Visit Skardu in Gilgit Baltistan
Skardu is a town and capital of Skardu District, in Gilgit, Pakistan. Skardu is in the 10 kilometres (6 miles) wide by 40 kilometres (25 miles) long Skardu Valley, at the confluence of the Indus and the Shigar River. Skardu is at an altitude of nearly 2,500 metres (8,202 feet) . The town is surrounded by grey-brown coloured mountains, which hide the 8,000 metre peaks of the nearby Karakoram range. There are three lakes in the vicinity: Upper Kachura lake, Lower Kachura Lake, and Sadpara Lake.
The first mention of Skardu dates to the first half of the 16th century. Mirza Haidar (1499–1551) described in his in the forties of the 16th century wrote Tarikh-i-Rashidi Baltistan and called Askardu as one of the districts of this country. With the conquest of Kashmir in 1586 by the Mughal Emperor Akbar (1556–1605) were starting with Ali Sher Khan Anchan, the kings of Skardu mentioned as ruler of Little Tibet in the historiography of the Mughal Empire. These are, in particular, histories of Al-Badaoni, Abu'l Fazl, 'Abdu-l Hamid Lahori, Saqi Must'ad Khan and Inayat Khan. The first mention of Skardu in a European literary work of Frenchman François Bernier (1625–1688). Bernier was a physician and world traveler who reached India in 1659 and 1663 in the wake of the Mughal emperor Aurangzeb (1658–1707) traveled to Kashmir. In 1670, publishing his travel experiences, he describes the encounter with a King of Little Tibet these related to Murad Khan and mentions Eskerdou as one of the places of Baltistan. After this mention of Little Tibet and Skardu through the country, Little Tibet and Skardu were quickly shot into the Asia maps produced in Europe. Skardu was first mentioned as Eskerdow the map "Indiae orientalis nec non insularum adiacentium nova descriptio" by Nicolaes Visscher II, published 1680-1700, and the first recorded Baltistan as Tibet Minor.
Skardu, along with Gilgit, are the two major tourism, trekking and expedition hubs in Gilgit–Baltistan. The mountainous terrain of the region, including four of the world's 14 Eight-thousander peaks (8,000 m and above), attracts the attention of tourists, trekkers and mountaineers from around the world. The main tourist season is from April to October; except this time, the area can be cut off for extended periods by the snowy, freezing winter weather. Accessible from Skardu by road, the nearby Askole and Hushe are the main gateways to the snow-covered 8,000 m peaks including K2, the Gasherbrums, Broad Peak, the Trango Towers, and to the huge glaciers of Baltoro, Biafo and Trango. This makes Skardu the main tourist and mountaineering base in the area, which has led to the development of a reasonably extensive tourist infrastructure including shops and hotels. However, the popularity of the region results in high prices, especially during the main trekking season. Treks to the Deosai Plains, the second highest in the world at 4,114 metres (13,497 ft) above sea level, 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 (1,158 sq mi), the plains extend all the way to Ladakh and provide habitat for snow leopards, ibex, Tibetan blue bears and wild horses.