KUMRAT VALLEY- The picturesque paradise-like mountainous Kumrat valley with lush green landscape covered with snow melting into gushing water, thus turning the weather like chilly winters with temperature 10-15 degree celsius even in hot summer in rest of the country.
The rich green environment of the valley is a treat to watch and behold as the hovering clouds touching the snow on high-peak mountains while the reflection of mild sunlight from the snow increases visual range. Thus in the pollution-free clear-environment, it becomes easy for the tourists to see the movements of small objects in far off areas even without a telescope. The forming of clouds and light shower of rainfall almost every evening in the valley brings the temperature even further down.
The newly launched Swat Expressway from M1 Colonel Sher Khan Interchange to Chakdara Tunnel, followed by Temergerah, Dir Lower and Upper, Akhagram, Wari, Darora, Bibyawar, Chukiatan, Sharingal, Pathrak, Kalkot and Thall leading to Kumrat.
The zigzag road having mountains on one side and a criss-cross river on the other make it an amazing and nerve-soothing journey for the tourists who come across valley after valley to reach the destination. Kumrat is located 8100 meters above the sea level which has also played a key role in billion trees tsunami project.
Talking to APP, the jeeb driver, Zafar Khan said, “After the visit of Imran Khan to Kumrat in 2016, the valley has got national and international level projection; as a result, thousands of tourists from across the country and abroad thronged the picturesque valley, especially during summer vocations and Eid holidays”.
Talking to the scribe, a local police man on the Kumrat checkpoint said that around 2000 vehicles enter the valley on daily basis during Eid holidays. He said that more than one million people have visited the valley during the summer vocations last year. “Dir Kumrat is one of the most beautiful and peaceful tourist sites in the country”, he added.
A resident of Dir Upper, Rais Ahmad said that government was determined to give the status of ‘National Park’ to the valley for preserving the natural beauty of the area.
He, however said, in this regard, the local populace of the area should be taken into confidence.
A hotel owner in Kumrat, Hamdullah said that the lack of road infrastructure was the main hurdle in getting into the valley. He said that sign boards are also needed after almost every kilometer for making it easy for the tourists to reach the destination.
Many tourists have complained about the non-availability of mobile phone networks in Kumrat. They said that mobile companies had not installed their towers in the area. They had said that tourism department could provide a temporary mobile phone network to tourists like it was arranging in others tourist resorts.
A tourist from Mardan, Sajjad Ali said that the scenic valleys, mountainous beauty and waterfalls in upper KP had attracted huge number of tourists due to the tourism policy of the government. He said, “Pakistan is a rich country in terms of natural beauty, historical and religious sites, cultural tourism and investment opportunities, therefore, with the right policy of the government, it could become a leading tourist destination in the region.” Senior Minister for Tourism, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Atif Khan has said that more than two million tourists have visited the province only during Eid-ul-Fitr vacations. He said the arrival of record number of tourists in the province has reflected good strategy of the government to promote tourism in the province.
According to Malakand Administration, around one million tourists entered Swat district through 147,000 vehicles and motorcycles in Malam Jabba. Over 0.4 million tourists entered the Galayat in Abbottabad through 63,000 vehicles and motorcycles, said the Galayat Tourists Facilitation Centre. Likewise, over 0.2 million tourists moved to Kaghan and Naran in Manshera district through 23,859 vehicles and 2,50,000 tourists entered through 41,000 vehicles and motorcycle in Dir, Chitral, Kumrat, and Buner districts during Eid holidays.