Breathtaking Baltistan

A local Balti child looking out from the window of a house in Shigar. Text and photos by Hira Zuberi

A week ago, I traveled with my family to Baltistan and witnessed some breathtaking places.

Our first stop was Skardu, a town that is surrounded by grey-brown coloured mountains, which hide the 8,000 metre peaks of the nearby Karakorum Range. Then we drove up two hours and reached Khaplu. The people of Khaplu are the most beautiful, friendly and spiritual people I have ever met!

We traveled further to Seling, Shigar and the Deosai Plateau which is the second highest plateau in the world after the Chang Tang in Tibet. In local Balti language, Deosai is called Byarsa, meaning ‘summer place’. The plateau is located at the boundary of the Karakorum and the western Himalayas.

Huge old trees, fresh air, bright blue sky surround you, while water runs from the streams, and awe-inspiring mountains dominate the horizon. To me, it was these sights and surreal surroundings that characterised breathtaking Baltistan.

Read complete at DAWN

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