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Skardu, 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.

Lovely Lakes:
Upper Kachura Lake, Kachura Lake and Sadpara Lake are very famous for fishing and boating.

Shigar Valley:
It is the gateway to the great mountain peaks of the Karakorams, Gasherbrum peak & K-2.

Khaplu Valley:
The beautiful valley  of the Shyok river, 103 km. from Skardu. Many famous mountains such as Masherbrum, Saltoro, Sia Gangri, K-6, K-7 are located here.

By Air:
PIA operates a daily Boeing flight from Islamabad Airport to Skardu. Return airfair is equivalent to $ 90 for foreigners.

By Road:
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 Kachura Lake.

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.

PUNJAB:  Lahore  Multan  Bahawalpur  Cholistan  Sialkot  Faisalabad  Gujranwala  Chiniot
SIND     :  Karachi  Hyderabad  Moenjodaro  Sukkur  Thar  Rohri
NWFP   :  Peshawar  Khyber Pass  Swat Valley  Chitral-Kafir Kalash
BALUCHISTAN:  Quetta  Ziarat  Bolan Pass  Sibi  Taftan  The Makran Coast 
 Skardu Valley  Gilgit Valley  Hunza Valley  Karakoram Highway  Kaghan Valley
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