Altitude: MIN 610 m to MAX 4734 m
Duration: 13 days / 12 nights
Best Season: June to End of October
This trip is specially designed for those who are interested both in cultural tourism and adventure. The journey begins from Islamabad (the capital of Pakistan) to Gilgit and Hunza valley via Karakoram Highway. On the way, you will be able to see the a number of historic monuments and natural masterpieces. The taxila museum and junction of three great mountains are the key attractions. In Gilgit you will see the Budha carved on a rock cliff. The journey continues to Hunza and on the way you will see the majestic Raka Poshi which is breathtaking. Spending some time in Hunza valley will be a unique experience. On the way back we will move to Ghizer valley via Gilgit and will be heading to the famous Shandur pass.
Shandur (3734 m) is a high mountain pass that connects Chitral to the Gilgit in Pakistan. Shandur has the highest polo ground in the world and each year, there is a festival called Shandur Polo Festival in the first week of July. The best teams from Gilgit and Chtiral play the final depicting the scene of a battle field. In 1936 the first polo tournament took place at Shandur Pass which was organized by a British Political Agent, Major Cobb. After enjoying the three days at Shandur, we will turn back to Islamabad via Gilgit and this wonderful trip will come to an end.
|Arrival at Islamabad airport and transfer to hotel. Overnight at hotel. (L,D)
Local tour of Islamabad. (King Shah Faisal Mosque, Damane koh and Old Raja Bazaar).
|Flight for Gilgit. (1 hour) or Drive Islamabad to Besham (272 kms) (7 to 8 hrs) Overnight at Hotel. (B,L,D)
En-route visit of Taxila Museum, situated 58 kms from Islamabad, was once the seat of Oriental culture. It was first mentioned as a satrapy of the Archenemies 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 molded 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).
|Drive Besham to Gilgit. (8 to 9 hrs) (358 km) Overnight at hotel. (B,L,D)
En-route we see the majestic views of Nanga Parbat and Haramosh peak. Gilgit is an old tribal town that acted as a rest stop for weary travelers 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 of conquerors. Gilgit is located in the heart of the Karakoram 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.
|Day 04||Gilgit to Karimabad. (2 to 3 hrs) (101 kms) Overnight at hotel. (B,L,D)
In the morning visit of Kargah Buddha. A Buddhist survivor is the large standing Buddha carved on a cliff face in Kargah Nala in the west of Gilgit. It’s a 7th century built Buddha. After visiting Kargah Buddha We will start on a newly reconstructed Karakoram Highway, wide and metal with the help of Chinese. Passing under the shadow of Rakaposhi, our two hour journey leads us to Karimabad, the capital of the former state of Hunza. After lunch at Karimabad visit to Baltit Fort and Karimabad Bazaar. Baltit Fort was the old palace of the Mirs of Hunza. It is 600 years old; 13th century made but over the centuries added more rooms and towers. Baltit Fort is built on a cliff edge; behind it is a ravine and then the Ultar glacier glinting in the sunshine. In 1945 the Mir of Hunza moved down to new constructed house. In 1990 the AKCSP (Aga Khan Cultural Service Pakistan) started restoration of Baltit Fort using advanced preservation principles and ended at 1996. Now it is open all the year for visitors. After Visiting Baltit Fort we have a short walk through Karimabad Bazaar. Here you see the Hunza famous antiques and local hand made handicrafts and carpets.
|Day 05||Karimabad to Hoper and Back to Karimabad. (3 to 4 hrs) (44 Kms both way) Overnight at hotel (B,L,D)
Hoper is situated at 2800 m and 22 kms from Karimabad. Its a cluster of villages around a natural bowl at a bend of Bualtar Glacier. On the way you have magnificent views of the Golden Peak (7027 m) (sleeping beauty) and Ultar Peaks.
After lunch at Karimabad, 30 minutes jeep drives to Duiker (3000 m) (Roof of the world) for overnight. From here you have breath taking views of all 7000rs peak of Hunza region.
|Day 06||Duiker to Phandar. (3024 m) (6 to 7 hrs) (345 kms) Overnight in Hotel. (B,L,D)
The drive along Gilgit river to Phandar. En route we see beautiful Khalti lake and green Phandar valley.
|Day 07,08||Phandar to Shandur. (3734 m)(2 hours) Overnight in Tents.
We watch the wild polo and enjoy the 03 days Polo festival.
|Day 09||Shandur to Phandar. (2 hrs) (54 kms). Overnight at hotel. (B,L,D)
Drive back on same route to Phandar.
|Day 10|| Phandar to Gilgit. (4 to 5 hrs) (193 kms). Overnight at hotel. (B,L,D)
|Day 11||Flight for Islamabad. Or Drive to Besham. (358 kms) (7 to 8 hrs) Overnight at hotel. (B,L,D)
En-route photo stop at Shatial Sacred Rocks
|Day 12||Besham to Islamabad. (272 kms) (8 to 9 hrs) overnight at hotel. (B,L,D)
|Day 13||In the morning transfer to Islamabad airport. End of services.|