Deosai.. A wilderness Apart

Deosai brown bears

In the words of Aleister Crowley, “In front of us lay the Deosai, an absolutely treeless wilderness of comparatively level country framed by minor peaks. It gives a unique impression of desolation. I have never seen its equal in this respect elsewhere. Yet the march was very pleasant with many flowers and streams.”And in Gypsy Davy’s words, “It was such an expanse of immensity as I have harldy imagined… It seems you cannot talk in a matter-of-fat way in a place like that”.

Deosai is a place with a magic of all its own. Nature is at her most inventive and extravagant here. Covering an area of almost 3,000 sq Km, all of it above 4,000m, the Deosai plateau is stunningly beautiful. Frozen beneath a deep blanket of snow for mch of the year, the Deosai is surprisingly rich in plants and animals, bursting into life during the brief spring and summer months. Gently rolling hills and grasslands extend into the distance as far as the eye can see, carpeted with brightly colored flowers, the scales of which is largest in the Karakorams and the Western Himalyas. Surrounded by snow-capped peaks, the Deosai has ultra-pure air that plays tricks on the eyes. There is an unmistakable sense of the elevation in the huge expanse of horizon, the wide open space and the clarity of light and color typical of such high altitudes. 

The spectacular plateau of the Deosai can be visited as a full-day excursion from Skardu by jeep. A jeep track crosses the Deosai between Skardu and the Astore Valley (Skardu-Astore 130km), and down to the KKH at Bunji. It continues west across the Deosai plateau, crossing large clear streams via bridges. As it leaves Deosai, it skirts the northern shore of the deep blue Sheosar Lake. The lake is nestled in the pass and offers sublime scenery. 

Deosai means “The Lands of Giants” in local Balti dialect and it isn’t hard to see how a landscape on such a massive scale could have inspired stories of giants. 

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