Nilan Bhotu – Spiritual, Scenic & Probably Spooky

Spontaneous plans are the best plans – nothing quite like the excitement of executing an unplanned idea there and then, agreed?

Islamabad roads are perfect for a bike ride and that’s exactly how we were going to spend the day, biking.

But where to?

Almost 5 minutes before the bike engines started, Nilan Bhotu was finalized.

Entering KPK via Margala. ©Ambyzee The Freebird

1.5 hours away from Islamabad via Pir Sohawa road and Monal restaurant, entering into the KPK side of Margala hills, lies this quiet, green and seemingly aloof village called Nilan Bhotu. As common as it could be like any of the other villages around the hills but known to attract visitors for two of its main reasons.

1. Spiritual

Being one of the popular meditation sites of the revered 17th century Sufi ascetic, Bari Imam, his followers and devouts pay visit out of respect and commemoration of his religious practices.

2. Scenic Blue Ponds

A small river stream flows through this village that later on forms, not one but multiple scenic crystal clear blue ponds around the same meditation site which attracts a lot of tourist attention. These ponds are a small dipping section in between a flowing river that are full of medium sized Mahseer fish! That’s definitely a sight for scenery lovers.

Fishing is however forbidden as they are said to be holy and belong to the shrine.

One Odd Thing Though…

Our visit to Nilan Bhotu was obviously fulfilling however there was one small detail that didn’t seem right. Throughout the time we sat along the ponds just gazing the fish, very tiny pebbles would come fall at our feet every now and then. We would look up to see if it were the local kids doing mischief but no one would be there, not even the sound of them running along disturbing the dry grass underneath or so. We initially presumed it was falling off the trees or something, or maybe it were the monkeys, however we didn’t see anything as such and were amazed at how accurately they would hit exactly at our feet, not hurting us thankfully.

Later someone from outside of the village, told us that it’s the locals trying to scare off people as they don’t like visitors coming in and crowding the place much, however as I mentioned I didn’t see any human being doing that whatsoever.

Maybe they’re just too good at hiding

Maybe it’s something else, something invisible…

Watch my IG Story on Nilan Bhotu Bike Ride here


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