A Tourist Guide to Thakot

Thakot bridge

Thakot, which is surrounded by the ever-gorgeous scenery of Pakistan, is a small town that spreads the confidence of vibrancy around. Most of the time, it is ignored by mainstream tourism. Thakot, a town sheltered in the mountain heart of the mighty Himalayas, has a backdrop of history and culture that keeps you in awe along with the beauty of nature, which you can find there.

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With its picturesque topography, exotic cultural heritage, and friendly people, it is a hidden paradise that will enchant wanderers who seek originality while at the same time avoiding the simplistic travel experience on a well-explored path.

Graana.com has prepared a tourist guide to Thakot, including location, history, route, and more.



This charming town is located in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, renowned for its breathtaking natural beauty and rich cultural heritage. Surrounded by majestic mountains and lush green valleys, Thakot offers a serene retreat for travellers seeking solace amidst nature’s splendour.

Geographically, Thakot lies near several major cities and tourist destinations. It is approximately 190 kilometres (118 miles) from Islamabad, the capital city of Pakistan, making it accessible for both domestic and international travellers. Additionally, Thakot is within driving distance of other prominent cities, such as Abbottabad and Mansehra, further enhancing its accessibility for visitors from across the region.

The town’s strategic location at the crossroads of ancient trade routes has contributed to its historical significance and cultural diversity. From its vantage point overlooking the confluence of two mighty rivers, Thakot offers panoramic views of the surrounding landscape, with snow-capped peaks, verdant valleys, and meandering rivers painting a picture-perfect backdrop for exploration and adventure.



Thakot’s history is a tapestry woven with threads of ancient civilizations, medieval empires, and colonial influences. Nestled at the confluence of the Indus river and Swat river, this picturesque town has served as a strategic crossroads for centuries, attracting traders, travellers, and conquerors alike.

From its origins in the ancient Buddhist civilization to its role as a key outpost in the Mughal Empire, Thakot has witnessed the ebb and flow of various dynasties and cultures that have left their mark on its landscape. Throughout the medieval period, Thakot remained a vital centre of commerce and culture.

Its fortunes rose and fell with the shifting tides of conquest and trade. Under the rule of successive empires, including the Hindu Shahi dynasty and later the Ghaznavids and Ghurids, Thakot flourished as a bustling hub along the ancient trade routes that crisscrossed the region. The remnants of Buddhist stupas and monasteries scattered throughout the area attest to its ancient origins and the enduring legacy of its earliest inhabitants.

During the colonial era, Thakot came under British rule, and the town’s strategic importance was further solidified with the construction of roads and infrastructure connecting it to other parts of the empire. While the end of colonial rule in 1947 marked a new chapter in Thakot’s history as part of independent Pakistan, the echoes of its storied past can still be heard in its ancient ruins, historic landmarks, and vibrant cultural traditions, making it a captivating destination for those eager to uncover the secrets of its past.


Route to Thakot

To reach Thakot, travellers have several options depending on their starting point and mode of transportation. Here’s a guide to the most common routes.


By Road


aerial view of karakoram highway


From Islamabad: Thakot is approximately 190 kilometres (118 miles) away from Islamabad, the capital city of Pakistan. Travellers can take the Karakoram Highway (N-35) from Islamabad, passing through Hasan Abdal, Abbottabad, and Mansehra. The journey takes around 4-5 hours by car, depending on traffic and road conditions.

From Lahore: Travelers coming from Lahore can take the Lahore-Islamabad Motorway (M-2). They, then, connect to the Karakoram Highway (N-35) towards Abbottabad and further to Thakot. The total distance is around 450 kilometres (280 miles), and the journey usually takes around 7-8 hours by car.

From Peshawar: Those travelling from Peshawar can take the Grand Trunk Road (N-5) towards Abbottabad and then join the Karakoram Highway (N-35) to reach Thakot. The distance is approximately 300 kilometres (186 miles), and the journey can take around 5-6 hours by car.


By Public Transport

Public buses and vans operate regularly between major cities like Islamabad, Abbottabad, and Mansehra to Thakot. Travellers can catch these buses or vans from designated terminals in the respective cities. The journey duration may vary depending on the type of vehicle and stops along the way.


By Air

The nearest airport to Thakot is the Islamabad International Airport. Travelers arriving by air can fly to Islamabad and then proceed to Thakot by road, as mentioned above.


By Train

While there are no direct train services to Thakot, travellers can take a train to nearby cities like Abbottabad or Mansehra and then continue their journey to Thakot by road.

Regardless of the chosen route, travellers should consider the weather conditions, especially during the winter months when some mountain roads may be affected by snow and ice. It’s advisable to check road conditions and plan the journey accordingly, especially if travelling during the peak tourist season.


Things To Do In Thakot

Here are some things you can do there:


Indus River Rafting


indus river


Thakot is situated on the banks of the Indus River, offering excellent opportunities for river rafting. The thrilling rapids and stunning scenery make it a popular activity for adventure enthusiasts.


Hiking and Trekking

Explore the surrounding hills and valleys through hiking and trekking trails. You can venture into the Himalayan foothills and discover breathtaking landscapes, hidden waterfalls, and charming villages.


Visit Historical Sites

Thakot has a rich history, and there are several historical sites in the vicinity worth exploring. Visit ancient forts, such as the Thakot Fort, to learn about the region’s past and enjoy views of the surrounding areas.



With its scenic beauty, Thakot provides ample opportunities for photography enthusiasts. Capture the picturesque landscapes, vibrant local life, and stunning views of the Indus River.




Camping in karimabad


Set up camp along the banks of the Indus River or in the surrounding hills for a night under the stars. Camping in Thakot allows you to experience the tranquillity of nature and enjoy bonfires with friends and family.


Local Cuisine

Sample the delicious local cuisine of Thakot, which includes traditional Pakistani dishes like biryani, kebabs, and chapli kabab. Don’t miss out on trying the local street food for an authentic culinary experience.


Interact with Locals

Take the time to interact with the friendly locals and learn about their culture, traditions, and way of life. You can visit local markets, attend cultural events, or simply strike up conversations with people you meet along the way.


Day Trips

Lastly, Thakot serves as a great base for exploring nearby attractions such as the Shangrila Resort in Skardu, Fairy Meadows, or the majestic Hunza Valley. Plan day trips to these destinations to enrich your Thakot experience.

For more related information, visit Graana Blog.

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