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). Ghizer is a multi ethnic district and three major languages are spoken. Khowar, Shina and Burushaski are spoken in Ghizer. There are also a few Wakhi speakers in Ishkoman.
This is the land of adventure because it offers a lot of avenues for adventure and fun like: trekking, jeep safari, trophy hunting, water rafting, wind surfing and sight seeing. A large number of tourists come to the District Ghizer each year because all four major valleys are beautiful and easily accessible areas for visitors.
Ghizer has spectacular scenic beauty. The peak tourist season from May to mid-October though the tourist season is round the year. The maximum temperature in May is 320C and minimum 160C in September.
Ghizer is the gateway to Central Asia. District Ghizer is the short way to Tajikistan through Boroghul Pamair pass and South West Ghizer meets to Chitral in NFWP. Ghizer District is northernmost part of the Northern Areas of Pakistan. Its capital is Gakuch. Ghizer is also a contact point between Gilgit and Chitral (which are connected via Shandur Pass). Ghizer is a multi ethnic district and three major languages are spoken. Khowar, Shina and Burushaski are spoken in Ghizer. There are also Wakhi speakers in Ishkoman.
Historically the region has been ruled by indigenous rajas such as thoms of Yasin and Puniyal 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 Govt. and not by the Kashmir Durbar.
Raja Gohar Aman is the only ruler of Ghizer who defeated all other rulers of Gilgit and captured the area from Thoi to Bagrot in Gilgit District.
The Rajas of Yasin Suleman Shah and Gohar Aman stretched their rule to Gilgit by pushing back Dogras and at some particular juncture of history remained defacto 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 Modori debacle occurred in Yasin.however the last and most popular Raja of Ghizer in his Tehsil Yasin the (Late) Raja (Metar/Thum) of Yasin Raja Ghulam Dastgir ,after his death no rajas and no Riaya remains.
District Ghizer is Northmost part of the Northern Areas situated in extreme north of Pakistan. It joins with Wakhan strip on its north-west, and China on its northmost borders. On its west, there is Chitral District of NWFP; and on its east is situated Gilgit. Diamer District is on its south, which is again a part of the Northern areas. Gakuch is the capital of the Ghizer District. The highest peak in Ghizer District is Koyo Zum (6,871 m) ( Hindu Kush Range) which lies on the boundary of Ghizer District and NWFP of Pakistan.
Some of the main places in the district are Ishkoman and Yasin valleys. Other places include Hatun, Gupis, Chatorkhand, Imit and Utz.
Some of the passes in the district are:
Karumbar 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 known as Gilgit River in the east of Gupis town. Some of its tributaries include Qurumber , Ishkoman River, Phakora River, Hayal River and Yasin River.
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
PTDC Motel Phunder Description: Superb location, at the edge of Phunder lake it offers 10 comfortable guest rooms. All rooms are equipped dish and TV, marbled bathrooms, hot and cold running water, and efficient room service accommodation rooms: 10
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 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:
1. Khalti Lake:
It is a small lake three KM before Phandar valley on Gilgit Chitral Road. There is a rest house there.
2. Phandar Lake:
It is a beautiful lake in Phandar valley. It is very good for fishing specially for trout. There is a PTDC motel to stay and have a wonderful day.
3. Karombar Lake:
It situated in upper Ishkoman valley very near to Wakhan belt. One has to trek three days before reaching karombar lake. The trek normally follows from Imat to sokhtabad then to chitiboi(dangerous glacier) then to swing valley and lastly to Karombar lake.
4. Hundrab Lake:
After passing Phandar valley towards shandor pass,after the bridge of terru,there is one day trek to Hundrab lake. It is also ideal for fishinng in this region. Still untouch and worth scenic.