Best Places to Visit in Skardu – Top Tourist AttractionsGIlgit Baltistan
Best Places to Visit in Skardu Valley
Skardu Valley perched between the mighty Karakoram and Himalayan Mountains is home to some of the world’s jaw-dropping adventure destinations and tourist places. Skardu valley located at an altitude of 2,230m sea level in the extreme north of Pakistan is one of the top tourist destinations in the world. The valley is blessed with blue waters, alpine lakes, lush green meadows, historic fortresses, and high-altitude deserts.
Skardu is no doubt a paradise for tourists if you are looking for a Pakistan tour Skardu valley is a must-visit place you do not want to miss. Skardu valley has the most foreigner visitors as compared to other places in Pakistan altogether The Skardu city is the capital town of the Karakoram range and is the logistic hub for all trekking and expeditions in the Karakoram mountains. The route to the famous k2 mountain and other peaks originate from Skardu valley, the classic k2 Base Camp Trek, Gondogoro la, snow lake trek, and many other adventure journeys start from Skardu.
Before going to the top visit places in Skardu one thing is important to mention, like other valleys of Gilgit Baltistan Skardu itself is not only a single Valley, the whole Baltistan region is known as Skardu valley which includes the following sub valleys as (Shigar Valley, Khaplu valley, kharamang Valley, Rundo Valley, and Deosai /Gultari valley). So most of the time if someone is talking about Skardu that means all these valleys of Skardu.
So here we will try to shed light on the best places to visit in each valley of Skardu.
Top Places to Visit in the outskirts of Skardu
Skardu is a heaven a serene destination to spend your vacations, you can find multiple tourist destinations in the outskirts of Skardu in less than an hour’s drive. The best places to visit in Skardu are as follow:
1: Kharpocho Fort:
A must-visit historic monument in Skardu, Kharpocho Fort is a 16th Century old Fortress built by the famous king of Baltistan Ali Sher Khan Anchan, whose family ruled over the land for centuries. The ruins of Kharpocho fort depict the past glory of the kingdom.
The Fort is situated on the Kharpocho hill just half an hour’s hike from Skardu’s main Bazar. Kharpocho fort is the best viewpoint of Skardu Town the high rising peaks, lush green Skardu city, Cold Desert and Indus River can be observed from kharpocho Fort.
2: Nansok Organic Village
One of the organic villages of Skardu valley just an hour’s walk from Skardu city is situated behind the Kharpocho hill on the bank of the Indus River. This is one of the preserved places in Skardu. The village got attention after prince Charles and Dutchess of Cornwell visited the place in 2005.
3: Sadpara lake
The turquoise lake surrounded by mountains situated at the entrance of Skardu from Deosai is one of the top spots to visit in Skardu Valley. Sadpara lake is one of the artificial lakes in Pakistan located 8km away from Skardu.
4: Manthal Buddha Rock Carving
Buddha Rock at Manthal is one of the prominent remanents of the Buddhist Era. This is a 9th-century Buddist Symbol from the golden time of Buddhism in the region. The rock carvings show a crafted sculpture of Budha in the center of the rock, surrounded by junior ones. Don’t forget to stop by the Buddha Rock on the way to Sadpara lake or Deosai.
5: Katpana Cold Desert
Surrounded by lush green Skardu valley and high peaks katpana cold desert is one of the high altitude alpine deserts. The places in 5 km away from Skardu city. You can stop by the Katpana cold desert while going or coming towards Skardu airport via an alternative link road through Ranga Village.
6: Italian Museum PTDC motel Skardu
Italian Museum is at PTDC Motel Skardu is one the must-visit spots in Skardu. There is more about history, alpinism, and history in display. Being built by the Italian Government it displays the old utensils, antiques, and architecture of the region, as well history of each valley of Baltistan and mountaineering testimonials.
All these must-visit places are within the outskirts of Skardu city. you may like to see our luxury Skardu honeymoon tour packages.
Places to visit in Skardu Within one hour drive from Skardu City;
The following attractions are just an hour’s drive away from the Capital city of Skardu
1: Chunda Valley
Chunda is one of the most favorite tourist spots in Skardu. it is a spectacular valley in Skardu city only a short distance of about one hour’s drive from Skardu downtown. Chunda is a hilly village located 500m above Skardu town, Chunda has a spectacular view of the whole of Skardu City. The best to observe is the take-off and landing of airplanes at Skardu airport and the Indus river.
In sum, Chunda valley is one of the best must-visit places in Skardu. Except for its own beauty It is the viewpoint of the whole Skardu city.
The best time to visit Chunda is from Spring Blossom (April) or during June – September-November.
2: Shangri-la Resort or Lower Kachura Lake
Shangri la is one of The popular tourist points in Skardu, located less than an hour’s drive from Skardu downtown. The place is known for its breathtaking views and spectacular beauty.
3: Upper Kachura Lake
Upper kachura lake is a water basin located in kachura village close to the majestic Indus river around an hour away from Skardu. The turquoise blue water lake is encircled by huge rock deposits and snow-capped mountains in the background making it a must-visit tourist place in Skardu city. Locals related many myths to the lake and the lake is locally known as “Foroq Tso”.
4: Soq Valley Kachura
Another tourist spot is Skardu known for its enchanting beauty of nature particularly the blue waters. Soq Valley is just half an hour away from upper kachura lake.
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Top Places to Visit in Shigar Valley of Skardu
1: Shigar Fort or Fongkhar
Shigar Serena fort is an embodiment of Tibetian and Islamic architecture with the best views of the Karakoram mountains and the Shigar valley. Shigar Fort locally Known as Fong-Khar, which in the local language means the “Palace on the Rock,” Serena Shigar Palace encompasses a 450-year-old Fort and 17th-century Raja Palace nestled in the mountainous landscape of Baltistan, Pakistan. The old residential palace of the king of Shigar valley now restored and converted into a museum and luxury hotel managed by Serena Hotels is included in the top 10 best places to visit in Skardu Valley.
2: Blind lake Shigar
Blind lake AKA Zherba Tso is another famous tourist spot in the Shigar district of Skardu valley. The lake located at the bank of the Shigar river is 20 minutes drive from Shigar and 40 minutes’ drive from Skardu city. The panoramic Blind lake is a water reservoir in the middle of a lush green pasture, a summer settlement of the adjacent villages.
3: Hashupi Garden Shigar
Hashupi Bagh “The apple Garden Hashupi” is another tourist spot in Shigar Valley. The hashupi Garden is a fruit and flower orchard. Most of the fruit is apples, the Hashupi bagh is a beautifully maintained garden decorated with different kinds of flowers and is a good relaxation and tourist place in the valley. The Garden is located an hour’s drive away from Skardu and 30 minutes drive away from Shigar town.
4: Chutron Hotspring Shigar
Chutron Hotspring Shigar is a feast for tourists on their Skardu trip. It is a hot water spring in the middle of a mountain valley. The hot spring is a good place to relax, especially after an expedition in the Karakoram. It is popular as a family tourist spot because there are many guest houses around the hot spring. Chutron Hotspring is 3 hours drive and 80km away from Skardu city. You can also observe Khosar gang peak 6060m on your right from Gulabpur or Tisar village on the way to Chutron hotspring.
5: Bisil Hotspring and Basha Valley Shigar
Bisil village in Shigar valley also has a hot spring, the water smell like sulfur in the whole village and it is popular among the locals that the Bisil hot spring water is good for skin diseases. The Hotspring is located in the far reach of Shigar valley it will take up to 6 hours to reach Bisil Hotspring from Skardu.
6: Amburik Mosque
Amburik mosque is one of the oldest mosques in the Baltistan region. It is a 700 years old mosque yet another attraction to visit in the Shigar district of Skardu valley. Amburik mosque is located in Shigar main town 30 minutes drive from Skardu.
7: Sarfa Ranga Cold Desert Shigar
Sarfaranga Shigar Cold Desert is one of the most scenic high-altitude deserts in the world.
This cold desert got attention in the last two years due to an international jeep rally that is held here. Sarfaranga cold desert is just a 25-minute drive away from Skardu and is a must-visit tourist destination in Skardu valley.
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Top Places to Visit in Khaplu Valley of Skardu
1: Khaplu Fort
An embodiment of old Tibetan architecture the beautiful Khaplu fort is one of the must-visit places in Khaplu village of Skardu valley.
2: Thoqsikhar Mosque or Khaplu view Point
Thoqsikhar mosque is located 200m above a rock from the Khaplu fort and Khaplu town is must visit spot in the valley. It is 30 minutes hike up to reach Thoqsikhar mosque from Khaplu Fort, a beautiful narrow track through the village leads to the mosque. Thoqsikhar mosque is also the viewpoint of Khaplu valley, you can observe the whole valley from the mosque.
3: Saling Fish Farm
It is an artificial fish farm located on the bank of the Shyok river in an oasis in front of a huge rock. The place is a relaxing spot and the best place to visit and try trout fish in the Khaplu district of Skardu valley on your Skardu tour. Saling fish farm is a 25-minute drive from Khaplu town.
4: Mashbrum view point Machulu
Mchulu village is 20 minutes drive from Saling fish farm, you can see Masherbrum peak from Machulu village.
5: Hushe Valley
Hushe Valley is a mountain village at the end of Masherbrum valley. The village is known for mountains and mountaineering. Mashabrum and many other peaks can be seen from Hushe. The trek to Laila peak, k6 & k7 starts from Hushe Village.
Top Places to Visit in Kharmang Valley of Skardu
1: Manthoka Waterfall
2: Khamush Waterfall
Top Places to Visit in Deosai Skardu Valley
2: Sheosar lake Deosai
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Top Places to Visit in Roundo Valley of Skardu
1: Basho Valley and Basho Meadows
2: Chocholate Rocks
3: Bilamik Valley
4: Stak Village
5: Tormik Valley