Skardu is located in the 10 km wide by 40km long
Tourism, trekking and mountain expedition base
Skardu, along with Gilgit, are the two major tourism, trekking and expedition hubs in the Northern Areas. The mountainous terrain of the region, including four of the world's fourteen Eight-thousander peaks (8,000m and above), attracts the attention of tourists, trekkers and mountaineers from around the world. The main tourist season is from April to October; outside this time, the area can be cut off for extended periods by the snowy, freezing winter weather.
Accessible from Skardu by road, the nearby Askole and Hushe Valleys are the main gateways to the snow covered 8,000 m peaks including K2, the Gasherbrums, Broad Peak and the Trango Towers, and also to the huge glaciers of Baltoro, Biafo and Trango. This makes Skardu the main tourist and mountaineering base in the area, which has led to the development of a reasonably extensive tourist infrastructure including shops and hotels. However, the popularity of the region results in high prices, especially during the main trekking season.
Treks to the Deosai Plains, the second highest in the world (at 4,100 m or 13,500 feet) after the Chang Tang in
SATPARA DAM PROJECT:- is a project inagaurated in 2002 and to be completed by december 2010. It is 7 kms away from skardu city and its altitude is 8,700 feet moreover it will also pond the water about 90,000 acre feet. The main source of water is melting ice of DEOSAI PLANES during summer season. It is multipurpose project, which produce 13 Megawatt hydel generation, irrigate 15,000 acre land and also provide 13 cusecis drinking water daily to skardu cilty.
Client of SATPARA DAM PROJECT is WATER AND POWER DEVELOPMENT AUTHORITY (WAPDA), Engineer is PAKISTAN ENGINEERING SERVICES (PES), 90 percent project is completed under the supervision of Chief Residential Engineer (CRE) S.TAHIR.HUSSAIN of SHAHU KHEL. The major contractor of civil work DESCON and irrigation work contractor is CENTRAL CHINA POWER GROUP (CCPG) of
The town and the local people
The town has developed along the main road passing through it and to either side of this road is situated the New Bazaar (Naya Bazaar), with hundreds of shops offer almost everything (trekking supplies, souvenirs, local goods, etc.). To the west one finds Yadgar Chowk (with local monument) and from there, the quarter behind Naya Bazaar, to the right hand side is the older Purana Bazaar. Travelling west from Naya Bazaar is a polo ground and next to that, Kazmi Bazaar.
Skardu appears remote, dusty town at first glance, but the mixture of people here make it colourful and ethnically diverse. The crowded streets are mainly populated by Balti Tibetans and many of the local neighbourhoods (mohallahs) have names that reflect this too (i.e. Khache-drong, Khar-drong, Olding, Kushu-bagh, Pakora, Thsethang, Sher-thang, Nagholi-spang etc.). Due to this strong presence, Skardu has sometimes been referred to as the little
However, many other ethnic groups are present in Skardu including Shins, Pashtuns, Punjabis, Hunzakuts and even Uyghur, due to the close proximity of Baltistan to the respective regions. Since the creation of
All the above ethnic groups are devout Muslims. This includes the Balti-Tibetans, who converted from Tibetan Buddhism in the 16th century (the only sizeable group of Tibetans to have undergone such a conversion). Shia Islam has a strong presence in Skardu.
Famous personalities of Skardu valley. S.Mehdi Shah, present chief minister of
Entrance to the Skardu Fort
Weather and climate
The climate of Skardu during the summer is moderated by its mountain setting and the intense heat of lowland
Shangrila Resort, Skardu
Skardu is accessible by two methods, road or air. The normal road route into Skardu is via the
The climate can have adverse affects on transport in and out of the
Skardu Fort (Kharphocho Fort)
Skardu Fort or Kharphocho Fort lies on the eastern face of the Khardrong or Mindoq-Khar ("
Kharphocho (Skardu) fort was built on a design similar to that of
Cricklewood's North -
Lakes near Skardu
There are three lakes in the vicinity of Skardu. In local Balti-Tibetan language, a lake is a thso ortso.
There are two Kachura Lakes—the less well known Upper Kachura lake and the more famous Lower Kachura Lake, better known as Shangrila Lake.
It is the longest river in
While Flying to Skardu from
Wild Life of
Deosai Plains make up one of the last frontiers of natural habitat for the Himalayan brown bear, a creature that once roamed the mountains freely. The
Birds in the park are: the golden eagle, the lammergeier vulture, the griffon vulture, the laggar falcon, the peregrine falcon, the kestrel, the Indian sparrow hawk, and the snow cock.