Skardu - Gateway to eight-thousanders of Karakoram Range (Gilgit Baltistan)
Skardu is the most beautiful valley in the Gilgit-Baltistan region, located at an altitude of 8,202 feet at the confluence of the Indus and Shigar Rivers. It is a 10 km wide and 40 km long valley spread along the Indus River. Skardu is considered a gateway to the eight-thousanders of the Karakoram Mountain range.
The Indus River flows throughout the valley and separates the Karakoram Range from Himalayas Range. The color of the Indus is in muddy form cutting the rocks from the foot of mountain rocks touching the water. Its water also has much sand due to those melting rocks.
Skardu district has boundaries with Shigar, Rondu, Astore, Kharmang, and Ghanche districts. Skardu can be accessed from the Karakorum Highway, then turning toward the right from Jaglot Gilgit district, along the Indus River on Skardu Road. Skardu can also be accessed via Astore Valley Road by crossing Deosai Plains, but it must require a 4-wheel vehicle. Skardu can also be accessed via air using Skardu Airport. It only provides air services from Islamabad to Skardu.
Skardu is the main hub for tourism, trekking, and expedition in Gilgit-Baltistan. The mountainous terrain of the region with four of the world's 14 Eight-thousander peaks, attracts people around the world having an interest in trekking, mountaineering, etc.
Skardu is easily accessible by road along the Indus River, the journey from Thakot to Skardu is one of the best travelings, moving in the dry and brown color mountains with the Indus River. After a few kilometers, you can see greenery full of trees and flowers. You can also observe the population over there.
From Skardu, visiter can access the highest peaks in this region including K2, Gasherbrums, Broad Peak, and the Trango Towers, and to the huge glaciers of Baltoro, Biafo, and Trango. A one-week trek from Ashkole to the K2 base camp gives splendid views of all these peaks.
Deosai Plains, the second-highest in the world at an altitude of 13,497 ft, is also accessed from Skardu through Satpara Lake. It has an area of approximately 3,000 square kilometers, is full of plants and herbs of different colors, and provides a habitat for snow leopards, ibex, Tibetan blue bears, and wild horses. These plains are also accessible from the Astore Valley.
The Shigar River, a tributary to the Indus River, and its other tributaries Basha and Braldu, are joining at Skardu. Shigar Valley contains the Main Karakoram Thrust that separates the metasediments on the Asian plate from the southern volcanoclastic rocks of the Kohistan-Ladakh terrane.
There number of most beautiful lakes in Skardu, which Satpara lake, Kachura Lake, Shangrila Lake, and Sheosar Lake are popular.
Due to its ancient settlement, there are a number of historical forts in the Skardu Valley. Skardu Fort and Shigar Fort are the most famous for tourists to visit.
The climate of Skardu is cold in the winter season, whereas it is moderate in the summer season. The high mountains in this area, block the monsoon, so in the summer season, rainfall is quite low.
There is also an Airport at an elevation of 2,230 meters above sea level. It provides air services for national as well as international flights.
Tour places in Skardu
Manthokha Waterfall is located in Kharmang Valley in Madupur village in Skardu, Gilgit-Baltistan, Pakistan, at a distance of 40 km from Skardu city. It is one of the highest waterfalls in Pakistan, with a height of 180 feet. It is a beautiful waterfall and famous for camping and fishing in Skardu.
Tourism in Manthokha Waterfall
Satpara Lake is one of the largest fresh water and natural lake located in Skardu, Gilgit Baltistan at a distance of 8 km from the Skardu main. A jeep can be hired from Skardu or you can enjoy the trek on foot. You can enjoy trout fishing and row boating there. It is the most charming lake and attracts a number of tourists every year. There is a picturesque island in the center of the lake. A short stay is possible there with a round trip on the boat.
Tourism in Satpara Lake
Shangrila Lake, also known as Kachura Lake, is located at the distance of 27 km from Skardu main, in Kachura village, Skardu. It is one of the most attractive and beautiful lakes in Pakistan. Its beauty becomes more charming by the unique style of colorful restaurants around it. One of those restaurants is an aircraft, that had a crash landing near a riverbed in Skardu.
Tourism in Shangrila Lake
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