A Visit To Skardu




Since childhood I had a dream to go to the gorgeous Northern Area town of Skardu. I planned it repeatedly but the plans couldn't materialize thanks to one reason or another. Then, because it happened, the trip to Skardu was planned and implemented on a really short notice when both folks weren't guessing it.

I was to satisfy my lifetime friend Riz in his office in Islamabad to bade him farewell as he was going back to U.S. after spending a really successful time as CEO USF. I reached Riz's place on Tuesday, 3oth July 2019 at 1430 by Bus from Lahore after winding my way through picturesque hills of the Salt Range. Riz was kind enough for sending me his driver and he asked me to return to his residence and have a lunch. I told him that i would like to go to a lover to require back my luggage so Riz suggested to drop me off first at his home and are available by metro bus in the dark . I agreed. After meeting my friend, I collected my luggage and riding metro reached Riz residence at 2030 where i used to be told that Riz was expecting me since 1930. He met me with usual crescent school days fervor and that we had an outstanding dinner. Later I told him that I had to go to PTCL Headquarters tomorrow that's Wednesday 31st July 2019. All of a sudden, during our conversation during dinner, Riz told me that one among his friends had a visit of Northern Areas and that they are awesome. Riz said that he had a while those days and that we both may visit Skardu from thu. through sat. that's 1st to 3rd August 2019. i used to be overjoyed since it had been sort of a dream come true. I instantly agreed to the proposal. On the subsequent morning, after tons of rain from late night to about 0900 his driver dropped me at PTCL Hqs where I visited several of my longtime friends and colleagues and had lunch with them.

Day-1

We started early from Riz place at 0900 because the flight was at 1045 and reached the new Islamabad airport at 0945. We took the boarding card and reached the waiting lounge by 1010 am. We boarded the plane by 1025 which took off exactly at 1050. The scenery, after a couple of minutes of flight, was exotic and breath taking as we were flying over snow caped high mountains. The captain saw us K2's snow caped peak, then after a couple of minutes we took a pointy right turn for landing at Skardu airport then the airplane started losing height sharply. Actually, flying at 8700 m for a mere 40 min flight is just too much. The air plane took about 2-3 rotate Skardu city then only it had been ready to land on the run way. The view below was breathtaking with Indus and sand and houses and a few trees... Anyhow once we landed, no sooner did we begin of the aero plane than we both were captivated by the environment of the Skardu airport. Just ignoring the bus that was there to select us up, I and Riz started taking snaps of lovely mountains all around. Afterwards, we took the second round of bus then came out of the airport where an individual was there to select us up from our Hotel. We reached our Hotel during a jiffy since the hotel was quite almost the airport. We took a while to fresh us up then immediately took the road to the Deosai plains which proved to be a 3 hours journey. We started at around 1300 and reached Deosai proper at 1600. it had been very cold up at Deosai. The plains are highest within the world after Tibet and are situated at a height of 14000 feet, about 6000 feet above the Skardu city. We took out our light jackets but it had been still very cold. it had been also raining which added to the cold. once we checked out the environment , It seemed as if we've reached a fairy land. there have been green gently rolling hills all around will flowers and puffy clouds touching the hills. We took there quite snap then started followed the return path to Skardu at around 1600. On our return journey, we met the marvelous Sadpara lake with its turquoise water and therefore the high speed wind that was blowing all around it which I still remember. We then gone by the hydroelectric power station of Skardu which supplied electricity to Skardu city. After passing through several streams at which Riz stopped the jeep whenever to scrub his face with the fresh and icy cold water of which he was considerably fond of; we reached Skardu city and took a really nice dinner of chikan boneless handi ( boneless Chicken ) at one among the local restaurants which was one among the simplest I ate so far .

Day-2

The second Day was the 2nd of August 2019. The sky was clear, as usual, at Skardu since Skardu lies outside the influence of the monsoon. As we were considerably tired the day before so we decided to undertake the complimentary breakfast at our hotel. The breakfast was nice. After taking breakfast it had been already 1030. Now before wasting any longer time, we started towards upper Kachura Lake. it's got a powerful view and therefore the way resulting in it's filled with streams, waterfalls and lakes. We did tons a photography at a number of the bridges built on these mountain rivers. once we reached upper Kachura lake we rested for a couple of minutes then waded through the ice-cold water courtesy Riz ( Riz liked to go through already and that i being reluctant was pushed towards the water by him). it had been an experience that can't be put into words. Later we had a delicious lunch of fresh trout fish. By the way I ate Trout for the primary time in my life. it had been fresh from the waters and it had been delicious. After spending an hour or two at this spot we started for lower Kachura lake which is nearby at a distance of half an hour. We parked our jeep within the parking lot and walked for about 10 minutes approximately to succeed in the lower Kachura lake which we found to be as beautiful because the first one but with facilities of sailing , swimming etc. We took a motor boat and asked the boatman to travel slow in order that we will better enjoy the scenery round the lake. We had covered about half a distance when Riz asked the boat man to prevent and allow us to drop near a bunch of trees. As we got out of the boat and began climbing the mountain filled with trees it had been the foremost charming experience. Although the ascent was quite steep but the fragrance around spread by the local herbs and therefore the scene of the lake from the mountain made the hiking experience a memory to recollect . About an hour of ascent and descent we called the boatman who picked us up from the hiking spot and back to the boating point. We had a lunch of trout on our journey back which was delicious as was common .

Our next journey was Shangri-La spot which took us about quarter-hour to succeed in . it is a beautiful artificial spot created to be enjoyed with the family. it's residential apartments and nice restaurants. it's a lake around which the hotels and restaurants are set is particularly beautiful but somewhat marred by human intervention and pollution. We stayed there for about 2 hours then returned to our hotel to require some rest. As we were tired to the core, we decided to possess dinner within the hotel.

Day-3

Since we had a flight back to Islamabad at 1245 so so as to succeed in Skardu airport a minimum of on hour earlier at 1145, we had to urge up and begin our journey quite early if we were to ascertain the gorgeous Shigar valley intimately . Shigar valley may be a beautiful valley at a distance of 80 km or one and half hours by road from our hotel at Skardu. We started at 0730 within the morning and by about 0815 we were passing by the COLD DESERT area of Skardu. it's very interesting that although this area of Pakistan is legendary for its cool weather in summer but it's so dry and therefore the rainfall so meagre that some parts of it are converted to virtual deserts! The sand dunes were a bit like the Cholistan desert of the Punjab or the Thar desert of Sind. the sole difference being that this one was a chilly one. After a half hour approximately we reached a spot on a bridge where it had been written that it's the doorway to Shigar. After crossing it and taking a turn we reached a spot which is named Shigar view point from where whole Shigar valley are often viewed. From a distance the valley appears to be an oasis during a desert. After now the road gently descends and as we enter the gorgeous Shigar valley we first travel by the gorgeous 17 th century mosque built by one among the Rajas of the Shigar Valley then the winding road leads us to the famous Shigar fort, once a stronghold of a Raja of Shigar. it had been renovated by Agha Khan III and now it's acquired by a five star hotel company and is being run as a billboard hotel. because the fort opens at 1000 and it had been only 0930 so we couldn't see the fort intimately and upon request we were allowed to require a general view of the Fort. it had been a pleasant one with beautiful rooms made for the royalty. After a short time we came out and took a pleasant breakfast at a gorgeous spot over a rushing river stream just overlooking the Fort. it had been already 1000 hours now so we decided to return to our hotel near the Skardu Airport. On our way back, near the town i ended for a few frozen dessert , my liability , and Riz took some milk shake with falooda. We then proceeded straight to the hotel took the bags and reached the Airport exactly at 1145. After checking in and boarding etc, we are within the airplane which took off at 1255. Up within the clouds, after a while , we could see the height of Nangaparbat. Afterwards passing over Mansehra, Abbotabad and Havelian, the Plane started its descent. What a descent it had been . Actually, to fly at 8700 metres during a 40 minutes flight is just too much. It took the captain about 10 minutes and 2-3 circles around Islamabad airport to land eventually at the runway. it had been now 1440 and Riz driver was already waiting to require us straight to our homes in Lahore, because of Riz for his courtesy.

No doubt, my trip to the northern area town of Skardu was the simplest trip I ever had in my whole



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