KALAM VALLEY PAKISTAN

Hello Friends!
I recently visited Kalam Valley which is located in Swat district of Pakistan for the first time and what a visual treat it was. Thankfully there is an expressway to Swat and the new road from Bahrain to Kalam is also built, which makes your travel super easy. But the major highlight on this trip for me was extremely hospitable and friendly people, who will offer you tea, food and free stay. They are extremely helpful in guiding you and will even stop their vehicles for tourists. I was traveling with my family and had no issues whatsoever.
Since tourism is actually booming in Pakistan, i experienced some good hotels in Swat (Mingora) and Kalam. One can stop by at Mingora, a fully developed city, for a break if needed before heading towards Kalam. On your way, do not miss stopping by all river side chai (tea) dhaabas.
You can make a base at Kalam and then take jeep tours to places like Shahi Bagh and Kumrat. I will advise not to take your own car to such places even if its a 4×4 because the tracks are rocky, but worth it. You can easily get jeeps with drivers from Kalam. One important thing is to keep some cash because there is no ATM in Kalam. Last ATM you can get is at Madyen on your way. I hope the government or banks will work on it because i foresee a lot of tourism happening in this region. I would also like to request the authorities to place as many dustbins as they can to keep Kalam clean and ask the restaurants not to litter the rivers.

Over all, what a wonderful experience to explore these scenic places full of kind people, amazing food (don’t miss the river fresh trout) and breathtaking visuals. I hope you will enjoy the photographs that i took!

Long Live Pakistan!


Love,
Mohsin Khawar
Writing from Pakistan (Sept 2020)
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Diyar – E – Ishq

Chinyere – Spring/Summer 2020

Photos: Mohsin Khawar
Label: Chinyere
Agency: The Red Eye Creatives
Talent: Sabeeka Imam
Hair & Makeup: Ayyan Aamir

General Post Office – Lahore, Pakistan

Architectural photographs of General Post Office (GPO) Lahore, Pakistan by Mohsin Khawar

Built in: 1887
Architect: Sir Ganga Ram
Location: Mall Road, Lahore.

You can buy these images at https://www.istockphoto.com/portfolio/mohsinkhawarphotography

PAKISTAN – Best Holiday Destination For 2020 says Condé Nast Traveller

Best Holiday Destination For 2020 says Conde Nast Traveller

PAKISTAN

“The adventure traveller’s must-visit goes from strength to strength

Thwarted by tales of terrorism and Taliban rule, Pakistan’s tourism industry has been stymied for the past two decades. But ancient valleys, relaxed visa restrictions and a high-profile royal visit in the offing mean this remarkable country is finally getting the focus it deserves.

Because this is a place of exquisite landscapes, where green spaces are overlooked by towering mountains. In fact, Pakistan has more peaks taller than 22,965ft than China and Nepal combined, making it an almost magnetic spot for adventure travellers and intrepid hikers. Visitors can follow in Michael Palin’s steps while traversing the 12,250ft Shandur Pass, home to the world’s highest polo field, or meet with the Kalash people of the Hindu Kush, famed for their cowrie-shell headdresses and brighter-than-bright embroidery. In Lahore, the sight of 100,000 worshippers crammed into the sandstone 17th-century Badshahi Mosque will leave you breathless, while Mughal-era architectural masterpieces stand resplendent on bustling street corners.

‘Having operated tours in Pakistan since the late 1990s, I’ve had a ringside seat to its troubled tourism industry, but finally it seems to be improving,’ says Jonny Bealby, founder and CEO of adventure-tour operator Wild Frontiers. ‘A focus on security measures, which saw the British FCO lift its advice against travel to large parts of the north, and the election of Imran Khan, who has vowed to increase international tourist numbers, has already had an impact,’ he says.

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge are also due to visit this Autumn to witness the magic of the mountains first-hand, while many of the frustrating permits previously required to travel here have been dropped. Hardy visitors will find that little has changed since Mughal times – with the peaks’ gemstone mines, fairy meadows and winding trails worn into the ground by heavy-laden yaks – while the Karokoram, stretching upwards from the north-west frontier and carved into the ancient bedrock, is one of the world’s most astonishing highways.”

Source: http://www.cntraveller.com

Murree – Pakistan

Travel Pakistan!

Polo

I photographed a Polo match in 2010 when i almost started photography as a hobby. I had a semi professional Canon camera and a limited skill of photography, but tried to capture the action. Here is a throwback to some of the shots.

Location: Lahore, Pakistan.
Year: 2010

Kalash Girl

When i first started photography as a hobby in 2006 during my architecture school, my first travel destination was Kalash Valley KPK, Pakistan. I had an analog camera on which i was practicing variants of shutter speed and aperture values. This photograph was one of my first shots and i named it ‘Kalash Girl‘ (inspired by Steve McCurry’s Afghan Girl).

This was exposed on a film and then scanned to make a digital copy. The quality of this photograph might not be great but it’s close to my heart as it did kickstart an endless journey of passion and joy for me. From that day, i haven’t stopped or looked back. Still trying to learn and improve my skill of capturing ‘photo’, which we also know as ‘light’!

Rung Nagar – Dehli Gate Lahore

Time

This photograph won me my first national competition in 2009. It was also selected by KP Tourism department and exhibited at Lok Virsa Museum.

I captioned it ‘Time’.

Taken at Nathia Gali, Pakistan.