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SKARDU (BALTISTAN VALLEY)

Skardu (Baltistan Valley)

Follow the Karakoram Highway reputed as the eighth wonder of the world along the Indus River and arrive at the place where the three highest mountain ranges of the world meet – Karakoram, Himalayas & Hindukush. Indus and Gilgit River also meet here at this unique place. We turn east from here for Skardu. This exciting mountain road that cuts through the deep & narrow gorge of Indus River, offers many challenging views. Just before Skardu, the valley suddenly opens up and becomes wide. The roaring & charging river becomes peaceful and calm. Formerly Buddhist, Skardu, was called’ Tibet Khurd (little Tibet) and was an important stop on the old route to Tibet and the district of Ladakh. Stroll down the narrow bazaar, climb up the cliff to visit the historic “Kharpocho” fort. Visit Satpara Lake, a deep blue shimmer just fifteen minutes drive from Skardu. Khaplu, the largest kingdom in old Baltistan, stretches in a wide fan from the base of a semicircular wall of mountain, dropping some 300 meters to the river level. Paths and irrigation channels connect the scattered houses set amid terraced fields and the friendly villagers’ welcome visitors. We shall visit the historic Khaplu Fort & wood-carved mosque, dominating the valley from the top end of the alluvial fan.