5 things to add to your Skardu travel itinerary

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If you’ve ever traveled in Pakistan, you’ve probably already seen or heard countless tales of the wondrous north and its scenic beauty. You’ve probably also heard specifically of Skardu, a city that has been marveled over by tourists and locals alike. Skardu isn’t only beautiful, it’s filled with history—and is a site to behold. 

This is exactly why your travel adventures wouldn’t be complete without a visit to Skardu. If you’re looking to plan the trip of a lifetime, here are some helpful tips on what to see and expect in the wondrous city of Skardu, Pakistan. 

5 things to add to your Skardu travel itinerary

1. Visit the Deosai Plains

Known for being the second largest plateau in the world, the Deosai plain is a renowned high-altitude plain and national park found in Skardu. The name Deosai is derived from a phrase translating to “Shadow of the Giant” which, in turn, is a phrase derived from a famous folk tale from that region. 

The plain and national park is known for its majestic greenery and unexpected weather patterns. Another fantastic feature of this region is the deafening silence that the land is surrounded by, which many visitors have described as eerie and strangely calming. And, of course, let's not forget the famous Sheosar Lake, one of the highest lakes in the world, boasting deep blue water that sparkles as the sun shines upon it. 

When you plan a trip to Skardu, make sure to add Deosai to your itinerary. 

Deosai Plains. From 5 things to add to your Skardu travel itinerary. Photo Wikimedia Commons: Jehan Sher
Photo Wikimedia Commons: Jehan Sher

2. Book a stay at the Shigar Fort

Shigar Fort, also known as the “Palace of the Rock,” was built by the Amacha Dynasty in the 17th century. It was founded on top of an area surrounding a cone-shaped rock, which inspired the very name it goes by now. This fort is a collection of three separate buildings standing adjacent to each other, with each building having been built in a different time with a different structure. 

This fort is known for its magnificent architecture, breathtaking interior, and famed Amacha Garden, complete with scenic greenery and a Mughal-style central platform. Today, this fort serves as a famous hotel under the name Serena Shigar. If you’re looking for the ideal place to stay while also taking in the historic beauty of Skardu, this is the place to visit. 

5 things to add to your Skardu travel itinerary

3. Try out Balti cuisine 

If you’re visiting Skardu, one of the best experiences you can have there is trying out the famous Balti cuisine. Packed with unique flavor and warm and hearty ingredients, this cuisine will fill you up and keep you warm on those cold Skardu nights. 

Some of the most famous dishes you can try are Balay (noodle soup with meat broth), Prapu  (wheat noodles with walnut paste), and Marzan (buckwheat with apricot oil). Wash it all down with a warm, comforting cup of rich butter tea. 

4. Have a snack by the Manthokha Waterfall

If you’re craving a warm cup of tea or some filling street food, there’s no better place for it than the Manthokha Waterfall. This waterfall is a mesh of gurgling streams flowing into deep blue waters surrounded by lush greenery, and is a primary attraction for many people who visit the area. 

The waterfall is also surrounded by a range of cafes and kiosks that will serve you a wide range of traditional snacks and delicious tea so you can enjoy the view with a quick bite to eat. 

Manthokha Waterfall. From 5 things to add to your Skardu travel itinerary

5. Go to the Cold Desert 

Known traditionally as the Katpana desert by locals, this magnificent sandy region is surrounded by high sand dunes and snowy white sand granules. The desert is surprisingly cold, so come prepared with thermal gear. The desert is spread across a huge area, being mainly located in the Shigar region but stretching out to the Khaplu and Shikar areas, too. With its calm atmosphere and almost snowy white sand plains, this is one of the most scenic deserts you can visit in the world. 

Cold desert. From 5 things to add to your Skardu travel itinerary

Invite others to be a part of your trip

Once you’ve planned out your trip to Skardu, you might not want to keep it to yourself. Maybe you’re a travel agent looking to host trips for a living, or maybe you just want to get a group together to make it a fun experience for everyone. 

Either way, you can easily invite people to be a part of your Skardu trip by creating your own personalized travel posters and sending them out to your friends and family. Use online tools like PosterMyWall to get free access to a wide range of travel poster templates and create a special poster containing all the details of your upcoming Skardu trip, so people know how to join and what to expect. 

5 things to add to your Skardu travel itinerary