About 200 kilometers long the picturesque Neelum Valley is situated to the North & North East of Muzaffarabad. Running parallel to the Kaghan Valley . It is disunited from if only snow-covered peaks, some over 4000 meters above sea level. Excellent scenic comeliness, panoramic view, towering hills on both sides of the strepitous Neelum river, lush green forests, enchanting streams and captivating circumventions make the valley a dream come true. The area is ideal for trekking. A fair weather road opens the valley to tourists upto Kel, 155 kilometers from Muzaffarabad, of which about 150 kilometers has been ebony topped while the remaining portion is being matalled. Buses ply daily on this rout and accommodation facilities are additionally available in the rest houses of places of tourist magnetization. Simple cooking facilities are available but one has to make his own arrangements for special dishes.
Attractions in Neelum valley:
It is 74 kilometers from Muzaffarabad. Here, Jagran Nallah joins river Neelum which is being developed for trout fishing.
The bewitching comeliness of Kutton permeated in the radius of 10 kilometers, makes Jagran Valley . The area is 16 kilometers from Kundal Shahi, is accessible by an unpaved road. For the accomodation of tourists, the tourism department has constructed two angler’s huts.
About 3 kilometers ahead of Kundal Shahi, there is another secluded spot of tourist interest of Salkhala across river Neelum where a trout hatchery has been established. A tourism rest house is available here for accommodation.
Authmuqam is 10 kilometers from Kundal Shahi of a height of 1371 meters. It is the sub-divisional headquarter of the area and accommodates as a take-off point for tourists fascinated with hiking and exploring the inner valley. It is an alluring place kenned for its variety of fruit. All obligatory facilities viz bazaar, post office banks, hospital, telephone and PWD east house are available here.
At a distance of about 9 kilometers from Authmuqam. Neelum is situated on the right bank of the river Neelum 1524 meters above sea level. It has a fascinating scenery. The village has a population of about one thousand, a diminutive bazaar and a tourist rest house situated on the bank of meandering river Neelum across from where the Indian held Kashmir is withal visible.
The panoramic lush green valley, profound in wild fruit and wildlife, magnetizes the tourists from every nook and corner of the country. Owing to its tourist magnetization, AJK Tourism Department is orchestrating to develop this area. 2 motels, 15 tourist huts, cafeteria and a tuck shop will be constructed here.
Dowarian is situated about 13 kilometers from Neelum at an altitude of 1615 meters. It is circumvented by mountains full of conifer trees. A mule track upto Rattigali Pass , about 30 kilometers towards west, connects the Neelum and Kaghan Valleys . There is a forest rest house on the top of the hill, a tourist rest house is available for accommodation near main road.
Located at a distance of 30 kilometers from Dowarian. It is a breath-taking green spot at an altitude of 1981 meters. Shardi and Nardi are two mountain peaks overlooking the valley, reputedly denominated after legendry princess Sharda, it has a captivating landscape with numerous springs and hill sides covered with trees. On the right bank, antithesis to Sharda, the Neelum is joined by the Surgan Nallah along which a track leads to Nurinar Pass and through it to the Kaghan Valley.
In Sharda, one additionally finds ruins of an old Budhist University . Facilities of a minuscule bazaar, post office, health centre, public call office and rest house are available in Sharda. The AJK Tourism Department has launched a sizably voluminous programme under the denomination of “ Tourist Village at Sharda” . The entire project is nearing towards culmination. Tourist rest houses, youth hostel, cafeteria, game room, bridal path etc. near the jungle have been consummated.
About 19 kilometers journey from Sharda upstream takes one to Kel. It is a minute valley at a height of 2097 meters. This is another picturesque place in the Neelum Valley . The Shounter Nallah joins river Neelum at this place and leads to Gilgit Agency over the Shandur Pass (4420 meters above sea level).
Buses ply daily on this route in good weather. It is adviseable to hire a jeep from Authmuqam for a peregrination into the Valley. Horses and ponies can additionally be hired locally for peregrinate to the interior of the Neelum Valley . Banks college hospital, bazaar and a reposal house of JAK Tourism are available for accommodation.
Arang Kel : A village and tourist spot located on the hill top near KEL at the altitude of 8,379 feet (2,554 m) feet. It is accessible by a 2 kilometers (1.2 mi) trek from Kel.
(Note): Some tourist places of Neelum valley are situated in the renge of line of control, therefore, sometimes it becomes arduous to visit these areas. So afore to visit the valley the visitors are requested to get information from the tourism office.
Taobat: The last station of the valley. It is 200 kilometers (120 mi) from Muzaffarabad and 39 kilometers (24 mi) away from Kel. A tourist hotel of AJK Tourism Department and many private hotel with basic facilities located here for tourists.
Lakes in Neelum Valley:
Chitta Katha Lake is located in Shonter valley, a sub valley of Neelam valley at the altitude of 13,500 feet (4,100 m). The lake is accessible from Kel by a 20 kilometers (12 mi) jeep track and then 5 kilometers (3.1 mile) hiking trek. Kel is the base camp to this lake.
Ratti Gali Lake is located in Neelam valley at the altitude of 12,130 feet (3,700 m). The lake is accessible from Dowarian by a 19 kilometers (12 mile) hiking trek. Dowarian is the base camp to this lake.
Video Travel Guide of Neelum Valley: