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About Gilgit-Baltistan

Gilgit-Baltistan of Pakistan

Gilgit-Baltistan. Baltistan is bordered to the south and south-east of Ladakh and in the south-west of Kashmir  situated  in the heart of the Karakoram. In the Gilgit-Baltistan of Pakistan four big mountain ranges the Karakoram, the Handukuch the Himalayas and The Pamirs- meet.

The region Gilgit Baltistan has its rich cultural heritage and scenic beauty and the whole Gilgit Baltistan is the paradise of mountains climbers, trekkers and hikers from whole over the world.
Gilgit–Baltistan is administratively divided into two divisions and nine districts.Gilgit is federal territory of Gilgit–Baltistan in northernPakistan and skardu is the Capital of Baltistan.

The Indus plains, where 80 % of the population live, take up one third of the total area of the country.A high birth rate (2.41 % population growth), extensive emigration of academics and – as a result of the war in Afghanistan about 2.2. Million refugees confront the government with huge problems. Pakistan is what is called a third-world country, and indeed one of the poorer ones. Life expectancy is 64 years, infant mortality 84 per 1000, and illiteracy rate 57 %. There is no compulsory school attendance.

On the other hand the region can look back on a more than 1000-year-old culture. Countless cultural as well as scenic sights make Pakistan an interesting destination for tourists. This is especially true for the north of the country, i.e. the mountain regions.
 

Baltistan

Baltistan is one of the least developed regions in the world. Half of the approximately 400,000 Baltis live below the poverty line, one in five is to a high degree undernourished or malnourished. On the average, a woman bears 9 children many of whom die before reaching their second year.

Nowhere on earth is there such a concentration of mountains higher than 7000 metres. The average height of Baltistan is 4 700 metres above sea-level, the lowest point lies at about 2000 metres. The mountains of the Karakoram are steep and ragged, which make them unsuitable for mass tourism, but they offer limitless possibilities for trekkers and mountaineers. The landscape of Baltistan with its majestic summits, sheer granite towers, flower-strewn slopes and long glaciers is unique in its bizarre and breath-taking beauty.

The inhabitants of Baltistan, the Baltis, impress the visitor with their hospitality. They are gentle and peace-loving and radiate composure not to be ruffled by anything. Violence against tourists is unheard-of in Baltistan, and crime is as good as non-existent.

Baltistan divided into four kingdoms:
•    Skardu
•    Khaplu
•    Shigar
•    Rondu

Famous Mountains Peaks above 8000 Meters:
•    K-2 (Chagori) (8616 Meter)
•    Nanga Parbat (8125 Meter)
•    Gasherbrum-I (8068 Meter)
•    Broad Peak (8065 Meter)
•    Gasherbrum-II (8047 Meter)

Cultural & Festival Events:
•    Jashn-e-Navroz
•    Jashn-e-Baharan
•    Jashn-e-Maifan
•    Shandoor Polo Festival
•    Babusar Polo Festival
•    Harvest time festival
  There were also four lesser principalities:
•    Keris
•    Parkuta
•    Tolti
•    Kharmang

Famous Treks:
•    Gondogoro la traverse
•    Concordia / k2 base camp
•    Biafo-hispar-traverse
•    karakorum great traverse

Traditional Music:
Alghani: Favoride rhythm of the people of Gilgit, Ghizer Yasin, Puniyal, and Gupis.
Ajoli: during departure of bride and groom from house
Souse: A fast rhythm and is used specially in sword dances.
Dani: Dani is the name of a traditional music used in Hunza.
  Famous mountain ranges:
•    The Hindukush (Tirich Mir, 7 690 m)
•     The Himalaya (Nanga Parbat, 8 126 m)
•    The Karakoram (K 2, 8 611 m)
•    The Pamirs and the border mountains to Afghanistan and Iran.

Culture, Tradition & Heritage of Gilgit- Baltistan:
Gilgit-Baltistan is home to a number of diversified cultures, ethnic groups, languages and various backgrounds.

Languages spoken in Gilgit-Baltistan:
•    Brushaski
•    Wakhi
•    Khowar
•    Balti

Music and Dances:
•    Old Man Dance
•    Sword Dance
•    Cow Boy Dance

How to Access Gilgit Baltistan
By flight Treks and expeditions in the Northern Areas usually begin and end in Skardu or Gilgit. Between Islamabad and these towns there is a daily flight but the planes only take off when the weather is good, or when they are booked out, so it is never possible to rely on being able to fly. The flight takes about 45 minutes.

By Karakorum Highway
The second possibility to get to Skardu or Gilgit is by bus via the Karakorum Highway. The whole trip, exclusive breaks, takes about 20 hours to Skardu, a little less to Gilgit, and leads through the fascinating landscape of the Indus Valley. It is advisable for tourists to rent a vehicle but of course it is also possible to use local transport. Unfortunately, problems can arise due to landslides which usually occur after heavy rainfalls and block the road for days or even weeks.

By Khunjerab Pass
You can also reach northern Pakistan from the north by flying to an airport in China (Eastern Turkestan) or Tadjikistan and then crossing the Khunjerab Pass and driving down the Karakorum Highway.

           
  Gilgit   Skardu   Shigar   Khaplu   Kharmang  

Askole village is located about 85 kilometers from Skardu, Pakistan. Askole Village, Pakistan's highest and most remote village, the last human settlement before trek up to Baltoro Glacier to Concordia and highest peak and longest glaciers (outside polar region)on earth. The Askoe vilage is famous for gateway to Great Mountain on earth and longest glaciers on earth outside polar region. Askole village is the starting point of the trek to Baltoro Glacier, Biafo Glacier, Chogtai Glacier. The Climbing and trekking expedition stay here for a night and arrange porters. Askole village is gateway to K2, Broad Peak, Gasherbrums,Muztagh Towers, Uli Biaho Tower, Paiyu Peak, Baintha Brakk and Latok Peaks, and many more. Camp site is available at Askole village.

The Shigar Valley is a valley in Baltistan in northern Pakistan that is watered by theShigar River. The valley stretches about 170 km from Skardu to Askole and is the gateway to the high mountains of the Karakoram.

Askole or Askoly is a small town located in Shigar Valley, in the most remote region of the Karakoram mountains, in Northern Areas, Pakistan. It is the last settlement before the wilderness of the Karakoram. Askole is the gateway to four of the world's fourteen highest peaks known as Eight-thousanders (above 8,000m). Askole is located at 35°41′N 75°49'E.[1]