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Explore Pakistan
 
SKARDU VALLEY
| The Best Tourist Attractions of Skardu Valley |
| Skardu Weather Forecast |
| Skardu Valley Photo Slide Show |
| Skardu Valley - The Heaven On Earth | Skardu Valley At A Glance |
| How To Get There | Distances From Skardu Valley | Kharpocho Fort |
| Buddha Rock Carvings | Shigar Valley | Khaplu Valley | Sadpara Lake | Kachura Lake |
| K-2 Peak (8,611 metres) | Deosai Plains & Lake | Important Information of Skardu |
| Famous Top 10 Peaks of Pakistan | Skardu Valley Bazaars |
| About FAQs |
| Welcome To Pakistan | Hotels in Skardu Valley | City Distances In Pakistan |
| Suggested Tours In Pakistan |
| See Advertising Banners |
The Best Tourist Attractions of Skardu Valley
K-2 Mountain (8,611 m) Sadpara Lake (Skardu) Lower Kachura Lake
1st Highest Peak In Pakistan Fairytale Island (2,636 m) At Shangrila Resort
Deosai Plains (4,114 m) Shigar Valley Buddha Rock Carvings
Land of Giants Gateway To Great Mountains Dating 8th Century AD
 
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Skardu Weather Forecast

Skardu is the main Administrative Town to Baltistan.

Click To See Skardu Weather Forecast

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Skardu Valley

Skardu Valley - The Heaven On Earth:

Elevation: 2,500 m (8,200 ft).
(K-2 or Mount Godwin Austen or Chogori) Peak: (8,611 metres) 28251 feet is the second highest mountain peak of world and the highest peak in Pakistan..
Distance and Drive Time:- Rawalpindi to Skardu
via Swat (Shangla Pass): is 869 km. Drive takes 28 hours by bus/van;
via Thakot (KKH): 793 km. Drive takes 24 hours by bus/van;
via Babusar Pass: 700 km. Drive takes 22 hours by jeep.

Best Tourist Season Time: from April to October.

Skardu Valley:
Skardu, capital of Baltistan is perched 2,438 metres above sea level in the backdrop of the great peaks of the Karakorams. Balti people are a mixture of Tibetan and Caucasian stock and speak Balti, an ancient form of Tibetan. Due to the similarity of its culture, lifestyle and architecture with Tibet, Baltistan is also known as the "Tibet-e-Khurd" (Little Tibet). It borders on the Chinese province of Xinjiang and Indian-occupied Kashmir. The tourist season is from April to October. The maximum temperature is 27 C and minimum (October) 8 C. 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.

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 or at times it seems as if the wing tips of the plane would almost scrape against them.

It borders on the Chinese province of Xinjiang and Indian-occupied Kashmir. The tourist season is from April to October. The maximum temperature is 27 C and minimum (October) 8 C. 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.

People of Skardu:
People are the Mixture of Tibetan and Caucasian stock and speak Balti, an ancient form of Tibetan. However, many other ethnic groups are present in Skardu including Shins, Pashtuns, Punjabis, Hunzakuts and even Uyghur, due to the close proximity of Baltistan to the respective regions. Since the creation of Pakistan people of various ethnicities from various regions of Pakistan have emigrated here.
All the above ethnic groups are devout Muslims. This includes the Balti-Tibetans, who converted from Tibetan Buddhism in the 16th century (the only sizeable group of Tibetans to have undergone such a conversion).

Skardu Airport (IATA: KDU, ICAO: OPSD):
Skardu Airport (IATA: KDU, ICAO: OPSD) is a small domestic airport, located at Skardu, Northern Areas, Pakistan. Skardu is one of the two major hubs of all trekking expeditions in the Northern Areas, a region that includes four of the fourteen Eight-thousander peaks (8,000 m (26,247 ft) and above) of the world. Skardu is the gateway to Baltoro Glacier, Concordia, where spectacular views of three of the Eight-thousanders are available.It is also being used as a regional PAF airbase.

Attractions:
A part from its incomparable cluster of mountain peaks and glaciers, Baltistan’s five valleys-Shigar, Skardu, Khaplu, Rondu and Kharamang- are noted for their delicious peaches, apricots, apples and pears. Shigar Valley, 32.18 kms (20 miles) by -jeep from Skardu is the gateway to the mountain peaks of the Karakorams.

Skardu has a historic Fort atop a ridge known as the Mindoq-Khar or Castle of Queen Mindoq and three lovely lakes. Two of the lakes, Kachura a Lake 28.95 -kms (18 miles) from Sardu, and Satpara Lake, 8.04 kms (five miles) from Skardu are ideal for fishing.

WHAT TO DO?

Mountaineering, Trekking and Hiking:
The area is ideal for mountaineering, trekking and hiking. Permission for mountaineering and trekking for restricted zone is issued by the Ministry of Tourism, Government of Pakistan, Pakistan Sports Complex, Kashmir Highway, Aabpara, Islamabad (Telephone: 0092-351-9203509). Fishing permits are issued by the Fisheries Department at Gilgit and Skardu.
Fishing:
Satpara Lake (8km) and Kachura Lake 932km) from Skardu abound in trout. Fishing permits are issued by the Fisheries Department.
Flora & Fauna:
Roses, lilies, pansies, willow, pine and fir trees are found in abundance. Apples, apricots, peaches, plums mulberry, walnuts and grapes are available from June to October and almonds from October to March.
Wildlife:
Baltistan boasts of wildlife like Markhors, ibexes, snow leopards and birds, namely Chakors, partridges and ducks. Most of the animals and birds are protected but limited shooting is allowed. Hunting permits are issued by the local administration.

A vacation in Skardu Valley is an unforgettable experience!

WHAT TO EAT?
If your visiting in the summer you have a variety of Pakistani and Cinese food restaurants in Skardu and Khaplu bazars.

WHERE TO STAY?
Besides other reasonably priced private hotels, PTDC Motels at Skardu, Sadpara Lake and Khaplu offer comfortable accommodation. There are government rest houses at Skardu, Sadpara, Shigar Valley, Khaplu and Kachura. Advance reservation is required. PTDC Motels in Skardu and Khaplu. But I would recommend that you go with a guide. For PTDC Motel Booking Office Islamabad
(For All Over Pakistan PTDC Motels) , Tel: (0092-351) 9223223 Fax: (0092-351) ??????.

WHEN TO GO?
Tourist season in the Hunza Valley begins in May and closes in October. The summer climate in May is maximum 27 C and minimum 14 C. is ideal. The October temperature are: maximum 10 C and minimum 0 C.

For weather updates, please visit the official website of the Pakistan Metrological Department http://www.pmd.gov.pk/

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Skardu Valley At A Glance
  Location: Skardu Valley located at Latitude: 35 17' 52" N. Longitude: 75 45' 24" E.  
  Elevation & Area: The altitude of the Skardu Valley is 2,500 m (8,200 ft). Skardu is located in the 10 km wide by 40 km long Skardu Valley, at the confluence of the Indus river (flowing from near Kailash in Tibet and through neighbouring Ladakh before reaching Baltistan).  
  Population: The population of Skardu district according to election commission is 281899 with 1,68,729 voters – 89,367 men and 79,362 women.(2008 Elections)  
  Local Languages: The local language in Skardu Valley is Balti. Urdu and English are also understood by most of people.  
  Best Time to Visit: The main tourist season for Skardu begins in spring and lasts till autumn (April to October). May to September is the best time to visit Skardu.
 
  Climate: During the April to October tourist season, temperatures vary between a maximum of 27 C and a minimum (in October) 8 C. However, temperatures can drop to below -10 C in the December-to-January midwinter period. The lowest temperature of the year can reach -25 C.  
  Type of Clothing: Tropical in summer and woolen in winter. But always keep some woolen cloths for sudden weather change.  
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How To Get There

Skardu Valley - How To Get There?

BY Air:
PIA operates a daily Boeing flight between Islamabad and Skardu (subject to good weather). The air journey is full of thrills and would itself be regarded as the highlight of the visit. Return airfare is equivalent to US $ 88/- for foreigners. For bookings, please contact PIA’s Northern Areas Booking Office at Rawalpindi (Tel: 051-9272200).

By Road:
Skardu is 793 km from Islamabad via Karakoram Highway and Skardu Road. The daily NATCO bus & coach service takes 24 hours for this wonderful and adventurous journey. An all-weather, 241 km long Skardu road, connects Skardu with Gilgit. The journey takes around six hours.

There is a regular bus and van services operate on the Karakoram Highway between Rawalpindi and Gilgit via Besham. The main bus terminal of NATCO & other private bus lines is at Pirwadhai General Bus Stand, Rawalpindi. Advance booking is required (Tel: 051-5462181).

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Distances From Skardu Valley
Distances On Silk Route Via Skardu in Kilometers (Kms)
From To Distance In Kms
Peshawar Swat 180 Kms
Swat Besham 100 Kms
Besham Chilas 200 Kms
Chilas Skardu 290 Kms
Skardu Khaplu 100 Kms
Skardu Gilgit 240 Kms
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Kharpocho Fort

Kharpocho Fort:

Skardu has an ancient Fort known as Kharpocho Fort (King of Forts) situated on a hill overlooking the town. It was constructed by Ali Sher Khan Anchan, who ruled over Baltistan till the end of the 16th century.

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Buddha Rock Carvings

Buddha Rock Carvings:
Dating back to 8th century AD, a huge Buddha figure surrounded by small Buddhisatvas is carved on a rock, three kilometres from Skardu across Sadpara Nullah on Skardu-Sadpara Road. Pre-historic men and animal figures are carved on rocks along Kachura Lake. Some rock carvings and diagram of a monastery near Perkuta (Mehdi Abad) Nalah are also found.

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Shigar Valley

Shigar Valley:
The gateway to the great mountain peaks of the Karakorams, Gasherbrum & K-2, is only 23 km away from Skardu via jeep road. Shigar valley’s gentle, irrigated slopes are filled with terraces of wheat, maize and barley. Its orchards of apricots, mulberries, peaches, plums, pears, apples and nuts are unique to Baltistan. The wooden mosque in the middle of the town was built by Kashmiri carpenters several hundred years ago. There is the ex-Raja’s old Fort and Palace in the village now converted in a luxury hotel.

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Khaplu Valley

Khaplu Valley:
This beautiful valley of the Shyok River is 103 km east of Skardu. Khaplu is the starting point for most trekking and climbing expeditions. Many famous mountains such as Masherbrum, Saltoro, Sia Kangri, K-6, K-7 are located here. Chaqchan Mosque is one of the earliest mosques in Baltistan (1504 AD), attributed to Syed Ali Hamdani. There is a Palace of Raja of Khaplu and remains of Thorsikhar Fort.

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Satpara / Sadpara Lake

Sadpara Lake:
About 8 km (5miles) north of Skardu and 20 minutes by jeep lays Sadpara Lake, surrounded by glacial mountains, which are mirrored in its crystal clear waters. The lake has a fairytale island in the middle, which can be reached by country boats that one can row. This lake also abounds in fish and is considered ideal for fishing.

Satpara Lake in Skardu Valley is a beautiful and attractive lake for tourists. It is a key lake which supplies water for the town of Skardu, which is situated at 2,636 meters (8,650 feet). It is one of the most scenic lakes in Pakistan. The lake is spread over an area of 2.5 sq km. There is a story attached with this lake by local people that there is gold mine in the bottom of this lake that is why its water seems shining in the day time.

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Kachura Lake

Shangrila Lake or Lower Kachura Lake:
Shangrila Lake or Lower Kachura Lake is a part of the Shangrila resort located at about 32 km (20 miles) about 20 minutes drive from Skardu (nearly 2,500 m or 8,200 feet) town lies the shimmering peaceful deep Kachura Lake, teeming with brown trout. During spring many exotic and colourful flowers adorn its banks, while peach, apricot and apple trees are laden with blossoms in April. Later in the summer one can taste the apples, which are a particularly delicious variety.

Shangrila Resort:
It is a popular tourist destination, and has a unique restaurant that is built on the fuselage of an aircraft that had crashed nearby.
Shangrila was established in 1983 with the opening of the first Resort Hotel in Skardu, Baltistan. It was named "heaven on earth" because of its spectacular beauty,and breathtaking view and peaceful atmosphere. Shangrila Resort Hotel was founded by the late Brig.(Retd) Muhammad Aslam Khan, the first commander of the Northern Scouts of the Pakistan Army.

Shangrila was named after a book titled "Lost Horizon" by James Hilton. In the novel, the author narrates a tale in which an aeroplane crash landed near a riverbed, in the early 1920s. The surviving passengers came across some Buddhist monks from a nearby temple and sought their help. They were taken to a beautiful lamasery filled with a variety of fruits and flowers. The monks looked quite young, although they claimed to be hundreds of years old. The idyllic place was called Shangri-la, a Tibetan word meaning "Heaven on earth".

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K-2 or Mount Godwin Austen

K-2 or Mount Godwin Austen:
K-2 or Mount Godwin Austen is the second highest mountain peak of world and the highest peak in Pakistan. Its elevation is 8,611 metres. This sky-scraping mountain in the Karakoram Range is referred to as Chogori in local dialect. Chogori is a Balti word, which means ‘King of mountains’. It is situated on the Pak-China border. To scale the mountain one can use the conventional and more trustworthy path that passes through Skardu. Skardu is a small hilly town in the north of Pakistan, which is well linked by road and air link with Islamabad. One can take the Shigar-Dassu- Askole route from Skardu to scale the K-2.

In the early years K-2 witnessed many ascents and today the peak has been climbed from all the sides. But the adventure lovers every now and then try to take a new and diverse route to conqueror the mountain.

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Deosai Plains

Deosai Plains:
Deosai refers to the “Land of Giants”. Deosai Plains are situated in Astore District of Gilgit-Baltistan, Pakistan. The National Park of Deosai is located on the Deosai Plains of the northern geographic region. Deosai National Park is at an average altitude of 4,114 meters (13,497 feet) above the sea level, making the Deosai Plains the second highest plateau in the world, after the adjoining Tibetan Plateau. It protects an area of 3,000 square kilometers. It is well famous for its rich flora and fauna of the Karakoram-West Tibetan Plateau. In the Spring spell it is roofed by sweeps wildflowers and a diversity of butterflies.
Deosai Lake:
Deosai Lake also known as Sheosar Lake from the Shina language meaning “Blind lake” is in the park. The lake, at an elevation of 4,142 meters (13,589 feet), is one of the highest elevated lakes in the world. Its length is 2.3 kilometres (7,500 feet), width 1.8 kilometres (5,900 feet) and average depth is about 40 meters (130 ft). It is situated close to the Chilim Valley on the Deosai Plains.

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Important Information

Important Information of Skardu:

1. Shopping Centres:
1. Naya Bazar, Old Bazar, Botto Bazar, Hussain Chowk, Alamdar Chowk, Kazmi Bazar, Gamba Bazar, Benazir Chowk, Yadgar Chowk etc.

2. Handicraft Shops:
i) Murad Trading Co. Gem Stores & Antiques, New Bazar, Skardu. Tel: (92-0575) 2132
ii) Hassan Mirza & Co. New Bazar, Skardu. Tel: (92-0575) 55420
iii) Pakiza Gems, Batti Antiques, Naya Bazar, Skardu. Tel: (92-0575) 55118
iv) K-2 Handicraft, K-2 Motel, Skardu. Tel: (92-0575) 2577
v) Topaz Gems, Yadgar Chowk, Skardu.
vi) Sahabaz Gems, Kazmi Bazar, Skardu.

3. List Of Hospitals & Medical Centres:
1. District Hospital, Skardu. Tel: (92-0575) 2413 Emergency Tel: (92-0575) 2413
2. Eye Hospital Northern Areas, Skardu (Gamba) Tel: (92-0575)
3. Abbas Medical Centre, Skardu.
4. Rahman Clinic, Skardu. Tel: (92-0575) 3156
5. Dr. M. Ashraf Clinic Tel: (92-0575) 2613
6. Dr. Tariq Sharif Clinic
7. Combined Military Hospital, Skardu
8. DHO, Skardu. Tel: (92-0575) 3156
9. Al-Abbas Hospital, Link Road, Skardu. Tel: (92-0575) 55518
10. Rehman Clinic, Skardu. Tel: (92-0575) 3156
11. Sakina Professional Training Institute for Women, Skardu. Tel: (92-0575) 55026

4. Important Telephone Numbers Of Skardu:
Deputy Commissioner 55062)
Senior Superintendent of Police 2424,2888,2979
Assistant Commissioner 55075
PIA Airport 2492
PIA Booking Office 2941,3325
PIA Cargo 2291
CAA Airport Tower 2413
Police Station 2444
Municipal Committee 2618

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Bazaars And Shopping

Main Bazars (Skardu):
The main bazaars in Skardu is New Bazaar (Naya Bazaar), with hundreds of shops offer almost everything (trekking supplies, souvenirs, local goods, etc.). To the west one finds Yadgar Chowk (with local monument) and from there, the quarter behind Naya Bazaar, to the right hand side is the older Purana Bazaar. Travelling west from Naya Bazaar is a polo ground and next to that, Kazmi Bazaar.
What To Buy?
Baltistan is known for its "Pattu" - hand woven woollen cloth for jackets, coats etc. You can also pick up colourful intricately embroidered "Chugas" (Baltistani gown) and wooden spoons at Skardu bazaar.

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Skardu Valleys Pictorial View
Photo Slide Show (Skardu Valley)
 
 
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