Starts from the glaciers of Kaghan and flow deep down in mansehra. The local languages of Naran Valley are Hindko and Gojri but every individual overthere can speak and understand urdu. The dress is Shalwar kameez with long bottom shalwars. Most of the people are tall. Average height of males was about 5”8’ or 5”9’.
The Inhabitant of Naran Valley are basically Gujars and I found them very generous and good natured. They welcome the tourists very nicely and treats them like their own friends.Their main source of income is the tourists and their occupations include tour guides, resthouse managers, shop keepers, restaurant workers, jeep drivers, some of them also grow crops and some of them are shepherds. But their whole fortune is just gathered up in the summer season as in winters the whole area is covered up in snow and they have to move down to mansehra or some other hoter place. For that reason the prices over there are bit higher. For example the price of 100 rupee mobile card is about 107 up there. But i think that is fair enough as they this source of income just for limited time.
Women are housewifes mostly stays at home. I found only one govt primary school where some of the local’s children went for studying. Beside that there was no system of education overthere. Mostly teenagers were working as travel guides and shopkeepers alongwith their fathers or uncles etc.
The main items of Naran valley are dry fruits and Handicrafts. One of the handicrafts you should buy are the artistically carved Walnuts and another famous thing is the Namdas, the woolen felt rugs while woolen shawls, embroidered shawls and shirts are also avalibale.These places have cottage industries running and you can find yourself having excellent bargains. Hand made articles are displaced in the shops at the main market.
Naran also has a small bazaar like Murree mall road. The basic necessities of life are readily available at there. Cellular networks, mobile shopes, bakery, general store, tailors and even barbers are available in the main bazar. It has over 100 hotels of various types ranging from high-end luxury hotels to very low priced motels. Tent motels are also present which rent family size tents to tourists to stay in.
River Kunhar passes through the town. Some hotels are situated at the banks of the river. At night you can hear the sound of water flowing and colliding with the stones. That sound gives a great pleasure. At day time Poeple enjoy fishing in river. Some peple just sit by the river and put their feet under the cool water. You will feel dark in Naran valley in afternoon because these high mountains will stops sun light to reach in the valley.
Saifulmalook is is situated 8 kilometers north of Naran. It takes 1 hour to reach saiful malook from Naran. One can find a lot of 4×4 jeeps at the outskirts of town. These jeeps takes the tourists from Naran valley to Saiful Malook. As the road upthere is very rough and there are glaciers all the way up so only those jeeps and the local drivers can take you up therePeople hire those jeeps and visit Saiful Malook along with their families. Some people prefer trekking over riding the jeep, specialy the youngsters which trek up to Saiful Malook. There are restaurants and shops located at Saiful Malook aswell. People enjoy horse riding at there.
Saiful malook is a lake which is situated in the midle of mountains, which throughout the year are covered with snow. One of the renowned mountains is Malika Parbat which is placed on the left of the jheel.Saifulmalook is named after a folk tale. It is the story of the prince of Persia who fell in love with a fairy princess at the lake. The impact of the lake beauty is of such extent that people believe that fairies come down to lake in full moon. The colour of water is blue and it is crystal clear. An individual cannot put his feet under it for more then 30 seconds.
Ansu is tear shaped high altitude lake situated adjacent to Malika Parbat. It can be reached via 11 km trail starting at Saif-ul-Malook. Lake remains accessible from early May till late December, with deteriorating weather making it difficult at start and end of season.
Lalazar is a plateau once known for beautiful wild flowers and soothing pine forests. Though recently cultivation of potato and other corps declined the natural beauty, but still enchanting view of Malika Parbnat lush meadows make it a must visit. Lalazar can be reached through a muddy jeep track of one hour starting from Battakundi. Some people prefer trekking over riding the jeep. One famous, moderate trek starting from Lake Saif ul Malook through picturesque Hans Gali ends at Lalazar
One thing that i discourage about that place is that our elders tells us that if we go 20 30 years back,this place was in its true natural form and it was wonderfull. It is a common perception that any place which human has not discovered yet is still in its natural form. People donot care and do the littering allover the place. Junks of garbages could be found at the corners of the market place. Dust due to traffic has caused pollution. At saif ulmalook people throw rappers and leftovers in the lake. There must be some body to take responsibility and these actions must be taken care of.