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Baltistan – a region in Northern Pakistan.




Baltistan is a region in northern Pakistan which forms Gilgit-Baltistan, bordering the Xinjiang Autonomous Region of China.

Overview

• A part of Baltistan also falls into the part of India’s Jammu and Kashmir state.
• It is situated in the Karakoram mountains.
• These mountains are just to the south of K2, which is the world’s second highest mountain.
• It is an extremely mountainous region.
• This region has an average altitude of over 3,350 m (11,000 ft).
• It is inhabited principally by the Balti people of Tibetan descent.
• Baltistan consisted of small independent valley states which connected to each other through blood relationships of the rulers. They were called rajas.
• These states were subjugated by force by the Dogra rulers of Kashmir in the nineteenth century.
• In 1947 when India and Pakistan gained independence, Baltistan was still part of Kashmir.
• The people of Baltistan being predominantly Muslims revolted against the Dogra rulers.
• Baltistan is in Pakistan’s north eastern corner and in India.
• In the heart of Karakoram, it provides the world’s most magnificent mountain scenery.
• This place provides mountaineering possibilities.
• Skardu is its main city.
• Baltistan is renowned for the largest glaciers, four 8000m peaks, and many over 7000m.
• The districts Skardu, Rondu and Khaplu offer unique mountaineering and trekking opportunities.
• It links with Kashmir as a subjugated people today continue to be an impediment in granting its population citizenship of Pakistan.
• The Kargil district of this region is located in the north of Jammu and Kashmir.
• The districts of Skardu and Ganche, whose main town is Skardu, are located in the Pakistan-administered Gilgit-Baltistan region.
• The region has the highest peaks of the Karakoram, including K2.
• The two districts, Skardu and Gangche are made of five regions: Skardu, Shigar, Khaplu, Rondu and Chorbat.
• Some areas of Baltistan are currently administered by India as well which acts as part of the Ladakh district of Jammu and Kashmir.
• The vast majority of the population adheres to Islam.
• Baltistan forms the west extremity of Tibet.
• Their natural limits here are the Indus from its abrupt southward bend.
• The mountains to the north and west separate a comparatively peaceful Tibetan population from the fiercer Aryan tribes beyond.
• Baltistan is known as Little Tibet which lies in the Pakistan side and of Ladakh as Great Tibet.
• The Balti call Gilgit a Tibet.
• Baltistan is a mass of lofty mountains.
• The prevailing formation is called gneiss.
• In the north is the Baltoro Glacier, which is the largest out of the arctic regions.
• It is 35 miles (56 km) long and contained between two ridges.
• Their highest peaks to the south are 25,000 ft (7,600 m) and to the north 28,265 ft (8,615 m).
• The Indus, as in Lower Ladakh, runs in a narrow gorge, widening for nearly 20 m.
• The capital, Skardu is a scattered collection of houses, stand here, perched on a rock 7,250 ft (2,210 m). above the sea level.
• Fruits are pomegranate, pear, peach, vine, melon

Cities of Balistan

– Skardu
– Khapulu
– Surmo
– Khane
– Hushe
– Shigar
– Kharmang
– Rondu
– Kargil
– Khaplu

Peaks of Balistan

– Chogori (K2)
– Broad Peak
– Gasherbrum I
– Gasherbrum II

Glaciers near Balistan

– Siachin
– Baltoro
– Biafo
– Chogolungma

Lakes near Balistan

– Sadpara
– Kachura
– Shaucer
– Shangri-la

Valleys and Plateaus near Balistan

– Shigar
– Rondu
– Shot
– Bilamik
– Tormik
– Hushe
– Thalle
– Deosai
– Skardu
– Khapulu
– Surmo
– Khane
– Chorbatt

Rivers of Balistan

– Indus
– Shyok
– Braldu
– Hushe

Best time to visit / climate

• The best time for a visit is summer, during May-June, and autumn, September-October.
• For snowboard joys, December to March is the best time.

Location on Google Maps


View Larger Map

Or click and paste the URL below on your browser:
http://maps.google.co.in/maps?q=Gilgit-Baltistan&hl=en&usq=Gilgit-Baltistan&hnear=Gilgit-Baltistan&t=m&z=7

How to get there?

1. By Air
• PIA operates daily flights between Islamabad Gilgit, Skardu and Chitral.
• The flying time is one hour.
• There are daily two flights to Gilgit, one flight to Skardu and one flight to Chitral.
• All these flights are being operated 7:00 AM in the morning.
PIA Fare
– Gilgit: 5,900 PKR
– Skardu: 4,340 PKR

2. By Road
• Gilgit and Baltistan are also accessible from Islamabad/Rawalpindi by the Karakoram Highway.
• Rawalpindi to Gilgit via Swat is 704 km and takes 19 hours by bus/van.
• Rawalpindi to Gilgit via Thakot: 628 km. 18 hours by bus/van.
• Rawalpindi to Gilgit via Babusar Pass 535 km. 21 hours by jeep.
• There is a regular bus and van services operate on the Karakoram Highway between Rawalpindi and Gilgit via Besham.
• The main bus terminal of NATCO & other private bus lines is at Pirwadhai General Bus Stand, Rawalpindi.
• Now NATCO opened their new bus stand in I-11/1 new Metro.
• There are other transports companies are like Silk Route, Mashabroom.

Places to stay (hotels / restaurants along with website / contact numbers)

Hotels at hotels.lonelyplanet.com
Hotels at you.trave
Hotels at mygilgit.com

Blogs / Sites about Baltistan

Blogs and reviews at jammu-kashmir.com
Blogs and reviews at mid-day.com
Blogs and reviews at secular-right.blogspot.in

Images and photos of Baltistan

Images at google.com
Images at summitpost.org
Images at todaytourism.com

Videos of Baltistan




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