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ASTORE-The valley of meadows

Astore is one of the six districts of Gilgit-Baltistan. The Astore valley is bounded to the west by Diamer district, to the north by Gigit district, to the east by the Skardu district and to the south by Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa and Neelum district of Azad Kashmir. The valley is at the eastern face of  Nanga Parbat, a peak 8,125 high, often called the Killer Mountain, as it is considered one of the most dangerous mountains in the world to climb. 

Nanga Parbat, the killer mountain.
How to get there?

Route 1 “By Air”:

You can take a direct 45 minutes flight to Gilgit from Islamabad and a drive of 4 hours to Astore Valley.

Route 2 “Kaghan/Naran Valley” :

1- Islamabad to Naran valley (via Abbottabad ) to Astore.

  • Islamabad to Abbottabad (161.6 km)
  • Abbottabad to Naran (147.3 km)
  • Naran to Chilas via Babusar Pass (114 km)
  • Chilas to Raikot Bridge (56.4 km)
  • Raikot Bridge to Astore (55.3 km)

2- Islamabad to Naran valley (via Muzaffarabad) to Astore

  • Islamabad to Muzaffarabad (144.2 km)
  • Muzaffarabad to Naran (121.7 km)
  • Kaghan/Naran Valley to Chilas via Babusar Pass (114 km)
  • Chilas to Raikot Bridge (56.4 km)
  • Raikot Bridge to Astore (55.3 km)

Route3 “KKH Kohistan and Dasu”:

  • Islamabad to Chilas via  Kohistan Chilas to Raikot Bridge (396.0km)
  • Chilas to Raikot Bridge (56.4 km)
  • Raikot Bridge to Astore (55.3km)
Here is the list of some of the beautiful lakes in Astore Valley :
Rama Lake :

Rama lake is a high mountain lake at an altitude of 3.507m  above the sea level. Just half an hour trek to Rama lake witness a wonderful view of the Nanga Parbat which is surrounded by forest. Facing the southern tail of the Nanga Parbat, the Rama meadows serve as a peaceful spot in the wildland.

Rama Lake.
Rama meadows.
Domail Rainbow Lake:

Domail Rainbow Lake is located in Minimarg village of Astore. The lake is one of the most beautiful lakes in the world with the area covered with lush green meadows. The lake is covered with beautiful flowers which gives a pleasant feeling. It is said that one needs to be lucky to view Domail Rainbow Lake because when you reach the lake hours of difficult trekking, the lake does not viewable due to fog and rain.

Domail Rainbow Lake.
Allah wali jheel

Allah wali jheel is one of the ancient tourism spots in Astore valley. Allah wali jheel is located at the end of the Perishing valley in Gotamsar town, 45 minutes’ drive from the Astore. The name of Allah written by the river is famous because the river passes through a huge passage surround by lush green fields, this passage is in a zigzag manner and the name of Allah is obvious if it looked from some height. The greenfield is bounded by high altitude mountains. The broad greenfield is attractive for sports activities.

Allah Wali Lake.
Allah Wali Lake surrounded by meadows.
Dar Lay Lake:

Dar Lay Lake is situated in Rattu valley. Dar Lay Lake is located at a distance of 89 km from KKH Thalichi and 49km from Astore. The lake is formed due to natural disasters in early 2005. This lake has been surrounded by thick forest mountains. The mountain peaks are under the snow during the month of July and August. One can enjoy the scenic view of Nanga Parbat from Dar Lay Lake. This lake has the potential for trout fishing and angling.

Dar Lay Lake.
Breathtaking villages of Astore:
Rupal valley :

Rupal valley is located in the Astore District of Gilgit Baltistan. Rupal valley is a beautiful and breathtaking village surrounded by huge glaciers and towering mountains which are covered by the forest of juniper and other species of plants that presents a pleasing and wonderful view to the visitors and trekkers. The Rupal valley is on the south side of Nanga Parbat, is accessed through the Astore valley, which leaves the KKH at Juglot 60km south of Gilgit. Rupal valley is famous for treks to the mountains’ Rupal Face, one of the highest mountain faces in the world.

Rupal Valley camping site.
The landscape of Rupal Valley.
Gutumsar Valley

Gutumsar Valley is located at a distance of 18 km from Astore valley. Gutumsar valley is a very beautiful place with tall pine trees surrounded by snow-capped mountains, and an ideal campsite. Famous Urdong Meadows are present in Gutumsar Valley. Banak La and Harpo pass two famous passes that are present in Gutumsar Valley.

Urdong Meadows.
Chilam Valley

Chilam village is the highest altitude village in Astore, It is 53km away from the Astore valley, which links to Deosai, Buzil Pass, Minimerg, and Gultari. The village is bound in winters due to snow harsh weather but in summers it is the most beautiful scenery with lush green mountains.

The landscape of Chilam Valley.
Banak La valley

It is located in Perishing Gutumsar valley in Astore, Located at a distance of 160 Km from Gilgit,70 km from the KKH at Jaglot and 20 km from Skardu through Shargunthang. Gutumsar valley is famous for Urdoung Lake and home to high altitude mountains and a variety of fauna such as ibex, musk deer, snow leopard, and rock partridge. Herbal plants are also found in this village.

Wonderful view of Banak La Valley.
Minimerg

Minimerg is located at an altitude of  14,00 feet. It is a hidden valley of natural beauty, purity, and simplicity. The beautiful valley is decorated with the grassy slopes, thick pine forests, fertile fields, and blue freshwater streams.Minimerg is also used as a winter camp for Himalayan brown bears.

Breath-taking Minimerg Valley.
Daas Khiram :

Daas Khiram is a sequence of three villages Daas, Daas Bala, and Khiram. It is located at a distance of 48 km from Astore. The village is famous for its calm and cold environment and best fishing.

Lush green Daas Khiram valley.
Mountain passes and treks:
Burzail pass

It is an ancient pass and caravan route between Srinagar in Kashmir and Gilgit. The pass lies close to the line of control separating India and Pakistan, which has since closed the Burzil. Burzil Pass is on way to Minimerg from Chilim. Burzil pass can be accessed in the summers and top of the pass is wide and covered with alpine grass vegetation. There is also a lake called Burzil Lake.

Burzail Pass.
Mazino Pass Trek

Mazino Pass is located at a distance of 42 KM from Astore headquarters. Mazino Pass trek is one of the most popular treks and famous among the foreign trekkers. It is used as the base camp to scale Nanga Parbat.

Mazino Pass.
Harpo Pass

The Harpo pass is located at an altitude of 3,500 meters. The distance from Gutumsar perishing Astore to Skardu is 30 km, the shortest link between Astore and Skardu via Harpo pass. The glaciers and high mountains covered with snow are all around the pass.

Harpo Pass
Bubin pass

Bubin pass is situated in Gudai Valley, located at a distance of 30 km from Astore headquarters. Bubin pass provides another link between Astore and Skardu and also famous for its natural beauty with lush green area, small freshwater streams, wonderful meadows with snow-capped peaks and grazing cattle’s will take your breath away. 

Bubin Pass.
Trek to Nanga Parbat basecamp

Nanga Parbat is located in the Diamar district of Pakistan. Nanga Parbat Base camp trek is one of the most famous treks in the world. Nanga Parbat is the ninth highest mountain in the world and the second-highest in Pakistan. Nanga Parbat is not a single peak but it is a long mountain range series consists of 20 km long. Its south face is known as Rupal Face while the North face is known as Raikot Face.

Nanga Parbat Base-Camp

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