Shounter Valley (Azad Kashmir)
Shounter Valley is situated in the Neelum Vally Azad Kashmir. It can be accessed from Kel by using Jeep. This valley is normally covered with snow, so only available in few months of summer season. It is an ideal location for tourists who like trekking and camping.
It is located just at the distance of 12 KM from Kel at an altitude of 10,200 ft. It has number of lakes created with the glacier waters from the surrounding mountains. Chitta Katha Lake, Spoon Lake, and Shounter Lake are the most favorite spots for tourists in the Shounter Valley.
Shouter Valley is a remote location, so there is no restaurant and hotels in the valley. If you want to stay there, then you must have camps. Instead of that, you must also have eatables and other necessary items.
Jeeps are only available from Kel. You can negotiate price with the jeep drivers as they always demand higher price. While traveling toward Shounter Valley, jeep driver will try to move all time to save his time. But you have to force him to stop, so that you can enjoy the beauty of the Shounter Valley and its splendid unforgettable with the lush green meadows and snow-capped mountains.
By using Shounter Road, you can crossed Shounter Pass to enter into the Astore Valley in Gilgit-Baltistan. It is an crossing between Azad Kashmir and Gilgit-Baltistan. It is situated at the elevation of 14,500 feet above the sea level. It is a jeep track from Kel to access Shounter Pass. Shouter Pass is only opened in few months of summer, May to August, due to heavy snowfall in the winter season. It is a gateway to Shouter Valley and Chitta Katha Lake.
Shounter Lake, also known as Spoon Lake due to its spoon like shape, is only the most significant location in the Neelum Valley on foot of Hari Parbat. It can be accessed from Kel by jeep within three hours. It is the highest lake in the Neelum Valley at the elevation of 10,200 feet above sea level. It's sources of water are surrounding glaciers on the mountains. It gives a magnificent view within the snow-capped mountain peaks.
Further moving ahead, you can access Upper Domel. From there, a trek leads toward the Sarwali Peak base camp and Rattu Valley in Astore Gilgit-Baltistan. From Domel, you can access the Chitta Katha Lake after 7-8 hours trekking. The Chitta Katha an attractive lake in the snow-covered mountains, and the reflection of bluish water with shadow of glaciers gives a charming view of the lake.
Weather of Shounter Valley cool and pleasant in summer season, and much harsh in winter season with heavy snowfall. So never try to visit this valley in winter season, without specialized guide.
About Neelum Valley
Neelum Valley, a bow-shaped thickly forested region, is the last district of Azad Jammu and Kashmir in Pakistan, located at the distance of 100 km from Muzzafarabad at an altitude of 5,299 feet. Its name is due to the Neelum River, flowing across the valley. Valley is divided among Pakistan and Indian held Kashmir, the LOC is normally moved along the Neelum River in this valley.
Neelum valley is very beautiful and attractive for number of visitors in all the seasons, it has a number of pictureous views of lakes, rivers, snow-capped mountains, green fields, waterfalls, etc. Road from Authmuqam to Kel, and then from Kel to Taobat is a real adventure of tour and full of beautiful views those must have an impact on life, as the road is adjacent to LOC, so you can see Indian Post and Indian flags on various hills in Indian held Kashmir.
It is also famous for orchards of apples, pears, and apricots. You can also see corn crops in all over the valley, that is much famous in all over Pakistan.
Kutton is small tourist point at the distance of 82 km from Muzaffarabad on the bank of Jagran stream. It is a beautiful picnic point and one can enjoy the lovely night there.
On the bank of Neelum River and just on the LOC, there is a beautiful valley called Keran at the altitude of 5,000 feet. There is a splendid view of the Neelum River at this point and one can enjoy fishing there too. Upper Keran is more beautiful small village at the top, and you can have a clear view of mountain ranges in the Indian held Kashmir there.
It is another most beautiful spot in the Neelum Valley at the altitude of 6,499 feet on the foot of Shardan Peak and at the distance of 136 km from Muzaffarabad. It is most attractive hill station in the Neelum Valley and people love to stay there for one or two days for getting peace of mind.
Kel & Aurang kelKel is the most attractive location for tourists at the altitude of 6,879 feet. Upper Kel or Aurang Kel is small village at the hilltop at the altitude of 8,379 feet, just two kilometers from Kel and is accessible through Chairlift or by performing two hours trek. Trek is little bit difficult at the end, but it will be the most valuable part of your life as there are number beautiful views of lush green forest, streams, springs, etc. If you are lucky, you may see some wild life there.
LakesThere are number of lakes in the Neelum valley, those are accessible through jeep and hiking trek. The most important of them are Chitta Katha Lake, Shounter Lake, Ratti Gali Lake, spoon lake, and Saral Lake. These lakes are glacier lakes as most of the water in these lakes is due to surrounding glaciers on the hills.
Shounter Valley Map
Tour places in Shounter Valley
Chitta Katha Lake is situated in the Shounter valley in Sharda, Neelum Valley, Azad Kashmir at an altitude of 13,500 feet on the foot of Mount Hari Parbat. Lake can be accessed from Kel to Domel Bala by Jeep hired from Kel, and then trekking for 5km.
Tourism in Chitta Katha Lake
Spoon Lake is situated in the Shounter valley in Azad Kashmir on Shouter Valley Road at the distance of 20 KM from Shouter Valley. Due to its spoon like shape, it is known as Spoon Lake. The main source of its water is surrounding glaciers, so it winter season it becomes the part of surrounding glaciers.
Tourism in Spoon Lake