Skardu is a town in Gilgit-Baltistan region and serves as a capital of Skardu District. The town is considered gateway to eight-thousands of the nearby Karakoram Mountain range. The town is located on the Indus River, which separates the Karakoram Range from the Himalayas. Skardu, along with Gilgit, is a major tourism, trekking and expedition hub in Gilgit–Baltistan. The mountainous terrain of the region, which includes four of the world’s 14 Eight-thousander peaks, attracts tourists, trekkers and mountaineers from around the world. The main tourist season is from April to October; except at this time, the area can be cut off for extended periods by the snowy, freezing winter weather.
Places to visit:
- Kharpocho Fort:
It was constructed by Ali Sher Khan Anchan, who ruled over Baltistan till the end of the 16th century. The fort stands on the bank of River Indus in the Skardu and the city can be viewed from the fort. The fort is illuminated at night and it seems as if the olden days get revived.
- Buddhist Rock:
This is the only remaining Buddhist Rock, with rock carvings, located on the Satpara road in the Skardu. The rock carvings and images of Buddha are dated back to the period of Great Tibetan Empire. The sculpture of Buddha and his disciples are 2000 years old. It was a place of worship for Buddhists till the mid of 14th century A.D.
What to do?
Mountaineering, Trekking and Hiking:
The area is ideal for mountaineering, trekking and hiking. Permission for mountaineering and trekking for restricted zone is issued by the Ministry of Tourism, Government of Pakistan.
Satpara Lake (8km) and Kachura Lake 932km) from Skardu abound in trout. Fishing permits are issued by the Fisheries Department.
Flora & Fauna:
Roses, lilies, pansies, willow, pine and fir trees are found in abundance. Apples, apricots, peaches, plums mulberry, walnuts and grapes are available from June to October and almonds from October to March.
Baltistan boasts of wildlife like Markhors, ibexes, snow leopards and birds, namely Chakors, partridges and ducks. Most of the animals and birds are protected but limited shooting is allowed. Hunting permits are issued by the local administration.