Skardu is a town and capital of Gilgit Baltistan. Skardu is in the 10 kilometers (6 miles) wide by 40 kilometers (25 miles) long Skardu Valley, at the confluence of the Indus and the Shigar River. Skardu is at an altitude of nearly 2,500 meters (8,202 feet). In the extreme north of Pakistan, Skardu is the central valley also roads to the world’s highest mountains including K2 mountains, K3 and Gasherbrum all are connected through this valley These highest mountains attracts thousands of climbers from all over the countries each year also some of those climbers lost their lives to summit these climbs. The valley is known as a major tourism and trekking hub
The journey starts from Islamabad to Jaglot on the Karakoram Highway, a narrow road that turns towards Skardu, journey to Skardu is a bit long and tiring if you are traveling from jaglot but if you are traveling from Naran or babusar it’s a shortcut. Once you reach Skardu all journey becomes worth it. The whole town is covered with grey mountains and lakes, you will see fruits on trees everywhere, the environment is so fresh and smooth. Soon after crossing the old wooden bridge built over the River Indus, one reaches Shangrila. This is where Arif Aslam, Chairman of Shangrila Resorts, has constructed a beautiful world amidst the surreal mountains. The Shangri-La resort is another tourist spot in the valley, a unique resort set up on the banks of an artificial lake with shining blue water. But hotel and food prices are very high in Skardu during the tourist season in summer. The whole valley is snowbound in winters. Roads are blocked in and out in Skardu for several days and only air travel is possible on those days.
Here are some of the main attractions of Skardu
Shangrilla resort Skardu is the main heart of Skardu, Skardu can’t be known without Shangrila it’s mini heaven on earth, and the lake there is known as upper kachura lake. Boating rides are also available there even though Shangrila is expensive but totally worth it.
Lower kachura lake
Lower kachura lake is located at the lower side of Shangrila resort, you have to trek for an hour to reach there the beauty of lower kachura is mesmerizing. Boating is also available there
Shigar fort Skardu
It is located on the route to the world’s second-highest mountain K-2 and it is known as Fong-Khar, which means “The Palace on the Rock” in the local language. The Fort was built in the 17th century and it is now transformed into a luxury guesthouse owned by Serena, which enables tourists o experience the restored original architecture of the 17th century Raja Fort Palace along with the modern amenities. The Fort is a perfect place to live and the fort has 20 rooms including suites. The Shigar Complex comprises the 400-year-old Fort and two new buildings have been built which are known as “Old House” and “The Garden House”
Satpara Lake is 8 kilometers which makes almost 20 mines drive north of Skardu. The lake is situated in the middle of the mountains, which are covered with Snow, and the water is crystal clear which makes it even more beautiful when the Icy Mountains are mirrored in clear blue water. Satpara lake supplies water to almost all parts of Skardu and is situated at 8650 feet. The height where this lake is situated makes it even more breathtaking and is considered to be one of the most scenic lakes in Pakistan. Furthermore, there is a wonderful story which is attached with the lake is that the local people believe that there is a gold mine in the bottom of the lake that is why the water seems shining all day long.
Khaplu Palace is located in the upper region of khaplu Gilgit Baltistan which 101 km from Skardu airport and takes about 2 hours to reach there by car. The khaplu palace is now an exquisite place to both enjoy the historical-cultural heritage and the services of a luxury hotel. They offer guided tours to all the historical places in and around Khaplu in Gilgit Baltistan. They also offer pick n drop services from the airport. Moreover, Khaplu Palace offers a variety of ecstatic Balti and Pakistani cuisines in their restaurants.