Your carawaan will run through the majestic cathedrals of Karakorum range fusing into the Northern Hindu Kush. Explore the ancient silk route as it fades into the picturesque valleys around the mighty Indus river and its tributaries.
Major Tourist Attractions in the area include:
Fairy Meadows, Rama Meadows, Garam Chashma, Archaeological sites of Chilas, River Indus and Gilgit River Junction, Nanga Parbat viewpoint near Thailchi, Gilgit city, Bashkiri lakes near Naltar village, Naltar Ski Resort, Aliabad Bazaar, Karimabad Bazaar, Rakaposhi Viewpoint near Ghulmet, Baltit Fort, Altit Fort, Duikar Viewpoint (Eagles Nest), Hopar Glacier, Borith Lake near Hussaini, Hussaini Suspension Bridge, Atabad Lake, Passu Cones, Batura Glacier trek, Sost Bazaar, Khunjerab National Park, Khunjerab Pass (China – Pakistan border), Ultar Meadows, Diran Peak viewpoint, Chitral Gol National Park, Bamburet Valley (kailash region), Shandur Polo Ground, Phander Valley.
RAIKOT, ASTORE,SKARDU, HUNZA and KHUNJERAB
The best possible route from Islamabad includes travelling on M1 till Hazara Motorway Interchange, taking the Hazara Motorway till Sarai Saleh and then following KKH till Mansehra bypass road. The bypass road takes you through the scenic Kaghan valley ending atop Babusar pass. After descending from Babusar pass, you will rejoin the KKH with River Indus flowing past you. Stick with the KKH to enter the area.
The Kaghan Valley road to Babusar Pass remains closed during winters, so after reaching Sarai Saleh through Hazara Motorway, stick with the KKH which runs through Abbottabad, Mansehra, Besham, Dasu, Sazin and Chilas before entering the area.
The region contains asphalted roads and 2wd vehicles can be easily driven within the area. However Jaglot -Skardu road is under construction with several hurdles along the route. Thailichi – Astore road is in bad shape and it is highly recommended that you use a 4wd vehicle to travel on it.
CHITRAL and KAILASH
The majestic wonders of the Hindu Kush range can be explored by taking M1 from Islamabad towards Peshawar. At Rashakai, take the Mardan detour to Chakdara. Upon reaching Chakdara, take the Chakdara – Dir road which will pass through Timergara before entering Dir Township. Finally take the Dir – Chitral highway taking you to the epicenter of commercial activity in the Hindu kush region….Chitral.
Condition of the highway from Islamabad to Chakdara is supreme, however the Chakdara to Chitral section of the highway is partially damaged and neglected by the district administration due to frequent landslides. Having said that, one can easily drive a 2WD vehicle from Islamabad to Chitral.
Kailash Valley is hidden jewel within the Chitral agency. In order to reach this picturesque location, one must head south from Chitral city towards Ayun village. The road takes you to the Bamburet bus stop from where you must take a detour towards the Bamburet Valley. This section of the drive must be made on a 4WD vehicle as the road isnt completely asphalted.
BEST TIME TO TOUR THE AREA :
Ideally, Gilgit Baltistan region should be visited from 1st March – 30th April when the colour pink prevails in this part of the world due to an abundance of cherry trees. The maximum daily temperature during this time of the season is around 15-20C and a comfortable 5- 10C during nights. Travelling during this time of the year saves you from the tourist rush to the area in Mid summer season. After all peace, tranquility and solitude is something you seek when you travel to this region.
Arguably the ideal time to visit Chitral and Kailash region is 1st May – 30th June. Reason being the lush green landscape that is visible on the foothills of mountains developing a stark contrast between the valleys and the Hindu Kush mountains above them. Also the Shandur Polo festival takes place during this time with Gilgit and Chitral battling it out for bragging rights on the highest polo ground in the world. Its a must watch game!!!! Maximum temperature during this time is a comfortable 15-20C and minimum temperature falls around 10C.