Naran Kaghan is one of the most visited places in Pakistan owing to impeccable infrastructure. The roads are safe enough to drive on provided you have good driving skills. The scenery is something to die for. With families flocking to these scenic places to escape the sweltering hot weather in rest of Pakistan, the lack of planning and inconsideration to weather condition could pose serious threat to life of commoners!
On 27th July, Pakistanis woke up to distressing news of landslide on Jalkhand road in Khyber Paktunkhwa. The unfortunate incident resulted in 4 casualties, with members from the same families who lost their lives after their car was buried under the rubble. The blockade on what is the most busiest road leading to Top tourist attraction Naran Kaghan led to over thousands of people stranded.
According to reports the landslide was trigged by a cloudburst and the Naran- Kaghan Road was blocked at atleast 8 points.
The good news is that although the road has been cleared, it’s being advised by the district management to avoid unnecessary travel to northern areas, or if you have any plans, defer them until mid-August.
Naran is not the only place that has been struck by vicious landslides. Earlier this month, a cloudburst occurred in Kashmir that considerably hampered the tourist movement. Moreover areas like Kumrat and thal were affected by the land-sliding
With all this said, it is significant to highlight the heartwarming support extended by the locals and the hotel who selflessly provided shelter to stranded tourist on Naran Kaghan road.
According to Zunaira Bint e Izzat, who was amongst the thousands stuck on Naran Kaghan Road owing to land-sliding, at 4 P.M, on 25th July, while he was Enroute to swat, he got the news from returning drivers that roads had been blocked, who immediately turned around to witnesses the selfless act of locals at Moon restaurant.
The moon restaurant happens to be a restaurant and not a hotel whose typical setting contains charpaye, with not much room to cater hundreds of people. Shortly Ms. Zunaira stopped by for a tea and quick rest, news broke out of landsliding and casualties that created panic amongst the customers who were mainly families with kids along.
With temperature falling as the dusk approached, many were left wandering how would they manage to protect themselves, most importantly, women and kids. This is where Ms. Zunaira was taken aback by selfless act of locals who offer shelter to families while they themselves stayed outside in the freezing temperature .
While the tourist shared the quilts, blankets amongst themselves offered by the hotel owners, the management ensured that visitors weren’t charged an extra buck. With 5 washrooms at Moon restaurant for 500 people, the management of Moon restaurant ensured that it remain cleaned, with regular announcements of assurances to minimise the panic.
Amidst the temperature drop, the restaurant owner offered free steaming hot halwa to the customers at 12 A.M while tea was offered to all at 2 A.M
Despite the plummeting weather, the warmth of hotel’s generosity kept the people going. It is important to note that hotel’s staff spent the whole night looking after the visitors whom they treated as guest. Truly a remarkable tale of selflessness, generosity and undoubtedly set the bar for hospitality even higher.
Lastly, it is recommended to refer to weather forecast before making decisions to travel north, do your research and trust the locals when they advised you to turn around. Stay safe.