22 days, 4 days easy & moderate treks with walks to Diran (7266m), Rakaposhi (7788m) & Nanga Parbat (8125m) base camps nights’ hotel/GH
As it is clear from the title of the tour it is basically a low-budget tour to attract young tourists. On this tour, we will stay in tourist-class hotels and travel by public transport. Experience the beauty of Karakoram, Himalayas & Hindukush in an economical manner. You get to know the lifestyle of the people of the North. Driving on legendary KKH you visit the meeting place of Fairies (Fairy Meadows) Nanga Parbat base camp. Then drive to Gilgit onto Hunza valley. Take a short trek to Diran and Rakaposhi peaks. Take a jeep/ Parado road to the remote Chitral valley and then descend to Peshawar to Islamabad,
Arrive in Islamabad the federal capital of Pakistan, and transfer to the hotel for rest. Afternoon city tour of the twin cities of Pindi & Islamabad. An evening stroll down the narrow streets of Raja bazaar. Overnight at the hotel/GH.
Drive to Taxila, the capital of the Gandhara Buddhist civilization. We visit the ruins of a former city (Sirkup), a former monastery (Julian)built on top of a hill, and the splendid site museum that contains the artifacts recovered from the excavation sites. Here one could also see the gold and silver coins of Alexander The Great (326 BC)and local kings. After Taxila, we will drive towards Karakoram High passing through the lush green valleys of Mansehra, and enjoy the beautiful landscapes of the valley. KKH is the joint effort of Pakistan and China. Its completion took 20 years. 300 Chinese and 600 Pakistanis sacrificed their lives for the completion of this road. Overnight at Motel/GH. (4/5 hours, 200 km)
Early morning drive to Gilgit the capital city of the Northern areas of Pakistan. At Thakot, we cross Chinese made bridge to enter the gorge of the Indus river. For centuries this branch of the Silk Route was used by traders and Buddhist missionaries. There are many rock carving sites of that time: Spatial rock carving is one of them. Lunch in Chilas, we stop at Thalichi for the best viewpoint of Nanga Parbat (8,125m) the 9th highest peak of the world and the second-highest after K 2 in Pakistan, also known as the killer mountain. Rakaposhi (7,788m) and the Haramosh range can also be viewed from here. As we drive north we arrive at the meeting point of the mountain rages. The three highest mountain ranges of the world Karakoram, Himalayas and Hindukush meet where Indus River is joined by Gilgit river. We continue along Gilgit river, overnight at Hotel?GH. (06/07 hours, 320 km)
We drive out from Gilgit to re-enter the town from the historic route, crossing a suspension bridge over the river. At Kargah to visit the rock-carved Buddha from 7th century AD. In ancient times the Kargah valley used to be the traveling route of the Buddhist monks, to go to Taxila. Stroll down the colorful bazaars of Gilgit. Later drive to the beautiful, breathtaking Hunza Valley through a scenic route On our way we see the old Silk Route used by the Buddhist monks and traders. En route short stay at Rakaposhi (7,788m) viewpoint. Enter the Hunza valley and arrive at the capital Karimabad. Overnight at Hotel. (2/3 hours, 110 km)
Day free in Karimabad for short walks to Altit and Baltit Forts, and for other explorations in Hunza Valley The people of Hunza are famous for their long lives. You can also see some beautiful peaks of the Karakoram ranging from Karimabad; Rakaposhi 7788m, Diran 7266m, Ultra 7400m, Golden peak 7027m, and the Nagar valley on the left bank of Hunza River. In Hunza, each family grows enough wheat, maize, apricots, and walnuts for its own use. The people are mostly self-sufficient, making their own clothes, shoes, wooden and stone bowls, and growing all their own food. The people are very friendly and cheerful. In the afternoon you could walk to Ultra glacier, follow the irrigation channel through the village or stroll through the single lane bazaar for better views of soaring peaks around you. Overnight at Hotel/GH.
Short drive through the heart of Karakoram. We stop at the village of Gulmit, in the shadow of virgin Gulmit tower. Walkthrough the village fields to visit the Polo ground and old houses. Later take a short trek to Gulkin glaciers and Borit Lake. As you end your trek near Borit Lake, the transport will pick for 15 km drive to Passu. Passu is a small charming village in the backdrop of soaring Passu Cones, with Passu and Batura glaciers at short walking distance. Walkthrough the village to see the village life. Overnight at Lodge. (10/02 hour, 50 km)
Day Excursion Some 70 years ago Passu used to be the second-largest settlement in Hunza after Karimabad. The glacier upstream on the Hunza river moved down to create a large dam, that later broke and destroyed the fertile fields and houses. Now the river occupies the major share of the valley with the village on its right bank. Morning walk to the Passu glacier and Passu Lake. From the snout of the glacier, you have fascinating views of Shispar (7,611 m) and Passu Peak (7,478 m). Walk back for lunch. Afternoon visit to the famous suspension bridges of Passu. These 800 feet long bridges over Hunza river are still in use (04/05 hour, 110 km).
In the morning drive on KK H along the Hunza river with soaring rocks of the Karakoram on both sides of the gorge, we arrive at the small village of Minapin in the shadow of Rakaposhi (7,788m)and Diran (7,265m) mountains. After some rest at Minpin trek to Tagafuri Interesting moderate trek, passing through hills covered by juniper, throne and rose bushes, with occasional fields of barley and potatoes. Lunch at a summer settlement. Later follow a path through steep pastures to arrive at the campsite between the lateral moraine and the foot of Rakaposhi. Our campsite is ideally located in the green patch between the Diran glacier and the ridge of Rakaposhi, offering fascinating views. Overnight at Camp. (Long day, 11/12 hours)
Walk down from Tagafuri to Minapin village. Camp overnight.
Back on the Karakoram Highway we drive to Raikot Bridge over Indus river and enter a narrow gorge in our jeeps. Continue on the narrow jeep track to small Tatto village where we leave our jeeps to start the trek. Fairy Meadow at the foot of Nanga Parbat (8125 m), the ninth highest peak in the world, also known as “The Killer Mountain” as many climbers have died while attempting to reach the top. The view of the Mountain, the glacier flowing from it and the pine forests at foothills is just superb. (05/06 hour, 120 km) wooden Huts overnight.
Day at Fairy Meadow with the option to trek to the base camp of Nanga Parbat after crossing the glacier. We shall carry pack lunch from our camp at Fairy Meadow and have it at the Base Camp and then return to our woodenHuts
In the morning we will walk for about three hours to reach Tatto to catch the jeeps. From Tatto, we will drive down to Raikot bridge to KKH and continue our drive to Gilgit. Arrive in Gilgit and transfer to the hotel. Evening free. Overnight in the hotel/GH.
Jeep drive to Phander with occasional drop-offs from the jeep for short walks along the trek. As we drive, we bid farewell to the Karakoram range and enter the Hindukush range. Wild landscape meets us during the drive as this route is visited by people and is snow-covered during the winters so only nomads move with their goats, searching the higher slopes for green pastures. Overnight in the hotel/GH.
From Phander the jeep-track leads over to the Mastuj. A zigzag jeep track climbs up the Shandur Pass, so we leave the jeeps and walk over the pass to the highest Polo ground in the world. This is where every year a grand festival of Polo takes place where teams from all of Pakistan meet together to decide the Champion. The festival is attended by many enthusiasts from every village, who camp here for days to see their team progress towards the glory. Continue to drive to Mastuj. Overnight in the hotel/GH.
The morning drive from Mastuj village, along the Chitral river, is flowing in the main valley bed. The landscape of the Hindukush range appears much arid and dry, as this area is outside the reach of the monsoon and receives very little rain. We stop at a small village for lunch and then continue North, now enjoying fascinating views of snow-clad peaks reaching 4,500 meters. Overnight in the hotel/GH.
We start, take a lot of water as few springs on the way have doubtful supply. This trek takes us over a steep 3,000 meters (from sea level) ridge separating the Bumburet and Birir valleys. We start with the first light of the day to cross the ridge in cool hours of the day. The trek offers a good opportunity to experience the unique landscape of Kalash valleys and to meet the local population during their daily life. We arrive at Bomburet, the largest village of Kalash. Back to Chitral. Overnight in the hotel/GH.
Morning drive to Swat. Proceed towards Lowari Pass (3,200 Meters). The ascend is very interesting as it encounters around 96 Hair-pin turns to bring you to the top of Lowari Pass. Descend to Dir, Chakdara and Malakand Pass. Arrive Swat, a land that shines with fruit-laden orchards, flower-filled slopes, meandering rivers, rumbling streams, and is surrounded by the mighty ranges of the Hindu Kush and Karakoram. The valley is 3,250 feet above sea level, Saidu Sharif and Mingora are the towns that form the twin capital of this area. Arrive and transfer to hotel for Overnight in the hotel/GH.
After breakfast proceed for the full day sightseeing in the valley. Visit museum, White Palace, some rock carvings from the Buddhist period, and in Upper Swat visit Malam Jaba and Kalam. Drive back to Mingora Overnight in the hotel/GH
Peshawar has always been important in the history of the sub-continent because of its location in by Khyber Pass & Gandhara civilization. The city is now known more for its special feeling of being a frontier town than for its monuments. In the morning we will visit the street of story-tellers: Kissa Khawani bazaar, the street of Gold (Kasera bazaar), Karavan Serai, and Mahabat Khan Mosque & Museum of Peshawar, known for its collection of Gandhara artifacts Overnight in the hotel/GH.
Morning excursion to Khyber Pass the most important land route leading to the Indian sub-continent. All historic invaders, including Alexander, had used this route to explore the wonders of fertile land that lies south of this pass. We may be allowed to visit Michni Post from where we have a panoramic view of the Pak-Afghan border. (45 km one way). Evening free. Overnight in the hotel/GH.
Morning drive to Islamabad while traveling on the Grand Trunk Road laid down by the Pathan Emperor of United Indian Empire: Sher Shah Suri., crossing Indus River at Attock. You may stop for a photo at the meeting point of the Indus & Kabul rivers just beyond the Attock bridge. Bypass the important archaeological site of Taxila by evening we shall reach Islamabad. Afternoon visit of the Federal Capital of Pakistan. Overnight in the hotel/GH.