Skardu, Shigar and Khaplu
Skardu, Shigar and Khaplu three captivating towns in the Gilgit-Baltistan region of Pakistan, offer a breathtaking blend of natural beauty, cultural heritage, and adventure. Explore the gateway to K2 in Skardu, experience the historic charm of Shigar, and discover 'Little Tibet' in Khaplu as you immerse yourself in serene landscapes and unique experiences.
Skardu is a stunning town located in the Gilgit-Baltistan region of Pakistan. Skardu is a breathtaking destination for those seeking adventure, natural beauty, and a glimpse into the unique culture of the Gilgit-Baltistan region. It continues to attract travelers from around the world who are drawn to its awe-inspiring landscapes and outdoor activities. Here's some information about Skardu:
- Location: Skardu is situated in the northeastern part of Pakistan, nestled amidst the Karakoram Range and the Himalayas. It serves as a gateway to some of the world's highest peaks, including K2, which is the second-highest mountain on Earth.
- Natural Beauty: Skardu is known for its breathtaking natural beauty. The landscape is characterized by majestic mountains, including K2, lush green valleys, pristine lakes, and fast-flowing rivers. Some of the notable natural attractions in the Skardu region include Shangrila Resort, Shangrila Lake, Deosai National Park, and the confluence of the Indus and Shigar Rivers.
- Adventure Hub: Skardu is a popular destination for adventure seekers, including trekkers and mountaineers. It's a starting point for various trekking expeditions, including the trek to K2 Base Camp. The region also offers opportunities for rock climbing, paragliding, and white-water rafting.
- Cultural Heritage: Skardu has a rich cultural heritage with influences from Tibetan and Balti cultures. You can explore traditional Balti architecture and visit monasteries and historic sites such as the Skardu Fort and Shigar Fort, which have been transformed into heritage hotels.
- Gateway to the Karakoram Range: Skardu is often called the "Gateway to the Karakoram" because it provides access to some of the most challenging and famous peaks for mountaineers. The town serves as a logistics hub for expeditions to these peaks.
- Weather: Skardu experiences a cold and dry climate, making it a desirable destination for summer travelers. Winters can be harsh and are often associated with heavy snowfall.
- Accessibility: The town of Skardu can be reached by road from Gilgit, and there is also a small airport, Skardu Airport, that connects the region to Islamabad and other major cities of Pakistan.
Shigar is a captivating town located in the Shigar Valley, which is a part of the Gilgit-Baltistan region in Pakistan. Shigar is a place where natural beauty and cultural heritage come together, making it an excellent destination for those who seek a blend of history, adventure, and stunning landscapes in the Gilgit-Baltistan region of Pakistan. Whether you're interested in exploring the historic fort, embarking on treks, or simply enjoying the tranquility of the Shigar Valley, this town has much to offer. Here's some information about Shigar:
- Location: Shigar is situated in the northeastern part of Pakistan, in the Baltistan region, and is approximately 23 kilometers (14 miles) from the larger town of Skardu.
- Shigar Valley: Shigar is the gateway to the picturesque Shigar Valley. The valley is renowned for its stunning natural beauty, including lush green landscapes, meandering streams, and towering mountains, making it a haven for nature enthusiasts and trekkers.
- Shigar Fort: One of the key attractions in Shigar is the historic Shigar Fort, which dates back to the 17th century. This fort has been beautifully restored and transformed into a heritage hotel, allowing visitors to experience the charm of ancient Balti architecture while enjoying modern amenities.
- Cultural Significance: Shigar Valley is rich in cultural heritage, and you can explore the unique culture and traditions of the local Balti people. The area is known for its vibrant festivals, music, and traditional crafts. Visitors can engage with the friendly local community to gain insights into their way of life.
- Trekking and Adventure: Shigar serves as a starting point for various trekking and adventure expeditions in the surrounding Karakoram Range. Treks in this region often offer breathtaking views of the mountains and an opportunity to explore remote valleys and high-altitude meadows.
- Accessibility: Shigar can be reached by road from Skardu, the nearest central town with an airport. The drive to Shigar offers scenic views of the Karakoram Mountains and the Shigar River.
- Buddhist Influence: The region also has some historical Buddhist sites, including rock carvings and inscriptions, which provide glimpses into the ancient history of the area.
Khaplu is a captivating town located in the Gilgit-Baltistan region of Pakistan. Khaplu is a hidden gem in the Gilgit-Baltistan region, offering a serene escape into nature, a glimpse into local culture, and a gateway to the majestic Karakoram Range. Whether you're interested in exploring historical sites, embarking on treks, or simply experiencing the region's tranquility, Khaplu offers much to travelers seeking an off-the-beaten-path adventure. Here's some information about Khaplu:
- Location: Khaplu is in the northeastern part of Pakistan, in the Baltistan region. It is located west of Skardu and is an important administrative and cultural center.
- Little Tibet: Khaplu is often referred to as "Little Tibet" due to its striking resemblance to the landscapes and culture of the Tibetan Plateau. Towering mountains surround the town, and the Shyok River flows through the region, creating a picturesque and tranquil setting.
- Natural Beauty: Khaplu is known for its serene beauty, characterized by lush green valleys, meadows, and dense forests. The surrounding mountains provide ample opportunities for hiking, trekking, and photography. The area's pristine landscapes make it an excellent destination for nature lovers and adventure seekers.
- Historical and Cultural Sites: The town is rich in cultural heritage, and visitors can explore historic sites, including the Khaplu Fort. This 19th-century fort, with its exquisite architecture, offers insights into the region's history and now houses a museum. Additionally, Khaplu has several ancient mosques, shrines, and monasteries.
- Local Culture: Khaplu is inhabited by the Balti people, who have a unique culture and traditions. You can interact with the friendly local population, enjoy traditional music, and savor local cuisine.
- Trekking and Adventure: The surrounding valleys and mountains in the Khaplu region offer trekking and outdoor adventures. Treks in this area can lead you to high-altitude meadows and provide breathtaking views of the Karakoram Range.
- Accessibility: Khaplu can be reached by road from Skardu, the nearest central town with an airport. The journey to Khaplu is an adventure in itself, as it provides stunning views of the Karakoram Mountains and the landscapes of Gilgit-Baltistan.
Day 1: Islamabad to Naran/Kaghan
- Pickup and departure from Islamabad
- Check-in at Naran Hotel
Day 2: Naran/Kaghan to Skardu
- Departure for Skardu
- Drive to Babusar Pass
- Night stay in Skardu
Day 3: Skardu
- Visit Upper Kachura Lake
- Explore Deosai Plateau
- Night stay in Skardu
Day 4: Skardu
- Explore Ghanche district
- Visit Khaplu and Khaplu Fort
- Optional visit to Shigar Fort
Day 5: Skardu
- Visit Manthoka Waterfalls
- Free time in Skardu Old Bazaar
- Night stay in Skardu
Day 6: Skardu to Naran/Kaghan/Besham
- Drive back to Naran/Kaghan/Besham.
Day 7: Return to Islamabad
- Departure for Islamabad
- Arrival and drop in Islamabad