PAKISTAN

TOP DESTINATION FOR VACATIONS OF 2020

PAKISTAN

TOP DESTINATION FOR VACATIONS OF 2020

PAKISTAN

TOP DESTINATION FOR VACATIONS OF 2020

PAKISTAN

TOP DESTINATION FOR VACATIONS OF 2020

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Gilgit

Gilgit is the capital city of Gilgit-Baltistan, located in the extreme north of the country. The city is located in a broad valley near the converging point of the Gilgit River and Hunza River. Gilgit is one of the major tourist destinations in Pakistan and serves as a hub for trekking and mountaineering expeditions in the Karakoram, Hindu Kush and Himalaya Ranges.

Gilgit city was an important stop on the ancient Silk Road and today serves as a major junction along the Karakoram Highway with road connections to China, Skardu, Chitral, Peshawar, and Islamabad. However, during ancient time Gilgit was once a Buddhist religion centre.  It is considered as a Buddhism corridor from which many Chinese monks came to Kashmir to learn and preach Buddhism. Two famous Chinese Buddhist pilgrims, Faxian and Xuanzang, traversed Gilgit according to their accounts.  This corpus of manuscripts, believed to be written in the 5th to 6th centuries AD, were discovered in 1931 in Gilgit, containing many Buddhist texts such as four sutras from the Buddhist canon, including the famous Lotus Sutra.  They are among the oldest manuscripts in the world, and the oldest manuscript collection surviving in Pakistan  having major significance in the areas of Buddhist studies and the evolution of Asian and Sanskrit literature. They cover a wide range of themes such as iconometry, folk tales, philosophy, medicine and several related areas of life and general knowledge. The Gilgit manuscripts are included in the UNESCO Memory of the World register.

Gilgit is served by the nearby Gilgit Airport, with direct flights to Islamabad. Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) is the only airline operating in Gilgit.  Moreover, Gilgit is located approximately 10 kilometres  from the Karakoram Highway (KKH). The roadway is being upgraded as part of the China–Pakistan Economic Corridor. The KKH connects Gilgit to Chilas, Dasu, Besham, Mansehra, Abbottabad and Islamabad in the south. Gilgit is connected to Karimabad (Hunza) and Sust in the north, with further connections to the Chinese cities of Tashkurgan, Upal and Kashgar in Xinjiang. Gilgit is also linked to Chitral in the west, and Skardu to the east.  Transport companies such as the Silk Route Transport Pvt, Masherbrum Transport Pvt and Northern Areas Transport Corporation (NATCO), offer passenger road transport between Islamabad, Gilgit, Sust, and Kashgar and Tashkurgan in China.

Nauroz Festival is celebrated in this part of world with lot of zeal and enthusiasm at the beginning of spring season. Next date of this festival is 20 March 2020.  Anyone planning to visit Gilgit is suggested to come to during this festival.  

There is always so much to do in Gilgit and surroundings for a tourist. No matter what time of year one visits, one will always be short of time to enjoy all the fun. Spring bursts forth with tree blossom, making it one of the best times to visit beautiful valleys, hill stations and lakes. In summer, one can enjoy hiking, mountain biking, swimming or climbing. Autumn brings the falling of leaves from trees and the white of the birches in contrast with evergreen conifers. In winter one can enjoy snow activities like snowboarding or skiing . For every season in this part of Pakistan, there is plenty to see, lots to do, and everything to enjoy!.

Naltar Valley

Naltar is dense pine forest valley with magnificent landscapes, green vegetation, wildlife, flowers, snow-covered mountains, lakes, streams and echoing with the chirping of numerous birds. Naltar is 40 km from Gilgit city and can be reached by jeeps and also famous for skiing activities in the winter. 

Naltar ski resort   is a ski resort situated in the Karakoram range of the Naltar Valley in Gilgit-Baltistan province, Pakistan at a top elevation of 2,950 meters.  The resort is only accessible 4×4 jeeps or SUVs. It also serves as the main facility for the Ski Federation of Pakistan and the Pakistan National Ski Championship   Every year, in winter, various national and even international ski championships  are held here under the arrangements of PAF.

Kargah Buddah

Gilgit region has been at the cross-roads of cultures, religions and civilizations for centuries. Before Islam came to this area,   Budhism or multiple forms of local pagan religions, including Shamanism were commonly practised in this area.  Kargah Buddha is an archaeological site located about 10 kilometers  outside of Gilgit, Gilgit-Baltistan, Pakistan.    It is a carved image of a large standing Buddha, some 50 feet high, in the cliff-face in Karghah Nala.      

 

One important symbol of the ancient Budhist era is the Buddha statue carved on a mountain very close to Gilgit city, in the Kargah Valley. The sculpture of Budha is believed to have been sculpted in the 3rd or 4th century A.D.  The sculpture is known as Yaṣ̌eni, in the local Shina language.Kargah Buddha is an archaeological site located about 6 miles (9.7 km) outside of Gilgit, Gilgit-Baltistan, Pakistan. It is a carved image of a large standing Buddha in the cliff-face in Karghah Nala.The carving, which is in a style also found in Baltistan, probably dates to the 7th century.

Bagrote Valley

The valley is about half an hour’s drive from Gilgit city. This is the nearest tourist destination to Gilgit. The side of the Rakaposhi mountain towards Bagrot valley is better for camping due to the lush green forests and less crowd. This valley is known for its fruits and vegetables, also for the glaciers and high peaks. River Bagrote flows through the valley from north towards southwest of the valley.  Vegetables, fruits, and other seasonal crops and Ice from the Glaciers during summers is transported from the valley to the capital Gilgit, myths suggest this ice has healing powers.  Shina language is spoken and understood in all villages of Bagrote. The vernacular of Bagrote valley is typical and distinguishable as a dialect, with their lifestyle, cuisines, and culture Bagoreh form an ethnic group.

Danyore Valley

Another Must See location is Danyore Valley and its suspension bridge that one must not miss.    The bridge constructed over a half century ago and it enters a tunnel constructed by locals without any proper civil engineering education or equipment. 
The bridge connects Danyor to the premises of the Karakoram University across the River Hunza. Currently the bridge is closed for vehicles and pedestrians and motorcyclists are allowed to pass through only. Winds coming from northwest of the valley set the suspension bridge to swing inducing minute resonances and it is therefore declared unsafe for normal traffic.   In 2013 a two-way concrete bridge was constructed beside it that is being used as an alternative for vehicle crossing.