Discovering the Picturesque Shinkiari: A Serene Getaway in Kaghan Valley, Pakistan

Shinkiari is a small town located in the Kaghan Valley of Pakistan. Known for its breathtaking views, natural beauty, and rich history, Shinkiari is a popular tourist destination for both locals and foreigners alike. In this article, we will explore the various attractions that make Shinkiari such a unique and special place.

Location & Altitude of Shinkiari

Shinkiari is located 18 km north of Mansehra town on the Karakoram Highway, located at 34°28’0N, 73°16’60E at an altitude of 1,019 meters (3,346 ft). Thanks to its strategic location, Shinkiari is also a base for the Pakistan Army.

Tourist Attractions in Shinkiari

One of the most striking features of Shinkiari is its location. Situated at an altitude of over 1,200 meters above sea level, the town is surrounded by towering mountains, lush green forests, and crystal-clear streams. The scenic beauty of the area is simply awe-inspiring, with majestic peaks like Malika Parbat and Makra Peak dominating the skyline. 

Visitors can enjoy hiking, trekking, and camping in the surrounding hills and valleys, and can also take part in a range of adventure sports such as rock climbing and paragliding.

It is a union council of Mansehra district in the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province of Pakistan. It is a major tea city with many tea gardens. Most of the people are from the Swati Pashtun and Gujjar tribes who speak Pashto and Hindi. Shinkiari is a combination of two Pashto words, shīn meaning “green” and Kiari meaning “bed”.

Tea Gardens at Shinkiari

Shinkiari is known for cultivating the first tea garden in Pakistan due to its natural environment and terrain. One has access to the Kund Rest House 24 km away in the Jabori forest range via a hilltop. This motor station was built during the British Empire in 1919. It was also damaged in the 2005 earthquake and could not be rebuilt by the Pakistan government.

Shankiari is an important city from its political and geographical point of view. Its topography is very flat towards Lower Pakhal. It is the very first city of Pakhal. It is a junction point for Siran Valley, Konsh Valley, and Baffa Valley.

Shinkiari is a major stop for people traveling north. It is a historic city. There is a very flat cultivated land for cereals, grain, sugar, tobacco leaves, rice and use for many other agricultural purposes. The Pakistan Forest Institution College was reconstructed after the 2005 earthquake, located just 3 km from the city towards the interior of the Great Forest (Jungul) in the Jaborri area.

Shinkiari Fort

Shinkiari is also home to a number of historical and cultural sites that reflect the rich heritage of the region. One of the most famous of these is the Shinkiari Fort, a magnificent structure that dates back to the Mughal era. The fort is built on a hilltop and offers panoramic views of the surrounding landscape. Visitors can explore the fort’s various rooms and halls, which are adorned with intricate carvings and frescoes.

Another important site is the Khanpur Dam, which is located a short distance from the town. The dam is a major source of hydroelectric power for the region and is also a popular spot for picnics and boating. Visitors can take a leisurely boat ride on the dam’s serene waters and enjoy the beautiful scenery all around.

For those interested in local culture and traditions, it has a lot to offer. The town is known for its unique handicrafts, such as carpets, rugs, and textiles, which are produced using traditional methods handed down through generations. Visitors can observe the weaving and dyeing process and even purchase some of these beautiful, handcrafted items to take home as souvenirs.

Famous Food in Shinkiari

In terms of cuisine, Shinkiari is famous for its delicious local dishes, which are a blend of Pakistani and Afghan flavors. Some of the must-try dishes include chapli kebab, a spicy meat patty served with naan bread, and Palao, a rich rice dish cooked with chicken or lamb and flavored with saffron and other spices.

In conclusion, it is a hidden gem in the Kaghan Valley that offers visitors a unique combination of natural beauty, history, culture, and cuisine. Whether you are an adventure seeker, a history buff, a foodie, or just looking for a peaceful escape from the hustle and bustle of city life, the valley has something for everyone. So why not plan your next vacation to this enchanting town and experience its wonders for yourself?

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