Ganga Peak

Ganga Peak, more commonly known as Ganga Choti among locals is located in the Bagh district of Azad Kashmir. It is also visible from Bagh city and is often called as the Crown of Bagh. It has an altitude of 3045 meters.  Hike for Ganga peak starts from the town of Sudhan Gali which is at a height of 2200 meters from sea level. From there, the peak can be reached through a 3-4 hours easy hike. I have also met people in Chanari who have climbed Ganga from that side but I personally have not attempted it from there.

 

 

Path to Ganga Peak...

 

One can reach Sudhan Gali from Muzaffarabad or Bagh. It takes around a couple of hours to reach here on public or a hired transport from Bagh. Local transport for Sudhan Gali leaves near the Al-Noor hotel. The other option is to come from Muzaffarabad via Garhi Dopatta and Chakar. This option takes around 4 hours. There is an unconfirmed report of a proposed plan to develop a road and even a chair-lift from Sudhan Gali to Ganga. This might result in an increase of tourism but would definitely be a disaster for its natural environment and beauty. The hike  to Ganga offers some very nice views of the valley and meadows. This area used to be even more beautiful before the 2005 earthquake as the earthquake has resulted in a lot of lands slides and deforestation there. From the peak one can have a 360 degree panoramic view of the whole area. The nearest peak higher from Ganga Peak is called Pir Kanthi, which is at an aerial disttance of about 10 km from it. In winters this whole area is heavily covered by snow so the best time to visit it is from April to August. The recommended place for camping is the base of Ganga Peak near the shepherd’s huts.

There are two rest houses available at Sudhan Gali for accommodation which are being maintained by the AJK Tourism department and Public Works Department (PWD) respectively. Reservations for Tourism rest house can be taken from their office in Muzaffarabad. However for PWD rest house, the request is generally declined unless one has strong reference in the department.

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