A Day On The Panjpeer Rockies

View%20At%20Panjpeer.JPGI was surprised this Sunday to find one of the best kept secrets of Islooite outback. I have never seen such rock formations and hills made of of huge sandstone boulders stretching for miles. And I named them the “Panjpeer Rockies”

Shear%20Vertical%20Drop%20of%20Hundreds%20Of%20Feet%20At%20The%20Edge%20Of%20One%20Of%20The%20Rockies.JPGTo reach this fabulous place, if you take the road going towards Chak Shehzad off the exit from the Faizabad road (RIP) you come across a tee in the road. Turn left on Lehtarar road and continue for another 50 odd kilometers towards Kotli Sateyan, until you come to Chaint. Take the road to your right climbing up next to a bus stop with and ENRP sign towards Danoi for about 6 KMs till you reach the forest rest house built by the British in 1928. For once I was surprised that the Britons were able to build all the great rest houses some as old as 100 years now way back then. There are spread out around Islamabad. Islooites don’t know about them, because the tourism ministry is least bothered to spread the news. While PTDC or the local tourism industry has not been able to add much to it. As a matter of fact, many old heritage rest houses destroyed by earthquake in 2005 still await renovation. Anyway back to the hike.

Impressive%20Sandstone%20Rockies%20At%20Panjpeer%20Stretching%20For%20Miles.JPG
I parked my car here at the rest house and hiked up the paved road towards Kamrah, which goes all the way to Narr. The elevation here was around 1400m After walking for about 10 minutes you come to a fork in the road, and you should take the one to you right. Then continue for another 20 mins, till the road turns into a jeepable track. You can take short cuts on the road bypassing the switchbacks to reach the jeepable track a little earlier

Another%20View%20Of%20The%20Rock%20Floor%20Strething%20For%20Miles.JPGYou should now hike towards the Panjpeer big boulders for another 2 hours or so. The climb is gentle. The distance is around 7 Kms. The views to your left are breathtaking as you see the sheer thousand feet drop and huge, impressive sandstone rock formations to your right. After hiking for the said time you would come to a spot that constitutes huge sandstone base with boulders spreading far and wide for miles. The whole plateau floor is made up of these sand stone boulders and I have never seen anything like this before. This place is perched high up off the valley floor and is home to hundreds of butterflies floating around in a gentle breeze. Towards the Northeast you can see the mighty Jehlum. The elevation here is around 1750 meters. You can hike further up for about 30 mins to reach the highest point (1850m) where there is an SCO tower and their outpost. Views from there are even better as you can see hills stretched for miles with unobstructed views to as far as white snow capped mountains of Kashmir towards North East and Muree and Patriata Hills towards Northwest. The temprature never exceeded beyond mid twenties. The place is an ideal spot for a campsite and offers ample virgin rocks to rock climbing enthusiasts.

The%20Great%20River%20Jehlum%20At%20A%20Distance%20With%20Views%20Of%20Kashmir.JPGYou can reach back to the Danoi rest house in around 1 hour and 30 mins. If you wish to go camping here, you can stock your supplies at the Danoi rest house, and either haul the load up in your back packs or hire porters to do the job for you. The locals here are quite cooperative and nice. However to be extra safe I would suggest that you carry protection equipment if you wish to camp for the night. A second option is to bring a security guard with you. Good luck!

9 Comments so far

  1. Farhan (unregistered) on April 23rd, 2007 @ 4:38 pm

    Nice, Any chance of higher quality photos of the trip ?


  2. A for [pine]apple (unregistered) on April 23rd, 2007 @ 5:24 pm

    you named it “panjpeer” :S

    and who’ll guard the security guard :P

    Nicio as an whole :>


  3. Sabaa (unregistered) on April 24th, 2007 @ 8:54 am

    beautiful pictures and an excellent write up ! never knew such places existed close to our own Isloo
    Any chance to take a group hike there ?


  4. Deepak Adhikari (unregistered) on April 24th, 2007 @ 12:25 pm

    Hi backpacker, U got a kool blog. Keep it up!


  5. 1967 (unregistered) on April 24th, 2007 @ 12:54 pm

    @Farhan: Not right now. I might upload them onto my yahoo photo albums and post the link here

    @A for [pine]apple : I just added the Rockies part. The place is called Panjpeer

    @Sabaa: Ya we might. But if you would like to join in the group, drop me a mail. We might extend it a bit and make it a camping trip this time.

    @Deepak: Thanks!


  6. mafimushkala (unregistered) on April 25th, 2007 @ 9:46 am

    Thanks for letting us know about this place. I will surly visit it soon.


  7. Carry_on (unregistered) on April 25th, 2007 @ 12:54 pm

    “The locals here are quite cooperative and nice”.

    For your kind info this area is home to some of the most notorious category A criminals on police watch list.Luck being on your side that you remained unharmed on your expedition.A couple of my friends were robbed of all their possessions by these friendly and cooperative people.
    A word of advice for city chums looking for some change of mood and space by doing hiking is to never attempt it unless you have strong bones,joints and stamina or you’ll be carrying extra luggage of one of your fellows.Our adventure turned into misadventure when one of our friends crippled his ankle while climbing a seemingly easy looking rock,slipping and felling into ditch.And funny thing is that we noticed it after couple of minutes later when someone mentioned “yaar woh Haaris kidhar gaya?”.


  8. Nosheen (unregistered) on April 25th, 2007 @ 5:16 pm

    wow that sure is a lovely place. a must seen .well hope so .some day


  9. 1967 (unregistered) on May 3rd, 2007 @ 7:59 pm

    @CARRY_ON: I agree with you. Saftey comes first. That’s why I mentioned if you need to camp for the night better to bring some added security with you. However, I don’t agree that only the ones with strong bones and stamina should hike. One can hike as per their own capabilites, and the real essence is to enjoy the experience rather than to push the limits and get into trouble.



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