Baltistan is a picturesque place with splendid sceenery in the north of Pakistan. Every year tourists all over the world come in throngs to see its natural beauty and culture. Here are the twelve reasons to visit Baltistan esp. Skardu.
1. Historical Places:
Once upon a time Baltistan was part of Tibet and was a cradle of Buddhism. Religious artifacts such as gompas and stupas were built, and lamas played an important role in Balti life. Buddha Rock, Manthal Skardu is one of them.
In 14th century muslim scholars from persia and kashmir came and preached Islam. People were than attracted to that modern religion. Muslims artisans built magnificant monastries and mosques which were the science of Islamic ascendancy.
Forts and Palaces like Khaplu Fort, Shigar Fort, Kharmang Fort, Kharpocho Fort were built by Rajas and Maharajas which have stood against the harsh weather and changing era.
There are many magnificent natural waterfalls which have shaped the terrain in a very beautiful way. You will be amazed by the gushing waterfalls with chilling and crystal clear water like Manthokha waterfall and Khamush waterfall etc.
3. Huge Glaciers and Lofty Peaks:
You will marveled by the thawing glaciers and valleys surrounded by lofty mountains. It is the home to one of the largest alpine glacier, Baltoro Glacier and the second highest mountain on the globe, K2.
4. Natural Hot Springs:
People are so anxious to visit artificial spas in Paris and New York but the nature has gifted Baltistan with so many natural spas that you will bewildered to be come across. There are so many of it like Cho-tron hot spring in Shigar valley and Khorkondo hot spring in Kondus valley.
5. World’s Second Highest Palteau in Skardu:
Roof of the Earth, Deosai or the Land of Giant is also known for its rare specie of brown bears. It is the second highest plateau with amazing pastures, magnificent lakes and pure water streams. People all over the world would consider their aims to be fulfilled of they visit this fairy-land.
Baltistan has been gifted with large reservoirs of water by the nature. It has several eve catching lakes streaming from the mountains which are unexplored and hence untouched. Seosar Lake Deosai, Blind Lake Shigar, Upper Kachura Lake, Shangrila Lake and the Kharfaq Lake are the some of the very beautiful lakes existing in Baltistan.
7. Cold Desert:
You have obviously heard of hot deserts but in Baltistan you will come across cold deserts like Katpana cold desert and Sarfaranga cold desert. Every year a jeep rally is conducted in the cold desert of Skardu in which jeep racers across the globe come and participate.
8. Lush Green Meadows:
Lush green meadows of Deosai, Basho Broq, Khaplu Broq, Thally Broq, Bila-mik, Tormik etc welcome the tourist with their verdant beauty.
9. The First Organic Village:
In this era of adulteration in which all commodities are adulterated, you will come across the first organic village of Pakistan with its natural and pure beauty with love and hospitality by its inhabitants. In the organic village which is called NangXoq no artificial fertilizers and insecticides can be used for the agricultural purposes.
10. Balti Cuisines:
Balti cuisines are very delicious, nutritious and healthy. Prapu, Mamtu, Marr-zann, Srap-Khur, Drong-balay, Pharing-cho (dry apricot juices) etc are the balti delicacies.
11. Crime-less Society:
There are many beautiful places in the world but they may have rampant crime rates. But in Baltistan you will be hosted by a society which has very low or in many valleys with zero crime-rates. So you will be welcomed by an extremely peaceful society.
12. Fruits and Dry Fruits:
Baltistan is a paradise for the fruit lovers. Fruits and dry fruits are in abundance with a plethora of varieties in the case of grapes, apples and apricots. other fruits are cherries, peaches, plums, mulberries, walnuts, almonds, pears, sea buck-thorns etc.
Written by: Syed Haider Kazmi.
Kazmi is a law graduate, social worker, poet and travel blogger.