It was such a great surprise, to discover a beautiful place so near my home! Just the type of place I love – with streams, caves, rocks and mountains. It had heard about it, but I wasn’t sure of the exact location. ( I’ve lived near this place for over eleven years! ) Finding out that it took twenty minutes to get there by car, was even a greater surprise.
Two weeks ago, on a Sunday, Uzma and Daniyal agreed to show us the way, so my two daughters and I went on an impromptu visit.
The weather and drive was lovely. The road kept getting worse as the view kept getting better.
Driving on the single-track, rough and slightly winding road, we neared the point where two mountains met in a valley, and suddenly we were there!
Parking wasn’t difficult, and the caves looked enchanting.
Imagine arriving here on your horses with your caravan, finding a place with streams and orchards. The man Abdul Ismail told me that as a child he had eaten from the trees in the orchards having fruits of many kinds. Now, these fruit trees have disappeared. Only the caves and narrow streams are there.
It is like a wonderland and you keep discovering little nooks and corners here and there…. the huge banyan trees with its innumerable huge hanging roots is what Tarzan would have loved!
There were many families and young people there to enjoy the location along with some Chinese people.
As we moved upwards towards the caves, a clearing had some inviting ‘charpoyees’ laid out with tables between them.
A small shelter with smoke coming out with a shabby door meant that this was the kitchen. I went in to order the tantalizing ‘pakoras’ with the tea which was being offered.
The delicious potato pakoras which emerged a while later were really good, and we just finished them off within minutes. (Hard to believe we had just come from a delicious brunch at ‘Chaye Khana’ in F-11 just an hour ago.) It was while having that brunch, where our plan had materialized. So wonderful to suddenly make a plan, and within an hour to be there!
Muhammad Ismail said he owns the place and the Abdul Majid, next to him was his friend.
I made a video of the interview he gave me on my mobile phone.
The tiny streams end up in a pond with fish in it.
Then the stream goes into a drain which provides water to this area.
People go to this place even at night time, and the person there said its safe.
After coming home, I looked up the net and found out that this was one of the main route towards the Northern areas and so most conquerors including Alexander the Great and the Mughals had camped here, on their route to India.
The caretakers now, who say they own it too say that others would have made this place into a shrine, which attracts a lot of un-Islamic activities and lots of money for the caretakers. However, they are happy as they are and want to grow the orchards here as before.
It is great to discover new places which are near your home, so we need watch out, and include such places in our ‘to do’ list. Perhaps, we need to have a ‘to explore’ list to find such places in our surrounding areas. Stay blessed and keep exploring, specially while the weather is so beautiful.