Founding Editor: Shafqat Munir   

Meet the sky at Toli Peer 

10 Augustus 2010 02:28:07

Meet the sky at Toli Peer

Sohail Rashid

A lush green grazing field on the peak of a mountain that steals your heart with its attractiveness and forces your tongue to articulate the lines: “If there is any paradise on the earth, here it lies”. It is just on an adventurous drive of 40 kilometres from Rawalakot, on the top of Ali Sojal, and is commonly known as Toli Peer. It is considered as the highest reachable point of Azad Jammu and Kashmir (AJK).

Toli Peer blooms with full beauty in summer with its pleasant weather and even in June, July the visitors are advised to take warm clothing with them. In winter, it is covered with snow and it becomes difficult for the tourists to reach there.

This marvellous place is so placed that one can enjoy the view of nearly the whole District Poonch from Rawalakot (AJK) to the Poonch City, located at the other side of the Line of Control (LOC). The snowcapped mountains of Peer Panjal add more colour to the beauty of Toli Peer and it gives the impression of a fairyland.

Amazingly, there are only a few trees at the visiting area of Toli Peer but a lush green grass so covers its surface that it looks to be a carpeted turf. Soft green mat of the grass compels the tourists to stroll around barefooted, giving a romantic pleasure.

Unfortunately, this wonderful place is deprived of the basic facilities due to lack of concern from the authorities. Just four years back, the first-ever concrete road was constructed for the site, which still is not a very safe path to travel. Former AJK prime minister Sardar Atique Ahmad Khan announced a chairlift project for the site which ended with the end of his government.

There is not a single tuck shop, cafe or restaurant at Toli Peer for tourists. As far as night stay is concerned, it is not possible for a person to pass the whole night under the shade of stars in an extremely cold weather.

Naveed Ahmad, a tourist, said: “I have visited several places but this is the best I have ever seen. I faced several problems while reaching here like lack of transport and proper guidance. I think the government should give Toli Peer the status of a proper picnic spot and should facilitate visitors.”

Many people are even not aware of the name of Toli Peer. A tourist, Attia Zulfiqar, coming back from Rawalakot, said: “Though I have spent the whole week in Rawalakot but I could not visit Toli Peer as I did not know about it. I heard about it but I was told that there is no facility to stay there. So I am regretful for missing it.”

The government could earn millions by investing on places like Toli Peer. It could be developed like Murree by facilitating the visitors with chairlift, hotels and transport and it would change the fortune of the residents as well.