Gilgit Baltistan is surrounded by the world’s highest and biggest number of mountains, which has helped enhance tourism in Pakistan. The intersection of the Himalaya, Karakoram, and Hindu-Kush Mountain ranges creates a stunning landscape in this region of Pakistan. With boundless green meadows, deep valleys, gorgeous waterfalls, and hazardous routes, Gilgit-Baltistan becomes a nature lover’s and adventure seeker’s dream.
This region has a diverse mix of cultures and languages, including Dardic, Wakhi, and Balti. The official language is Urdu, but English is also widely spoken. Gilgit-Baltistan has a long history, with the region being an important center of trade and commerce for centuries. It was a key crossroads on the Silk Road and has long been a hub of cultural exchange. The region has a rich cultural heritage, with a number of ancient forts, Buddhist monasteries, and other historical sites.
In recent years, Gilgit-Baltistan has become an increasingly popular destination for adventure tourism, with visitors coming to the region to trek, climb, and explore the rugged landscape. The region is also home to a number of natural resources, including hydroelectric power, minerals, and timber, which have contributed to its economic development.
These gorgeous destinations to explore in Gilgit Baltistan must be on your travel itinerary while planning your trip:
10. K2 Base Camp:
The highest peak in both Pakistan and Xinjiang is K2, which is also the highest point in the Karakoram Mountain range. After Mount Everest, it is the second-highest peak in the world. Due to its very arduous climb, K2 is known as the Savage Mountain because of its extreme difficulty and the increased number of deaths that have happened on its inclines. The mountain stands at 8,611 meters (28,251 feet) and has a reputation as one of the most challenging peaks to climb. You cannot climb the K2 but if you are trekking enthusiastic then you can trek to the K2 base camp. It will be your lifetime experience.
The K2 base camp is located at the foot of the mountain and is the starting point for most expeditions to the summit. It is situated at an altitude of about 5,000 meters (16,400 feet) and can be reached after a three to four day trek from the town of Skardu. The base camp is a hub of activity during the climbing season, with climbers, porters, and support staff all coming together to prepare for the challenging climb ahead.
Life at the K2 base camp is harsh and primitive, with basic amenities such as electricity and running water being scarce. Climbers must be self-sufficient and bring all of the necessary supplies and equipment with them, as there is no support available once they leave the base camp. Despite the challenges, the K2 base camp is an important part of the climbing experience and is a place where climbers from all over the world come together to share their passion for the mountain.
9. Karakoram Highway:
The Karakoram Highway, sometimes referred to as the KKH unofficially, is thought to be the world’s highest paved international highway. If you like mountain exploration, that is, it is the path to heaven.
The Karakoram Highway (KKH) is a 1,300 kilometer (808 mile) road that connects Pakistan and China through the Karakoram mountain range. It is the highest paved international road in the world, reaching an elevation of 4,693 meters (15,397 feet) at the Khunjerab Pass. The KKH is a vital link between the two countries, serving as a major transportation corridor for people and goods.
The KKH was built in the 1960s and 1970s with the help of the Chinese government, and was formally opened to the public in 1979. It was a monumental engineering feat, with the road being constructed through some of the most rugged and inhospitable terrain in the world. The construction of the KKH required the building of numerous bridges and tunnels, and the road itself was carved into the sides of cliffs and through deep gorges.
The KKH is an important economic lifeline for the region, providing access to markets and resources that were previously out of reach. It also serves as a major tourist attraction, with thousands of people coming to the region every year to see the stunning natural beauty and experience the rich cultural heritage of the Karakoram.
8. Passu Glacier:
The Passu Glacier is a large glacier located in the Gilgit-Baltistan region of Pakistan, in the Karakoram mountain range. It is situated at the foot of the Passu Cones, a group of peaks that rise to an elevation of 7,478 meters (24,534 feet). The glacier is about 23 kilometers (14 miles) long and flows from east to west, eventually merging with the Batura Glacier.
The Passu Glacier is an important source of water for the region, with the meltwater from the glacier being used for irrigation and hydroelectric power generation. It is also a popular destination for tourists, who come to see the stunning natural beauty of the glacier and the surrounding landscape. The glacier can be reached by road from the town of Passu, which is located on the Karakoram Highway. Due to the incredibly cold temperatures, it is clearly quite difficult to approach the glacier, but those who appreciate winter may enjoy themselves there.
The Passu Glacier is one of many glaciers in the region that are threatened by climate change. Rising temperatures have caused the glacier to retreat at an alarming rate, and it is predicted that it could disappear within the next few decades. This would have serious consequences for the people who depend on the glacier for their water and livelihoods, as well as for the region’s ecosystems. Efforts are being made to raise awareness about the importance of protecting the glacier and to find ways to mitigate the impacts of climate change.
7. Kalash Valley:
One of Pakistan’s major vacation sites and top tourist destinations is the Kalash Valley in Chitral, which is home to the Kalash tribe and has an amazing and extraordinary civilization.
The Kalash Valley is a cluster of three valleys situated in the Chitral District of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province in Pakistan. The valleys are home to the Kalash people, a small indigenous community that has a unique culture and way of life. The Kalash are known for their polytheistic religion, their colorful clothing and festivals, and their traditional music and dance.
The Kalash Valley is located in the Hindu Kush mountain range and is surrounded by high peaks and snow-covered mountains. The valleys are home to a variety of flora and fauna, including pine forests, fruit trees, and a wide range of wildlife. The area is also rich in natural resources, with the valleys being an important source of timber and hydroelectric power.
The Kalash people have lived in the valley for centuries, and their way of life has remained largely unchanged over time. They follow a traditional way of life, with a strong emphasis on community and family. The Kalash are known for their hospitality and welcome visitors to their valleys.
6. Baltit Fort:
In the Gilgit-Baltistan, close to the town of Karimabad, lies a fort called Baltit Fort. The fort, which has 700-year-old foundations, has undergone several rebuilds and modifications over the years. It was built to evaluate threats from invaders. It also provides 360 panoramic views of Hunza.
After its restoration in 1990 by the Agha Khan Foundation, Baltit Fort has become a popular tourist destination. Before it was constructed, the Altit fort in nearby Altit village served as the capital of the Hunza. The construction of the Baltit Fort was a result of a rivalry between two princes, Prince Ali Khan and Prince Shah Abbas, and it eventually became the capital of Hunza after the death of Prince Ali Khan.
5. Deosai National Park:
The Deosai National Park is located in Gilgit-Baltistan, Pakistan. The name “Deosai” comes from the local words “Deo” (spirits) and “Sai” (sitting place), meaning “place of spirits”. The park was established in 1993 and covers an area of 3626 sq km. It is home to the Himalayan brown bear and is a category I National Park, according to the IUCN.
The Deosai National Park is located at the junction of three mountain ranges: the Western Himalayas, the Ladakh, and the Zanskar. It has a rich biodiversity due to its location where two biogeographical provinces meet. The park has a high altitude, cold, dry environment with low oxygen and carbon dioxide levels. It receives 350-550 mm of precipitation per year, mostly in the form of snow.
The park is home to many species of plants and animals, including the Himalayan ibex, Tibetan wolf, golden marmots, and Tibetan red fox. It is also an important resting and breeding ground for migratory birds. The Deosai National Park is known for its high altitude wetlands, including Sheosar Lake, and is an important watershed for three rivers: the Shatung, Bara Pani, and Kala Pani. It is one of the must place to visit in both summer and winter.
4. Fairy Meadows:
Fairy Meadows is a beautiful grassland located in Gilgit-Baltistan, Pakistan. It is also known as “Pariyon Ki Jaragha” in Urdu or “Joot” in the local language. It is located in the Diamer District and has an altitude of 10,800 feet. Fairy Meadows is a base camp for trekking to Nanga Parbat, and it has been declared a national park since 1995.
The journey to Fairy Meadows is extremely adventurous, as it involves traveling on one of the world’s most dangerous roads. The road starts at the Rakhiot bridge on the Karakoram Highway and leads to the Tato Village. From there, travelers must hike for five km to reach Fairy Meadows. The hike takes three to four hours. Fairy Meadows is located in the Valley of Rakhiot, at the end of the Rakhiot glacier. The night view at Fairy Meadows is beautiful, and locals have started offering camping services in the area. That’s why it is number four in the top 10 places to visit in Gilgit Baltistan.
3. Chitral Valley:
The Chitral Valley is a culturally diverse region that is dominated by Trichmir. There are lush valleys and meadows, as well as high mountains and enormous glaciers, in this diverse terrain. Chitral is a popular tourist destination in Pakistan known for its handcrafted items and precious stones. It is also known for its beautiful flowers and fruits, such as peaches, apricots, damsons, apples, pomegranates, grapes, and pears. Chitral is famous for its dry fruits, including almonds, apricots, pistachios, and walnuts.
The people of Chitral are welcoming and helpful, and it is easy to find a guide if needed. Some popular tourist attractions in Chitral include:
- Tirich Mir: the highest peak in the Hindu Kush mountain range
- Chitral Museum: a museum featuring exhibits on the history and culture of Chitral
- Kalash Valleys: home to the Kalash people, a small indigenous community with a unique culture and way of life
- Shahi Masjid: a large mosque in Chitral Town
- Bumburet Valley: a beautiful valley located in the Kalash region, known for its natural beauty and cultural heritage
- Trich Mir Base Camp: the base camp for climbing Tirich Mir, offering stunning views of the surrounding mountains
- Chitral Fort: a historic fort located in the center of Chitral Town, offering panoramic views of the surrounding area.
Although the winters are harsh in this area, the summers may be rather nice. This place is a must-visit for those looking to escape the daily grind. That’s why it is number three in the top 10 places to visit in Gilgit Baltistan.
2. Gilgit Valley:
Gilgit Valley is a valley located in Gilgit-Baltistan, Pakistan. It is situated in the Gilgit District and is home to the Gilgit-River which is a tributary of the Indus River, and it is located in northern Pakistan. This town of Gilgit is located in the valley, and it can be reached by road from Chitral through the Shandur-Pass, which is 375 km away and sits at an altitude of 3,800 meters. The Gilgit Valley is home to a number of popular tourist destinations, in addition to being an excellent ski resort. That’s why it is number two in the top 10 places to visit in Gilgit Baltistan.
1. Hunza Valley:
Hunza Valley, a hidden treasure of Pakistan, is a picturesque valley nestled between the Himalayan and Karakoram Mountain ranges. Being inhabited by kind, welcoming people, this rich valley has traditionally been a major tourist destination due to its agricultural land, stunning scenery, and majestic mountains, giving you the impression that you are in paradise. That’s why it is number one in the top 10 places to visit in Gilgit Baltistan.
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