A Complete Travel Guide to Skardu Pakistan
Travel Guide to Skardu: Though, you’ve probably heard about the name Skardu, If you’ve been planning to travel to the northern areas of Pakistan.
This significant city in Gilgit-Baltistan may be just lesser famous than the Hunza Valley to the north or Fairy Meadows to the west but is one of Pakistan’s biggest sightseer destinations thanks to the alone natural sites in its vicinity.
However, Skardu is the complete destination in Pakistan, If you’ve been fancying seeing a freezing desert or an alpine plateau. And if you’re going to test some flavorful Balti cuisine as well, it’s clearly time to fill your bags and arrange a route to Skardu.
Here’s everything you require to know before traveling to Skardu.
Where Is Skardu?
In the east of Pakistan’s northern Gilgit-Baltistan region at about measures elevation lies Skardu, one of the zone’s most significant towns, It’s located exactly along the Shigar River and the Indus River, which separates the Karakoram Range from the Himalaya Mountain Range, This area blesses the zone with unique geography and ecosystem, which can be found in some diverse points in the world.
Skardu’s climate is fairly mild compared to different places in northern Pakistan. The warmish months are June to September when temperatures can get as high as 30 °C, and the coldest months are December to February when temperatures constantly drip in the minus degrees.
Anticipate temperatures around 10 °C during the months in between. Rainfall is utmost from December through May.
How far is Skardu from Islamabad?
Islamabad to Skardu distance by road is 13 hours and 53 minutes. Via N-35, this distance is about 723.7 Km. Rawalpindi to Skardu distance is almost the same.
Skardu weather is pleasant in summer and it is much colder in winter.
Best Time to Visit Skardu
The best time to travel to Skardu is summer from June to September. It’s the optimal time to visit and see lush green landscapes at moderate temperatures without heavy rainfall and void from the suffocating high temperature in diverse parts of Pakistan.
October is another best time to travel to Skardu in order to witness the region in bright autumn colors. Winter turns the area around Skardu into a beautiful white wonderland but it’ll be additionally dodgy to access the town during this season.
How to Reach To Skardu
Going to Skardu is both a blessing and a curse. Luckily, you enjoy further options than with utmost different places in northern Pakistan since Skardu indeed has its own airport.
Here is how to Go to Skardu:
There are regular direct flights on daily basis from Islamabad and Karachi to Skardu. The flights are operated by the national airline PIA with small aircraft. Despite their fairly short durations, flights to Skardu tend to be relatively costly, ranging from around$ 80 –$ 200 per one-way flight.
The (actually scenic) avenue to the mountainous area is extremely dodgy for pilots but flying into Skardu is significantly safer than going to the town by road.
Reaching Skardu by road is a lot more affordable than flying but good fortune! The road that connects Skardu with Gilgit (a.k.a the rest of the world) is in a similar bottomless condition that near-death adventures are nearly guaranteed on the way.
In addition, constant landslides will nearly clearly delay your trip by a few hours. That being stated, if you’re broke and even choose to visit Skardu by road, there are a few options. You can get on a public bus from other towns in Pakistan, join a group tour, or hire an expert private driver. Please don’t try to drive on these roads yourself.
Hotels in Skardu
There are numerous hotels in and around Skardu. However, you might need to consider staying at one of the renowned hotels near Skardu, if you’re sounding for a high-end experience. This includes Shigar Fort, the Serena Shigar Hotel, and the Shangrila Resort near Lower Kachura Lake.
Still, it is better to stay near the real city, If you’re looking for another one on the lower end and still wish for a middle location.
How to Move Around Skardu
The best way to move around Skardu is with a private driver or a tour guide.
Best Places to Visit near Skardu
The area around Skardu is packed with astonishing tourist destinations. Here are some suggestions of sites and places to visit near Skardu, arranged in an optimal sequence
Beginning the tour with the city itself. Despite its indigenous significance, Skardu is a fairly small town, meaning it can painlessly be explored in a few hours. Visit Skardu Fort and bazaar for local handicrafts and fabrics at the city’s remembrance Bazar. Don’t forget to bargain!
Deosai National Park
Ranging from meters of elevation (altitude), the Deosai Plains near Skardu is the alternate- a topmost alpine plateau in the world. Deosai National Park was initially set up to cover the Himalayan Brown Bear and different vulnerable species and is presently on UNESCO’s conditional World Heritage list.
Visit Deosai National Park to delight inconceivable broad and empty landscapes as well as the waters of Kalapani, Barapani, and Sheosar Lake, You can reach Deosai National Park from Skardu in one to two hours.
Manthoka Waterfall is worth seeing and is a beautiful waterfall located southeast of Skardu at about an hour’s distance. Girdled by a quiet green valley, Manthoka Waterfall emerges from the mountains so high and majestically that it’s hard to accept the waterfall is honestly artificial!
Shower yourself in the waterfall’s freshwater, take pictures of silky channels and rainbows, and enjoy a comforting picnic in one of the most beautiful places near Skardu.
The beautiful Shigar Valley lies northeast of Skardu along the Shigar River at a distance of about one hour. Start from the scenic way down to the beautiful village of Shigar, where you can’t only experience local architectural gems like Shigar Fort or the aged wooden Khilangrong Mosque but also conventional Balti village life.
Sarfarangah Desert is one of the two prominent wintry deserts around Skardu. It’s located in the Shigar Valley along the Shigar River and is, thus, the full induction for a stay in Shigar.
Leave behind your shoes to delight in the sophisticated beach and enjoy springing into the altitudinous stacks with a group of friends. But behold, there might be frustrations hidden under the beach in some zone!
Significantly near to the city lies the Katpana Desert, Skardu’s different chilly desert. Circled by altitudinous mounts and with a beautiful lake in the middle, the Katpana Desert is particularly amazing in winter when its beach is covered by a sophisticated mask of snow. In addition, its closeness to Skardu Airport makes the Katpana Desert painlessly popular in all seasons.
Upper Kachura Lake
Kachura is a settlement about one hour northwest of Skardu and is prominent for its two lakes the Upper Kachura Lake and the Lower Kachura Lake. The former one is affordable through a 15- minute travel through a small woodland. Popular exercises at Lower Kachura Lake include swimming, fishing, and motorboating.
(NOTE Swimming isn’t recommended for females unless you have an average swimsuit with you)
Lower Kachura Lake is located within the classy Shangrila Resort, which is grasping-down one of the most beautiful localities in Pakistan, if not the world. Spend a comforting time compassed by the leafy garden in this historical Heaven on earth and make certain to enjoy some organic apple juice in front of the heart-shaped lake. And if you feel excess dreams, think about staying a night at the resort.
Manthal Buddha Rock
Just a short drive south of Skardu there lies Manthal, home to an ancient Buddhist tombstone also famous as the Manthal Buddha Rock. The rock is believed to be around 1200 years old and contains historical depictions of Buddha. It’s a great extension to your Skardu blog if you have some time on your hands.
Food in Skardu
Balti cuisine is maybe the most under-liked cuisine in all of Pakistan. Balti flavors and flavorings are really diverse from what you might be used to from other areas and parts of Pakistan, featuring a lot more carby delicious foods than mere spices and aromas. Because it’s so hard to find Balti food in different parts of Pakistan, you should consider consuming as much as attainable when you’re in Skardu.
Some popular and delicious Balti dishes include
- Papu flat buckwheat pasta suggesting Korean tteok in a creamy pesto-suchlike sauce
- Mamtu steamed wheat dumplings filled with beef, mutton, or yak meat
- Balti lentil soup is a thick and mild lentil and vegetable stew that nearly resembles German lentil soup
- Namkeen chai flavored milk tea with a slight dash of salt creates a mind-blowing flavor
Safety in Skardu
Generally speaking, Skardu is actually a safe trip destination. Still, there are many things and points to keep in mind to ensure a sophisticated journey.
- As mentioned before, the road linking Skardu with Gilgit is THE WORST. However, make certain to
- If you choose to travel by land. Hire a truly skillful driver
- Only use vehicles that are in good condition and avoid large buses
- Avoid touring at the night and during landslide season
- You must have a lot of time for this tour
Generally, this isn’t too big of an issue in the town but avoid going too far from your vehicle when you’re out in Deosai National Park in the dubious event because you might run into a Himalayan Brown Bear.
Like every place in Pakistan, food safety is your biggest health issue, which is why you should avoid tap water and sketchy food.
In addition, it’s a good idea to carry some height sickness drops with you in case the height is getting to you.
Female safety is a big concern in all many parts of Pakistan. To stay safe as a lady in Skardu, it’s recommended to not travel independently, avoid darkling areas, keep spacing from strangers, and only go with entrusted guides.
Unfortunately in places like Skardu, every second person calls himself a tourist guide but not all of them have official certifications and reviews about the places. And if you like to observe a customary dance performance, ALWAYS decline if an entertainer is inquiring you to join their dance. (This only applies to women. For men, it’s generally no problem.)
Where to Go Next?
K2 Skardu is actually a gateway to the mighty K2 peak, the second-highest peak in the world, and the other eight-thousanders. While the peak is reserved for the world’s top mountain climbers, you can do the K2 base camp trip independently or with a tour.
Fairy Meadows Fairy Meadows is beautiful mountain heaven compassing the Nanga Parbat peak. The travel to this small piece of heaven begins near Chilas, meaning you’ll move through the region when exiting Gilgit-Baltistan by road.
Hunza Valley Hunza Valley, Pakistan’s most iconic sightseeing destination is a place you mustn’t skip when touring through Pakistan. This beautiful mountainous valley is situated north of Skardu on the great Karakoram Highway.
Islamabad If you travel to Skardu by airplane, this will probably be the morning and ending point of your trip, so it surely wouldn’t damage to spend a day or two exploring Pakistan’s capital megacity.
Skardu is one of the best places to tour in Pakistan thanks to its unique landscape and beautiful Balti culture. The megacity has its own airport, making the area significantly additionally popular than different places in northern Pakistan.
Spend a couple of days exploring all of Skardu’s natural and cultural places and don’t forget to try all the appetizing Balti food that you can find.