Travelling is fun and if you are a hobbyist photographer, than travelling and visiting places for photography is what most of the photographers do. They capture and make memories. Pakistan is blessed with exceptionally beautiful northern areas and Galiyat are one of them. So viewing my old photographs, I found the folder to my trip to Dunga Gali, KPK, Pakistan, and thought to write a blog for that.
Dunga Gali is 5.8km from Nathiyagali on road to Murree Hills, at an elevation of 2460 meters. It is also an entry point of Ayubia National park and pipeline track. A beautiful and picturesque place having lush green mountains and tracks for hiking and relaxing.
Travelling with family is pleasurable. Our journey staeted from Islamabad to Murree Hills through Murree Expressway at 9:00 am. It takes 1 hour and 40 minutes from Islamabad to Muree (56Km), and 2 hours 30 minutes to Dungagali (80.5Km). As the car moved on the curves of this road, the sunrays peep through the curtains of lush green trees along the sides, which provided the feeling of natures’ blessings on you. For a moment, a desire to continuously move on these curves emerges, leaving behind the chaotic life, but the bumps in the road, due to the ongoing construction work pulls you back in no time.
Our first stop was Patriata Chairlifts, which is located between Islamabad and Murree.
The chairlift experience is something to remember for life. The ticket cost 400/person, but you have to wait for a little time in a cue for your turn to get a chair lift. As the chairlift rises, it makes you ecstatic, when you actually feel yourself on the top of the world. You can see clouds float, and slowly covering the mountains like a fairy spreading her wings.
The best part is that the photographers on the chairlift poles with their digital cameras are always ready to take your picture, if you ask them, but here I being the photographer, when one of them asked me, I replied “Meri Choro Bhaiya, Aaj main aapki photo leti hun.” (Leave it Brother, Today I’ll take your photo) and I clicked his photo.
After the chair lifts, we had chai and pakoras for refreshment, took a number of photographs and started are journey to Dungagali. On the curvy roads to Dungagali, there are vendors sitting on the road side with colorful shawls and umbrellas for sale, spreading colors in the energizing greens. Although, the prices are high but if you know the act of bargaining, you can actually buy a lot 😉
For lunch, we stopped at a road side Dhaba, named as Badal view Cafe located somewhere on a twisted road between Murree & DungaGali. The dhaba was a little hut, with a limited seating arrangement of tables and chairs in open air at the back on the edge of a mountain. The owner cooked the food himself with fresh meat and vegetables. Due to limited resources, only Chicken Karahi and Maash Daal was available, and were actually delicious or I can say, the cook was no less than a professional chef.
Oh! And yes don’t forget the monkeys on the roads. They jump from tree to tree in search of food and cross roads too, so if you find them and offer corns or something to eat, they are happy eating it.
On reaching Dungagali, we quickly refreshed ourselves with some chaye or coffee. The next spot to visit was Galiyat Water Reservoirs, which provides water to Nathiyagali (5.8Km) from Dungagali. The view of this place is so serene and soothing that one desires to sit all day long and relax. It’s a 15 minutes hike on a tranquil path surrounded by trees, which are so tall and fresh, that, they make you feel inferior but at the same time shows you beautiful sceneries, which are always waiting for you to explore them. The chirping of bush crickets gives a feeling of a mini forest that surrounds little huts, cozy wooden lodges that are available for stay on rent for a memorable time in life.
The water reservoirs were full. The view is simple breathtaking with reflection of trees and clouds as cotton candy. It’s so pure and peaceful that if one meditates there, will help healing depression and stress. In short, this place is a mini heaven on Earth, far from all the hectic life routines.
The weather became cold and it was almost evening so we started our journey back to Islamabad in no time. And for this trip, the time was limited, we could not make to the Ayubia pipeline track or the Mushkpuri Peak, but these two spots are a must visit if you plan to go to Dungagali.