Pakistan is a country full of hidden treasures, and Besham is one of its gems. Located in the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province, Besham is a lesser-known city that is rich in history, culture, and natural beauty. This city has remained off the beaten track for tourists, making it an ideal destination for those who love to explore new and less-explored places. In this article, we will take a closer look at Besham and its unique features that make it a must-visit destination for anyone who wants to experience the real Pakistan.
History of Besham
Besham has a rich historical background that dates back to the 2nd century BC. It was part of the Gandhara civilization and was an important center for Buddhist culture in ancient times. Later, the city was ruled by various empires, including the Mauryans, the Mughals, and the British. During the 19th century, Besham was an important market town for traders and merchants traveling along the Silk Road. Today, the city still holds traces of its past, with ancient ruins and historical landmarks scattered throughout the region.
Besham’s cultural significance is also worth noting. The city is home to various ethnic groups, including Pashtuns, Kohistanis, and Gujjars. Each group has its own unique traditions, customs, and languages, making Besham a melting pot of cultures. The city is also known for its rich music and dance traditions, which are still practiced and celebrated today.
Top Attractions of Besham
Besham is surrounded by natural beauty, with the Indus River flowing through the city and majestic mountains and valleys in every direction. Some of the top attractions in Besham include the Shatial Rock Carvings, which date back to the 1st century AD, and the ancient ruins of the Buddhist stupas and monasteries. For nature lovers, Besham offers plenty of opportunities for hiking, camping, and trekking, with the Kaghan Valley and Naran Valley nearby.
Another must-visit attraction is the Besham Fort, which was built during the British era and used as a military outpost. The fort offers stunning views of the surrounding landscape and is a great spot for photography enthusiasts. Lastly, the city’s bazaars and markets are a great place to explore and experience the local culture and cuisine.
Local Food and Culture
Besham is famous for its traditional Pakistani cuisine, which includes dishes like biryani, kebabs, and pulao. The city is also known for its local delicacies, such as the Chapshoro, which is a savory pastry filled with minced meat and vegetables. Tea is a staple drink in Besham, and it is often served in small glasses with a hint of cardamom and other spices.
Apart from its food, Besham’s culture is also diverse and colorful. Each ethnic group has its own unique clothing, music, and dance traditions, which are often showcased during festivals and celebrations. The annual Shandur Polo Festival, which takes place in July, is a popular event that attracts visitors from all over Pakistan.
How to Reach Besham
Besham is easily accessible by road and air. The nearest airport is in Islamabad, which is about 250 kilometers away from Besham. Alternatively, visitors can take a bus or drive from Islamabad or other nearby cities. The best time to visit Besham is between May and October, when the weather is mild and pleasant. Accommodation options in Besham range from budget guesthouses to luxury hotels, depending on your preference and budget.
Besham is a city that is often overlooked by tourists, but it has so much to offer. From its rich history and culture to its stunning natural beauty, Besham is a place that will leave you awestruck. Exploring lesser-known Pakistani cities like Besham is an excellent way to experience the real Pakistan and connect with its people and traditions. We encourage all travelers to add Besham to their itinerary and discover the beauty of this Pakistani gem.