Winter tourism booms in Swat with snowfall in Kalam, Malamjabba

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Winter tourism got a high boom in Swat district after rains and snowfall in Malam Jabba and Kalam valleys, attracting a substantial number of tourists from across the country to enjoy snowball games and skiing. Following torrential rains and snowfall in Malam Jabba, Kalam, Bahrain and other areas of upper Swat on Wednesday, the tourists along with families from Khyber Pakthunkhwa and Punjab provinces thronged to the scenic valleys to enjoy the change in weather amid great fun and excitement.

Dressed in overcoats with umbrellas in hand, lec-turer Ehtisham Khan, a resident of Wapda Town Peshawar along with friends was seen enjoying snowfall at Malam Jabba by throwing snowballs at each other amid fun and laughter. “Today my dream come true after seeing snowfall for the the first time in my favorite tourists’ destination of Ma-lam Jabba where the snow-covered valleys and mountains peaks attract visitors’ in droves these days,” said Ehtisham Khan with a big smile on his face.

Enjoying the delectable bites of trout fish with friends, the Peshawar-born tourist said Malam Jabba’s lush green mountainous beauty and snowfall features take tourists to a new level of adventure, fun and excitement. “Kalam is our next destination where snowfall comes relatively in a higher speed than Malam Jabba.

The 150-kilometer-long freshwater of the River Swat originating from different glaciers and lakes including Mahodand and Gabral mountains offers unique opportunities for adventure sports enthusi-asts to explore in a day trip along with loved ones, especially during summer. Despite poor roads con-dition due to last year’s devastating floods in Upper Swat, he said the view of snowfall in Malam Jabba was worth seeing as many tourists with families were seen enjoying skiing, snowballs and other games inspite of stumbling on snow-covered moun-tain terrains.

The domestic tourists were arriving in substantial numbers, mostly from KP and Punjab, to Swat fol-lowing MET office report about moderate to heavy snowfall in Kalam, Malam Jabba and other scenic areas of Northern KP in three days. Riazul Haq, a tourist from Nowshera while talking to APP said Swat was going to become a hub of winter tourism due to its seven unique features including snowfall, Ghandhara civilization, water rafting, mountaineer-ing, trout fish, eco-tourism and Swat motorway. Fazagut, Fatehpur, Barikot, and Chakdara were most suitable for water rafting. If developed on modern lines could attract a large number of tourists during winter. “I came from Pabbi to enjoy snowfall and trout fish together at Kalam and Malam Jabba with my family,” said Misal Khan, a retired civil servant while talking.

Besides its famous Deodar trees and precious wild-life, he said Swat’s snow-clad tall mountain ranges of Falakser, Mankial and Elum peaks offer great challenges to mountaineers and trekkers while its unique orange orchards carried a comparative ad-vantage for farmers. —APP