Trip highlights: Islamabad-Taxila-Fairy Meadows-Deosai-Skardu-Gilgit-Karimabad Hunza- Duiker-Gulmit-Phander-Chitral-Kailash Valley-LowariTunnel-Swat – Takht-e-Bhai-Peshawar -Islamabad
Duration: 21 days/ 20 nights
Uchaw Festival Dates: August 21 & 22
5h August 2020
An early morning arrival in Islamabad, the modern capital city of Pakistan, after short rest sightseeing of Islamabad and Rawalpindi includes a visit to Shah Faisal Mosque, Pakistan Monument, Lok Virsa Museum and an old Raja Bazaar. Drive back to Islamabad for overnight stay.
6th August 2020
DAY-02 ISLAMABAD- NARAN
After an early breakfast, we head towards picturesque Naran valley. It’s an earthly paradise with lots of beautiful landscapes for trekking and sightseeing. One of the most famous summer resorts for domestic tourists. The journey takes around 6-7 hours drive with en-route stopover for lunch.
7th August 2020
DAY-03 NARAN-TATO-FAIRY MEADOWS (6 hours/3 hours trek)
After breakfast we will start our journey towards Fairy Meadows. We will take jeeps to drive to Tato village After the Jeep ride we will be hiking for three hours to reach Fairy Meadows. The Fairy Meadows is the perfect place to relax and explore the surroundings. From here you can enjoy the most spectacular view of Nanga Parbat, the ninth highest mountain in the world. Overnight stay will be in local lodge.
8th August 2020
DAY-04 FAIRY MEADOWS
A few kilo-meters after Fairy Meadows, there is a second campsite called Beyal, where it is much quieter and has even better views than the previous camp. After Beyal, the trail gets tougher, although more rewarding. From an alpine forest, the way becomes an arid but impressive landscape, surrounded by snow and ice blocks. Later return back to Fairy Meadows for overnight stay in local lodge. Those who want to relax and enjoy the serenity can have a free day at Fairy Meadows.
9th August 2020
DAY-05 FAIRY MEADOWS-TATO-RAIKOT BRIDGE-RAMA LAKE
Leaving behind Fairy Meadows we retrace our steps to Tato which is about two hours hike. Later we continue drive to Rama Lake, green and luxuriant pine forested valley of Rama, which nestles beneath the magnificence of Nanga Parbat. The journey takes around six hours.
10th August 2020
DAY-06 RAMA LAKE-DEOSAI PLATEAU-SKARDU
Drive to Skardu via Deosai Plateau (8 hours), the Deosai National Park is at an average elevation of 4,114 meters, making the Deosai Plains one of the highest plateaus in the world. The park protects an area of 3,000 square kilometers, it is well known for its rich flora and fauna. In the spring season it is covered by sweeps wildflowers and a wide variety of butterflies. After lunch drive to Skardu.
11th August 2020
Visit Kharpochu Fort which means king of forts in Balti is the mesmerizing site for a tourist. It is an excellent example of mastery of ancient engineering techniques and the definite crown jewel of the city. Kharpocho Fort stands at a height of 40m above the city. Later we visit Buddha rock carving outside Skardu and then head to Shigar Fort; it means ‘The Fort on Rock’ is an old fort of Baltistan located in Shigar town. It was built in the 17th century by the Raja of Amacha Dynasty of Shigar. The fort has been restored by Aga Khan Cultural Service.
12th August 2020
DAY-08 SKARDU –KHAPULO-SKARDU
Day excursion to Khapulo and visit Khapulo Fort, Khaplu is a valley in the Ghanche District of Gilgit-Baltistan. Lying 103km east of Skardu town, it was the second-largest kingdom in old Baltistan. It guarded the trade route to Ladakh along the Shyok River. The town is a base for trekking into the Hushe valley which leads to Masherbrum and Siachen mountains.
13th August 2020
DAY-09 SKARDU –GILGIT
We start early in morning to drive to Gilgit, the journey will take about seven to eight hours. Overnight will be in hotel.
14th August 2020.
Drive to Karimabad an ancient Capital of Hunza Valley, it is a gateway to the mountains and a great place to relax and enjoy the serenity. En-route visit Danyor Bridge & stopover at Rakaposhi View Point, it takes around 4 hours. Half day at leisure.
15th August 2020
After breakfast we visit Baltit Fort, below Ultar Glacier the whitewashed Baltit Fort stands guard, sturdily built on a wooden frame to withstand earthquakes. This was the old palace of the Mirs of Hunza and was inhabited until 1950s. The earliest watch tower of the fort is over 750 years old, the outer facade was built less than 200 years ago with 20th century addition. Beautifully restored by the Aga Khan Trust for culture, the fort is now a museum open to the public, and definitely worth a guided tour. We will stroll through Karimabad Bazar, then a walk of about two hours along Babar Channel from village Karimabad to Hyderabad. The purpose of this walk is an intense exploration of the culture and traditions of Hunzukutch (people of Hunza). The next attraction is Altit Fort, it is over 900 years, used to be home to the rulers of Hunza state. Later drive to the viewpoint called Duiker for panoramic experience of the entire Central Hunza at sunset. Duiker is a small village situated above Altit Village at a height of approximately 3000m from where you can get beautiful view of whole Hunza valley and all surrounding peaks as well as Hoper Glacier. Its distance from Karimabad is about 8kms – approximately half an hour drive. Later drive back to Karimabad for overnight in hotel.
16th August 2020
DAY-12 KARIMABAD –GULMIT- KARIMABAD
In the morning visit upper Hunza starting with Atta Abad Lake, it was formed in January 2010 by a massive landslide. Since then the lake has become a tourist attraction itself for its unique blue color and dramatic mountain backdrop. Later drive to Gulmit, the capital of Gojal, is a small village at about 2400m, there are many superb day walks near the Karakoram Highway from Gulmit. The major attractions in Gulmit are Ondra Fort and Gulmit Museum, full of traditional ethnic artifacts, is in a room of Raja Hussain Ali Khan’s house. We will visit Hussain Bridge and Passu village famous for Passu Cones or Cathedral. Drive back to Hunza for overnight.
17th August 2020
DAY-13 KARIMABAD – PHUNDER
Drive to Phunder via Gilgit (7 hours). En-route visit Kargah Buddha, a rock carving beside the Kargah Nullah (steam) 6km west of Gilgit along the old road to Punial, is the most popular short outing from Gilgit. The Buddha figure is about 3m tall and looks down protectively over Gilgit. It was carved in the 7th century and its workmanship reveals a talented master. Later continue drive to Phunder Valley in Gupis, it is one of the most scenic valleys which is also called “Little Kashmir”.
18th August 2020
DAY-14 PHUNDER-SHANDUR PASS-CHITRAL
Drive to Chitral via Shandur Pass (3734m/8 hours). The top of the pass is flat, open summer pasture with two lakes, an ideal spot to camp. Each year the Shandur Polo Festival brings spectators from around the globe to witness a game that is worth watching. This festival is organized every year between the first and second weeks of July. Trout fishing is another prominent feature. Later drive to Chitral, 300km long isolated valley in the northwestern corner of Pakistan. Few tourists have discovered this scenic valley with its superb walking, trekking and climbing possibilities and disarmingly friendly and hospitable people. Chitral offers several treks that are easier and greener than those in Karakoram and Himalaya ranges further east. Overnight will be in hotel.
19th August 2020
In the morning visit Chitral Town, the principal attractions are the bazaar, the Chitral Fort, Shahi Mosque by the river, the museum and Chitral Gol National Park. After lunch drive to Bumburet Kailash, the most popular outing from Chitral. The three valleys of Birir, Bumburet and Rumber are on the edge of the monsoon belt, so the vegetation is dense, with giant walnut trees and fruit trees draped in grapevines overhanging swiftly flowing streams, fields on the valley floor grow wheat, barely vegetables and fodder, and the steep 3000m ridges between the valleys are clothed in evergreen forest right to the top. Bumburet, the largest and most commercialized of the tree Kailash valleys. Overnight will be in hotel.
20th – 22nd August 2020
DAY-16 & 17 KAILASH
Two days are reserved to attend the festivities of Uchaw Festival in Kailash valley.
23rd August 2020
Drive to Swat takes six to seven hours. Swat valley is a unique, beautiful and glittering jewel an exact replica of the glorious Alps in Switzerland. Like the Alps several mighty and high mountain ranges surround this expansive and enthralling valley. It is certainly a paradise for nature lovers where they can feast their eyes on the diverse bounties of nature ranging from the densely forested mountains to the snaking rivers and torrents. In the afternoon we visit Buddh Kara and Swat Museum. Overnight will be in hotel.
24th August 2020
After breakfast we drive to Peshawar en-route visit the ostentatious structure and imposing relics of the Buddhist monastery. Takht-i-Bhai (Throne of Origins) has captivated a large number of locals and tourists who have flocked to see the ancient site which dates back to early 1st century AD. Listed in the World Heritage List, it is considered one of the well-structured Buddhist monasteries in Ghandhara district. It is perched about 500 feet atop a small hill, about 2 kilometers east of the Takht Bhai, once known as the heart of the Ghandhara civilization, which attracts tourists, historians, archaeologists and Buddhists from across the world. The historical site is an archaeological wonder, considered to be significant because of its unique design. The grandeur of its architecture and serenity of its location leaves lasting traces in the minds and hearts of visitor. Later continue drive to Peshawar, we will visit Peshawar Museum and Qissa Khuwani Bazaar. Overnight will be in the hotel.
25th August 2020
DAY-20 PESHAWAR – ISLAMABAD
Drive to Taxila (4 hours).Visit Ghandhara sites in Taxila and drive to Islamabad
Drive to Islamabad, en-route visit Taxila, an archaeological site and the home to some important remains of Ghandhara civilization. Steeped deep in history, the excavations at Taxila takes you back 2,500 years into the world of Buddha. It is here that you find endless images of Buddha. You find these in stone and in stucco. Important stages of Buddha’s life are depicted in the numerous panels that have been uncovered here. This great man of peace is depicted in exquisitely carved sculptures and statues glorifying him and his life. Each one of these sculptures is a collector’s pride. Continue drive to Islamabad.
26th August 2020
Transfer to airport for homebound flight
Number of Nights
HILL VIEW HOTEL
FIR CREST RESORT
RAIKOT SARAI OR FM COTTAGES
CONCORDIA MOTEL OR K-2 MOTEL OR LOCAL LODGE
GLAMPING RESORT / MOUNTAIN STORY
HINDUKUSH HEIGHTS / MOUNTAIN INN HUTS
SHELTON HOTEL / GUEST HOUSE
Note: 3 nights at Hill View Hotel Islamabad are inclusive of previous night charges on day one.