Pakistan is a nation blessed with breath-taking scenic landscapes, countless lakes, rivers, and majestic mountains in every region. The on-going pandemic has increased the influx of people flocking to the northern areas for a much needed. While Pakistan has no shortage of places to explore, we’re taking a look at the mesmerising and historic province of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) in detail and all that you need to know to explore it!
The province of KP shares its border with Afghanistan and is highly influenced by its culture too. This is reflected in its language, cuisine, cultural festivals and their way of dressing. From the deep-green valleys, to the clear-water lakes and rivers and natural landmarks to some of the world’s deepest forests, KP is full of adventurous treks to relaxing trails. History buffs would be pleased to know that some of KP’s historical sites date back to the Gandhara civilisation and the province is known to have been the heart of the Gandhara Kingdom, one can still visit some of its archaeological remains.
Here’s a guide to exploring Khyber Pakhtunkhwa to its fullest:
What to See in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa?
The province has grand cities with rich history, valleys and forests that one must visit but here are the top 3 that you absolutely can’t miss out!
The Swat valley arguably has to be one of the most picturesque valleys you’ve ever seen, with the mighty Swat river flowing through and the mountains towering above, enjoy a road trip with some of the best sights that our country has got to offer! The best time to travel to Swat is during the summer as all the hidden waterfalls and valleys are accessible which are otherwise snowed in. The tall pine trees of Kalam, clear waters of Mahodand lake make it one of the top tourist destinations. Malam Jabba in swat becomes a ski resort in the winter months and enthusiasts from all over the world travel to enjoy it in its full glory!
Kumrat Valley is the hidden gem of KPK and has recently opened for tourism, it boasts of thick forests of pine trees and gushing waterfalls it is located in Upper Dir on the Dir-Chitral road. For the adventrurous travellers the trekking to Jahaz Banda meadows, Katora Lake and Kaala Chashma can be a wonderful experience!
Dating back to 539 BC, Peshawar is one of the ancient cities of Pakistan that is rich in history that reflects the Mughal era. When in Peshawar one must visit the Bala Hisaar Fort, Qissa Khwani Bazaar, Sethi House, Masjid Mahabat Khan and the famous Peshawar Museum which has Budhhist sculptures from the Gandhara period. The people of the old city are friendly and hospitable. https://www.instagram.com/p/CR8SOPhPsN/?utmsource=igwebcopy_link
What Cuisine is KPK known for?
Any vacation is incomplete without trying the local food and flavours, influenced by its neighbouring country, KPK’s food has quite the Afghani touch. Here’s what you must try:
You’ll find the juiciest Chapli Kababs in KPK and they are a must try while visiting the cities Peshawar and Naran. Chapli Kebabs are made from minced lab meat and friend in animal fat.
This flavourful plate of rice hails from Afganistan and is delicious with and aroma to die-for! The combination of Basmati rice, broth, raisins, nuts and carrots may sound odd but oh boy when it comes together it’s an absolute party for your taste buds!
Namkeen Boti is a classic dish of KPK and has a single ingredient of salt as its margination. It is then cooked over charcoal on skewers, it may sound bland to the spice eaters but once you try a bite of this Namkeen boti, you won’t stop!
Experience the Melodious Sounds of KP
The Pashtuns from KP are famous for the poetry and Tappa is the oldest form of poetry in the region. The poetry is combined with music from traditional musical instruments Rubab and Mangai. The hotels you stay in often have traditional and folk music evenings that one can attend and they are definitely not to be missed. A very popular festival that people from all over the world attend is the Chillam Joshi Festival held in Chitral it is rich in heritage, culture and tradition. Also known as the Kalash spring festival, this once in a lifetime experience is one to be added to your bucket lists!
Hope this guide to one of the most beautiful places entices you to pack up your bags and head out to explore on your next time off!