Kalam is a green village along the upper reaches of the Swat River in Swat Valley. It is in the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province of Pakistan.
Kalam is known for its waterfalls, lakes and lush green hills, and is a 270 km drive from Islamabad. It is a popular destination for tourists.
The rivers of Kalam are formed by snow melting on the mountains. This water is magnificent and the local folk lore claims it to have healing properties.
At 29 kilometres from Bahrain and about 2,000 meters (6,600 feet) above sea level, the valley opens out, providing rooms for a small but fertile plateau above the river. In Kalam the Ushu and Utrot rivers join to form the Swat River. Here, the metalled road ends and shingle road leads to the Ushu and Utrot valleys. Some snow-caped mountains are visible from Matiltan including Mount Falaksir 5918 meters (19,416 feet) and another unnamed peak 6,096 meters (20,000 feet) high.
Ushu and Utrot:
The Ushu and Utrot areas about 5-10 km north of Kalam are one of the most scenic places in Pakistan. The lovely Swat River following next to you, this area is dominated by high peaks and lovely forests.
About 30 km north of Kalam on an unbelievably bad road lies a beauty, Lake Mahodand. Maho means “fish” in the local language and the lake is truly brimming with fish! The lake is very large and is the headquarters of the Swat River. It is located in a huge green field which is surrounded by very high mountains and has a small forest right in the middle which can be accessed by a bridge over the lake (it was closed when I went there). There are stunning trees on the right side of the road (on the left side is Lake Mahodand) through which lots of natural springs are flowing. There is a campground in the meadow in which the lake is located. Fishing permits can be taken for a small fee from the PTDC resort in Kalam. Boating is also possible in the lake. You can also see some glaciers in the mountains near the lake. The water of the lake is freezing cold. A boat ride in the lake is an absolute must and it takes about 30 minutes. I saw some sheep with a shepherd high up in the mountain while boating (there are motor-boats). I just wonder how they got up there. Another strange sight was a large bird standing on the lake!!!!! I don’t think it was a flamingo. I think it was standing on something floating on the lake as the lake is very deep. Anyhow, the area is absolutely stunning. They take 300 Rs for the boat ride. There is also a “Spring of Healing” about 20 minutes drive from the lake towards Kalam. According to the locals, the water has healing powers. No harm to try. The water is clean and fresh (and freezing too).
There are a lot of wonderful waterfalls near Kalam. Most of them are in the forests that surround Kalam and seeing them is a must! The source of these waterfalls are mostly glaciers on mountains nearby.
This is a wonderful lake surrounded by mountains. It can only be reached by trekking about 3 hours from Kalam. It is highly advisable to take a guide. You have to follow a branch of the Swat River. The trekking route can be quite scary to the normal tourist with rocks and well you have to almost cling on to the rock wall to hang on. Anyway, the lake is beautiful and there are several small glaciers on the way. They were making boats at the lake for the tourist season. Coming down is a bit quicker about 2 hours. There are biscuits available at the lake but very expensive so take your own supply. There is water from a fresh water spring along the route. By the way, the people at the lake told us that there are 3 more lakes ahead and if you keep on trekking you can directly reach Bahrain. Cool huh? Anyway this is a very good place to visit. The people say this lake changes colour during the hours of the day and days of the week. Only saw 2 colours though.