The splendid Katoora Lake which is even known as Jaz Dand is located in Upper Dir, KPK’s Lamoti Valley at an altitude of 11,500 ft roughly. Mostly, this lake is bounded by the mountains veiled in snow. June and July are fitting months to visit it although you have to face haphazard monsoon showers. Nonetheless, the finest time is August and September indisputably. Trekking in that region is considered ‘moderate difficult’ by trekkers.
The authentic adventure starts when you reach Upper Dir, a location that can be reached within seven hours from Islamabad or the Swat Valley through Badgoi Pass. It takes nearly five hours to reach the base camp in Jandrai from Upper Dir. Yet, as soon as you reach the base camp, the experience of trekking towards Jaz Banda begins right away as there are no roads there!
As it takes five hours of trekking to hit the destination, it’s better to stay the night in Jaz Banda and then trek towards the lake that’ll lessen the time to nearly 3 hours.
To talk about accommodations, setting up camps is the smartest move. However, you can stay in the private rest house in Jandrai or Jaz Banda if camping seems like an absolute murder to you. Mr. Raja Taj Muhammad, the owner of these rest houses is a notorious personality there who has been serving tourists for many years and encouraging tourism. We were electrified by his hospitality and recorded an interview with him where he briefed about both the place and its security condition to bring us to be on the ball.
In one word, the place was ‘miraculous’.
The environment’s tranquility there will take away all your thoughts while leaving behind only serenity. It was a cherished experience indeed! After spending a night in Jaz Banda, we lingered to our adventure through Kumrat Valley.
The clarity of the air, flow of the crystal clear fresh water, the snow veiled mountains, the carpet of green over the meadows just made me want more and more to stay back there. It seemed as if nature was standing proudly before you.
The clouds will be your friend if you’re travelling alone. The awe-inspiring lake will take you to the world of sparkle and grandeur.
I can no way miss mentioning the warm friendliness shown by the people there who were simply kind and welcoming with simple manners and uncomplicated lifestyles. During our trek, we bumped into many local people who offered us a cup of tea and showed their sociable side. This people lead very straightforward lives on the whole. Their different political banners and flags reflected their political outlooks. Also, the small scale electricity facilities and irrigation channels proved how self sufficient they were.
From my viewpoint, better communication will welcome more prosperity and better standard of living to this people. It’s astonishing how much respect they have for their traditions.
To discover nature and experience ‘adventure’, this place is worth it. Do not miss the boat and visit Katoora Lake.
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