If we say that the northern areas of Pakistan are one of the most spectacular regions in the world, it won’t be wrong. Here, three of the world’s highest mountain ranges– the Karakorams, the Hindukush and the Himalayas – meet. The entire region is like a magnet for travellers, tourists, trekkers, hikers, mountaineers and campers and one of the most beautiful places that holds the charm for tourists is Gilgit-Baltistan. The region lies at the foot of Karakoram mountain ranges and offers much more than mountaineering expeditions and sightseeing options.
Gilgit has been mentioned as a prosperous trading centre in the books of history due to its unique location on the ancient trade routes. It has deep relations with Astor on one side. On other side, it is connected to China through Kilik and Mintaka Short. With the construction of Karakoram Highway (KKH), the valleys in and around Gilgit region have become more accessible and thus have become major magnets that have attracted both local and international tourists. There are very few places in the world comparable to Gilgit. As a hill station, Gilgit offers exceptionally scenic high mountains and snow-covered peaks of like Nanga Parbat, K-2 Rakaposhi in high rise Karakoram and glistening horizon everywhere around.
A common misconception about this region is that it’s cold throughout the year. It’s not entirely true. You can enjoy every season there. Spring brings flower and new fruits whereas in autumn, the shedding leaves of fruit and nut trees cast a certain melancholy on their surroundings. However, summer can be a bit warmer so the best time to visit this city can be any season according to the choice of tourist’s mood.
I am a spring lover and the best time for tourists like me to visit Gilgit is from May to October when you can enjoy basking in mild sun, mountain climbing, hiking, fishing, playing polo and have some fun shopping. Other than that, this valley is surrounded by lakes, glaciers, rivers and the highest mountain ranges of the world. The local widespread language throughout Gilgit is Shina while Urdu and English are also widely spoken and understood.
There are several attractions for tourists in this region including Buddhist petro glyphs, Victory Monument of Taj Mughal and small valleys around Gilgit like Punial Valley, Sher Qila that offer ideal fishing opportunity, hiking and trekking. The famous Shangrilla and Shandur Pass connect Gilgit valley to Chitral and offers picturesque sceneries on the way. The Phandar Lake offers another amazing opportunity for trout fishing. If you have some plans to visit Pakistan, don’t forget to visit this region.