MINGORA: Swat is known for its scenic sites and tourist resorts but still there are many spectacular places in the valley from thick majestic forests to mysterious lakes and waterfalls, which are unexplored.
Noted among them is Jarogo waterfall in Chatekal valley of Matta tehsil, some 55 kilometres from Mingora towards northwest.
Nestled deep in the two gigantic mountains, the waterfall is reached by a snaking stream with thick forests on both sides. It symbolises the mystic serenity of wild beauty of high mountains and thick forests.
A perfect blend of exotic flora and fauna, the place is hidden to the outer world by and large. And whosoever happens to get there is held spellbound by its beauty.
Ironically, very few local residents have heard about it, or have found the opportunity to see it.
“This is one of the best waterfalls in the world. I have never seen such a big waterfall in this part of the world. I invite all Pakistanis and foreigners to visit this particular place,” said Amjad Ali, a professional trekker and tourist.
He said the water falling down the waterfall covered more than 120 metres area, giving visitors a heavenly experience.
Not only the location of the waterfall but its winding track, mesmerising flow of crystal clear water and chirping of birds in big pine trees also captivate visitors.
“Owing to its unmatched picturesque natural beauty, I am wondering why the government and local administration have yet not constructed a road or jeepable track to the waterfall,” local tourist Arifullah said.
He said the site was more beautiful than the famous tourist resort of Swat valley.
“We appeal to the government to prioritise the waterfall’s development and build at least a jeepable track to it for the comfort of visitors,” he said.
The word Jarogo means broom in Pashto language but its history goes back to the ancient times of the Hindu Shahi period in Swat. “Our forefathers say long ago, there was a Hindu woman, Jarogai, who was widely known and esteemed in the surrounding areas, so the people named it after her,” Darweza, an 80-year-old local resident, said.
Zahid Khan, president of the All Swat Hotel Association, said his district had hundreds of sites worth seeing but lack of interest on part of the government left them unknown to the world.
“There are several lakes, lush green meadows and fields, which are still unexplored,” he said.
He said the government should construct jeepable tracks to all such places to boost the local tourism industry.
─ Photos by author
Published in Dawn, June 9th, 2015