View of Arang Kel, a village situated in Neelum valley.
|District||Azad Kashmir District|
|Elevation||1,615 m (5,299 ft)|
|Time zone||PST (UTC+5)|
Neelum Valley (also spelled Neelam Valley) (Urdu: وادیِ نیلم ) is a 144 km long bow-shaped thick forested region in Azad Jammu and Kashmir in Pakistan Administered Kashmir. It is named after the Neelum river, which flows through the length of the valley.
The valley is situated in the north-east of Muzaffarabad, running parallel to Kaghan Valley. The two valleys are only separated by snow-covered peaks, some over 4,000 meters (13,000 ft) above sea level.
The valley is connected from Muzaffarabad by Neelam road, which leads up to Kel. The road condition from Muzaffarabad to Athmuqam is very good and suitable for any kind of transport. From Keran to Kel road condition is not well and not suitable for low floor vehicles. In winters road onward Keran is blocked due to heavy snowfall and it is very difficult to reach upper parts of the valley.
Vans service is only available from Muzaffarabad to Athmuqam after every 30 minutes. Buses run daily between Muzaffarabad and Kel in good weather. Jeeps and horses are available to reach remote areas of the valley.
Accommodation and guest houses
Rest houses and lodge of AJK Tourism and Archeology Department are located in Keran, Kutton, Dawarrian, Sharda, Kel and Taobat for tourists stay. Some private hotels are also located there. A newly established tourism company "Horizon Hospitality" has set up its chain of hotels including Muzaffarabad, Keran, Shardah & Kel.
Towns and villages
Jura: The most popular and most populated area in district neelum is jura, which is famous for its Bazar and its beautiful places and highest mountains. There are many colleges, private and government schools, hospitals and other facilities. In the village the Awan Family is mostly available.
Athmuqam: The chief town of valley located about 84 kilometres from Muzaffarabad. It is the headquarters of Neelum District. All the basic necessities of life are available there. Hotels, rest houses, market, post office, banks, hospitals, and telephone exchanges are also present.
Kutton: Also known as Jagran Valley, is a village and tourist resort located 82 kilometers (51 mi) from Muzaffarabad and 8 kilometers (5.0 mi) from Kundal Shahi on the bank of Jagran steam. Rest houses of AJK Tourism Department and WAPDA are located here. Some private rest houses and hotels are also available here for tourists stay.
Dowarian: It located 106 kilometers (66 mi) from Muzaffarabad and 22 kilometers (14 mi) from Athmuqam on the bank of Neelam River at the altitude of 1,615 meters (5,299 ft). A rest house of AJK Tourism Department located here for tourists stay. It is the base camp to Ratti Gali Lake.
Dudhnial It is a very famous and beautiful town of Neelum Valley. There is a government college, Girls high school and Hospital and other government offices. There are many shops and restaurants. Private rest houses facility is also available there.
Sharda: One of the beautiful spots of the Neelum valley located on the banks of the Neelum river at an altitude of 1,981 meters (6,499 ft), about 136 kilometers (85 mi) from Muzaffarabad.
Tehjian: Tehjian is most beautiful Village of Neelum Valley. Total Population of Tehjian is nearly 5000, There is 40 years old Middle School, but for highly populated village there is no Post Office or Basic Health Unit. Few private hotels and a tourist hostel of AJK Tourism Department located there for tourists stay.
Kel: The most beautiful village of the valley located 19 kilometers (12 mi) ahead from Sharda at the altitude of 6,879 feet (2,097 m). Few private hotels and a rest house of AJK Tourism Department located there for tourists stay. It also has bank, college, hospital and market.
Taobat: The last station of the valley. It is 200 kilometers (120 mi) from Muzaffarabad and 39 kilometers (24 mi) away from Kel. A tourist hotel of AJK Tourism Department and many private hotel with basic facilities located here for tourists.
Chitta Katha Lake is located in Shonter valley, a sub valley of Neelam valley at the altitude of 13,500 feet (4,100 m). The lake is accessible from Kel by a 20 kilometers (12 mi) jeep track and then 5 kilometers (3.1 mi) hiking trek. Kel is the base camp to this lake.
Ratti Gali Lake is located in Neelam valley at the altitude of 12,130 feet (3,700 m). The lake is accessible from Dowarian by a 17 kilometers (11 mi) jeepable track and then 2 km hiking trek. Dowarian is the base camp to this lake.