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.
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.
In Skardu, the only surviving rock with Buddhist carving is
located on Sadpara road.
Upper Kachura Lake, Kachura Lake and Sadpara Lake are very famous
for fishing and boating.
It is the gateway to the great mountain peaks of the Karakorams,
Gasherbrum peak & K-2.
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.
TO GET THERE.
PIA operates a daily Boeing flight from Islamabad Airport to
Skardu. Return airfair is equivalent to $ 90 for foreigners.
A gravel-top 241 kms road track connects Gilgit to Skardu. The
journey takes 6 to 8 hours.
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
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.