Saif ul Malook, a fairy tale, is buried in Pakistan’s Fairytale land. It’s a widespread truth that the vast mountains are shrouded in secrecy and enigma. Lake Saif Ul Malook is nestled between massive hills and is nourished by melting glaciers in Kaghan Valley. With an altitude of 10,578 feet above sea level, the lake is regarded as one of the highest lakes in Pakistan.
Furthermore, the lake has its own history, which eloquently represents a story of love and passion. Mian Muhammad Bakhsh, a great Sufi writer/poet, narrates the tale in his poem Saif Ul Malook, which features the Prince of Egypt Saif-ul-Malook and the Queen of Fairies Badi-U-Jamal.
The Romantic Tale of Saif-ul-Mulook
Saif-ul-Malook was an Egyptian prince. He had a sizable fortune that he received from his ancestors. Two seals were engraved on the wealth, one with Saif’s picture and Badi-ul- Jamal’s.
Saif fell madly in love with the fairy the moment he saw her photo. He subsequently left his life to look for her, a quest that took him six years. One day, a priest encountered Saif on an Egyptian street and offered him a Sulemani cap, assuring him that it would transport the prince to his preferred location.
The priest informed the prince that he would meet the fairy in a lake, but for that, he would have to undergo numerous difficult trials and pray in an attempt to do so because she was a magical fairy queen, and the prince was indeed human. A human cannot see a devil or a fairy because they are “fire borne.”
The prince reached Kaghan valley and was mesmerized by the emerald green lake shining in the sparkling night. As soon as Saif arrived at the location, he began a Chilla (prayer for 40 consecutive days). His condition deteriorated with each day, yet he did not surrender and kept on praying. He grew weary and feeble after praying for 40 days with no food or sleep.
It was the 14th night of the month, and he said to himself, “Perhaps I’ll meet her tonight.” The Prince was startled to see seven divinely gorgeous fairies wiping down a tender, slender, and delicate creature with flawless skin, sparkling eyes, and flowing blonde hair.
He then saw the magnificent beauty with black hair Badi u Jamal in her complete avatar. She was stunning, her black hair set her apart from the other fairies, and her sparkle made him believe in ethereal beauty. She was absolutely breathtakingly beautiful. So much so that Saif was transfixed on her beauty and grace.
After speaking with Badi-ul-Jamal, Saif learned that she had been imprisoned in a palace on Koh Qaf for the past decade by Safaid Deyo (the white giant). The white giant fell in love with the fairy as well. After hearing the fairy queen’s narrative, Saif grabbed her and attempted to flee the valley.
When the white giant learned of this, he caused disturbances in the lake out of rage, causing flooding in Kaghan Valley. The fairy and the prince took refuge in a graveyard near Naran, however owing to the flood, Saif and Badi-ul-Jamal sought refuge in a cave near the lake.
According to folklore, the Ansoo Lake in Kaghan Valley, a few kilometers from Saif-ul-Malook, was formed from the white giant’s tears after learning that the fairy had vanished. Also, the Deosai Plains are thought to have formed because of the battles fought. But, in the end, the union was destined. His connection with the fairy represents the soul’s union with everlasting truth.
As per the legend, the prince and fairy queen still dwell in that cave and dance just above the water’s surface on the 14th night of each lunar month.