Skardu in Pakistan, Baltistan

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Introduction :
Skardu is the capital town of Baltistan in Pakistan and is one of the major tourism spots in the country. Skardu shares it borders with province of Xinjiang in China and Kashmir in India and sits at an altitude of 2500 metres on a mountainous region that includes four of the fourteen highest peaks in the world. Main attractions include the Kharpocho Fort, Satpara Lake, Kachura Lake, Shigar Valley and the Deosai National Park which has an average elevation over 4000 metres.

Overall view of the Skardu Town
Overall view of the Skardu Town

Kachura Lake
Kachura Lake

Unreal scenery at the Satpara Lake
Unreal scenery at the Satpara Lake

History :
The people living in Skardu are known as the Balti people and are of Tibetan descent. The region came under the control of Tibetan King Songtsen Gampo in the 7th century and begin to adopt Tibetan and Indian Buddism. Regligous artifacts were erected and Lamas were an important part of life in Skardu. European travelers started to trek the region during the mid 19th century and it soon became a popular camping site for mountaineers due to its strategic location near the 2nd highest peak in the world, K2.

Hills and flowers at the Deosai National Park
Hills and flowers at the Deosai National Park

Shangri la Lake and Resort view
Shangri la Lake and Resort view

Getting there :
The nearest international airport to Skardu is at the Islamabad International Airport(ISB), This is followed by transit to the domestic airport of Skardu (KDU) or a road trip along the Karakoram Highway, however the road trip takes almost 24 hours while the domestic transit only takes an hour. An important thing to note is the high altitude levels, the average elevation at the Deosai National Park is overall 4000 metres and will feel really different from the town. You are strongly advised not to run or perform any vigorous activites.

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