Upper Kohistan (Khyber Pakhtoonkhwa)
Kohistan is an administrative region and covering an area around the Indus River next to Battagram on Karakoram Highway in the Hazara region in Khyber Pakhtoonkhwa. It is located at a distance of 421 km from Peshawar to its head quarter Dasu. It is the main connecting point with Gilgit-Baltistan via Karakoram Highway.
Kohistan is divided into the Upper Kohistan and the Lower Kohistan along the indus River. It is bounded by Diamer, Tangir, Darel, Mansehra, Battagram, Shangla, and Swat districts. It is connected with the Karakorum Highwary from Mansehra that leads toward Gilgit-Baltistan. It also connects with the Swat district via Basham to Khwarza Khela.
Due to Indus River and its tributaries, Kohistan is mainly covered with lush green trees on the junction of three mighty ranges of the Hamalaya, Hind Kush, and Karakorum, so you can enjoy your drive with picturesque views on Karakoram Highway. The merge of mountain ranges give an entire unique beauty of the mountains with richness of flora and fauna. It is a homeland of unique species such as the snow leopard and the western tragopan pheasant.
Due to tough remote mountain valleys, Kohistan is the least developed area in Pakistan, but people of this area are very polite and cooperative. It has lowest level of education as well as lowest Human Development Index in the Khyber Pakhtoonkhwa. In 2014, it is divided into Upper Kohistan and Lower Kohistan to smooth the administration in the district.
Dassu, the headquarters of Upper Kohistan, is located along the Indus River on the Karakorum Highway. The location of Dasu bridge over the Indus River gives a splendid view of Dasu town along the Indus River. The Dasu Dam, a hydroelectric gravity dam, is also located on the Indus River near Dasu town in Kohistan district. It is still under construction and will generate 4,320 MW electricity.
Palas is located in the Lower Kohistan and has vast range of wildlife. There are more than 230 species of bird. It is the homeland of western horned tragopan, koklass, khalij, and Himalayan monal. Persion leopard, red fox, and Himalayan black bear are also available in abundant quantity. Instead of that Himalayan goral, wild boar, and Himalayan musk deer are also available. There are number of national parks and wildlife sanctuaries are developed there. So this area is like a paradise for the wildlife lovers.
Darra Valley, also known as Lekhi Thoti Dara, is located in Upper Kohistan in the High mountains. Valley is full of lush green forests with number of wildlife. It gives picturesque views of valley with different waterfalls, lush green pastures on the high mountains, and beautiful blue water lakes. As there is no proper hotels and guest houses around the valley, so tourists have to use camps for night stay. Visiting of this valley is not easy due to remote and difficult access. One must has a local guide during the visit of this valley.
The Kandia Valley is high mountain valley in town of Kandia in the Upper Kohistan It is connected Kalam and Ghizer district in the Gilgit-Baltistan. It has dense forests with large and beautiful pastures in the high mountain, but it's access is much difficult due to bad conditions of road resulting by floods and avalanches.
Weather of Kohistan district is mild warm and humid in the summer season, whereas it becomes pleasant in the winter season. It also receives snowfall in the winter season as well as rainfall in the monsoon.