Naran is a town in the upper side of Kaghan Valley 119 km from the Mansehra District of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KPK) province of Pakistan. Naran is considered to be one of Pakistan’s most scenic towns, or in other words ‘Paradise on Earth’ by the nature-enthusiasts. Thousands of tourists, trekkers and adventure-seekers visit this place on a yearly basis. The place is taken as the base station or the main gateway to destinations like Lake Saif-ul-Malook, Lalazar Babusar, Noori Valley and Purbi Valley.
Naran doesn’t fall short in accommodating its visitors coming from Islamabad or any other place. There are more than a 100 different hotels ranging from high-end luxury suites to low priced reasonable rooms. If you’re a hardcore nature-lover, you can easily save money by setting up your own tent instead of paying a high price for a hotel. Tent motels are also available for rent to families.
The Pakistan Tourism Development Corporation has set up their motel on the north side. The huts can accommodate people on a different tariff. The huts on the side of River Kunhar are a little costly compared to others. There are markets built with the daily necessities such as food and clothing. Your trip from Islamabad to Naran could be the best trip you have ever made to any place in Pakistan.
Why Should You Travel from Islamabad to Naran?
Naran is situated 120 km from Abbottabad at a height of 8000 feet above sea level. Naran, part of northern areas of Pakistan, is a God gifted majestic land of its people. It’s an earthly paradise with lots of beautiful landscapes for trekking and viewing from afar. The road from Islamabad to Naran is full of turns and bumps. Travelling can be difficult by road but it is an adventure on its own.
Transport System at Naran
Naran is directly connected via road from Mansehra. The tourist season starts from 1st June to 31st August where the transport runs daily from Mansehra to Naran. You can easily book your trip from Islamabad to Naran during this month. You can either rent a jeep, private car or taxi to take you there without hassle. However, you need to take precautionary measures while travelling during the winter months as the roads are blocked due to heavy snowfall.
Transport System in Islamabad
All major towns and cities like Islamabad are accessible via railway and bus services coming in from Rawalpindi. The newly built motorways are directly linked and have significantly reduced the travel time between Lahore and Peshawar.
Getting from Islamabad to Naran
On the road – by bus
In order to reach Naran, travellers have to cross Mansehra first. You can either take the local bus from Pirwadhi bus terminal at Rawalpindi or book the expensive yet comfortable Daewoo bus ride at the station. Daewoo is highly recommended as the ride is almost 4 to 5 hours long. You’d want to recline your seats and stretch your feet and be comfortable at your own stride.
There was supposed to be a direct link from Islamabad to Naran and Rawalpindi to Naran as well provided by the Pakistan Tourism Development Corporation but it never got into operation.
The Daewoo bus doesn’t go to Mansehra directly. There is a stop at Abbottabad first with a cost of Rs 300 per person and the total journey time of 3 to 4 hours. Passengers are advised to keep a check on the bus schedules online and at the stations since there are several buses that travel to Naran from Mansehra every day.
Once the passengers arrive at the Daewoo Bus Terminal in Abbottabad, a pre-booked Daewoo minivan will carry them to Mansehra. The ride is quite cheap as the per person ticket cost is Rs40 and duration of the ride is 30 minutes approximately.
Upon arrival at Mansehra, the passengers will be require to walk at least 500 metres down the road to the right. You can catch the next minibus at the terminal here for Naran. The ticket costs Rs250 per person. The duration of the ride is 5-6 hours depending on the passenger traffic on the bus.
Even though the journey can be tough and full of meandering difficulties, the road from Islamabad to Naran in a taxi is possible. The journey takes about 6-8 hours. A one way ticket costs between Rs13 – 17000. You can book the metro taxi since they provide the best taxi service all over Pakistan.
Best Time to Visit Naran Valley
The best time to travel from Islamabad to Naran would be the summer months of June – August. There is minimal snowfall during these months compared to the winter months. The average annual temperature in Naran is 10 degrees. So if you’re planning a trip to the northern side of Pakistan, make sure you avoid heavy rainfall and hail showers to gain maximum fun out of the journey!