Fairy Meadows is in the core of magnificent North Pakistan. Fairy Meadows renowned for its World’s ninth biggest mountain Nanga Parbat and gorgeous lush green plateaus is situated in Diamer District of Gilgit-Baltistan region, Pakistan. This place provides a stirring sight of Pakistan’s 2nd highest mountain Nanga Parbat, which has an altitude of 8126 m. Due to its spellbinding beauty; it was named Fairy Meadows in 1953 by an Australian climber Hermann Bhul. He was there to climb the peak of Nanga Parbat and became the first one to summit the mountain. Besides nature lovers, the meadows have since long been a electrifying destination for climbers, environmentalists, back packers, wildlife researchers, painters, photographers and polo lovers who spend here a couple of days for real exploration. Fairy Meadows can easily be approached from the capital of Pakistan, Islamabad.
The first stop near Fairy Meadows is Raikot Bridge. When coming through Karakoram Highway, it is about 540 kilometers away from Islamabad and is located at an altitude of 4595 feet above sea level. Carrying six passengers on one vehicle, Jeeps are available round the clock. A small cafe in Jail village deals in lunch and refreshments. A stay or night camping in a traditionally fabricated wooden cottage at Fairy Meadows with a spectacular view of massive Nanga Parbat’s north face provides very exclusive and delightful experience. The splendor of this place is enhanced many folds if the night is full moon and the sky is clear. The calm moonlight shimmering from the huge splendid frosty peak illustrates the real meaning of peace and nature’s beauty. Several tourist lodges and hotels are available to facilitate visitors in Fairy Meadows. Most of them are available at very affordable prices, although a few are little expensive.
Many tourists like to stay in camps on lush green places. In contrast to cities, food is a bit expensive here. But availability of food at this far-flung place makes it worth paying. The six-month visitor season at Fairy Meadows starts in April and lasts until the end of September. Between end of June and middle of August is the best time to visit Fairy Meadows and the place becomes unapproachable in winter due to heavy snowfall. Tourists lodge at the camping site spread over two acres, well-known as ‘Raikot Serai’. Although incompletely developed the site of Fairy Meadows produces about PKR 17 million revenue from tourism primarily by providing accommodation, food and transportation services. After it was stated a National Park, a project by Shangri La Resorts of launching a hotel at the resort was terminated.
The grassland is bordered by a dense alpine forest. North-facing slopes and the high altitude area typically comprise of coniferous forest having Abies pindrow, Picea smithiana and Pinus wallichiana, while the high altitude regions with little sunlight contain willow dwarf shrubs and birch. The southern slopes are enriched with scrubs and juniper, namely Juniperus turkesticana and J. excelsa. In the low altitudes, the plant Artemisia is commonly found, with Pinus gerardiana, yellow ash and stone oaks spread among it. Based on leaf size, research has proposed correspondences between Pinus peuce found in the Balkans with a sister specie Pinus wallichiana, found in the meadows. Scientists have found thirty-one types of Rust fungi in the area. Fairy Meadows is also called ‘Heaven on Earth’ due to its inimitable beauty.