Skardu, located in the picturesque region of Gilgit Baltistan in northern Pakistan, is a breathtaking tourist destination that draws visitors from all over the world. Renowned as one of Pakistan’s top tourist spots, Skardu is particularly popular among foreigners who are captivated by its natural beauty. Notably, Skardu is home to the world’s second-highest peak, K2, which adds to its allure for adventure seekers and mountaineers.
During the summer season, PIA (Pakistan International Airlines) operates two daily flights from Islamabad to Skardu, providing convenient access for tourists to this stunning destination. However, it’s important to note that Skardu is typically closed during winter months due to heavy snowfall, making it inaccessible for visitors during this time.
If you’re looking to experience the breathtaking beauty of Skardu, be sure to plan your visit during the warmer months and take advantage of the flights offered by PIA. Don’t miss the chance to explore this incredible tourist destination in Pakistan!
The Blind Lake is a breathtaking body of water that can be found just a short one-hour drive away from Skardu city, nestled near the picturesque Shigar Valley. This serene lake is situated along the route to the Shigar Valley and is surrounded by the majestic Indus River on one side, while the Shigar River flows gracefully on the other. Its panoramic beauty is a sight to behold, offering a mesmerizing blend of nature’s wonders.
As you gaze upon the Blind Lake, you will be captivated by the pristine waters that reflect the surrounding mountain peaks, creating a picturesque panorama. The tranquility of the lake, with its still waters and awe-inspiring backdrop, is truly a sight to behold. The serene ambiance of this natural wonder is perfect for a peaceful retreat, away from the hustle and bustle of everyday life.
Surrounded by the stunning landscape of the Skardu region, the Blind Lake is a hidden gem that offers a serene and peaceful getaway. The lake’s unique location, with the Indus River on one side and the Shigar River on the other, adds to its charm and allure. The surrounding wilderness, with its rugged mountains and lush greenery, makes it a perfect destination for nature lovers and adventure enthusiasts alike.
As you explore the area around the Blind Lake, you can indulge in a variety of activities such as boating, fishing, or simply strolling along the lake’s pristine shores. The lake also serves as a perfect spot for a picnic or a leisurely afternoon of relaxation, surrounded by the tranquil beauty of nature.
Nestled in the stunning Khaplu valley of Skardu, lies the mesmerizing Manthoka waterfall. Renowned for its breathtaking beauty, this natural wonder is considered one of the most picturesque spots in Skardu.
The Manthoka waterfall is a sight to behold, with its pristine waters gushing down from the mountains, creating a majestic display of nature’s power. The water is incredibly cold, so much so that you cannot keep your hand immersed for more than a minute in its freezing embrace. The sensation of the icy water is both invigorating and awe-inspiring, making it a unique experience for visitors.
Located approximately 2 hours’ drive away from Skardu city, the Manthoka waterfall is worth the journey to witness its stunning beauty firsthand. As you stand in awe of the cascading waters and take in the surrounding breathtaking scenery, you’ll be captivated by the raw and untamed beauty of this natural wonder.
Visiting the Manthoka waterfall is an unforgettable experience, as you marvel at the sheer power and beauty of nature. The freezing cold waters and the picturesque surroundings make it a must-visit destination for nature enthusiasts and adventure seekers alike.
Katpana Lake and Katpana Desert
Nestled just a short 10-minute drive away from Skardu city, lies the enchanting Katpana Lake and Desert, which is considered one of the most picturesque destinations in Skardu. This unique location is where the majestic mountains and glistening snow meet the breathtaking beauty of the desert landscape.
The Katpana Lake and Desert is a sight to behold, with its stunning contrast of golden sands against the backdrop of towering mountains and snow-capped peaks. Unlike traditional deserts, here you won’t be troubled by the scorching heat, making it a truly unique experience. The beauty of this oasis amidst the desert landscape is simply mesmerizing, leaving visitors in awe of the serene and tranquil ambiance.
The Katpana Lake, with its crystal-clear waters reflecting the surrounding mountains, is a sight of pure serenity. The desert, with its rolling sand dunes and unique vegetation, offers a stark yet captivating contrast to the surrounding landscape. The harmonious blend of the lake and desert against the majestic mountains creates an otherworldly panorama that is truly awe-inspiring.
Visiting Katpana Lake and Desert is a one-of-a-kind experience, where you can immerse yourself in the breathtaking beauty of nature. Whether it’s taking a leisurely stroll along the shores of the lake, exploring the unique desert terrain, or simply soaking in the serene ambiance, this destination offers a truly unforgettable experience.
Nestled in the southern part of Skardu, just 8 kilometers away, lies the picturesque Satpara Lake. Accessible by a short 20-minute jeep ride, this stunning lake is surrounded by towering mountains, adding to its breathtaking beauty.
Satpara Lake is a natural wonder, with its crystal-clear waters reflecting the surrounding peaks, creating a serene and tranquil atmosphere. One of the unique features of this lake is the presence of a picturesque island in the middle of the lake, which can be reached by boat. This island adds to the charm and allure of Satpara Lake, offering visitors an opportunity to explore its pristine beauty up close.
Surrounded by majestic mountains, Satpara Lake offers stunning vistas from every angle. The towering peaks, covered in snow, create a dramatic backdrop against the crystal-clear waters of the lake, making it a photographer’s paradise. Visitors can take a leisurely stroll along the shores of the lake, take a boat ride to the island, or simply relax and soak in the breathtaking scenery.
Upper Kachura Lake
Located just 2 kilometers away from Kachura or Shangrila Lake, lies the serene Upper Kachura Lake. Accessible only by jeep, although cars can also be driven on the road, it is not recommended due to the road conditions. Opting for a jeep is a better choice to fully appreciate the beauty of Upper Kachura Lake.
Upper Kachura Lake is a true natural wonder, with its tranquil waters reflecting the surrounding mountains, creating a picturesque setting. The road to Upper Kachura Lake may be challenging, but the destination is worth the effort. The stunning beauty of the lake, nestled amidst the majestic mountains, is truly awe-inspiring.
Boating is a popular activity at Upper Kachura Lake, providing visitors with an opportunity to explore the pristine waters and take in the breathtaking scenery from a different perspective. The calm and serene ambiance of the lake makes it a perfect spot for boating, allowing visitors to immerse themselves in the peaceful surroundings.
Lower Kachura Lake or Shangrila Lake
Lower Kachura Lake, also known as Shangrila Lake, is located at an elevation of approximately 2499 meters. It is situated just a few kilometers away from Upper Kachura Lake, and is renowned for its mesmerizing beauty that captivates tourists from around the world.
One of the highlights of Shangrila Lake is the dense forest that surrounds it, creating a picturesque setting. The lush greenery, combined with the luxury cottages painted in vibrant red, against the backdrop of snow-covered mountains, creates a stunning visual spectacle for visitors. The harmonious blend of nature’s elements at Shangrila Lake makes it a truly magical destination.
Apart from its breathtaking scenery, Shangrila Lake is also known for its diverse flora and fauna. The rare and unique species of plants and animals found in the area make it a haven for nature lovers and wildlife enthusiasts. Exploring the surrounding forest and discovering the rich biodiversity of the region is a truly enriching experience.
Visitors to Shangrila Lake can indulge in various activities, such as boating, hiking, and simply immersing themselves in the tranquility of the surroundings. The lake’s calm waters, surrounded by lush greenery and majestic mountains, create a serene ambiance that is perfect for relaxation and rejuvenation.
The Khaplu Palace, locally known as Yabgo Khar, meaning “The fort on the roof,” is an ancient fort and palace located approximately 3 hours’ drive from Skardu city. This historical monument is considered a valuable architectural heritage and a popular tourist attraction in the region. It was constructed during the mid-19th century as a replacement for an older fort that was situated nearby. The Khaplu Palace served as a royal residence for the Raja of Khaplu valley, adding to its rich historical significance.
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Deosai, located just a 2-hour drive away from Skardu city, is a place of unparalleled beauty and wonder in the Skardu region. Its breathtaking landscape is nothing short of magical, leaving visitors awe-struck by the sheer magnificence of the surroundings.
One of the unique aspects of Deosai is its rich biodiversity. According to locals, this region is home to around 1400 different types of plants and flowers, making it a haven for nature enthusiasts and botanists alike. The vibrant colors and diverse flora create a mesmerizing sight that is sure to leave a lasting impression.
The panoramic view of the surrounding area from Deosai is nothing short of exceptional. The vast expanse of wilderness, with its rolling hills, pristine lakes, and snow-capped peaks in the distance, presents a picture-perfect vista that is a treat for the eyes and soul.
Accessing Deosai is an adventure in itself, as it can only be reached by jeep due to its rugged terrain. However, the journey is well worth it, as the destination offers an experience like no other. The raw beauty and unspoiled wilderness of Deosai make it a must-visit destination for nature lovers and adventure seekers.
Basho Valley, located approximately 3 hours’ drive from Skardu city, is a stunning and breathtaking destination in Skardu that can only be accessed by 4×4 jeeps. It is a true gem of natural beauty, known for its picturesque camping grounds nestled amidst dense alpine forests and towering peaks.
The valley is renowned for its camping opportunities, offering a unique experience for nature enthusiasts and adventure seekers alike. Surrounded by lush green pastures and pristine water streams, Basho Valley is a camping paradise that promises an unforgettable experience. The serene ambiance and tranquil surroundings make it an ideal spot for camping in Skardu.
One of the highlights of camping in Basho Valley is the opportunity to witness the mesmerizing night sky adorned with countless shining stars. Away from the hustle and bustle of city lights, the valley offers an unparalleled stargazing experience, providing a rare chance to marvel at the beauty of the night sky.
Shigar Valley, located approximately 51km from Skardu city, is a top tourist destination in Skardu. It offers a wealth of attractions to explore, including Shigar Fort, Embarric Mosque, Blind Lake, Sarfarnga Desert, Gram Chashma, and many other fascinating places.
Shigar Fort, a historic gem nestled in the valley, is a must-visit for history and architecture enthusiasts. This ancient fort showcases the rich cultural heritage of the region and offers breathtaking views of the surrounding landscapes. Embarric Mosque, known for its intricate wood carvings and stunning architecture, is another prominent attraction in Shigar Valley that draws tourists with its cultural significance.
For nature lovers, Blind Lake is a captivating spot to visit. Surrounded by lofty mountains, this serene lake is known for its tranquil ambiance and mesmerizing reflections of the surrounding peaks on its clear waters. Sarfarnga Desert, a unique desert landscape nestled in the valley, offers an extraordinary experience of sand dunes amidst the mountains, creating a surreal setting for visitors.
Frequently Asked Questions
Skardu is considered a safe destination for tourists. However, it is always advisable to follow local laws and customs, respect the culture and traditions of the locals, and take necessary precautions for your safety.
The best time to visit Skardu is during the summer months of May to September when the weather is pleasant and the skies are clear. The temperatures during this time are relatively mild, making it ideal for outdoor activities and sightseeing.
Skardu can be reached by air or road. The nearest airport is Skardu Airport, which is well-connected with major cities in Pakistan. Flights operate seasonally, depending on weather conditions. Alternatively, you can also reach Skardu by road from Islamabad or Gilgit, which offer scenic routes through the majestic mountains of northern Pakistan.