We are lucky to be in a country that is full of breathtaking landscapes, ssenic locations not to mention the beautiful northIf you travel there you will enter a trance because of the surroundings. The sky touching mountains, lakes clear as crystal and waterfalls will make you feel that you are in another world. We must showcase appreciate the Almighty Allah for blessing Pakistan with natural beauty. I travelled to Muzaffarabad and on my way stopped at a place called ‘Garhi Habibullah’. I didn’t stop there for resting, actually I felt spell bounded by the beauty of the area. The green high mountains and plains, the calmness of the valley, waterfalls and the river Kunhar gives an aura of freshness that would surely take away all your worries.I travelled to Muzaffarabad and, on my way, stopped at a place called ‘Garhi Habibullah’. I didn’t stop there for resting, but I felt spell-bounded by the beauty of the areaFirst I well relate the history of this place, according to historic references, in 997 CE, Sultan Mahmud Ghaznavi, took over the Ghaznavid dynasty empire which was established by his father, Sultan Sebuktegin. Later somewhere in 1005 he conquered the Shahis in Kabul and had conquests of the Punjab region. Delhi Sultanate and later, the Mughal Empire ruled the region. You will come across several structures and forts built in that era in Muzaffarabad. In old times, the present Khyber Pakhtunkhwa region became a Muslim region due to missionary Sufi saints and their shrines too were included in the area.After the decline of the Mughal Empire, Sikhs invaded and occupied the Mansehra District and inside the streets of Mansehra we do find remains that confirm these historic accounts. Muslims faced many problems during the Sikh rule as many of the religious and heritage sites built by the Mughals were plundered.Later when British Raj come to this region, the population of Mansehra District increased and it gained popularity because of its beauty. After that time Khan Habibullah Khan Shaheed conquered this area with Syed Ahmed Shaheed. He got martyred near Shaheed Gali. After that, the family of Habibullah Khan Shaheed ruled this area and contributed a lot –including development in education.The head of the family was known as “Khan of Garhi”. Since then the place was known as ‘Garhi Habibullah’. This is how an unknown region near Mansehra became popularGarhi Habibullah is no doubt a marvel hidden inside the northern areas of Pakistan and most of us do not know and while travelling just pass by. Garhi Habibullah is a town and union council of Mansehra in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Pakistan. Its forests were affected in the 2005 earthquake that devastated the entire country.I asked the locals about the peace and serenity there. They told me that reason for this was the kind heartedness of the people and their fear of Allah and their fair. Above all the believe Garhi Habibullah is blessed by the Sufis.Trust me the people of this area are extremely welcoming, hospitable; and above all honest as they still follow the honourable.People there also say they experienced death during the 2005 earthquake and would always tell stories of nearby areas like Balakot.I happened to have lunch there and the food not even cheap but delicious. There is also a small mall like bazaar with many traditionally structured shops that sell various items Other than this shopping you will not find any other market around, and yes I saw policemen too. The policemen of this area are unique too; I never came across such polite and decent policemen!From Garhi Habibullah you can easily go to Muzaffarabad, Mansehra, Abbottabad, Hattian Bala and Battagram. Traveling at night is also safe. The road i smooth and the area is relatively free of wild animals and there are signposts that direct you to the correct location.Garhi Habibullah gives you the best view of River Kunhar. The beautiful Kunhar River is 166 kilometers long and located primarily in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. The interesting fact is that it originates from Lulusar Lake, that lies a little ahead of the Naran Valley. The Dudipat and Saif ul Muluk lakes go into the river besides the glacial waters from Malka Parbat and other high peaks in the valley. The Kunhar river flows through the entire Kaghan valley, Jalkhand, Balakot, Garhi Habibullah and Dalola. This same river joins Jhelum River outside Muzaffarabad in the Azad Jammu and Kashmir.Unfortunately there are not many tourist facilities, despite the smooth road. I am sure that if such a place would have been in any other country it would have a variety of tourist facilities. I think the government should work on building small huts from where tourists can view mountains and the River Kunhar. There is a lack of motels hotels and craft shops are missing. All you will come across is a small bazaar; a few hotels and road side restaurants.In my opinion Garhi Habibullah can be a hot tourist spot. Small town like these can help in diverting the overload Murree, Nathia Gali, Naran, Kaghan and Shogran of tourist in the peak season.Published in Daily Times, September 15th 2018.