- Trip reference: EKK/CT – 09
- Duration of the Trip: 12 Days
- Places to visit: Islamabad – KKH – Gilgit – Hunza – Passu – Taxila
- Best Season: March to October
Experience the confluence of the highest mountain ranges of the world: Karakuram, Himalayas and Hindukush. Travel overland on Karakuram Highway, reputed as 8th wonder of the world, through the dramatic, deep gorge of Indus: the Lion river. Spend a few days in Hunza known for longevity of its inhabitants. Walk to the glaciers flowing down from the soaring peaks. Passu is the staging ground for popular treks (such as the Batura Glacier, the meadow of Patundas, the winter pasture of Avdegar and the remote Shimshal village) and superb day hikes (such as the Yunz Valley, Borit Sar, Kharamabad village and Passu Ghar along the Passu Glacier)
Day 1 Arrival Islamabad
Morning arrive Islamabad, meet and transfer to hotel. After noon visit the Islamabad and Rawalpindi the twin cites and explores the colorful bazzars of Rawalpindi, visit the Shah Faisal mosque and damn –e- Koh to have the view of Islamabad the modern capital of Pakistan. Overnight Envoy Continental hotel.
Day 2 Fly to Gilgit or Drive to Besham
We take the spectacular flight over the moutnians to Gilgit (subject to weather). If the flight is cancelled drive to Besham, passing through the enchanting valleys of Mansehra and Indus Kohistan and meet the Indus at Thakot bridge 35 km before Besham. Overnight at Besham hotel. (7/9 hours). 270 Km
Day 3 In Gilgit if flown or Besham – Gilgit
If flown we visit the Budh rock from 7th century A.D and sightseeing and walk in the Bazaar. If by road we drive to Gilgit from Besham. Gilgit for the adventure-loving tourist, be he a hiker, angler, art lover, mountaineer or polo enthusiast, or be he merely interested in exotic people and their lifestyles, there are a few places in the world that can compare to Gilgit. Gilgit is an old tribal town that acted as a rest stop for weary travellers on the silk route- the famous road from China to the Arabian sea. It has flourished over the centuries, lying practically unmolested by the teeming herds or conquerors. Gilgit is located in the heart of the Karakorum range, surrounded by lofty peaks, the most majestic being Rakaposhi. Gilgit is both accessible by road and by air; the road, newly constructed along the path of the ancient silk route, is an unforgettable journey through winding valleys and tumbling waterfalls.
We stop at Thalichi for the best view point of Nanga Parbat (8,125m) the 9th highest peak of the world and the second highest after K 2 in Pakistan, also known as the killer mountain. Rakaposhi (7,788m) and the Haramosh range can also be viewed from here. As we drive north we arrive at the meeting point of the mountain rages. The three highest mountain ranges of the world Karakorum , Himalayas and Hindukush meet where Indus river is joined by Gilgit river. We continue along Gilgit river.
Overnight at Gilgit Hotel. . (9/10 hours, 330 Km)
Day 4 Gilgit – Karimabad
After breakfast drive to Karimabad. Karimabad is the delightful old capital of the Hunza Kingdom. From Karimabad, with its souvenir shop, post office and tea shop, you can obtain a magnificent view of the valley laid out below you and of the peaks behind. The Aliabad / Karimabad area is sprinkled with wild flowers and blossoming fruit orchards. We will spend half our day in these two towns enjoying the greenery and delighting in the sound of babbling brooks. Upon arrival transfer to the hotel. Overnight at Hotel. (5/6 hours)
Day 5 Visit Baltit Fort and day walk to Duiker (Eagle’s Nest)
Hunza is located in the extreme north of Pakistan in Gilgit-Baltistan fortified by the giant mountain ranges of Karakorum, Himalayas, Hindu-kush and Pamirs through the Wakhan Corridor and further north neighbored by the heavenly mountains of Tianshan and Kunlunsun and historic city of Kashgar, the legendary land of Hunza is most majesticlly placed on the roof of the world. It falls on a junction of old silk Route, now replaced by the KKH, Karakorum Highway, the 8th wonder of the world, snaking into the people’s Republic of China through the Khunjerab Pass 4733M, between the Oxus and Indus. It is no doubt the SHANGRI LA, Heaven on earth. Hunza had been an indpendent state till 1974, ruled by the king, “tham”. Known for its far crag mountains, glaciers, men made oasis and fairy lands and popular for bravery, hardwork, longevity, hospitality and distinct cultural heritage, the people of Hunza have kept their autonomy for centuries and championed the ideals of freedom, equality and peace in the region.
Morning day walk to Duiker below Ulter Peak (7388m). We start walking from our Hotel with elevation at 2500m and then passing the one street Karimabad bazaar we get to Baltit fort. We visit 800 years old Baltit fort before taking the trail to Duiker. The architure is clear indication of the Tibetan influence. This fort was built by the craftmen from Baltistan when the ruler of Hunza was married with princess of Baltistan who bought with her many Balti craftmen as part of her dowry to constuct this fort. Ganish Fort or watch towers are also worth to see, that has been restored too recently. The trail to Duiker begins just before Baltit Fort, following the water channel. Start of the trek is steep but compensate with lovely views down the valley as you go up. After ¾ hours we reach to Duiker at 3000m where we stay overnight. Duiker is the view points for the landscape, the highiest point of the valley that that gives magestic views of mountians and valleys. Overnight Eagle’s Nest Duiker. Overnight at Hunze Serena (Baltit Inn).
Day 6 Karimabad – Passu (Upper Hunza Valley)
Morning we drive to Atabad. From Atabad we travel in a boat over newly formed Hunza river to the village of Gulmit, effective capital of Gojal or Upper Hunza. The people here, famed for their hospitality, are Persian speaking Wakhi who claim descent from Tajiki nomads in Afghanistan. Like their neighbours in Lower Hunza they are followers of the Aga Khan, leader of the Ismaili branch of Islam. Situated on the edge of the old Polo ground, Gulmit is home to a small but interesting museum. There are also opportunities for short walks in the area – in particular on a hill behind the town the ruins of Andra Fort afford good views both up and down the valley, visit local museum and old Hunza House. Continue to Passu. Over night at HOTEL Passu.
Day 7 Day walk to Ghulking glacier & Borit Lake
There are opportunities for short walks in the area – in particular on a hill behind the town the ruins of Andra Fort afford good views both up and down the valley. Walk through the village fields to visit the Polo ground and old houses Take a trek to Gulkin glaciers and Borit Lake. After lunch at Borit lake we walk down to Karakrum highway for 20 minutes and visit to the 800 feet long suspension bridges of Hussani, still used by the local people. 6/7 hours. Overnight HOTEL Passu.
Day 8 Day walk along Passu glacier
Morning day walk along while glacier of passu to Passu ghar (3210m) for superb views of Passu peaks and Karon Koh. We,ll have our picnic lunch for today. After lunch at Passu Ghar we walk down to Passu. In the afternoon explore Passu and visit Batura glacier. Overnight HOTEL Passu.
Day 9 Karimabad – Gilgit
Morning free in Karimabad, afternoon drive to Gilgit along the Hunza River. We will have lunch at Rakaposhi view point with a view of Rakaposhi and Ghulmet glaciers. After lunch drive to Gilgit.
On arrival to Gilgit we visit Kargah rock-carved Buddha from 7th century AD. In the ancient times the Kargah valley used to be the traveling route of the Buddhist monks, to go to Taxila. Stroll down the colorful Bazaars of Gilgit. Overnight at Hotel Gilgit.
Day 10 Fly to Islamabad or Drive Gilgit – Besham
Early morning we return to Islamabad (subject to weather), If flight cancelled drive by KKH to Besham. Besham is a little transit village now beginning to assume the features of a modern town and has the trappings of modern civilization – petrol stations, cafes, restaurants, hotels , barber shops and bazaars. It is the junction for Swat Valley via the scenic Shangla Pass into Khawzakhela; Kaghan Valley via Manshera and Gilgit. Overnight at Besham Hotel. (9/10 hours, 330 Km)
Day 11 In Islamabad if flown or drive Besham – Taxila – Islamabad
If flown the previsou day, we take a visit to Taxila. If by road we drive to Islamabad via Taxila. Upon arrival transfer to the Hotel. Taxila, situated 35 miles from Rawalpindi, was once the seat of Oriental culture. It was first mentioned as a satrapy of the Archemenian empire in 6th century B.C. It was invaded by Alexander the Great and passed along to other rulers until finally reaching the hands of Ashoka the Great, who moulded the city into a center of learning. The creative Gandhara period followed shortly thereafter and Taxila remained the center of learning, philosophy and art. It came to a disastrous and pathetic end when sacked by the White Huns. Today, Taxila is an archaeologist’s paradise: there is a well- maintained museum here and eight sites scattered around a very short radius. Amongst the best preserved are Sirkap, Jaulian (the University) and Dharmarajika Stupa. Farewell dinner after all the adventure and excitement. Its time to say good bye to each other with a wish to meeting again at some other Karakorum Explorers program in future.
Overnight at Hotel.
Day 12 Depart Islamabad
After breakfast transfer to the airport for onward flight.
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