Tourist’s Guide to Azad Kashmir

Highlights of the Post:
Famous Places
What to pack?

Azad Jammu and Kashmir (AJK) is deemed as the ‘Heaven on Earth’ owing to its unparalleled offerings. Mountains, valleys, rivers, waterfalls, lakes, and greenery –  the place never ceases to amaze travelers with its  picture-perfect beauty.  In fact, if you’re looking for a place where you can put this fast paced world behind you, a place where you feel at peace, then AJK should be on your bucket list. Here’s your travel guide for must-visit places in Azad Kashmir. 

So, pack your bags and book your tickets –  it’s time to explore AJK! 

List of the Most Famous Places in Azad Kashmir 

Places In Azad Kashmir
We have listed some of the most magnificent places in Kashmir

Azad Jammu and Kashmir –  also known as Azad Kashmir –  is just as easily accessible as Naran, Khagan and Nanga Parbat. We have listed some of the most magnificent places in Kashmir, so that before you disconnect with your busy lifestyle you know where to go:

  1. Ratti Gali Lake
  2. Shounter Lake
  3. Zalzal Lake
  4. Leepa Valley
  5. Toli Pir
  6. RamKot Fort
  7. Pir Chanasi

Ratti Gali Lake

Neelum Valley
Ratti Gali Lake, is one of the spots that are a must visit

A glacial lake in Neelum Valley, Ratti Gali Lake is one of the spots that should be on your list of must-visit places in Azad Kashmir. The lake is situated at an altitude of 12,130 ft, but it is easily accessible through the Dowarian Village of the Neelum Valley. 

Surrounded by huge mountains and grassy slopes, the lake is a majestic sight to behold. As they say, beautiful things come to those who work for it. Keeping this in mind, it’s not easy to get to Ratti Gali Lake. It requires a long and tiring trek, but it’s worth it. 

Shounter lake

Deserving a spot in our list of the most magnificent lakes in Azad Kashmir, is the Shounter Lake. 

Located in the Shounter Valley [a small village in the Neelum Valley] is the magnificent Shounter Lake. Small yet breathtaking, it is situated at an altitude of 10,200 ft. With water as clear as crystal, the lake reflects the surrounding snow-capped mountains. 

Furthermore, the lake is only accessible during the summer. During this time, the green slopes start to get densely populated with vibrant Hooker’s Iris.

Zalzal Lake

One of the most beautiful places in Kashmir, Zalzal Lake appeared as a result of the earthquake in 2005. The mountains collapsed and the rubble stopped the flow of the water into the nearby lakes. The lake is situated in Jhelum Valley.

Leepa Valley

Leepa Valley
The beauty of the Leepa Valley is in its simplicity

One of the most famous tourist places in Kashmir is the Leepa Valley. Located 45 kilometers from Muzaffarabad, the valley remains accessible for a short period of time –  May to November. The valley is magnificent during the summers.

Leepa Valley is located right in the middle of the Leepa Village, surrounded by other small villages, such as Reshian, Dao Khan and Chananian.

The beauty of the Leepa Valley is in its simplicity. Wooden houses, paddy fields of rice, and trees of apple, walnuts and cherry, not only add a variety of colors to the valley, but also display the essence of the valley, making it one of the most beautiful places in Kashmir.

On a side note, the valley is known for its honey and fruits.

Toli Pir

Toli Pir
Situated in the Rawalkot Tehsil, Toli Pir is a hilltop area

Another famous picnic spot in Kashmir is Toli Pir. Situated in the Rawalkot Tehsil, Toli Pir is a hilltop area bringing you a feeling of serenity and peace. At a height of 8,800 ft, you can enjoy the majestic views of Bagh and Poonch River.

Much like most of the areas of Kashmir, Toli Pir is accessible during summers. However, the entire area covered with snow is a sight you don’t want to miss.

Ramkot Fort

Tourist Places In Kashmir
The ruins reflect the rich cultural heritage of the pre-mughal era

Kashmir isn’t just filled with picturesque lakes and waterfalls sitting atop a hill, peacefully is an ancient Hindu Shiva Temple, commonly known as the Ramkot Fort. The area is surrounded by the Jhelum River. The ruins reflect the rich cultural heritage of the pre-mughal era of the sub-continent. 

The fort is accessible through a 45 minute boat ride, from the Mangla Dam Lake. The fort is one of the most famous picnic spots in Kashmir.

Pir Chanasi

The capital of Azad Kashmir isn’t bare of wonder filled views. Pir Chanasi happens to be one of the most stunning places in Kashmir, owing to its calmness and serenity. The lush green land attracts individuals wanting a break from the city and trekkers alike. Pir Chanasi is also a great camping area.

At a height of 9,500 feet, this place also boasts the most breathtaking aerial view of Muzzaffarabad. 

Weather in Kashmir

Weather during the summers in Kashmir stays moderate with warm wind blowing over the hills. However, as much as the place is pleasant in summers, Kashmir in winters is also a sight to behold. Although the temperature is extreme in winters with heavy snowfall and blocked roads, nothing weighs down the spirits of travellers. 

On a side note, Azad and Jammu Kashmir also experiences heavy rainfall during the monsoon.

How to Pack for AJK Trip?

 Kashmir Picnic Spot
Make sure to pack lightly

We won’t let you go unprepared. Make a checklist  of the thing you must carry with you at all times while visiting Azad and Jammu Kashmir:

  • Carry an identification card (CNIC for Pakistanis, Passport for Foreigners)
  • Warm clothes (even during summers)
  • Two pairs of boots for you will be trekking a lot
  • Gloves
  • Medications that you require
  • Bandaids and personal first-aid kit

On a completely unrelated note, we recommend you to carry a high resolution camera to capture the memories. You can look back at these memories whenever you feel the need to disconnect with the world for a while.

This brings us to an end on our blog about the must visit places in Azad Kashmir. To know more about places to visit in Pakistan and the tourism industry, stay updated with JagahOnline Blogs, and follow us on Facebook as well.

Bon Voyage!