For those planning another adventure in the northern mountains, a trip to Skardu can be an eye-opening experience. A historical region preserving ancient values and culture in the beautiful mountains of Pakistan still welcomes tourists from all over the world wholeheartedly.
From expert mountaineers to trekkers, friends or students, all like to seek new experiences in Skardu. The reason behind the fame is the mind-blowing beauty of the area and the list of entertaining activities available for locals and tourists.
You would be surprised to experience the service of local hoteliers serving tourists to the best of their advantage. If you are interested in exploring this land, this detailed, informative article can satisfy and prepare you for your trip.
Discovering Skardu’s History: Fascinating Story
We have researched and brought complete information about the history and weather for curious minds. Other necessary information is also included for the safe journey to the land.
Skardu is a district located in the vast territory of Gilgit Baltistan. Kharrpocho, or Fort Skardu, a fascinating viewpoint in the district for tourists, narrates the brutal history of intruders who wanted to capture the land by force.
Australian mountaineers have written about the fort: It is located near the following waters and is famous as the residing place of kings and queens in the past. In May 1847, “Thomas Thompson” went to Tibet for a mission with his office and wrote about the fort 300 feet above the broad plain, which was untouched till then.
The district is now connected and bound with several surrounding districts such as Ghanche District, Kharmang District, Astore District, and Rondu District.
The residents enjoy pleasant Skardu weather in the summer, fluctuating around 23-10C. From May to September, tourists mostly enjoy visiting north because the ice melts by then. Summer is suitable for visiting the land as the tall green, dense trees sway along the wind and give a pleasant feeling of breathing in air.
However, winter is challenging as the temperature reaches -3C. Most people stay indoors, and tourists hardly visit.
The location provides a gateway for the mountaineers to the Karakoram. With its full charm, the district is situated at a high elevation of about 2,500 meters in the valley. The location is at the convergence of the Shigar and Indus Rivers.
For seeing the beauty of nature, distance only matters if you equip yourself fully to take a challenging journey to the mountains. On your way, you can also see the best places in Islamabad: 20 tourist attractions. Here is the distance you must cover to go to the mountains.
- Distance from Islamabad: 637.6KM via N-15
To reach Skardu safely, here is the map that you can follow for the exact way to the valley of your dreams.
Getting to Skardu: A Guide to Travel Options
By Air: To go to Skardu by air, different options are available. The fare of economy and business vary, and you can select based on your preference. Skardu airport is the world’s most remote site based airport, which has gained a lot of popularity.
By Road: You can contact a travel agency to hire a vehicle for your favorite destination.
Top 10 Attractions in Skardu: Exploring Sights
If you are a person who cannot stay in one place, then here is the list of the top 10 attractions that you can visit during the trip.
Deosai National Park
One of the essential sites recognized internationally is Deosai National Park. It is known for the natural features and conservation of the Himalayan Brown Bear which has been considered an endangered species. It is an alpine park situated at a high altitude so the temperature can vary in different parts of the day. However, it is the best spot to organize a picnic with friends and family.
As the name indicates, it resembles Basho Valley’s beauty and unusual appearance, which has gained popularity among YouTubers. Basho meadows, waterfalls, and bridges provide many pleasant experiences. You can even camp here and enjoy the scenic mountains and fields of Basho Valley Skardu.
Upper Kachora Lake
One of the fascinating lakes of Skardu is Upper Kachora Lake, located in the heart of Gilgit-Baltistan. The surrounding resorts surrounding the lake provide a comfortable and natural essence while living in the north of Pakistan. People also know it as Shangrila Lake. As it is on the way to the Karakoram mountain range, it is on the list of those who want to visit it.
A natural lake glistening with blue and green waters is Satpara Lake, located in Gilgit Baltistan. Situated at 8 650 feet above the average sea level, Satpara Lake consists of the melted water of the Deosai plains’ ice.
The picturesque land depicts different colors in all four seasons and is considered the best place to rest and appreciate nature. Those who admire solitude and meditation can relax here and enjoy the weather.
For flower lovers, another lake that stands beautiful in its existence is Sheosar Lake. The land is covered with colorful flowers and roaming butterflies on them. You can take a four-wheeled jeep to reach the lake and enjoy the delightful sights. Providing a calm environment and bringing people closer to nature, the land is like a fair land.
On the extreme side of Gilgit, a lake with 180 feet waterfall is located, named Manthokha Waterfall. It is known as a magical place, and there are several reasons behind that. The green pastures and fresh streams are breathtaking as they stay active during summer. The restaurants nearby offer traditional trout fish and offer the best quality.
If you are interested in learning the history of Skardu, then visiting Kharpocho Fort can be an entertaining experience. The reason behind it is that the account of this fort is connected with the British Raj and has a tremendous effect on forming and building the stories of survival and the emergence of new communities. Every corner of the fort narrates the stories of the past, giving goosebumps while listening to the narratives.
The next exciting place to visit is the K2 Museum which consists of pictures narrating the daring stories of brave mountaineers. Each year, tourists from all over the world engage in discussions about the past and present. The different reports of the summit journey bring insight to those who possess intellectual minds.
Manthal Buddha Rock
One of the relics of ancient times is Manthal Buddha Rock which takes us back to the 8th century when the region was connected with the active presence of Buddhists. The large granite rock has a clear picture of Buddha. You must travel on a jeep to cover 3KM to reach Manthal village, where this rock is preserved under the government act.
Skardu’s Natural Wonders: Guide to Glacier
You would wonder to see the astonishing land of Skardu, also famous as the land of glaciers. You can start the trip from one place to another to explore the glaciers and surrounding landscape by exploring the following places.
- Khaplu Valley
- Hushe Valley
- Shyok River Khaplu Valley
- Siachen Glacier
Where to Stay in Skardu: Accommodation Options
Skardu has always stayed caught up in advance with the world by providing 5-star hotels and accommodation services to tourists. Everything is available in Skardu hotels from a comfortable bed, attached washroom, warm water, delicious food, and comfortable seating area.
Shangrila Resort Skardu
The resort which gives all in one is Shagrila Resort Skardu, as numerous restaurants and snack bars are here to facilitate visitors. The natural spring water lakes are no less than a natural wonder. You can jog, trek and enjoy the fantastic natural views of nature in the surrounding area.
Hotel Mountain Lodge Holiday Home
Shangrila Resort Skardu is a unique resort for the youngest, providing numerous activities for adventure lovers. You can get free bikes and even build strength in the fitness center. There is a vast, beautiful garden and a terrace that gives a view of the place.
Dewanekhas Hotel and Restaurant
If you are looking for something delicious and traditional with an ancient vibe, then Dewanekhas Hotel and Restaurant is the one that you would admire.
Arish Luxury Suits
Those who like residing in luxury suits can stay at Arish Luxury Suits as it would give you all the excellent and high-standard facilities in north Pakistan. Wifi and laundry are also available for an extended stay.
Hotel Sadpara Skardu
With 24-hour customer service, Hotel Sadpara Skardu is the right place to find excellent quality rooms and fully facilitated restaurants. Camping nearby the hotel is also available for those who want to watch stars and enjoy BBQ.
Skardu Valley is famous for several reasons. Mountaineers know it is a place to rest and enjoy while they head towards K2 to climb the summit. Additionally, the seasonal sports and cultural events also make it a gateway for tourists more inclined towards such events. The region’s hospitality is in the mouth of everyone who has visited the place.
When comparing both Skardu and Hunza, we can hardly decide as both places look amazing with abundant fruit trees and connect people more with an organic lifestyle. Hunza Valley has its charm and beauty, and Skardu, with its resorts, gives another kind of experience people desire. Therefore, both of the places are distinctive in geographical features and beauty.
For those who want to enjoy living in Skardu for at least a one-week to one-month based trip, the best time to go is either spring or summer. Winter is never welcoming in a way; summer can serve visitors. Other than that, the lush green grounds and the other attractions are more maintained for the tourists who cover miles to reach Skardu. The pleasant weather adds more to the experience.
Whether you are going for a short or long trip, it is necessary to select the days wisely, as Skardu gives an entirely different view of mountainous life. The ideal trip should consist of 15 days in which the visitor can appreciate and live in the welcoming nature, and it further helps them connect with the locals on a broader level and know the traditions of Skardu. On the other hand, for the workaholics who hardly get leave from work, one week’s trip can also create memories.
The famous food of Skardu comes with the traditions and customs of cooking in a specific way preserved by the locals. Following are the foods you can enjoy when visiting the land of beauty and adventure.
Generally, one should check the hotels and the current service charges to learn about the overall cost. Enjoying every aspect of the trip takes about 40K to 70K PKR. The price can increase or decrease based on the number of visitors. Hiring a personal vehicle can reduce the cost of travel while traveling on local transport could be different. Therefore, analyzing each expense is essential.