Hari Parbat, translating to “Green Mountain” in Urdu, stands tall at an impressive 18500 feet above sea level. Located in the Neelum Valley on the border of Azad Kashmir and Gilgit Baltistan, this majestic peak is part of the Nanga Parbat massif section falling in AJK. With its serene and lush surroundings, Hari Parbat has earned its place as a top tourist destination in Neelum Valley.
Approaching Hari Parbat begins with a journey from Muzaffarabad to Kel, a quaint town situated 147 km north of Muzaffarabad in Azad Kashmir. From Kel, travelers take the route connecting Astore in the Northern Areas with AJK, eventually encountering the stunning Hari Parbat about 20 km from Kel town. The journey to the base camp of this majestic peak takes approximately three hours.
Hari Parbat’s beauty is most prominent on its north/northeast side, overlooking the picturesque Domel (Domail) Shounter Valley. The peak can be admired from various vantage points, such as Shounter Lake, the Dak2 (Deck2) trek to Chitta Katha Lake, and the upper Domel (Domail) area.
Shounter Valley, nestled in Neelum Valley, Azad Kashmir, is approximately 163 km away from the capital city of Muzaffarabad. This unexplored valley remains a hidden gem, captivating visitors with its untouched beauty and tranquil landscapes.
One of the notable features that adds to the allure of Hari Parbat is the pristine Chitta Katha Lake, which finds its origin from the virgin peak of Hari Parbat. Nestled at the southern base of the mountain, this beautiful lake is also known as Chiita Katha Lake (Chiita Katha Sar) or the Lake of Mount Hari Parbat, offering a mesmerizing sight to behold.
Hari Parbat is one of the few peaks in the region yet to be conquered, with the distinction of being the highest elevation peak after Toshe I / Sarwali Peak, standing tall at 6424 meters in Shounter Valley. Its rocky and vertical tower-like structure boasts an untouched mystique, accessible from both Shounter Valley in Azad Kashmir and Astore Valley in Gilgit Baltistan via Shounter (Shontar) Gali at 4564 meters (Shounter Top or Shounter Pass). This pass serves as a vital link connecting Shounter Valley in Azad Kashmir to Guzair in Astore District, Gilgit Baltistan.
To reach Hari Parbat, an approximate 14-kilometer jeep track leads from Shounter Valley to Shounter Lake, followed by a trek over the glacier to the base camp of the peak, presenting a true mountaineering adventure.
Upon reaching the summit of Hari Parbat, on a clear day, a breathtaking panorama unfolds before the eyes. The vast expanse of Shounter Valley reveals itself, accompanied by the grandeur of the mighty Nanga Parbat, proudly standing as the 9th highest peak in the world. Numerous other majestic peaks, such as Chichil Peak, Nangi Mali, Maidanwal, Bhurjanwali Mali Peak, Atarewal Dana, Aoka Par Peak, Bhortham Peak, Toshe I / Sarwali Peak / Toshain / Dabbar Peak, and Sarwali Glacier, form an awe-inspiring backdrop.
The journey to Hari Parbat promises an unforgettable expedition, offering adventure seekers the opportunity to immerse themselves in the untamed beauty of the Himalayas. A visit to this enchanting Green Mountain will undoubtedly leave travelers with cherished memories and a sense of awe at the splendor of nature’s creations in Neelum Valley, Pakistan.
In conclusion, Hari Parbat, with its mesmerizing allure and untouched beauty, beckons travelers to embark on a captivating journey to its summit. Experience the magic of this second-highest peak in Neelum Valley and revel in the majestic grandeur of the Himalayas in all their glory.