Located at an altitude of almost 2,500m (8,200 ft), Skardu is the Capital of Baltistan Division of Pakistan. Skardu is located on the wide bank of the Indus River.
The Karakoram Range in Baltistan is home to some of the world’s highest peaks, and Skardu is a famous destination for mountaineering expeditions. K2 Base Camp and Concordia are popular destinations for high-altitude trekkers who visit Baltoro Glacier.
In terms of driving time, Skardu is a 5-hour journey from Gilgit and a 10-hour drive from Besham on good roads. There is also a flight to and from Islamabad every day but there is always a chance of bad weather during a flight.
There are a number of different places to visit in Skardu but here are a few listed below for you.
Lakes in Skardu
Sheosar is the local name for Blind Lake, which is surrounded by the Indus and Shigar rivers. It is almost a 4 hour jeep ride from Skardu and is located in Deosai National Park.
The glistening, serene Shangrila Lake, also known as Kachura Lake, is about 32 kilometers (20 miles) from Skardu and takes two hours by jeep.
Upper Kachura Lake
Upper Kachura lake, sometimes called Frogh Scho, is Pakistan’s second-most beautiful lake. 28 km from the city, it’s easily accessible by car. Tourists fish, boat, mountaineer, and hike near the lake. It’s one of Skardu Valley’s best spots.
Surrounded by glacial mountains, Satpara Lake is just 8 kilometers (5 miles) north of Skardu and can be reached in 20 minutes by jeep.
Waterfalls in Skardu
Skardu is also home to Pakistan’s most beautiful waterfall, the Manthokha Waterfall. The Kharmang Valley, in Pakistan’s far northernmost region, is home to this breathtaking waterfall. This waterfall, which is 160 feet high, is located 80 kilometers from Skardu city.
The Khamosh waterfall may be found in Baltistan’s Hamzigon village in the Kharmang district. This naturally occurring waterfall has one of the region’s highest drop heights. Skardu is 60 kilometers away from this stunning waterfall.
Forts in Skardu
Located on a hill overlooking Skardu is a historic fort called Kharpocho Fort (King of Forts). Until the end of the 16th century, it was built by Ali Sher Khan Anchan, who controlled Baltistan. The powerful Indus winding through the silvery white sands just a few feet beneath your feet is a mesmerizing sight.
Shigar is a scenic settlement north of Skardu with terraced fields cultivating agriculture. Shigar was a small kingdom, and the fort was the ruler’s home. The Aga Khan showed interest in the refurbished, tourist-friendly fort. The Shigar fort is now a hotel and a historical sight.
Khaplu Fort, also known as Yabgo Khar, is a historic fort and palace in Khaplu, Gilgit-Baltistan. The mid-19th-century Fort is an architectural and tourism attraction. The palace is currently a Serena hotel and a Baltistan museum.
Some other Places to visit
- Deosai National Park
- Sarfaranga Dessert
- Katpana Desert
- Basho valley
All of the places listed above are in the surrounding vicinity of Skardu city and are a must visit if you are planning to visit Skardu. It takes about 10 to 15 days to cover all of these places and explore them properly. The culturally and historically rich city of Baltistan will surely revitalize your soul and make you fall in love with its beauty.