Travel

Shigar Valley — Cold Deserts, Historic Fort and Centuries-Old Mosques

Shigar

Shigar Valley is simply breathtaking which is surrounded by mountains and made for trekking and hiking. With its enchanting scenic beauty and the amazing horizons of the Katpana or Sarfranga cold deserts will entangle your heart.

Shigar is the most remote district among the ten districts of Gilgit-Baltistan. It is located at the bank of Shigar River. Shigar River is formed from the melted water of the Baltoro and Biafo Glaciers. Shigar Valley is on a 30 minutes drive from Skardu main city.

Askole is a small town in Shigar Valley and the final settlement before the wilderness of the Karakoram mountains. Expeditions to some of the highest peaks of the world are launched from Askole town.

The town of Shigar is the gateway via Shigar Valley to the great Karakoram mountains and 5 Eight-thousanders of the total 14 mountains that are more than 8,000 meters including K2, the second highest mountain in the world. The 5 Eight-thousanders are K2, Gasherbrum I, Broad Peak, Gasherbrum II, and Gasherbrum III.

The region is very well known for its tourist destinations and many historical buildings mainly influenced by Tibetan traditions. The natives of the regions are Balti people and predominantly Shia Muslims.

Famous tourist destinations of Shigar Valley

Famous tourist destinations of the valley include Shigar Fort, Bab-e-Shigar Cold Desert, Khilingrong Mosque, Amburiq Mosque, and 1614-built Khanqah-i-Muallah.

Shigar Fort or Fong Khar — Palace on the Rock was built in the 17th century. The fort has now been converted to a museum and luxury hotel managed by Serena Hotels.

Amburiq Mosque is an 800 years old mosque, built by a Persian Sufi saint, Mir Syed Ali Hamdani in the 14th century.

Khilingrong Mosque is over 400 years old mosque and now restored, constructed with wood and intricately carved in a Tibetan and Xinjiang style of architecture.

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