Gorikot (Gilgit Baltistan)
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.
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.