Soon Valley is like a cup surrounded by rolling unsymmetrical green hills presenting a breathtaking vista. Known for its natural beauty, the valley provides a unique sanctuary to a host of migratory birds in winter. It is a valley of lakes and springs, lush green fertile fields, versatile mountains, amazing landscape, dense mixed forests, sanctuaries of wildlife, brave peoples of high traditions, rich archaeology, pre-historic sites and ancient history.
It’s situated in the north west of District Khushab, Punjab. The Valley starts from Padhrar village and ends at Sakesar which is the highest peak of Salt Range. The length of Soon Valley is 35 miles (56 km) and average width is 9 miles (14 km).
The temperature is mild to pleasant in the summer and cold in winters. Soon Valley is heavenly in all seasons, especially when the monsoon clouds engulfs the valley and a chill breeze races down Sakesar to welcome wandering tourists. Located at a height of 5,010 feet (1,530 m) above sea level, Sakesar, the highest mountain in the Salt Range looms over Uchali lake. It was once the summer headquarters for the Deputy Commissioners of three districts – Campbelpur (now Attock), Mianwali and Shahpur (now Sargodha).
It is the only mountain in this part of Punjab which receives snow fall in winters. In view of Sakesar’s ideal location and height, PAF selected it in the late-50s as the site for a high powered radar which would provide air defence cover for the northeastern part of the western wing. Pakistan Television’s re-broadcasting center has been installed to provide terrestrial transmissions coverage to adjoining areas.
Situated in the heart of Soon Valley, Naushera is the only town of the valley, surrounded by high hills, beautiful lakes, jungles, natural pools and ponds. Naushera is also blessed with ancient civilization, natural resources, and fertile farms. The major settlement of the valley ‘Nausehra’ lies almost in the geographical centre of the valley and is located at 72″ II’ 29″ north latitude and 32″ 34′ 58″ west longitude. The general height of surrounding hills is around 2500 feet above sea level, with several peaks reaching over 3000 feet. Tourists can use ATMs and internet cafes too in Naushera.
Islamabad to Soon Valley:
While coming from Islamabad/Rawalpindi, enter on M2 motorway towards Lahore, move out of motorway from Balkasar Interchange and travel towards Talagang. After crossing Talagang drive on Khushab road (Katha road) up to Jaba mor (a road turning right towards Jaba, the first village of Soon Valley on that side). Naushera is 25km from Jaba village. Total distance from Islamabad to Naushahra is 240 km. At about 2 km from Jaba Mor towards Khushab, there is another road that is called Sultan Mehdi – Sodhi Road and this road also leads to Naushera.
Lahore to Soon Valley:
While coming from Lahore, enter on M2 motorway towards Islamabad and move out of Motorway from Kalar Kahar interchange, then travelling from Kalar Kahar to Padhrar and Pail villages that are the eastern most villages of Soon Valley, take a turn from Pail Chowk to Jaba Mor (a road turning right towards Jaba Mor). The road condition from Kalarkahar to Soon Valley is good. Total distance from Lahore to Naushahra is 309 km. At about 2 km before Jaba Mor you can turn left on Sultan Mehdi – Sodhi road.
Places to Visit
Soon Valley is blessed with serene natural beauty which includes beautiful lakes, springs, forests and many archaeological sites. If you have one day and you want to visit maximum places in Soon Valley, scheduling your time will be quite beneficial for quenching your thirst of exploring this beautiful and alluring valley. There are several site seeing options available to the tourists, some of which are shown below.
Uchali Lake is the most popular tourist attraction in the valley. This lake is formed due to the absence of drainage in the range. Sakaser, the highest mountain in the Salt Range at 1,522 meters (4,993 ft), looms over the lake. Due to its saline water the lake is lifeless, but offers picturesque scenery. Boats are also available for boating. Uchali Lake Map
If you are going to visit Uchali Lake and coming from Kalarkahar or Talagang side, then most probably you will pass this lake on your way (unless you take the Sodhi road route). The lake and the green area around provide a good scenery. Both Uchali and Khabeki lakes attract hundreds of migratory birds each year and are ideal haven for the bird watchers. Khabeki Lake Map
One can experience the peace and natural beauty on visiting Jahlar lake and it creates a feeling of deep calm. It is one of the least visited lakes of the valley mainly because of it’s location. The lake is situated near the village Jahlar. Its area under water is approximately 148 acres. In winter, birds from distant places migrate to this lake and in summer they make their return back to the native countries. The water is strongly acidic and one can wash clothes with its water without any soup. This lake does not contain any facilities like boating or fishing unlike Uchali or Khabeki lake. There are two routes to this lake; one is from Kathwayi to Jahlar (if you are coming from Sargodha side) and the other is from Naushera to Surakki and then from there to Jahlar. Jahlar Lake Map
Kanhatti garden is home to stunningly beautiful waterfalls and marvelous views. There is a camping site too with fireplace for the tourists. There are several natural trails for tourists for hiking or just to take in the beauty by foot. Kanhati Garden Map
It is a beautiful place where one can not only enjoy the spiritual peace but also the gorgeous scenic beauty because of a small waterfall, ponds and water springs. The way to Dep Shareef goes from Kufri village or from the main road. Road almost goes near to the water springs from where one has to travel 1 kilometre by foot in order to reach the ponds. It is a mountainous ziaarat gaah. Water springs flow here in abundance. Water is absolutely clean, pure and sweet. People from all over the valley come here to pay theirr homage to this sacred place because of a saint Siraaj Ud Din Naqshbandi. Daip Shareef Map
The fort and temples of Anmb Shareef are located in tehsil Quaidabad. Most of the people consider these temples as a part of the area of Soon Valley because of its contiguity to the dhoks of Mahoriyaan but officially, it is designated in tehsil Quaidabad rather than tehsil Khushab.
These buildings hold a special interest for the archaeologists. Originally, the whole of this area was a fort in which there was one palace and two temples. Nowadays, only the palace and one temple exist. There used to be different statues in this fort but nothing is left of them now. The architecture of the temple is of Kashmiri style. The palace comprises of three floors but one can only approach the ground and the first floor. Each floor has a central hall.
This temple and palace is in ruins now. Government should endeavour to renovate and revive it just like they did with the temples of Katas Raj. This place holds immense archaeological importance and can be even termed as world heritage site by UN. Excavations have been going on here since many years and many precious and priceless artefacts and statues have been taken away by the smugglers and local people. This place still possesses invaluable treasure underneath it in the form of artefacts, statues and coins etc. If robust efforts have not been made by the archaeological department officials, it will be devoid of its treasure by the smugglers and people with selfish minds. Amb Shareef Map
Nurshingh Phowaar (Often mispronounced as nursing phowaar) is a place where one can find beautiful temples and lovely water springs. The temples still retain their original shape although rapidly deteriorating.
Regarding its history, there was a Hindu Nurshingh Daas who came to this place to pray. The drops of the water spring falls on the adjoining mountains and that is why how this place got the name of nurshingh phowaar. In the past, in the month of beesakh, a besaakhi mela used to be celebrated at this place where Yaatrees came from distant towns and villages. There is a beautiful waterfall, greenery at its best, mind blowing water springs and amazing archaeological as well as historical temples at this place. These days, this temple is under the department of Oqaaf. It is a pity and we repeat, it is a pity and sheer callousness of our government that this temples has been turning into ruins since the last so many years. No care has been given to this place, no funds are allocated and we people are going to lose this precious historical site located in our own valley. Need of the hour is to develop and protect this place. Nurshingh Phowar Map
- Akrand Fort
- Anmb Shareef
- Baba Sultan Mehdi
- Daip Shareef
- Jahlar Lake
- Kanhatti Garden
- Khabeki Lake
- Naushera Rest House
- Neeli Dhann
- Nurshingh Phowaar
- Ratrirri Ruins
- Sodhi Rest House
- Tulajha Fort
- Tulhaath Fort
- Uchali Lake
- Wild Flowers