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Astore Valley

Banak La  ||  Bubin Pass  ||  Burzil Pass  ||  Chilim  ||  Das Khiram  ||  Dashkin  ||  Eid Gah  ||  Gorikot  ||  Gudai  ||  Gutumsar  ||  Harchu  ||  Harpo Pass  ||  Kalapani  ||  Kinibari  ||  Mazino Pass  ||  Minimerg  ||  Parshing  ||  Rama Lake  ||  Riat Lake  ||  Rupal  ||  Tarshing  || 

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Astore was carved out of Diamer District in 2004. The district headquarter is Eidgah the previous tehsil headquarter. Astore valley has a moderate climate during summer. In winter it can snow up to 6 inches (15 cm) in the main valleys and up to 2-3 feet (60-0 cm) in the mountains. In Mirmalik valley it snows up to 6 feet in February.

Astore valley, adjoining the eastern side of Nanga Parbat (8,126 m), is about 120 km long and 5,092 sq. km in area. The entrance of the valley is located about 60 km southeast of Gilgit with four side-valleys. The valley has more than 100 villages with a total population of 71,666 (Census 1998. Some of which are Chilm, Bubin, Gorikot, Eid Ghah, Fina, Bulen, Chongra and Tari Shing. Chilm is the most beautiful village among all the villages of Astore, because it is the starting point of Deosai, the world's second highest plane. The majority of people practice subsistence agriculture and livestock is the main source of livelihood complemented by seasonal work in down districts of the country. Due to its diverse landscape and climatic conditions the valley provides excellent habitat for a variety of commercially important medicinal plants.

Astore Valley is located in Astore District in the Northern Areas of Pakistan. The valley is located at 35°2'20.30?N , 75°6'36.91?E at an altitude of 2600m. The best time to visit is May to October.

Popular Attractions:

Astor lie at the junction of several mountain routes, providing ample and varied trekking opportunities, including many short walks through this beautiful area. Tracks head eastwards from the Bulashbar area, up towards the wild but beautiful Deosai Mountains and Plains. To the north west, a trekking route leads to the Muthat Pass and continues on to Fairy Meadow. In the southwest, Rupal valley provides numerous opportunities for short and long treks. Rama lake is a must see! Accessibility: Astore is connected to Gilgit which is well connected by air with Islamabad( weather dependent) and by road with Islamabad/Rawalpindi, Skardu and Chitral. You can take a flight to Gilgit from the capital of the country and drive to Astore from Gilgit on metalled road.

There are a number of attractive places in Astore which have a range of tourist spots and places to see. Rama valley is located in Astore approximately 112 KM from Gilgit, 56 Km from the KKH at jaglot and 134 KM from Skardu via Deosai plain. The region includes a range of high altitude mountains and ecologically falls in to the transition of alpine to dry temperature zones.

Rama is home to some famous species like: ibex, musk deer, snow leopard and rock partridge .The area is also considered to have plethora of medicinal plants. This valley offers a number of tourist attractions including: sight seeing, trekking, wild life, forest, glaciers and above all the beautiful Rama Lake which is spectacular and eye catching. Rama valley with lush green pastures and tall pine trees is an ideal camp site for the independent travellers. The inhabitants of Rama valley are also very hospitable and friendly. They are motivated to promote environment friendly tourism in their area. Thareshing is yet another interesting place for tourists. It is 42 kilometres away from district headquarters Astore. It has a jeepable road and leads up to Rupal and Mazino pass. Thareshing glacier and zipur are places of interest here. In Rupal, a wooden water channel has been constructed about 500 -600 years ago. From main Astore, jeep can also be hired to get to Rupal. This place is at a distance of 18 KMs from Astore headquarters. Nanga Perbat Inn is the nearest hotel.

Banak la is located in Perishing Gutumsar valley in Astore approximately 160KM from Gilgit, 70 Km from the KKH at jaglot and 20 KM from Skardu via shargunthang. The region includes a range of high altitude mountains, eco systems and ecologically falls in to the transition of alpine to dry temperature zones. Like Rama Valley, Gutumsar valley is home to variety of fauna such as ibex, musk deer, snow leopard and rock partridge. Medicinal plants are also found in abundance. Besides other attractions, this area is famous for Urdoung Lake.

Mazino pass offers a strenuous trek to Gandokoro la which is located between district Astore and District Diamer. Mazino pass is also used as base camp to scale Nanga Perbat 8,125 meter. It is one of the highly attractive 10 days trek for adventure lovers. It's route heads west up to the Rupal gah and crosses the mazino la 5400 meter to zangot and buner valley down to KKH. It is situated at 42 KMs from Astore headquarters. Kinibari is yet another beautiful tourist point of district Astore. It is situated about 6 KMs on up hill side from district head quarters Astore. Kinibari is celled 'Little Deosai' as there are lakes, glaciers and green plains. It is a highly attractive 5-days trek for adventure lovers. It's route heads west up to the Nowgam and crosses the technical daulunig 5000 meter to perishing and Bobin valley to Deosai road.

Harpo pass is 25 KMs from district headquarters Astore and is situated in Perishing valley. Harpo pass is the best and short link between Astore and Skardu (Roundo). The distance from Gutumsar perishing Astore to Skardu is only 30 KMs. The pass is at an altitude of 3,500 meter. The high snow capped mountains and glaciers are all around the pass. It is a 3-days trek. Gutumsar NAPWD Rest house is the nearest accommodation facility.

Bubin pass is 30 Km from district headquarters Astore and is situated in Gudai valley. It is famous for its natural beauty and provides yet another link between Astore and Skardu (Shurgarthang). The distance from Bubin Astore to Skardu is only 35 Km. The pass is at an altitude of 4000 meters and is surrounded by high snow capped mountains all around. There is a large grassy, undulating plain which is awesome and the streams flowing across the valley give a spectacular view. It is a reasonable five days' trek. One of the most beautiful areas of Astore is Kala Pani. It is quite famous for variety of medicinal plants. This valley offers a number of tourist attractions including: wild life, beautiful sights, trekking opportunities and the spectacular scenes of forest, glaciers and above all the beautiful Riat Lake.

Kala Pani valley with its lush green pastures is an ideal camp site for independent travellers. Like other parts of Northern Areas, people in Astore are also fond of playing free style Polo. Astore valley can be reached through Public transport which can be availed from Gilgit/Jaglot on the main Karakoram Highway. Astore travel services and Rama transport company run a daily service from Gilgit to Astore. Astore to Rama can be easily trekked or a jeep can also be hired. The distance from Astore to Rama Lake is 15 Kms. The nearest hotel/accommodation facilities are Rama PTDC and NAPWD Rest House. While travelling to Astore, it is best to register at the office of Deputy Commissioner or Assistant Director Tourism office at Astore. Their offices are situated at district head quarter Eidgah and Gorikot Astore.

Places of interest:

Astore lies about the massive base of Nanga Parbat, the 9th highest peak in the world. To the south of the Nanga Parbat massif lies Rama Valley, which is home to Rama Lake, with basic facilities for visitors. It has a hotel called the PTDC, constructed by the government of Pakistan. Astore valley is a unique area for tourists to visit, surrounded by the high peaks of the far western Himalaya. Nearby the two river junction the village Louze, papular for apples,aprikot, cherry and other fruits especially the wild almond oil. Louze a small village with litresy rate of about 95%, the only biggest power house for electricity supply up to 1000 kW to whole district approx since 1987, nearby Louse a peaks include Nanga Parbat, Shaigiri, Rupal Peak, Chongra Peak and Laila Peak (Rupal Valley). Astore Valley ascends from the Indus River Valley near Jaglot, Pakistan. Deosai plains are the highest plateau in himalayas and are most picturesque with a bowl shapped lake ,wild flowers,and a habitat of brown bear.The easiest route from Astore is via,Gorikot,Gudai,Chilim and then a track leads to this area with little steep hike.Its been declared a Natural park ,a special status to preserve its fora and fauna.

Rupal Valley:

The Rupal Valley is located in the Astore District of Pakistan's Northern Areas. It lies just south of 8,126 meter Nanga Parbat and is popular for treks to the mountain's Rupal Face, one of highest mountain faces in the world. Rupal Village is located in the valley at 35°13'38.76?N 74°42'26.60?E? / ?35.2274333°N 74.7073889°E? / 35.2274333; 74.7073889. The Rupal is home to Shina speaking herdsmen, who have grazed and harvested wood in the valley for hundreds of years. Overgrazing has caused some loss of vegetation, leading to wind-blown dust. Towering peaks on either side of the valley make it a breathtaking, albeit remote destination for adventurers. Most treks to the Rupal Valley begin in the village of Tarashing, located at the southwestern terminus of the Astore Valley.

Peaks near Rupal Valley:

Nanga Parbat
Rupal Peak
Shaigiri
Laila Peak (Rupal Valley)
Mazeno Peak

Tarashing:

Tarashing is a small town and a sub-division of Astore District, Northern Areas (Pakistan). It is considered the gateway to Nanga Parbat. It has five shops, two schools, a small wooden hotel and a small medical center. A large glacier beside the Rupal river is also a part of this beautiful town.

People:

The people living in Tarashing are very cooperative and hard working. Pure natural mineral water and fresh vegetables and fruits are available in this town for locals only. However, in winter, because of freezing temperature, there are no arrangements to get benefit from these facilities.


Visiting:

Because of bad weather and unavailibility of basis needs, you should not trust any medical facility available in this town. Before you plan to visit Astore Valley, make all necessary arrangements and get enough information about these areas either from tourism companies or trusted porters.

Gutumsar Valley:

Gutumsar valley is a very beautiful place with tall pine trees and is an ideal camp site for independent travellers. From Astore to Gutumsar a jeep can be hired. It is at a distance of 18 KMs from Astore headquarters while from Gutumsar to Banak la the distance is 30 KMs. Nearest accommodation is NAPWD Rest House.

Chilim :

Chilim is the base camp for Deosai Plains. It is 52 KM away from Astore. Local wans run through astore to Chilim. It is a small beautiful village with very basic facilities. There is also a Pakistan Army Camp. You can hire jeeps or horses from here to Minimerg or Deosai and Sheosar.

Burzil Pass :

Burzil Pass is on way to Minimerg from Chilim. Burzil pass is full of snow through out the season. Only Burzil pass can be accessed in the month of July and August. It provides a scenic beauty. There is also a lake called as Burzil lake.

Minimerg :

Minimerg is a beautiful place to visit in the month of July and August. it is at the height of 14,00 feet or above. Lush green area with no tree line. A small scattered village is also there. To access minimerg,one has to pass through Burzil Pass. Minimerg is also used as winter camp for Himalyan brown bears.

Daas Khiram :

Daas Khiram is a sequence of three villages Daas,Daas Bala and Khiram. It is 48 KM from Astore. A cool and calm environment best for fishing. Local are so much cooperative and hospitable. Now electricity and dishes are also available here with telephone facility.

Daskun,Mushkin and Harchu:

From KKH towards Astore, there are three villages.Being the foot step of Nanga Parbat, these areas are constantly in problem due to movement of mud. Duskun and Mushkin have been destroyed in earthquake in 2002.

Lakes:

1. Burzil Lake

2. Rama Lake

 

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