Shangla - homeland of pine forests (Khyber Pakhtoonkhwa)
Shangla is located at the distance of 216 km from Peshawar in the Hindu Kush Range on the right bank of the Indus River. Due to remote access of Shangla, human development and literacy level is also very low in this district.
Shangla district has boundaries with Kohistan, Battagram, Torghar, Swat, and Buner districts. It is situated on the Karakoram Highway via Battagram district as well as from Swat district through Besham - Khawarza Khela Road N-90.
There are small valleys between the hillocks and surrounded by high mountains which covered with pine forests. More than 80% of the land of the Shangla district is covered with forest that is the highest percentage in Pakistan. The average elevation of the area is 2,000 to 3000 meters. Kuz Ganrshal in the north is the highest location at an elevation of 3,440 meters in the Shangla district.
Alpuri is the capital of the Shangla district and is situated along the Shain Khwar River. The area is covered with dense pine forests. There are several scenic views along the road with lush green forests on the slopes of mountains.
Shangla Top is located on the main Besham-Khawarza Khela road on the border between Swat and Shangla districts. It is a location from where one can get a panoramic view of the lush green Shangla City. A small road leads toward the top on the left side coming from Besham.
Besham, also known as Besham Qila, is the main commercial town in the Shangla district located on the right bank of the Indus River. It is an important stop on the Karakoram Highway that leads toward the Gilgit-Baltistan. Due to number of tourists following this route toward the Gilgit-Baltisan, there are several rest houses including PTDC in Besham. It is one of the major stay area on the Karakoram Highway, so you can see large size truck and bus stands.
Martung is a lush green valley with beautiful scenic views located in the south east of the Shangla district. It is a high mountain village with an average elevation of 900 meters. It is surrounded by high hills all around like a snake shape. It has moderate temperature as compare to other parts of the Shangla district. It also receives little snowfall. Small streams, springs, and rainfalls are the only source of drinking water in this area due to distance from the Indus River.
Chakesar is located in the north west on the right bank of the Indus River in the Shangla district. It is located on the formation of the Indus River delta at an elevation of 3,722 fee above sea level. It is considered a hub of precious stone deposits such as emeralds, rubies, etc. It also has historical importance due to many Buddhist hermits as well as Hindu community. There are many valleys and mountains in the surrounding of the town. Its weather is moderate in summer and cold in winter due to closet with the Indus River. It is also fertile area and best for wheat, rice, and maize.
Yakh Tangay is beautiful visiting location in the Shangla district at an elevation of 6,000 feet above sea level. It is a lush green pine forest valley. It is located at a distance of 30 km from the Shangla Top. The Shangla Road from Besham-Khawarza Khela road leads toward the Yakh Tangay. The climate is moderate and pleasant in the summer season, whereas in winter is also observed. Yakh Tangay Sar is the highest mountain in this valley.