Arang Kel Neelum Valley (Azad Kashmir)
Arang Kel is a small village near Kel and located on the hilltop at the distance of 2 Km from Kel at the altitude of 8,379 feet. It is just on the LOC, behind the mountain in front of you. There is no road to the village, so the only way to come here is a chairlift or hiking trek of two hours. The chairlift is supervised by the Army and local government. You also have to flow 30 minutes trek to access Arang Kel village, after the drop-off point of chair lift.
It is a lush green hill station and attracts most of the tourists coming to Neelum Valley. As it is not connected with roads so accommodation and food are relatively expensive here as compared to other tourist locations in the Neelum Valley. It will be good if you have some eatables. A night stay in Arang Kel, specially in full moon, would be a romantic and memorable night of your life there.
The trek to Arang Kel, is adventurous in the pine forest and beneath the roaring sound of the Neelum River. After crossing the bridge over the Neelum River, the trek is becoming narrow in the deep forest, you can see some waterfalls in your way. The last part of the trek is steeper and difficult, so you will have to put more force and courage to complete it. You can enjoy number of streams and springs on the passage on the lush green passage. By luck, you can also observe wild life there. Leopard, bear, wild cat, or fox can be seen in the valley. Do not try to go more closer to them, they may be dangerous. They will not attack if you are just moving along the trek. After completing the trek, you will get a splendid and broader view of Arang Kel village with colorful huts in green fields. It will restore all of your energies and you will forget your tiredness and weakness.
On the top of Arang Kel hill, you can see a broader view of Kel on one side, and range of lush green hills on the other side. The LOC is just located behind these mountain ranges behind the village. On the clear weather, you can also see the shining peak of Nanga Parbat . There are vast lush green fields behind the huts in village, that is connected with the dense forest on the foot of mountain ranges. If you want to explore more about wild life and plants, then it will be good opportunity for you. You can easily observe bear, fox, leopard, and wild cat there, but be care to get closer to them.
One of the most important in Arang Kel is the food. All of the items are transported through human efforts as no road is connected with it. So food is the most expensive item there, you have to pay more than double of the price. Therefore you must purchase some eatables from Kel before moving toward Arang Kel. There are no specialized restaurant there, so it will be better to order home-made food. You can also enjoy the local Kashmiri food in the village.
Weather of Arang Kel is pleasant in summer season, where it will be covered with snow in winter, so in winter season, it becomes difficult to access it. As village is on the hill, so there is pleasant cool breeze all time, coming from the Nanga Parbat side. Morning view of Arang Kel is more funtastic due to reflecting rays of sunlight on the hut roofs. It is good time to observe the Nanga Parbat peak, as weather at morning time is normally clear.
Arang Kel Neelum Valley Map