Pallas valley in Kohistan is home to wondrous landscapes that remain-little known amongst tourists and trekkers. The people of small settlements in upper Palas valley Barparo, Gedar, Ganah and Khana are the most hospitable and warm-hearted people that I have ever met in my entire travelling life. Their hospitable provisions for the table were extraordinary and can never be forgotten. We were 2 friends from Abbottabad and Taxila travelling on bikes accompanied by our friend Junaid who is a native of Pallas. Upon arrival in BarParo Palas, we were greeted by the locals as we were rockstars. This was my first visit to Palas but the locals treated us with utmost respect and friendliness. Children and elders, everyone was there to welcome us in the most memorable reception of my life.
Upper Palas valley is still not well developed, there is a rough jeep track that leads to Barparo.
About the trek
You can trek to the sole well-known place of Palas valley, Morro meadows after 3-4 hours of trekking from Barparo passing through dense forest and small local settlements. We atayed in a mosque at Gedar, a small settlement in Morro maidan. Gedar to Khapiro lake is a tough but a breathtaking hike of about 4hours. Khapiro is a small lake whose banks are covered in wild flowers surrounded by mountains.
Prime-minister Imran khan visited Pallas & Morro back in 2016 to promote tourism and educate the locals about the importance of forest and the survival of wildlife in the area. But perhaps the locals want the area to remain private and out of the sight of the tourists community, which seems good in an aspect as the landscape is protected and clean. I hardly came accross any trash piles or plastic bags in the area.
It is important to note that there is very little or NO concept of tourism in the are! There are no hotels, no resturants and no guides available on spot. If you plan to visit, you ought to have a local reference and he’ll make arrangements for you prior to your arrival. Strangers are not welcomed in the area because there is no concept of tourism in the area, locals don’t know how to deal with tourists. But if you are a guest of any of the locals, you will be given a protocol similar to a rockstar!
The locals of Palas have a high level of religious beliefs, there are small mosques in every settlement and a place to rest for the Tableghi-jamat who are the only visitors in the area. The locals are exceptionally hospitable to guests and welcome them. The Kohistan valley might have a bad reputation for some ongoing disputes among the small local communities but the natives are highly warm-hearted towards guests regardless of any enmity. I have been to dozens of places in the northern Pakistan but I have found the locals of Palas most hospitable and warm-hearted towards guests.