Salman Rashid

Travel writer, Fellow of Royal Geographical Society

Deosai or Shuddle Gali

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There are two 'most beautiful places to pitch a tent' in my opinion. The first is, without question, Deosai. Anywhere on Deosai. The fantastic vistas of wide open space of miles and miles hemmed in by snow-capped crags. Here the sky is an impossible shade of blue and the thunderheads like huge, huge bales of cotton flung about by some careless cotton packer. Here the clouds do actually look like anything you wish to imagine them to look like. Here, if one has nothing to do (that is, if you are not on assignment), lie on the ground in the sun and just spend hours doing nothing.

The second is Shuddle Gali on the ridge leading up to Musa ka Musalla from Kund Rest House. The ridge here is almost knife-edge sharp, falling away on both sides at an acute angle. The views to the east contain Makra, Pir Panjal, the beauty Malika Parbat and, I think Nanga Parbat. For this last, on both occasions the cloud cover was too thick to determine correctly. To the west, way beyond the misty blue valleys at the bottom of the ridge, rise the peaks of Kala Dhaka, always darkly forbidding. Darkly forbidding because crime lives in the folds of the Kala Dhaka.

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posted by Salman Rashid @ 00:00,


At 7 July 2013 at 12:35, Anonymous Saima Ashraf said...

The scene in the picture above is the best place to pitch a tent. I vote for it:)

At 7 July 2013 at 16:40, Anonymous Umer Jamshed said...

Deosai, spot on. Having been there, I can second that the panoramas this place yields are unparalleled.
Musa ka Musalla has been in my plans for a while now but after reading about Shuddle Gali, I am definitely heading there in a month's time. Thank you for this note!

At 7 July 2013 at 20:18, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I would want to give a try to both. I have known Deosai but S Guli is new to me. Are they interconnected or nearby each other. Jami

At 14 July 2013 at 07:01, Anonymous Salman Rashid said...

Deosai is in Baltistan. Shuddle Gali is in Kaghan. It is on the ridge separating Kaghan from Siran. You can climb up from both sides. Not much to do here except to get to the peak of Musa ka Musalla.

At 14 July 2013 at 07:02, Anonymous Salman Rashid said...

Good luck, Jamshed. Hope you find snow on the Musalla.

At 8 August 2013 at 00:38, Blogger Adnan Alam Awan said...

As per my knowledge, Kund forest rest house on the way to shuddle gali was built during 1830. During 2005 earthquake the rest house was destroyed and whole the wooden structure collapsed. I stayed one night in tent at Kund rest house location during June-2013 and was looking for wooden piece there in the rubble, on which it was carved 1830, chowkidar told me that it was lost. Do u have any photo of this one?

At 8 August 2013 at 01:14, Blogger Adnan Alam Awan said...

In my above comments,,one correction, i mean to write Nadi Bangla rest house rather than Kund rest house, Nadi Bangla rest house is located in Naghan forest area that is approachable from Hangrai union council of Balakot.

At 8 August 2013 at 04:54, Anonymous Salman Rashid said...

Adnan, it was not 1830. Who on earth would be building a purely European structure at Kund at that time? The date was, I think, 1928. The chowkidar, as is the wont of all illiterate persons, was exaggerating. Also, it was not all timber; it was stone with a timber roof. I don't have an image of the house, sadly.

At 8 August 2013 at 13:09, Blogger Adnan Alam Awan said...

Salman Sb,,thanks for the correction and proper information. I think i have found the very right person,,,now a days exploring all ur write up and it is a kind of research work that was done by no one. Thanks for saving the record our history.

At 8 August 2013 at 18:26, Anonymous Salman Rashid said...

Glad to be of help, Adnan.

At 8 August 2013 at 18:29, Anonymous Salman Rashid said...

Nadi Bangla is one of the most beautiful secluded places in Kaghan. it is even later than than Kund. It was stone with a GI sheeting roof. I don't know if it survived the quake.


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Deosai: Land of the Gaint - New

The Apricot Road to Yarkand

Jhelum: City of the Vitasta

Sea Monsters and the Sun God: Travels in Pakistan

Salt Range and Potohar Plateau

Prisoner on a Bus: Travel Through Pakistan

Between Two Burrs on the Map: Travels in Northern Pakistan

Gujranwala: The Glory That Was

Riders on the Wind

Books at Sang-e-Meel

Books of Days