Best Places in Skardu for a vacational trip

Rama Lake

Astore Valley, home to majestic oak trees and some greenery has a worth- visiting Rama Lake at its top. Rama Lake is the adjoining result of three small lakes. The glimpse of the lake itself is a joy, but the Rama valley adds up to its beauty. As, Rama valley is inhabited by a thick forest that comprises pine, juniper, cedar, and fir trees. Not only the snow-peaked mountains compliment the urge of visiting Rama Lake but also the weather of that region. It is not a site for rainfall as it seldom rains.  Rama lake is located approximately a 20 mins drive from fairy meadows. With time passing by, the roads routed towards Rama Lake are cemented and are made easily accessible for traveling. Thus, the only hindrance that came in the way of going to Rama Lake is all settled down, so delay in planning a trip to Rama Lake is no more justified.

DEOSAI

Some places are just magical and don’t exist in reality, whereas this is not the case when it comes to Deosai. Because Deosai is a beautiful place which when visited, makes you question about being in reality rather than imagination. In Gilgit Baltistan, at a height of 4,114 meters, lies a mesmeric plateau known as Deosai. There lies a meaning behind the name ‘Deosai’ and that is referred to as the shadow of the giant. Its altitude makes it the second-highest plain of Pakistan and the beauty is also the reason for the inhabitants of the beautiful flowers and wildlife. The soil of Deosai is suitable for marshy vegetation, along with being rocky, coarse, and severely eroded. Skardu city and Shila valley are located near Deosai at a distance of approximately 30 km and lie on the boundary of Karakoram and Western Himalayas. Being snow-peaked in winters and having freshly bloomed flowers in spring make Deosai a magical place, worth visiting. 

KHAPLU

Khaplu is a town that runs the administration of Gilgit Baltistan and has many places that are captivating to the eyes which see and the people who visit. This place has a historical significance to it as Khaplu was once a kingdom of the Yabgo Dynasty. It comprises the peaks of Chogolisa, Karakoram, and Masherbrum, along with the beautiful valleys of Shyok and Hushe making it one of the best trekking sites in Pakistan. The natural beauty of Khaplu is at its peak and it also has flowing rivers of Shyok and Thalle which make the western border of the kingdom. Apart from natural sites, Khaplu also has an enthralling Chaqchan mosque constructed by the first Islam preacher and a beguiling Raja Palace, which is the best and Tibetan-style building in Pakistan. Undeniably, visiting Khaplu excites a greater sense of admiration in the people who visit it.

SHIGAR

In northern Gilgit Baltistan, lies the enthralling place Shigar. This place gains prominence from its Shigar river, Shigar valley, and Shigar district. The entrancing Shigar river is formed by the melted water from the glaciers of Baltoro and Biafo and it flows through the fascinating Shigar valley, finally reaching the Indus river in the Skardu valley. Shigar Valley covers a distance of 170 km between Skardu and Askole, has a flowing stream of the Indus river, and allows access to the high mountains of Karakoram including K-2. This makes it a site enjoyable in terms of hiking, trekking, and mountaineering. Shigar district is the home to K-2 and is circumscribed by Skardu district, Ghanche District, Xinjiang (China), and Hunza, Nagar, Gilgit districts. A visit to Shigar happens to be a complete trip as it comprises many entrancing places that certainly tick all of the desirable places one wishes to visit.

UPPER AND LOWER KACHURA LAKE

In northern Gilgit, lies the Kachura lake. Which exists famously due to its scenic location and the enchanting element of natural beauty. This lake is divided into two portions as the Majestic Upper and Lower Kachura Lake. The Upper Kachura lake, irrespective of the fact that it is not fully discovered by the tourists yet is still considered to acquire beauty and exquisiteness to the fullest. This lake attains a 70 meters depth and remains pleasant throughout the summers having a temperature of 15 C. On the contrary, it holds a clear frozen solid water surface during winters. Lower Kachura lake is also popularly known as Shangrilla lake and has a hotel resort constructed at its bank as the Shangrilla Hotel. This lake falls in the Kachura village region and is at an elevation of 2,500 m. An underlying story leads to the Shangrilla Hotel, which revolves around the site of it being where nearby an aircraft  had crashed. And it was the aircraft’s fuselage on which the hotel was built by a renowned Pakistan Army commander.

KATPANA DESERT

Well, thinking of deserts brings up a notion in our brains of a hot, dry, sandy place that can hardly be on our list of the places to visit for a fun trip. On the contrary, the Katpana Desert repudiates all of these associative elements with a desert. Katpana desert is located in Skardu, has an altitude of 2,226 meters above sea-level, and is categorized as one of the highest deserts in the world. This desert, also known as the Cold Desert, has an extraordinary and unusual ring to it. In this desert, lie large dunes covered with snow sometimes, which not only adds up to the beauty but also increases the urge of visiting this enthralling and fascinating place. The temperature of this desert also ceases to amaze us by ranging from a maximum of 27 °C and a minimum of −25 °C throughout the year. Having a chance to visit the Katpana Desert is certainly a memorable trip due to the strange beauty it acquires.

SIACHEN

In the Eastern Karakoram range of Himalayas, at the line of control of Pakistan and India, lies a beguiling Siachen Glacier. Its significant identity revolves around the fact of it being the longest glacier in Pakistan and the second-longest in the world’s nonpolar regions. Siachen is a recognizable site of a dispute between Pakistan and India in terms of its unresolved claimed land. The element of mesmeric natural beauty along with its being a site that enlightens patriotic spirit among the nation makes Siachen a place to be sightseeing. With time passing by, some negative actions of humans like waste dumping, improper disposal and eco-unfriendly activities, have led to a glacial retreat. Which when not controlled, can result in catastrophic loss of an enchanting place like Siachen. Thus, to tackle this unacceptable behavior of people and to preserve the ecosystem of this exotic glacier, environmentalists and peace activists have come forward and presented a pact for Siachen, declaring it as a “Peace Park” 

Written By: Aleen Tariq