Jalkhad Point: When people travel to far off places to see the raw quality of nature, one of the things that they admire most is that small places which are not even shown as hotspots appear to them as parts of paradise. This is quite common on treks and hikes. The best thing about them is that they are surprising for many people. One of these beautiful surprises is the amazing village of Jalkhad which is present in the valley of Naran and serves as a base camp for many hikes which leave for the high tops and lush green meadows. Many people have called it to be the hidden gem of the hiking trails and treks.
Jalkhad is located almost at a three hour drive from the beautiful city of Naran Valley at an elevation of almost 10200 feet above the sea level. This equates to almost 3000 meters. Although it is considered to be quite simply a low lying village of the area, it has recently become a picnic hotspot due to its strategic location in the area and its geography. The village sits on the fork in the paths that lead to either Noorisar top or to Babusar Top. Therefore, many people who are going to hikes or treks in any of these areas are seen taking short breaks and resting at the area. There are no permanent means of accommodation at the Jalkhad village, however, there are some huts which can be used for free or for nominal rent if the people who are living near them allow the visitors to stay. There are many people who live in the area and earn money through the hospitality business. So it is best to talk to them about these huts.
Best Time To Visit Jalkhad
Jalkhad remains open for almost ten months each year. The economy of the village depends upon three things i.e. on hikers and trekkers, on farming and on the military and their soldiers who pass through. The village draws many visitors from many parts of the country and they are the hikers or trekkers who want to visit the high lakes of mountain tops. They stay or rest at the village, and they usually come in the mid-summer. This is the best time to visit the area for not only will all the ways and paths be open, it will also be the best time to get accommodation and local help in the area. There will be local jeeps which can be hired. There will be local guides who will be willing to help on tours for a nominal fee and food. Also there will be local mechanics that can help with any car trouble that the travellers may be having. Therefore, the best time to visit this village is in the midsummer season.
Trekking Guidance for Jalkhad
The village is only 3 hours’ drive from the city of Naran. There are two or three things that must be kept in mind when travelling to the village. The first is that a simple drive is best done via jeep and travelling by car should be avoided, although it can be done. The way is very easy with only one road and, therefore, there is no chance of getting lost.
Equipment And Kit
The people who arrive at Jalkhad are of three kinds.
There are the families who are travelling through the area in their own cars or personal vehicles; they will, therefore, have to stay in accommodations overnight. They are required only to carry personal things with them such as warm clothes, good walking shoes or joggers and boots, as well as sun creams and caps or hats.
The second kind of people is the travelers and trekkers. They will be traveling through the area by walking on foot in some areas and using the local jeeps in others. They will require some survival equipment such as camps, etc. to stay in the area and should bring those with them.
The third kind of people is the ones who want to experience the full hiking journey with camping in the lake area and near the tops. These people will have to carry their full hiking gear along. They will use the village as a base and will most probably hire a hut or two in order to stay overnights in the area.
Precautions And Survival Tips
Here are some tips that will make it easy for the group to travel safely through the area and enjoy the trip.
- Make sure every person driving the cars and or jeeps is experienced in mountain driving.
- Make sure all people in the group are adept at carrying the equipment given to them; make sure they are in good physical shape at the same time as well and are not suffering from any kind of physical injury.
- Make sure that the accommodation has been given a once over before going to stay in it
- Make sure no member of the group does anything illegal in the village as there are army posts nearby and it can be troubling for a person to be arrested in this area.
- Make sure that no person is lost while travelling or takes another vehicle instead of the one hired. This can cause delays in the journey.
- Try to eat the food that the hikers and trekkers have taken with them as eating local food in some places can lead to sickness.
Nature Reserves at Jalkhad
Some of the most important animals of the Kaghan valley can be seen in the area near the Jalkhad Village. For example, there are reports of Markhor being seen along with the great snow leopard, the grey wolves and the marmots that are found in the valley. Along with reports of bears and some smaller animals like weasels, foxes and wild sheep and wild stallions can also be found in and around the Jalkhad village. The herbivores come out to graze during the summer months and can be sighted during that time. Wild goats are also very common in the area.
The flora of the area includes many hardwood trees that form forests and there are many herbs as well that are grown for medicinal purposes. Pine forests are found primarily in this area and cover most part of the land. Furthermore, there are many shrubs that grow berries but these should be eaten only when it is fully clear that the berries are edible. Otherwise it may lead to uncommon medical conditions and can cause problems for the travelers as medication may not be readily available.