Astore (Gilgit Baltistan)
Astore is district in the Gilgit-Baltistan and located at an altitude of 8,500 feet on the eastern side of Mount Nanga Parbat, at the distance of 60 km from Gilgit main city. Astore region ascends from the Indus River from Jaglot in Diamer district. The valley is famous for different kinds of important medicinal plants and herbs. In summer, the colors of the valley become very much attractive due to various kinds of colorful flowers.
It is connected with Gilgit, Skardu, Rondu, Diamer, and Kharmang district. It also has its boundary with the Neelum Valley in Azad Kashmir and Bandipore district in Indian-occupied Jumma & Kashmir.
Astore valley lies on the foot of the famous peaks of Nanga Parbat, Chongra Peak, and Rupal Peak. It also includes different lush green valleys and lakes which are the main attraction for tourists in the Astore Valley. It is accessible through Gilgit as well as from Skardu through Deosai Plains. From Skardu through Deosai Plain is an adventurous four-wheel drive within the colorful and attractive plains of Deosai. From Astore Valley, You can also accessed Minimerg that is a lush green hill station in the extreme side of the Neelum Valley Azad Kashmir.
There are number of glaciers in the Astore Valley, in which Harcho Glacier and Siachen Glacier are famous. The Harcho Glacier is located as enter in the Astore Valley from the Gilgit side, whereas the Siachin Glacier is located on its other extreme end.
Rama meadows is one of the lush green meadow in the Astore Valley. It can be accessed from Eidgah Astore. You can see grazing animals on the greenish layout of the meadows.
Rama Lake is glacier lake in the Rama meadows in the Astore Valley. It is an attractive and scenic location for the tourists. Most of the time, you can see melting glaciers on its sides. You can also visit three other lakes on the way of Rama Lake. If you wan to stay for a night there, then you can also camp there.
Deosai is the World second highest plateau between Astore, Kharmang, and Skardu district. It is homeland of large number of different important medicinal herbs and plants. In winter season, it completely covers with snow, so it becomes much difficult to access it that season. But in summer season, it shows colorful appearance with wildflowers and different variety of butterflies. It can be accessed from the Astore district as well as from Skardu district. Exploring the Deosai Plains is a four-wheel jeep tour, but you must have camps to explore it in more depth due to its large size and number of attractive and scenic locations in it.
Sheosar Lake is located in Deosai Plains in the Astore district. It is a wide size lake within the plains of the Deosai Plains. It will be accessed via Chillum Chowki on Astore Valley Road.
Minimarg is a small village located on the bank of the Burzil Nala in the Neelum Valley Azad Kashmir, but it is easily accessed via Astore valley by passing the Burzil Pass after crossing Chillum Chowki.
Weather of the Astore Valley is moderate and pleasant in the summer season, whereas there is 2-3 feet snowfall in the winter season. Therefore, all of the roads to access the Astore Valley are closed.
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Tour places in Astore
Chillum, or Chilam, is the last village in Astore District and is the starting point to start the next journey toward the world highest plain, Deosai. It is also known as Chillum Chowki due to police check post there. It is a lush green area with grazing fields and crops, and number of running streams. Road is not in good condition, but still suitable to continue the journey, there are sharp ascends and descends on the road, which need extra power of vehicle to travel.
Tourism in Chillum
Deosai Plains, also known as Deosai National Park, is located at the distance of 30 km from Skardu between Astore and Skardu District. Its average elevation is 13,497 feet above sea level and is considered the second-highest plateaus in the world. Due to its height, there is no tree in the Deosai Plains but full of lush green grass and flowing plants. It is also famous for wildlife and different kind of flora and fauna in the Karakoram Range. In the spring season, it becomes colorful due to those wildflowers and a variety of butterflies.
Tourism in Deosai Plains
Eidgah is the central and capital town of the Astore District. Astore village and Rama Valley are important places for tourist near it. There are a lot of hotels and accommodations for tourists in this area.
Tourism in Eidgah Astore
Gorikot is the capital and the largest valley of the Astore District. It is a gateway to Nanga Parbat Tarisheng Base camp and to Deosai Plain that link Astore to Skardu. It has lush green plains with beautiful scenic views in the high mountains in attractive colors. Roads from Gorikot are mostly suitable for Jeep but other vehicles can also be used but with some care. It is also famous for fruits and vegetable fields.Gorikot also provides accommodation facilities to stay the night there to start the further journey toward Deosai or Nanga Parbat.
Tourism in Gorikot
Gudai is a beautiful village in the Astore Valley at the distance of 16km from Gorikot and 27 km from Astore village. Gudai is famous for the fresh water and trout fish in the area. It is a gateway to Deosai Plain, one of the world highest plains, from Astore Valley.
Tourism in Gudai
Minimarg is a very attractive village in the Neelum Valley in Azad Kashmir, located on the right bank of the Kishenganga River, also called Neelum River, at an altitude of 2,845 meter. It is located at the distance of 536 km from Islamabad and accessible via Mansehra - Naran - Jalkhan, Chilas, then through the Karakoram Highway, turn left after passing Raikot Bridge on the Astore Valley Road, this road leads toward Minimarg after crossing the Azad Kashmir Border. Access through Neelum Vally is short but more difficult, only trekking and jeep tracks are available to access it.
Tourism in Minimarg
Rama Lake is located in Choungrah village in the Astore District in Gilgit-Baltistan at a distance of 122km from Gilgit city. It is one of the beautiful lakes in Pakistan with the wonderful beauty of greenery and snow-covered peaks around it. It is easily accessed from Rama Meadows in just a one and half hour trek. which a lush green meadow in the Astore valley.
Tourism in Rama Lake
Rama Meadows is located at the distance of 13km from Rama Village in the Astore District, Gilgit-Baltistan. Rama Meadows is a peaceful and calm place to enjoy the greenery in the Rama Valley within the attractive color structure of mountains. There are vast areas with lush green forests which makes oneself forget the tiredness of the long traveling to Rama Valley.
Tourism in Rama Meadows
Sheosar Lake is located in Deosai National Park at the elevation of 13,589 feet and at the distance of 16 km from Chillum from Astore District, whereas from the Skardu side, it is at the distance of 65 km. As Deosai is a peaceful place, so Sheosar Lake is also popular for a calm and peaceful atmosphere within the endless plains of colorful flowers. Wild animals and birds can also be observed there.
Tourism in Sheosar Lake
Astore Photo Gallery
Harcho is a small town in Astore district at the distance of 16 km from Astore village on the bank of the Astore River. There is a beautiful waterfall in Harcho, tourist can stay there to have a short break in their journay.
Astore River flows throughout the valley from the Deosai Plain in the deep gorges of high mountains along the Astore Valley Road and finally joins the Gilgit River.
Spring at Dashkin
Dashkin is a small beautiful village near Harcho at the distance of 16 km from Astore Village. It is popular for wildlife such as Astor markhor and snow leopard. Area is also popular for natural resources such as gemstones.
Mushkin Forest Nursary
Mushkin is a small valley in the beginning of Astore district, just near Harcho. After the unlawful cutting of the trees in this area, Mushkin is used to plant the trees in this area again.
Astore Valley View
Astore, the Capital of Astore District, is located at the distance of 110 km from Gilgit City. It has number of restaurants and hotels for tourists. It is the gateway to access beautiful and lush green valley called Rama valley.
Astore Gateway to Deosai Plain
Road to Astore Valley
Road inside Astore Valley
Astore Valley Landscape
Astore Valley gives very much attractive colors due to its landscape. These colors are due to the structure of mountains as well as different kinds of flowers and plants in the valley
Astore River Tributary of Indus River
Astore River is one of the main tributary of the Indus River and flows throughout the valley from the Deosai Plain, joins with the Gilgit River which finally confluence with the Indus River at Jaglot.
Beautiful View of Astore Valley