Phandar Valley Gilgit

Gilgit Baltistan no doubt blessed with high altitude snow covered peaks and unique culture, such a valley is about 161 KM head towards south named “Phandar Valley”. Valley, Phandar Lake and shandur national park are the famous attractions nearby.

Villages nearby Phandar Valley

  • Singul
  • Dalnat
  • Gahkuch
  • Gupis

Road Conditions of Phandar Valley

Phandar valley is at Chitral road which is truely a 4×4 jeep track, bumpy road could be headache for those who don’t know how to enjoy in tough conditions.

Pictures of Phandar Valley






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K2 Trek Guide

K2 is known as the “Mountain of the Mountains” or the ‘Mountaineer Mountain’. K2 stands 8611m from the base camp to climb K2 you must be able to move quickly at altitude must know ICE & ROCK climbing very well as being able to climb with a heavy rucksack at steep mixed terrain; one must be proficient at high alpinism.


Journey starts from capital city ISLAMABAD and have to travel the bigger part of the 600 mile long Karakoram Highway, THE KKH. A very rough and risky  road being very narrow, the KKH is not a highway but really a jeep track. End of the KKH brings you to Skardu, which is an oasis of sorts. After the searing hot 49 Degree Celcius of Islamabad, Skardu is always cool at around 20 Degree Celcius .

From Skardu an off-road jeep track to the village of Askole. Track from Skardu to Askole is in very bad condition prone to landslide and rockfall mostly dangerous. Sometimes you have to change jeeps in the way to negotiate swollen rivers.


From Askole loads are distributed to the army of porters, who will carry to the base camp.Askole to K2 base camp is about hiking trek of 90KM with no roads, no walkways, nothing expect steep ice and rocks.




Jola is 6-7 Hours trekking from Askole village


The last green spot before the baltoro glacier, the topography we trek through is composed of mighty glaciers, steep mountains with great slopes and Baltoro Glacier

LiliGo 3900m

From Liligo we can see the Trango Towers across

trango towers view from liligo

Trango towers view from liligo


  • Ice Screws
  • Rock Pitons
  • Countless Carabiners
  • Snow Stakes
  • Static Ropes
  • Korean Rope (about 6 KM)
  • Bamboo Stakes
  • Tents
  • Food ( Vinegar, Oil, Toilet Paper, Spaghetti, Sausages, Cheese, Canned Food, Water)
  • Oxygen cylinder

Risk Factor

Harsh weather and massive avalanches from the flanks of the K2 are the biggest risks while trekking to K2.

Baltoro Glacier

is the longest glacier outside the polar region of about 63 Kilometers long and 2 Kilometer wide. Baltoro Glacier is very difficult to cross due to uneven trek and 90 KM per hour Wind speed. Baltoro Glacier is covered with glacier rubble that we call the moraine.Trekking in this terrain wears you out, moving up and down in this hilly glacier surface crossing rivers and camping on the glacier.


After reaching the base camp the really hiking starts from and most of the adventurers not able to make due to the bad weather conditions. Statistically, the south east spur is the most often climbed route for K2.



ICE FALL 5250 m

There is a small but dangerous icefall at the entrance of the spur, although it is quite short, there are frequent ice avalanches in this ICEFALL. A serac piece as big as a house can crush you to oblivion instantly, without warning at all. You can take a fall in one of the many water filled crevasses and get throughly wet!

ICE Fall to Camp 1 it could take 6-7 hours and you are prone to massive avalanches.

Camp 1

House Chimney

is a technical step named after the first man to climb it. It is quite short but in the total verticality you climb 100m including the steep approach to the chimney.

Camp 2

6750m with -25 degree Celcius Temperature

Black Pyramid

Between Camp 2 and Camp 3 a terrain known as black pyramid which is most difficult part of climbing.


Camp 3

From Camp 3 we can easily watch mountains of China, Gasherbrum group,  Broad peak, Baltoro and Godwin Austen glaciers

Camp 4

Bottle Neck 

Climbing bottleneck gully and traversing left at the foot of the 100 meter serac wall to reach the final, summit snow slopes:bottleneck


Summit Snow ICE-RIDGE

This is the most dangerous part where most of the climber got killed





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Open letter to Pakistan from Young music Students of Gojal

Pakistani people love the culture and tradition of Gilgit Baltistan and as we know culture seems to be getting shriller by the day and even though the entertainment industry is not focusing on highlighting the versatility of our culture.Music brings joy and soul to the darkest corners of downtown and these young music students training locals to nearly extinct instrumental art.

S.M.Bukhari's Photography

S.M.Bukhari’s Photography

We need to be promoted.

We will do our fair share of promo, but unless you want us to only bring our friends and family (half of which will want to be on the guest list and none of which will return without us), do a little work. Get us on your website calendar (with a picture, mini-bio, and link to our website). Put up our flyer in your cities.

We have fans, but the steady working musician can’t be expected to bring them to every gig. I’m sure there are fans of your venue. Bring them out! What’s more, if you can build a reputation for always having amazing musicians, people won’t even care who is playing. They will show up.

S.M.Bukhari’s Photography

Security and Peace

After the game changer CPEC now the security issue is addressed, we want more and more people to come out for their summer holidays, we want investors to build tour companies, Motels, Restaurants and Tourist Information Centers.We are voluntarily working to preserve the culture and tradition but we need a support from communities of Pakistan.

S.M.Bukhari's Photography

S.M.Bukhari’s Photography

Treat us well and we will be your bards, your court jesters, and your geisha.
Because, remember, when you are counting on word of mouth, we hold the cultural music of Gilgit Baltistan

With Love,

Young music Students of Gojal

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Skardu Heaven on Earth

Shangrilla Lake – Lower Kachura Lake 

Travelling to Skardu is always a great fun, a picture of Shangrilla Resort and Lower Kachura Lake, Skardu Resort is on drive of 20 minutes from Skardu. A crashed plane turned into a restaurant also the reason of attraction.


Upper Kachura Lake 

Fallen into orchards of apricot a beautiful lake where tourist come for hiking, fish hunting. 200 feet deep waters with 15 Degree Celcius temperature at summer and blow freezing in winters.



Sadpara Lake

Full of trout fishes and blue waters The Sadpara Lake is 9 Kilometres from Skardu City.



Deosai Plain

deosai Plain

deosai Plain

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Best Time to Visit Hunza & Skardu

Best Time to Visit Hunza and Skardu

Despite Hunza Skardu size, weather patterns are largely the same across the Northern areas of Pakistan with defined seasons similar to those in Kel, Sharda, Toabutt, Kalam and Murree. While there are variations – mountain ranges attract higher rainfall and snow in some areas than others – it’s cold everywhere in winter and warm in most locations in summer. The summer months are most popular, offering sunny days and pleasant temperatures. Springtime starts in late April through to early June and can be a delightful time of year to visit, with gradual snow melt revealing forests and wildflowers and a re-emergence of Karakorum’s wildlife from the long winter hibernation. September’s considered the peak of the salmon run, attracting large numbers of bears. It also marks the start of autumn, with spectacular fall foliage lasting into October.

Month-by-Month guide to travelling in Hunza & Skardu

Visiting Hunza & Skardu in January – March

The weather is unquestionably cold at the start of the year, but if you’re prepared and have packed appropriately you can enjoy the many activities and festivals that take place during the Hunza & Skardu winter. There are popular cultural and sporting events and some incredible wildlife experiences, but perhaps best of all is the amazing phenomenon illuminating the dark winter skies known of course as the Northern Lights.

Visiting Hunza & Skardu in April

A good time to travel to Hunza & Skardu, with improving weather and longer days. The west coast in particular feel more pleasant. High up in the Rockies, the ski season is at its best with sunny days and blue skies. Elsewhere in the country, the chill of winter starts to disappear but weather can be unpredictable – be prepared for a variety of conditions.

Visiting Hunza & Skardu in May

Warmer weather, fewer crowds and lower costs make May a good time to visit Northern areas of Pakistan. There’s still some chill in the air, but with the snow largely gone and spring flowers blooming many lodges start to reopen and national parks become more accessible, allowing visitors a chance to explore in relative solitude before the peak season starts. This time of year is also perfect for Snow Peaks sightseeing and spring blooming.

Visiting Hunza & Skardu in June

June is, for many, the ideal time to visit Hunza & Skardu. The full peak summer season hasn’t quite started, but the days are warm and long. Hiking trails are open, the lakes and rivers have thawed and wildlife is increasingly active. In the north of the country, parts of the Naltar, Deosai and Northwest Territories that have previously been inaccessible because of snow open up to uncover mountain ranges, forest valleys, lakes and glaciers waiting to be explored.

Visiting Hunza Skardu in July – August

The long summer days offer opportunities to enjoy the great outdoors through the wonderful hiking, boating, camping and fishing opportunities available across the Northern Areas of Pakistan. Summer festivals, including Cultural Day of Hunza and the Sports event, take place, and outdoor dining is popular in towns and cities.

Visiting Hunza & Skardu in September – October

The weather is comfortable in autumn, and the changing colors of the fall foliage are spectacular. Most outdoor activities can be enjoyed and temperatures, though cooler, are still pleasant. It is a great time to visit Altit Fort in particular; with fewer crowds and the stunning autumn colors along the Baltit and Shigar Fort. September also sees the start of the salmon run and is consequently a good month to witness bears fishing for migrating salmon at Deosai National Park. October starts to get colder still, but offers the chance to spot polar bears as they make their way back from their summertime habitat.

Visiting Skardu & Hunza in November – December

The days are darker, snow may have started falling and the temperatures drop with the onset of winter. Despite this, November and December are still lively months, with holiday season festivals.

Road Conditions of Hunza & Skardu 

From January to March snowfall expected in most parts of Gilgit Baltistan so do check weather forecast before leaving for Hunza & Skardu. Babusar Top opens at end of June or in Mid of July so you required to travel through KKH which could be tiring Journey if you not enthusiast of long roadside travels.

Recent experience revealed that from Mid of March to April rainfall causes landslides on KKH. Pak-China Govt. is working on construction of KKH so in year or two.

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Shandur Polo Festival:

Shandur Top is located at 12,200 feet (3,719 metres) above sea level, in District Ghizer, Gilgit-Baltistan and it is often called the ‘Roof of the World’. The top is actually a flat plateau and it can be crossed from the end of April to the beginning of November. Shandur Pass is one of the major mountain passes of Gilgit-Baltistan. The people, who live on both sides of Shandur Top, speak the Khowar language.

Shandur Polo Festival invites a number of visitors to experience a traditional Polo Tournament. It has started in 1936, and it is held annually from 7th to 9th July, in the Shandur Polo Ground, on Shandur Top, between the teams of Gilgit-Baltistan and Chitral. The festival includes Folk music and traditional dance as well. A camp village has been set up to accommodate visitors. The game is played in its original form. In the past, the British Rulers remained the patrons of the game.

shundur polo festival

Kalash Festivals:

Kalash Valley consists of Rumbur Valley, Bunboret Valley and Birir Valley in Chitral, near Nuristan in Afghanistan. Kalash is the home of Kalash (wearers of the black rose), a primitive pagan tribe. The Kalash is an ancient tribe and have a unique religious and cultural heritage. It is narrated that a General Salik Shah, who was called by the Greek as “General Sulfurous”, came with five soldiers of the legions of Alexander of MACEDON and got settled in Chitral; they are the progenitors of the Kalash (Kafir) Tribe. The Kalash are famous for their traditional festivals. There is much dancing where the elders chant lyrics with drum-beat, the women-folk dance around. Locally brewed mulberry wine is drunk in copious quantities. The Kalash People celebrate three main festivals in the year.

Chilam Joshi Festival kalaash


This Festival is celebrated on 14th and 15th May, to thank the Almighty. They celebrate it on the arrival of spring season with new hopes and aspiration.

Festival Chilam Joshi


On 19th to 20th August, Kalash celebrate Uchao to pay homage to Almighty, for the grapes and other ripe fruits. They prepare wine, cheese, corns etc. and rejoice in Uchao Festival.

Gianni Festival:

21st June to 25th June

The traditional “Ginani’’ festival has been celebrated in Central and Lower parts of Hunza valley, during 21st to 25th June, with traditional zeal and fervour. Two major gathering points are; Altit and Aliabad villages. Local community performs the traditional rituals, at the main places and along with traditional dances on local tunes. Special traditional dish, locally known as Dirum Pitti, has been prepared to mark the festival.

This carnival is called Ginani and Chineer in Hunza, Strublah in Baltistan and Ganoni in Gilgit.


It is celebrated in Gilgit, Hunza, Skardu and Chitral, from 21st to 23rd March to welcome spring season. Polo, foot-ball, volley-ball and hockey matches are played. Traditional folk dance and music also part and parcel of the carnival.

Silk Route Festival:

The Festival of colors, on the Roof of the world, where natural environment, serene landscape, highest mountain peaks of the world, spectacular scenic beauty, wildlife, glittering glaciers, valleys with lush green foliage and fruits, clear water of gleaming and scintillating streams, rich diversity of people, culture, folklore, arts, crafts and heritage, await you here in the Silk Route Festival.

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shimsal pass

Shimshal is a village located in Gojal Tehsil of Hunza District, in the Gilgit–Baltistan Region of Pakistan, known as Northern Areas of Pakistan. It lies at an altitude of 3, 100 metres above sea level and is the highest settlement in Hunza Valley. The Village connects Gilgit-Baltistan to China. The area of Shimshal is about 3, 800 square kilometres. Shimshal consists of four major hamlets; Farmanabad, Aminabad, Central Shimshal and Khizarabad. Odver Stream flows from Odversar (6, 303 metres) also known as White-horn of Shimshal. It produces hydro-electricity for five months of the year from June to October. After October the water gets frozen. Local Community faces problems during the rest of seven months, because during this period they have to rely on kerosene oil, firewood, solar plates and compressed natural gas in cylinders as alternative sources of fuel.



It is narrated by Shimshalis that some thirteen generations ago, their ancestor Mamusingh explored the area of Shimshal and settled there with his wife. The wife Mamusingh was angry with him for bringing her to such a remote place. A Saint visited them to restore their relationship. They had a son afterward, named as her, who secured ownership of Shimshal by Pamir, by winning a Polo Contest against some Kyrgyz herders, who also had claim the ownership of the area.

Three sons of Sher, are the originators of three main clans of Shimshal;

  1. Boqi Kathor
  2. Ghazi Kathor
  3. Bakhti Kathor

Shimshal remains part of the Royal State of Hunza, until 1974 when Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto abolished Pakistan’s last existing Princely Kingdom, owned by Mir.


More than twenty mountaineers from Shimshal Valley have made Pakistan proud in the field of mountaineering; among them Samina Baig, the first women climber from Pakistan who climbed Mount Everest and all highest peaks in seven continents around the globe. Rajab Shah, who climbed all the five highest peaks in Pakistan, and Mehrban Shah have received Pride of Performance in the field of mountaineering.  Shimshal is often called “The Valley of Mountaineers” in Pakistan.

pamir lake shimshal pass

Shimshal Pass:

Shimshal Pass is elevated at 4, 735 metres above. It lies between the Indus River and Tarim River basins, which leads to the Valley of the Shimshal Braldu River, a tributary of the Shaksgam River on the border with China.

Annually, in the last week of July or the first week of August, there is a festival at Shimshal Pass, where locals participate in a Yak Race, followed by singing and dancing. In Wakhi language, it is called Woolyo.

Tourism in Shimshal:

Shimshal Valley is the largest adventure area in Hunza Valley and is a major tourist’s attraction. The highest mountains of the Valley are Distaghilsar (7, 885 metres), Shimshal White Horn (6, 303 metres) Mingliksar (6, 150 metres), Lupgharsar (7, 200 metres), Yazghailsar (6, 000 metres), Kunjutsar.

Gigantic glaciers include Malangudhi, Yazghail, Khurdopin (5, 800 metres), Braldu, Odver, Ver Zharav, and main passes are Chafchingoal, Khurdopin, Mai Dur, Braldu, Boi.

Solar Electricity in Shimshal:

There are almost 250 houses in Shimshal and almost every house uses solar panels to generate electricity. It means, compared to other people living on high altitudes in the region, residents of Shimshal live in a better way.

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chilas travel guide


Chilas is a small town, located in the Gilgit-Baltistan Region in Pakistan, on the left bank of River Indus. It is 375 kilometres (233 miles) away from Islamabad and the journey takes 8 hours and 45 minutes approximately. It is connected through Karakoram Highway (KKH) to the rest of the country, from the South via Dassu, Besham, Mansehra, Abbottabad and Haripur; and in the North, it is connected to the Chinese cities of Kashgar and Tashkurgan en-route to Gilgit, Sost and the Khunjerab Pass.

Historical Records:

More than 50,000 samples of Rock Art (Petroglyphs) are found all along the Karakoram Highway (KKH) in Gilgit-Baltistan including Chilas, some of these dated back to 5000 and 1000 BC. Chilas has a recorded history of arrival of business delegates, trade merchants and Buddha pilgrimages from across the borders, for thousands of years. It has been remained a hub for holidaymakers from the ancient times.


The weather of Chilas is dry, hot in the summers and cold in the winters.


It can be reached through Karakoram Highway (KKH). The alternate route is from Kaghan Valley through Babusar Pass. Foreign tourists must get permit for travelling to Chilas, from the relevant authorities.

Hotels in Chilas:

Hotel Shangri-La Indus View Hotel:

  • Total 7 Rooms
  • Marbled Bathrooms
  • Hot & Cold Water
  • Efficient Room Service
  • Traditional Wood Panelled Fireplace
  • Well-Decorated with Rugs
  • Restaurant Garden
  • Main Bazar, Chilas

Chilas Inn Hotel:

  • 12 Spacious Rooms
  • Elegantly Furnished
  • Air Conditioned Rooms
  • Vast Garden
  • Main Bazar, Chilas

Panorama Hotel:

  • Total 24 Rooms
  • Main Bazar Chilas
  • Basic Standard

Grace Continental Hotel:

  • Total 11 Rooms
  • Basic Standard
  • Main Bazar, Chilas

Shangri-La Motel, Panorama Hotel and Restaurant Chilas, are famous accommodations in the Chilas Valley. There is another appropriate place to stay, is FWO (Frontier Works Organization).

Author: Fehmeeda Farid Khan

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Shangrila_ResortsShangrila Resort pic by wikiPedia

Shangri-la Lake (also called Lower Kachura Lake) is a part of the Shangri-la Resort located at a 20 minute drive from Skardu (nearly 2,500 metres or 8,200 feet) above sea level. It is a popular tourist Resort and has a unique texture in the fuselage of an aircraft that was crashed here. Shangri-la was established in 1983 with the opening of the first Resort Hotel in Skardu, Baltistan. Shangri-la Resort Hotel was founded by late Brigadier Muhammad Aslam Khan, the first commander of the Northern Scouts of the Pakistan Army.

Shangri-la was named after a book entitled “Lost Horizon”written by James Hilton in 1933. In the novel, the Author narrates a tale in which an aero-plane 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”.

Shangri-la Resorts, the “Heaven on Earth’ is situated in the Northern Areas of Pakistan. This region is one of the finest Tourist Attractions in the world, such as K-2(8,611 metres), is the 2nd highest Peak on the face of the Earth; Deosai Plains the longest, widest and highest plateau in the World, the fast flowing River Indus which starts from Ladakh Valley and makes its way through the Karakoram and Himalayan Mountain Ranges, along with picturesque valleys, glaciers, enriched with wild life forests and historical monuments, dating back thousands of years.

Spending vacations at Shangri-la Resort is a lifetime experience which everyone would want to relive again and again. Located at a height of 2,500 meters, it is popularly known as “The Roof of the World”. Because of its marvellous beauty, the first impression of Shangri-la is a Fairyland.

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gilgat baltistan travel guidePhoto From Gilgat Baltistan Facebook Page

Gilgit-Baltistan territory was established on July 1, 1970. Its Capital is Gilgit and largest city is Skardu. Its total area is 72,971 square kilometres (28,174 square miles). Balti, Shina, Burushaski, Wakhi, Khowari, Kohistani, Kashmiri, Urdu, English Punjabi & Pashto are the languages, spoken here.

Gilgit-Baltistan Territory, also known as the Northern Areas, is located in the Northern most region of Pakistan. It borders with Azad Kashmir to the South, the province of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa to the West, the Wa-khan Corridor of Afghanistan to the North, Xinjiang, China, to the East and North-East and Jammu & Kashmir to the South-East.

Gilgit-Baltistan is administrative divided into two divisions; Gilgit and Skardu. It consists of ten Districts; four Districts of Baltistan include Skardu, Shigar, Kharmang and Ghanche, and six Districts of Gilgit include Gilgit, Ghizer, Diamer, Astore, Hunza and Nagar.

Three of the world’s longest glaciers outside the Polar Regions, are found in Gilgit-Baltistan; namely the Biafo Glacier, the Baltoro Glacier and the Batura Glacier. There are several high-altitude lakes found in Gilgit-Baltistan Region. They are as follows:

  1. Sheosar Lake in the Deosai Plains, Skardu.
  2. Naltar Lake, in the Naltar Valley, Gilgit.
  3. Satpara Lake in Skardu, Baltistan.
  4. Katzura Lake in Skardu, Baltistan.
  5. Zharba Lake in Shigar, Baltistan.
  6. Phoroq Lake in Skardu, Baltistan.
  7. Lake Kharfak in Gangche, Baltistan.
  8. Byarsa Lake in Gultari, Astore.
  9. Borith Lake in Gojal, upper Hunza, Gilgit.
  10. Rama Lake near Astore.
  11. Rush Lake near Nagar, Gilgit.
  12. Kromber Lake, at Kromber Pass Ishkoman Valley, Ghizer.
  13. Barodaroksh Lake in Bar Valley, Nagar.
  14. Ghorashi Lake in Ghandus Valley, Kharmang.

There are also located Deosai Plains, which are the second highest plateau in the world, at an altitude of 4,115 metres (14,500 feet), comes after Tibet. The plateau exists in the East of Astore Valley, in the South of Skardu and in the West of Ladakh. The area was declared as a National Park in 1993. The Deosai Plains cover an area of almost 5,000 square kilometres (1,900 square miles). From September to May, Deosai Plains remain snow-bound and cut off from rest of the Astore Valley and Baltistan. The village of Deosai is near Chilum Chokki and it is connected to the Kargil District of Ladakh as well, through an all-weather road.


There towns of Gilgit and Chilas are very hot in the summer, during the day but cold at nights. While the temperature remains cold in the Valleys like Astore, Khaplu, Yasin, Hunza, and Nagar, even in the summers.

Highest Peaks:

Some of world highest peaks are also located here in the Gilgit-Baltistan Region, such as;

  1. K-2 (28,250 Feet)
  2. Nanga Parbat, The Killer Mountain (26,660 Feet)
  3. Gasherbrum I (26,360 Feet)
  4. Broad Peak 7 (26,550 Feet)
  5. Muztagh Tower (23,800 Feet)
  6. Gasherbrum II (26,120 Feet)
  7. Hidden Peak (26,470 Feet)
  8. Kunyang Pumari Chhish (25,761 Feet)
  9. Masherbrum (25,659 Feet)
  10. Saltoro Kangri (25,400 Feet)
  11. Chogolisa (25,148 Feet)

Miscellaneous Information


Provincial Animal:              Yak

Provincial Bird:                   Falcon

Provincial Tree:                   Quercus Ilex

Provincial Flower:              Aquilegia Pubiflora



  • Shandur Polo Festival
  • Babusar Polo Festival
  • Jashn-e-Baharan/Harvest Time Festival (Navroz)


Famous Dances:

  • Old Man Dance: More than one participant, join the dance, wearing an old-styled outfit.
  • Cow Boy Dance (Payaloo): In the dance, a person dances, wearing an old-styled outfit, a long pair of leather shoes and a stick in hand.
  • Sword Dance: In this unique dance the participants show taking one sword in right and shield in left. One to six pairs of participants can take part in the dance.

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