Travel Tales From Pakistan: Of Fairy Meadows & The Killer Mountain.

This is The Shooting Star’s first ever guest post. Adnan Bashir, a traveler from Pakistan, who goes by the pen name Delirium, explores one of the most fascinating peaks on the other side of the Himalayas, the Nanga Parbat aka the Killer Mountain. 

After 26 hours of a hectic journey, I asked the driver to stop the bus. With twisted necks and aching backs, we stood at the narrow Raikot Bridge built over the waters of Indus. A gust of hot dusty wind greeted us, as did the towering barren rocky mountains surrounding the narrow gauge in the middle of nowhere.

We got onto the first jeep offering a standard deal, and began ascending and negotiating unbelievably sharp twists and turns into the barren mountains, before being transported to a lovely green speck amid the hills, named Tato after the hot springs flowing there.

An old, collapsed bridge was being re-erected, leaving crossing the stream along a narrow path, as the only alternative.

Nanga parbat, base camp, fairy meadows, broken bridge, himalayas, pakistan, offbeat travel
the adventure begins.

You have to be really lucky to be able to hire another jeep across the bridge for a short ascending ride to a place called Jhail; i.e. this is where our trek officially started. Under the blazing sun, on stony paths, amid sparse vegetation, with the snow-clad Bulder Peak in the distance, we were determined to make it to the elusive Fairy Meadows.

The Nanga Parbat peak teased occassionally from behind a range of peaks dwarfed miserably by the giant, in its white attire, leaving us spellbound. The higher we climbed, the harder it got. Pine growth thickened, their fragrance permeating through the air. Abundant water turned the landscape green and rich. Finally, a sharp ascent led us to the top of a wide plateau and a surprising clearance marked by verdant meadows and thick clustered pines. A magical place, Fairy Meadows.

nanga parbat, base camp, fairy meadows, killer mountain, offbeat travel, pakistan, himalayas
A glimpse of the Killer Mountain.
nanga parbat, base camp, fairy meadows, killer mountain, offbeat travel, pakistan, himalayas
the meadow of fairies.

Fairy Meadows offers the most stunning views of the Nanga Parbat, with its location on the western edge of the Himalayas in Pakistan. Legend has it that the Phantoora Lake attracts and hosts descending fairies.

Located by a stream a few kilometers from Fairy Meadows, is Beyal camp, a small, romantic, tranquil camping spot right at the foot of towering peaks.

beyal camp, nanga parbat, base camp, fairy meadows, killer mountain, offbeat travel, pakistan, himalayas
Beyal camp.

Trekking higher up along the frozen Rai Kot Glacier, we saw clouds of snow soar to the skies, intermittently accompanied by thundering sounds of avalanches. Soon we found ourselves enclosed within a cluster of peaks, a half circle comprising the most lethal and vertical north face of the killer mountain, Nanga Parbat.

nanga parbat, base camp, fairy meadows, killer mountain, offbeat travel, pakistan, himalayas
The Killer Mountain, indeed.
nanga parbat, base camp, fairy meadows, killer mountain, offbeat travel, pakistan, himalayas
and that made the climb worth every step.

The thrill of the climb gave way to nostalgia as we crossed the wooden bridge and threw our backpacks into the jeep again. As we drove away from the bridge, that land of fantasies gradually engraved itself into the layers of our memory with each distancing moment and mile.

Writer bio: Delirium is a nomad and wanderer. An aspiring free spirit. A nature and mountain lover by heart. An engineer & business manager by profession. A learner and knowlege seeker by passion. He blogs at The Delirious Outbursts and tweets @Delirium19.

If you’d like to explore guest blogging opportunities on The Shooting Star, please write to me at [email protected].

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  1. What a vivid story you tell. That bridge alone freaks me out. Look forward to following this blog.

    1. I agree William, the bridge looks like a gateway to some real adventure. Yes, Adnan has some rather interesting travelogues from a part of the world that I’m yet to visit.

  2. It indeed was bone-chilling. But as much fun and thrilling.

    An absolute pleasure. If you mean my blog 🙂

  3. midaevalmaiden says:

    I think I would have sat and spent an hour just watching the bridge constuction. I sure envy those lucky enough to call this area their home.

    1. Absolutely, I’m imagining sitting atop that little broken structure, above a deep gorge, and being watched over by snow-capped peaks 🙂

    2. A precarious job that takes a lot of effort and time of the entire community. With minimal resources, people inhibiting those far flung and remote mountain villages have to work on self help basis to sort things out for themselves. As much as it sounds primitive, the bright side is that we have all the nature and raw beauty conserved far from the shadows of commercialization and infringement.

      And that is so true. The people living in those heavens with their simple lives make us so envious 🙂

  4. Please give more details about Tato Hot Spring

  5. Is there some details of Tato Hot spring

  6. Nice post to come across. I wish a day comes when I visit the Pakistan obtained Kashmir. I would also like to taste Biriyani in diffrent cities of Kashmir.

  7. Initiator ;-) says:

    Great Place in Pakistan…i have visited…!amazing natural view…!

  8. Really informative post for the visitors and travellers to read on. I appreciate and sharing with my friends too.

  9. Hi, Very nice blog. I’m pleased to read all this stuff, It’s very helpful for Travelers/Tourists. Tourism in Pakistan is rapidly growing and there are many Tourism companies operating in Pakistan but some people refuse to visit these places with companies, They visit these places individually by just renting a car and they start their journey to explore the beautiful nature of Pakistan with their friends and families. This blog is really very informative for all those who love to travel.

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