An unforgettable tour of my life
Its been 11 years since our three families had an unforgettable visit to Naran. It was the same day 24th July 2002, when our family along with the two families of my maternal uncles set off for Naran from Garhi Habibullah. The memorable expedition started early in the morning. The weather was clear, it was a bright sunny day. We travelled along the River Kunhar and reached Paras at about 11 am. Road was under construction so we had to stop and wait until the FWO made it clear. There we had an unforgettable moment. As along as we were waiting there, suddenly it started land sliding. I with my cousin were sitting in the vehicle while rest of the family members were out. A large stone hitting the roof of the vehicle went to the river sideby. My father also got injured by a stone hitting on his foot. Most of the people return from there but we din't lost hope and aimed to finish our tour properly. After a short while, road was cleared and continued our journey. Had lunch in a hotel nearby the riverside. After reaching Naran, we put our mangoes in the freezing river to make them cold and enjoyed them. Then we hired Jeeps off towards the Lake Saiful Malook. It was a stunning view at the lake. The icy cold lake was surrounded by mountains having white snow on them. It was feeling like a cold winter of December in the month of July. We couldn't stay there for a long time due to extreme weather. The sky was soon covered with dark clouds signing of a heavy rainfall. We moved back to the jeeps so to get back for home. The story doesn't end up here. It started raining cats and dogs. While returning back, we came to know that the brakes of the vehicle are now out of order. Oh my God...!!! In the thunder lightening and heavy rain, we all got scared. Reciting the Holy Verses, slowly and steadily we continued our journey and at last reached home safe and sound. Those moments were unforgettable for me and all those who were with us. It seems like that happened yesterday. But now that tour is a part of our sweet memories. :)
About the Lake:
Saif ul Malook is a famous tourist resort. There is also a fictional story named Saif ul Malook associated with the lake. The weather here is moderate during day time while the temperature drops to minus degrees at night. It is located about 8 kilometers (5 miles) north from the town of Naran in northern end of Kaghan Valley, in District Mansehra, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.
The lake with its majestic and mesmerizing natural beauty, pleasant atmosphere and associated tale and history, attracts thousands of tourists each year from all around the country during the summer. The lake is also famous for being habitat of large size Brown Trout fish, which weigh up to 7 kilograms. Lake Saif ul Malook also provides a marvelous view of Malika Parbat, which is the highest peak of Kaghan Valley.
Lake Saif ul Malook is one of the highest alpine lakes of Pakistan. It is located at an altitude of 3,224 meters (10, 578 feet) above sea level.
There are lots of controversies about the depth of Lake Saif ul Malook. In fact, there is no authentic source to tell the exact depth of lake. The local people of the valley say Lake Saif ul Malook is 1 kilometer deep, some of them says it is 1.7 kilometers. However, a team which recently conducted a survey on all alpine lakes of Northern Areas of Pakistan told that the depth of Lake Saif ul Malook is 50 feet.
If we take a look at figures given above, the one (50 feet) provided by the team which conducted survey seems to be more realistic, as if we consider the geography of the area surrounding the lake, it would be marvel of nature for a lake to be 1-1.7 kilometers deep at an altitude of 3 kilometers above sea level.
Story of Lake Saif ul Malook:
The classic story of Lake Saif ul Malook is written by Sufi poet Mian Muhammad Bakhsh. It is written in the form of poetic verses.
The story is about a Persian Prince named Saif ul Malook who fell in love with a fairy named Badi-ul-Jamal (Glory of the moon), whom he saw in his dreams. The Prince thus started his journey to find his beloved fairy Badi-ul-Jamal. He was clueless in his restless journey until he met a (Holy man), who told him how he can find her. also told him that he had to go through many exams before he could find and marry Badi-ul-Jamal, because she was a fairy and Prince was human.
The Prince then starts his journey for the impossible in the name of his love. The rest of the story chronicles the challenges he faced during his journey and the spiritual lessons he learned on the way.