November 2015 - 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

Nov 27, 2015

Gorakh Hill Station / Resort Dadu Sindh, Pakistan

Why you should visit Gorakh Hill?

In the scorching urban heat finding a place somewhat pleasant with breathtaking scenery and cold breeze is very difficult especially in the plain and arid areas of Sindh. But Gorakh hill station is the perfect place to enjoy the summer with your family and friends. It is not only the weather which makes the place special, it is about its landscape which makes it one of the best places to visit in Sindh. Its way from Dadu to top of the resort through canyons and the view of the sand dunes and sandy-brown and golden ridges along the road makes the trip memorable and worth remembering.  

Where is this place located? 

This place is located at Kheer Thar Mountain Range some 93km away from Dadu city. The place is famous for its pleasant weather during the summer and commonly known as Murree of Sindh. Actually, this resort is located on the border of Sindh and Balochistan provinces at the Kheer Thar mountain ranges. 

How to visit the resort? 

If you want to visit the resort there are many ways, means it depends on where are you coming from. Whether you are coming from Karahi, Hyderabad, Sukkur, Nawabshah, Mirpur Khas, Sadiqabad or Rahim Yar Khan first you need to reach the Dadu city. Once you are in the Dadu city you can catch the road towards the Gorakh Hill from the Johi, a small settlement on the outskirts of Dadu city.

Once you have entered the route of Gorakh Hill from Dadu first you will pass through the desolate place where there will be very fewer signs of agriculture and you would observe small fields at the interval. Mostly the area would be barren with abandon sand. After few kilometers have been covered you will reach a small settlement known as Pandi Wahi which will be the last settlement until the top of the Gorakh Hill resort. From Pandi Wahi onward there will be no sign of life, what will observe will be the sandy brown ridges and deep ravines along the road.

The beauty of Gorakh Hill Resort road

The beauty of the road leading to the Gorakh Hil is beyond the description of words. The multihued ridges with mesmerizing beauty will leave you spellbound. Initially, you will pass through the deep ravines and you will be packed by the cliffs from two sides. Passing through deep ravines sometimes you will reach the top of cliffs and descend again into deep and dry valleys and you would feel like you have reached a stream but it would be dry at all. Once you transact the last bridge on a small dry stream every meter of the drive will lead you higher and higher towards Gorakh. Once you have transect the bridge you will now pass through the climax of the cliffs and you will have spectacular sight of the gorges and ridges in distant. From here onward the road will be in a zigzag pattern and after every few hundred meters there will be a turn on the road.

The mesmerizing top of Gorakh Hill

The sense of solitude and space you will find at the top of the resort will be beyond your imagination and what you need to do is, just experience the overwhelming attraction of the resort. You can have a birds'-eye view of the surrounding to memorize the sublime beauty of the mesmerizing scenery in your mind.

What to do at the top?

Once you are at the top there are many things you can do. But the first and the most important thing, if you want to experience the peace of mind at Gorakh Hill, is to observe the sublime beauty of the surrounding at the sunset or the sunrise. The orange and the red color of the ravines and the peaks at the sunset or the sunrise will be the best thing to observe, especially when the weather is somehow cloudy then the fiery red and the gold hues will be the best scene to have. 
If you want to have the alluring scenes of the deep ravines and peaks in a single glance than the "Benizeri View Point" will be the spot to have a deep look at the hills of Balochistan and Sindh in a single glance. 

Along with, if you have reached early and you have plenty of time, you can hike around and have a look at the shrubs and the bushes on the top. There are canteens, restaurants, tuck shops and huts if you want to eat anything. If you have a plan of staying there at the top for the night then you would observe the setting up of camps and lighting of bonfires. You can set up your camp and start stargazing at night once you are done with the bonfire. 

Condition of Road

Mostly people ask this question that is the road maintained or is the road dangerous to drive etc. Unlike in other parts of Sindh, this road is maintained in a good condition starting from the Pandi Wahi till the top of the resort. According to some news sources government of Sindh has spent Rs 600 million during the last ten years on this resort to boost the tourism in the region. The government is planning to install a helipad, an amusement park, and cable cars at the resort in the future. 

Nov 26, 2015

Satpara Lake Skardu Gilgit-Baltistan

Where is this located?

Satpara Lake is one of the largest freshwater lakes in the Skardu city of Gilgit-Baltistan, Pakistan. It is one the best places to visit in Skardu to enjoy the fishing and photography.

Some facts and history 

This lake is one the largest fresh water reservoirs in the Gilgit-Baltistan which supplies drinking and agricultural water for the Skardu city. This was initially a natural lake spread over a vast area of Satpara in the southern entrance of Skardu city. In 2008 an earth fill dam construction was started on the lake site to fulfill the water requirements of Skardu city because irrigation system in Skardu was not fully supported by other streams and electricity production was one of the major issues of the city. Construction of the dam now has almost completed adding 8 MG electricity in the grid system and providing water access to the arid area through a connected channel network.  

Satpara: Then vs Now

Satpara lake before 2008 was a different one than it is now. There was an Island in the middle of the lake but when the dam construction started it slightly submerged and now during summer time this Island is completely inundated by the water. So, the beautiful Island is no more there in the center. Also, there was a small hamlet on the eastern side of the lake and there was a PTDC motel at there. 

How to reach there? 

If you have visited Skardu then you shouldn't miss the chance to visit this spectacular lake. Visiting this lake is very easy because it is not at a long distance. It is just 15 kilometers from the downtown and within 20 minutes you can reach there at the lake. Even you can reach there by a motorbike ride. 

Other places nearby 

If you have made mind to visit the Desai Plains then on the way to Deosai you would have the chance to stay here for some moments because the same road links Skardu with the Deosai Plains. Deosai Plains is some 50 kilometers south of Skardu city and of course, if you have visited Gilgit-Baltistan and haven't visited Deosai Plains then you haven't visited the place which is actually the place which could be called the face and identity of Gilgit-Baltistan. 

Nov 24, 2015

Baltit Fort Hunza, Pakistan

Where is this fort located? 

Baltit Fort or Balti Fort is marvelous and an ancient fort in the Hunza valley in Gilgit-Baltistan, Pakistan at a distance of about 100 kilometers from Gilgit and about 600 kilometers from Islamabad city of Pakistan. 

When was the fort constructed? 

The construction of the fort dates back to 1000 AD and since its construction, it has gone through several renovations, conversations and facade improvements. 

What is special about this fort? 

Unlike many other forts you would find in any part of the world this one is a unique fort in many terms, the reason many of the visitors enjoy the sublime beauty of the fort. The first thing when the word fort comes to the mind is that it should be fortified with big and wide boundary walls and spread over dozen hectares of land. Forts in different parts of the world had been built primarily for the defensive purpose, therefore, construction of high and wide walls around the fort has been a pretty common phenomenon. But this fort's history tells us a different story and the architecture and the landscape manifest the history.
The fort is on a hill top having a settlement on the front and a deep valley on the back of the fort. The fort is accessed by staircases made of stonework depicting the old-fashioned work of early days when there was no role of modern engineering in construction.

The architecture of the fort

The architecture of the fort is in Tibetan architectural design, you would find most of the forts in Gilgit-Baltistan in this style. But the fact behind the architecture of this fort is somewhat different and of course interesting as well. This fort is also known as the Balti fort, some historians think that the present day name "Baltit" has actually originated from the Balti Fort. Balti is a language which is spoken in the Baltistan region of Gilgit-Baltistan, a dialect of Tibetan language, and in recognition of the Balti language, this fort was named Balti fort. 
Actually, the story unfolds this way; a prince of Hunza married a princess from the Baltistan and the princess wanted to reside in a fort having Tibetan or Balti architectural style. So, to fulfill the wish the prince hired the Balti craftsmen from Baltistan for the facade improvement of the fort, although the fort already existed but not in Tibetan architectural style or might be there wasn't a worthy architectural design. So keeping the Balti people' work in mind or the Balti princess the fort was known by the name "Balti Fort" which later evolved into Baltit Fort. 

How to reach there? 

Reaching there is pretty easy, you can fly by air from Islamabad or enjoy the by road journey. If you choose the by air journey, you would be there in Gilgit within 45 minutes and from there it would take maximum 2 hours to reach the site of the fort from Gilgit city. If you choose the by road travel then it would take 20 hours to reach the Gilgit city and two more hours to reach the actual fort. 
For stay, you can choose either Gilgit or Hunza, both cities have numerous hotels and motels and you wouldn't face any problem in finding your choice of hotel whether in term of outdoor or indoor facilities or in term of food and much more. Our suggestions are, if you want to move ahead till the Khunjerab top at Pak-China border then staying at Hunza will be favorable because the accessibility from here would be easier and shorter. But if your plan doesn't include the visit to Pak-China border then staying at Gilgit will be suitable, especially if you are determined to visit any other famous tourist spot in Skardu, Astore or Ghizer etc.