Shigar is a top-notch, district of Gilgit-Baltistan, the Northern region of Pakistan. It is a densely visited district and a hot favorite tourist destination. The history of Shigar declares it a beautiful, heritage-oriented Islamic land of northern Pakistan, after the 14th century when Syed Ali Hamdani visited the place and locals converted to Muslims.
Distance From Skardu?
As Skardu is the capital of the Baltistani region and the main tourist destination, therefore the place also serves as a base camp for visiting the beautiful landmarks of the Baltistani region. So Shigar is situated on a drive of about 1hr 40 min from Skardu via Shigar road.
Tourists visiting Skardu, may leave for Shigar early in the morning and return to their hotel in the evening.
Route To Shigar and Transport
If you are vacationing in Skardu, the ‘road trip’ is widely used for tourists and locals as it’s just 23 km away. People board on local transport used the rent-a-car facility in the area and also ride on bikes. Jeeps are also available for families to reach Shigar, a gateway to the great mountain peaks of the Karakorams, Gasherbrum & K-2.
There are daily flights booked from Islamabad to Skardu Airport, so another option of reaching Skardu via flight and then a road journey to Shigar is the other way.
But it’s always good to check before leaving, so don’t forget to call and confirm your flight from the airport.
It’s best to call 1422 tourist place, Gilgit-Baltistan, to know about the situation of road, traffic and know about other options of transport and accommodation.
What clothes should I Pack?
The weather is cold in the overall Blatistani region, therefore, don’t forget to pack the following when you leave:
– Warm pants or jeans.
-Light gloves or mittens.
-Jacket or coat.
– a handful of polybags, to keep the area clean from waste and disposed of cans.
Hotels in Shigar
There are comfortable yet affordable hotels in Shigar, ranging from a standard room in Econo-star to lavishly- designed suits of Shigar Serene Hotel. The prices are cheap and inexpensive.
Places to Visit in Shigar and Activities
- The Shigar View Point.
The beautiful Shigar Valley starts with a beautiful bridge called the Shigar Bridge, on a 20 min drive from Skardu city. Crossing this bridge comes a beautiful, Sarfaranga Cold desert, on a long, smooth road stretching to adventurous Shigar View Point. The place is called a viewpoint because a large area of Shigar Valley is visible and you can have a bird’s eye view from here.
- The Blind Lake Shigar.
With a traveling time of 20 min from Shigar viewpoint, is located this mesmerizing Blind Lake also known as Jarbazoo. The lake is fresh, exotic and provides a magnificent spot for boating and swimming for the tourists.
- The River of Shigar.
Another famous river is the shigar river because of its turquoise-green color, splattering through the rocky mountains and landscapes of Shigar Valley. The splashing sound of water and the melodious voice of the bird is a die-for sight at this spot.
- The Shigar Fort, The Place on Rocks.
The fort has a fusion of entertainment plus culture for you, massively packed inside. Trekking to the K2 camp nearby, are major attractions.
- The Ambrique Mosque Shigar.
The mosque is also called Khilangrong. The old 2-floor mosque has a dusty-wooden architecture that attracts people passionate about history and antique designs.
Hashupi Bagh Shigar, The Apple Garden.
It’s an 80 min drive from Skardu city. The garden is a tourist spot and rest area, enriched with an adequate variety of apple trees and the juiciest cherries. Tourists often buy fresh fruits while locals have got their hands-on on the freshest, organic vegetables.
- Baltoro Glaciers
The longest glaciers located in the Karakoram and the Himalayan range are these Baltoro Glaciers. The place is for those, who love trekking should be at this place, which can be reached by traveling to Askoli Valley from Skardu city, with an additional 5-day walk from Askoli.
- K2 Base Camp.
K2 base camp trek is the most popular trekking holiday for foreign trekkers that visit Pakistan. This place is one of the greatest treks on trekking of 7 days from Baltoro Glaciers. The trek normally takes around 14 days once you reach a small village named Askole. After reaching this small, green oasis, you can trek or take horses, and the real, and great adventure begins here!
Shigar Fort History, Importance, and Structure
The complex at Shigar comprises the 400-year-old Fort/Palace. Since its creation and after the demise of the Rajas who belonged there, this monument also was restored by the Aga Khan Cultural Service Pakistan (AKCSP-P) and make it vulnerable for public visits, tourists’ stay, and locals trademark. After the tremendous transformation, the fort has turned into a hotel as ‘Serena Shigar hotels/Fort’.
The incredible part is that the furniture of rooms that include beds, tables, chairs, and roof ceilings are carved out of the original wood of the fort and transformed into a modern and comfortable utility of today.
Food in Shigar Valley
Amidst a historic stone and wood design, Fong Khar Restaurant in Shigar Serene Hotel invites conversation among guests while savoring an innovative menu of Pakistani, Balti, Chinese, and Continental specialties.
What is Shigar famous for?
Shigar has plenty of apricots trees, ready to be plucked directly and enjoyed under the mesmerizing sun rays. The specialty of Shigar is ‘ Khumani’, (apricot) and the juiciest variety of apples!
Apart from this, local restaurants are also serving in the area with good quality food savor.
Shigar is famous for providing the best trekking spots and tracks for trek-lovers. A well-known place for trekking in Shigar is ‘Thallauy La’, an easy, 13-day trek between shigar and Khaplu Valley.
Things to remember! Since the place is lying on the borderlines of the country so the nationals of the country need to bring their CNIC( Country National Identity Card) along, while a passport and a valid VISA are a must for foreigners.