National News

Heaven on earth: Nestled in the midst of greenery

By shehzad khan

MINGORA: At first glance, the lush green meadows, majestic forests and azure lakes of Swat Valley exude an uncanny resemblance to a watercolour painting. It is only when the magnetic appeal of these landscapes takes hold that tourists begin to realise that what they see before their eyes is a vision
of reality.

Spin Khwar Lake leaves a similar effect on people. There are quite a few spots in the valley have yet to be explored and the lake is one of them. It is situated in Utror, a union council of Kalam Valley, some 120 kilometres from Mingora. The lake lies north of Kundol Lake and is surrounded by tall mountains. A white stream flows down to the lake from these towering peaks.

Short cut

There are two routes that lead to Spin Khwar Lake. The shortest route is through Kundol Lake. If a tourist follows this trail, he or she can reach Spin Khwar by first passing through Ladu Valley. However, novice trekkers are advised against using this path as it can expose them to many risks.

As a result, many local guides would strongly recommend tourists to take a convenient route that directly connects Ladu Valley to Spin Khwar Lake.

The lush, dense forests that emerge on the horizon as one travels to Spin Khwar Lake from Ladu Valley present some of the secrets of the region’s beauty.

These forests are home to many endangered birds. As they forge their way through the forest, tourists are greeted with the sound of chirping birds. It punctuates the air as the sunlight filters through the trees and a cold, intermittent breeze blows through the valley.

Healing touch

Throughout the journey, local guides from Ladu Valley make it a point to keep tourist informed about the many wonders of Spin Khwar Lake. A string of anecdotes and legends about the flora and fauna of the region open the doors and windows to a new world of endless possibilities.

“Wild plants and the adjoining forest at Spin Khwar are the best healers,” Rehmat Ali, a guide, tells The Express Tribune. “People use them on their wounds. It also helps cure ailments.”

According to Ali, locals rely on medicinal plants as the region lacks adequate health facilities.

The guide points at a white flower called Mabaik that is found abundance in the jungle.

“Mabaik offers relief for a severe back ache and other forms of pain in the body,” he adds. “People from other parts of Swat also
want this flower.”

Unparalleled appeal

Raham Dil Mama, who heads a trekking team from Mingora, tells The Express Tribune Spin Khwar Lake is dotted with natural beauty that can provide people with momentary reprieve from the cares of the world.

“It offers the best trekking track,” he says. “There is no parallel in the entire country for this scenic spot.”

He believes the government should take concrete steps and establish motels for tourists near  the lake.

“Spin Khwar Lake and its adjoining areas can help promote tourism and [generate] revenue for Pakistan,” he adds.

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