Astore valley: A Jewel of Gilgit Baltistan

Astore valley is among the most beautiful regions of the Northern Areas of Pakistan. The valley is breathtaking and rich in biodiversity, contrasting climate, geography, and topography. It is a fantastic place for adventure-seeking tourists. It provides limitless possibilities for trekking and the opportunity to experience a culture not yet open to the general public.

Overview of the Valley

The road between Astore andΒ Deosai PlainΒ is hazardous and not advised for small vehicles. Therefore, only 4 x 4 Jeeps can travel from Astore to Skardu.

The Astore Valley is a 120-kilometer-long and 5000-square-kilometer-wide valley in Pakistan’s northern Gilgit-Baltistan region.

A narrow gorge scarps down the east slope of Nanga Parbat, Pakistan’s highest peak at 8,125 meters and one of the world’s most dangerous mountains to climb.

It is the eastern face of Nanga Parbat, a mountain that rises to 8,125 meters.

Astor Valley is the second of five valleys that comprise the Astore range, extending over 5,092 square kilometers.

It runs for 120 kilometers from east to west and is split by Nanga Parbat (8126), the stunning peak. The beautiful valley of Chilam is there at a height of 2,600 meters. Deosai, the world’s second-highest airfield, begins in Chilam. The unique climate patterns and captivating scenery make this valley of essential importance for the medical care of plants at home.

Astore History:

The Astore Valley is a treasure trove of Gilgit Baltistan’s past beauty in Pakistan. For centuries, Gambians used the Astore route to connect their city with the Kashmiri market and continue commercial ties. Srinagar was frequented by students and merchants who came there to buy Kashmiri textiles.

People from various areas inhabited the community of Astore Valley. The valley has been a stopover for many explorers. Throughout history, travelers from all across the region have visited this area. It was also instrumental in the settlement of Sunni Wahhabis from Astore Valley.

In contrast, all other parts of Gilgit Baltistan have only Shia Muslims, thus making up the community.

Astore History

Around 1600, a Persian adventurer married the Skardu royal family princess, according to The Imperial Gazetteer of India. The birth of 4 sons from this marriage became Rās Skardu, Astor, Rondu, and Kharmang.

The families of the current chieftains of those regions are descended from them. Afzal, Guada, and Chilma were sons of Astor. They lived in Juttay, Ganda gam (Arzalabad), Gudai (Guadabad), and Chilm (Chilmabad), respectively”.

The Beauty of Astore Valley:

Astore Valley, which comprises a series of distinct landscapes and features a massive range of trekking routes and changing environments, runs for approximately 150 kilometers along the eastern side of Nanga Parbat and southeast of Gilgit. The valley is a notable center for cultural and historical activities and the terminus for many essential tourist destinations in the Gilgit-Baltistan region.

The Astore Road is a metalled road that leads to the mountain town of Astore in Gilgit Baltistan’s capital, Astore. The Burzil Pass is the endpoint of the route.

Astor valley

Routes of Astore Valley:

Reaching the Astore Valley via the Deosai Plain takes a 7-8 hour drive that covers a distance of about 152 kilometers from Skardu, or you may travel from Karakoram Highway straight to Astore Valley.

High, snow-capped peaks of the Hindu Kush range surround the beautiful valley. It is 1,500 m above sea level and averages -8 degrees Celsius (18 Fahrenheit). The distance from Islamabad is 494 kilometers, taking 11.5 hours along the River Indus.

The Astore is accessible by road from Gilgit via Jaglot, a 4-5 hour drive that will take 120 kilometers. Unfortunately, only four-wheel-drive vehicles can access the valley.

The Skardu-Deosai route is shut from November to June because of heavy snow and landslides. Because most of the valley’s population resides in remote villages, landlines are the only means of communication with the outside world during these months.

Places to Visit in Astore Valley:

Astore is located at the western extremity of Diamer, surrounded by Gilgit in the north, Skardu in the east, and Neelum district in the south. Astore is a significant center for recreational activities and one of the most beautiful and mysterious valleys in Skardu. The Astore Valley has sweeping mountain views and is picturesque and enigmatic. Moreover, it is the main entrance to several natural attractions, especially the Skardu region.

The Deosai Plateau, Rama Lake, and Rupal Valley are just a few of the spectacular locations contained in this gigantic valley. In addition, Astore Town is recognized for its various natural charms and proximity to some of the planet’s unique mountain activities.
The Shingar Range is located in the extreme northwest of the Chitral District, with Rama Meadows and Rama Lake lying roughly 10 to 11 kilometers from Astore. Jeeps’ journey to Rama Meadows and Ramalake takes more than an hour.

People of Astore:

The valley’s cultural and historical heritage is fascinating, but the valley has a lot more to offer. There are about 100 villages in the Astore Valley with approximately 70,000 individuals.
These people are highly isolated, owing to the valley’s remoteness. On the other hand, the residents of Astore Valley are very welcoming.
Visiting Astore, the best site in Gilgit Baltistan, to meet locals deeper is a fantastic idea. While traveling through the valley, you’ll discover that its inhabitants are simple individuals who can live off their resources.

Hotels in Astore Valley:

Although there are not many hotels in the valley, there are few arrangements in Astore Valley. Unfortunately, only a few hotels exist at the current time. However, if you choose to stay, mingling with locals may invite you to stay at their homes. At least you will undoubtedly be given “Tumoro,” the most popular herbal tea in Astore.

During the days of Raja Asoh Chand, several tribes passed through Astore. Today, the valley is home to a significant linguistic and cultural diversity, with Shina being the most common language and many Kashmiris moving there to settle.

How to get the Astore Valley:

The valley is only accessible by four-wheel-drive vehicles and can enter only via a single road. Renting a Jeep will be your best choice if you have the means. The cost will depend on your negotiation skills, but you will only pay 10,000 or 12,000 PKR per day.

Public transportation is an option if you need more time. From Gilgit, several ancient 4×4 vehicles depart for the city of Astore, which is the valley’s entrance point. It takes around 4-5 hours to complete the trek and keep in mind that you’ll be riding with 20 other people in the vehicle’s luggage compartment, as well as all of their belongings.

There needs to be schedules in place. Try to arrive one day before the bus station and inquire about the anticipated arrival times. However, be aware that they might depart up to three hours late, based on my experience. From Astore, other 4×4 pickups may be seen heading to Kashmir. But, again, timings are uncertain, and hitchhiking is more manageable.

How Many Days Are Needed to Explore the Astore Valley:

The distances between major cities are short, but cars cannot reach speeds greater than 10km/h due to poor road conditions. Therefore, to fully appreciate the valley, you should stay in your Jeep for at least four days. If you travel by public transportation, plan on spending an additional 2 or 3 days.

Astore to Deosai Distance:

The distance between the two valleys is approximately 70 kilometers. Deosai may be reached from either Astore or Skardu via road journey.

Astore to Deosai Map:

There are two options for seeing Astore Valley. You may visit the valley via the Deosai Plain from Skardu or drive directly to Astore Valley from Karakoram Highway.

Astore to Deosai Road Condition:

The road between Astore and Deosai is in poor condition. Personal Cars Hiace Coasters are unsuitable for this route because of the poor road conditions. This route could be rougher. Most surface patches need to be improved, and numerous, much deeper scars exist. It will be necessary to hire a Jeep from Astore to Deosai.

Astore to Deosai Jeep Fare:

The cost of a transfer from Astore to Deosai is approximately Rs.10,000, depending on your negotiation skills. For two nights on the Deosai Plain, charges are Rs.18,000.

Astore to Deosai Distance Time:

To drive from Astore to Deosai Plain takes 4 to 5 hours on four-by-four Jeeps. It takes longer to reach Deosai Plain from Astore Valley in your vehicle.

Astore to Skardu via Deosai:

You’ll need eight hours in four-wheel-drive vehicles to get from Skardu to Astore via the Deosai Plain.

Skardu to Astore Distance:

The distance between Astore and Skardu via the Deosai Plain is around 152 kilometers. You may also travel to Skardu via the Skardu Gilgit Road.

Astore to Rama Lake Meadows Distance:

Approximately 10 kilometres to 11 kilometres separate from Astore to Rama Meadows. Rama Village is higher than Astore Valley. From Astore Valley, it takes about one hour and 40 minutes for Jeeps to reach Ramah Meadows and Lakes.

Astore to Rama Lake Road Condition:

The road is only suitable for-sized vehicles. Only four by 4 Jeeps can go there. One day is enough to see Rama Meadows and Rama Lakes. Many people like to camp here to view the billion-star Galaxy.

Astore to Minimerg Distance and Road Condition:

Only 4×4 Jeeps can traverse this rough road. The distance between Astore and Minimerg Lake is 39 kilometres, taking around 3 to 4 hours one way.

Main Attractions: Astore, Rama, Rama lake, Mazino pass, Bubin pass, Rupal valley, Tarashing, Chilim, Bruzil pass, Minimarg

Want to explore the Astore Valley?

If you are looking for a recommended travel company for a customized tour, Click Pakistan Tourism Services has an experienced team to make your trip memorable. Call or WhatsApp at +923 111 123 133 and get all details about your tour package.

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