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Pari (Khapiro) Lake Swat Valley – Pakistan

Izmis Lake, Swat

Tourism

Pari (Khapiro) Lake

Pari or Khapiro is name of same lake however locals call it Khapiro Dandh. Google Earth shows only one lake on map out of two lakes.

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Pari Lake

Pari/Fairy or Khapiro, all these names are of the same lake, to which locals call it Khapiro Dandh. Google Earth shows only one big lake on the map however there are two lakes in fact. Fairy 1 is the water source of the Fairy 2, but it is relatively smaller in size, as compared to the Fairy 2. A big stone-type wall separates both the lakes from each other. When you reach Fairy 1 you have to cross Fairy 2. It takes almost 20 to 25 minutes of trekking to reach there.

Treks

To reach Pari or Fairy lake, there are two treks. One is from Kundol lake and other is from Izmis lake. Furthermore, there are two treks from Kundol too. One starts just before the lake from the right side of the mountain. It is quite steep and challenging ascending. The other trek starts from Jabba Banda after crossing 1.5 kilometres of distance from Kundol lake.

Jabba Banda

Jabba Banda is a beautiful meadows and an ideal place for camping. You will find a few shepherd huts there on both sides of the mountain. From Jabba Banda, there is a Pass, from where you can directly descend to Bahrain. There is a small descent along with a camping site. There is a wooden bridge over the river. From there upon, you are on the trek of Fairy lakes and just have to forget the plain trekking.

Ascending

Continuous ascending starts from there. At the beginning, it is a gradual descent within the boulders. Then suddenly it turns into a rocky ascent after a few hundred metres. Its significance is its trek, which I like the most. You will enjoy a beautiful scenic view of the Kundol lake. During half of the trekking, seeing Kundol lake from such a height is quite amazing. As soon as Kundol lake disappears from sight, small waterfalls of fairy lake welcome you. These waterfalls scattered on the whole trek up to the lake.

Tough Rough Patch:

There is a small patch which gives a tough time to cross the remaining trek. It is a steep ascent with big boulders and pastures. The locs take their livestock there in summers, when the fodder is scarce in plain areas.

Camping

We planned to camp at the lake. I was wondering during trekking that there is not a single plain patch there. As I couldn’t find it yet, so possibly we would have been to camp along with the lake. While thinking all this, I was ascending towards the lake with a group of fellows. Some of the friends impatiently started asking how much climbing remains? In this regard, I am thankful to the local people. I have learned one thing from them, which is a simple answer “bus thora sa aur reh gya hai” or “bus yeh samnay wali jagha hi hai” lol. It was the same strategy I adopted there too.

Pari Lake

At around 2 PM, we were in front of Pari/Fairy lake 2. Thinking of befitting answer why it is named as Fairy. The crystal clear water of the lake looks blue with mirror to shade of the Sky. Suddenly sky started covering with clouds and the color of lake turns blacky. In the meantime our guide and porters reached there with the luggage. Now we have to setup camps and prepare food.

Making Set-up

Luckily we found a suitable space for camping and fixed 5 camps altogether. After helping in setting up camps, I returned to the lake. It is located in the foothills of the tallest mountains of the area. The clouds hide the Sun and the water of the lake seems dark black now. The outcome of the name research is that it is perhaps given because of its changing colours, with the blink of an eye. Locals believe that the place is the abode of Fairies. They bathe in the cool, pure and crystal clear water of the lake. Some of the locals are even hesitant to camp there.

Cooking

Now the next task was to prepare food. For this purpose, we have arrangements for a Gas cylinder but unfortunately Daewoo Bus management did not allow us to take it along with us. We had to arrange another one from Utror. But again we got shocking news. After reaching there the porters handed over an empty cylinder to us. Hence we asked them to fetch wood for cooking. After an hour of effort, they managed to gather enough wood for making a fire.

After having green Tea and Noodles, everyone was fresh again. As the Sun already hid behind the mountains, we were feeling cold. We were at a high altitude of 4,100 metres above sea level.

Precautions

A First Aid kit is very important in such situations. During the trekking, keep basic medicines for high altitude sickness, fever and pain killers.

Fairy Lake 01:

In the morning, along with 2 friends, I visited Fairy lake 1. I found out it was smaller as compared to Fairy 2. Swimming pieces of snowflakes makes it more attractive. When we were done with breakfast, we started trekking towards Izmis lake. After a final ascent of Fairy lake trek, there is again very steep ascending with green pastures. After 35 minutes, we were on the top of the Pass from where we descended down toward Izmis lake. I will share the remaining details of the trek in another blog to come, as this was the technical part of the whole trek. The trek from Kundol is steeper as compared to Izmis side. But Izmis offers a wonderful scenery of Kalam Banda. It took five hours with chilly winds to reach Izmis lake.

Itinerary

Here it goes the 5 day trekking itinerary.
Day_01

Kalam to last jeep point ahead of Laddu (2 hours).

Jeep point to Spin Khwar (total time 4 hours).

Camping at jeep point.

Day_02

Jeep point to Kundol lake (3 hours).

Kundol lake to Jabba Banda (1 hour).

Camping at Jabba Banda.

Day_03

Jabba Banda to Pari (Fairy) lake (5 hours).

Camping at Fairy lake.

Day_04

Pari (Fairy) lake to Izmis lake (5 hours).

Camping at Izmis lake.

Day_05

Izmis lake to Batool jeep point (5 hours).

Author: Afaq Mahsud

About Fehmeeda Farid Khan

A freelancer, blogger, content writer, translator, tour consultant, proofreader, environmentalist, social mobilizer, poetess and novelist. As a physically challenged person, she extends advocacy on disability related issues. She's masters in Economics and Linguistics along with B.Ed.

4 comments

  1. Well done Afaq Mahsud 🙂
    You do a great job…

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  3. Such an amazing blog that represents the beauty of Swat valley, I feel that I have to book a tour to Pakistan to explore it very closely and feel that beauty.

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