Fairy Meadows

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Fairy Meadows
Nanga parbat, Pakistan by gul791.jpg
Nanga Parbat from Fairy Meadows
Map showing the location of Fairy Meadows
Map showing the location of Fairy Meadows
Location
Location Gilgit-Baltistan, Pakistan
Nearest city Chilas
Coordinates 35°23′12.67″N 74°35′02.98″E / 35.3868528°N 74.5841611°E / 35.3868528; 74.5841611Coordinates: 35°23′12.67″N 74°35′02.98″E / 35.3868528°N 74.5841611°E / 35.3868528; 74.5841611
Established 1995 (1995)
Governing body Government of Gilgit-Baltistan

Fairy Meadows, named by German climbers (German Märchenwiese, ″fairy tale meadows″)[1][2] and locally known as Joot,[3] is a grassland near one of the base camp sites of the Nanga Parbat, located in Diamer District, Gilgit-Baltistan.[4] At an altitude of about 3,300 metres (10,800 ft) above sea level, it serves as the launching point for trekkers summiting on the Rakhiot face of the Nanga Parbat.[4][5] In 1995, the Government of Pakistan declared Fairy Meadows a National Park.[6][7]

Location[edit]

Fairy Meadows is approachable by a 12-kilometre-long (7.5 mi) jeepable trek starting from Raikhot bridge on Karakoram Highway to the village Tato.[5][8][9] Further from Tato, it takes about three to four hours hiking by a 5-kilometre (3.1 mi) trek to Fairy Meadows.[8][9] The grassland is located in the Raikhot valley, at one end of the Raikhot glacier which originates from the Nanga Parbat and feeds a stream that finally falls in the River Indus.[2] Since 1992, locals have operated camping sites in the area.[10]

Tourism[edit]

The six-month tourist season at Fairy Meadows starts in April and continues until the end of September. Tourists lodge at the camping site spread over 0.81 hectares (2 acres), known as "Raikot Serai".[2] The site of Fairy Meadows, though only partially developed, generates about PKR 17 million revenue from tourism, mainly by providing food, transportation and accommodation services.[9]

Fairymeadows is no longer considered a national park as the land there is not government-owned and has recently been divided amongst the local community. As of 2015 some members of the community are starting tourism-related projects.

Flora and fauna[edit]

The grassland is surrounded by thick alpine forest.[11] The high altitude area and north-facing slopes mostly consist of coniferous forest having Pinus wallichiana, Picea smithiana and Abies pindrow trees, while in the high altitude areas with little sunlight are birch and willow dwarf shrubs. The southern slopes are concentrated with juniper and scrubs, namely Juniperus excelsa and J. turkesticana. In the low altitudes, the major plant found is Artemisia, with yellow ash, stone oaks and Pinus gerardiana spread among it.[2] Research has suggested similarities between Pinus wallichiana found in the meadows with a sister species, Pinus peuce, found in the Balkans, based on leaf size.[12] Researchers have found thirty-one species of Rust fungi in the area.[13]

Among mammals, a few brown bears are found in the region, with their numbers declining.[14] Some musk deer, regarded as an endangered species, are also present.[15]

Gallery[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Timo Frasch (15 July 2009). "Nanga Parbat: Eine Blume für Karl". Frankfurter Allgemeine. Retrieved 5 October 2013. 
  2. ^ a b c d Shaheen Rafi Khan (1997). Micro Case Study and Action Plan for Fairy Meadows (PDF) (Report). International Center for Integrated Mountain Development. ISSN 1024-7564. Retrieved 30 August 2013. 
  3. ^ Zofeen T. Ebrahim (July 2011). "Trekking to tranquility". Pakistan Wildlife News (Bioresource Research Center) 3 (7): 7. ISSN 2077-9305. Retrieved 30 August 2013. 
  4. ^ a b Zofeen T. Ebrahim (8 July 2011). "Trekking to tranquility". Dawn. Retrieved 24 August 2013. 
  5. ^ a b "Roof of the World beckons trekkers". New Straits Times. 23 March 1997. pp. 32–34. Retrieved 24 August 2013. 
  6. ^ Lawrence S. Hamilton (15 June 1995). "New Parks for Pakistan". Mountain Protected Areas Update. International Union for Conservation of Nature. p. 3. Retrieved 28 August 2013. 
  7. ^ Kanak Mani Dixit (March–April 1995). "Objects of Desire in the Northern Areas". Himal Southasian (Nepal: Himal Association) 8 (2). ISSN 1012-9804. 
  8. ^ a b Danial Shah (28 July 2013). "Over the top: Misreporting on location of Nanga Parbat attack". The Express Tribune. Retrieved 26 August 2013. 
  9. ^ a b c Vaqar Zakaria (December 2009). Central Karakoram Conservation Complex (PDF) (Report). International Union for Conservation of Nature. pp. 21, 27. Retrieved 28 August 2013. 
  10. ^ Jurgen Clemens; Marcus Nusser (1 December 2000). "Pastoral Management Strategies in Transition". In Eckart Ehlers, Herrmann Kreutzmann. High Mountain Pastoralism in Northern Pakistan. Franz Steiner Verlag. pp. 168–169, 186. ISBN 978-3515076623. 
  11. ^ Syagfiqah Omar (22 June 2011). "Postcards from Pakistan: Karakoram and beyond". Dawn. Retrieved 26 August 2013. 
  12. ^ Businský, Roman (25 August 2004). "A Revision of the Asian Pinus Subsection Strobus (Pinaceae)". Willdenowia (Berlin: Botanischer Garten und Botanisches Museum) 34 (1): 248. doi:10.3372/wi34.34120. ISSN 0511-9618. Retrieved 30 August 2013. 
  13. ^ N.S. Afshan, A. N. Khalid, A. R. Niazi (November 2012). "Some new rust fungi (Uredinales) from Fairy Meadows, Northern Areas, Pakistan" (PDF). Journal of Yeast and Fungal Research (Academic Journals) 3 (5): 65–73. doi:10.5897/JYFR12.024. ISSN 2141-2413. Retrieved 28 August 2013. 
  14. ^ Nawaz, Muhammad Ali (2007). "Status of the Brown Bear in Pakistan". Ursus (International Association for Bear Research and Management) 18 (1): 89–100. doi:10.2192/1537-6176(2007)18[89:sotbbi]2.0.co;2. ISSN 1537-6176. Retrieved 30 August 2013. 
  15. ^ Participants of Conservation Assessment & Management Plan Workshop (22 August 2013). Kashif M. Sheikh, Sanjay Molur, ed. Status and Red List of Pakistan's Mammals (PDF) (Report). International Union for Conservation of Nature. p. 62. Retrieved 30 August 2013.