Discover Pakistan



Skardu is a haven for mountain climbers! Serious mountaineering expeditions, both local and foreign, can often be seen staying at the hotels of Skardu, preparing to embark on their adventures. But Skardu is not for the climbers only, it is also an amazing tourist destination for families. Just like Gilgit, Skardu also has a small airport that offers regular flights to and from Islamabad. The language mostly spoken in Skardu is Balti.


Khaplu, a small town situated 103 km east of Skardu city in district Ghanche, is one of the most sought-after places for climbers and ordinary tourists alike. It offers bewitching views of the Masherbrum mountains, thrilling treks, and a calming vibe for its visitors with serene views of the Shyok river. It is also the gateway to Hushe valley, which leads to the famed Masherbrum mountains, Chogolisa, K-6 and K-7.
Hailed as an ancient trading route astride the silk road, Khaplu was once a Buddhist center. It was the second largest kingdom in the days of the Yabgo dynasty of old Baltistan. The Khaplu Palace (now a Serena hotel), Haldi Cones (conical peaks much like the Passu Cathedral) and the 700-year old Chaqchan mosque are amongst the popular tourist destinations of Khaplu. The town also serves as the administrative capital of Ghanche distcrict.

Shigar Valley

Shigar is also known as the gateway to the high mountains of the Karakorum. The valley stretches 170 km from Skardu to Askole (the last settlement en route to Concordia). The Shigar valley offers incredible views of the Sarfaranga cold desert, interspersed with lush green villages and high mountains, black and brown in colour. The Shigar Fort, currently Serena Hotel, is one of the best spots to visit in Shigar.

Manthoka Waterfall

Manthoka Waterfall – Located in the Kharmang valley, Skardu, the Manthoka Waterfall is a 180 feet high waterfall. It is regularly visited by tourists from all over Pakistan and is a much sought-after tourist destination in Skardu, for it is an ideal place for camping and fishing.

Upper and Lower Kachura Lakes

Shangri-la, a Tibetan word which means “Heaven on Earth”, is a popular tourist resort situated at a drive of 20 minutes from Skardu city. The resort is known for its heart-shaped lake, also known as the Lower Kachura Lake or the Shangrila Lake.
The Upper Kachura Lake can be accessed via a trek of half an hour from the resort, and is an epitome of natural beauty. It has a blueish-green colour that captivates the imagination of the onlooker. The lake is also abundant in trout fish.

Deosai Plains

Deosai Plains Often called the “Roof of the World”, the Deosai Plains or the Deosai Plateau is a national park situated in Skardu, Gilgit-Baltistan. The name Deosai literally translates into “Land of the Giants”, as legend says giants once lived on the plateau. It has an average elevation of no less than 4,000 m and spans over an area of 3,000 sq km.
Owing to its immense altitude, the Deosai plains have no trees and yet the place is replete with wildlife. Marmots, brown bears and golden eagles are known to inhabit the high plains. It also has a stunning lake, the Sheosar Lake. The national park is inaccessible for 8 months when it is covered with snow. However, come summers and the place is visited by local nomads with their herds of cattle and tourists alike.
No amount of words can do justice to the beauty of this surreal place. Truly a masterpiece of nature!

Sarfaranga cold desert

Sarfaranga cold desert – Located at a height of roughly 2,200 m, the Sarfaranga cold desert is surely a sight to behold. Nestled between snow-clad peaks and with River Indus flowing through it, the cold desert offers an exquisite experience for travelers. It actually stretches all the way from Shigar valley in the north to Nubra valley in the south-east in Ladakh, a part of Indian Illegally Occupied Jammu & Kashmir.
During winters, snowfall in the desert, which also goes by the name of Katpanah Desert, makes it an even more wondrous sight to behold. A must-visit place for anyone traveling to Skardu!