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Naran to Babusar Pass

For the thrilling experience of Babusar Pass, one must wait until mid July, when the road from Jalkhad onward become accessible. With a height of 13,687 feet (4,173 meters) Babusar Pass creates the border between the Kaghan Valley and the Chilas regions. From the top of Babusar Pass one may behold a panoramic view of snow-covered peaks and sweeping valleys.

The British built a pony track across the Babusar in 1892 to give access to Gilgit. Before this, the only route to Gilgit was from Srinagar across the Burzil Pass; until the building of Karakuram Highway, the track was the main route to Chilas and Gilgit. Today, jeeps to Babusar can be hired from Naran. For those who want to make it a day excursion from Naran, it is advisable to leave early morning. The best option, however, is to enjoy an overnight stay at Basil or Burawai.

The first village on the road to Babusar is Batakundi, 16 kilometers beyond Naran. Nestled at the confluence of Siran Nala and Kunhar River, Batakundi offers travelers a rest house and two small hotels. Batakundi is a fertile area and is famous for the cultivation of good quality seeds of potato and peas which are distributed across Pakistan. A jeep track from here leads right up to the Lalazar pasture.

Continuing on the main road, one will reach Burawai after 13 kilometers. Situated at the confluence of Joar Nala and the River Kunhar, Burawai has PWD rest house and a small road side hotel. From here Besal, a nomad settlement, is 18 km. A road side restaurant offers tea and simple food to travelers who wish to observe nomad life at the conjunction of Purbi Nar, Saeedullah Nar and Kunhar River.  From Besal, one can deviate 15 km east to another beautiful area, Lake Dudupat Sar, famous for its lush green surroundings and good trout fishing.  This lake is accessible by foot or hired pony.

For those interested in the main source of Kunhar River and a pleasant spot of picnic, a three kilometer journey beyond Basal will take you to the beautiful deep blue Lake Lulusar. The largest of the Kaghan Valley lakes, Lulusar is surrounded in color by many varieties of wild flowers. A sense of culture can also be observed through the summer encampments of the Gujar nomads.

Passing through the last summer settlement of Kaghan Valley at Gittidas, Babusar Pass is the next stop. Along the way, Gujar nomads spend the summer months on this high pasture with their herds of sheep and goats. The last 7 kilometers to the top is a steep climb. A stone cairn marks the highest point of the pass. From the stone cairn marking the highest point of the pass, many take the time to enjoy the gorgeous vistas surroundings Kaghan and Babsar Valleys and the white topped snowy mountains in the backdrop. Chilas town is 50 kilometers from here.
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