Travel and Tourism

Shigar Valley: The best place to visit in Gilgit Baltistan

The beautiful Shigar Valley in Gilgit Baltistan is famous for its fruits. When you enter in Shigar valley, a special kind of fragrance greets you. This fragrance is of Russian olive. Shigar is a lush green and fertile valley of Baltistan, some 30 km from Skardu City.

This valley is the gateway to several famous routes for trekking and climbing expeditions including K2. The waterfalls falling from the mountains add to its beauty immensely.

Shigar District

Shigar is the 4rh district of Baltistan, recently created by the federal government of Pakistan.  Shigar valley stretches about 170 km from Skardu to Askole. The historical Amborik Mosque, Khanqah and Fort are the prime attractions of the valley.

The ruins of the Fort of Khari Dongs and Skeur Lung Gompa of the demolished Buddhist complex as well as the tomb of Mir Yahya are the historical sites located in this valley.

The Shigar River flows through the Valley, which in turn merges into the Indus. Popular fruits are apricots, apples, pears, grapes, aloe Vera and mulberry. Many kinds of valuable herbs are also found in the mountains and streams of the Sugar Valley from which medical medicines are made.  

Famous Places in Shigar Valley 

The most famous places in this valley are Shigar Fort and Shigar Palace. It is called “Phong Khar” in the Balti language which means “palace on a rock”. It is a beautiful masterpiece of Baltistan architecture. A museum has been built here and part of the palace building has been converted into a hotel.

The Amburik Mosque in Shigar is one of the oldest mosques in Baltistan. The foundation of this mosque was laid by Syed Amir Kabir Ali Hamdani and it is still in its original condition today.

UNESCO Cultural award 

UNESCO has also given this mosque a cultural award. Shigar is one of the fertile valleys of Baltistan. In ancient times, the food needs of the whole of Baltistan were met from this valley.

There is a lot of potential for agricultural development in this area. This area is famous for its potato production in the whole Gilgit-Baltistan. Halaman apricot is also famous in the area. 

Hot Springs in Shigar Valley

Hot springs are also found at various places in the Shigar Valley, including the hot springs of  Chhutron Village and Basel Village. The best months for trekking and camping in Shigar are June, July and August.

The locals of the valley speak the Balti language, while the population is made up of a variety of groups, including Tibetans, Mongols, Indo-Iranians and Central Asians. The hospitable, brave and tough people of the Shigar Valley are engaged in farming and raising cattle.

The Mall Valley 

The Mall Valley in Shigar is a regional center where hospitals, colleges, high schools are established. Villages are located on both sides of the river. Among them are Chhorkah, Alchoori, Wazirpur, Gulabpur, Tasar Basha, etc.

The hot water Sulphur springs of Chhutron and Basil also attract the people to cure skin diseases and Sciatica. Shigar is also known for treasures of precious gems and stones particularly Zahar Mohra which is considered to be an antidote and is also used for making beautiful tea-sets and artificials.

Trekking Zone in Shigar Valley

The Basha Valley in Shigar offers good attractive options to more frequent areas of Baltistan. The local houses have a more traditional Balti style as compare to the developed areas with a modern concrete structure.

The valley is closed by the huge Chhogo Lungma Glacier with several possibilities for interesting trekking routes with Haramosh La as the most important Gianto La and Stak La connects Basha Valley with Tormik and Stak Valleys respectively.

Read also: Geographical introduction of Gilgit Baltistan

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