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Last updated on 08 Jul 2001
Amidst a landscape of towering mountains, deep gorges, crashing waterfalls and quiet lakes, Skardu, the district headquarters of Baltistan, is situated on the banks of the mighty river Indus, just 8 km (5 miles) above its confluence with the river Shigar. Perched at a height of 2286 metres (7,500 ft), Skardu offers a cool and bracing climate. On the eastern boundary of the district lies Ladakh, in the west Gilgit, in the south Indian-held Kashmir and  to the north is the Chinese province of Sinkiang.

During the summer, Skardu attracts a large number of trekkers and mountaineers from all parts of the world. In fact, the entire region is known as a mountaineers’ paradise. Nowhere in the world does one find such a large collection of lofty peaks, including K-2 the world's second highest peak, and huge glaciers like Baltoro, Biafo and Siachen, some of the largest in the world outside the Polar region, as in this 16,283 square km of wonderland.

There are five main valleys in the district Skardu, Shigar, Khaplu, Rondu and Kharmang. All of them produce apricots, peaches, pears and apples in such profusion that this region is known as the land of apricots and apples.


PIA has a daily flight (PK-451) at 0900 AM from Islamabad to Skardu. The return flight is scheduled at 1040 AM. Price one way is 2500 Rs.

Possibility of hiring a jeep in Gilgit exists. You can reach Skardu from Gilgit driving south via the Karakoram Highway up to the junction to Astore and, cross the river and via Shengus towards Astore. Before arriving a Skardu, make a stop at Kachura lake!


Tel: 0575/2946, 0575/2500
Single at 1100 PKR, Double 1480 PKR
Single deluxe at 1480 PKR, Double deluxe at 1980 PKR
Located at the Indus River. Beautiful view over the Skardu valley. Clean rooms with attached bathrooms. Hotel used by many tour operators. Nice garden en balconies.

Tel: 0575/2515, 3491
Double at 700 PKR
Good food

Tel : 0575/55191-3
Fax : 0575/55194
E-mail: resorts@isb.comsats.net.pk
The hotel is very beautiful located (but more or less isolated) at Kachura lake. It is a postcard spot and an oasis of rest. It is recommended at least to make a stop for lunch buffet. Service is friendly and good.



About 32 Km from Skardu, 2 hours by jeep lay the shimmering waters of the Kachura Lake. In the springtime, its banks are adorned by a multitude of colourful flowers, while the trees are laden with peach, apricot and apple blossoms. The lake offers great opportunities for trout fishing.


The construction of Kharpocho fort of the King of forts at Skardu has been attributed to the famous ruler of Skardu - Maqpon Bugha (1490 - 1515 AD), the great grand father of Ali Sher Khan Anchan (1560 - 1625 AD) by Hishatullah. However, Moghal historians are of the view that the great fort was built by Ali Sher Khan Anchan himself. This view is upheld by European writers such as Cunningham, Foso Marine, GT. Vagne etc. Some observations about this fort have been made in the Imperial Gazetteer of British India. It states that one of the most famous of the Gralpos (Monarchs of Skardu), Ali Sher Khan, who ruled till the end of the 16th century, conquered Ladakh and built a fort at Skardu. It is a twenty-minute climb to the partly reconstructed fort. Entry is 50 PKR.


There is only one surviving Buddhist Rock with rock carvings in the Skardu Valley located on Satpara Road. Probably the rock carvings and images of Buddha date back to the period of Great Tibetan Scholars Empire. When the Buddhist people of Gandhara migrated and passed through the present northern areas of Pakistan, they settled at some places temporarily and carved drawings of Stupas, scenes of their Experiences and images of Buddha with texts in Kharoshti language. There were a number of such Buddhist rock carvings in the Skardu Valley. Probably those rocks were used either by Ali Sher Khan Anchan as building material or submerged in the Satpara lake and researchers like Dr. A.H. Dani from Pakistan and some from other countries have done Lot of research work on these rock carvings and have since deciphered the text of the carvings in Kharoshti language.


8 Km south of Skardu, 20 minutes by jeep, lays the Satpara Lake. Surrounded by high glacial mountains, this lake has an island in the middle of its clear waters, which can be reached by boat. The lake is considered ideal for fishing. A license costs 110 Rs/Pers. There is possibility to find accommodation at the lake. There is the SaDpara Lake inn (PTDC has 2 rooms here) and the Lake view Motel. PDTC has built also a motel at the lake. Opening in 2002.


From Skardu the jeep track climbs up past SADPARA Lake and further on to SADPARA village. Above the village on the jeep track is Sadpara check post, marking the start of the National Park area. The check post is recommended as an overnight acclimatization stop. Tourists have to register here. There is a spare tent able to accommodate 4 persons. Above the check post there is an area of cultivated land up on the hillside, strewn with several enormous boulders covered in rock inscriptions from pre-historic, Buddhist and Islamic times. Beyond the check post the jeep track climbs steeply up the Sadpara nullah. After the rack crosses to the west bank of the stream, the course of the old jeep track which continued along the east bank can still be seen in places. At the top is Ali Malik Mar (4080 m), the pass marking the start of the Deosai proper. From here the track descends for a short way to a designated camping site (Deosai Top Hotel – 2 Hr from Skardu). After about 30 minutes the jeep track forks. The right fork is the main route to Astore via Chilam. The Deosai plateau is home to many plants and animals. Large numbers of golden marmots are seen on the plains. (Credit to “Footprint Pakistan Handbook”)


This beautiful valley of the Shyok River is 103 Km from Skardu and 2 hours by jeep. There is a sprawling village perched on the slopes of the steep mountains that hem in the river. Many famous mountains, such as Masherbrum, K-6, K-7, Sherpi Kangh, Sia Kangri, Saltoro Kangri etc. are located here.


Stones (jewellery) – Hassan Mirza & Company
Nia Bazar
Tel: 55420