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.

shangrila

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.

upper_kachura_lake

upper_kachura_lake

Sadpara Lake

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

sadpara-lake

sadpara-lake

Deosai Plain

deosai Plain

deosai Plain

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SHIMSHAL PASS

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.

History:

 

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.

SHIMSHAL:

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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SHANGRI-LA RESORTS SKARDU

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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GILGIT-BALTISTAN TRAVEL GUIDE

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.

Climate:

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

Festivals:

 

  • 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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