Fairy Meadows is a spectacular tourist spot in the North of Pakistan. As clear by the name, the place is matchless in beauty, attraction, and serenity. In 1953, an Australian climber, Hermann Bhul, impressed by the marvelous prettiness, named the place “Marchenwiese” which means “Fairy Tale Beauty”. In fact, “Joot” was the original name of this spot. The gigantic peak of Nanga Parbat was first climbed by the same man, Hermann Bhul.
Fairy Meadows was declared a National Park in 1995 by the Pakistani Government.
The trek of Fairy Meadows is a hard one. The aspirants have to go through multiple phases to reach the final destination. Arriving at Gilgit, then Raikot Bridge, and after a crazy jeep ride, one reaches the Fairy Meadows trek. In the final phase, there is a 2 to 3-hour hike to accomplish Fairy Meadows Trek.
Perfect Time to Visit the Fairy Meadows
Tourists should not go to the place on weekends. During public holidays, the Midsummer Season is the busiest time. The place is fully packed with tourists and trekkers for amid few days. After all, the wonderful beauty of Fairy Meadows catches the visitors.
The period between April-May and September-October is the best one to explore the beauty of this spot. During these months, the visitor ratio is lower; room availability chances are higher. Weather may be somehow cold, yet joyful.
Essential Material and Things needed during Journey
- The visitors should take the following items with them during the journey to Fairy Meadows:
- Shoes for hiking should ensure comfort and ease during the hike.
- Rain or drizzle is inevitable in Northern Areas, so a waterproof jacket is needed.
- Application of maps is essential for directions and routes.
- Biscuits, Snacks
- Lastly, a backpack for all these items.
Route of Fairy Meadows Trek
Phase 1: Arrival at Gilgit
From Islamabad, one can reach Gilgit via bus and airplane. The flight takes only 45 minutes to touch Skardu Airport. Fair is reasonable, although higher during peak season. 3 flights take off to Gilgit every day from Islamabad Airport. The flight view is exceptional. The scenery and greenery of the snow-covered mountains on the entire route mesmerize the passengers.
However, if a person is not willing to go by Air, the bus is another option. Through historic Karakoram Highway, it covers the journey in 18 hours. The fair is around 2,500. Of course, the route is so beautiful and astonishing that it doesn’t become tiresome for the passengers. The benefit of traveling by bus is the direct arrival on Rikot Bridge.
Here a factor is very important. Land sliding on Karakoram highway is unpredictable. It can block the road for not just hours, but days as well. Frustration and irritation are inevitable in this case.
Phase 2: Raikot Bridge
Raikot Bridge is located 80 km South of Gilgit. The visitors have the option of a taxi or hitchhike to reach the Bridge. The journey from Gilgit is only 2 hours. However, the fare for taxis may be higher, nearly Rs. 1,000. Buses going towards Chillas from the NACTO terminals are an option.
Phase 3: Adventurous Jeep Ride
After reaching the Raikot Bridge, the very next spot is Fairy Meadows. The tourists have to take 2 hours to drive via jeep. No other option.
This jeep ride used to be quite dangerous and risky. Accidents were a routine matter. Now, the road has been reconstructed with a considerable width. The journey is smooth and comfortable.
Fairs of the jeeps are skyrocketing. Nearly around 8,000 to 10,000. Hence, there is no other choice, so 3 to 4 persons should hire the jeep collectively and divide the fair amongst themselves. However, if one drives alone, it will be a memorable experience keeping in view the eye-catching beauty of the Fairy Meadows.
Phase 4: Hike up to the Trek
Finally, the jeep, which carried the tourists from Raikot Bridge, will drop them at a village named Tattu. A 2-hour hike up to the Fairy Meadows starts from this point. The trekkers must inform the jeep drivers about their departure day and time.
Horse ride is available for trekkers. In order to carry the luggage, horse porters could be arranged for Rs. 150/km. However, the hiking route is 2 to 3 hours by walk. The trail is 5 km. it should be noted that the weather is too hot during summer, so the trekkers must have prior arrangements with them.
From Fairy Meadows to Nanga Parbat Base Camp
It takes 3 to 4 hours from Fairy Meadows to Bayal. The trek is amid the forest having Buldar Peak and Raikot Glacier on the left side. From Bayal, the trekkers via Chongra Glacier reach Nnga Parbat Base Camp. Take some rest and enjoy lunch. Entertain themselves with the exceptional and miraculous beauty of Killer Mountain.
Multiple places are available to visitors for a stay. They can opt for hotels, camps, houses, cottages, wooden huts, and resorts. A “Pari Mehel” named cottage provides rooms for 2,000 to 3,000 rupees.
Beyal Camp is a nice camping spot located a 3 to 4 hour’s hike from Fairy Meadows.
Another camping resort is Rikot Sarai, but it is quite expensive. It takes 7,000 rupees per night. A jeep from this resort can take the tourists to Tattu Village. From this point, a jeep will bring the tourists back to Raikot Bridge.
Note: Keeping in view the unstable economic condition of the country, one must confirm the fairs of resorts and cottages in advance.