Mahodand is located in Upper Ushu valley, Swat. The lake is around 40 kilometres (25 miles) away from Kalam. It is one of the most well-known tourist destinations of Swat. Therefore it appears to be the top pick for vacationers from all over Pakistan.
Mahodand literally translates to “Fish Lake”. It is in the Hindu-Kush Mountain Range. The elevation of the lake is 9,603 feet (2,927 metres) above sea level. It is two kilometres long and two kilometres wide. It takes about three hours (35 to 40 kilometres) to reach the lake from Kalam.
The excursion towards Mahodand begins by a four-wheel vehicle, which quickly penetrates the dense woodlands of the Kalam valley. The first halt after crossing the jungle is at Ushu Valley. This valley, with green peaceful parts, is quite spectacular and eye catching. Gushing water from streams not only provides a stunning and pleasant sight, but also serves as a supply of water for local power generators.
Tourists can watch nomads with their herds of sheep and goats. They seem trekking far into the valley on their route to the lake. When these herds are crossing the road, the tourist must stop and often wait for a while to clear the road. It is a normal practice for the locals. But it is a nice experience for international tourists.
After Matiltan, the next stop is Mahi Banal. It is another scenic spot on the way to Mahodand. After half an hour drive, there is a popular tourist destination, the 22 mighty waterfalls. On the route to Mahodand, tourists can find a small market as well.
Mahodand is a magnificent natural wonder in the foothills of Hindu-Kush Mountain Range. The elevation of the lake is 9,603 feet (2,927 metres) above sea level. The lake is surrounded by lush green meadows, snow-capped mountain peaks, and dense forests. The beauty of the lake is facilitated by tall and lofty Pine trees.
Because of the considerable snowfall, Mahodand remains frozen throughout the winter season. In the summer, the surface is completely covered with wild flowers such as Geum, Blue Poppy, Potentilla and Gentian. Hundreds of resident birds take refuge in the pine woods. The lake is good for anglers since it contains a large number of trout fish reservoirs. However, fishing is only permitted with a licence, which fishers can obtain from the appropriate authorities.
Tourists can enjoy the splendour of the lake by camping, fishing and hiking to adjacent hilly areas. The water of Mahodand flows through numerous streams, which are teeming with brown and rainbow trout. Because of illegal fishing, the species have declined to an alarming number. Anglers employ electrocution, dynamiting and large-netting techniques which destroy the whole ecosystem.
Mahodand is top of the list in tourist attractions of Swat valley. It will be the most enjoyable and amazing experience of someone’s life. The lovely and magnificent surroundings make it a highly recommended lake to visit.
Author: Fehmeeda Farid Khan