[Dawn 28 April, 2019]
Though called paradise on earth due to its implausible beauty, Siren valley of Mansehra district is an unexplored tourist destination mostly due to lack of access roads. However, inclusion in the provincial government’s strategy for tourism promotion promises the development of the stunning place most tourists and mountaineers don’t know about.
The government has planned to attract visitors from within the country and abroad to the valley’s magnificent landscapes by building roads to and in it and ensuring amenities. The heart and commercial headquarters of the picturesque valley is Jabori, which is a northern area of Mansehra district. Visitors reach here from Shinkiari, a town on Karakoram Highway, after a one-hour drive.
Spread between Shinkiari and Jabori is the picturesque Dadar, which has pine and deodar trees in abundance. It used to have a tuberculosis sanatorium attracting patients from within the country and abroad.
Built by the British Army in 1936 on the bank of the Siren River splitting the valley, the facility was turned into a general and mental hospital. The Siren River, which leaves these valleys more beautiful, originates from the Mandagucha glacier and merges with the Indus.
Passing through Panjool area in the western plain of Pakhli, it also irrigates the fertile land through upper Siren canal in Dharial and through lower Siren canal in Shinkiari.