2014 - Travel Pakistan

Kel Valley Azad Jammu Kashmir

Hunza Valley in Autumn

K-2 Siren of the Himalayas

Malam Jabba Swat Valley

Shangrilla Resort Skardu

Kohe Safed FATA

Passu Cones Gilgit-Baltistan

Dec 29, 2014

Shah Jahan Mosque, Thatta Sindh Pakistan |Mosques in Pakistan| |Shah Jahan|

Shah Jahan Mosque is a masterpiece of Mughal construction located in the historic city of Sindh province. The mosque was built by Mr. Ahmed on order of Mughal Emperor Shah Jahan in 1647.The foundation of the Mosque was laid in 1644 and completed in 1644, later the floor was paved with stone in 1657. Shah Jahan Mosque has no minarets unlike other Mosques and only one dome. The Mosque is a combination of Turkish and local artwork. 
The Mosque has been in the list of UNESCO tentative Heritage since 1993 but has not yet archived official recognition.

PTDC Motel Naran KPK Pakistan with contact detail | | Naran Kaghan Pakistan Hotels

PTDC Naran is one of the most beautiful and naturally overwhelmed motels in all of the PTDC Motels on the bank of Kunar River in Naran Valley KPK. The motel is on the national highway N-15 which connects the KPK province with Gilgit-Baltistan, the land of mountains. The motel is surrounded by a picturesque landscape. The motel is surrounded by the lush green mountains covered by the evergreen forest, Kunar River in the west and a stream running from the most famous tourist point Saiful Muluk Lake to the west falls into the river making a junction at the place where the motel is located. 

The motel has a vast area of 20 acres for indoor and outdoor activities having huts, standard rooms, and economy rooms. On the adjacent mountain top, there are 3 VIP cottages for more accommodation.   
Facilities and Services:
PTDC Naran is one of the motels in Pakistan which provide lots of services and cuisines compare to other motels include:

Recreation Facilities:
PTDC have an entertainment hall in which one can enjoy different kinds of games. For children, different kind of gaming things is installed. There is also a giant-screened television on which one can watch different national and international news. 

The motel provides Pakistani as well as Western and Chinese food. As trout fishing is famous in the nearby Kunar River, therefore, fish is mostly served in a different form. 

Other than facilities mentioned above one is provided following facilities: laundry, telephone, satellite TV etc. 

Contact Detail:
For reservation and other queries contact on the following numbers
Ph: (0997)-430002, Fax: 430111

PTDC Motel Ayubia KPK Pakistan with contact detail

PTDC Motel Ayubia is located at a distance of 90 kilometers from Islamabad in the mid of Nathiagali and Murree. Ayubia is one of the most beautiful densely forested regions with all-weather road connection from all over the Pakistan. The motel has outstanding services which include: classic comfortable and deluxe rooms, different kind of national and international cuisines, satellite TV, laundry and car rental services. 

Points of interest:
Residing in the motel one can easily visit the chairlift of Ayubia from which one can enjoy the aerial view of whole Ayubia. Also one can visit the Mashkpuri and Miranjani mountains easily from here. 

Contact detail:
For reservation and queries one can contact on the following:
Tel: (0992)-359004   Fax: 359200

Top 20 most beautiful waterfalls in Pakistan

The landscape of Pakistan provides the tourists with a plethora of options to visit; be it sunny beaches of Karachi and Gwadar, barren sandy plains of Balochistan, fertile vast plains of Punjab and Sindh, green carpeted hilly areas of KPK and Azad Kashmir or towering rocky mountain ranges of Gilgit-Baltistan, the country is bestowed with varying landscape. 
But when we talk about the tranquil waterfalls of Pakistan surrounded by mesmerizing landscapes, from lush green low altitude areas of Punjab to the high altitude areas of Gilgit-Baltistan, the sound of rushing water beckons the tourists. The waterfalls tumbling down from rocky outcrop looks so inviting and charming that you can't abstain yourself from taking a dip in the crystal clear water. The happiness and calmness when the serene water trickles down the body, from the head, all the way to the toes, freshens your soul.  
We know that you want to know about the best and beautiful waterfalls all around the Pakistan as you want to visit these with full preparation, as every region needs different tourist gears when you want to spend maximum time at these landscapes. Therefore we have not only put the pictures of waterfalls but fully explained the landscape; how to reach and what are the possible routes to reach there. Just go through the links and choose the best one you want to visit and move on towards your next destination. 

Following is the list. 

To see the details click on the titles given.

Shingrai Waterfall Swat KPK

Pir Ghaib Waterfall Bolan Balochistan

Farphu Waterfalls Gilgit, GB

Naran Kaghan Waterfall KPK

Jamgar Waterfall Neelum AJK

Gulpur Waterfall AJK

Chum Waterfall AJK

Bamburret Waterfall KPK

Hanna Urak Waterfall Balochistan

File:Waterfall urak.JPG

Chotok Waterfall Balochistan

Ashraf Chhambar Kahota Punjab

Khadeji Waterfall near Karachi Sindh

Narh Waterfall Kahuta Punjab

Dec 28, 2014

Shounter Valley or Pass Azad Kashmir | | Shounter tunnel to connect GB and Azad Kashmir

If you live in a mega city or even in an area where there is no mountain and you have only heard of the beautiful and picturesque green carpeted sceneries of Kashmir in movies and pictures then it is time pick the backpack and move on towards the Kashmir. The lush mountains covered by evergreen forests with blooming flowers in the summer scents the air to fill your lung with the fresh airs. The crystal clear streams running downstream and the trails passing through these wooded places give your soul a refreshment.
Shounter is a valley in Upper Neelum Valley of Azad Kashmir from this valley one can reach the Astore Valley of Gilgit-Baltistan via Shounter Pass. 

The best time to visit this valley and pass is from May to August because most of the time it is being covered by snow. It can be accessed from the Kel Valley by a jeep track which gets opened for few month of the summer. This heavenly place has many picturesque and stunning places to see and visit. Lakes of this valley are famous in all over the Pakistan. The landscape is so breathtaking that one doesn't want to leave the valley once reached there. 
Moreover, govt. of Pakistan has allotted budget for a tunnel which would link the Shounter valley of Azad Kashmir and Rattu village of Astore, Gilgit-Baltistan. The tunnel would be approximately 10-12 km long and after completion, the distance of Islamabad to Khunjrab (Pak-China border) would be shortened by 8 hours. So this would be the third route to reach Gilgit-Baltistan, two routes already operational (KKH and route through Babusar Pass).

Jeep track which leads to the Shounter pass which connects the valley to Astor valley of  Gilgit-Baltistan
The number of picturesque lakes in the valley are:

  1. Chita Katha lake
  2. Lunda Sar lake
  3. Shounter lake or Spoon lake
  4. Baboon lake
  5. Parrian Sar
  6. Sar Wali Peak Base Camp Lake
  7. Asman Baik Sar/Lake
Shounter lake

Thatta District of Sindh | | Thatta city | | Places to visit in Thatta

If you want to enjoy the ancient cultural remnants, historical buildings then Sindh province is where you would find many of these. Sindh has been one of the oldest living sites of the world where once the Indus valley civilization flourished and set an example of oldest planned cities of the world. 
Later during the Mughal era, the kings and the local tribal heads constructed marvelous forts and many other kinds of public buildings which were unique in their architecture and they employed a unique kind of calligraphic inscriptions and decoration on the buildings which are known as the prominent feature of the regional architectural style. 
Thatta is the capital of Thatta District located in the southeast of Sindh Province, Pakistan. It is far and more than100 kilometers away from the Karachi city and almost at the same distance from Hyderabad. It is among the top most ancient cities of Pakistan.

Tourist points include Shah Jahan Mosque, Makli Hills, and the tomb of Jam Nizamuddin.
The Tomb of Isa Khan Tarkhan II. He was the person who defeated Arghuns in 1555.

Shah Jahan Mosque Thatta Sindh.

Inner View of Shah Jahan Mosque, the combination of Turkish and local artwork

Hiran Minar Shiekhupura near Lahore | | Places to visit in Shiekhupura

Hiran Minar is one of the most spectacular and beautiful monuments of the Mughal era constructed by the Emperor Jahangir for his pet deer named, Mansraj. The structure consists of a large square shape water tank which surrounds the octagonal pavilion in the center. The minaret is connected with the pavilion by the causeway.
If you are in Lahore or around then you shouldn't miss the chance to visit the Hiran Minar.  It would take a maximum of 2 hours to reach there from Lahore and once you are there, you would enjoy the classic architecture of Mughal Era. Once you are on the site the best thing is to go there at the pavilion in the center and have a look at the majestic lake and the walls around the lake. The causeway will lead you to the pavilion in center. Even you can go downstairs of the pavilion and touch the water, there are stairs from the pavilion to all sides down the water surface.
You can enjoy the board riding in the lake as well. Around the lake and the minaret, there is thick forest which is home to the local species of birds and some animals. Besides the minaret, there is a sign board on which the history of the minaret construction and why did Jahangir construct the minaret and the lake is given. 

Dec 3, 2014

Handarap Valley Ghizer Gilgit-Baltistan

Gilgit-Baltistan has unique and of its kinds of places which you would never find in other parts of the world. The region is where world's three mightiest mountain ranges (Himalaya, Karakorum, Hindukush) merge and the whole region is mountainous and full of glacier spanned over miles. The mountains are bald because very less rain is observed in the region and of course the mountains are rocky and towering, standing thousands of meter above sea level.
The beautiful thing is, although most of the places consist of ravines but some places are vast and beautiful. Skardu, Deosai plains in Skardu, Shigar valley and Handarap valley in Ghizer are the example of such places. These areas are spanned over miles and tourists are crowded in these areas especially in summer.
Handarap Valley is a beautiful and panoramic valley in Ghizer District of Gilgit-Baltistan. The valley is located at a distance of about 150 km from the Gilgit City. The valley is located on the Gilgit-Shandur Road on the bank of Gilgit River. Nearby tourist attractions are Phandar Valley and Handarap Lake.

Nov 22, 2014

Gilgit-Skardu road or a political con

Developed nations are known by their efficient infrastructure, especially the road network. Road network plays a pivotal role in the economy of any country and is known as the backbone of the economy. In regions like Gilgit-Baltistan, where the main population centers are not only scattered all over the region but are also separated by the glaciers, rivers, streams, valleys and towering rocky mountains, a reliable transport road network becomes all the more important and essential.

Skardu, the epitome of the natural beauty, was connected to the external world in the 1970s. Before the 70s the region was a self-sustained region away from the external world which would generate most of their livelihood necessities by themselves. In early history, the Skardu city was a pivotal junction linking the Tibet and the India with the central Asian countries via the Silk Route. Before the partition, most of the trade of the Baltistan region would be with Tibet and India via Kargil. Even for studies, people visited Srinagar and other Indian cities than Pakistani cities because they were easily accessible and nearer than today’s Pakistani cities. 
After the partition people of the region opened a revolt against the Maharaja of Kashmir and after a fierce war with the Dogra Raj acceded to Pakistan. This fulfilled the sentimental needs of the people, but they became alienated and suffered not only in term of culture and tradition but also in economics. As after the 1948 war LOC (Line of Control) was drawn between Skardu and Kargil which not only ended the centuries-old trade link but also divided the families living across the LOC. Since then the families are separated by an imaginary border. Families living about few kilometers away, having the sight of one another, cannot reach each other because it costs them more than performing a pilgrimage to the holy city of Makka. To visit the family on the other bank of the valley they have to cover a distance of 2700 kilometers. 
For Skardu, at the time Kargil was more important strategically than Gilgit because of a few reasons. Firstly, it was nearer and had easy access to other regions of India. Secondly, the way to Gilgit was more arduous than Kargil. Thirdly Gilgit itself was not a sustainable city as it was dependent on other cities of Pakistan which were hundreds of kilometers away. It was a time when people would travel on horses, donkeys, and yaks on precarious narrow paths along the mighty cliffs of Karakorum and Himalayas. In this sense it was almost impossible to reach Islamabad; it would take months. So most of the trade would take place with Indian cities and Tibet region. 
The Gilgit-Skardu Road was completed by the Pakistan Army by the end of the 1970’s decade. Initially, it was an unmetalled road which was soon metalled. It linked the lonely region to the Pakistan and the outer world through Karakorum highway. As the population grew in size, the necessities of the city expanded and trade and commerce became inevitable. Presently, this road is a lifeline for the four districts of the Baltistan region having an approximate population of one million. But with the passage of time the road has become dilapidated because of the apathetic approach by the government and now only its ramshackleness can be observed.
For a recent decade, this road has become a political tool for parties to woo votes. Before the election, the parties make a dozen of hollow pledges among them the reconstruction and repairing of the Gilgit-Skardu Road top the priority. But soon the election is ended it can only be seen as the headline of local newspapers, meanwhile parties hurling allegations on one another for the incapability of reconstructing the road. The project was announced by the prime minister of Pakistan before the GB election. The same project was announced by the previous government of PPP, but it has been confined to the announcements and never been materialized. 
Accidents and veering off the vehicles in Indus River have become a common phenomenon. Only 225 km of distance between Gilgit and Skardu is covered in about six hours. While traveling on the road one prepares the mind that I have to bear the jolts for six hours after that I would be in Skardu or Gilgit to rest for soothing the fatigue. 
The government has never been serious about the widening and repair of the road, but the apathy and mum of the military leadership on this issue is totally un-understandable. The road is not only important for the indigenous people, but it is one of the strategic roads in term of defense. It is the only road which leads to the PAF base Qadri and Siachen in Skardu, the latter is the world’s highest battle-ground. PAF base in Skardu is the forward operating base protecting about 90000 square kilometers of Gilgit-Baltistan and Azad Kashmir. Skardu is the gateway to the world’s highest battle-ground Siachen as well. If we compare the infrastructure of Baltistan with that of adjoining regions of Ladakh, India has upgraded and expanded its road network from foothill of Siachin to the top of the Tiger Hill, which they claim to be captured from Pakistan Army in Kargil War. In another perspective Gilgit-Skardu road is the only way to supply ammunition and ration to the whole army battalions in Baltistan. If this road is blocked at one point the whole army in the Baltistan region would ultimately fail, which was depicted in Kargil war when within a week troops were so helpless that they were forced to eat mud. 
Although, if the government intends Skardu can be connected to Islamabad by three routes. First, through Gilgit-Skardu road which joins KKH at Alam Bridge in Gilgit and total length up to Islamabad is 750 kilometers. Second: via Skardu-Kargil road, which joins Ladakh-Srinagar highway known as 1-D at Kargil town, which after crossing the LOC and entering the Muzaffarabad reaches Islamabad. The total length of this route is about 640 kilometers.  Third, via Skardu-Deosai-Shounter road which would be the shortest route if materialized with a length of only about 520 kilometers. 
If all these options opt Skardu will be a trade and tourist hub. Opening the Skardu-Kargil road will not only boost the trade and tourism but it will also open ways for the residents to see their dear ones separated decades ago by a virtual boundary. If Lahore can be linked to Delhi and Muzaffarabad to Srinagar: then why Skardu can’t be linked to Kargil? Both regions across the LOC i.e. Baltistan and Ladakh regions are peace loving and there has never been any unrest in the region as compared to the Jammu and Azad Kashmir. Although the region has been a battleground for 1971 and 1999 wars between the two nuclear powers, despite there has never been any insurgency and peace issue. 
After seeing the incapability and mum of the government over this issue, local right and social activists have started a moment to aware the people regarding the Gilgit-Skardu road and collect the donations to build the road by themselves. But such massive projects are not in their scope. National level print and electronic media are also keeping mum over the issue except the local newspapers, asserting the notion that this road is of not any importance and it is only the problem of GBians. The government needs to take serious actions regarding the road which is the only lifeline and source of income for the locals. When unemployment and inflation are at peak, the road is the only source of livelihood for indigenous people, whether skilled or unskilled, from the tourism industry.  But due to the deteriorated condition of the road tourism industry is also in jeopardy, leaving the unsupported workforce to more marginalization. Also, if the road is once repaired or reconstructed, a permanent patrolling and maintenance force to keep the road functional is necessary, because the road is often hit by landslides, flash floods and the road is washed away when Indus River rise creating dangerous breaches. Pakistan Army’s Engineer sections deployed in the region often take the responsibility for clearing the road, but they have not been functional as they are equipped with outdated and small machinery which take several hours to clear the road even it is a small amount of debris. 

Oct 9, 2014

Gilgit-Skardu Road

Gilgit-Skardu Road is a road which links the Gilgit City, the administrative headquarter of the Gilgit-Baltistan with the Skardu city. This road is approximately 225 km long and takes about 5 and half hour to reach from Gilgit to Skardu. The road was constructed by the Engineers of the Pakistan Army in collaboration with Chines Engineers. It was completed and opened to the public in 1982. 
The road is one of the world's dangerous roads which has been constructed by cutting the rocky mountains of the Karakoram and Himalaya. Pakistan Army had lost a number of soldiers while completing this road. One can see the name of soldiers inscribed on stone or marble beside the road at the interval. The road follows every twist and turns of the Indus River from Gilgit up to the Skardu. 
While on the way from Gilgit to Skardu there comes a number of valleys and number of suspension bridges which connect the northern part of the Roundu Valley (a subdivision of Skardu District) with the southern part by transecting the Indus River. Roundu valley is actually the gateway to the Baltistan division where there are mighty mountains of the world and the world's second highest plateau, Desai plain. 

The Roundu valley is about 136 kilometers long and passing through this valley you will see a number of suspension bridges, small settlements at the interval and a small town, the subdivisional headquarter at Dambudas. The suspension bridges of about hundred meters long connect the Karakoram and Himalaya mountain ranges. When you are passing through the Gilgit-Skardu road, the road is on the right bank of the Indus river which is known as Karakoram mountain ranges and the valleys across the Indus River are Himalayan regions.  In simple words, these bridges connect the world's two mightiest mountain ranges. 
The road is very beautiful and dangerous as well. Beautiful in the term you would see beautiful valleys, streams, waterfalls on the Gilgit-Skardu road but dangerous in the term that the road nowadays is in very unmaintained condition. The road is in very dilapidate condition and it takes 5 to 6 hours to reach from Gilgit to Skardu. If the road is maintained it would take a maximum of 3 or three and half hours.

Basho Valley Skardu Baltistan

Where is Basho Valley located?

Basho is a beautiful and picturesque valley in Skardu city at a distance of about one and half hour drive from the main city. The valley is covered by the lush evergreen forest of pine, juniper and others species of trees, pastures and gushing, gurgling and trickling streams which make it a part of the heaven. The top of the peaks remains covered by the snow even in the summer.

Why should you visit the Basho Valley?

If you have visited the Skardu city then this place should be on the list of must-see places because it is near the city and you can enjoy the scenic beauty of the Himalayan and Karakoram peaks at one spot. When you are at the meadows of Basho valley then you will be witnessing the world's two highest mountain ranges at the same spot. The Basho valley itself is one the Himalayan side and the towering rocky mountains across the Indus River are the Karakoram mountain ranges. So you would witness the gleaming icy summits of the two mountain ranges from some 11000 feet above the sea level. 
The best thing is you can return to Skardu city after visiting the valley via a jeep road. You can enjoy fishing and also taste different kinds of fruits: apricot, apple, grapes etc.
Keep in mind that the road leading to this valley is unpaved and only Jeep or Toyota can reach up to the top of the pastures. Small vehicles like taxis, Suzukis or cars wouldn't be able to reach the top. 
Also if you want to buy any kind of fishing or hiking gear you should buy these things in Skardu city before departure. There would be no shops except the small grocery shops, so stock yourself with whatever gears you want to take with you. 

Oct 7, 2014

Top 10 (ten) highest mountains of Pakistan

Everyone knows that Pakistan is heaven for the nature lovers especially the mountain climbers. World's three mightiest mountains ranges, Himalaya, Karakorum, and Hindukush, are located in Gilgit-Baltistan of Pakistan. There are more than 100 mountains in Pakistan which are more than 7000 meters above sea level. In the world, there are total 14 peaks which are more than 8,000 meters above sea level and out of them, five peaks are in Pakistan. 

Actually, if you visit the area of Gilgit-Baltistan by air and have a look down into the valleys from the plan you will get an idea of how densely these areas are filled with the mountains and glaciers. The towering rocky mountains standing like a giant gives mesmerizing views to the tourists, even if you are not able to visit the base camp of K-2 and Nanga Parbat you don't need to worry, you can find high rocky mountains around the city of Gilgit, Skardu, and Hunza.

If you want to explore the mountains of Himalaya, Karakoram and Hindukush thoroughly then by road Journey from Islamabad to Skardu is one of the journeys, to enjoy the look of gleaming mighty peaks of the world's three mightiest mountain ranges. While passing on the Karakoram Highway (KKH) you will learn that how densely the region of Gilgit-Baltistan is packed with the rocky mountains and glaciers. En route to Gilgit or Skardu, you will be able to sight the gleaming icy summit of Nanga Parbat (Ninth highest peak in the world) from KKH and also you will witness the junction where the three mightiest mountain ranges meet. 

10) Batura Sar
Batura Sar also referred to as Batura I, is the 25th highest mountain on earth. and the 10th highest in Pakistan.It is located in the Hunza Valley of the  Gilgit.

9) Masherbrum 
Masherbrum is located in the Ghanche District, Gilgit Baltistan of Pakistan. At 7,821 metres it is the 22nd highest mountain in the world and the 9th highest in Pakistan. 

8) Kunyang Chhish

Khunyang Chhish  is the second-highest mountain in the Hispar Muztagh, a subrange of the Karakoram mountains of Pakistan.With the height of 7823m it is ranked 21st in the world and 8th in Pakistan.

7) Distaghil Sar
Disteghil Sar or Distaghil Sar is the highest mountain in the Hispar Muztagh, a subrange of the Karakoram mountain range, in Gilgit-Baltistan. It is the 19th highest mountain on earth and the 7th highest peak in Pakistan.

6) Gasherbrum IV
Gasherbrum IV(7,925 m) is the 17th highest mountain on Earth and the 6th highest in Pakistan. It is one of the peaks in the Gasherbrum massif.

1) K2