Today I’ve decided to write about a place very close to my heart. I’m a bit confused about if I should focus on the content that will be helpful for people wanting to visit Dongagali or if I should write about how every cell in my body is emotionally attached to this place. I guess I’ll do a little bit of both.
The reason why I call Dongagali my second home is not because I spend a lot of time there but because whatever time I spend there is usually the highlight of my whole year. To give you a bit of context from birth till now every summers I go to Dongagali for a few days usually with my family. My Grandfather whom I wasn’t fortunate enough to meet discovered this very small town at that time (Around 1950’s) and decided to build a house there. He use to take his kid there for summer vacations and then later his children took their children and this went on for four generations till the summer of 2009 when his children finally sold the house. But even after we let go of the house we (at least some of us) didn’t stop going to dongagali.
Now after all these years Dongagali has become a lot more commercial and busier than it was when I was growing up but it still hasn’t lost it’s magic. Like I said I don’t want this post to be just a personal but also helpful so here are some things you can do if you’re planning a trip to Donagali
Things to do in Dongagali
- Pipe Line: There is 4km walking track from Dongagali to Ayubia. This walking track has breath taking views. It’s so beautiful that even after walking on this track literally hundreds of time the thought to miss it because I’ve been there enough times still haven’t crossed my mind. At the end of this track you can also enjoy scenic views on chair lift in Ayubia.
- Mukshpuri Top: It’s a 9200 ft high mountain. There are two main routes to get to the top; one from Dongagali and one from Nathia gali. It’s almost 4kms and the hike is pretty easy. Just recently a lot of tourism agencies have started arranging one day group tours to Mukshpuri from Islamabad and Lahore.
- Lalazar: On the Mukshpuri top there is an option to turn towards Lalazar. it’s almost equal in length but its height is much less than Mukshpuri top. It’s also a very scenic walk.
- Sheron wali pahari: Its around a hour long hike to the top. Its a bit steep and if it’s raining you probably wouldn’t want to go because it get very slippery but the view at the top is amazing
- Miranjani: Trek to Miranjani is around 8kms and it starts from Nathiagali so you first have to go to Nathiagali by road and then start your journey towards Miranjani top. Miranjani is around 9800 ft high and the highest peak in the Abbottabad District.
Not so famous things to do
Above mentioned are the famous excursions there but if you’re one of those who take the road less travelled, there is so much more for you in Dongagali.
- There is an unpaved way that goes down in the valley from the Whispering Pines road. It’s one of my absolute favorite path to walk on.
- Digi ka chasma (Waterfall): There are many different ways to get there but my personal favorite is the one beside the water tanks passing through the famous rest house there.
- Gulji’s house: How I’ve wished growing up that I could spend my whole life there. Gulji is a famous artist of Pakistan who has a house in Dongagali and the location of his house takes your breath away.
Recently a part of Mukspuri hotel got burned down to ashes. After we let go of this house this hotel is where we always stay so naturally I’m also emotionally attached with it and I was terribly sad when this happened. I hope they rebuild it soon.
Dongagali is so much more than a vacation spot for me. It’s the place with a billion memories, happy and sad. I have laughed and cried, fallen in and out of love, watched people grow close and apart, the sun rise and set, the sky with million stars for hours, the shooting stars, endless rain, snow and fire, and so much more. I’ve been there even when I wasn’t there. I call it home because I might live somewhere else but my heart lives there.
P.s:I can’t put twenty five years worth of experience in one post I’ve tried to cover most of it. If you have any suggestions please put it down in comments.