Over the years, I have discovered many secret picnic spots near Islamabad. Neela Sandh is one of my favorites. A friend took me there for the first time in 2013, and I was totally blown away. I was totally mesmerized by its beautiful blue and green waters flowing between the mountains. And the best thing is that it’s not crowded like other more popular picnic spots in and around Islamabad.
What I love the most about Neela Sandh is that it’s a great place to relax and unwind. There’s something about the sound of the water flowing that just makes you feel at peace. It’s the perfect place to go for a swim or just sit by the stream and enjoy the scenery.
It’s a great spot if you’re planning to have a picnic with friends or family. And if you’re in Islamabad and feeling a bit down and out, just hop in your car and head on over to Neela Sandh. I guarantee you’ll feel better after spending some time alone there.
It is located about 30 km from Islamabad towards Kotli Sattian on Lehtarar Road. And trust me, the drive is worth it!
Take to the Kashmir Highway (now Srinagar Highway) and take a right onto the Club Road from Serena Hotel chowk. When nearing Chak Shahzad, from the big roundabout, take the exit to Park Road and then onto Lehtrar Road. The exact location is shared at the end of the blog.
The Beauty of Neela Sandh
The real fun starts when you leave the city behind and enter the mountains. The views on the way are simply stunning. And as you get closer to Neela Sandh, you can hear the sound of the stream getting louder and stronger.
The main road gradually transforms into a narrow, winding mountain road with lush green hills on both sides. The scenery is absolutely breathtaking, and you can’t help but stop at one of the many viewpoints to take it all in. The journey from Islamabad to Neela Sandh takes about 1-2 hours, depending on your driving skills and how often you stop to admire the view.
There are a few dhaabas (roadside eateries) on the way where you can stop for tea or lunch. But I would recommend packing a picnic basket with your favorite food and drinks to enjoy at the stream.
As you approach Neela Sandh, you will see a signboard pointing to the left. This is the turnoff for the stream. The road leads down to a small parking area next to the stream.
As soon as you get out of the car, you can feel the cool mountain air. And the sound of the rushing water is so calming and relaxing.
There are a few flat rocks near the stream where you can set up your picnic. And if you’re feeling adventurous, you can even go for a swim in the refreshing waters. Just be careful of the slippery rocks.
Parking and Best Time To Visit
Once you reach the destination, there’s no single spot for you to stop. Instead, you can park your car anywhere along the stream and walk around to find a secluded spot of your own. The best time to visit Neela Sandh is in the late afternoon when the sun is not too harsh. But if you want to have a dip in the stream or get a barbecue going, it is best to arrive earlier as it gets dark really quickly in the valley, and you wouldn’t want to get stuck in the dark.
Barbecue is Highly Recommended
I visit the place once or twice every year, and I always bring my own barbecue because there’s nothing like freshly grilled food in the great outdoors. No matter whether you’re with family or friends, you can bring your own charcoal and marinated meat and have a barbecue right next to the stream. Just be careful not to damage the environment.
There are no washrooms or any other kind of amenities available at Neela Sandh, so make sure you go before you leave. And since there is limited cell phone coverage in the area, especially once you descend to the stream from the mountains, it is best to let your family or friends know where you’re going and when you’ll be back.
Safety and Security
The place is generally safe, but as with any other remote location, it is always best to take precautions and not go alone. There are no security guards or anything of that sort, so it is best to go in a group. And since it gets dark quickly in the valley, it is best to leave before sundown.
Reports of Paranormal Sightings
I always have a chat with the locals whenever I’m having my adventures, and I love hearing the stories about the place first-hand. One of the locals once told me that there is an old abandoned house near Neela Sandh, which is said to be haunted. I also met a few others from the area who shared their stories of a human-like creature that is said to live in the mountains and comes out at night. So if you’re feeling brave, you can explore that too. If you believe in the paranormal, that is.
Is Neela Sandh Worth Visiting?
Absolutely! Neela Sandh is a hidden jewel in the mountains of Kotli Sattian and a great picnic spot near Islamabad. It’s perfect for a day trip from the city, and it’s a great place to relax and enjoy the fresh mountain air. Just be sure to take precautions and go in a group, especially if you’re planning to stay until after dark. And don’t forget to pack a barbecue!