Skardu is the capital of Baltistan which is around 2438 meters above the sea level. It exists in backdrop of marvelous peaks of Karakorams. People of Baltistan called Balti people display a blend of Caucasian and Tibetan stock. They speak Balti which is an ancient type of Tibetan. Maximum temperature of Skardu is 27 degree Celsius and 8 degree Celsius in October. Apart from the incomparable bunch of mountains and its peaks and glaciers, Baltistan consist of five valleys such as Kharmang, Rondu, Skardu, Shigar and Khaplu are known for its luscious pears, apricots and apples.
The bewitching scenery of Skardu creates an aura of enchantment and takes the onlooker to another world. Moreover, the unique landscape of Skardu like other districts of Gilgit-Baltistan has made it a global destination.
Starting with Deosai top which is called the World’s roof is one of the jewels of Skardu. The Deosai plains situated at an elevation of 12,700ft (Approx.4000m) with an area of 3,000 sq.km fills one with a feeling of elation when he/she reaches there. The Deosai mountains are a range of mountains in the Himalayas and the second highest plateau in the world after Changtang Tibetan Plateau. The flora of Deosai comprises various species of flowers while the fauna includes Himalayan Brown Bear, Himalayan Ibex, Red Fox, Golden Marmot, Wolf, The Ladakh Urial and a number of resident and migratory birds.
Then the view of Katpana Lake and its surroundings is supurb. It is a marvellous natural blend with Katpana cold desert on one side then Katapana lake adjoined by Indus river and mighty mountains of Karakorum range on one side and the Himalayan range on the other.
Below are some of the places that are worth visiting in Skardu, in addition to that, you can also look at the notable places that you can visit in Pakistan here.
To the archeologists, Skardu is a heavenly region. Kharpocho fort falls under the most popular sites constructed by Maqpon Bugha. The Mughal historians share the view that the magnificent fort was made by Ali Sher Khan Anchan. Strikingly, the fort remains above the Indus River. The entire Skardu is viewed from this fort which brings all the serenity to oneâ€™s mind and sight. At night, fort gets illuminated and the stories of brilliant battles come into life. The view that the fort has been founded by Ali Sher is supported by writers like Foso Marine, Cunningha, and G.T. Vagne. Ali Sher Khan ruled till 16th century. All communications were delivered to the fort through underground passage connecting the fort and town area. There was time when the fort was impossible to conquer and now, unfortunately, itâ€™s on the verge of collapsing any minute. Despite the fact, Kharpocho retains its peace and beauty. The heart winning view of Skardu valley from Kharpocho fort on night when full moon awaits your arrival is a sight hard to be missed or neglected.
Right below the flower palace or Mindoq Khar which was created by Mindoq Gialmo on hill where Kharpocho fort stands was a garden containing fountains created in marble. The royal garden encompasses areas from the Mindoq Khan to present bazaar resting at Skardu. An enchanting palace was constructed in marble accompanied with towers. It stands right in the center of the wondrous garden. The palace is known as Ghudi Changra. Palace was ruined during floods in this area after Ali Sher Khan died and marble Baradari got constructed at the palace. The rich garden was called Hilal Bagh or Crescent garden. One more garden was laid known as Chahar Bagh on that site where Girlâ€™s college is standing currently.
Legend of the Shangri-La still rests in Skardu which is situated just 35 minutes away from Skardu. Shangri-La resort is constructed on a breathtaking lake which is gathered by most outstanding scenery. One can easily spend a day or night, go for boat riding or choose to trek the awe-inspiring location which offers an ideal opportunity for everyone to rejoice in Skardu. Shangri-La got established somewhere in 1983 accompanied by the development of first hotel in the region of Skardu, Baltistan. The chairman of the Shangri-La Resorts named Arif Aslam has built a dreamlike world between lush green mountains. Shangri-La Resort is also called the Paradise of Earth which is nestled among some worldâ€™s largest peaks. It surrounds the heart shape lake widely named as Kachura Lake. This lake is further surrounded by the gardens full of flowers and fruit orchards.
The Nansoq village is situated on back portion of the popular and great Kharpocho Fort. This is commendably developed and emerged into organic village with the help of Aga Khan Rural Support Programme. The village had been visited by great personalities for instance Aga Khan and Prince of Wales called Prince Charles in 2006.
Surprisingly, Buddhist rock is the only surviving rock with carvings in Skardu Valley. Itâ€™s placed on the Satpara road. Most probably, the rock images and carvings of Buddha are of the times of Tibetan Empire. When Buddhist people migrated from Gandhara and travelled through the occurring northern areas, they got settled temporarily at some areas and carved images of their experiences, Stupas and pictures of their Buddha along with texts written in Kharoshti language. A number of rock carvings of Buddha exist in Skardu Valley. Maybe these rocks were utilized by Ali Sher Khan as building element or flooded in Satpara Lake.
One can reach the beautiful place by air. The airport is functional at Skardu for the past many years. Road is also an option. It depends on the time you want to dedicate to travelling and what is your preference. Road trip is really lovely. The way comes through Karakoram Highway residing beside Indus track. Few buses such as Masherbrum Travels depart from Rawalpindiâ€™s bus terminal making a 24 hour journey straight to the city of Skardu. The buses are mostly stuffed with people but the journey brings relaxation as the view makes one forget all their troubles and gives a chance to live freely.