Founded on 1st July 1970, Gilgit is the capital city of Gilgit-Baltistan region, which is the northernmost administrative territory in Pakistan. I like the city of Gilgit due to scenic beauty & purest of form of nature which is very rare. If you think about a dream destination you would definitely involve lush green valleys, glaciers, lakes & forts in it, but it’s very difficult to get all these at one place & Gilgit provides you with this amazing combination. Regarded as the hub of mountaineers & trackers, Gilgit attracts a lot of tourist around the world due to it being home to one of the top glacier of the world outside polar region.
The city of Gilgit is located in a small valley near the confluence of the Gilgit River & Humza River. The city is often called as the “City of Mountains” by the tourist because this region is a home to 3 mightiest mountain ranges Karakoram, Hindukush & Himalaya.
Gilgit attracts a lot of travelers around the globe because of the various adventures which can be encountered around the region. The city is a pure heaven for the mountaineers & trackers whose profile becomes complete after visiting the city of Gilgit. The city offers you various activities like ski, mountain biking, tracking, rock climbing etc, each of which gives you an experience of a lifetime.
Every year in the 2nd week of July, there is lots of traditional festival is organized in the city of Gilgit known as the Shadur Polo Festival, which includes the game of Polo, traditional tug of war between Gilgit & Chitral & competitive races. The games are organized 3700m above sea level on the top point of Shandur, making them a real spectacle for the audience.
Inspite of being famous for its natural beauty & adventurous activities, Gilgit has rich history & culture associated with it from the old era. The city is a home lots of diversified cultures, ethnic groups & various backgrounds. Urdu & English are the official languages spoken in the city but Shina is the one language which is spoken by the most of the original settlers.
Inspite of being a very popular tourist destination around the globe, the public transportation can sometimes be a real headache for the travelers. Due to the geography of the entire region, which is obviously surrounded by the huge mountain ranges it is not easy to get a frequent public transport. So if you are planning to visit the city, make sure that transportation is sorted out well in advance.
Situated around the magnificent landscape of Karakorum mountain range, the Gilgit Serena Hotel is one of the best place to stay in the city. The most important feature of the hotel is its location which can be easily accessed from all directions & located about 3km away from the legendary Silk Route. It offers you all the modern luxury & comfort.
Located in the heart of the city, Park Hotel is an ideal choice for the travelers because it is the hotel is just a couple of minutes away from the airport. Free wifi is available to the guest fro 24*7. The hotel has all the modern amenities in the room, two spacious halls for parties & seminars and a lush green garden in the outdoors where the guests can relax and socialize.
Located opposite the famous Chinar Bagh in the city of Gilgit, PTDC Motel is one of the popular choice of the tourist because of its lovely hospitality & reasonable rates. The motel is only few minutes away from the airport which makes it a convenient place for everyone. The motel offers you well-furnished rooms & delightful restaurant which is very popular in the town.
Situated in the heart of the city, British Cemetery is a place that you should not miss out on when in Gilgit. The well maintained cemetery has graves of some recent mountaineers & trackers. It was named after the British Captain George Hayward who was buried here. The place is opened from 9am to 8pm in summers & from 10ma to 6pm in winters.
Uprising Memorial is a monument dedicated to the brave citizens of the city who went against the Maharaja in 1947 for the independence of the country. Today, it is the most important place for the citizens of Gilgit and exhibits the grave of the local heroes, Mohammad Babar Khan & Safiullah Beg of Gilgit scouts and Mirza Hasan Khan of the Kashmir Infantry.
Situated in the ground of an Army School in Gilgit, Gohar Aman’s tower was originally built as the fortress in the year 1850 by Gohar Aman. Today, the most part of the fort has been vanished but you can see a crumbling tower in the middle of the school which the only remaining portion for visitors to see & imagine the history of the fort.
Every year during the second week of July there is the Shadur Polo Festival. It’s a traditional event that highlights a tug of war pitting the teams of Chitral and Gilgit against one another. It’s enjoyable to watch the highly competitive races to see who is the final winner. There are also polo games and many other activities to behold. Folk music is abundant and there is a dance of the warriors. Situated at more than 3,700 meters above sea level, this is a spectacular event. On the final day of the festival, there are usually thousands of participants and onlookers from all around Pakistan as well as those from the world over. It is located at the top point of Shandur on the side of the Shandur Lake.
The distance to Hunza is 100 kilometers, but it can be accomplished in one day. The tour leaves Gilgit early in the morning and travels slowly, with several stops for walks and photo opportunities. One of the stops is a memorial sight in honor of the Pakistani army’s mortals who lost their lives for the Karakoram Highway. There’s another stop at the place where the two continents collided, or the collision between the Indian and Asian titanic plates, resulting in huge mountains. The tour ends with a return to Gilgit in the afternoon.
Are you planning to explore the lands of mountains and glaciers with magnificent scenic beauty?Are you a person in awe of trekking? Then get ready to explore the spectacular city of Gilgit, which will truly take you into the leap of nature. Here’s bucket list of experience that don’t want to miss out on when in Gilgit.
The best season to visit the beautiful city of Gilgit is in the summers. From the month of May to the month of month of October are regarded as the best months for exploring the scenic beauty of Gilgit. So if you are planning to visit the city in the near future, book your tickets for in these months so you can have the best of experience.
The Government of Pakistan maintains a high health & security measures for the tourist who are traveling around the country. Due to continues terrorist activities in this part of world, the travelers should be aware about some of the areas that need to be avoided such as Pakistan-Afghanistan Border, Swat Valley and much of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province. The tourist are advised to vary their route for routine trips. They should avoid the hotels that doesn’t guarantee the security measures. You should always carry a photo of you Passport & Visa with you all the times. In terms of health, the tourism ministry advise the travelers to be up to date with vaccination. Another thing to keep in mind is that there is Zika virus in the Pakistan, so pregnant women must avoid this trip.
For entering the city of Gilgit, you need to ensure a valid Pakistan Visa from one of the Pakistani diplomat mission unless you are coming one of the visa exempt countries. Iceland, Maldives, Nepal, Samoa, Tonga and Trinidad & Tobago citizens are not required a visa for entering Pakistan. Citizens of Turkey can obtain a visa on arrival if they contain a valid visa of Schegen Area, UK or US. 24 countries which have been declared as Tourist Friendly Countries (TFC) by Pakistan may obtain a visa on arrival for the maximum 30 days. But if you are a citizen of India, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Israel, Nigeria, Palestine, Somalia or Uganda you need to register with the police upon arrival to Pakistan.