The Bahrain-Kalam Road, found in Pakistan’s Khyber Pakhtunkhwa region along the Swat River, can be a thrilling route to take.
It is mostly unpaved so, even though it is open to all powered vehicles, 4-wheel drive vehicles are highly advised. The road connects to the main N-95. Although it is 34.8 kilometres long, the total journey on this road can take up to 5 hours without any stops in-between.
Graana.com has compiled a complete guide on the Bahrain – Kalam Road below.
History of Bahrain-Kalam Road
The project was initiated back in the year 2017, as reported by the National Highway Authority (NHA). As Kalam is one of Pakistan’s top tourist destinations, the rebuilding of the Bahrain-Kalam Road was an attempt to help the area prosper further, according to the Tourism Corporation Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (TCKP).
The temporary fixes made over the years had caused trouble for both residents and travellers. The restoration was also expected to cut travel time in half.
There are a few things to note before planning your journey. As there are several drop-offs and hairpin turns on this hilly route, be sure to drive carefully.
Landslides, flash floods, and gridlocks can be expected here, depending on a few key factors like weather conditions. It should be noted that this is not a recommended ride for those who experience vertigo.
Moreover, the elevation of the areas makes the trip even more dangerous. The elevation of Bahrain is around 1457.85 metres, and the elevation of Kalam is 2028.77 metres.
Flood-Struck Bahrain-Kalam Road
During the recent country-wide floods in 2022, Bahrain-Kalam Road got damaged and the route was closed to traffic. As a result, thousands of residents of upper Swat‘s flood-affected districts were unable to support their business of supplying vegetables and other food items to the cities of Peshawar, Rawalpindi, Islamabad etc.
These valleys are primarily dependent on the selling of potatoes, cabbages, apple gourds, turnips, peas etc. Other link roads and bridges were entirely destroyed by the floods, leaving no alternate route that could be used instead.
Current Condition of Bahrain-Kalam Road
The road was finally restored in September 2022, which also opened access to Gabral, Matiltan, Ariana and other nearby areas. The reopening of this road also sped up flood relief efforts.
While light traffic is allowed, heavy vehicles are still not advised to take this road.
Importance of Bahrain-Kalam Road
The significance of Bahrain-Kalam Road can not be denied. It creates a connection between the northern regions of the country, and also serves as an indirect route to the capital city.
Moreover, this route is often taken by suppliers to transport staple products grown in the valley to other markets across the country.
When the route got blocked due to the damage caused by floods, the supply of these items was on hold, which caused significant financial losses. This was the main reason that the route was rebuilt by the government as soon as possible.
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