February 9, 2017 Youth Impact

Chasing Snow leopards at Shogran

At a distance of 232km from the capital of Pakistan resides a beautiful sanctuary that provides relaxation for body and the soul both. To reach Shogran from the capital we have multiple routes, one of them is to journey through Abbottabad, Maneshra and Balakot.  After Balakot further we travel on the main Balakot-Naran road a total of 34km to reach Shogran, during this journey from Balakot to Shogran we also pass through a little town known as Kewai.  The total journey from Islamabad to the scenic valley of Shogran takes an average time of 5hours and 20mins.

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Image source: Google Maps

This shows the possible routes from Islamabad to Shogran.

The road to Shogran from Kewai is surrounded by heavy forest and intense slopes that make the journey as adrenaline pumping as it is beautiful.

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Image sources: Pakistantoursguide and Hikers

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Image source: DeviantArt

These pictures give us a little taste of beauty offered by Shogran.

 

Shogran is located on a green plateau in Kaghan valley at the height of 7,749 feet above sea level. Other picturesque places near Shogran are Siri, Paye and Makra peak.  The average annual temperature is 11.4 degrees Celsius with a precipitation of 1008mm annually. Although the name “Shogran Valley” may make it appear that it is cuddled up in the base of some peaks, the truth is that the valley is located on a plateau that allows it to give its visitors mesmerizing views of the area.     These exalted sceneries have influenced the visitors to classify the valley as one of the “most beautiful places in Pakistan”, that’s something to say as Pakistan riddled with beautiful scenic locations. Other than that the Shogran valley is home to various types of flora and fauna. There are many forests of deciduous and conifer-hardwoods, there are also small shrubs of remedial herbs and berries found in the area as well. On the other hand, there are many wildflowers, on the other, there are also vast meadows of lush green grass that present a beautiful view. The fauna of Shogran includes small animals like marmots and wild sheep and deer, while birds like pheasants, woodcocks, pigeons, hawks, falcons and vultures are commonly found. Woodpeckers have also been sighted in the region. In the past large cats have been seen in the region but due to human expansion, they are rarely seen nowadays.

 

Trekking in Shogran:

Shogran is more of a base than a destination for trekkers. The trekkers may stay a night at the rest houses present in the valley to rest and relax.  Usually, trekkers start early in the morning to hike to the surrounding lakes and mountains after an adventurous experience usual trekkers tend to return to their guest houses. While those like the team of youth impact, who are more adventurous than others and like to challenge themselves, tend to hike and then camp in the mountains to stay the night.  The visitors should also keep some important equipment in mind when planning the trip such as sun blocks, hats, warm clothes, gloves, walking sticks and warm headgear. The hikers should take very good boots as the trekking can get treacherous sometimes and you need to be as comfortable as possible while taking the treks.

 

-Hamza Khalid

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