The Diamir District is a first-order administrative division of the Pakistani-controlled territory known as the Northern Areas and is the district in which the Karakoram Highway enters that territory from Pakistan's NWFP. The capital of the Diamir District is Chilas. In 2004, the Diamir District was reduced in size as a result of the creation of the new Astore District from Diamir's easternmost tehsil.
The Diamir District is bounded by the Astore District in the east, Pakistan's NWFP in the southwest (separated by the Babusar Pass or Babusar Top), Neelum District of Azad Kashmir in the south, the Ghizar District in the north and northwest, and the Gilgit District in the north and northeast.
Before the Karakoram Highway was opened in 1978, the only road reaching Gilgit town from the south was a rough track north from Balakot to Babusar Pass (via Kaghan, Naran, Besal, and Gittidas) and further north through Babusar Gah to Chilas. The road up to Besal is now in better condition, but from Besal to Babusar Pass, the road is still a rough track.
Chilas is a small town along the famous Karakorum Highway. It is located at a height of about 3000 feet above sea lever at the foot of Nanga Parbat which stands as a wall against the monsoon winds leaving no rain for Chilas. This fact make Chilas dry and rough very hot in Summer 52 degrees centigrades and very cold in winter -10 degrees with chill winds.
Chilas is the district headquarters of Diamer and is the main town as a crossing point of Karakoram Highway which further leads to Khunjerab Pass connecting Pakistan with China. It is a main point for travellers travelling to and from Islamabad. In Chilas there are archaeological sites in Thalpan which attract the attentions of most visitors. In the olden times it was called Vishiya. There exists an inscription pertaining to the sixth century of the Christian era. According to it the name of Chilas was termed as Silavata. In Sanskrit, Sila means a rock or stone; also the word Vata bears the same meaning. Here, the old name of Chilas is Samanagav (moon city); this name has been inscribed near Thalpan Bridge. It has been given the name as the "Heroic city of moon" pertaining to the fifth century of the Christian era. Chilas (Viva Soimanagar) is an ancient city. This stands for a historical fort, reconstructed in the Dogra age. From here, starts the Babusar Road to Kashan Ganga leading to Kashmir and Khagan Naran NWFP. Archaeology plays an important role in the investigation and exploration of the ancient history. The numerous archaeologies certainly attract the attention of researchers. Diamer district and the mountainous frontier of Kohistan are replete and full of archaeological remains. The distance between Shatiyal (Diamer District) and Thalpan is about forty miles; in between this lengthy distance there exist ancient carvings on both sides of the road. According to Dr. Hassan Dani, hardly there will be any place having so many archaeological monuments.
Rock drawing in Chilas and surroundings:
There are more than 20,000 pieces of rock drawings and petroglyphs all along the Karakoram Highway in Northern Areas of Pakistan that are conentrated at ten major sites between Hunza and Shatial. The carvings were left by various invaders, traders and pilgrims who passed along the trade route, as well as by locals. The earliest date back to between 5000 and 1000 BC, showing single animals, triangular men and hunting sccenes in which the animals are larger than the hunters. These carvings were pecked into the rock with stone tools and are covered with a thick patina that proves their age.
archaeologist Karl Jettmar has pieced together the history of the area
from various inscriptions and recorded his findings in Rockcarvings and
Inscriptions in the Northern Areas of Pakistan and the later released
Between Gandhara and teh Silk Roads - Rock carvings Along the Karakoram
Range to the SW. First attempt to climb the summit was conducted in the distant 1895 by the leading British climber of that time Albert F. Mummery, who disappeared with his two Gurkha companions somewhere in the ice-falls of Diama glacier, trying to reach Rakhiot valley, after unsuccessful attempts from Rupal and Diamir slopes. Afterwards, during 1930s, several disastrous ones followed, organized mainly by Germans and Austrians, who all tried to reach the summit vie its Rakhiot face. This route is the heaviest in distance from the main summit and demands enormous preparation, as well as vigour to climb. Most of them ended with many casualties and tragedies for their members, therefore it was then named The German Fateful Mountain. First successful ascent followed the same route, and was made in 1953 by the distinguished climber Hermann Buhl from Austria, member of the German-Austrian expedition of Dr.Karl Herlighoffer. He organized it in memoriam of his half-brother Willy Merkl, who died from exhaustion on the slopes of Rakhiot face, together with Willo Walzenbach and Uli Wieland - all German elite climbers of the pre-WWII period. Diamir face, with its 3500 m high wall, was first climbed by another German expedition of the same leader in 1962, when Tony Kinshofer, A. Mannhardt and S. Löw reached the summit, while the latter died on the descend. This route was later called German or Classical. Rupal face, or World's highest wall - 4500 m, with an average slope bias of 57 degrees - a marvellous creation of Nature, was first ascended in 1970 by two German speaking brothers from Italian Tyrol - Reinhold and Günther Messner, members of an expedition, again lead by Dr.Herlighoffer. After successfully accomplishing the first ascent through this direct route of Rupal wall, due to underestimation of the conditions at high altitudes, both were forced to descend via Diamir face, using Mummery's Rib, and thus performing also the first traverse of Nanga Parbat.
Fairy Meadow is lush green plateau situated in the foots gin of Nanga Parbat at the Western edge of the Himalayan Range. The name Fairy Meadows is part of the legend that Fairy’s have their heaven on this lush green plateau. It would be a great experience to have overnight in fixed camping side, or in the traditionally built wood Huts, which offers magnificent view of the North face of the Nanga Parbat. There are several short walks on this plateau, including the full day excursion up to the base camp (3900 m) of Nanga Parbat. It is very easy walk through the forest till then the edge of the plateau call Beyal Camp (3500 m). Whereas the trek from Beyal Camp to base camp is little difficult along the Raikot glacier.Fairy Meadow is a meadow on the north side of Nanga Parbat( 9th highest in the World and 2nd highest in Pakistan, a few kilometers south of the Karakoram Highway and the Indus River in the Diamer district of Northern Areas, Pakistan. It is the best place to view the majestic beauty of Nanga Parbat. Willy Merkl, the leader of the 1932 German-American expedition, named it Fairy Meadow due to its wonderful scenery.
Fairy Meadows Lake:
There is a small lake in fairy meadows which is named after the legend of Pakistani trekking lover people. Mr Mustansar Hussain Tarar as "Tarar Lake".
Most tourists who come to see Nanga Parbat stay at Fairy Meadow, which is at an elevation of 3,300 m (10,827 ft); tents and simple food are available there. On the route to the meadow lie two small villages, Tatu and Fenturi; nearby the meadow is Tarar Lake. Many visitors visit up to the standard (northern) base camp of Nanga Parbat.
Fairy Meadows is connected to Chilas and 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 reach Gilgit.It is about 540 km drive through Karakorum Highway, from Islamabad to Raikot Bridge (1400 m). Where local Jeeps will take you up to the Tatto village, it is one and half hour excited drive from Raikot Bridge to the last village of Tatto (2900 m). There are several photo stop on the way up to Tatto, including most impressive view of Karakorum Highway & River Indus from the one of the sharp turn of the road. On arrival at Tatto have lunch in the local restaurant, after lunch hire Porters and start trekking on very easy old jeep road for (03 hours).
Other Places to see
In the archaeology of Shatiyal we can find the clue of "Roshti" and Sogalon dialects pertaining to the first century of the Christian era. On the inscriptions names of those men have been recorded who had come from China. The signs and vestiges of the Barhami dialects have been found. In the available carvings, the scenes of hunting and the pictures of the animals can be seen. The important collection of these pictures has been built on a plain rock. After Shatiyal comes the Hudur valley, where on both sides of Karakuram Highway carvings of embroidery are quite visible. Among these embroidered carvings the names of those personages have been inscribed who were men of repute, the Pundits and the religious men who belonged to the Barhami era. There are also caves between the Indus River and the Karakuram Highway, which have been used by the Buddhists near Meneyar Valley. On the promontory of the Thore Nallah there is a small settlement of gold seekers, here the carvings of Barhami and Roshti languages are still found, depicting pictures of birds and animals. It is quite clear from these carvings that Thore was a historical place in the ancient times. When the Indus River is crossed by a bridge near Hudoor, the sight of the Nanga Parbat presents its splendid spectacle and gorgeous scenery to the visitors.
The historians have derived from the carvings and inscriptions that the name of Hudoor was found on a fort named Durgh. There stood some minarets and rooms on this fort that had caught fire in the ancient times. It is held that this fort had been built in the 10th century of the Christian era. The embroidery of Hudoor comprises the pictures of animals and the rites and ceremonies of the people, which appertained to Barhamanical period. Some inscriptions are of the 8th century of the Christian era in which people have engaged in their devotional services to God. These carvings indicate that there was a considerable majority of Barhamamus. The embroidery of Hudoor is a best collection for the exponents and discoverers. While going from Hudoor to Chilas there are so many inscriptions on both sides of the Indus River. At a distance of 10 miles to Chilas there is an inscription on which the Roshti dialect has been inscribed bearing the words "Uvima Kasa Dasa" probably the names of famous rulers of Khasha named Kadplises, Vima, the second. This ruler held his sway up to Ladakh. The inscriptions of this area can be divided into two parts, in one group, the names of the old kings have been inscribed, appertained to the seventh century of the Christian era, while in the second group, there are signs of the fifth century of Christian era.
On the other side
of the Indus River there comes the Thalpan village
which is called the mine of inscriptions, near it stands an ancient
settlement, inundated by floods. The inscriptions appertain to the 5th
century of the Christian era and highlight the ancient historical scenes,
in which many pictures of snakes, feet and hands, ibexes, crossing the
river by means of local boats with filled skins, dancing groups, snake
fights and other human acrobatic tricks have been shown. After Thalpan
and Thug valleys the inscriptions come to an end, which
indicate that this was not an old route.
Buddhists gained supremacy over the nations of the Central Asia, including the Turks.
The sub division of Darel Tangir is situated in the middle of the lush forests, and the sky touching mountains. To the North it is bordered by District Ghizer (Sub division Punial/Ishkoman and Gupis/Yaseen). To the South it is bounded by Indus River, to the east lies Sub division Chilas, Hudoor Nallah and Kargah Nallah of Gilgit. In the west lies District Kohistan. The Sub division Darel Tangir embraces an area of 2019 square kilometers. The climate of these places is moderate in the summer days, but the days and nights are hot in the low lying villages, while heavy snow falls in winter days and scarcely blow dry winds. These areas recieve heavy rains fall in the month of March and April. Historically, Darel Tangir is very famous. According to Dr. Caral Jatlar, the Shina language has its origin from Darel, Tangir, Sazeen and Harban. Here four tribes had inhabited since times immemorial. Other than Sheen, Yashkin, Kameen, Domme some other tribes were also there namely: Sayyid, Gujar, Patan, Akho, Nakheel, Madi Khail, Jaagi, Sahibzada, Bankhadi, Konashiri and Soneval etc. The civilization of Darel is very old. On the spot of Phogach there was a Buddhist University, the remains of which are still visible. Students from Tibet and China come here for further researches about this old University. The Buddhist Lama had made Gamari Kamani as his residential abode.
Botogha Top is on the junction of road from Chilas to Kaghan and Babusar. It links Gitidas with Chichobut. It is located at a distance of 16 Km from lake Saiful Malook and truck road is available now. Its beauty is due to thin forest, Lush green grasses and various beautiful wild flowers. It is on the top of Boto Nullah and 65 km jeep able off road is available from Chilas. (View point of Botogah Nalla).People of Botogah/Thak of tehsil Chilas spend their summer as nomads with their cattle and goats for three to four months. This culture is still prevalent .Its land is very productive for range land. It was a pony track between Kaghan and Northern Areas Pakistan in ancient time and people used this route for their trade and commerce.
Gittidas is situated at a distance of 45 Km from KKH. Its height from sea level is about 13400 ft. Its attraction points are Lolo Sarr. Another attractive scenery in Gittidas is its 7 Lakes which are arranged in such a manner that three Lakes are in series in one side and 4 Lakes are in series on another side. On the back of these 7 Lakes another Lakes Dodipat is also situated which adds to the beauty of this place. The Lakes in Gitidas have trout fish and it is a wonderful place for anglers. To this place, one needs to take personal tent. The uncarpeted road facility is available form KKH to Gitidas and Gitidas to Kaghan. Northern Areas administration and N. As Tourism Department is organize polo tournaments in these places every year mainly during the month of July.
Babusar Pass is first gateway between Northern Areas and rest of Pakistan. It was the only way of communication between north Pakistan to other parts of Pakistan. All traders used this pass. During the British rule up to 1886, Babusar was the summer camp of the officials and Assistant political Agent of Chilas sub Division resides in Babusar for four months. Babusar top is located at distance of 45 Km from KKH. Its height from sea level is about 14600 ft. There are Lush green mountains covered with thin forest in Babusar and there are 3 beautiful lakes surrounding Babusar top namely Kota Lake, Koli Lake and shoti Lake which adds the beauty of this place. This pass is a viewpoint of several beauty places of District Diamer. Northern Areas Tourism Department has constructed Tourist Facilitation Center at Babusar with limited rooms. Currently National Highway Authority (NHA) is constructing 70 ft wide highway, which will link KKH Chilas to Mansherah Via Babusar.
Bunner Nullah was previously a pony Track between Kashmir and North Areas of Pakistan through Bunner Nullah. It is about 45 km from KKH. The road is jeepable to upto certain level and rest is only possible on foot. Diamori in Buner Nullah is is Base camp of worlds 3rd highest peak and killer mountain Nangha Parbat. It is quite rich in glacier, forest and greenery. Residence facilities are not available in this Nullah and one has to arrange things personally. One pony track land is available via Nanga Parbat to Latobo Base Camp District Astore. Goher Abad is extracted from word 'Ghor' which means graveyard. In ancient times the people of Goher Abad were of Buddhist religion. They worshiped Taybun-god which is famous in Goher Abad, know as 'Taybun Bani''. They used to collect firewood for one month and would put it on fire for special religious festival. The custom was that a person with religious authority would open the fire and upon sight of some shadow in the smoke; they would assume that the year to follow will be that of prosperity and high productivity while in case of no shadows in the smoke; their assumptions would be vice versa. Another historically important place in Goher Abad is Haparing and it is said about Haparing that the ancient people of this area throw their old relatives, which were not able to do any useful work. This place is also full of antiques. It is located at a distance of 20 km from KKH. Road is jeep able. Mountain contains thick forest and snowfall in winter. Chilghoza is wild fruit, which is also abundant in Gohar abad. The Marthal and Shamori of Goher abad are also very important sites from where one can view Nanga Parbat, District Astore, both Raikot and Bunji etc. The Shamori peak is about 8 Km from Goher Abad and the way is pony track. Another pony track is from Malput which links to Goher Abad via Haroch and Khalimay.One lake situated at Haroch and Zigzag which falls to Gais Bala Nullah.
Gais Pain Nullah is at a distance of 5 Km from KKH. Here one may find rock carvings of olden/prehistoric times and graves of ancient time. Raw Kot is the old name of a fort, which is at a distance of 6 Km from Gais pain. The walls of fort construction are clearly visible and a place, which is known as Moster, also contains rock carving of olden/ prehistoric times, which is at distance of 2 Km from Gais Pain village. In Gais Pain is Mataira, which is located at a distance of 30 Km from Gais Pain Village. The beauty of Mataira is due to it's lush green mountains, covered with thin forest and snow fall in winter and a beautiful lake which adds beauty of this area. This place is a viewpoint of several beautiful places of District Diamer. The people of Gais Pain spend their summer as a nomads with their cattle and goats for three to four months. This culture is still prevalent. Its land is very productive for range land.Another important place in Gais Pain is Mulpat, which is also located at a distance of 30 km from Gais Pain and 3 Km from Mataira and it is located on the left side of Mataira. It is a beautiful place in the Nullah. It is a summer camp for the people of area and meadow for cattle and goats. The beauty of Mulpat is due to its Lush green grasses, thick forest surrounding Mulpat and one lake on the backside of the Top of Malput, which also increase the beauty of this area. Both Malput / Mataira are home to various kinds of flowers, medicinal plants and water stream. Chilghoza is wild fruit, which is also abundant in Gais Pain Nullah. The forest of Gais Pain/ Gais Bala is full of Wild life because the forest is still protected from timber mafia by committee of local community.
Diamer is home to one of the famous peaks Nanga Parbat which is also known as killer mountain due to its difficult situation that does not allow climbers to reach the peak. Aut Darel is also a summer camp and is a meadow for cattle and goats of the local community. A famous University of Buddhist time is located at Phugush Darel. It is located at a distance of 35-40 Km from KKH. There is access through truckable road of Darel Gumari and jeep able road from Gumari to Yasote. A foot trek of 7 km from Yosote to Aut Darel is another option. Its main beauty is due to cup shaped valley surrounded by thick forest and lush green grasses with full of wild flowers of different kinds. Its winter brings snowfall and there is a continuous stream of water throughout there. It has one pony track entering to Gupis, Singal and other areas of Ghizer district.
Sateel Tangir is a summer camp of local people. It is also a meadow for cattle and goats. Tangir (Sateel) is located at a distance of 35 km from KKH. Beauty of Sateel is due to green plains, forest, shrubs, productive rangeland and some economical medicinal plants. A waterfall called 'Dogo Shar'' also increase the beauty of Sateel. There are 3 lakes and flow of water stream is continuous throughout the year, which adds in the beauty of the place. Snow fall in winter and abundance of fragrant flowers in summer; increase the attraction of Sateel. Two pony tracks link Sateel with Ghizer District- one pony track leads to Gupis and another leads from Shashi Nullah to Phunder Ghizer. The distance from Sateel to Gilgit-Chitral road is about 45 Km. Fairy Meadow (Raikote) is a legendary place and it is famous that there were fairies in this region in ancient times and several 'Folk stories'' are also famous about this place that it was a place of fairies. It is about 20 km from KKH and the road is Jeepable. The foot track is about 9 Kms. Horses are available for riding on foot track. The place is very beautiful because of lush green grasses, forest, grassy plains, glacier, lakes and its most attractive factor is that it is the Base camp of Nanga Parbat. There are 5 hotels for catering the residential needs of tourists, and 3 hotels situated at Biyal Camp to facilitate the tourist and the staff is cooperative and sincere.