The Enchanting Fairy Meadows is a natural grassland located to the north of Nanga Parbat (elevation 26,660 ft, 9th highest in world and 2nd highest in Pakistan) overlooking majestic Rakhiot glacier in Diamer District (Gilgit,Baltistan). The name of the invigorating fairy meadows was given by German climber Willy Merkl, who was highly impressed by the splendor and beauty of this place. The name was derived from German origin word Marchenwiese which means fairy-tale. Fairy Meadows is known as Joot and Fantori by the native people.
Fairy Meadows located at an altitude of 3,300 meters is a beginning point for adventurous trekkers for Bayal Camp and Base Camp of Nanga Parbat. The Rakhiot (Nanga Parbat, north) is the meeting point at the peak. Fairy Meadows is also the staying point of many tourists who come to see Nanga Parbat (Killer Mountain). The villages Tatu and Fantur are located on the route to Fairy Meadows. Fairy Meadows being a source of fascination for climbers, adventure lovers, art lovers, geologists, wild life researchers and nature lovers is always full of activity.
Fairy Meadows was declared as National park in 1995 by Government of Pakistan. The thick alpine and coniferous forests add splendour to Fairy Meadows. Flora of forests includes Pinus wallichiana, Pinus gerardiana, Artemisia, Pinus peuce, Stone oaks, Junipers Pinus smithiana and Abies pindrow trees. The high altitude areas receiving low sunlight have flora e.g. birch and willow dwarf shrubs. The region has proved to have biological importance for researchers. Recently thirty one species of Rust fungi used in several medicines have been discovers in the region. Tourists can also observe the activity of brown bears and musk dears (endangered species) in the region.
The sightseers can approach Fairy Meadows by riding jeep (12 meters) from Raikot Bridge (Karakoram Highway) to village Tato. Further Fairy Meadows is approached by three to four hours trekking (five kilometres distance). The region is visited by tourists from April to September. The famous tourist lodge “Raikot Serai” covers an area of two acres at the camping site.
Fairy Meadows is a hub of tourists. Pakistan earns revenue of PKR 17 million, although Fairy Meadows is not fully developed. However, experienced guides, camping equipment and comfortable staying cottages are available for the travellers. Well trained staff is also available for rock climbing supervision. Fairy Meadows is hence a nature’s bequest for those who want to break from their everyday routine and enjoy isolation.
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