Astore District is located in the northern part of Pakistan, in the Gilgit-Baltistan region. It is bordered by several other districts of Gilgit-Baltistan as well as the Neelum District of Azad Jammu and Kashmir and the Bandipore District of Indian-administered Jammu and Kashmir.
Astore Valley is a beautiful place to visit with its scenic landscapes, lakes, and meadows. Some of the popular tourist attractions in the Astore District include Rama Lake, Sheosar Lake, Deosai Plains, Chilam Joshi Festival, and several historical and cultural landmarks. However, as you mentioned, Astore is a remote valley with limited facilities compared to more developed tourist destinations like Gilgit and Hunza. Visitors should plan accordingly and be prepared for a more rustic travel experience. Nonetheless, Astore District offers a unique opportunity for travelers to experience the natural beauty and cultural richness of this region of Pakistan.
Rama Lake, located near Astore in Gilgit-Baltistan, is a breathtaking natural wonder situated on top of the beautiful Astore Valley. The lake is surrounded by a light cover of oak trees and greenery, although illegal logging and the actions of the “timber mafia” have led to a decline in the region’s vegetation. Despite this, the valley is still an awe-inspiring sight, with three small lakes called Sarot located along the way. Astore was once a Tehsil of District Diamir, but has since been upgraded to a district with over 50 small, picturesque villages to explore.
The Rama Valley is thickly forested with towering pine, cedar, fir, and juniper trees, making it an ideal spot for nature lovers. At an elevation of 3300 meters (10,800 feet) above sea level, the valley is snow-covered for most of the year, but transforms into a lush green paradise in the summer months, favored by local shepherds. From here, visitors can trek to the east side of Nanga Parbat, the world’s 8th highest mountain.
To reach Rama Lake, visitors can take a scenic drive on the KKH after passing the exit for Fairy Meadows, turning right at the sign for Astore and continuing for another 2-3 hours until reaching the village of Astore. The road towards Rama Lake has now been cemented, making it easier for tourists to visit and camp in the summers. Despite the challenges faced by the region, Rama Lake and the surrounding Astore Valley remain a must-visit destination for anyone seeking a unique and awe-inspiring natural experience in Pakistan.
The Rupal Valley is a breathtaking valley located in the Astore District of Gilgit-Baltistan, Pakistan. Nestled on the southern side of Nanga Parbat, it is accessed via the Astore Valley, which diverges from the Karakoram Highway at Juglot, around 60 kilometers (37 miles) south of Gilgit.
The Rupal Valley offers a unique perspective of Nanga Parbat, the world’s ninth-highest mountain. From here, visitors can admire the stunning south face of the peak, which towers over 4,000 meters (13,000 feet) above the valley floor. The valley is surrounded by rugged and imposing mountains, and is home to several small villages and a diverse range of flora and fauna.
To reach Rupal Valley, visitors can take a scenic drive from Gilgit through the Astore Valley, passing through picturesque villages and enjoying stunning views along the way. The valley is also a popular destination for trekking, with several challenging routes that take hikers through some of the most beautiful landscapes in the world.
In short, the Rupal Valley is a true gem of Pakistan, offering a unique and awe-inspiring natural experience that is sure to leave visitors spellbound.
The Domail Valley is a stunning valley located in the Astore District of Gilgit-Baltistan, Pakistan. It is situated on the western side of the Astore Valley, and is known for its natural beauty, lush greenery, and stunning views of the surrounding mountains.
The valley is home to several small villages, including Domail, which is the largest village in the area. The people here are known for their warm hospitality, and visitors can expect to be greeted with open arms and friendly smiles.
One of the main attractions of the Domail Valley is its beautiful landscape, which features a range of flora and fauna, including wildflowers, fruit orchards, and towering trees. Visitors can enjoy scenic walks through the valley, taking in the stunning views of the mountains and the valley floor below.
For adventure seekers, the Domail Valley is also a popular destination for trekking, with several challenging routes that offer breathtaking views of the surrounding peaks, including Nanga Parbat, the world’s ninth-highest mountain.
In short, the Domail Valley is a must-visit destination for anyone traveling to Astore District. Its natural beauty, warm hospitality, and stunning vistas make it a true gem of Pakistan.
The journey to Minimarg from Skardu Valley via Deosai Park road is a breathtaking experience that offers spectacular views of the surrounding mountains and valleys. The road passes through the Deosai National Park, which is known for its stunning natural beauty and diverse wildlife.
After a 4-hour journey, visitors will arrive at Minimarg, a small village located in the Astore District of Gilgit-Baltistan. The village is surrounded by snow-capped peaks and lush green meadows, making it a perfect destination for nature lovers and adventure enthusiasts.
One of the main attractions in Minimarg is Burzil Pass, a high mountain pass that connects the Astore Valley with the Neelum Valley in Azad Kashmir. The pass offers stunning views of the surrounding mountains and valleys, and is a popular destination for trekking and camping.
In addition to Burzil Pass, Minimarg is also home to several other tourist attractions, including lakes, waterfalls, and hiking trails. Visitors can explore the area on foot, or hire a local guide to take them on a guided tour of the surrounding wilderness.
Nanga Parbat View Point
The Nanga Parbat viewpoint is not just any ordinary viewpoint, it offers one of the most breathtaking panoramic views of the majestic Nanga Parbat mountain, also known as the “Killer Mountain”. Located in the Gilgit-Baltistan region of Pakistan, this viewpoint is a popular destination for adventure enthusiasts, nature lovers, and photographers.
From this viewpoint, visitors can enjoy a stunning view of the entire Nanga Parbat mountain range, which is one of the highest peaks in the world. The mountain is known for its steep slopes, dangerous climbing routes, and breathtaking natural beauty.
The Nanga Parbat viewpoint is situated close to the Checkpoint in the region, and visitors can easily access it via a short hike or drive. Once there, they can soak in the beauty of the surrounding landscape, take photographs, and enjoy a peaceful moment in nature.
In addition to the stunning views, visitors can also explore the nearby areas, which are rich in flora and fauna. The region is home to several endangered species, including the Himalayan brown bear, snow leopard, and Marco Polo sheep.
Overall, the Nanga Parbat viewpoint is a must-visit destination for anyone traveling to the Gilgit-Baltistan region of Pakistan. Whether you are a nature lover, adventurer, or photographer, this viewpoint offers an unforgettable experience that will stay with you for a lifetime.
Rainbow Lake Astore
Rainbow Lake is a stunning natural wonder located near Minimarg in Gilgit-Baltistan, Pakistan. The journey to this beautiful lake is just as mesmerizing as the destination, with a winding road cutting through towering pine trees that looks like something out of a fairy tale. Once you arrive, the rolling green hills surrounding the lake create a surreal and breathtaking view reflected in the crystal clear waters. If you are planning a trip to Minimarg, Rainbow Lake is an absolute must-visit destination that will leave you awestruck with its stunning natural beauty.
Allah Wala Lake
Allah Wali Lake in Astore is a hidden gem in the midst of majestic mountains and lush green fields. Its location at the end of Perishing valley in the village of Gutumsar, just a short drive from Astore town, makes it an ideal spot for nature lovers seeking solitude and tranquility.
The name “Allah Wali” is derived from the river that passes through a winding passage surrounded by green fields, forming the name of Allah when viewed from above. The sight of the meadow and river nestled between towering mountains is truly breathtaking, making it an ideal spot for sports activities and picnics.
Visitors can soak in the serene beauty of the lake and take a dip in its crystal-clear waters while marveling at the stunning landscape around them. The Allah Wali Lake is a must-visit for anyone looking for a peaceful escape in the heart of nature.
Chillum, nestled in the picturesque Astore valley, is a charming village that serves as the gateway to Deosai, the world’s highest plateau. The village is aptly named Chillum Chowki, with a police check post stationed there to regulate the flow of traffic to the plateau. The area is a verdant paradise with lush green fields, crops, and babbling streams. While the road to Chillum is not in great condition, it is still passable with steep ascents and descents that require vehicles to have enough power to traverse.
Chillum offers a range of small hotels and accommodation options, as well as the opportunity for camping, allowing visitors to fully experience the natural beauty of the area. The weather is usually cool during the day and chilly at night, making it an ideal destination for those who love the outdoors.
Burzil Pass is a natural wonder that offers breathtaking views of the surrounding landscape, including snow-capped mountains, lush greenery, and flowing water streams. The pass is also steeped in history, as it was once a vital trade route between Srinagar and Gilgit, used by caravans of horses and ponies. The journey over the pass is not only scenic, but also a cultural experience that highlights the shared history and heritage of the region. Additionally, the pass is situated at a high altitude of 4100m above sea level, adding an element of adventure to any visit. Overall, Burzil Pass is a unique and fascinating destination that should not be missed when exploring the beauty of Gilgit Baltistan.
Banak Pass (Branak Khund) is not just any ordinary pass, but an adventurous challenge for experienced trekkers equipped with ropes, crampons, and ice axes. Located in the Shagarthang (Skardu) and Gutumsar regions of Astore Valley, this pass is surrounded by snow-capped mountains in winters and lush green fields in summers. The valley is renowned for its pure nature and small homes, composed of vast fields of vegetation and livestock.
The locals are warm, welcoming, and have a pleasant attitude towards tourists. Although Shina is the native language, Urdu is also spoken frequently. The scenic beauty of the valley after crossing the pass is enhanced by the forests of Juniper and Cedar trees, along with summer pastures that offer an incredible sight.
Moreover, the peaceful lake and sky-high mountains provide a sense of tranquility and peace of mind. The Gutumsar valley, like the Rama Valley, is home to a variety of fauna, such as ibex, musk deer, snow leopard, and rock partridge. It also boasts an abundance of medicinal plants, adding to the valley’s appeal. Additionally, the area is famous for Urdoung Lake, another natural wonder that attracts tourists from all over the world.
Fairy Meadows is a beautiful and serene tourist destination in the Astore district of Gilgit Baltistan, located at the base of Nanga Parbat, also known as the Killer Mountain. It is considered one of the most beautiful and exotic places in northern Pakistan.
The Meadows are surrounded by lush green forests and beautiful wildflowers, with stunning views of the snow-capped mountains. The cottages located in Fairy Meadows are just an eight-minute hike from the main village and offer breathtaking views of the Nanga Parbat.
The area in front of the Fairy Meadows cottages is called Pari Mahal, which means Fairy Palace. It was named by the famous Japanese photographer, Fujita Heroki, who was so captivated by the beauty of the place that he named it after the mythical fairy palace. Visitors can enjoy hiking, trekking, and camping in the beautiful meadows while enjoying the natural beauty of the surrounding mountains.
How To Get Into Astore
Traveling to Astore from Gilgit offers several options for transportation, each with its own unique experiences. Renting a jeep or other vehicle is the optimal choice for those who value convenience and are willing to spend a little extra money for a comfortable and efficient journey.
On the other hand, taking public transport is a more budget-friendly option, allowing travelers to save some extra bucks while still enjoying the scenic views along the way. This option can take around 4-5 hours, making it a great opportunity to take in the beautiful landscapes of the Northern Areas of Pakistan.
For adventurous and budget-conscious travelers, hitchhiking is a popular option that offers a unique and authentic experience. This method of transportation allows travelers to meet locals and other fellow travelers, while also taking advantage of the opportunity to explore off-the-beaten-path locations that may not be accessible by traditional means.
Activities In Astore
Camping Camping in the Astore valley is an excellent way to experience the beauty of the region. The valley has several picturesque camping spots like the serene Rama Meadow, enchanting Fairy Meadows, and the enchanting Urdoung Lake, which offer a perfect blend of scenic beauty and adventure.
Fishing The crystal-clear streams of the Astore valley provide an excellent opportunity for trout fishing. The Mahasher and Rainbow trout are commonly found in these streams. Fishing permits can be obtained from the local authorities.
Photography The Astore valley offers some of the most stunning natural scenery and wildlife that Pakistan has to offer. It is an excellent location for photography enthusiasts, providing ample opportunities to capture the beauty of the region.
Local Culture Exploration Astore valley is a hub of indigenous culture with a rich history and heritage. Exploring the valley’s local culture is an excellent way to experience the area’s unique customs, traditions, and way of life. The valley is home to various festivals, including the famous Astore Polo Festival, where you can witness the exciting and traditional polo game played on horseback.
Jeep Driving from Astore Valley to Neelam Valley The journey on the Astore-Shounter valley road is an experience of a lifetime, with its narrow winding roads and steep inclines, providing a heart-pumping ride for adventure seekers. As you traverse the rugged terrain, the stunning views of the surrounding landscapes will leave you awestruck.
The road passes through some of the most picturesque locations in Pakistan, including the mesmerizing Ratti Gali Lake and the captivating Kel Valley, before reaching the Neelam Valley in Azad Jammu and Kashmir.
The jeep ride is a perfect opportunity to experience the natural beauty of the region up close and personal, as you drive past the lush green meadows, glistening streams, and snow-capped mountains.
For those seeking an adrenaline rush, this thrilling jeep ride is a must-try activity, which promises to leave you with unforgettable memories.
Route From Islamabad/ lahore To Astore
Route 1 ‘By Air’:
You can take the direct 45-minute flight to Gilgit from Islamabad and drive 4 hours (98.2 km) to the Astore Valley.
Route 2 ‘via Naran Babusar Top’:
Islamabad to Narran Valley (via Balakot) -To Astore
- Lahore to Islamabad: 5 hours Approx. (375 km)
- Islamabad to Balakot: 5 hours Approx. (200 km)
- Balakot to Narran Valley: 4 hours Approx (147.3 km)
- Narran Valley to Chilas: 5 Hours Approx (114 km)
- Chilas to Raikot Bridge: 2 Hours Approx: (56 km)
- Raikot Bridge to Astore: 4 hours Approx (55.3 km)
Islamabad to Naran Valley (via Muzaffarabad) -To Astore
- Lahore to Islamabad: 5 hours Approx (375 km)
- Islamabad to Muzaffarabad: 4 hours Approx (140 km)
- Muzaffarabad to Naran: 6 hours Approx (125 km)
- Kaghan/Naran Valley to Chilas: 5 hours Approx (120 km)
- Chilas to Raikot Bridge: 2 hours Approx (60 km)
- Raikot Bridge to Astore: 4 hours Approx (57 km)
Via Kohistan and Besham Dasu:
- Lahore to Islamabad: 5 hours Approx (375 km)
- Islamabad to Besham via Kohistan: 8 hours Approx (325 km)
- Besham to Chillas: 8 hours Approx (205 km)
- Chilas to Raikot Bridge: 2 hours Approx (60 km)
- Raikot Bridge to Astore: 4 hours Approx (57 km)
Weather In Astore
Weather in January
January, the same as December, is a wintry winter month in Astore, Pakistan, with temperature in the range of an average high of 2.8°C (37°F) and an average low of -7.2°C (19°F). Therefore, with an average high-temperature of 2.8°C (37°F) and an average low-temperature of -7.2°C (19°F), January is the coldest month.
Weather in February
February, the last month of the winter, in Astore, is also a wintry month, with an average temperature ranging between max 4.3°C (39.7°F) and min -5.3°C (22.5°F). In Astore, the average high-temperature is essentially the same as in January – a still cold 4.3°C (39.7°F).
Weather in March
The first month of the spring, March, is a frosty month in Astore, Pakistan, with average temperature fluctuating between 8.9°C (48°F) and -0.9°C (30.4°F). However, in Astore, the average high temperature in March slightly increases, from a wintry 4.3°C (39.7°F) in February.
Weather in April
April is a moderate spring month in Astore, Pakistan, with temperature in the range of an average low of 3.9°C (39°F) and an average high of 15°C (59°F). In April, the average high-temperature rises, from a frosty 8.9°C (48°F) in March, to a mild 15°C (59°F).
Weather in May
The last month of the spring, May is enjoyable in Astore, Pakistan, with an average temperature ranging between max 19.9°C (67.8°F) and min 7.6°C (45.7°F). In May, the average high-temperature slightly increases, from a mild 15°C (59°F) in April, to a comfortable 19.9°C (67.8°F).
Weather in June
June, the first month of the summer, in Astore, is a warm month, with an average temperature ranging between min 11.3°C (52.3°F) and max 24.7°C (76.5°F). In Astore, the average high-temperature in June slightly increases, from a comfortable 19.9°C (67.8°F) in May, to a moderately hot 24.7°C (76.5°F).
Weather in July
July, the same as June, is another warm summer month in Astore, Pakistan, with average temperature varying between 14.6°C (58.3°F) and 27.1°C (80.8°F). With an average high temperature of 27.1°C (80.8°F) and an average low-temperature of 14.6°C (58.3°F), July is the warmest month.
Weather in August
The last month of the summer, August, is also moderately hot in Astore, Pakistan, with temperature in the range of an average low of 14.6°C (58.3°F) and an average high of 26.9°C (80.4°F). In August, the average high temperature is almost the same as in July – a still warm 26.9°C (80.4°F).
Weather in September
September, the first month of the autumn, in Astore, is still a warm month, with average temperature varying between 10.3°C (50.5°F) and 23.2°C (73.8°F). However, in September, the average high-temperature slightly decreases, from 26.9°C (80.4°F) in August, to a still moderately hot 23.2°C (73.8°F).
Weather in October
October, the same as September, is another comfortable autumn month in Astore, Pakistan, with temperature in the range of an average high of 17.5°C (63.5°F) and an average low of 4.6°C (40.3°F). In October, the average high-temperature drops, from a warm 23.2°C (73.8°F) in September, to an enjoyable 17.5°C (63.5°F).
Weather in November
The last month of the autumn, November, is also a new month in Astore, Pakistan, with an average temperature ranging between min -0.4°C (31.3°F) and max 11.4°C (52.5°F). However, in November, the average high-temperature drops, from a comfortable 17.5°C (63.5°F) in October to an incredible 11.4°C (52.5°F).
Weather in December
The first month of the winter, December, is also a wintry month in Astore, Pakistan, with average temperature fluctuating between 5.3°C (41.5°F) and -4.4°C (24.1°F). In Astore, the average high-temperature in December decreases, from a fresh 11.4°C (52.5°F) in November, to a cold 5.3°C (41.5°F).
Mobile Networks In Astore Valley
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