by Ayesha Ghafoor
Rawalakot is a valley situated in the heart of district Poonch of Azad Jammu and Kashmir. It is shaped like a saucer with an altitude of 1615 meters.
It is accessible from Islamabad through a three and a half hour long drive. The weather in the valley stays cold throughout the year with an average temperature of 20°C in summers.
It is one of the most beautiful valleys of Azad Kashmir with captivating waterfalls and spectacular views. Rawlakot has an Agriculture University and several other colleges and secondary educational institutes.
It is famous for trekking, hiking, paragliding and water based activities. This place expects a high number of tourists during peak times.
Toli peer is the highest mountain location and the most attractive point in the Rawalakot valley. It is one of the most lovely and fascinating tourist spots. The best part about Toli Peer hills is that the entire city can be viewed from the top of it. Covered with green and paved, grassland, this place is a must visit.
Poonch River is located on Kotli road, 35 km away from the Rawalakot City. The river is wide and long and is 886 m above sea level. Driving to the river, you can enjoy the superb views of the harbor. People who are fond of water as well as the natural beauty will enjoy visiting Poonchriver.
This lake can be found at a distance of 20 km from Rawalakot. This is one of the top tourist attractions in the city due to its scenic beauty and impressing environment. The lake is surrounded by a captivating forest whose reflection can be viewed on the lake’s water.
Where to dine while visiting the valley
Rawalakot International Hotel and restaurant and Dhara restaurant are the most famous restaurants in the city. If you are visiting Kashmir and would like to enjoy Kashmiri delicacies, these restaurants are the right places to be.
Where to shop?
Rawalakot bazaar is the most visited and one of the busiest markets. Rawalakot has a downtown area, which consists of shops selling everything from groceries to electronic goods. Handicrafts, carpets, wood carvings, mushrooms apples and other fruits are the mostly purchased by tourists.
Where to stay?
As tourism is high in this city of Kashmir, many accommodations are widely present here. You can find hotels, guest houses and government owned cabins for staying. For best rates and deals visit Jovago.com where you may pre book online and pay later with free cancellations.
*The writer works for a travel firm