Tourists flock to Galiyat on Eid days amid great fun, laughter

THANDYANI    -  Amid hide and seek between the sun and clouds over Thandyani hills, tourists thronged to Galiyat to enjoy pleasant change in the weather during Eid days in the picturesque mountains resorts of Pakistan.

Arrived with cooked food, fruits and tents for camping at the picturesque Thandyani resort,  Zeeshan Khan’s family, an employee of the KP government department, was rejoiced after visiting their dream tourists’ resort to enjoy trekking and adventure sports during Eid holidays. Enjoying the national song “Dil Dil Pakistan” along with his children and other family members on his music system, Zeeshan Khan and his brother Ehtisham Khan were busy in hammering and fixing tents’ bolts at a suitable place at Thandyani to spend few days in its relaxed environment without any charge.

Amid disappearing sun behind clouds hovering over Thandyani hills amid blossom of seasonal flowers in pre monsoon season, Zeeshan’s wife who belonged to Wapda Town Nowshera, was seen preparing green tea on gas stove after warming up the Peshawari’s famous Chappli Kabab, BBQ, Paye and Polao rice dishes they brought along and making it ready on ‘Dastarkhwans’ to serve her family members on third day of Eid. “Tandyani is my favorite tourists place. I have planned Galiyat’s tour few years ago but postponed it due officials engagements and today the dream of my family to see its mesmerising natural beauty with soothing environment came true,” Zeeshan told APP.

The Nowshera born tourist said that he was stunned to see the nearby black clouds, natural beauty and cool fresh air of Thandyani and advised families to come here in large numbers due to its better road connectivity. Wearing traditional Peshawari Chappal, the 35-year-old tourist said that he had brought tents and other stuff along as the hotel room and food cost was very high for a common man at Galiyat.

“The rent of a normal two-bedroom per night in Thandyani and Nathiyagali is approximately Rs10,000 to Rs12,000 that was beyond of hiring capacity of middle class,” he said, adding that it was the responsibility of the KP government to regulate prices of hotels and restaurants in Galiyat.

The tourist said he selected Thandiyani as first camping site as the tourists can see the snow-covered Pir Panjal mountain range of Kashmir and lush green terrains of Kaghan and Kohistan besides snow-clad ranges of Swat and Chitral from Thandyani top having 2,750 meters height of the above sea level, which are taking nature lovers and adventure sports enthusiasts over the moon.

Like Zeeshah Khan, hundreds of thousand families and tourists arrived at northern Khyber Pakhtunkhwa especially Malakand and Hazara divisions including Galiyat and Thandyani on Eid days to explore its waterfalls, gushing rivers, Saiful Malook, Ansoo, Dudipath and Mahoodhand lakes and colonial era tracks besides enjoying the expansive trout fish and water boating in River Kunhar at Kaghan and Khanpur dam at Haripur.

“Despite recent rains in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Punjab provinces, the response of tourists, adventurers and adventure sportsmen in Malakand and Hazara during Eid holidays was very impressive,” Saad Khan, the spokesman of Cultural and Tourism Authority told APP.

He said thossnds of tourists and adventure sports enthusiasts visited Malakand and Hazara divisions during vacation of Eid exploring its breathtaking beauty.

Dir Upper, Malam Jabba Swat, Galiyat including Thandyani and Nathiagali, Chitral Lower including Kaslah valley and Kaghan and Naran including Saiful Malook and Ansoo lakes in Manshera distric were the most visited destinations during Eid holidays.

He said that domestic tourists’ response to Swat during eid days was higher than last year due to enhanced roads infrastructure and Swat Expressway.

Tourists families from other cities including Karachi, Islamabad, Rawalpindi and Lahore have visited Swat in large numbers during Eid days due to better roads connectivity and enjoyed trout fish besides water rafting and paragliding in Kalam.

Tourism has started growing in KP due to better roads connectivity. To promote sustainable tourism, Integrated Tourism Zones (ITZ) would be developed at Mankiyal Swat, Thandyani Abbottabad, Ganol Manshera and Madaklasht Lower Chitral.

These ITZs would be constructed with an assistance of the World Bank. ITZs Thandyani and Mankiyal would be connected with Swat and Hazara motorways through link roads that would open up entire Malakand and Hazara for tourists and make Pakistan a hub of international tourism.

KP government had signed 44 memorandum of understanding worth USD 8 billion with international firms during Dubai Expo 2022. To promote skiing sports, the government has taken a principle decision to establish ski resorts at Kaghan, Chitral and Swat.

Four new hill stations including one each in Chitral and Abbottabad besides two in Kaghan would be developed.

 The spokesman said construction of four colonial era tracks between Thandyani-Nathiagali  having 8,200 feet height, Thandyani-Biringali track, Dagri Bangal-Meera Jan-Nathiagali track and Kaghan-Mahmnoor trak starting from Singkayari to Kund Bangla and onward to Shaheed Pani Nadai Bangla to Musa Ka Musllaha were in pipeline.

Waterfalls is a big source of attraction of tourists and the government decided to develop Lamchar, Sajkot, Noori, Chajjan Haripur, Jarogo Swat, Lanchar Dir and Umbrella Abbottabad waterfall on modern lines to bolster ecotourism.

 Jarogo Abshar, Sulatar Swat,  Lashkargas Broghal and Surlaspur Shandur in Upper Chitral, Kumrat Dir Upper, Kalam, Lilowani and Alpuri Shangla, Samani top Hangu/Orakzai , Laram top and Bin Shahi in Lower Dir were selected for establishment of new camping pods.

Besides construction of the theme park at Hundi Swabi, he said the government policies have helped improve Pakistan’s international place from 89 to 83 in the international travel and tourism development index, which was a great honour for the country.