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Thread: Visiting Neelum Valley, Taobutt, Shonter on Bikes August 2012

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    Default Visiting Neelum Valley, Taobutt, Shonter on Bikes August 2012

    Assalam u Alaikum,
    Ever since my first visit of Neelum valley back in July 2010 the beautiful Neelum valley has always been in my mind. This year I was lucky enough to travel to the most beautiful valley of Azad Kashmir twice. First from 29 June to 2nd July 2012 and then again in Eid holidays from 22 August to 26 August 2012.
    Most of the pictures uploaded will be from my Motorbike tour with the exception of Jagran valley and Arang Kel which I visited in my June/July tour and skipped on my bike tour.

    Our Rides:
    Suzuki GS150 2011 Model
    Honda CG125 2011 Model
    Honda CG125 2004 Model
    Honda CD70 2011 Model
    Route Info:

    Islamabad-Danna (Roughly 55 KM) (1 Hour)
    We took the Murree Expressway and rather then turning towards Murree from Musiyari we went straight and reached Danna.
    Lower Topa - Kohala (Roughly 40 KM) (1-1.5 Hour)
    The road condition is good. We took the Phagwari route rather than taking the Bhurban-Deval route. Although the Bhurban-Kohala route is shorter but it is more steep and more dangerous.
    Kohala - Muzaffarabad (Roughly 34 KM) (1 Hour)
    Good road with a few areas affected by landsliding.
    Muzaffarabad - Nusehri (Roughly 42 KM) (1.5 Hours)
    Very good and newly built road with the exception of a 2km Patch about 10km from Muzaffarabad. Due to heavy rainfall this area had frequent landslides and got closed and cleared throughout the day.
    Nusehri -Kundal Shahi- Athmuqam - Keran - Dowarian (Roughly 68 KM) (At least 4-5 Hours)
    Very good and newly built road from about 2km past Nusehri to a few KM shy of Dowarian. Absolutely joy to ride and drive.
    Kundal Shahi - Kutton (Roughly 6KM)
    Not metaled but any car can go to Kutton.
    Kutton - Jagran (Roughly 10KM)
    Absolutely 4WD track. Recommended is to take a jeep from Kutton.
    Dowarian - Sharda (Roughly 32 KM) (1 -1.5 Hour)
    It is an old metaled road with a few bad patches but overall a good road. The main problem area is a couple of KM before Sharda the bridge of a Nala is broken and vehicles have to cross the Nala. Not to much dangerous and we crossed it on Mehran as well as bikes and we saw many vehicles like coure, alto, cultus etc. crossing it.
    Sharda - Kel (19 KM) (1 -1.5 Hour)
    Again the metaled road will disappear and you will be moving over stones/dirt/mud and many water springs. But still any vehicle can make it with careful driving.
    Kel - Shounter valley (20 KM) (2.5 - 3 Hours)
    Absolutely hardcore 4WD Jeep track. Just after Kel there is a Nala crossing. The original bridge has been destroyed by water but the locals have made a makeshift bridge which requires quite a lot of skills to cross.
    Kel - Taobut (43 KM) (2.5- 3 Hours)
    Mild jeep track. Any vehicle with high clearance can reach here. We saw many Mehran's and Alto's and one coure reaching Taobutt.

    Route Distance Chart:
    These distances are very important as there are absolutely no milestones on the Neelum valley road. So for the first comers it can be very difficult to know how much distance is left. With these you can always check your mileage meters for an approximate of distance to next place.
    Muzaffarabad - Kel Distances

    Muzaffarabad - Nusehri 42KM
    Nusehri - Kundal Shahi 32KM
    Kundal Shahi - Athmuqam 10KM
    Athmuqam - Keran 9KM
    Keran - Dowarian 13KM
    Dowarian - Sharda 30KM
    Sharda - Kel 20KM
    -----------
    Total Distance 157KM

    Kel - Taobutt Distances

    Kel - Jamgar Waterfall 12KM
    Jamgar Waterfall - Janawai 10KM
    Janawai - Sardari 10KM
    Sardari - Hilmat 4KM
    Hilmat - Taoubutt 7KM
    -----------
    Total Distance 43KM

    Kel - Shonter Distances

    Kel - Nala Crossing 1.5KM
    Nala - Nichli(Payeen) Domail 10KM
    Payeen Domail - Domail Bala 9KM
    Domail Bala - Shonter Lake 5KM
    Shonter Lake - Shonter waterfall 3KM
    -----------
    Total Distance 29KM
    Attached Images Attached Images    

  2. #101
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    Default Kel-Arang Kel Hiking

    Some more of the top.....

    Visiting Neelum Valley Taobutt Shonter on Bikes August 2012 -1160462



    Visiting Neelum Valley Taobutt Shonter on Bikes August 2012 -1160463



    Visiting Neelum Valley Taobutt Shonter on Bikes August 2012 -1160464

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    Default Kel-Arang Kel Hiking

    I wished I had a professional camera rather than the point and shoot canon and Galaxy SIII to capture the beauty of this place....

    Visiting Neelum Valley Taobutt Shonter on Bikes August 2012 -1160465



    Visiting Neelum Valley Taobutt Shonter on Bikes August 2012 -1160466



    Visiting Neelum Valley Taobutt Shonter on Bikes August 2012 -1160467

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    Default Kel-Arang Kel Hiking

    The best thing about Kashmir is that the literacy rate is quite high...... Pics of the school at Arang Kel.

    Visiting Neelum Valley Taobutt Shonter on Bikes August 2012 -1160471



    Visiting Neelum Valley Taobutt Shonter on Bikes August 2012 -1160468



    Co-education.....

    Visiting Neelum Valley Taobutt Shonter on Bikes August 2012 -1160469



    Visiting Neelum Valley Taobutt Shonter on Bikes August 2012 -1160470

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    Default Kel-Arang Kel Hiking

    Some more shots at the top.....


    Visiting Neelum Valley Taobutt Shonter on Bikes August 2012 -1160472



    Visiting Neelum Valley Taobutt Shonter on Bikes August 2012 -1160473

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    Default Kel-Arang Kel Hiking

    Snow clad mountains from the top......


    Visiting Neelum Valley Taobutt Shonter on Bikes August 2012 -1160474





    Visiting Neelum Valley Taobutt Shonter on Bikes August 2012 -1160475

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    Default Kel-Arang Kel Hiking

    On our way back.....The final ascend was under scorching heat...



    Visiting Neelum Valley Taobutt Shonter on Bikes August 2012 -1160476



    Visiting Neelum Valley Taobutt Shonter on Bikes August 2012 -1160477

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    And this my friends concludes the Kel-Arang Kel hiking portion of this tour....

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    Default Kel

    Some random shots of Kel.....

    AJK Tourism resthouse...... Should be booked in advance from Muzaffarabad... Otherwise there is risk of not getting a reservation as it is mostly full....Rent was Rs.1650 per room...

    Visiting Neelum Valley Taobutt Shonter on Bikes August 2012 -1160478




    Visiting Neelum Valley Taobutt Shonter on Bikes August 2012 -1160479

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    Default Kel

    Views from the resthouse lawn.....

    Looking towards Sharda....
    Visiting Neelum Valley Taobutt Shonter on Bikes August 2012 -1160480



    Looking towards Shonter.....

    Visiting Neelum Valley Taobutt Shonter on Bikes August 2012 -1160481




    Looking towards Arang Kel....


    Visiting Neelum Valley Taobutt Shonter on Bikes August 2012 -1160482

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    Default Kel

    Paid a little visit to a small lake formed near Kel on the Neelum river.

    Visiting Neelum Valley Taobutt Shonter on Bikes August 2012 -1160483



    Shonter Nala meeting Neelum river....



    Visiting Neelum Valley Taobutt Shonter on Bikes August 2012 -1160484

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    Amazing Arang Kel !!!!

    Zabardast coverage
    Never Give In !!!
    https://www.facebook.com/MobeenMazharPhotography

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    Quote Originally Posted by imarshad View Post
    Kel- Arang Kel hiking:
    Total distance from Kel-Arang Kel is 3KM. First KM is descend all the way to River Neelum where we cross it via bridge and then the ascend starts. Total ascend is 2KM. It is not a difficult or technical ascend but it is continuous and once you start the hike there is no let up as it goes up and up and no flat areas until you reach the top... All the ascend is in a jungle and you will have shade from sunlight.
    For a physically fit person it should not take more than 30-40 min. from the bridge to the top. For less physically fit people like me it should take 60-70 minutes and well my brother and cousin did it in almost 2 hours....
    Water is available at the start (just after crossing the bridge a large water stream is coming down)... Also you will get water some 10 min. into the hike. After this point there was no water till the top.
    About the descend... It is quite easy to descend in 15-20 min. to the bridge. But after reaching the bridge there is a steep 1KM ascend all the way to the AJK resthouse. Also note that there are no trees on this part of track and hence absolutely no shade from the sun.
    I still recommend this track to anyone visiting Kel... Even a tourist family was going up to Arang Kel...
    Doing Arang Kel track in 2 hours shows that you guys are badly out of shape. I would strongly recommend extensive work out to improve stamina and speed. Some hiking tips from gurus might help as well. You can even learn from my experience, so that you know exactly how much work out is needed and what benchmark to meet, next time.

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    I, being a super fit individual, did it in just 3 hours

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    Quote Originally Posted by rehmank View Post
    Doing Arang Kel track in 2 hours shows that you guys are badly out of shape. I would strongly recommend extensive work out to improve stamina and speed. Some hiking tips from gurus might help as well. You can even learn from my experience, so that you know exactly how much work out is needed and what benchmark to meet, next time. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . I, being a super fit individual, did it in just 3 hours
    Basically I did it in 55 minutes. But now I have worked really hard (By eating those full of energy French Fries , burgers,chocolates,Pizzas and chicken karahis etc.) and also by not wasting my energies on time wasting activities like walks and jogs etc. and have become a super fit guy like you and definitely now I will take 2-3 hours....

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    Quote Originally Posted by imarshad View Post
    Basically I did it in 55 minutes. But now I have worked really hard (By eating those full of energy French Fries , burgers,chocolates,Pizzas and chicken karahis etc.) and also by not wasting my energies on time wasting activities like walks and jogs etc. and have become a super fit guy like you and definitely now I will take 2-3 hours....
    That's more like it

    Jokes apart, another wonderful thread. Thanks for sharing such a beauty.

    By the way, your earlier Neelum valley thread, https://www.pakwheels.com/forums/roa...ley-10-13-july, made me visit neelum valley. I saw it, last year just before summers, and ended up visiting Neelum valley in the summers

    Thanks once again for your guidance and keep working hard on your fitness

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    Quote Originally Posted by aesiege View Post
    Amazing Arang Kel !!!!

    Zabardast coverage
    Thanks for liking my thread. I know how much more beautiful it could have captured by your DSLR camera. I used galaxy SIII for this photography.
    Yes Arang Kel is an amazing place. One could spend a few hours hiking towards the higher mountains and there is also a small rest house/hotel up there... Indeed it is very basic but spending the night up there could be a nice experience....

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    Quote Originally Posted by rehmank View Post
    That's more like it

    Jokes apart, another wonderful thread. Thanks for sharing such a beauty.

    By the way, your earlier Neelum valley thread, https://www.pakwheels.com/forums/roa...ley-10-13-july, made me visit neelum valley. I saw it, last year just before summers, and ended up visiting Neelum valley in the summers

    Thanks once again for your guidance and keep working hard on your fitness
    Thanks for liking my first thread about Neelum valley.... I know of at least 3 other people who visited Neelum valley after reading my thread. This is the biggest satisfaction one could get after spending time in writing about details of the tour. I hope you have enjoyed your trip....

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    where are the pix of the bikes ? seemed as if i m reading a thread in paktourism.com

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    Quote Originally Posted by waleed80 View Post
    where are the pix of the bikes ? seemed as if i m reading a thread in paktourism.com
    Well if you are comparing my thread to paktourism.com then I am really disappointed..... I have visited it after your mentioning but it has absolutely no details what so ever and all the links are almost dead....
    As far as the pics of bikes are concerned they will come... But I think people here are more interested in details of the trips and pictures of scenery as compared to bikes and people...

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    Quote Originally Posted by imarshad View Post
    Thanks for liking my first thread about Neelum valley.... I know of at least 3 other people who visited Neelum valley after reading my thread. This is the biggest satisfaction one could get after spending time in writing about details of the tour. I hope you have enjoyed your trip....
    It was an out and out fun. Jaisa suna tha waisa hi paya

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    very nice and informative thread... Just want to know about Suzuki 150... Tours k liye kaisi hai... am seriously thinking to buy this Please advice.

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