Islamabad – Gilgit (By Air) – Karimabad (Hunza) - Gilgit
Early in the morning transfer to the airport for the flight to Gilgit. Upon arrival transfer to Serena Hotel for lunch.
After lunch at Serena Hotel, approximately 4 hrs drive with A/C transport on the famous Karakoram Highway to Karimabad, the capital of Hunza Valley that formed the inspiration for the Novel Lost Horizons. We move on with majestic sceneries and cultural experiences till we reach the ancient silk route town of Karimabad which serves as our base for exploring the green terraces of the Hunza Valley. An area where the Ismaili Islamic sect prevails and commercial barter transactions are still the norm. The local Hunzakuts are known for their longevity and many of whom are reportedly over 90 years old! En-route photo stop at Rakaposhi view point Nagar and enjoy the fresh breeze to Rakaposhi glacier. From here we can have a close and wonderful view of Rakaposhi Peak (7788m).
Karimabad laying an altitude of 2437m offers much picturesque beauty to the tourists. From here we can have an awe-inspiring view of Rakaposhi (7788m), Ultar Peak (7388m), and Diran Peak (7257m) in front of us. The local dialect is Brusheski, Urdu and English also spoken and understood by a number of people. The people of Hunza are Muslim, most of them are followers of His Highness the Aga Khan. For the past 960 years, the then ruling family, known as the Mirs of Hunza had ruled Hunza, until the abolition of the state. Hunza kuts thought to be the descendent of five wandering soldiers of the legions of Alexander the Great.
Karimabad - Gilgit
In the morning after break fast visit 774 years old Baltit Fort. Tibetan style Fort was originally built by the Balti Artisans, when a princess of Baltistan married to a Prince of Hunza, the father of princess sent artisans from Baltistan to build this fort in her dowery. After the Mir (king) moved to another residence, the Fort has been restored by ‘Agha Khan Trust for Culture’ as a historical asset a decade ago.
This castle was rebuilt a number of times during the 800 years regime of the Mirs of Hunza. The present structure was constructed some 774 years around; the architecture reflects a marked Tibetan influence. We can also have breath taking view of Hunza and Nagar valleys from the Fort.
While we visit the Forts, we have the opportunity to meet and speak with the local ‘Hunzakuts’ and explore the charm and mystery of the people of Hunza.
After lunch drive back to Gilgit. Arrival in Gilgit, a fertile orchard valley region and fabled kingdom once reigned by Maharajahs and Mirs. As capital of the Gilgit-Baltistan, Gilgit is strategically located at about the halfway point on the Karakoram Highway to Kashgar. The market town of Gilgit has been populated for thousands of years and has seen Buddhist, Hindu and Islam influences.
Gilgit – (Skardu) (07 Hrs)
In the morning drive to Karga Nala with jeeps to see the Buddha rock carving. After proceed to Skardu driving along the Indus River. After an hour drive from Gilgit, we leave the Karakoram Highway and turn eastwards and follow the Indus to Skardu. The Gilgit-Skardu road condition in comparison to KKH is narrower, bumpy and has several bends and twist gaining the altitude gradually but unevenly at some stretches of the road. However, it is paved for its entire length.
Lunch will be at PTDC Stak and after lunch continue drive to Skardu and Check in at Shangrila Resort 30 kms short of Skardu.
Skardu is the capital of Baltistan and is the gateway to the world’s famous mountains and glacial system and hundreds of beautiful trekking routes in the Karakoram mountain range. Skardu is also known as “Little Tibet” and the local language is called Balti which is spoken in the entire Baltistan, Kargil and Laddakh regions in India.
Continue another 40 minutes drive to Shigar valley, which is the gateway to the four of the world’s highest mountains including K2 (8611 M), the second highest peak on earth and hundreds of peaks above 7000 m. This is the region where forms the world’s longest glacial system, the 116 kms long corridor of Biafo and Hispar Glaciers, making it the longest outside the polar region.
Shangrila – Shigar (2370m) – Shangrila Via Satpara Lake
In the morning drive to Shigar, which is the gateway to the four of the world’s highest mountains including K2 (8611 M), the second highest peak on earth and hundreds of peaks above 7000m. This is the region where forms the world’s longest glacial system, the 116 kms long corridor of Biafo and Hispar Glaciers, making it the longest outside the polar region.
Lunch at Shigar Fort residence
At an altitude of 2250 meters, a fort palace standing on the bank of Shigar stream is built upon a massive rock. This 350-years old Fort has been renovated by the “Agha Khan Trust for Culture” and is the only one of its kind in Pakistan. Recently the property has taken over by the management of Serena Hotels.
In Shigar we will visit Shigar Village, see the 14th century Amburiq Mosque (One of the most ancient mosques in the Shigar Valley) built by the Amir Kabir Syed Ali Hamdani, the first Islamic preacher in Baltistan who converted the majority of mass into Islam. Stroll around in the village and visit the small local bazaar.
Drive back to Skardu and visit to Satpara Lake .
||Skardu – Islamabad (By Air)
In the morning transfer to the airport for flight to Islamabad.