Welcome to Ghizer Valley Gilgit Baltistan Pakistan !
- Getting There
- Top Things To Do
- Don′t Miss
- Climate & Weather
Ghizer Valley Gilgit Baltistan Pakistan is the westernmost part of the Gilgit-Baltistan region of Pakistan. Its capital is Gahkuch. Ghizer is a crossroads between Gilgit and Chitral, and also to China andTajikistan via the Karambar Pass through Ishkomen/Darkut Yasin (which are connected via Shandur Pass). Ghizer is a multi-ethnic district and three major languages are spoken; shina, khowar and Burushaski. There are also Wakhi speakers in Ishkoman and some Tajiks.
The world Ghizer came form the name “Gherz” which means “refugees” in Khowar. “Gherz” is a village in Golaghmuli Valley, which is now known as Golaghmuli. Whenever the Chitral in the Suzerainty of the British Raj did forced some people to migrate towards Gupis. They were settled in the area between Chitral and Gupis and the area called Gherz and the people were called Gherzic. When Zulafiqar Ali Bhutto the President of Pakistan abolished the FCR system and had given another administrative district comprising the Tehsils (Political districts) the name Ghizer was given and agreed unanimously.
Ghizer Valley Gilgit Baltistan Pakistan comprises Punial, Gupis, Yaseen and Ishkoman Valleys. The major portion of its area was ruled over by Brooshay Raja’s known as Raja Sha Burush, Khan bahadur Issa bahadur AKBER Khan, RAJA Anwar Khan, Raja Mirbaz Khan and last Broosh families Raja Jan Alam and Raja Muzafer (was living in Golodass also known as Anwerabad as its second name). Currently living Raja families in District have no administrative share but acting as a leading role in the development of society. Their linkage goes back to Sha Burush. The Sha Burush Sha Katur and Sha Khushwaqt are three brothers. The Punial is famous of the polo game from the regional history. Historically these Rajas were the best polo players and had a polo team of giants. Historically two main characteristic of the dress of the folks of the Ghizer is Khoi and Shokah. Khoi which is the headgear, consist of homespun woolen cloths and Shokah is homespun woolen cloak reaching to ankle with long sleeves.
The district is unique because of its geographical spread and connectivity as well as cultural diversity. Traditions, norms and values enrich the beauty of this district.
Historically the region has been ruled by indigenous rajas (Katoor, Brushay, Shins) are all brothers but some Paloyo (Gupis Mehtar) and had also governed for some period in Mehraja’s period. The most and long Rulers thoms of Yasin and Punial and later it was divided between the Mehtar of Chitral and the Maharaja of Kashmir. After 1895 all of Ghizer was annexed to Gilgit Agency which was directly ruled by the British Government and not by the Kashmir.
Tehsil Gupis is the central part of Ghizer district. There are so many villages lush green and very pleasant places, like Shandur, Phunder lake, Khalti lake, the most biggest Lake in Khalti is very famous for trout fishes. There are also PTDC Hotel available and also some private hotels in Ghahkuch.
The Rajas of Yasin Suleman Shah and Raja Gohar Aman stretched their rule to Gilgit Bagrot by pushing back Dogras and at some particular juncture of history remained undefeated rulers of the region stretched from Yasin to Gilgit. Latter on after the death of Gohar Aman due to the internal conspiracy the Dogras of Maharaja Kashmir came to Yasin and Mudoori debacle occurred in Yasin The Mudoori were not against the Mehtars but also for Muslims of the region.
The highest peak in Ghizer District is Koyo Zom (6,871 m) (Hindu Kush Range) which lies on the boundary of Ghizer District and Chitral.
Some of the main places in the district are Koh-i-Ghizer, Golaghmuli Valley, Ishkoman and Yasin valleys. Other places include Gupis, Chatorkhand, Imit and Utz.
Trout fishing and angling is the most common attraction in the district. Of particular note Sherqilla, Chatorkhand, Khalti, Phandar and Shandur. The significance of the district is quadrupled by the Shandur Pass over which the historical and traditional Ghizar District is northernmost part of the Northern Areas of Pakistan. Its capital is Gakuch. Ghizer is also a contact point between Gilgit District and Chitral District (which are connected via Shandur Pass).Polo festival is played between arch rival teams of Gilgit and Chitral.
Ghizer valley is with easy access both from Gilgit and Chitral. It takes 5 to 6 hours from Gilgit to reach Phander valley which is commonly called “Little Kashmir”.
Ghizer has spectacular scenic beauty. The peak tourist season from May to mid-October though the tourist season is round the year.
Gahkuch is the district headquarter of Ghizer district. Major Languages Khowar spoken in Yasin, Gupis and Ishkoman. Shina spoken in Gupis and Punail. Burushaski spoken in Yasin. Wakhi spoken in Ishkoman. Gahkuch have a relatively bigger market with some very good hotels to stay in. It is the part of Punyal Valley
Ishkoman Valley which separates the Karakoram range from Himalayas is almost 129 km in the north west of Gilgit and 65 km from Gahkuch. The valley has immense natural beauty in the shape of alpine meadows, massive glacier, perennials streams. It is the home of several passes treks and alpine lakes. It links district Ghizer with Asumbar, Naltar, Darkut and Chipursan.
Imit is one of the most important tourist point which opens the gates towards Wakhan Border. It is located at distance of 64 Km from main town of Ghizer Gahkuch and away from 50 Km Afghan Wakhan Border. During ancient times a very colorful trade festival used to be held in Imit. The traders from entire Central Asia used to participate. The people of Imit have different background and speak various languages. They are very friendly and hospitable. Borth is a wonderful picnic spot and is located at a distance of 65 Km from Gahkuch and 34 Km away from Wakhan corridor in the upper region of Ishkoman Valley. The spot present a perfect camping place for domestic and International tourists where the glacial stream runs nearby and offers gentle cool breezes which is really breath taking. The people speak Wakhi and have migrated centuries ago from Central Asia. Chilengi Pass trek starts from the village of Matramdan-Ishkoman (2895 mt). The jeep road ends at Matramdan and from there starts 5 days trek. The trail crosses a footbridge to the Krumber River and after the crossing of chilengi glacier, this trek leads Baba Ghondi Shrine, the upper most part of Chipursan valley in District Gilgit.
Krumber valley is one of the most scenic places and largest alpine meadows in Northern Areas. This valley was used to be an ancient Buddhist pilgrimage route from Afghanistan & Wakhan corridor. The Krumber Lake is situated in the foot hill of Pamir region on altitude of (4260 m). There is a trek that connects the two districts of Northern Areas i.e. Ghizer and Gilgit. This trek is from Naltar(Gilgit) to Pakora Asumbar (Ishkoman) and Barkulti, (Yasin-Ghizer). This is relatively easy trek passing through village of upper Ishkoman valley and some settlements along the way. This is one of the important trekking routes that is why each year, a considerable number of tourists go along this trek.
Yasin Valley is yet another most spectacular scenic valleys in Ghizer. Yasin valley lies at just 137 km from Gilgit and 62 km from Gahkuch (the headquarter of Ghizer). It’s attractive villages, carefully cultivated fields and orchards offer a blend of life time experience in remote valleys of Hindukush.The summer in Yasin valley has great attraction not only because of scenic beauty but it also offers avenues from adventure lovers because of its treking options from Darkut to Chitral via Broghal pass and BABA Ghundi via Chilingi pass.
Darkut is a historical place as it has been a passage way for important persons. It was this pass that George Hayward crossed in 1870 when he was murdered. The Chinese army lead by a Korean General crossed Darkut in 747AD and conquered Gilgit. Sandi is the largest village in Yasin valley and it is famous for a Fort from the time of Gohar Aman.
Gupis is a small town on the way to chitral from Gilgit. It is a very scenic views. It consists of Phander Valley, Terru and Hundrab valley.
Phander Valley in Gupis is one of the most scenic valleys with easy access both from Gilgit and Chitral. It takes 5 to 6 hours from Gilgit to reach Phander valley which is commonly called “Little Kashmir”. Phander Lake is one of the most famous tourist spots in the entire region. Phander valley was the bread basket for the whole Northern Areas. The name of Ghizer comes from the name of a village ‘Ghizer’ that is situated in the vicinity of Phander The deep blue lake in Phander offers a magnificent view and is basically the home of trout fish.
Hundarap Valley is a small beautiful place to the west of Phander It lies between two rivers i.e. Hundarap River that come from Dadarili glacier and Shandur river that comes from Shandur Pass. This place is know as Paradise for trout fishing in Ghizer. Nearby is the beautiful Hundarap Lake. This lake is famous for trout fishing and is a good camp site which has been selected as high altitude wetland by World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF). It lies North 30* and East 72* and is about 190 km from Gilgit and 118 from Gahkuch at an elevation of 10800 feet above sea level. Rainbow and brown Trout fish were introduced here in early 1980s and now they are abundant. This is the reason that angling is quite famous in Ghizer.
It is possible to trek south from Dadarili Pass in to Swat valley and on the other side is Bromsa pass connects it with Kohistan Hazra (Khandia). Another hillmark of Gupis is Khalti lake which is again a place for utmost calm and tranquility. A number of steps have been taken by local communities for a tourism and environment friendly tourism.
Shandur pass is not only a point that connects Northern Areas with Chitral but it is actually a meeting point of the polo teams from both side. Each year the Shandur Polo Festival brings spectators from around the globe to witness a game that is worth watching. This festival is organized every year between the first and second weeks of July. The history of Trout Fish spans over 100 year in Northern Areas. The British Political Agent AF Bruce introduced the trout fish in (1906-1908). He approached the fisheries department of Jammu and Kashmir Government of Siri Nagar to provide the aged ova and necessary technical assistance up to 1920. During that time Gilgit and surroundings towards northwest streams and lakes were stacked with trout. There are many kinds of trout but in Ghizer only brown and rainbow trout is existent. Now almost every stream and lake in Ghizer is full of rainbow and brown trout which offer angling opportunity for tourists and visitors to enjoy fishing during the season.
Punyal valley comprises of a number of beautiful villages and spectacular places including Sherqila, Singul and Bubar. Gahkuch, the district head quarter is a part of Punyal. This area is very famous for fruits especially grapes. Bathreth Nullah lies here that provides a link with Darel in Diamer. Traveling to Ghizer is more suitable from Gilgit. From Islamabad to Gilgit, daily flights are available. While on flight, one may enjoy some of the most spectacular views of Karakoram and Himalayas including: Nanga Parbat Haramosh and Rakaposhi peaks. The travel time is 55 minutes. By road the journey from Rawalpindi to Gilgit via KKH takes 16 to 17 hours non stop travel. Travel from Gilgit to Ghizer (Gahkuch) takes one and half hour on a paved road. Public transport is available from Punial road at Gilgit to almost all parts of Ghizer District beside this there are many local based tour operators who offer trekking and safari services to their client. Another rout to enter district Ghizer is via Shandur Pass from Chitral. It takes around 7 hours to reach Ghizer valley from Chitral city. main valleys are:
Sher Qilla :
Sher Qila is the main village of the picturesque Punial valley. The distance is 40 kms and time required to reach there is about 2 hours.
This spot in the Punial valley offers ideal trout fishing opportunities. It is 56 kms away and takes 3 hours to get there.
Lakes of the Area:
- Handarap Lake
Handarap Lake is a high altitude water reservoir situated in the Shandur Valley in Ghizer, the westernmost part of the Gilgit-Baltistan, the northernmost part of Pakistan. The lake is an important source of fresh water and also a tourist attraction. It houses trout originating in the rivers.
Handarap Lake is located in Handarap Nallah, in the Golaghmuli or Shandur Valley of Ghizer District, in Gilgit-Baltistan, Pakistan. Its estimated elevation is 3285 metres or 10777.6 ft above sea level. The lake is reached by taking the Karakoram Highway from Islamabad to Gilgit, then continuing west on the Gilgit-Chitral road towards Shandur. The final leg of the journey is a four-hour hike from the village of Golaghmuli, where lodging is available. The path is inaccessible to bicycles.
Handarap Lake is surrounded by snow-covered mountains in a variety of shapes including conical and cylindrical.
- Phander Lake in Tehsil Phander
- Phander Lake is situated in the Phander Village, in Koh-i-Ghizer, Ghizer District, the westernmost part of the Gilgit–Baltistan region and northernmost territory of Pakistan. This lake is an important source of fresh water. phander is the most beautiful village in gilgit baltistan.. this velly is 161 km awy toward west from Gilgit city. The near by towns are chashi Daliml Serbal Terch Gulakhmuli Handarp and Tero.. For turists has many charming sites.there are some privat hotels and a PTDC hotel for tourists.. In the pure beautiful river orignal trout fishes are available. Phander Lake is very fameous also. by hamza
- Phander Lake is a lake and is located in Koh-i-Ghizer of District Ghizer, Gilgit-Baltistan, Pakistan. Also, the lake is called Nango Chatt. This lake is about to 44 meters deep, in which huge trees are clearly seen
- Khalti Lake
- Khalti Lake is situated in the Tehsil Gupis of Ghizer District, Ghizer District, the westernmost part of the Gilgit–Baltistan region and northernmost territory of Pakistan. This lake is an important source of fresh water an has a stock of trout.
- Khalti Lake is located in Khalti Village of Ghizer District (Gilgit-Baltistan), Pakistan about 7274 ft. (2217 m) from sea level. The lake is known for its habitat of trout fish. The lake is in a bend of the Ghizer River near the village of Khalti. The lake usually freezes during winter. Tournaments are held on the frozen lake. This lake is an important source of fresh water.
- Khalti Lake is known for its stock of trout. Originally, the trout was put into the River Ghizer near Golaghmuli Village. Those fishes increased in number and reached almost every part of Gupis Valley.
- Karambar Lake
Karambar Lake also known as Qurumbar Lake alternately is spelled as Karomber or Karamber is a high altitude lake located in Ishkomen, a Tehsil of District Ghizer in Gilgit–Baltistan, near the boundary of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Province of Pakistan. It is the 31st highest lake in the world and 2nd highest in Pakistan at a height of 14,121 feet (4,304 m) and one of the highest biologically active lakes on earth.
The lake is located in Ishkoman Valley, a tehsil of Ghizer District in Gilgit–Baltistan. While some other studies by WWF mention the location in Broghil Valley of Chitral, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Province. The lake is located at a distance of 205 km from Gilgit. Some maps clearly show that the entire span of lake is situated within the borders of Gilgit–Baltistan. In addition to that, the flow of Karambar waters itself dims the confusion about lake’s location as lake flows down towards Ishkoman.
The approximate length of the lake is 3.9 kilometers (2.4 mi), width is 2 km and, average depth is 52 meters (171 ft) . Karambar Lake is the deepest lake in the valley with a maximum and mean depth of 55m and 17.08m respectively and is spread over a surface area of 263.44 hectares (2,634,400 m2) and discharges into Karambar valley of Gilgit Baltistan. Water clarity level is 13.75 , which is the highest value ever recorded in the literature of lakes in Pakistan.
- Baha Lake (Langar Khukush)
Baha Lake is situated in Shandur Valley Tehsil Gupis of Ghizer District, Ghizer District, the westernmost part of the Northern Areas and northernmost territory of Pakistan. This lake is an important source of fresh water with full of trout. Baha Lake is a mysterious lake in Pakistan.
Baha Lake is located in Koh-i-Ghizer of District Ghizer, Gilgit-Baltistan, Pakistan. The estimate terrain elevation above seal level is 3,622 metres (11,883 ft). Its direction is from north to south. To reach Baha Lake, a person must take the Karakoram Highway from Islamabad to Gilgit. And then take Gilgit-Chitral road west from Gilgit, and then continue his journey straight towards Chitral. When it comes in Langar, the main road goes toward Shandur and on the left hand side to south direction, Khukush Nallah starts. One cannot take any bike or bicycle as there are bothering trek road to reach Baha Lake. It takes 2 hours from Langar to reach at Baha Lake. A person, after crossing many difficult treks, suddenly reaches Baha Lake, he would never expect that such a beautiful place is located in Pakistan.
Baha Lake has a spectacular natural beauty. Its color is as blue as the sky. It is the longest natural lake in Gilgit-Baltistan. It is 5 kilometers in length and 750 meters in width. It is not an easy job for a person to complete a trip round the lake. It has a reputation as a dangerous lake, however it is not so.
At the night time, it is clearly heard that there comes a sound of bang from the lake. Visitors get afraid of it but it is a natural phenomenon. Which might be the crash of stones inside the lake, or the sound of huge trout living in the lake.
- Shandur Lake
- Shandur lake 12,200 feet (3,700 m)) located in Ghizer District, Gilgit-Baltistan, Pakistan. Shandur is often called the ‘Roof of the World’. The top is flat, a plateau and can be crossed between late April and early November. The grade is very gradual, and the area is crossed by plentiful small streams during summer. The boundary line between Ghizer District and Chitral District is also situated in Shandur Top in Punji-Lasht as per the international boundary law division by watershed initially demarcated by Lt. Col AG Durand( also known as Durand boundary line).
- Every year there is a polo match played on Shandur Top beside the lake between the teams of Chitral District and Ghizer District.
- Shandur Pass is one of the major mountain passes of Chitral-Gilgit-Baltistan.
Some of the passes in the district are:
- Shandur Pass (Punji-Lusht Plain between the boundary of Ghizer and Chitral District).
- Qurumbar Pass, Chillingi Pass.
- Hayal Pass and Naltar Pass (on the boundary of Ghizer and Gilgit Districts).
- Bichhar Pass (on the boundary of Ghizer and Gilgit Districts).
- Thoi Pass (on the boundary of Ghizer and Chitral Yarkhon).
- Darkut Pass (on the boundary of Ghizer and Chitral).
The main river in the district is Ghizer River, which is comprises Gupis River and Ishkoman River; both meets at Hatoon valley at Hayim as the point of confluence. The other tributaries include Qurumbar River, Phakora River, Hayal River, Singul River and Yasin River also join the main stream at different points.
There are a number of limited accommodation facilities ranging from basic to three star.
Very few restaurants offering locally sourced food.
The maximum temperature in May is 320C and minimum 160C in September.