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Northern Areas

Pakistan is a country with a beautiful and varied landscape and I am not being ethnocentric here. Tahir Jahangir proves that in his book titled "Travel Companion to the Northern Areas of Pakistan" and any body who goes up there can find this out for himself. The awe inspiring Northern Areas (as well as Chitral and Kashmir) offer every kind of heavenly beauty. Northern Pakistan is a land of contrasts, of surprises, a richly textured melting pot of diversity that leaves a vivid memory in the minds of every visitor, hiker or adventurer – only if the world knows it. The book tells the world what Northern Areas in Pakistan can offer.

Tahir Jahangir, an Economics graduate from University of Cambridge and a very successful industrialist of Pakistan is found of travelling and landscape photography. A book "Travel Companion to the Northern Areas of Pakistan" is his labour of love after countless 'to-ing and fro-ing to the Northern Areas – travellers' and explorers' paradise famous all over the world.

Northern Areas of Pakistan, spread over 72,496 square kilometres are fascinating. Amidst towering snow-clad peaks with heights varying from 1,000 meters to 8, 000 meters, the regions of Gilgit and Hunza, Nanga Parbat Treks, Swat and Kaghan Valleys recall Shangri-La. Tahir Jahangir also covers Mansehra Valley and Guallies, Neelam Valley, Parachinar and Chitral.

Nowhere in the world is such a great concentration of high mountains, peaks, glaciers, clean water lacks (full of trout and romantic legend attached to them) and passes except Pakistan. Of the 14 over 8,000 meters high peaks on our earth planet, four occupy an amphitheatre at the head of Baltoro glacier in the Karakorum Range: K-2 (world's second highest), Gasherbrum-I, Broad Peak and Gasherbrum-II. There is yet another, which is equally great, Nanga Parbat, located at the western most corner of the Himalayas. In addition to that, there are 68 peaks over 7,000 meters and hundreds others over 6,000 meters. The Northern Pakistan has some of the longest glaciers outside Polar region; Siachen, Hispar, Biafo, Baltoro (60 k kilometres) and Batura (64 k kilometres).

Where as the entire Northern Areas are magnificent but the Hunza valley is virtually the best -- rocky, desolate land transformed into an endless terraced garden and blooming gardens. Tahir Jahangir has been to most of these places and tells us through his words and explains them with the help of unique photographs and maps.

Let us pause for a second and visualise the scenario in the Northern Areas of Pakistan in the earlier centuries, when travellers, notably Fa Hian and Tsang Huang- both Chinese pilgrims, trotted along the "old silk route" crossing over the Hunza valley to enter into their destiny- the Gandhara regions, where it rained powder and rocks as they made their "pilgrimage" to these high places a "a great adventure". Tahir Jahangir's account recalls the past in the present context. He also adds cultural patterns of these regions, geography and other relevant information required by modern day travellers. That makes the book more than a mere travel guide book or just a travelogue.

Visitors find peace and solitude in this enchanting mountain kingdom. The valleys are a paradise for trekkers and mountain lovers. The treks in the glacial landscape of the upper valleys are a trekkers dream. A visit to this fairyland is a fantasy to be lived and relived as such places are rare and far between.


posted by S A J Shirazi @ 11:56 AM,


At 10:32:00 AM, Blogger Amy Alex said...

Northern Pakistan is a land of contrasts, of surprises, a richly textured melting pot of diversity that leaves a vivid memory in the minds of every visitor, hiker or adventurer.So i recommend you to get flights to islamabad and visit that area.


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