Pakistan is nothing short of heaven on Earth. Skardu valley is one such place in Pakistan with immense beauty that attracts locals and foreigners from all across the world. From rolling hills, snow-peaked mountains, most extraordinary glaciers, gushing rivers to second-largest alpine plains, Skardu has it all.
Apart from natural beauty, Skardu is rich in history and culture and many old forts, mosques, and buildings, making it a unique place for visitors. It is situated in the Gilgit-Baltistan province and is present at a high altitude, due to which the weather is unpredictable; you can even expect snowfall in mid-July.
If you plan to visit this amazing and fascinating place, plan your visit between May and September to enjoy it to the fullest. Let’s have a look at the top 10 best places to visit in Skardu:
10 Best Places To Visit in Skardu
1. Deosai Plains
One of the most famous and most visited places in Skardu is the Deosai plains. They are the second-largest alpine plains and one of the highest altitude plains with so much scenic beauty that one cannot get over for a long time. It has been transformed into a National Park for the preservation of the unique flora and fauna of the area.
The park is blessed with different forms of natural beauty, including snow-capped mountains, lush green meadows, rolling hills, streams, lakes, and some unique flora and fauna that one cannot see anywhere else.
If you are lucky, you can find some wild animals like Himalayan Brown Bear, Red fox, snow leopard, golden eagle, snow cock, and more. It is a must-visit place Sightseeing, camping, and trekking are some of the most common hobbies amongst visitors.
2. Shangrila Lake (Lower Kachura Lake)
Nature will never fail to show new wonders in this land of Skardu. You can find nature at its best in this lake. This mesmerizing lake can be visited through a scenic drive 32 km away from Skardu city.
It is also known as the Lower Kachura Lake and also houses the Shangrila Resort, a dream place to live in. The uniqueness about the lake is that an aerial view of the lake shows that the lake is heart in shape naturally.
The majestic mountains in the background, the beautiful lake, and the surrounding lush green areas are a sight to witness once in a lifetime.
3. Manthoka Waterfall
Skardu is a land full of wonders and mesmerizing surprises. If you wish to witness a magnificent waterfall that is also the largest in Pakistan, then don’t miss out on this majestic Manthoka Waterfall, located at a two hours drive from Skardu city. The waterfall is so high that one can find difficulty looking up to see the tip of the mountain from where the waterfall starts.
The pristine clear water of the waterfall is frigid throughout the year. The ice-cold water does not allow anyone to dip their hands or feet in the water for more than a few seconds. The waterfall is very scenic, with gushing freshwater, rainbows, and surrounding lush green valleys.
4. Katpana Cold Desert
In this list of best places to visit in Skardu, Katpana Cold Desert is another wonder in Skardu. In the midst of the snow-capped mountains and gushing fresh rivers and streams, is an expansive land adorned with mesmerizing sand dunes, also referred to as the cold desert.
This cold dessert is nothing short of a mind-blowing work of nature. There are two central deserts found near the banks of the Indus River named Katpana and Shigar Desert.
These deserts are nothing like a typical desert where you sweat away every inch of your body. Due to the high altitude, the weather here is freezing, which is why it is also known as the cold desert.
Amidst the sand dunes, you can find a miracle of nature, the Katpana Lake, another mesmerizing lake of Skardu, which is also a famous tourist spot because of the unparalleled serenity you can take in from the place. The majestic Karakoram Mountains in the background add to the exquisiteness of the place.
5. Shigar Valley and Fort
Another beautiful valley to witness on your Skardu trip is the Shigar Valley, situated at a one-hour drive from the main city. It is a mesmerizing village with stunning views all around you.
The Shigar Fort is an ancient fort, and you can witness the old times by visiting inside the fort, where history has been preserved at its best; it has been secured as a World Heritage Site. You can also enjoy a fantastic stay at the hotel in the fort. The gushing white water seen from the fort is a sight to behold.
6. Zharba Lake (Blind Lake)
Yet another beautiful lake in the Skardu plains is the Zharba Lake, situated near the Shigar Valley. It is a breathtaking site with clear blue water, surrounded by lush green meadows, beautiful flora, and fauna, and graced by the majestic snow-capped mountains in the background.
Sightseeing, swimming, boating, and fishing are some of the favorite past times for tourists. Due to its awesome beauty, it is in the list of best places to visit in Skardu.
7. Khaplu Fort and Valley
With a few hours of travel on the most scenic route from Skardu city comes the Khaplu Valley, which is another enchanting beauty. The valley offers scenic panoramic views to tourists and makes a place worth remembering. The beauty of the place is a pleasure to the eyes and soul.
It is an ancient valley and houses rich history and culture. To witness the ancient times and relive the old Yabgo dynasty and experience the lives of the Kings and queens and the locals, you can visit the mesmerizing Khaplu Fort, which has so much to show the visitors.
You can even stay in the fantastic hotel built within the Khaplu fort to mesmerize the visitors with the rich history and spellbinding views. The Chaqchan mosque near the fort is one of the oldest mosques in the region and is a beautiful sight to see.
8. Upper Kachura Lake
Amongst the many hypnotic lakes you can find in Skardu; the Upper Kachura Lake is one of the most beautiful lakes to witness. Surrounded by mesmerizing mountains and greenery, the lake is a beauty to see. It is only 20 km away from Skardu city and easily accessible.
Rafting, boating, and enjoying a freshwater dip are some of the favorite things to do by tourists visiting. You can even stay in this breathtaking place and enjoy freshly caught trout fish along with taking in the view.
9. Satpara Lake
The beauty of high-altitude lakes is something else. The scenic views you get to see in a high-altitude lake are like none other. Satpara Lake is situated at an altitude of 8650 ft. the turquoise blue lake is a beauty to watch just 2.5 km away from Skardu city. It is not only stunning but is very resourceful as well.
It is one of the largest freshwater resource for Skardu city and Pakistan. The lake’s beautiful water generates electricity for Skardu and is also a source of drinking water and delicious fish. Tourists come here to enjoy the scenic views, boating, rafting, and fishing in the pristine waters.
10. Sheosar Lake
In the magnificent plains of Deosai, you can find this stunning lake at an altitude of 13,589 ft above sea level. A lake at this altitude is in itself a wonder to look at. The scenic views surrounding the lake and the crystal clear blue water of the lake are spellbinding to look at.
The beautiful reflecting colors in summer and the frozen lake in the winter are a must-visit site once in a lifetime. The striking beauty of this lake is unmatched, and no matter how long you stay at the lake, you cannot get enough of the beauty of this lake.
Skardu Valley is a beautiful wonder of nature with majestic mountains, rolling hills, lush green meadows and pastures, freshwater streams, gushing rivers, cold deserts, waterfalls, and most scenic lakes. It is a place worth visiting once in a lifetime and even more if you get the chance.
Note: We’ll keep adding more best places to visit in Skardu.
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