Road Travel to Kotli Sattian Pakistan, near Murree

travel kotli sattian pakistan

This is my account of my ultimate road travel tour to the Forest Rest Houses of Karor, near Muree and Kahuta, all centered around Kotli Sattian Pakistan.

Let me lay it down for you straight up.

The road trip route followed

Islamabad-Nilor-Chawan-Bunn-Karor-Kotli Sattian-Dhanoi-Neela Sandh-Islamabad.

The total distance from Rawalpindi – Islamabad to Kotli Sattian and time

The total distance from Islamabad to Kotli Sattian is 70 km and it takes 2 hours to get there in a car. I left at 7 am in the morning on a Saturday towards Karor and was back by 3 pm the same day, through Lehtrar. The total distance traveled was 260 Kms.

Route map of the road trip to Kotli Sattian Pakistan

The Google Maps route to follow to see all the three Forest Rest houses of Kotli Sattian can be found here.

Description of the road trip route I followed with the time taken to get there:-

First, you head up to Nilor from Khanna Pul side and branch off towards left from Chir (‘tear’) junction, just after Nilor town

After 1.5 hours you will reach Chawan forest rest house.

Again drive out further on the same road and after 30 minutes you reach Bunn Forest Resthouse.

Now, drive down towards Kotli Sattian city and cross it. Immediately after you cross Kotli Sattian, there is a sign that shows you the road to Dhanoi Forest Resthouse. This road is about 15 Km, but the total time from Bunn to Kotli Sattian will be 2.5 hours.

Drive back from Dhanoi and head towards Lehtrar. Cross Lehtrar and reach Neela Sandh waterfall in about 1.5 hours.

From Neela Sandh, Islamabad is 1.5 hours.

The weather and snow at Kotli Sattian

To get an accurate read of Kotli Sattian, Punjab Pakistan weather you should try Also, in peak summer months like August, when I went there, the temperature is a cool 25 0 Celsius, when it is sizzling in Islamabad at 40 0 Celsius. It does snow on the hilltops of Kotli Sattian in winters.

What is the height of Kotli Sattian in Punjab Pakistan?

Kotli Sattian sub-division headquarters is at 4800 feet height but places like Prindla top, are at 7335 feet height, in the same area. As it is rising sharply in reference to Islamabad, it snows in winter months on top of the inaccessible peaks where illegal tree felling hasn’t taken place.

General Location and History of Kotli Sattian

Kotli Sattian town is a relatively young town and sub-division that was once part of Murree and Kahuta divisions. Even the oldest buildings in Kotli Sattian only date back to 1888. There are no signs of any other religions in Kotli Sattian, besides Islam. Kotli Sattian is small a hill town located high above Islamabad on the Himalaya foothills, toward North-East of the city.

The Peer of Kotli Sattian

Apparently there is a very famous peer of Kotli Sattian, the blawara Sharif peer also known as AKA Haq Khateeb Husain. His videos of him doing ‘chuff’ and blowing away the sorrows of his disciples have gone viral on the internet.

I wouldn’t know much of these kinds of peers, but I do believe in people that are gifted visions of the future, because of the purity of their soul and intense love of mankind.

There are several peers throughout the sub-division, but the best and the most beautifully located peer’s shrine at Kotli Sattian is at Prindla at a stone throw away from Punjpeer Rocks peer shrine.

But do remember at this height of above 7000 feet, and with no road, the stone throw can take you several hours in the burning sun to get there.

Hotels at Kotli Sattian

There aren’t many hotels in Kotli Sattian as such, except the four forest rest houses that you have to book from the forest officers in Islamabad.

There seemed to be many small huts on the road that double up as guest houses in the summer season. You’d have to drive in to check their quality.

Peace in Pines hotel in Karor town, near Simly Dam, is a reasonably good hotel but is very far from Kotli Sattian. Their number is 0331 5804115.

 Waterfall at Kotli Sattian

The board says Dhanoi waterfalls at Kotli Sattian, but it is actually a small pond for swimming called Rooh Waterfall, Kotli Sattian.

Pictures of Kotli Sattian

You’d have to scroll down to my travelogue of Kotli Sattian to see the pictures and image of the place.

Kotli Sattian places to visit and things to do

  1. Chawan Forest Resthouse
  2. Chawan Forest Fire tower views
  3. Bunn Forest Rest House and Fire tower
  4. Dhanoi Forest Rest house and British Era police station
  5. Prindla Rock formations and Gully
  6. Thail Hilltop viewpoint
  7. Jaffar Kalan Windy spot
  8. End-of-road Prindla Ridge Punjpeer viewpoint
  9. Charcoal Tandoori Chicken and Doodh Patti at Ghausia restaurant, between Lehtrar and Neela Sandh
  10. Neela Sandh water pool and waterfall

How to reach Murree from Kotli Sattian

When you get to Bunn Forest Rest house in after Karor town, instead of turning towards Kotli Sattian, turn left toward Patriata, Muree. You’d reach Muree in one hour and the road is beautiful.

How is the road to Kotli Sattian?

The road throughout is brand new, metaled, and beautifully maintained.

Is Kotli Sattian in Azad Kashmir?

No, Kotli Sattian is in Punjab, near Muree and Kahuta districts, it is very far from Kotli of Azad Jammu and Kashmir, which comes after Kahuta city and is closer to Mirpur and Hajira.

My road trip to Kotli Sattian, Punjab

I took off early on my 4×4, early in the morning on a quiet Sunday, when everyone rises late in the towns across the country.

I brought along lunch just in case I don’t find any place good to eat.

I drove to Khanna Pul on Islamabad highway, crossed over to the road that goes towards Lehtrar, and reached Nilor Y-junction junction at a town called Chir (two ways tear).

My first stop

I took the left leg and drove to the village of Karor that has an excellent birds-eye view of Simly Dam water reservoir that is full to the brim due to the recent rains. I never knew Dam water backs up several miles in the backchannel as well. I don’t know what Islamabad burger people do with all this water, maybe they think they can wash away their social sins by bathing six times – not going to happen.

My Second stop

I then drove right up to Chawan Forest rest house complex in Karor that is complete with a police station, a stable, servants’ quarters, and the Gora Sahib’s rest house smack on top of a ledge so beautifully sited that you can see all of Islamabad from this site. The Gora Sahib was probably the first government that tried to bring some sense of rule of law to these wild mountain people early in the 20th century.

The attendant present at Chawan rest house showed me a visitor book with signatures of British officers from 1930. He said there is a signature of his Royal Highness Field marshal Ayub Khan as well, but I wasn’t interested. I guess the kingsh*t dictator got exhausted from scr*ewing over the country and needed to recuperate.

There is no other evidence of any central government even trying civilizing these hill people.

Then we drove on to a site a few kilometers ahead of Chawan Forest Rest house that has the Forest Fires Search Tower erected there. The funny part is there is hardly any forest left to save from fire; the locals have mercilessly cut large tracts of forest cover to get some money in exchange.

There are two huge forest reserves that the local forest ranger calls parks and they look absolutely gorgeous when seen from the top of the Forest Fire Tower, not to mention the excellent views of the Islamabad city down below. You have to walk 15 minutes to get to the tower.

My third Stop was Bunn Forest Rest House close to Patriata Muree

Bunn Forest Rest house is nestled behind Bunn town Centre and has a beautiful colonial cottage smack in the middle of thick forest vegetation.

These forest rest houses have attendants permanently living in the quarter, unlike the other abandoned buildings I have been trekking to in the past like the Pharilla Forest Rest house near Nila Bhotu.

The attendant showed me their visitor book with illegible signatures of British officers from 1920 and their ‘ladies’.

The Bunn viewpoint was a 20 minutes hike to the top of the mountain, which I had to let go for the time being.

My fourth stop was at Jaffar Kalan Turn

My fourth stop was just after Kotli Sattian Junction at a turn called the Jaffar Kalan village. There is a tandoor installed there and a hotel.

The road to Jaffar Kalan also goes towards Dhanoi.

This metaled road branches off towards left from the Kotli Sattian-Lehtrar road a few km after Kotli Sattian town.

Jaffar Kalan is a windy spot where winds start picking up as soon as the sun heats up the forest floor down below.  Every day, the winds start off early in the morning as a breeze and end up as a strong gust by afternoon. This is because of the natural venturi effect of the rock formation there.

I just loved the gummy scent of the pine forest breeze blowing across my face.

Fifth Stop was Dhanoi Forest Rest House

After 15 Kilometers on this well-maintained road, we reached the Dhanoi Forest Rest house, also sited in the center of tall and 100 years old pine trees.

This was a complex of police picket, servants’ huts, and guest houses with its own rain-fed pool.

I loved the small stream of clear water that was flowing beside the forest guest house and I sat there and had Doodh Patti Chai.

I was thinking of bringing back pine saplings that the attendant has raised in his nursery, but decided against it, as the dude said they would not survive the approaching fall.

I even saw a high altitude crab in the pure water stream. How on earth did this crustacean get there in such cold weather?

My sixth stop was Prindla Rock formation

This unusual bubbly rock formation has a gully in the middle where freshwater flows down into the plains. The place was so unusual and so peaceful that I had to sit there for a while absorbing the uniqueness and stillness of the environment.

Thanks goodness the road was freshly laid out otherwise two turns on the road are pretty tricky to navigate without 4×4, as they are too steep.


Before you reach Prindla, there is an excellent view point at Thail. You can enjoy a picnic there while enjoying a view of forests all around

My seventh stop was at Prindla-Phofandi Hill Top Viewpoint

This Rock ledge has a peer Shrine (peer Ziarat) and is just across the top of the ridge that divides Kahuta from Kotli Sattian.

I could see Punjpeer Rocks, Kahuta, and Islamabad from one-stop on top of the ridge near the Peer’s shrine.

I didn’t drive further towards Punjpeer Rock as the road narrows quite a bit and is not metaled. I have heard motorcycles going through with some difficulty.

But I have left this part as a hike for me for some later day.

This way I can cross over to Punjpeer Rocks, Narh waterfall, and Panjaar near Kahuta.

I turned back towards Kotli Sattian Lehtrar Road and turned left toward Lehtrar.

My Eight Stop

I stopped at Ghausia roadside hotel, at Chaint Jabri after Lehtrar town, and had my table placed in the center of lush green pine trees, with a slight breeze blowing through. I could feel the breeze taking away my stress with it.

I had tarri waali daal, bhindi, chicken, chapatti, bottled water, Pepsi, and Chai all made on charcoal tandoor with pine wood.

Total bill Rs 300 – would you believe that?

Now I must have my own mud tandoor installed at my home in Rawalpindi, just to smell the scent of pinewood in my food, every day.

My ninth stop

My final stop was at Neela Sandh waterfall and pool in Lehtrar.

If you walk up the water stream, the water gets clearer and fresher. Lots of families were enjoying inside the pool.

It is called Neela because the color of the water is blue, don’t ask me why.

This place has survived the ravaging hoards of this lawless country, just be a mere stroke of luck. The government decided they needed to cordon off and seal entry to the hills that feed this stream, for their own science experiments.

I then flew double-time back to my barracks and the security of my man cave to write this beautiful account of my trip to the forest rest houses of Karor, Kotli Sattian, Punjab, Pakistan so that you could enjoy with me as well.


Kotli Sattian is an excellent road trip, but not a place to spend several days at.

Good Luck and do comment and share it so that others can benefit from this trip


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  1. Dr Ghazala Inamulhaq says:

    I might take a trip there

  2. muhammad salman says:

    Which place is suitable to reach in a car like honda city due to the road conditions?

    1. I would suggest, thandiani, nathiagali or simply Pir Sohawa

      Thanks salman sb

    1. Yes, costers can go to Kotli Sattian.

  3. Pakistan Real Estate says:

    Do you people organize trips to Baluchistan and Gawadar or it’s just the North.

  4. Aoa, when? And price per person?

    1. Subscribe to the blog and I’ll tell you when we plan next time

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