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Kafiristan to Baltistan

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13 Days
Availability : April - August
Islamabad
Baltistan
Tour Details

Introduction

The Valley of Kafiristan or Kafiristan is old name of Nuristan valley, which is situated in the Hindu Kush region of Afghanistan and Pakistan. The Kafiristan valley enjoys a central geographical location bounded by Chitral, Kunar Valley and Alishang River. Baltistan, called Balti-yul by its inhabitants, is the eastern centre of the longest glaciers, highest peaks and towers of the Karakoram Range where villages are oasis in a vertical wilderness of rock and ice. The mighty Indus River sweeps through the land, augmented by the glacial Shigar and Shyok rivers. Baltistan western border with Gilgit is at Shengus village, downstream from the Indus River’s Rondu gorge, to the east and the south is the line of control with India, and to the north, along the Karakoram crest, is the border with China. Baltistan is also known as “Little Tibet” and culturally contrasts sharply with areas to its west. The folklore of the Balti-pa is not that of shamans and fairies, but rather of the Tibetan king Kesar. Nagar and Hunza are much influenced by Baltistan, with certain music, apricots and polo both probably coming from Baltistan.

Departure & Return Location

Islamabad International Airport (Google Map)https://goo.gl/maps/J7yGR5AijgHGQBDc7

Departure Time

3 Hours Before Flight Time

Price Includes

  • Domestic airfare
  • Hotel accommodation at tourist class hotels with B/B.
  • Services of English speaking experience guide,
  • Entrance Fees
  • All transportation in destination location

Price Excludes

  • International airfare and airport tax. Excess weight.
  • Main meals and extras at hotels like drinks, laundry, phone calls. Insurance liability and other under force majeure conditions, medical aid, and helicopter rescue coverage etc.
  • Any Private Expenses
  • Room Service Fees
  • Staff Tips

Complementaries

  • Umbrella
  • Sunscreen
  • T-Shirt
  • Entrance Fees
What to Expect
  • Unique culture of Kailash
  • Shandur, highest polo ground in the world.
  • The only Place where three mountain ranges meet
  • Will travel on some part of ancient silk route
Itinerary

Day 1Arrive Islamabad, Pakistan

Arrive in Islamabad. A representative of Karakorum Explorers will meet you outside the customs and immigration area at the airport. This representative will answer questions, brief you on the immediate arrangements, and escort you to the hotel in Islamabad. Discover the twin cities of Islamabad and Rawalpindi. Rawalpindi is an old British -era settlement and Islamabad is the capital city and administrative centre built sometime after the partition of India in elevation in 1947. The cities are Located at about 1,500 feet in elevation in the hot and steamy plains of Pakistan’s upper Punjab. You may wish to explore Rawalpindi by wandering among its many and varied bazaars, or visit the imposing Shah Faisal Mosque superbly situated at the foot of the Margalla Hills. This mosque is one of the largest in the world, with room for 15,000 worshippers inside and 85,000 in the courtyard. This day we will attend a trek briefing at the Alpine club of Pakistan.
Breakfast included.Overnight in Hotel.

Day 2Fly to Chitral, Bumburet

Fly to Chitral, over the fertile green plains of valley of swat and Lowari pass (3,200m). The landscape of Hindukush
range appears much arid and dry, as this area is outside the reach of monsoon and receives very little rain.
After arrived to Chitral we will go to police station clearing our docomentations.After clearing the official work will go to visit Shahi Mosque, a beautiful white structure built by the former rulers of Chitral, is one of the most interesting buildings in Chitral. In its courtyard are buried former rulers and members of their families. Nearby is the historic Fort of Chitral where a small contingent of the British Army was besieged for almost thirty days. From the fort is an awe-inspiring view of Tirich Mir Mountain with the Chitral River flowing nearby. The winding street of the Chitral bazaar has shops selling household objects, antiques and handicrafts obtained from the remote valleys. Afternoon jeep drive to southwestern part of Chitral, which is inhabited by the Kalash people. The “Kalash Country” is spread over three valleys: Bomburet, Birir and Rumbur. Kalash have fascinated anthropologists and historians by their obscure origins, colourful festivals, curious customs and rituals.
Overnight in Hotel.

Day 3Excursion to Rambur

Full day sightseeing tour of Kalash Valleys. Our tour starts with a visit to the scenic valley of Rambur lies 40km (25 miles) from Chitral. The excursion includes a visit to Brun where Kalash deities are accommodated. Visit the unique cattle houses and the village of Shaikande. Of special interest here are the carvings and their motifs used to decorate the homes. From there we will continue to the narrow valley of Birir, where the Kalash community is gathered together. The main village of Guru is perched on the hillside as if stuck to the steep slope. The main attractions are the women in their long black robes and their attractive headgear, skillfully made entirely of cowry shells and buttons. An interesting site is the dance hall, which during the winter is used for religious performances. Later a visit to a Kalash home. This is a unique experience.
Overnight in Hotel.

Day 4 Explore Bumburet

Bumburet is the largest and the most picturesque valley of the Kafir Kalash. A 2½ -hour jeep drive to this strange and remarkable tribe of people, who are the primitive pagan tribes known as Kafir Kalash, which means the wearers of the black robes. They have the odd habit of burying their dead in open coffins. The people of Kalash claim their descent from the armies of Alexander the Great. Their houses are constructed of rough-hewn logs and are double storied because of the steepness of the slopes. They are famous for their lively religious festivals. They also wear a picturesque headgear, which weighs between three and four pounds. It is made of woollen black material encrusted with cowrie shells, buttons and crowned with a large coloured feather.
.Overnight in Bumburet.

Day 5Drive to Mastuj

Morning drive, from Bumburet to Mastuj village, along the Chitral river which is flowing in the main valley bed. The landscape of Hindukush range appears much arid and dry, as this area is outside the reach of monsoon and receives very little rain. We stop at a small village for lunch and then continue North, now enjoying fascinating views of snow clad peaks reaching 4,500m. Meals & Overnights at PTDC Motel.
Overnight in Hotel.

Day 6 Drive to Gilgit over Shandur Pass

Drive over Shandur pass and through Phander lake to Gilgit. After Laspur village the zigzag jeep track climbs up the
Shandur pass (3,700m), so we leave the jeeps and walk over the pass to the highest polo ground in the world. This is
where every year a grand festival of polo takes place where teams from all of North Pakistan meet together to decide the champion of the year. The festival is attended by many enthusiasts from every village, who camp here for days to see their team progress towards the glory. We continue drive to Gilgit. As we drive, we bid farewell to Hindukush range. Wild landscape meets us during the drive as this is visited by much less people and is snow covered during the winters so only nomads move with their flock of goats, searching the higher slopes for green pastures.
Breakfast included.Overnight in Hotel.

Day 07 Drive to Khaplu via Skardu

Today, we will follow Gilgit river downstream and travel on Karakorum Highway eventually taking crossing Gilgit river, at the confluence point of The three mighty Mountains Ranges namely Karakorum, Himalaya and Hindukush. Crossing the Gilgit river we will move upstream along river Indus, Zigzagging through narrow gorges of Karakorum which eventually opens up to capital of Baltistan, Skardu.
Skardu/Baltistan valley: The rising of Indus stretches down to Baltistan valley from Tibet to Gilgit and down to the Arabian Sea, which cuts the Indian sub-continent from Asia; Baltistan valley is called a little Tibet in the North of Pakistan. Baltistan is situated at the last end of Himalaya, beside Deosai Plain and Satpara Lake. Baltistan the tourist destination of Mountains paradise where the world 2nd highest peak is K2 (8611-m) and the other 8000m are Broad Peak, Gasherbrum-I & II Likely 8068 to 8047 m and there are many peaks 7750- 7800m. Its snow capped peaks, and long glaciers give you the spectacular view for climbers, trekkers and travelers.we will stop for a while at skardu and drive to Khaplu village 90 km, Overnight in Hotel.

Day 08 Khaplu Sightseeing

Khaplu village: This handsome village of timber-and-stone houses and precision-made dry walls climbs up a wide alluvial fan beneath an arc of sheer granite walls. Painstaking irrigation has made it a shady, fertile oasis. As you climb its twisting track, the icy peaks of the Masherbrum Range rise on the other side of the valley. It’s hard to imagine a more majestic setting near a public road anywhere in Pakistan. The main attractions are the 2600m-high village itself, the old Royal Palace and even older Mosque above it at Changchun, and the heart-stopping views.visit Khaplu Fort and Khaplu village. If we are lucky with weather we will able to see mighty Masherbrum(7,821 m) from this village.
Overnight in Hotel.

Day 09 Drive to Skardu

Drive Back to skardu and will go for excursion to shigar valley. Shigar has a quality of world Heritage site features. Key Features are: Shigar Fort Residence, Fong Khar or palace on the rocks, the ruins of the old fort on the top of the steep rock overlooking Shigar fort; the Khanqah-e-Moallah( A religious retreat for prayer and meditation) the 2nd largest in existence after the one in Srinagar the delicate and exquisitely decorated wooden Astanas (tomb) of no of saints; the restored fourteenth century Amburiq Mosque, allegedly the oldest in Baltistan; Afternoon visit the impressive Buddhist rock with interesting engravings about an hour walk and famous Satpara Lakenear to Manthal village skardu.Before arrival of Islam in the region of Gilgit-Baltistan the majority of the people were Buddhist and they had engraved the Buddha on many rock pieces. This Buddha carving was not known to the world till beginning of 20th century due to its remote location. In 1906 the Scottish traveler Ella Christie wrote a book on her journey to the Western Tibet and featured the carving in her book which gave it an international attention. Since then the government has taken many steps to preserve this monument and it is visited by tourists who visit the Skardu city

Day 10 Drive to Rama – Cross Deosai plains

This day is fairly longer day as we shall be crossing the Deosai Plateau, a treeless wilderness at 4,000m. We will have our pack lunch at Bara Pani, where we shall cross a suspension Bridge with our jeeps. Deosai Plateau is now a National Park where we have more than 40 Brown Bear, which were disappearing some years back but with the help of WWF and Government of Pakistan now the number is increasing year by year. This is the highest plateau in the world which is 300 square meters long and 4000m above sea level. Before Ascending we will be crossing and over viewing the beautiful Lake Satpara and Village.
Crossing sheosar lake or Deosai lake we will enter Astor, South of Deosai lies the Rama Valley and its beautiful lake that a visitor can’t afford to miss. Surrounded by the majestic peaks: Nanga Parbat, Shaigiri, Rupal Peak, Chongra Peak, Leila Peak, the panorama is simply marvelous. Many wild flowers as well as rare medicinal plants are also found in this valley. Government has declared this valley as a Natural Park in order to preserve and protect its fauna, including the brown bear.
Breakfast included.Overnight in Hotel.

Day 11 Drive to Gilgit

Exiting Astore gorge will lead us to Indus Valley, we will once again drive on Karakorum Highway.
The Karakoram Highway, also known as the Friendship Highway in China, was built by the governments of Pakistan and China, it was started in 1959 and was completed in 1979 (open to the public since 1986) about 810 Pakistanis and about 200 Chinese workers lost their lives, mostly in landslides and falls, while building the highway. The route of the KKH traces one of the many paths of the ancient Silk Road.
Overnight in Hotel.

Day 12 Morning flight to Islamabad

In the morning 50 to 55 minute flight to Islamabad.during the flight you can experience the very high mountain ranges like Karakorum and Himalaya, the famous peak you can see during the flight the killer mountain Nanga Parbat 8126m high. after arriving to Islamabad we can go to see some tourist attraction places in Islamabad. Faisal mosque, look virsa etc
Overnight in Hotel.

Day 13 Departure

Morning transfer to Islamabad International airport for your return home bound flight.

Map
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