At an elevation of 1,454 metres lies the Gilgit Valley. The quaint little town of Gilgit has spectacular scenic beauty. The peak tourist season is from May to mid-October though the tourist season is round the year. The maximum temperature in May is 33 C and the minimum 16 C and in September Maximum 28 C and minimum 11C.
10 Kms. from Gilgit town is a beautiful rock engraving of Buddha of 7th century A.D.at the mouth of the Kargah Nullah. A victory monument of Taj Mughal, built 700 years ago, is 30 kms. Jeep drive from Gilgit town.
The bridge over the fast flowing Gilgit river is the largest suspension bridge in Asia (182 metres long and 2 metres wide) permitting enough room for one jeep at a time to cross.
The favourite sport in Gilgit is polo which local folks claim originated here. Itís more rugged, free-style version than the sedate variety known in the plains. The polo tournament held from 1st November to 7th November is a festive occasion and draws a large number of visitors.
The streams and lakes of Gilgit are full of trout. These are at kargah Nullah 10 kms. from Gilgit, Singal 56 kms. Gakuch 73 kms. and Phandar 117 kms. from Gilgit. Permits for fishing are issued by the Assistant Director, Fisheries, Government of Pakistan, Gilgit.
Trekking & Hiking
Trekking and hiking in the rugged mountains and verdant valleys of Gilgit are allowed only in the "open zone" which extends up to 16 kms. short of the control line on the Kashmir border and up to 50 kms. short of the Afghan border. Guides are available at PTDC Motel, Gilgit. However, applications for obtaining permission to bring a trekking group for restricted zone into the country should reach the Ministry of Tourism by 31st December alongwith a map indicating the route within three months of the expiry of the last date for the receipt of applications. The names, passport numbers, place of issue, must also be submitted to the Ministry of Tourism.
Around Gilgit are towering mountain peaks, waiting to be scaled. Permits for mountaineering are issued by the Ministry of Tourism, Government of Pakistan, Islamabad.
How to Get There
By Air: PIA operates two daily flights between Islamabad and Gilgit. All flights are subject to good weather. The flying times is one hour and one way fare is approximately US$ 44 for foreigners.
By Road: Gilgit is also accessible from Islamabad/Rawalpindi on the direct route (625 km) by the Karakoram Highway. Rawalpindi to Gilgit via Swat is 750 kms and takes 20 hours by bus/van; Rawalpindi to Gilgit via Babusar Pass 592 kms 24 hours by jeep.
Regular bus, wagon services operate on the Karakoram Highway between Rawalpindi and Gilgit.
Where to Stay
Gilgit has a number of comfortable furnished and reasonably priced cottage-hotels, motels including PTDCís Chinar Inn, and rest-houses.: