Gilgit-Baltistan ( گلگت بلتستان) (formerly known as the Northern Areas) is the northernmost political entity under the administrative control of Pakistan. According to Pakistan’s constitution, Gilgit-Baltistan is an autonomous region separate from Pakistan itself, and its inhabitants have never had any representation in Pakistan’s parliament.Three mountain ranges meet here — the Karakoram, the Himalaya, and the Hindu Kush — and the area is a “mountain paradise” for mountaineers, trekkers, and tourists. The region has some of the world’s highest mountains, including five peaks over 8,000 meters, many over 7,000, and the largest glaciers outside the polar region. For comparison, neither Western Europe nor the lower 48 US states have anything that reaches 5,000 m, nothing anywhere in Russia or North America is over 6250, and the highest peak of the Andes is just under 7000.
Gilgit-Baltistan is bestowed with some of the greatest bounties of Nature. Tourists from all over the world have a great attraction toward this region because of its beautiful valleys, plains, peaks and heritage sites. Location of some of the highest mountains on Earth including K-2. Trekking to Concordia (the confluence of the Baltoro Glacier and the Godwin-Austen Glacier) and the great Baltoro Muztagh, a sub-range of the Karakoram.
Best places to visit in Gilgit-Baltistan:
Below is a list of some of the most beautiful and major tourist attractions in Gilgit-Baltistan.
Must visit these places when you plan to tour Gilgit-Baltistan.
Eighteen of the fifty highest peaks in the world are located in Gilgit-Baltistan. With their rank, they are:
- K2(Mount Godwin-Austen), 2nd 8,611 m.
- Nanga Parbat, 9th, 8,125 m (28,250 feet)
- Gasherbrum I, 11th, at 8,080 m.
- Broad Peak , 12th, 8,047 m.
- Gasherbrum II , 13th, 8,035 m
- Gasherbrum III , 15th, 7,946 m.
- Gasherbrum VI, 17th, 7,932 m.
- Distaghil Sar , 19th, 7,884 m.
- Khunyang Chhish , 21st, 7823 m.
- Masherbrum , 22nd, 7,821 m.
- Batura Sar , 25th, 7,795 m.
- Kanjut Sar , 26th, 7,788 m.
- Rakaposhi , 27th, 7,760 m.
- Saltoro Kangri , 31st, 7,742 m.
- Chogolisa , 36th, 7,498 m.
- Shispare , 38th, 7,611 m.
- Trivor , 39th, 7,577 m.
- Skyang Kangri , 44th 7,545 m.
Three of the world’s seven longest glaciers outside the polar regions are also in Gilgit-Baltistan: the Biafo Glacier, the Baltoro Glacier, and the Batura Glacier.The Siachin Glacier is 75 km. The Hispar (53 km) joins the Biafo at the Hispar La (5154.16 m (16,910 ft) to form an ice corridor 116.87 km (72 mi) long. The Batura, too, is 58 km in length. The most outstanding of these rivers of ice is the 62 km Baltoro. This large glacier, fed by some 30 tributaries, has a surface area of 1291.39 km².
There are several high-altitude lakes in Gilgit-Baltistan.
- Sheosar Lake
- Satpara Lake
- Katchura Lake
- Borith Lake
- Attabad Lake
- Rama Lake
- Rush Lake
- Kromber Lake
- daholy lake
- ghenche lake
- rkhulong lake
- khaplu fort
- shigar fort
- Ondra fort
Things to do in Gilgit-Baltistan :
You can do a lot of things in this picturesque valley such as hiking, climbing , bonefire , canoing.If you prefer to try something more daring, you can swim into the lakes in the sunny days, but remember that the water is cold even in the summer.Fishing is famous profession and hobby in Gilgit-Baltistan. Brown trout and Mahseer are abundance in waters River which flows in the valley. Fishing licenses are issued by the ‘Fisheries Department at Gilgit-Baltistan’ or by the ‘Trout Hatchery’ .
- Karakoram Air Safari is the most scenic air journey starting from Islamabad by Pakistan International Airlines.
- Mountaineering, trekking and hiking. The area is ideal for these. Permission for mountaineering and trekking in the restricted zone is issued by the Ministry of Tourism, Government of Pakistan, Pakistan Sports Complex, Kashmir Highway, Aabpara, Islamabad (Telephone: 92-51-9203509). Fishing permits are issued by the Fisheries Department at Gilgit and Skardu.
- Fishing: at Satpara Lake (8 km) and Kachura Lake 932 km) from Skardu abound in trout. Fishing permits are issued by the Fisheries Department.
- Flora and fauna: Roses, lilies, pansies, willow, pine and fir trees are found in abundance. Apples, apricots, peaches, plums, mulberries, walnuts and grapes are available from June to October and almonds from October to March.
- Wildlife: Baltistan boasts wildlife like markhors, ibexes, snow leopards and birds, namely chakors, partridges and ducks. Most of the animals and birds are protected but limited shooting is allowed. Hunting permits are issued by the local administration.
- Eco tours at different National parks
- Polo Attend Shandur Polo festival
Most of the top end restaurants are located in Hotels.
- Cafe De Hunza is a small but cosy cafe located in Karimabad town in the Hunza Valley. It offers a wide range of local foods, coffee and pancakes. The Cafe has its own small library filled with maps and travel related books and magazines.
- Hunza Cuisine is located at Karimabad Zero Point in the Hunza Valley. The restaurant offers Hunza traditional foods.
- Baltit Fort Cafe is a new addition to the Baltit Fort in the Hunza Valley. A number of local, Pakistani and continental foods are prepared upon order.
- Pagoda Restaurant, offers a sumptuous Chinese cuisine. The Pagoda is on an island amidst the Honeymoon Lake linked to the Shangrila Resort by a short bridge.
- The Lake View Restaurant gives a panoramic view of the Shangrila Resort and offers Pakistani and Continental cuisine.
- Tandoori Village offers a taste of ancient old recipes, Chicken Tikka, Seekh Kababs, Mutton Tikkas, Grilled Fish with home made tandoori rooti. Enjoy the out door feast under the stars in a traditional atmosphere.
- Cafe DC-3 This code name of original DC-3 Aircraft was Alph Alpha Foxtrot (AAF) . This unique cafe is one of its kind. Situated in an airplane, which crash landed on the riverbed and was brought to the present site in the 50s. It offers a variety of snacks and cabin crew hospitality.
- Chalt Tourist Inn is located in Chalt Nagar. It offers a variety of snacks and cabin crew hospitality.
- Haji Ramazan Hotel is located in Gilgit city where fresh Pakistani foods are prepared on order.
Where to stay:
You will find plenty of offers, depends on the budget or the location you pick. We suggest some places and best hotels in Gilgit-Baltistan that is quite famous for its spectacular view and scenery This village, surrounded by peaks and forests. Many private 5 star hotels in Gilgit-Baltistan ,houses or motels can be found at a reasonable price. Or you can forget all that and sleep a couple of days in a tent, captive in an amazing landscape.
Here we provide a list of Hotels which are the best hotels in Gilgit-Baltistan.