Skardu is the main town of Baltistan along the wide bank of the river Indus. Skardu is the largest district of the Northern Areas. Baltistan is home to some of the highest peaks in the world, the Karakoram Range, who treks to Baltoro Glacier, K2 Base Camp and Concordia. Skardu by road, lies approximately 5 hours away from Gilgit and 10 hours drive from Besham. A daily flight to and from Islamabad is also in operation. The flight is always subject to weather.
Skardu has a character of its own and has a very interesting scenery. The Indus becomes wide and still here. The town is surrounded by dry rugged mountains and sand dunes.
Skardu is famous for the many trekking and adventure spots around it. There are numerous treks starting from Skardu. The near by Satpara Lake and Shangri-la resort are very famous among the local travelers and is visited by people from all over the country during June & July.
The Skardu region has the four of the world’s fourteen Eight-thousander peaks (8,000 m and above) this makes it a heaven for trekkers expeditions enthusiasts and mountain climbers. The main tourist season is from April to October
Askole and Hushe Valleys are the main gateways to the snow covered 8,000 m peaks including Mashabum, K2, the Gasherbrums, Broad Peak and the Trango Towers, and also to the huge glaciers of Baltoro, Biafo and Trango.
Adventure tours and jeep safaris to the Deosai Plains, the second highest in the world (at 4,100 m or 13,500 feet) after the Chang Tang in Tibet, either start from or end at Skardu. In local Balti language, Deosai is called Byarsa, meaning ‘summer place’. With an area of approximately 3,000 square kilometres, the plains extend all the way to Ladakh and provide habitat for snow leopards, ibex, Tibetan brown bears and wild horses.
SATPARA DAM PROJECT on the Satpara Lake:- is a project is 7 km away from Skardu city and its altitude is 8,700 feet (2,700 m) moreover it will also pond the water about 90,000 acre feet (110,000,000 m3). The main source of water is melting ice of the Deosai plains during the summer season.
It is a multipurpose project, which will produce 13 Megawatts hydro generation, irrigate 15,000 acres (61 km2) of land and also provide 13 cusecis drinking water daily to Skardu city. Images of Satpara Lake
On 29 August 2009, the Gilgit-Baltistan Empowerment and Self-Governance Order 2009, was passed by the Pakistani cabinet and later signed by the President Asif Ali Zardari. It granted self-rule to the people of the former Northern Areas, now renamed “Gilgit-Baltistan,” by creating, among other things, an elected legislative assembly.On the other hand there has been criticism and opposition to this move by Pakistan inside Pakistan, India, and the Gilgit-Baltistan region itself