capital of Baltistan is perched 2438 meters above sea level in
the backdrop of the great peaks of the Karakoram mountain
range. Skardu is linked to the national capital, Islamabad by
PIA which operates one flight daily. The air journey is full
of thrills and would itself be regarded as the highlight of
the visit. After following the same air route which connects
Gilgit to Islamabad/Rawalpindi, the plane turns right and
flies over the gorge of the Indus river. Enormous rock faces
rise on either side and at times it seams as if the wing tips
of the plane would almost scrape against them. They never do.
Baltistan is known as the "Tibet -e- Khurd" or little Tibet
since its life style reflects that of the roof of the world
and land of Lamas.
It borders on the Chinese province of Sinkiang and Indian
occupied Kashmir. The tourist season is from April to October.
The maximum temperature is 27oC and the minimum is 8oC. Apart
from its incomparable cluster of mountain peaks and Glaciers
Baltistan's five valleys Shigar, Skardu, Khaplu, Rondu and
Kharmang are noted for their Luscious peaches, apricots,
apples and pears. Shigar valley, 32 kms by jeep from Skardu is
the gateway to the mountain peaks of the Karakoram. Skardu has
a historic fort known as Kharpocho Fort. It was constructed by
Ali Sher Khan Anchan who ruled from Ladakh to Chitral till the
end of the 16th century. The two lakes - Kachura lake 29 kms.
and Sadpara lake 8 kms. from Skardu - are ideal for fishing.
The Buddhist Rock:
In Skardu, the only surviving rock with Buddhist carving is
located on Sadpara road.
Upper Kachura Lake, Kachura Lake and Sadpara Lake are very
famous for fishing and boating.
It is the gateway to the great mountain peaks of the
Karakorams, Gasherbrum peak & K-2.
HOW TO GET THERE.
PIA operates a daily Boeing flight from Islamabad Airport to
Skardu. Return airfair is equivalent to $ 90 for foreigners.
A gravel-top 241 kms road track connects Gilgit to Skardu. The
journey takes 6 to 8 hours.
Where to Stay:
Besides other reasonably priced hotels, PTDC K-2 Motel offers
comfortable accommodation at Skardu. There are also government
rest houses at Skardu, Sadpara Lake, Shigar Valley, Khaplu and
What to Buy:
Baltistan is known for its "Pattu" - hand woven woolen cloth
for jackets, coats etc. You can also pick up colorful
intricately embroidered "chugas" (Baltistani Gowns) and wooden
spoons at Skardu's bazaar
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