I had been waiting for so long to visit Swat and after years of wait, I am finally here. The place is getting back to normal day by day. After facing major flood and a strong military operation, i can see hope in locals for getting back to their normal routine as it was in previous years.
I took a bus from Islamabad to Swat (Mingora) that took me 5 hours to reach with only one major military checking in between. The journey was comfortable. However, for the next major town called Behrain, i took an another van that took me 3 hours of bumpy road journey and where i had to prove my identity on several military checkpoints.
After staying a night in Behrain, i went to see Kalam valley, the famous of all and a major tourist attraction. The journey was again not welcoming with several military check points and a bumpy road but as soon as the valley started, i could not believe my eyes on surrounding beauty. The bumpy and dusty road turned into a smooth jeep track surrounded by green high trees. The road goes through a thick green forest with snow caped mountains of Hindukush all around. It ended at a beautiful lake called Mahidhaan (Mahudand) where i enjoyed the local trout fish, deep fried with traditional roti.
My curiosity to see swat was over but i realised that there are a lot of valleys and lakes still unexplored.
I sensed here that the locals are in great need to get back to normal. They want tourists here all year so that they can revive their economy back. So i would suggest all my dear Pakistani fellows, take some time out and explore Swat. It is not really that far from the capital. Despite of the under-construction road, you’ll experience countless beauty and hospitable people.