Shandoor Bohat Door (Shandoor - A place far away) - P2



We left Gulapur at 9am after having breakfast at the Ziarat Hotel. We started paddling towards our destination, which was about 35KM away. The road condition was very good and scenic. We crossed beautiful small villages like Sherqilla, Dalnati, Bubur, Japukey and Goharabad.

Early morning view of Gulapur
Early morning view of Gulapur

Day 2: Gulapur to Gahkuch


We went to sleep earlier last night and in the morning we explored Gulapur village. We passed through the village and gardens to reach to the bank of the River about 600m away from our camp. The village was small and clean, people had cleaned the streets very early in the morning. Fresh water stream was passing through the village, which was irrigating the fields as well as the gardens. The gardens had many fruit trees including Grapes, Apple, Apricot, Peach, Walnut, Almond, Pomegranate, Fig and much more. During the early morning walk, we tasted grapes and apples, which added a refreshingly sweet flavor to our moods. While passing through the village we were asked for a cup of tea consistently. 

Fruits from the village Gulapur, Ghizer
Fruits from the village Gulapur, Ghizer
A street of a small but peaceful village of Gulapur
A street of a small but peaceful village of Gulapur
A street of a small but peaceful village of Gulapur
A street of a small but peaceful village of Gulapur

“No one is poor here, we bring labor from other villages if we need. Every home has men in Govt. services or in army at good ranks. Education is given huge importance for all the kids, this is reason you will not see any kid wandering in streets or working at their early ages. Many youngsters have become religious scholars and now spreading the teaching of Islam. In homes, we do not have T.V. because our scholars do not like it. Having a big dish antenna on the top of roof does make concern, and we do not like that. We all are big fan of cricket, and whenever there is a match of Pakistan cricket team, we bring T.V. and whole village gathers at one place and we enjoy Pakistan wining the game.”

A local explained about the small and peaceful village of Gulapur. Miles away from the fast hectic life of cities, we saw these people happy as they have found contentment living.

An elder of the village, Gulapur
An elder of the village, Gulapur
The innocent kids of Gulapur, Ghizer
The innocent kids of Gulapur, Ghizer

We left Gulapur at 9am after having breakfast at the Ziarat Hotel. We started paddling towards our destination, which was ~35KM away. The road condition was very good and scenic. We crossed beautiful small villages like Sherqilla, Dalnati, Bubur, Japukey and Goharabad. 

Just before leaving Gulapur.
Just before leaving Gulapur.
Near Sherqilla, Punial
Near Sherqilla, Punial
Near Dalnati, Puniyal
Near Dalnati, Punial
Fresh grapes from Goharabad, Punial
Fresh grapes from Goharabad, Punial
Goharabad Bridge, Punial
Goharabad Bridge, Punial

Worth to mention that we played cricket in Goharabad, we were offered to play on the main road by local kids. We found kids of Goharabad very friendly while playing and took their photos. Playing cricket in the middle giant Hindukush Mountains was quite an experience. We stopped in Singul for a lunch break. 

Playing cricket with the local kids in Goharabad
Playing cricket with the local kids in Goharabad
Happiness after the victory, Goharabad
Happiness after the victory, Goharabad

Local people of Singul amazed us when we communicated with them. There are multiple religions living side by side in the town. We were welcomed and hugged by the both Muslims and Non-Muslim and we felt something very different in this small town. We had our lunch and sat with the local Imam Masjid and asked him how this town was different? he explained to us;

“It might seem difficult living among the majority of non-Muslims and preach the teachings of Islam, but I never faced any problem. I had lived in Punjab for several years before I came here. Here, we are practicing our religions side by side, when I walk down town, everyone greets me, hugs me and shakes hand with me. We sit together, have a cup of tea and discuss our matters. We do not argue on religious differences, it only causes confusions, and divides people into different classes.”

Imaam of a Masjid in Singul
Imam of a Masjid in Singul, who explained everything he knew about Singul.

“When there is wedding in their home, we go and fully participate and if there is any moment of sorrow at our homes, they stand by our side and make us feel comfortable. Could this have been possible if we were divided into two human classes? Here, humanity is the greatest religion.”

“Sometimes, when I couldn’t get a bus to go home or I get late, I stay in Masjid for the night but people have been so generous (regardless of the religion) they take me to their homes, and do not like if I spend a night here sleeping on a floor.”

How do you expect a non-Muslim bringing a Muslim “Imaam” home?

“I think you can spread the teachings of Islam better by your character and behavior to others. If you are a Muslim and you are courteous towards others; people would start to follow your lead and would feel comfortable talking to you, which eventually could lead them to the religion of Islam because Islam itself is the religion of peace and kindness.”

Taking a rest before just before entering Gahkuch
Taking a rest before just before entering Gahkuch

We left “Singul” in the evening for Gahkuch. The road turns right just before Gahkuch towards a beautiful remote valley of Ishkomen. One could witness beautiful panoramic views standing at this point as Gilgit River becomes calm and wider; Gahkuch city is being seen under the shadows of high Hindukush Mountains. 

Ishkomen bridge, Gahkuch
Ishkomen bridge, Gahkuch
Sunset in Gahkuch
Sunset in Gahkuch, Ghizer

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"Shandoor Bohat Door (Shandoor - A place far away)" (PART-1 / PART-2 / PART-3 / PART-4 / PART-5)
- Content and Photos by Author.

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