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It was October morning when we decided to travel to the glorious land of Hangu, so that we could attend a family wedding. This represented an exciting prospect so I proceeded to pack my clothes and books for reading, a week before our journey. It was my first visit to Hangu which is my homeland since returning from Saudi Arabia that is why I was too excited. Hangu is a relatively small but extremely picturesque city in the Khyber situated in Pakhtunkhwa province of Pakistan. Hangu valley The Bangash tribe are the main inhabitants of Hangu Valley along with a sizable number of Orakzai and Afridi as well. The primary language is Pashto, spoken natively by 98. 8% of the population. It is famous for its greenery, hills, beauty & water. The valley is situated perfectly between two branches of Koh-e-Sufaid Mountains which offers a breathtaking view. Hangu town is situated at 2900 feet height above sea level.
Finally, the day had come to start our journey. I got up very early on the day as I was very excited and the arduous job of driving also fell on me. We started our journey at 6:00 am. The sun rays started to spread on earth making it look like a landscape flooding down with sun rays. It was such a pleasant experience as birds were chirping, the air had clarity about it and we could see the dew droplets glittering on the trees and grass. We had two halts during our journey for fuelling and lunch etc. It took 5 hours to reach Hangu. The scenery en route was also worth seeing and we also took some halts to enjoy the beautiful landscape. It was only marred by the flocks of hens and herds of goats and buffaloes roaming around everywhere. The green mustard plants with their yellow flowers were on both sides of roads adding to the allure of the terrain. There was greenery all around, green trees, green hills & green fields covering the earth. I took many photos & cherished the moment. A soft & cold breeze was blowing giving a sensation of being floating in paradise. The dust & noise of the city seemed far away and a distant memory. Everyone met us wholeheartedly when we reached there. My Aunt (Phuppi) lives there, we stayed at her house. We had lunch & rested for a while. In Evening, we got ready for a family event. Every person of the family & neighbours gathered around. Males and Females gathering was organized separately. There was a musical event called Dholki. The event was punctuated with singing, chit-chatting & enjoying. And it went on non-stop till the late night.
The next morning, I was startled to see that there was a long line outside the bathroom & unfortunately as I woke up late, as usual, I was last in number & it took half an hour for my turn. Consequently, I got late. After having breakfast, we got ready for the wedding function which was held in Peshawar, another city of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. It took us 3 hours to reach there. After attending that function, we returned to Hangu & had a luscious dinner, which included sheep meat and their famous Seekh Kabab, one of the most traditional and hearty dishes of the area. Next morning, my father told us about places worth visiting in Hangu. He told us that snowfall is a common feature in winters. He mentioned mountains in Hangu: Wara Samana, Kata Kani, Pora Ghar, Shalmaz Pir, Lakay Ghar & most beautiful villages like Saidan Banda & Samana. These places are a heaven for nature lovers as it offers the scenic view along with a chance of hiking, bird-watching and camping. He took us to the beautiful & oldest village Anarchena, which is 15 km away from Hangu. The area is rich in natural resources so the mountains have different colours adding to the already stunning view. This town resembles Kashmir and one becomes dumbfounded while taking in the view of the village. In 2007 Chinese Company discovered natural gas and oil in Anarchena town.
The town is surrounded by four mountains, Sweere Ghar, Peetao Ghar, Gadawooch Ghar and Naghdayee Ghar. Then we visited the shrine of PerazanNeka, which is located in the old village called Katghar. Perazan Neka was a well-known Sufi and spiritual cleric, theologian and scholar of Islam who was born in 16th century. He greatly influenced the region by spreading Islam which is the major religion of the area. His shrine is one of the most famous shrines in the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. We stayed in Hangu for a week & this stay was a chance to catch up on my family while witnessing one of the most beautiful but less frequented areas of Pakistan. It was a joy the likes of which I have rarely experienced.
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