The hilly resorts and lakes in northern Khyber Pakhtunkhwa have attracted an influx of tourists during five days of Eidul Fitr enjoying its mesmerizing natural and mountainous beauty amid hide and seek between sun and clouds with great fun and excitement in the lap of birds chanting snow-clad valleys. Arrived in a ‘carry van’ with hands clapping on the national song ‘Dil Dil Pakistan’ at Saiful Malook and Anso lake in Upper Kaghan valley in Manshera district on last Sunday, the family of Professor Ehtisham Khan of Peshawar was over the moon after visiting the famous oval shape lakes located in the lap of the snow-clad mountains of Malaka Parbath, enjoying the delectable cuisines of KP under an open sky amid laughter all around. Impressed by the crystal greenish-blue water of the oval-shaped Saif-ul-Malook lake, the tourists with a big smile on their faces went around the natural wonder after enjoying lunch at ‘Dastarkhwan’ under an open sky amid cold breeze and pleasant weather. “We have first explored the historic Saiful Malook lake through boats that doubled my family’s joy,” said Ehtisham Khan, who came here along with her sisters and mother while talking to APP. He said Saif-ul-Malook’s gripping natural beauty with its crystal clean-water emanating from the lofty glaciers of Malaka Perbath on its northeast was amazing and beyond one’s imagination. Khan said that he had visited many lakes in Pakistan and abroad but the fairytales of prince Saiful Malook and princes Badri Jamala associated with the Saif-ul-Malook lake were unique and impressive. “The Malook-Jamala fairytale leaves mesmerizing effects on the minds of tourists and forces them to come again and again here.” Terming Saif-ul-Malook lake as his ideal tourist place due to its better road connectivity than other lakes of KP, he said that it was his third trip to Saif-ul-Malook lake and first with his family that doubled their joy of Eidul Fitre. He said families could easily come here to spend some time in its relaxed environment before exploring the nearby Anso and Dudipatsar lakes in Upper Kaghan through jeeps and horse riding. Like Khan’s family, the lake takes thousands of visitors into pipe-dream with fairy world’s thoughts popping up with peace and serenity after entering the natural wonder spreading on 1.06 square miles having 113 feet depth and 3,224 meters height from sea-level following completion of boredom of tedious journey from plain areas of Pakistan to Kaghan valley. Mian Muhammad Bakhash, a noted historian and poet in his book ‘Fairytale of Saiful Malook’ had narrated about prince Saif-ul-Malook and fairy princes Badriul Jamala during his visit to the lake. He explained about the epic romance of Prince Malook when he fell in love with fairy prince Jamala during his visit to this famous lake of Pakistan. Prof Ehtisham mother said Saif-ul-Malook was the identity of Pakistan and urged visitors to ensure its cleanliness and put all waste in dustbins placed by the government in its vicinity. “I am disappointed to see garbage and polythene bags thrown by visitors at premises of Saif-ul-Malook and Anso lakes despite dustbins,” she said. She said it was the collective responsibility of Kaghan Development Authority (KDA), wildlife department and district administration to maintain its cleanliness and make it pollution-free. The tear-shaped Anso lake is being considered the highest lake of Himalaya region with 4,126 meter height of the sea level, Payala lake with 2,895 meters elevation, Pyala lake with 3,410 meters height Siri lake with 2,590 meters altitude, Dudipatsar lake with 3,800 meters elevation and Dudibach Star lake in Kaghan valley, which captivate adventure sports enthusiasts. In international practice, she said vehicles were parked outside of the lakes’ premises in order to maintain its ecology and protect it from plastic pollution. She underscored the need for construction of parking areas outside of the premises of Saif-ul-Malook, Mahudhand and other national lakes to protect it from environmental and water pollution. Muhammad Ali Syed, General Manager, KP Culture and Tourism Authority told APP that Pakistan was home to many natural and manmade lakes and reservoirs including South Asia’s largest Manchar lake spread on 260 square kilometers in Sindh besides the country’s biggest Paristan lake in Skardu and Shimshal lake in Hunza Gigiit Baltistan with 4,272 meters height draw domestic tourists in droves throughout the year especially during Eid holidays. Khyber Pakhtunkhwa is blessed with around 100 small and big natural, manmade and reservoirs lakes including the world’s 33rd highest natural Lake of Karambar with 4,272 meters height of above sea level and 3.9 kilometer length that could be accessed through Broghal valley in Chitral. Swat is going to become the tourism capital of the country due to its seven unique features including the snow- clad mountain peaks, trout fish, river, snowfall, Swat motorway, waterfalls and lakes. The Swat’s Mahodand Lake with 2,900 meters height at Ushu valley Kalam carried unique features including brown and rainbow trout and camping besides Spin Khwar and Kundal lakes have drawn many tourists during Eid days. The small and medium lakes in premises of Mohudhand would be interconnected after construction of small arch bridges that would enhance its natural outlook, he said, adding Mahudhand lake would be converted into a model eco-tourism resort with provision of enhanced facilities to tourists. Khanpoor Lake in Haripur is most suitable for water sports and paragliding, Tanda dam lake Kohat for ecotourism and Turbella lake Haripur for adventure sports. Tanda Kohat, Jalozai Nowshera, Kundal Swabi, Chatri Haripur and Jangza Abbottabad have been selected for ecotourism and a road from Maidan to Bishigram lake to be constructed and jeep track at Kandal lake was already built. Waterfalls of Lamchar, Sajkot, Noori, Chajjian Haripur, Jarogo Swat, Lanchar Dir and Umbrella Abbottabad would be developed. As many as 10 camping pods were established at Thandyani Abbottabad, Sharan Naran Manshera, Bishigram and Gabin Jabba Swat, Yakhtangi Shangla, Sheikh Badin Lakki Marwat, Mahaban and Shaheed e Sar Buner, Bamburat Kalash Chitral and Alai Batagram to provide quality accommodation to tourists.