Karambar Lake

Karambar Lake

Karambar Lake (also known as Qurumbar Lake) is a high altitude lake located in Ishkomen, a Tehsil of District Ghizer in Gilgit–Baltistan, near the boundary of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Province of Pakistan. It is the 31st highest lake in the world and 2nd highest in Pakistan at a height of 14,121 feet (4,304 m) and one of the highest biologically active lakes on earth.

The lake is also known as Qurumbar lake in some references and alternately is spelled as Karomber or Karamber.

The lake is located in Ishkoman Valley, a tehsil of Ghizer District in Gilgit–Baltistan.[1][2] While some other studies by WWF mention the location in Broghil Valley of Chitral, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Province. The lake is located at a distance of 205 km from Gilgit. Some maps clearly show that the entire span of lake is situated within the borders of Gilgit–Baltistan. In addition to that, the flow of Karambar waters itself dims the confusion about lake’s location as lake flows down towards Ishkoman.

The approximate length of the lake is 3.9 kilometers (2.4 mi), width is 2 km and, average depth is 52 meters (171 ft) .

Karambar Lake is the deepest lake in the valley with a maximum and mean depth of 55m and 17.08m respectively and is spread over a surface area of 263.44 hectares (2,634,400 m2) and discharges into Karambar valley of Gilgit Baltistan.Water clarity level is 13.75 (Secchi Disc Reading), which is highest value ever recorded in the literature of lakes in Pakistan.

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Darkot pass

darkut pass

Darkot pass (el. 15,430 ft., open May through October) is a high mountain pass that connects Baroghil Valley in Chitral and Rawat valley of Ghizer District in Gilgit, Pakistan. It is also known as “Darkut”.

The pass is about 10 miles to the east of Koyo Zom (Zum) (6872m), the highest peak in Ghizer district. The border between Chitral and Northern Areas runs through the pass over Darkot Glacier. Eight miles to the south is Darkot village on the River Darkot, a small tributary of Ghizar River). To the northeast of Darkot pass is Chitral. Ten miles to the northwest of the pass is Chilmarabad, a village one mile south of the Boroghil pass.

Darkut is a very beautiful village of Yasin Valley, in Ghizar district. It is the last village of Yasin Valley, moving towards Chitral. A glacier separates Darkut from Boroghil Valley, of Chitral. The local people speak Burushaski (Yasini) and Wakhi languages. At a distance of two kilometer is a hot spring, gushing from the ground, in front of the wild beauty of the majestic glacier. I went to Darkut Valley in 2003. It was an amazing experience.

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Shandur Polo Ground

Shandur Polo Ground

Shandur Top (el. 12,200 feet (3,700 m)) located in Chitral, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Pakistan. Shandur is often called the ‘Roof of the World’. The top is flat, a plateau and can be crossed between late April and early November. The grade is very gradual, and the area is crossed by small streams of waters during summer that looks plentiful.

Every year there is a polo match played on Shandur Top between the home teams of Gilgit and Chitral teams from other regions.

Shandur Pass is one of the major mountain passes between Chitral and Gilgit-Baltistan

Shandur invites visitors to experience a traditional polo tournament which since 1936 has been held annually in the first week of July between the local teams of Chitral and Ghizer. The tournament is held on Shandur Top, the highest polo ground in the world at 3,700 meters (the pass itself is at 3,800 meters). The festival also includesFolk music, dancing and a camping village is set up. The polo tournament is featured in the first episode of Himalaya with Michael Palin.

Various teams of Gilgit-Baltistan and Chitral have always played the game of polo closest to its original form. During the early 20th century, the British in neighboring India were the patrons of the game.

Free-styled mountain polo is arguably polo in its purest form. This version of the game played at Shandur-Top has attained legendary status and is of great interest to international and domestic adventure tourists alike. There are no umpires and there are no holds barred. The rules are: There are no rules! In “The Roof of the World” Amin/Willets/Tetley write: “by comparison, an American Wild West rodeo might pass for choir practice.” As one player once mentioned: “You can ride head-on into the opponent, if you dare.”

In order to decide the final teams to play at the Shandur Polo Festival preliminary matches are played both in Gilgit and Chitral in which the best horses and players are chosen for the final games by the local juries. The festival begins on the 7th of July with a polo match between the local teams of CHITRAL KPK with the guest teams coming from GHIZER, GILGIT BALTISTAN. During the course of the tournament A, B, C and D teams of Gilgit and Chitral battle it out on the polo field. Each team has six members with 2-4 reserve players in case of injury etc. The match duration is usually one hour. It is divided into two halves, with a 10 minutes interval. During intervals the locals enthrall the audiences with traditional and cultural performances. The game decided in favour of the team scoring nine goals. The final is held on 9 July.

The field measures about 200 meters by 56 meters (normal polo field is about 270m by 150m), with 60 cm high stone walls running the length of the field on both sides instead of boards. As six players make up one side, the field can get fairly crowded. This has the advantage of slightly slowing down the pace, which, all things considered, is probably somewhat safety-enhancing. Players rarely wear helmets, The horses’ legs often have no bandages, and mallets often have no grips or straps.

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Phandar Valley

phandar valley

Phandar Valley is situated 61 kilometers (38 miles) from the valley of Gupis, in District Ghizer of Gilgit-Baltistan, Pakistan. A twisting road passing through lush green fields and forests with a view of flowing river and icy peaks will lead you to this charming valley. From springs of crystal clear waters to lakes and rivers of deep blue water, there are all colors of nature’s beauty in Phandar Valley. The very first glance of this valley will eleminate all fatigue of journey and will reenrgise you with its mesmarising views. Peaceful deep blue waters of River Ghizer and surrounding lush green and golden fields are breathtaking.

Weather of Phandar valley stays very pleasant between June and July and this is the best time to visit this valley because the beauty of this valley goes at its peak during these months. Days stays fair and warm and nights are a little cold.

A motel of PTDC is situated at a small hill beside the road to facilitate tourists. The view of Phandar Lake is masmerizing for visitors. Area of Phandar Lake is about 3 kilometers.

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Gulmit Village

Gulmit Village

Gulmit is the headquarters of the Gojal Tehsil, in the upper Hunza region of the Gilgit territory in the Gilgit Baltistan region of Pakistan. Gulmit is a centuries-old historic town, with mountains, peaks and glaciers. It is a tourist spot and has many hotels, shops and a museum. Its altitude is 2408 m (7900 ft) above the Arabian Sea level. Small hamlets consist of Kamaris, Odver, Dalgiram, Laksh, Kalha, Shawaran, Khor Lakhsh, Chamangul and Goze.

Gulmit is also a Turkish or Iranian word which means “the valley of flowers”.

Before 1974, when Hunza was a state, Gulmit used to be the Summer Capital of the state. After the abolition of the state it became the Tehsil’s seat of government. The oldest intact house in Gulmit is more than six centuries old. Most of People in the entire Gojal Valley have Central Asian ancestral backgrounds. The people speak Wakhi language and belong to the Shia Imami Ismaili sect of Islam. Population of Gulmit, according to 2003 census, consists of around 2500 individuals. Forty nine percent of the population comprises females

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Sust

Sost gilgit

Sust or Sost is a village in Gojal, Upper Hunza, Gilgit–Baltistan, Pakistan. It is the last town inside Pakistan on the Karakoram Highway before the Chinese border. The town is an important place on the highway for all passenger and cargo transport because all traffic crossing the Pakistan-China border passes through this town; the Pakistani immigrationand customs departments are based here. Pakistan and China have opened border for trade and tourism at Khunjerab.

The Silk Route Dry Port started its business operations at the port Sost (Upper Hunza) near Khunjarab pass Gilgit-Baltistan. Annual trade between China and Pakistan has increased from less than $2 billion in 2002 to $6.9 billion, with a goal of $15 billion by 2014. Sost dry port is the first formal port at the China-Pakistan border, facilitating customs clearance and other formalities for goods moving from the Chinese regions of Kasghar and Sinkyang to the commercial centers of Pakistan. The town is connected by the Karakoram Highway to Karimabad, Gilgit and Chilas on the south and the Chinese cities of Tashkurgan, Upal and Kashgar in the north.

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Ganish Village

Ganish Village

Ganish is a village in Pakistan, distinct for being the oldest and first settlement on the ancient Silk Road in Hunza. Ganish Village is located 90 km and 2.5 hours traveling time from Gilgit. Ganish means gold in Brushaski.

The sub villages of Ganish include Garelth, Chaboikushal, Shukunoshal, Khaii, Buldas and Chillganish.

Chillganish is a sub village of Ganish.There are 25 families living.Chillganish is one of the most ancient villages of Ganish which has rich history. The residents of Chillganish belong to well-known tribe Chillganishkuz. Basically the word ‘chill’ means water and Ganiskuz means residents of Ganish.

Ganish is the oldest and first settlement on the ancient Silk Road in Hunza, and is the site of various ancient watch towers, traditional mosques, religious centers, and a reservoir.

The Ali Gohar House in Ganish, is located next to one of the iconic shikaris (watchtowers) of the town. The 400 year old house was awarded the UNESCO Asia-Pacific Awards for Cultural Heritage Conservation in 2009.

Garelth is also a sub village of Ganish with a population of 135 families. FG Boys Middle School, Agha Khan Diamond School are the main educational institutions. Former Member District Council Gilgit Baltistan Jan Alam, Former Chairman Village Council Darvesh, and Muhammad Ali have been leading politically. Currently Ghulam Mustafa Barcha is Chairman of Garelth Hunza.

Subedar Major Fida Ali, one of the main leaders of independence movement of Gilgit Baltistan, belongs to this village. Fida Aliplayed a key role in the independence of Gilgit Baltistan. Major Ghulam Murtaza (Sitara-e-Jurat)a key person in the revolution of independence movement of Gilgit Baltistan also belongs to this village. His graveyard is located next to KKH at Garelth.

Ganish is a village in Pakistan, distinct for being the oldest and first settlement on the ancient Silk Road in Hunza. It is located 90 km and 2.5 hours traveling time from Gilgit. Ganish means gold in Brushaski.

The sub villages of Ganish include Garelth, Chaboikushal, Shukunoshal, Khaii, Buldas and Chillganish.

Chillganish is a sub village of Ganish.There are 25 families living.Chillganish is one of the most ancient villages of Ganish which has rich history. The residents of Chillganish belong to well-known tribe Chillganishkuz. Basically the word ‘chill’ means water and Ganiskuz means residents of Ganish.

Ganish is the oldest and first settlement on the ancient Silk Road in Hunza, and is the site of various ancient watch towers, traditional mosques, religious centers, and a reservoir.

The Ali Gohar House in Ganish, is located next to one of the iconic shikaris (watchtowers) of the town. The 400 year old house was awarded the UNESCO Asia-Pacific Awards for Cultural Heritage Conservation in 2009.

Garelth is also a sub village of Ganish with a population of 135 families. FG Boys Middle School, Agha Khan Diamond School are the main educational institutions. Former Member District Council Gilgit Baltistan Jan Alam, Former Chairman Village Council Darvesh, and Muhammad Ali have been leading politically. Currently Ghulam Mustafa Barcha is Chairman of Garelth Hunza.

Subedar Major Fida Ali, one of the main leaders of independence movement of Gilgit Baltistan, belongs to this village. Fida Aliplayed a key role in the independence of Gilgit Baltistan. Major Ghulam Murtaza (Sitara-e-Jurat)a key person in the revolution of independence movement of Gilgit Baltistan also belongs to this village. His graveyard is located next to KKH at Garelth.

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Duikar village

Duikar Hill

At about 2800m, Duikar village is said to be Hunza’s highest village. It’s about 11km and 25 minutes by jeep or a 2½-hour walk from Karimabad, past gravity-defying terraced fields. The rewards include immense valley views and a great hotel. From the strangely eroded hill behind Eagle’s Nest Hotel you can look down on the Hunza River, the twisting ribbon of the KKH and the Legoland of Altit village; or look across to Rakaposhi and Golden Peak (Diran Peak is hidden); and up to Bubulimating.

Sunrise and sunset are magnificent. There are even better views from Khosht, a promontory leaning out over Ultar Meadow and the glacier, and a five-hour round trip from Duikar.

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Shimshal Valley

Shimshal Valley

Shimshal is a village located in Gojal, Hunza–Nagar District, in the Gilgit–Baltistan region of Pakistan formerly known as Northern Areas of Pakistan. Shimshal village lies at an altitude of 3,100 m above sea level, and is the highest settlement in Hunza Valley of Pakistan. It is the bordering village that connects Gilgit-Baltistan province of Pakistan with China. The total area of Shimshal is 3,800 km2 and there are around two thousand inhabitants with a total of two hundred and forty households. Shimshal is made up of four major hamlets; Farmanabad, Aminabad, Center Shimshal and Khizarabad. Farmanabad is a new settlement that comes first on reaching Shimshal. Aminabad is announced by vast fields of stones hemmed in by dry stone walls, and fortress-like houses of stone and mud. As you approach Shimshal look for a glimpse of Odver Sar (6,303m) also known as Shimshal Whitehorn. Shimshal has hydroelectricity from Odver stream for five months (June–October) of the year (when the water isn’t frozen). Non availability of electricity for seven months is a big problem of the local community because during this period they have to rely on kerosene oil, firewood, solar plates and compressed natural gas in cylinders as an alternative .

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Passu Village

passu village

Passu is a small village on the Karakoram Highway, beside the Hunza River, some 15 kilometers from Gulmit, the Tehsil headquarters of Gojal in the Gilgit-Baltistan region of Pakistan, and about 150 km upriver from Gilgit. Passu village lies very near the tongue of the Passu Glacier, and just south of the tongue of the Batura Glacier. The latter is the fifth longest non-polar glacier in the world at 56 km, and reaches very near to the highway. The people are Wakhi and speak the Wakhi Language. Religiously they are Ismaili, a sect of Shia Islam.

Tupopdan, 6,106 metres (20,033 ft), also known as “Passu Cones” or “Passu Cathedral”, lies to the north of the village; it is the most photographed peak of the region. Also nearby are the high peaks of Pasu Sar, Shispare Sar, and Batura.

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