Noori Top

Noori Top Pass Neelum Valley has natural beauty

Noori top at 3700 meters is a high-altitude pass between Neelum and Kaghan Valleys.

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The best route to the Top

It is easier to approach this mountain pass from the Sharda, Neelum Valley side because the road is halfway complete to the top.

The Jalkhad, Kaghan valley side is still a dirt road and a bit remote. There have been dacoities on tourists by the local “Chilasi” people, as they are called locally.

Noori Pass distance from Islamabad

  • Sharda to Noori top is 31 km and takes 2 hours and
  • it is a further 2.5 hours from Noori top down to Jalkhad, Kaghan.
  • Sharda, Neelum valley is itself 9 hours from Islamabad.
noori top
Noori top

How to get to the top

To get to the Top, you have to hire a local RKR Toyota Jeep with a 4500 cc engine so that it engages the steep climb to the top and turns sharply on tight bends.

I don’t think it is a good idea to take your 4×4 because the turns are tight and unpredictable, especially after the snow is cleared in the summers.

A local jeep takes Rs 10,000 to Noori top and back call Mushtaq at 03556602004.

Noori top stays closed from February to May every year due to rain and landfalls.

Islamabad to Sharda

To get to Sharda from Islamabad, you can book a ticket on a Toyota Coaster 22-seater from Pir Wadhai Bus stand, Rawalpindi.

Noori top to Jalkhand, Naran

Noori top to Naran takes about 2.5 hours on a dirt track that is about 20 km and is only jeep-able.

Hotels at Noori Top

There are no hotels in all of Surgun Valley, where it is.

noori top

Rooms in Sharda are quite expensive at Rs 7000-10,000 per night during the summer season.

To get a cheaper room, try staying in a place away from the town center or text me, I’ll find something cheaper for you.

The better hotels to stay at Sharda are

  • Valley Trackers 03005550278
  • Benazir Palace 03557758366
noori top
Road to Noori Top

Route map to the Pass

Islamabad to Lower Topa and then on to Kohala Bridge.

Reach Muzaffarabad and drive on to Neelum Jhelum Dam site and enter Neelum Valley.

Follow the main Neelum Valley road.

Noori top road branches off from the main Neelum valley artery just after Sharda Bazar on a Nullah called Surgun.

Noori top route

Things to do at the Mountain Pass

Surgun Nullay is still untouched by pollution and has breathtaking views of high mountains and lush green peaks.

  • You will find cold water springs, cool breeze, rivulets, and melting ice all along the road.

It gets even more beautiful as you start climbing towards Noori Top and look back towards this lush green meadow.

Bakarwaal families from Bajaur have been grazing their sheep on these lands for centuries.

Neelum Valley, especially Sharda had a Hindu presence before 1947 but the locals chased out the Hindus settled on the terraces of Noori Top, and some converted to Islam.

In the later days after the 1947 partition, droves of treasure hunters dug up these settlements for gold and riches.

Now everyone is busy chopping down precious Pine trees through the connivance of Forest authorities.

noori top

Now everyone is busy chopping down precious Pine trees through the connivance of Forest authorities.

  • The reverse face of the pass is equally beautiful, if not better.
  • The scent of fresh mountain flowers is like nothing I have experienced before and it takes a while for the eyes to adjust to such depth of vision.
noori top
  • The glacial streams on the way still have trout fish in them.
  • The tops of the high mountains that connect with the Indian Occupied Kashmir are a gateway for leopards, mountain goats, and bear to cross over into Pakistani territory. We have killed all our wildlife.
  • Because of the abject poverty of people in the upper reaches of Neelum valley, polygamy is quite acceptable here. Poverty does not stop people from aspiring to have a dozen kids each. The whole day women and kids comb the mountains for grazing grass and woods for their household.
  • On the road towards the top, there is a small pond as well.
  • From the top, you can see the road coming in and driving away from you for tens of miles either way.
  • Unique flora that you do not see anywhere flutters in the breeze on the top
noori top

Noori Top Lake

  • An hour’s hike from Noori Top is Noori lake, which is equally gorgeous. It thaws for a month only.

Noori top to Saral Lake

  • Short of the top, a wide valley leads towards Saral lake, and then on to Dowarian. It is a hike of 2.5 hours from this turn on Noori top road to Saral Lake. The local people use this route to get to Jalkhad, instead of the Sharda route.

Surgun to Gattian Lake

A narrow gorge leads to Gattian lake from the Noori Top, Surgun Nullah road.

Best time to travel to Noori Top

The best time to trave is May to August.

 Weather

Even in the peak summer season, it is chilly and it rains frequently. The temperature never crosses 15 0 Celsius at the top even in peak summers so you’d need a jacket or a parka.

View from Noori top

Where to eat at Noori Pass

You cannot get anything to eat once you are on the Surgun road, except for a small town on the way, so pack your foodstuff from Sharda Bazaar.

                                           PRO TIP

Do bring a weapon with you when you intend to stay the night at Saral lake there have been murders and robberies by local bandits.

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View from Noori TOp

Conclusion

You must go to Noori top if you appreciate untrammeled natural beauty.

If you want someone to plan it for you, or if you want to hike to gorgeous spots, text me at +923005111523

Happy discovering

The author

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One Comment

  1. Stunning is not even the word. Its breath taking. I can smell the fresh air, feel the cool air and hear the nature.
    I didn’t realise such pristine spaces still exist in pakistan .

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