Jun 6, 2016

By Road, Islamabad to Gilgit, Skardu and Hunza

What are the possible routes?

By road journey from Islamabad or Rawalpindi to Gilgit and Skardu is one of the adventurous and enjoyable journeys of the world, because departing from Islamabad to Skardu or Gilgit the vehicles pass from scenic wonderlands and panoramic valleys i.e almost all the beautiful places of the KPK. There are two routes to reach Gilgit-Baltistan from Islamabad or Rawalpindi. One is directly through KKH (Karakorum Highway) which is named as N35. If you follow this route you will see the beautiful places of KPK like Mansehra, Abbottabad, Batgram, Chatarplane, Patan and Bisham etc.

Karakorum Highway passing through the Gilgit-Baltistan 

Another way is same from Islamabad to Mansehra city of KPK but from here it follows the national highway named as N15. If you follow this route that also meets to KKH at Chilas District of Gilgit-Baltistan, you will see the most beautiful and panoramic places of Pakistan i.e. Naran and Kaghan valley and Babusar Top of Gilgit-Baltistan. You can see the map below to understand the route better.

Major cities and towns along the route»

Route 1 
Islamabad » Taxila» Haripur » Abbottabad » Mansehra »  Batgram» Thakot » Bisham » Dasu » Chilas »  Gilgit » Skardu  
Route 2  
Islamabad » Taxila» Haripur » Abbottabad » Mansehra » Balakot » Mahandri »Kagahn » Naran  » Chilas » Gilgit » Skardu 


You will never forget the journey and will be proud of it which you have made through worlds highest road network, KKH (Karakoram Highway) passing through worlds three mightiest ranges of mountains (The Himalayas emerging from India and Nepal, the Karakorum from north Pakistan and Hindukush from Afghanistan).

Departing from Islamabad or Rawalpindi the more you cover the distance the more you will be going higher and higher towards the land of Peaks.   
It takes about 4 or four and half hours to reach Mansehra and vehicle, whatever you have chosen, will make a stop for tea or meal depending upon the time of departure. After that, passing through green carpeted lands of KPK you will reach the Besham City. Here the vehicles will make a stop for meal or tea.  From here the KKH will be following every twist and turn of the Indus River. Now passing through Kohistan, the last district of KPK, you will be hugged by the Peaks of Gilgit-Baltistan. Entering the Diamer District you will reach at district headquarter, Chilas. Mostly the vehicles depart late noon, in that case, you will be in Chilas for breakfast but if you have left Islamabad before noon you will be at Jougloat for breakfast. After departing from here you will reach a junction separating ways of Gilgit and Skardu. 

If you are going to Gilgit it will take about a half an hour to reach Gilgit city from this junction. But if you are determined to go to Skardu you will have to cover 200 km more. It will take about four to five hours to reach Skardu. On the way towards Skardu, the vehicle will make a stop for lunch at  PTDC motel Stak Valley which will be the last tea or meal.  Now, after 2 and half hours, you will reach Skardu city and will be enjoying the beautiful weather and places of Skardu.


Junction of Indus and Gilgit River from where ways of Skardu and Gilgit split


A close view of Skardu Road across the Gilgit River

Going to Hunza

If you are interested in going to Hunza, there are two ways to reach there. First is, if you buy a direct ticket, the vehicle will carry you directly to Hunza passing through Gilgit city. Second is, if you buy a ticket for Gilgit city the vehicle will make last stop at the Gilgit city and from here you can go there by yourself which is about one and a half to two hours drive from the Gilgit city.
The way to Hunza is same as to Gilgit i.e vehicle passing through Gilgit reaches Hunza. 

How long does it take to reach Gilgit and Skardu from Islamabad? 

Mostly people ask this question, so here is the answer. For Gilgit, it takes 18-20 hours and for Skardu, it takes 24-26 hours in normal traffic and if there hasn't been any temporary blockade. 
Nowadays the Karakoram Highway is under maintenance and the work from the China border to the periphery of Chilas city has been completed. Therefore travel time from Chilas city to the Gilgit city has been reduced as compare to the earlier times. But the condition of KKH from Chilas city to the Bisham city of KPK is not satisfactory. Also, the Gilgit-Skardu road is in a dilapidated condition and there are talks of reconstruction of the road.
Once you are in Gilgit and Skardu you can visit other cities as well from these two, these two cities are accessible via by air travel as well. From Gilgit, you can visit all cities of Gilgit-Baltistan in different directions. It will take 5 hours for Skardu, about 2 hours for Hunza and Nagar, 2 hours for Ghizer and about 3-4 hours for Astore and Chilas. 

List of Transport Agencies
There is no shortage of transport agencies. You will have your own choice of vehicle. Also, you may take rental vehicles for private use to reach Gilgit or Skardu.
For more information, you can visit Stations and Terminals.
The list of transport agencies are:
NATCO (Northern Areas Transport Corporation) 
Mshabrum Tours
Himalaya Tours
K2 Tours

67 comments:

  1. we are planing to go skardu in june with family by car,can u help to choose easiest way plus where to stop for night.we want to travel 6 to 7 hrs a day not more than that, can u help/

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    Replies
    1. You can contact our team,, what you have to do is, just send your regards through the contact form given below in the tab

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  2. How to arrange a rental car with driver from Islamabad to Gilgit and nearby attractions.

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  3. I have sent you my querry kindly reply.kashif

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    Replies
    1. Sure. @Kashif You are welcomed

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  4. I want to travel in Honda city 98 from Islamabad to skardu in end September , is it possible , any comments please

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  5. Hello, we want to travel now in a rental car. Is it safe now? Are there any security issues?

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  6. planning t visit gilgit ,hunza, skardu and naltar what is the condition of road cuz we have small kids with us I just want smooth and safe road not lyk saiful malok jheel

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  7. Replies
    1. i want to go hunza and skardu this eid from bike i can b easy for me.

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  8. Greeting,

    We are announcing a group tour to Gilgit and Naran Khagan. The Group will leave from Islamabad from 22nd of July 2015.

    Regards
    Azhar uddin
    azharroomi3@gmail.com

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Dear Any group is leaving duering eid holidays ?? nauman

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  9. we have made a plan to visit skardu and its surrounding areas just after coming EID, on 24/07/2015 friday via natco from rawalpindi. this tour will be 12 days, is any body give us more helpful points

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    Replies
    1. Sir tell me the per-head of this tour.. ???

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  10. also any body knows that the DEOSAI will accessible on 24/07/2015

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    Replies
    1. Dear, Ch Bilal per head could be 10000 to 12000 normal, but it depends the rush in skardu, because of EID

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  11. Salam all. I plan to reach chitral by air. From there take a road trip to gilgit. And from gilgit take a flight back to isl. I asked the local transporters for the rate and they gave rates as high as 32000 fr a willys jeep. And 45000 for a land cruiser. Is there any other way i can travel from chitral to gilgit which is more econimical for me. Has anyone used natco from chitral to gilgit. Im not sure how safe and enjoyable that will be.. Please comment and help.

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    1. AA Mr Iqbal. I had travelled from Gilgit to Chitral thru Shandoor Pass in July 1999 on a 4x4 Jeep.
      Places to see:
      It was my life's best journey and saw magnificient vallies like Gahgoch, Gopis, Khaltiya, Teru, Phandar, Shandoor, Sorlaspur, Maustoj and Booni on this road.
      Distance (KM)
      It is about 405 K.M (GILGIT to Chitral). I had covered this way in 28 hours with a night stay at Sorlaspur.
      Past condition of Road:
      At that time, it was only 72 KM out of 405 KM from Booni to Chitral was solid road and rest was jeapable.
      Present Condition of Road:
      Now, FWO has already made it solid from Gilgit to Teru. However, it is still in raw shape from onward Teru to Mastuj.
      Jeep fare
      At that time i.e. in 1999 i traveled as a single passenger and they charged PKR 450/= now, most probably, it would be pretty high.
      Safety:
      100% safe journey
      How to go there:
      There is no need to exclusively hire jeep which is immensely costly as elaborated by you up there. You may visit the local bus stand of Chitral and inquire about the jeep service from Chitral to Gilgit and about single passenger fare. You may not tell him about the size of travel group which obviously change in fare by them.

      I would always be happy in case if u need anything else would like to know from me.

      Fawad Shahid Hussain

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  12. I want to go to Hunza on 1300 cc auto-transmission car with my family. Can I go? Please advise.

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    Replies
    1. You cannot go there with your auto transmission car due to sleep slopes and sharp turns. 4x4 is highly recommended.

      Delete
  13. Lahore Rent a Car Service
    Make a car reservation from rent a car Lahore savings on luxury, economy, and family car hire in Lahore Pakistan. Find the best prices guaranteed and book online today in all over Pakistan. Find cheap rental cars call us +92-300-8499507.

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  14. anybody tell me about local transport to gilgit chitral from islamabad tel me about hotel in chitral also if anybody already visted there please share his expirence of there

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  15. Regarding all aspects the blog was perfectly nice. yarokcostarica

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  16. In December, can we go Gilgit by road. If yes then where else I can cover/go from Gilgit?

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    Replies
    1. yes afcorse.. u go but u travel with best car..

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    2. @CH.Bilal Aziz... aur kon c jaga par ja saktay hain... gilgit sa in dino ma....

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  17. I want to know is it safe travelling go gilgit skardu alongwith with children and are the roads safe to travel?

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    1. yes afcourse.. but app ik sth ik e tour me gilgit or skardu ni travel kr skty.. ya gilgit jayn ya phr direct skaru.. you have to chose only one place where you traveling with children. anyway the gilgit roads are too much better and comfortable with a simple car. (you go gilgit to hunza to khunjrab pass china border) skaru thora difficult or dangerous hai dono me...

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  18. Helloo guys.. Hope everyone is doing great... Just wanted to ask im planning to make a trip to gilgit by road on a cruiser wid my cousin. Is it safe to travel by road? Ive been to gilgit, hunza back in 2007 and it was ok that time. I mean the road was ok but not 100% but it was safe. Now is it safe to travel by road even at nights or just day time???

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  19. Helloo guys.. Hope everyone is doing great... Just wanted to ask im planning to make a trip to gilgit by road on a cruiser wid my cousin. Is it safe to travel by road? Ive been to gilgit, hunza back in 2007 and it was ok that time. I mean the road was ok but not 100% but it was safe. Now is it safe to travel by road even at nights or just day time???

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  20. Great site! I am loving it!! Will be back later to read some more.this is work is tremendous. Thank
    mauritius vacation

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  21. the roads will be opened on the month of feb?please reply

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  22. Is it safe to go to Gilgit by road in the month of January start days.?

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  23. And is it safe to go in January to Gilgit? Is there any risk of heavy snowfall or landsliding?

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  24. wow it very good way for people who live in gilgit its very easy way and strong road ....
    Pakistan Web Online

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  25. Hi, we family of 8 people are planning 11 days tour from Islamabad to Hunza - Naltar via Naran, in mid of July 2016. Can someone guide me regarding good tour operators, or companies from where i can book the cars/jeeps. Thanks

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  26. Hi, I am planning to go to the northern areas with my family on our car end of May 2016. I need your favor where to stay and which route we will follow.

    Regards,

    Usman

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    Replies
    1. If you have your own conveyance then the choice is yours. If you have flexibility of time then N15 i.e Via Mansehra-Naran-Bobusar-Chilas-Gilgit is better. Because you can stay at PTDC Naran, also you can visit Sailful-Muluk easily.But if you dont have enough time then KKH is better, because the road is better than N15, also you have multiple choices of stay

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  27. i ve recently travelled from islamabad to gilgit and back. on rent a car from pindi it takes 18 hrs includes stays for meals and tea. May be on jeep or vigo it would reach in 15 hrs. the road is good till Dasu but from dasu to shatial it is in bad condition (around 55 Km). on ward better till gilgit and hunza valley till sost. Great travelling. One suggestaion that try to travel in day light up ward. it would be great fun.

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    1. Do you know any car/jeep service which is on passenger basis as i will be traveling alone? and also recommend some hotels in Hunza or beyond like in gulmit/passu or sust.

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  28. that's awsome, i want to go there

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  29. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  30. this is far very best tour details.. i came acrosss... if you have time then you will enjoy urdu news on urdumaza.com or urdu love sms on evergreensms.com or pakistan rishta if you are single.

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  31. hello every people I am planning to travel to Gilgit and Astor any suggestion stop over night and rent car place in Islamabad please advice

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  32. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  33. We want to vist Hunza Gilgat Khunjraab from lahore...
    Pls any one tell me its journey possible via Car....?
    Any one reaply me...
    And roads are helpful drive car...?

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    1. yes brother you can go and inshallah you will enjoy but if you follow some requirements are given bellow..
      A car excellent condition
      must 1300cc on petrol system.
      Reasonable food.

      Roads are very comfortable there is no any thread about security.
      Totally areas handled by Pak Army.


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  34. We want to vist Hunza Gilgat Khunjraab from lahore...
    Pls any one tell me its journey possible via Car....?
    Any one reaply me...
    And roads are helpful drive car...?

    ReplyDelete
  35. We are plaining to visit chilas and sakrdu kia koi bta skta hai k kia halaat hain security k chilas me.chilas safe hai ya nhi plz guide me if any one can

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  36. Hi im from Malaysia.roughly how much it cost from Rawalpindi to Hunza if we go by land using private van/jeep

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  37. Wow amazing traveling guide.
    http://www.mobile-phone.pk/wallpapers/

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  38. Google earth view missed some beautiful places where the travelers can visit there by road.The smart college writing on the various types of places i the Pakistan.Would you please tell about the security of visiting those places?

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    1. There is Army alert areas you can go with your family too because there is no any security issue.

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  39. Hello, how safe is it these days for a Westerner to travel by public transport (bus) from Islamabad to Gilgit ? Is it possible to hire a driver to take me to Gilgit ? Would that be a safer option and if so, how much would one have to pay for such a service ?

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    1. You go easily with your driver a minimum 1300cc car on petrol excellent condition. The roads are very comfortable till khunjrab paa.

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  40. What is the current price for public bus from islamabad to gilgit?

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  41. can Indians go to gilgit and skardu?

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    Replies
    1. Yes, But indians must have Pakistani visa for visit :)

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  42. Can suzuki mehran 2015 model reach gilgit?

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    1. yes, You reach with Mehran 2015 Car is must on petrol system if you have strong Two drivers at Gilgit point and Khunjrab pass only with 4 person.

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  43. Suzuki cultus can go through KKH.

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    1. Suzuki Tabaa is much better then cultus. And if you go with Suzuki Tabaa it is very important tabaa on Petrol.

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