At an elevation of 4,900 feet and 365 miles from Rawalpindi lies the splendorous Gilgit Valley. This unique little town of
Gilgit is blessed with spectacular beauty. The peak tourist season is from May to mid-October nevertheless, tourists keep
pouring in all year round. The maximum temperature in May is 33 C whereas the minimum goes down to 16 C, while in September,
temperatures show a maximum 28 C and a minimum of 11 C. Such pleasant temperatures make Gilgit a must-visit place during these
Planes from Islamabad-Rawalpindi arrive frequently in Gilgit. If you arrive by air, the main bazaar in Gilgit
is a short mile away, and to get there you can grab a small van or whatever vahicle seems to be taking passengers. Giglit's
main street runs generally, east-west, paralleling the river. East of the Airport ans away from town is the area called Jutial,
where there are numerous military compounds and few small lodges.
Just 10 kms from the town of Gilgit, is a Buddha carved into a stone face, a remnant of the era over seven hundred years ago
when Buddhism held sway accross much of what is now the North-West-Frontier Province, the Northern Areas and Afghanistan.
To see this rock carving, take a local van west of town continuing past numerous walled compounds, green fields and the suburb
of Napur to the Kargah Nala. South of the main road and up this nala, a large rectangular niche well above the trail frames
a ten-foot-high standing Buddha. The Kragah Nala is now a game sanctuary. You could take a day hike up this nala, for it has
many trees and make a pleasent walk. Ambitious trekkers could consider a trek south that begins in this nala and eventually
crosses the 14,000-foot Shinghai Gali en route through high pasture lands to the Indus Valley at Chilas. You should go with
a local to show you the way, for the route is not clear, especially in the high country, and as you proceed farther south
you will be in a region inhabited by Kohistanis.
A victory monument of Taj Mughal, built 700 years ago, is located at 30 kms from the town of Gilgit. One can easily reach
this monument by jeep.
'Polo' (the game of Kings) is Gilgit's most favoured sport. The locals claim that this sport originated in
Gilgit. It demonstrates a more rugged and free-style version of Polo than the sedate and subdued variety experienced in the
plains. The polo tournament is held from 1st November to 7th November. It is a festive occasion and draws large number of
As for those who have a knack for fishing, the streams and lakes of Gilgit are full of trout fish. These are at Kargah Nullah (10 kms. from Gilgit), Singal (56 kms), Gakuch (73 kms), and Phandar (117 kms from Gilgit). Permits
for fishing are issued by the Assistant Director, Fisheries, Government of Pakistan, Gilgit.
Today Gilgit is growing rapidly, and you'll see many diverse people here: taciturn local Shina-speaking farmers
and shopkeepers, outgoing Hunzakuts ( as people from Hunza are called), rugged Kohistanis visiting the Bazar and steely eyed
Pathan truck drivers or businessmen. Gilgit is a key transit point for trekkers because of its location between Chitral and
Baltistan and just South of Hunza. It is indeed a splenderous valley, have a pleasant journey!
At an elevation of 1,454 metres lies the Gilgit Valley. The quaint little town of Gilgit has spectacular scenic
beauty. The peak tourist season is from May to mid-October though the tourist season is round the year. The maximum temperature
in May is 33 C and the minimum 16 C and in September Maximum 28 C and minimum 11C.
10 Kms. from Gilgit town is a beautiful rock engraving of Buddha of 7 th century A.D.at the mouth of the Kargah
Nullah. A victory monument of Taj Mughal, built 700 years ago, is 30 kms. Jeep drive from Gilgit town.
The bridge over the fast flowing Gilgit river is the largest suspension bridge in Asia (182 metres long and
2 metres wide) permitting enough room for one jeep at a time to cross. Sports
The favourite sport in
Gilgit is polo which local folks claim originated here. It's more rugged, free-style version than the sedate variety known
in the plains. The polo tournament held from 1st November to 7 th November is a festive occasion and draws a large number
of visitors. Angling
The streams and lakes of Gilgit are full of trout. These are at kargah Nullah 10 kms.
from Gilgit, Singal 56 kms. Gakuch 73 kms. and Phandar 117 kms. from Gilgit. Permits for fishing are issued by the Assistant
Director, Fisheries, Government of Pakistan, Gilgit. Trekking & Hiking
Trekking and hiking in the rugged
mountains and verdant valleys of Gilgit are allowed only in the "open zone" which extends up to 16 kms. short of the control
line on the Kashmir border and up to 50 kms. short of the Afghan border. Guides are available at PTDC Motel, Gilgit. However,
applications for obtaining permission to bring a trekking group for restricted zone into the country should reach the Ministry
of Tourism by 31 st December alongwith a map indicating the route within three months of the expiry of the last date for the
receipt of applications. The names, passport numbers, place of issue, must also be submitted to the Ministry of Tourism.
Around Gilgit are towering mountain peaks, waiting to be scaled. Permits for mountaineering
are issued by the Ministry of Tourism
, Government of Pakistan
, Islamabad. How to Get There By Air:
PIA operates two daily flights between Islamabad and
Gilgit. All flights are subject to good weather. The flying times is one hour and one way fare is approximately US$ 44 for
foreigners. By Road:
Gilgit is also accessible from Islamabad/Rawalpindi on the direct route (625 km) by
the Karakoram Highway. Rawalpindi to Gilgit via Swat is 750 kms and takes 20 hours by bus/van; Rawalpindi to Gilgit via Babusar
Pass 592 kms 24 hours by jeep. Regular bus, wagon services operate on the Karakoram Highway between Rawalpindi and Gilgit.