Siri Paye Meadows – Heaven in Pakistan
The Origin of the name ‘Siri Paye’
In Hindko as well as Punjabi dialect, ‘Paye’ means ‘high rising ground’ and ‘Siri’ indicates ‘lake.’ In summers, both the land and lake are seen blooming to their fullest. During the winters, the lake is frozen, and one can easily take a stroll over it. In summer, however, you can enjoy the crystal clear water of the lake.
The beautiful meadows of Siri Paye are situated near Kaghan Valley, about 6km away from the picturesque Shogran hill station in Khyber Pakhtun Khwa (KPK), Pakistan. It is at a distance of 34km from Balakot and 212km from the capital city of Pakistan. It is located on an elevation of 3.08 meters or 10,032 feet above sea level. There is a clear water lake present in the middle of these meadows. They are located on top of the mountain of Makra, between the Malika Parbat and the Moosa Ka Musalla. The high altitude of Siri Paye is one of the main reasons why it is still preserved in its natural beauty.
The Journey to Siri Paye
If you are planning to visit Paye by car, you need to travel to Shogran. From there, you will find excellent transport to take you through the steep roads that lead to the desired destination. It would help if you did not receive the risk of driving yourself because the streets are steep and the turns are narrow enough to make your blood curdle. The jeep drivers have gotten used to these dangerous conditions and driving up there is no longer a big deal to them. Therefore, they can be trusted. In winters, reaching Paye can take up to three hours. When you start your journey from Rawalpindi, you pass through Mansehra, Abbottabad, and Balakot. You’ll be moving about 232km on the Balakot-Naran Road. After travelling at an altitude of 25km from Balakot, you will come across a small town of Kewai.
Further 9km from this village is Shogran. Siri Paye is another 6km away from here. If you feel too daring, you can do a three-hour hike up to the meadow. The easiest way is that one should hire a jeep that can take you there in a mere 20 minutes. On your way up, there will be many local children approaching you with wild berries and fruits at cheap rates.
Myths about the Place
There are a lot of myths been created over the years regarding the Origin of the name ‘Siri Paye.’ People have associated several tales that might have led to the title. Some say this name has fallen because of the cattle and other four-legged animals grazing the place by the Punjabis who love the dish having the same name. Some also say there was a Hindu lady called Siri who fell in love with a local citizen of Paye, whose name was also Paye, which ultimately led to the current name. Another legend says that a lion ate a goat of this region and left the head and feet rotting on nearby felled trees. Since Siri and Paye also stand for head and feet, the place got its name from there.
The Perfect Hideout
With its beautiful scenery, Siri Paye can be the perfect escape for you when you need a break from your daily routine. The pine trees, wildflower beds, and picturesque lakes are unparalleled. This place is called ‘heaven on earth’ by those who have been here. Several wildflowers bloom here in August and May. In pleasant conditions, the locals play cricket, play musical instruments and dance along on the flower loaded slopes present here. The natural terms of Siri Paye are a treat in themselves to the visitors. You will always find scattered clouds hovering over this heaven of a meadow. You will also find a small cottage here in which there is an extremely hospitable family that offers to serve you organic food.
Problems You Might Face At Siri Paye
There are very few things you need to make sure before you head on to Siri Paye. First of all, the altitude of this place is pretty high, so you should be prepared for having difficulty breathing. The people who have asthma or other breathing issues should avoid going there. Moreover, there are no health facilities up there, so you should always keep a first aid box and other medicines of use with you. Also, you are not likely to find many restaurants there as well. So the best way to overcome this issue is to get your food from Shogran or keep preserved food with you when you set off for your journey. Otherwise, you will be a victim of food shortage. In winter, there is a lot of snowfall and land sliding, so you should be very careful. It would be best if you did not hike up to this place in such weather. In the monsoon season, heavy rainfalls can create problems for the visitors.
The Best Time to Visit Siri Paye
The best time to visit Siri Paye is during the summers. This means that June, July, and August are the perfect months to plan a trip to Siri Paye. Even in the summers, there are two times to visit this place. If you visit in early summers, you will come across snow-covered peaks, lakes, and meadows. If you really want to see this site, you should drop by in the early summers. If you visit later during the summers, there will be no snow in the lake and meadows. However, you will find snow-glazed peaks here. It will also be the monsoon season here, so you should be prepared for heavy rainfall and occasional hailstorms. Rains also make the environment fresh and pleasant. If you are planning on spending the night here, you need to keep warm clothes with you as the temperature drops quite low.
There are wide varieties of flora and fauna are present in this place. There are also times when migrating birds visit Paye. If you are really looking for a beautiful and peaceful destination to spend some time outside of your stressful life, make sure to visit Siri Paye and Shogran.
To read about Swat Valley- Click Here
To read about Astore Valley- Click Here