It was a long-awaited vacation, needed and refreshing, which took us to the scenic and paradisiacal embrace of Neelam view point in November 2021.
Neelam view point also known as the Kohala Bridge Picnic Point lies where the boundaries of Punjab, Kashmir and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa meet. Today, it serves as a part of the only land route between Azad Kashmir and the rest of Pakistan. It is located 38 kilometres north of Murree and 35 km south of Muzaffarabad.
The vibrant multi coloured houses at distances caught everyone’s eye. Inside one of these austere houses was a private area for females to pray. A small comfy quiet room for worship. We prayed our Asr prayer and headed to explore the gushing River Jhelum.
The air was crisp, clean and chilly as we climbed down to River Jhelum. Huge forested mountains hugged the serene habitation in a warm embrace. All around us were sounds; soothing and relieving us of our stress and chaotic urban lifestyle.
A dusty-white goat tagged along and felt like a family member, munching on our offerings. She had her eyes on the fresh fruit vendor’s picks lined up to attract customers. But she was shooed away by the fruit seller so she joined us instead.
After our descent we removed our shoes to dip our feet in the River Jhelum. The clean river water gushing down the valley and the chilly breeze made us shudder. Pebbles under the water and rocks, could be seen clearly. It felt like heaven.
Charpoys were placed in the shallow river water for people to rest in and enjoy their special chicken pakora dish. It was delectable but a bit steep. When we received the bill, we thought we were paying for all the tourists. Nonetheless, their hot aromatic doodh patti was exactly what we needed to warm our chilled bones.
As daylight began to drain away and the last rays of sun skimmed the surface, we bade goodbye to Neelam view point and of course our friend, the nanny goat.