This is a village about halfway, on the route. We couldn't find any jeeps at Ushu, so I took my car. This village is as far as you should go if you ever have to take your own car, there are large rocks on the road ahead.
I left my car here at the mercy of the villagers and took a jeep which was on its way to Mahodand. Fortunately for us, it arrived right when we needed it.
Mahodand Lake is about 30kms from Kalam. It's about an hour and a half's jeep ride from Ushu. The lake is famous for its trout. Fishing is allowed but only with a permit.
You need to hire a jeep from Ushu glacier to get to Mahodand because the track ahead is full of boulders.
Never ever take your own car unless its a 4WD!
On the way to Swat comes the town of Hasan Abdal.Hasan Abdal is 48 km from Rawalpindi. It is a beautiful, quiet place and a convenient halting point of G.T. Road enroute to Peshawar or Abbottabad. This town has a particular association with Mughals and Sikhs. It was mentioned by Emperor Jehangir in his memoirs and frequently visited by successive Mughal Kings, on their way to Kashmir.
It remained a holy place for various religious groups through the ages. It has a Sikh Gurdwara (temple) known as Panja Sahib having a sacred rock with the hand print of their religious leader, Guru Nanak.Twice a year, Sikh pilgrims visit
this Gurdwara from all over the world. Two other historical buildings of Mughal era (Muqbara Hakeeman and so-called tomb of Lala Rukh) are located just opposite the Gurdwara.
On the nearby hill, at an altitude of 714 meters, there is a meditation chamber related to a 15th century Muslim Saint, Baba Wali Qandhari, popularly known as Baba Hasan Abdal. The saint stayed in Hasan Abdal from 1406-1416 AD but died and buried in village Baba Wali near Qandhar (Afghanistan). The devotees and visitors climb over the steps leading to the hill, for offerings and to have a panoramic view of Hasan Abdal.
Mountain Areas Conservancy Project signboard on the road to Ushu.
These are the good people who are going to conserve our forests, but first they need to conserve their own signboard.
There's also a big open ground with a few small shops. However, they were all closed, during the off season.
The road takes you to Ushu glacier from Kalam. On the way, it meanders through a beautiful forest. You must stop here and take a stroll through the forest. It is unbelievably quiet and serene.
You can stop by the bridge at Ushu and walk down towards the river. There are some small hotels too where you can stay, however they are nowhere near to the kinds of Hotels found at Kalam.
One of the several streams that come together to form the Swat river. This pic was taken from the bridge on the road to Ushu