January 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

Jan 23, 2014

Silk Route Festival in Gilgit-Baltistan

Silk Route Festival is observed in different countries of the world at different time and seasons. In Gilgit-Baltistan, Pakistan it is commonly observed in the month of September or October. This festival is known as one of the most inspiring festivals of the world owing to the following features of the region:
Festival on the Roof of the world ”Gilgit-Baltistan”  where natural environs, landscape, privileged location in the highest mountains of the world, breathtaking spectacles of sheer scenic beauty, wildlife and nature, awe-inspiring snow peaks, glittering glaciers, serene valleys of lush green foliage and fruits, gleaming and scintillating streams of unpolluted water, rich diversity of people, culture, folklore, arts, crafts and heritage, await you.

Festival Activities:

Artisans-at-work (Gilgit, Karimabad & Skardu) - Master artisans from different parts of Gilgit-Baltistan are kept at work in beautifully designed and documented pavilions. 

Folkloric Song & Dance Ensembles (Gilgit, Aliabad, Gulmit, Karimabad & Skardu) - Folk dancers and musicians from all parts of Gilgit-Baltistan, including Dance, Song Ensembles from the neighboring Xinjiang Province of China and Central Asia are invited to entertain visitors to the festival.

Folk Music Groups - Small open air stages are set up at the festival grounds in the different cities to present folk musicians from all over the Gilgit-Baltistan. 

Exotic Craft Bazaar - Exotic local bazaars are held including Sunday & Friday markets for the local communities where people can sell, exchange or exhibit local produce, offering an endless variety of cottage crafts, Knickknacks, flea-market, etc.

Food & Fruit Fair - Food festivals are held in co-operation with hotels and communities in several places. Farmers exhibit and sell fruits.                                                                                                             

Polo Matches and Indigenous Sports Events - Several Polo matches are serve as a major attraction for domestic tourists and foreign visitors at Gilgit and Skardu. 

Camping Villages & Open Air Local Restaurants - Are set up at the scenic spots for nature lovers.

Ethnic Fashion Show - Depicting regional costumes and cultural traditions are held.

Community Festivals at District Level - AKCSP, AKRSP, and Craft Development Projects, Literary and Cultural Forums, IUCN, WWF, and other NGOs holds community Festivals at district levels. 

Crossroads of Asia - One of the few regions in the world that hold a fascinating combination of Adventure, History, Natural Beauty, Culture, and Trade at the crossroads of Asia. The region and its indigenous heritage of arts, crafts, history, landscape, people, produce, and cultures is a unique experience.

Hawkes Bay Beach Karachi Pakistan

It is one of the most beautiful and breathtaking beaches of Pakistan in Karachi City. At a distance of 20 km from the city towards South-West, it is accessible from through the Maripur Road (Hawks Bay Road) and Mubarak Goth Road. 

It is one of the most visited beaches of Karachi and one can enjoy, swimming, horse and camel riding and fishing. The blue crystal water along the beach has its own charming beauty. 
Rental huts are also available on the beach at reasonable rates.
Along with it is home to the green sea turtles, which is rarely found in the world, some species of reptiles have also been found here.

Jan 14, 2014

Rupal Valley Astore, Gilgit-Baltistan, Pakistan

Rupal is a beautiful and breathtaking valley surrounded by huge glacier reserves and towering mountains in the Astore District of Gilgit-Baltistan, Pakistan. It lies to the south of Nanga Parbat (9th highest peak in the world). This valley surrounded by the number of high altitude peaks and covered by the forest of the juniper and other species of the plants present a pleasing and stunning view to the visitors and trekkers heading towards the Nanga Parbat.
The towering peaks around the panoramic Rupal Valley are:
1) Rupal Peak (5,642m)
2) Shaigri Peak (5,584m)
3) Laila Peak (5,971m)
4) Mazeno Pealk

How to reach there? 

If you want to visit this panoramic valley to have a sight of beautiful glaciers and the Killer mountain "Nanga Parbat" then there are two options for you. Either you can reach there by air or by road. Keep in mind that if you want to reach there by air, first you need to land in Gilgit or Skardu because there is no airport in the astore valley. Once you are landed in Gilgit or Skardu you can visit the area by road travel. 
If you want to visit the valley by enjoying the by road journey then you can start your journey from Islamabad or Rawalpindi and head towards Gilgit-Baltistan. You will follow the same route as for the Gilgit and Skardu but on the way towards Skardu-Gilgit, you will reach a junction on Karakoram Highway some 70 kilometers before Gilgit city. From this junction, you will turn to east and after crossing the Indus River you will follow every twist and turn of Astore Valley road till Gorikot. From Gorikot an unmetalled road will lead you towards the beautiful and spectacular Rupal valley.  

Laila Peak
Northern Areas 21b.jpg
Shaigri Peak

Jan 2, 2014

Kargah Buddha Gilgit, Pakistan

What is Kargah Buddha? 

It is actually a rock carving at a ravine in the Gilgit city just at a distance of 10 kilometers from the city center which is visited by almost every tourist who visits the Gilgit city. Actually, the Kargah is the name of the small hamlet on the outskirts of Gilgit city and the carving has been given the name of Buddha because according to the people of the region the carving was carved by the Buddhists in the seventh century and excavated in 1938-1939 by the archaeologist.

Related facts and stories 

As Gilgit-Baltistan is home to the world mightiest mountain ranges and towering mountains are composed of sheer rocks, it is usual that you would find many rock carvings in the region. The reason is, long ago the region was the centerfield of Buddhist culture and religion and they had chipped many prints of Buddha at the rocks which are present until now in the region, although the region now has converted to Islam and there is 100% Muslim population. In the early days when Buddhism was on the peak, the rock carving was one of the prominent ways of preaching.
In most of the carvings you would find the Buddha in the center and small Buddhas around the bigger one and in some cases, there would be inscription written on the rocks.  Such a rock has been found in Skardu city as well which has a number of Buddhas carved into the rock and there is something written in Tibetan.
According to historians, the Buddhism entered the Gilgit-Baltistan region in the 4th century through the region of Baltistan and until 7th century the region was the center of the Buddhist culture and Buddhism was on peak. During this,  a number of rock carvings were inscribed on the rock in many valleys of Gilgit-Baltistan but only a few has been in the limelight.

Mythical story

According to the indigenous people, there was an ogress known as Yakhsni who would attack the humans and eat all those who came to encounter her. But she was devoured and locked in the rock by a local preacher reciting the holy scripts of Quran.
A similar tale would tell in the region of Baltistan where "Yasheeni, Balti version of Yakhsni" was a sign of fear for the kids. Mothers would tell the story in lullaby and make them sleep by telling that if they don't sleep Yasheeni would appear here and eat them.