Monday 15 January 2018


Danoi hike  starts from the Lehtrar rest house on the Lehtrar Road. This road links Islamabad to Bagh via Kotli Sattian. Total distance between Islamabad and Lehtrar town is around 30 Kilometers. Rest house is behind the petrol pump just a little ahead of the main bazaar. The hike starts behind this rest house and is actually an abandoned jeep road. In a couple of hours, this path reaches Danoi rest house while passing through a beautiful pine forest. Danoi rest house Is at an approximate altitude of 1300 meters.

If you have lesser time, another option is to skip the first part and start the hike right from Danoi Rest House itself where a metaled road joins from Lehtrar. To reach rest house on a vehicle, follow the Lehtrar road for a further few kilometers towards Kotli Sattian till a place called as Thoon Mor from where a road turns right towards Baba Saeen Tikka Sarkar shrine in Kamra. There is also a sign board indicating this shrine. Total traveling distance from Islamabad to Danoi rest house is around 60 kilometers. If you are coming on your own vehicle, you can park it here. Tell the rest house guards to take care of it, and they will do it well. The rest house was built in 1928 and is right in the middle of the beautiful pine forest. You can also spend the night here through an advanced booking from the forest department office near Sawan station, Rawalpindi but they are generally reluctant to entertain people without reference.

Just a few steps from the rest house, there will be many paths climbing upwards. You can take any of these which will cross the road at a few points before joining it back. Hike towards the Panjpeer big boulders for another 2 hours or so. The climb is gentle. The distance is around 7 Kms. The views to your left are breathtaking as you see the sheer thousand feet drop and huge, impressive sandstone rock formations to your right. After hiking for the said time you would come to a spot that constitutes huge sandstone base with boulders spreading far and wide for miles. The whole plateau floor is made up of these sand stone boulders and I have never seen anything like this before. This place is perched high up off the valley floor and is home to hundreds of butterflies floating around in a gentle breeze. Towards the Northeast you can see the mighty Jehlum. The elevation here is around 1750 meters. You can hike further up for about 30 mins to reach the highest point (1850m) where there is an SCO tower and their outpost. Views from there are even better as you can see hills stretched for miles with unobstructed views to as far as white snow capped mountains of Kashmir towards North East and Muree and Patriata Hills towards Northwest. The temperature never exceeded beyond mid twenties. The place is an ideal spot for a campsite and offers ample virgin rocks to rock climbing enthusiasts.

You can reach back to the Danoi rest house in around 1 hour and 30 mins. If you wish to go camping here, you can stock your supplies at the Danoi rest house, and either haul the load up in your back packs or hire porters to do the job for you. The locals here are quite cooperative and nice. However to be extra safe I would suggest that you carry protection equipment if you wish to camp for the night. A second option is to bring a security guard with you.

Panjpeer is the highest point of the Danoi Ridge in Kotli Sattian/Kahuta. It is called Panjpeer because of a shrine it has at the top. Locals believe this was a place where five saints came and got settled. It is at an altitude of approximately 1800 meters. In winters the top gets a few ft of snow each year. The rocks are an ideal place for camping. The place not only offers the amazing rocks but also water falls, streams, a thick forest and local species of plants and animals. The village around the path offers a lot to understand the local life and hospitality of the local people.

Danoi Rest House

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