Neelum Valley Overview

Azad Kashmir abbreviated PAK (literally “Free Kashmir”) is the southernmost and the smaller of the two political entities which together constitute the Pakistani-controlled part of the former princely state of Jammu and Kashmir, which ceased to exist as a result of the First Kashmir War (1947) and Indo-Pakistani War of 1948. The northernmost and the larger of the two political entities is the Pakistani-controlled territory of Gilgit-Baltistan. Both PAK and Gilgit-Baltistan are self-governing political entities and, constitutionally, do not form liberated parts of Pakistan. For all practical purposes, though, both PAK and Gilgit-Baltistan act like parts of Pakistan.

Neelum Valley is a scenic valley located 240kms from Muzaffarabad. It runs parallel to Kaghan valley and is separated by snow covered peaks. It offers the panoramic view of hills on both sides of the river, lush green forests, enchanting streams, high altitude lakes and attractive surroundings. It is also ideal for Mount tourism. A scenic road opens this valley to tourists up to Kel, 155 kilometers from Muzaffarabad. Buses ply daily on this route and accommodation facilities are also available in the rest houses at places of tourist attraction.

The Neelum River was known before Partition as Kishan Ganga and was subsequently renamed after the village of Neelam. It flows down from the Gurez Valley in Indian Jammu and Kashmir and roughly follows first a western and then a south-western course until it joins the Jhelum River at Muzaffarabad. The valley is a thickly wooded region with an elevation ranging between 4,000 feet (1,200 m) and 7,500 feet (2,300 m), the mountain peaks on either side reaching 17,000 feet (5,200 m). Neelum Valley is 144 kilometres (89 mi) long.

Most of the valley is taken up by the Neelum District. The district is bordered on the south-west by Muzaffarabad District, which also encompasses the lower reaches of the valley; to the north-west beyond the mountains lies the Kaghan Valley in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa’s Mansehra District; to the north and north-east are the Diamer, Astore and Skardu districts of Gilgit-Baltistan. To the south and east are the Kupwara and Bandipora districts of Indian Kashmir. The Line of Control runs through the valley – either across the mountains to the south-east, or in places right along the river, with several villages on the left bank falling on the Indian side of the border.

Several languages are spoken natively in the district. The predominant one is Hindko. It is the language of wider communication in the area and is spoken at a native or near-native level by almost all members of the other language communities, many of whom are abandoning their language and shifting to Hindko. This language is usually called Parmi (or Parimi, Pārim), a name that likely originated in the Kashmiri word apārim ‘from the other side’, which was the term used by the Kashmiris of the Vale of Kashmir to refer to the highlanders, who spoke this language.


Keran is a village and tourist resort in Neelam Valley, Azad Kashmir, Pakistan. It is located 93 kilometers (58 mi) from Muzaffarabad on the bank of Neelam River at the altitude of 1,524 meters (5,000 ft). Neelam village is 2.5 kilometers (1.6 mi) away from here. The adjacent village on the other side of the Neelum river in Indian Kashmir is also known as Keran. Keran is accessible by Neelam valley road, and is located 93 km from Muzaffarabad.

Kutton is a village and a tourist resort in Neelam Valley of Azad Kashmir administered by Pakistan. It is located about 98 kilometres (61 mi) from Muzaffarabad (the capital city of Azad Kashmir). Kutton is accessible by Neelam road from Muzaffarabad branches off from Kundal Shahi.

Kel is about 19 kms from Sharda. Kel is the land of Highest Mountain, 20000 feet high Sar Wali peak and Dozen others, i.e Naril Chita Par, Hariparbat, Shounter Pass, Lal Buti etc. In Kel there are about 200 Lakes including large and small. Mostly Forest Covered area.

Wildlife includes brown bears and other wild animals. Tigers and a Snow leopard have been seen there.

Taobat is a village in Athmuqam Tehsil in Neelam Valley, Azad Kashmir, Pakistan. It is located 200 kilometers (120 mi) from Muzaffarabad and 39 kilometers (24 mi) from Kel. It is the last station in Neelam valley.

Sharda   is a small town in Neelam District in Azad Kashmir, Pakistan. It is one of the two tehsils of Neelum district. It is located on the banks of the Neelum river at an altitude of 1981m, about 43 kilometres from Keran

Arang Kel is a village and tourist spot in the Neelam valley of Azad Kashmir, Pakistan. It is located on the hilltop above Kel at an altitude of 8,379 feet (2,554 m). The village is accessible by a 2-kilometer (1.2 mi) trek from Kel. It can also be accessed by a kilometre-long chairlift administrated by Pakistan Army. To reach Kel, people usually enter into the Neelam valley from Muzafarabad. After taking a ride from the chairlift you have to take an approximately 1-hour hike to the village.

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