The nostalgia of your ancestral culture and the piece of architecture is what everybody has loved and affection for. The breath-taking and adventurous masses of Gilgit-Pakistan have a lot more in a bag than just valleys, mountains, lakes, and waterfalls. A very renowned town of Gilgit-Baltistan called ‘Khaplu’ in district Ghanche has a very interesting story in itself and stands for having significance in the hearts of not only the town people but also the history-lovers around the world.
Location and Structure History:
The khaplu Palace (locally named ‘Yabgo Khar’) situated in Khaplu Valley district Ghanche, of Gilgit-Baltistan, was built in the mid-19th century, replacing an earlier fort located nearby. It served as a royal residence for the raja of Khaplu. The palace was constructed with the help of Kashmiri and Balti craftsmen. Being on the border of multiple regions, its structure is a refined mix of Tibetan, Kashmiris, Ladakhi, Balti, and central Asian influences. Today, it is considered an architectural heritage and a tourist attraction.
Renovation in 2005-2011
The last Raja of Khaplu who lived in the house was Raj Fateh A li Khan, who died in 1983 and it was when after his death, the condition of the royal palace slumbered to deteriorate. So, the Agha Khan Trust for Culture took the sole responsibility of restoring the palace and succeeded gradually, and finally, in 2011 it was the center of attraction for the people as well as for the tourist worldwide. This was when UNESCO awarded it with the Award of Distinction in the Asia-Pacific Heritage Awards for Cultural Heritage conservation.
The Serena Hotel aka the Khaplu fort:
This beautiful fort, with such history associated with it, is now a part of the Serena Hotel. Not only do you get to stay in the fort as a valued guest, but you can also visit their museum section, and learn more about its history- brilliant!
Tourism at the great Khaplu fort!
The view of a Himalayan range from the palace can’t be put into words. Space occupies more than just suites and rooms. Due to the higher altitude, the place has got ultimate viewpoints even from your room to the highest nearby peaks, and close-ups. It has good balcony space for families, friends enjoying leisure time with a handful of cherries and berries from the courtyard of the Palace. The reception will go the extra mile to make your trip ever memorable and exciting as it must be. Apart from this are the activities:
- Apple and Cherry picking
- Khaplu Fort prohibited area which was closed for sometime now, is now open for the visitors, where the history is preserved.
- Shopping area nearby
- Bonefire and live BBQ night
- 24/7 wifi and good services are provided
- Polo is the local sport in area, polo matches can also be arranged on beautiful green lands of the fort. In the old times of Raja, the roof of the khaplu fort was specifically designed for ladies and women of that time to watch those matches from, chilling under the open sky.
Availability of Private Transport
The feasibility of having a private car or cabin provided by the management is also admirable. Just in emergency cases or medical assistance, immediate transport may be provided.
The place is really friendly, natural, and far from the world’s hustle-bustle. A perfect palace for a relaxing vacation awaits you in the gigantic Karakoram range of Gilgit-Baltistan.
Care and Caution!!
The authorities deserve kudos who are consistently working on preserving the historic value of the fort for future generations to learn from. A little help from our side would do a lot only if we care to keep these valuable places clean and tidy for our future trips and tours.
And importantly, the beauty of the place is its culture, heritage, and norms of the local, without which its charisma collapses. So, We need to respect, follow and give its preservance ultimate importance.
The Khaplu Place is only a 2-hour drive away at a distance of almost 150km from Skardu City. So what are you waiting for? Just pin us right here, we will arrange the best for you in the minimum time!