15 Best Things to Do in Gilgit-Baltistan | The Ultimate Travel Guide [4K] Ultra HD
15 Best Things to Do in Gilgit-Baltistan
Gilgit-Baltistan covers an area of over 72,971 km2 (six times the size of Azad Kashmir) and is highly mountainous and rugged terrain. The stunningly beautiful region with staggering mountains, rivers running through valleys and lakes ringed by trees is bounded by Azad Kashmir to the south, the province of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa to the west, the Wakhan Corridor of Afghanistan to the north, the Xinjiang region of China to the east and northeast, and the Indian-administered union territories Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh to the southeast.
Erstwhile, Northern Areas, the country’s northernmost region is home to 5 out of 14 “eight-thousanders” which include, K2 (8,611 m), Nanga Parbat (8,125 m), Gushebrum (8,068 m), Broad Peak (8,047 m) and Gushaberam-II (8,035 m) respectively. Moreover, it has more than fifty peaks above 7,000 metres (23,000 ft). Three of the world’s longest glaciers outside the polar regions are also found in Gilgit-Baltistan. The main tourism activities are trekking and mountaineering, and this industry is growing in importance with every passing day.
The territory of present-day Gilgit-Baltistan became a separate administrative unit in 1970 under the name “Northern Areas”. It was formed by the amalgamation of the former Gilgit Agency, the Baltistan district and several small former princely states, the largest of which were Hunza and Nagar. However, in 2009, it was granted limited autonomy and renamed Gilgit-Baltistan through the Self-Governance Order signed by the then President of Pakistan.
Presently, Gilgit-Baltistan consists of three divisions with 14 districts, as per given details.
1. Gilgit Division: Gilgit, Ghizer, Hunza, Nagar & Gupis-Yasin (5 Districts with Gilgit its capital).
2. Baltistan Division: Skardu, Ganche, Shigar, Kharmang & Rondu (5 Districts with Skardu as capital).
3. Diamer Division: Diamer, Astore, Darel & Tangir (4 Districts with Diamer its capital).
When is the best time to visit Gilgit-Baltistan?
Gilgit-Baltistan is a seasonal tourist destination, March till October is the peak season, while very few tourists visit during the winters due to the harsh weather and snowfall.
How to get to Gilgit-Baltistan?
By Road: The land of Eight-Thousanders is connected by the Karakoram Highway NH-35 that snakes alongside the mightly Indus river and ends at Khunjerab Pass (world’s highest border crossing at 15,397 feet). In addition, the 170-km road to Skardu intersects with KKH near Jaglot, likewise, the road to Astore links KKH few kms short from that of Skardu’s Road.
By Air: The two major airports in Gilgit–Baltistan are Gilgit Airport and Skardu Airport, both of these were servicing flights from Islamabad. Nevertheless, in order to promote tourism, Pakistan International Airlines Pakistan (PIA) has commenced its direct flight from Lahore, Karachi, Multan and Sialkot to Skardu.
Here’s my pick of 12 Best Places to visit in Gilgit-Baltistan:
1. Fairy Meadows
2. Shangrila Resort Lower Kachura
3. Minimarg & Rainbow Lake
4. Serena Khaplu Palace
5. Baltit Fort
6. Khunjerab Pass
7. Serena Shigar Fort
8. Deosai National Park
9. Altit Fort
10. Sheosar Lake
11. Khamosh Waterfall
12. Upper Kachura Lake
14. Hopar Glacier
15. Katpana Desert
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Music: Folk Round by Kevin MacLeod is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 licence.
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