This year in September, I got the chance to travel on Karakoram Highway, second time in two years. I am calling it a wonder because of its altitude as well as the kind of area it was built in. From Mansehra till Khunjerab, the travel on KKH is full of exciting views and adventures.
I am going to share my views on some of the exciting places that I have seen so far on KKH. Top of the list is the junction point of 3 highest mountain ranges of the world, Karakoram, Hindukush and Himalayas. I wish we had established and publicized this point as a proper tourist spot, however the reality is that even Pakistanis dont have much awareness about it. The spot is located at Karakoram Highway where the road splits in two, one going towards Gilgit and second towards Skardu.
We can also find sulphur spring along the road near Raikot bridge. The springs are easily spotted due steam coming out from water with temperature near boiling point.
Once you reach Chillas, you will see the kind of area that negates all perceptions about the nothern areas of Pakistan. The mountains in Chillas are complete dry and is usually warmer than Islamabad throughout the year. Its like a desert in the middle of mountains with plantation and wild life similar to deserts of plain areas.
We can also find the site for Diamer Bhasha Dam at Chillas. The marks on the mountains show that part of Karakoram Highway will be drowned once Bhasha dam is completed. Traveling from Chillas towards Mansehra, we can see mountains getting greener as we move towards South.
The various waterfalls, small cafes and the colorful trucks on KKH. The construction of the road started in 1959 and it was completed in 1979. The Pakistani side of the road is looked after by the Frontier Works Organization.
A word of caution in the end. When it rains, land sliding is almost always expected. The road will close down for hours. FWO is usually able to restore traffic within hours.