5 Day Heritage Retreat to Baltistan – Skardu, Khaplu & Shigar
Day 1: After arriving in Skardu, drive to Khaplu. On arrival check in to the hotel and enjoy a light lunch. In the afternoon take a short walking tour with a local guide of the: Khaplu Palace, the village and the Khanqah (a place of spiritual retreat which also housed journeymen). Overnight at the hotel.
Day 2: Today take a jeep ride to Macholo valley (60-75 minutes) where you will be surrounded by spectacular mountain scenery, and orchards filled with the Spring blossoms of cherry, apricot and apple trees. Enroute one will also have a view of the uniquely shaped Masherbrum Peak (7,821meters). Enjoy a picnic lunch and wander around the area before returning to the hotel.. Overnight at the hotel.
Day 3: Begin with an early morning transfer via a 3 hour road journey to Shigar. Arrive and check in to the hotel. In the afternoon, take a walking tour with a local guide of the 14th century Amburiq Mosque that received a UNESCO award for restoration, the quaint maze like bazaar and the restored Khanqah. Overnight at the hotel.
Day 4: Today explore Skardu town and its environs. Check out and drive to Skardu Town (30-45 minutes), and proceed to the PTDC motel where you may visit the Italian K2 Museum before having a cup of tea in the lovely lawn of the hotel. Later drive to Satpara Lake (now transformed into a dam that supplies 17 MW power as well as drinking water to Skardu Town). On the return from Satpara, visit the Skardu Buddha, also known as Manthal (dating from 7th century AD) carved on a huge boulder which is evidence of Buddhist history of the region. After a break, visit Kharpocho Fort (optional-it is half an hour’s steady uphill walk) and then visit Purana (Old) Bazaar before returning to Shigar. Overnight at the hotel in Skardu. OPTIONAL PROGRAM: (Deosai Plains excursion at extra cost – Deosai Park, at an average elevation of 4,114 meters (13,497 ft) above sea level, is 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 of the Karakorum-West Tibetan Plateau alpine steppe eco region. In spring, it is covered by sweeps of wildflowers and a wide variety of butterflies. The Deosai Plains are also home to the Himalayan ibex, red fox, golden marmot locally called Phia, gray wolf, the Ladakh urial, the snow leopard, and over 124 resident and migratory birds. This option can only be taken up from June to mi-September).
Day 5: Leave Skardu today and proceed with your onward journey
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