05-Aug-2006 -- Last September I started confluence hunting, after my colleague Hidayat Hasan informed me of the project. I along with one of my colleagues Jawad Ahmad, managed to record four confluence points (33N 73E., 33N 72E, 34N 72E, and 34N 73E ) last summer. After that, the devastating earth quake that hit Pakistan changed our mood.
Now after substantial relief work has been carried out in the earthquake stricken areas, it looked like a good time to plan a trip to reach another one. This time seven more colleagues joined the original team.
It was 6:00 in the morning, on a rainy summer day (the kind on days when we love to sit back, have wholesome breakfasts, and pamper ourselves with laziness) that we chose to exchange the leisure of our weekend for getting to and recording a confluence point some three and a half hour drive away.
We went by the Grand Truck Road (the main highway that transects through Pakistan from north to south) till the small town of Dina; from there we turned towards the cantonment of Mangla (famous for its dam and hydroelectric power plant), the route was very scenic and the beauty of lush green valleys and water courses which gave us a strange kind of euphoric ecstasy.
We stopped for breakfast on the way, near a small town of Gujr Khan. On the menu were paratas (a kind of bread fried with oil) and Chanas (fried grams) with tea (too much milk and sugar). So I guess we had a typical heavy weekend breakfast after all!
We reached Mangla Dam at 8:45 AM, there we had the choice to go through the city Mirpur or use the bypass. We choose the bypass to set course for the confluence point located in the village of Bhimbar in the province of Kashmir.
Just before five km from the confluence point we came across a bridge being construction over a natural rainwater course. We were presented with two choices, either we went through the water course (that due to the rain that day and the heavy rainfall of the preceding weeks) that was full and flowing or turn back and come again when the road bridge has been constructed. While pondering on how to overcome this debacle a tractor trolley came through it showing us the way to cross, having seen the route taken by the trolley and with lot a fear we chose to drive through the course and succeeded!
Having driven through broken and flooded roads while jam packed in our cars and gone through considerable difficulty in getting to an obscured confluence point that had us running up and down and left and right to find a path to get through the thick vegetational defenses of the confluence point we very after, we got to our destination. We managed to record the point on our GPS at 11:00 am, five hours after we had set course from Islamabad.
On the way back we had our lunch at a water sports club in Mangla and also took a boat ride in the picturesque Mangla Dam. We took some great snaps of the boat ride (not to mention the entire trip) with our cameras.
We have made also a small movie of some selected moments of our excursion and have uploaded the GPS data on Google Earth and labeled the main points in trying to get to this confluence point.
I must say it would be a great feeling to conquer Everest but at the same time it’s a great feeling to do a confluence. It’s a high which I can’t define. I am very thankful for Asif Awan who influenced me for this adventure; I think every action has a deriving force behind it and for this action I would give credit to him.
On the start of the trip I wasn’t confident that the trip would be that much fun, but as we traveled it got better and better minute after minute. I have gone to many places in this country but I think Kashmir is the most beautiful place in the sub-continent. Now I know why India has detained Kashmir J.
The thing which I loved on this trip was the canal system of our country. I can simply say it is amazing. No wonder it is the largest canal system of the world.
In the end I would like to thank everyone for going on this trip. It was a great experience.
During the barsaat (heavy rain, 120 MM) I planned to visit the confluence point near Bhimber. The roads were full of khadas (potholes) and keecher (mud). After a four hour drive from Islamabad we managed to reach the confluence point. This was my first adventurous visit of this kind. Loved it!
Having gone through the entire ordeal and gotten to the confluence point, I have to say it has to be one of the best Saturday mornings I have spent in my life. Can't wait to get to the next confluence point!
This has been simply an unforgettable addition to my travel experience not only the pleasure part of it but also in terms of learning about geographical advancements such as use of GPS technology that guides you in every move you make anywhere on earth. The fun part of the trip is indeed indescribable and the credit goes to both the jolly good company and the hand of Mother Nature to further elevate the beauty of surrounding and pleasure of driving. Thumbs up for Asif Awan to arrange such expeditions in the future as well.
Weather was so nice for this trip. The location itself is really close to the town of Mirpur. To get to the point we parked the car on the road side. Some walking up the hill and there it was. It is located on the side of the rocky hill in the bushes.
Actually there was a very nice view from the hill when you go a little further than the location itself.
Bhimber is a great place! to be honest I had enjoyed the N33 E74 point a lot. This would become a nice attraction for tourists.
The return journey was a mixture of cool breeze, sunshine and torrential rain. This was my first CP and the first for Ghulam Abbas, Rao Ali, Ali Yasir, Jahanzeb, Sharyar and Naeem Ch.
This was my first CP visit, I enjoyed it a lot, specially the company.
This CP was a different one for me from the previous four because of the group. It was a good experience; I really enjoyed it as I was previously the only driver, now Asif Awan has to drive also.
Before leaving Islamabad for the trip I was feeling for why on earth I would voluntarily decided, whilst taking no rest after 20 hours continuous work sitting in the office for a day and night, but it was eventually replaced with exciting adventurous feeling after a short while. The exhaustion part of feeling was disappeared on rough and careless driving of Jawad Ahmed on the highway. Beautiful green valleys on summer rains and accompanying lovely fellows made the trip really memorable. Thanks to Asif Awan for introducing such trends in a society with an unrecognized and alienated youth