previous arrow
next arrow


Skardu, a scenic valley with blue water and high mountains, is located at an elevation of over 2,225 meters in Pakistan’s northern Gilgit-Baltistan region.  The beauty of the valley is enhanced by its fresh spring water, delicious fruits, the blue water of the Indus River, historical sites, lakes, and pleasant weather, which attract tourists from around the world.  Skardu district is located at the confluence of river Indus and the Shyok River and makes the base camp for leading tourist destinations in Gilgit-Baltistan including K-2. The district is the best manifestation of hospitality and respect to tourist. People of Skardu can speak English and Urdu but their mother tongue is Balti.
Famous historical places in Skardu are  Kharpocho Fort, Manthal Rock (Buddha Rock), Sadpara and Kachura Lake, exquisite Shangrila Lake and the most famous Deosai plateau. The Shangri-La resort is another high-end tourist spot in the valley, a unique resort set up on the banks of an artificial lake with shining blue water.  The valley remains a hub for global mountaineers from April to October during summer, while winter remains snowy and freezing in the area.   The majestic valley also has impressive glaciers in Baltoro, Gyari and Gyong in the Siachen region.  
The city of Skardu is located along the bank of Indus River, surrounded by mountains with no greenery and sand dunes.  Skardu is some 25-30 hours’ drive away from Pakistan’s capital Islamabad, while by air it takes less than an hour however, PIA flights are only available in good weather conditions. 


Named after a book titled Lost Horizon by James Hilton, the lake is called Shangrila, which is Tibetan word meaning “Heaven on Earth”.  It is close to Kachura village in Skardu city at a height of 2,500 metres and is also known as “Lower Khachura Lake” as well.   A resort was built next to the lake in 1983 with the name of Shangrila and slowly people started calling the lake with same name.  The resort has very good accommodation and food.  In 2015, one of the photos of Shangrila Resort was declared as the grand winner of the Wiki Loves Earth, 2015, after a worldwide contest.  It is one of the major tourists’ attractions in Skardu City.  

Askole & K-2 Base Camp Trekking

Some of the real adventure seekers come to Skardu for a, 3 weeks long adventure packed, venture to K-2 Base Camp trekking through Askole village which is the last hamlet on this trek.   Only experienced and season trekkers embark upon such journey as most of the part of path is secluded and devoid of any road or local habitants.   There are numerous streams and tributaries to be crossed, loose screen slopes, and obstructions to be overcome or circumvented. But for those willing to take the slight risks, the rewards are immense.   While traversing on this great trek, of the world, one witnesses mighty peaks of K-2, Broad Peak, Gasherbrum II and Hidden Peak.   From Concordia, trekkers can go to the base camps of either Broad Peak or K-2 or both as well. While returning from K-2 base camp, trekkers is option of adopting route via Gondogoro pass.

Satapara Lake

Satapara Lake is 9 kilometers away from Skardu on the way of Deosai Plains at the elevation of about 2,636 meters  above sea level and is spread over an area of 2.5 km².  A dam has also been built , which adds beauty of the lake which is main source of drinking water for the town of Skardu.

Foreign and local tourists visiting the lake enjoy its shining blue water, while many tourists also visit it for fishing as it is an exciting place for trout fishing.  However a  prior permission is essential from dam authorities for fishing.  It is perfect place to spend evening with family and friends over a cup of tea and plate of fried trout fish or chips.

Sarfaranga Cold Desert

The Cold Desert, also known as the Katpana Desert or Biama Nakpo, is a high-altitude desert located near Skardu, in Pakistan’s northern Gilgit-Baltistan region. The desert contains expanses of large sand dunes that are sometimes covered in snow during winter. Situated at an elevation of 2,226 metres  above sea level, the Katpana Desert is one of the highest deserts in the world. 

The desert technically stretches from the Khaplu Valley to Nubra in Ladakh, but the largest desert area is found in Skardu and Shigar Valley. The portion most visited is located near Skardu Airport.

Basho Valley

Basho Valley is located on way to Skardu while travelling from Gilgit in Baltistan region at the elevation of 2150 meters above sea level.  The area is has natural beauty and is rich in fauna.   Trout fish available in Basho Valley (Sultan Abad) but fishing license is required from Fisheries Department Skardu.  This valley is famous for its hot water springs.  This is less traversed place and anyone who wants to have total privacy can opt to come to Basho Valley. 

Deosai Plains 

Deosai plains are also known as “The Land of Giants,” is a high-altitude alpine plain (plateau) and national park in the Northern Gilgit-Baltistan region of Pakistan.  Deosai plains are located 30 kilometers from Skardu City and it takes approximately 2 to 3 hours to reach via jeep ride. The area is usually covered with snow for most of the year, however, summer comes to the plains in July-September, when the melting snow reveals a land of lush beauty and serenity.

In these 3 months it’s enormous landscape is covered with lush wild grass, beautiful flowers and numerous lakes. There is an abundance of wildlife such as brown bears, snow leopards, red fox, Himalayan ibex, golden eagles and falcons.  Tourists can camp and spend night next to Sheosar Lake right under the stars next to the pristine waters.

 Skardu is one of that destination that many people  do not know about. Skardu Valley in the Gilgit-Baltistan region of Pakistan is a piece of heaven on earth that one should visit at least once in a lifetime to see how nature looks like. Make up your mind, call your friends and families and grab your backpack this year in 2020 to set a journey towards Skardu, Pakistan