The splendor of Kaghan Valley: Story of a lost paradise Part-2
Back on the main road to Naran, six kilometers further north of Kawai is the small town of Paras. The main bazaar consists of some shops and road side restaurants and is worth stopping at to have a cup of tea or simple lunch. Public transport usually makes
a tea stop here while going to Naran. There are also orchards of apple and apricot in the nearby village.
Paras is the starting point for a detour to Sharan which is at a distance of 16 kilometers from Paras and is accessible only by jeeps. This place is famous for its lush green meadows and thick pine forest. This area is not on the main tourist route but is ideal
for nature and adventure lovers. From here one can go on an exciting two to three days trekking and camping trip to the top of Musa Ka Musala Mountain and onwards to the Siran Valley.
There was a forest rest house and a youth hostel (both were destroyed in 2005 earth quake) at Sharan. But still one can camp there. This place is also ideal for camping.
A little ahead of Paras, Shinu is a place which has a trout hatchery. This is one of the oldest hatcheries of NWFP Fisheries Department. It is from this hatchery that brown trout and rainbow trout are stocked in the upper Kunhar River, Lake Saiful Muluk, Lulusar
and Dodipat Sar. If you want to have a closer look at this beautiful fish you can make a short stop at Shinu hatchery which is located right on the road along the river bank.
Jared and Mahandari
the next two settlements on the main road to Naran are Jared and Mahandari. Jared used to be famous because of its furniture and handicrafts of walnut wood. The KPK government operates a handicrafts development centre here. Some private shops also sell traditional
style carved furniture and handmade decoration items.
Mahandri is 46 kilometers from Balakot. The Manoer Nala joins river Kunhar at this place. It is a starting point for trekking route to Kuch Gali and Manoor Peak. Mahandari has a small bazaar with shops selling items of daily use, in addition to some restaurants
and two budget hotels.
To be continued….