Katora Lake Pakistan Story (A Myth):
Katora Lake Height (11,500 feet/3,500 m from Sea level) Kumrat Valley is a high frosty lake situated at the upper ranges of Jahaz Banda. Which is the region of Upper Dir District of KPK. Due to this, you will definitely witnessed the crystal clear greenish climate of lake. The word Katora signifies “bowl” in Pashto (Bowl Shaped). Mostly people think where is Katora Lake hike in Pakistan. First of all, 4 to 5 hours trek from Thal village to Jahaz Banda. After all, trekkers stay at camps under the billion stars of Jahaz Banda Meadows. The very next day, 3 to 4 hours trek to lake one sided. Certainly, Minimum 4 days are required to explore the lake from Lahore Islamabad.
How to Reach Katora Lake:
So just returned from one of the most hectic trips ever (mainly due to time shortage) I thought why not right some wrongs one might face while traveling there.
Our target was to attempt Katora Lake trek, Jahaz Banda and its vicinity and after that explore the ever beautiful Kumrat valley. So
• It takes you about 7 hrs. to reach near upper Dir so if you have left it late your first stop should be in upper dir. (you can easily find hotels there for a reasonable night stay around 2000-3000).
• More over, From Dir one must go back about 8.8Km precisely where you could find “Bab-e-Kumrat” which would take you to Sheringal Town. (approx. travelling time 3:00 hrs.) Road is in relatively good condition however there are few bad patches though.
• In Addition, From Sheringal it would take around 3-4 hrs. depending on the condition of your vehicle to reach Thal (kind of base-camp for everything in that valley). Road condition is also okay here.
• From Thal one can hire Jeeps to do either Jahaz Banda or Kumrat valley. It is advisable to leave your vehicles in Thal.
Jeeps Fare from Thal to Jahaz Banda Lake:
From Thal Jeeps or 4×4 vehicles can take you to the highest points Taki Top from where actual trek for Jahaz Banda starts.
The jeep’s fare or charges from Thal to Taki Top Jahaz Banda Meadows and back to Thal is range between Rs.10000 to Rs.12000 with 1 or 2 night stays at Jahaz Banda.
Accommodation or Camping at Jahaz Banda Meadows:
• You should stay for the night at Jahaz Banda meadows, it’s a beautiful & peaceful place. One can find accommodation easily at that point (Tents & Wooden Rooms) are available.
Jahaz Banda Fare range (1000-1500)
• Next morning you should start early and if you don’t know the surroundings hire a guide/porter for quite minimal fare. And if you can’t trek just hire a horse it would take you quite near the lake in around (2000) roundtrip.
The beauty of the lake is mesmerizing you would forget all your tiredness and worries……
Katora Lake (Jheel) Trek Track Time:
• No matter how strong you feel you are you should always take the jeep till Taki Top. The actual Jahaz Banda Katora Lake hike starts from there which would take around 4-6 hrs. Again depending on your self-strength and stamina. The trek is steep and not recommended for families and children. You can hire guides/porter from here as well if you want to.
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Katora Lake Season and Climate:
The best time to visit Katora Lake trek is from June to October. Then heavy snowfall covered all the trek of Lake from November to May. Check the season before visit this place. The height or Altitude of this Lake is 11,500 ft (3,500 m) from Sea Level.
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Jahaz Banda to Katora Lake Distance:
You can visit the Katora Lake when you are fresh and energetic. The distance from Jahaz Banda to Katora Lake is about 4.5 km. It takes 3 to 4 hours steep and straight on some places. You will have to pass big and small round stones under your feet.
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Kumrat Valley to Katora Lake Distance:
The distance between kumrat valley to katora lake is about 22km. Kumrat to Takki top 1 to 1.5 hours jeep trek. Then 3 to 4 hours trek to Jahaz Banda.
Must Read: Trek to Dudipatsar Lake
Jahaz Banda Meadows:
This Natural Jahaz Banda Meadows is a lush green and idyllic hill station in the upper ranges of Kumrat Valley. Upper Dir District KPK, Pakistan at an Jahaz Banda Height 3,100 m above the sea level. It can be said a hidden gem of Pakistan. The valley has natural beauty, waterfalls, lakes and forests.
Jahaz Banda Trek:
First of all, trek begins from the town Jandari. Jandrai can be come to through 4×4 jeeps from Dir in 4-5 hours. At Jandrai, there is the acclaimed Raja Taj Muhammad who resembles the essential contact for all sightseers and trekkers coming to investigate the region. The jeep’s fare or charges from Thall to Takki Top Jahaz Banda and back to Thall is range between Rs.10000 to Rs.12000 with one or two night stay at Top. Takki Top to Jahaz Banda Trekking time is 3 to 4 hours.
Kalam Valley to Katora Lake Distance:
You can also visit the this Lake from Kalam Side via Badgoi Pass. It takes 3 to 4 hours from kalam to Takki Top then the same trek as mentioned above.
Kumrat Jahaz Banda Lake:
Road Conditions: Smooth road till Dir. You will face only few patches of worn out road only near to Thal. Park your vehicles in Thal, take jeeps for Kumrat Valley and Jandrai for Jahaaz Banda Trek. Attractions: Taki Banda, Katora Lake, Jahaz Banda Meadows and Waterfall. Things to Do: Jeep Safari, Horse Ridding, Fishing, Camping, Trekking. Restaurants with Good Taste: There are no proper restaurants on Top. Locals have small kitchens in hotel in order to serve the food for tourists. Mostly camping sites and huts. Average Temperature: 10 degree Celsius (Min.) and 15 degree Celsius (Max.) Network: Telenor is the only Network for communication. Check the temperature and season before visit this place.