ПАКИСТАН HUNZA / RAKAPOSHI / DIRAN BC TREK
Day 01. Islamabad
Arrive Islamabad. Meet at the airport and transfer to Chancery hotel for overnight.
Islamabad, situated at the foot of Margala Hills is the modern City and Capital of Pakistan. The city was carefully planned and drawn up by Greek architects in the early 60s.With its wide boulevards, vistas, greenery and fountains, Islamabad is quite a pleasant city. Worth seeing places are: Shah Faisal Mosque, National Institute of Folk and Traditional Heritage, Pakistan Museum of Natural History, Islamabad Museum, Daman – e – Koh and Rawal Lake. The-adjoining Rawalpindi is an old city, which has been the path of many invaders to south Asia. The British captured it in 1849 and made it their largest Army cantonment. Today it’s a lively and bustling city with colorful and crowded bazaars offering varieties of shopping opportunities. It shares an International Airport, Railway Station and Bus Terminal with Islamabad. Despite it’s old history the town lacks historical monument. However, at a distance of just 35km, the neighboring town of Taxila is of great historical significance. Time permitting a half-day sightseeing of Taxila ruins and Archeological site as well as Museum would be worth its while. Alexander the Great conquered it in 327 BC and the city progressed under Mayuryans, and the great Kushan Kings. Under the most famous Kushan King, Kanishka, Taxila became a great center of the Gandhara Art, culture and Buddhist “Holy land” and a center of learning.
Day 02 (a). Fly to Gilgit 1 hr (subject to weather). Upon arrival transfer to PTDC Motel.
Touched by various invading cultures, Gilgit was an important staging point on the Silk Route and remained a part of the Buddhist Kingdom from 3rd to 11th century. Today Gilgit, capital town of Northern Pakistan is thriving on the Karakoram Highway to China and alongwith Baltistan, Diamer and Ghizer forms one of the administrative divisions of Northern Areas.
Gilgit is the key junction for travel to Northern Area and many tourists spend some time in Gilgit whether preparing or resting after a trek, shopping or transiting for onward transportation. One can have a beautiful view of Rakaposhi Peak (7788m) and Domani Peak (6143m) from here.
Overnight at Hotel.
(b). In case of cancellation of flight drive (7-8 hrs) by coach to Besham on Karakorum Highway. Overnight at PTDC Motel.
The journey on the Karakoram Highway is most exciting and thrilling. It is a monument to the engineering feast and one of the most spectacular roads and the world’s highest metalled border crossing. It connects Pakistan and China stretching over a distance of 1300km between Islamabad and Kashgar, winding through three mountain ranges and following the ancient Silk route along the Indus Valley to the Chinese border at Khunjerab Pass. We pass through the historical town of Taxila, beautiful hill station of Abbottabad, lush green towns of Mansehra, Shinkiari and finally meet the great Indus on Thakot Bridge. From there onward the road snails along the bank of the Indus with contrasting landscape after every two kilometers.
Day 03. Gilgit - Hunza (110km) or Besham – Hunza (465km)
Morning drive along KKH to Hunza 2400m 3 hours one way. In case of driving from Besham it will take 11-12 hrs. Overnight at Baltit Inn.
Despite a prolonged history of contact with outsiders, Hunza’s perceived isolation remains until today. Buddhism first reached China through the Hunza valley around 200 AD and after arrival of Islam in 11th century Turks, Mongols, Afghan's, Taimuris, Dogras and Chinese passed through as soldiers, pilgrims, traders and adventurers. It is the “Shangrilla" of Hilton's "Lost Horizons". This scenic valley spreads along the west bank of Hunza River 110km north of Gilgit providing rare views of a very spectacular mountain panorama and is a starting point for climbers, trekkers, presenting great options for day hikers, sightseeing and diversified cultural activities. En-route stop at “Rakaposhi View point”, from where you will have magnificent views of Rakaposhi mountain 7788m (29 th highest peak in the world).
Day 04. Sightseeing at Hunza
We will take you to the 987 years old Altit Fort, and the 610 years old Baltit fort, the old residences of Mirs of Hunza. The state of Hunza was abolished in 1974 as part of Bhutto reforms in the Northern Area and now Hunza is one of the sub-divisions of Gilgit District. The Baltit Fort has now been restored by the Aga Khan Foundation. The Fort lies on a rocky outcrop at the base of the Ultar Nala. Above Hunza stand the prominent rock spire of Bubulimating (6000m), and the Ultar peaks, which continue to turn back climbers. Overnight at hotel.
Day 05. Excursion to Khunjerab Pass
We will drive on KKH passing through Passu and Sost, which is the last village and Pakistani immigration and custom post. We proceed to Khunjerab, which is the highest metalled border crossing between China and Pakistan. After visiting Khunjerab (4700m) we will return to Gulmit. Overnight at Silk Route Lodge.
Day 06. Day hike to GulkinVillage/Glacier and Borit Lake
After breakfast drive to Ghulkin Village and then start walking and cross Ghulkin Glacier to Borit Lake and after having lunch there drive to Minapin. Overnight at Diran Guest House.
Day 07. Minapin - Hapakun (3450m)
Trek to Hapakun 4-5 hrs. A steep slope starts from Minapin. The entire 4-5 hours trek is through a Juniper forest. Overnight at tent.
Day 08. Hapakun – Tagafari (4200m)
Continue your trek under the Juniper forest for about 3-4 hours to Tagafari. Another steep climbing day. Rest of the day will be free to explore the area. This is also a base camp for Rakaposhi (7788m). Overnight at tent.
Day 09. Full day free for exploration around BC. Overnight at tent.
Day 10. Tagafari – Minapin- Gilgit
Today we will trek down to Minapin and take our coach to Gilgit (3 hrs).
Overnight at Hotel.
Day 11. Gilgit to Islamabad or Gilgit to Besham (10 – 12 hours)
Fly to Islamabad or drive 335km to Besham on Karakorum Highway along the Indus, which divides the Karakorum and Himalayas as it enters Pakistan at a place called Marol in Baltistan. We will follow the West Bank of Indus to Besham (altitude 850 m) a small transit village fast becoming a town. It is at Junction of Swat valley. A road goes west via scenic Shangla pass into the Swat valley. Overnight at hotel.
Day 12. Islamabad or Besham – Taxila – Islamabad (275 km in about 7-8 hrs)
Day at leisure sub to Gilgit/Islamabad flight operation.
Morning drive on KKH to Islamabad. En-route visit Taxila, 40 km north of Islamabad. Taxila ranks among the great archaeological finds of the world. Conquered by Alexander the Great in 327 BC, it progressed under the Mauryans and the Great Kushans and became a learning centre. Destroyed by the White Huns it finally fell to the first great Muslim conqueror, Mahmud of Ghazni in 1000 AD.
We will leave the Indus River at Thakot by crossing a bridge and continue through Chatar plains, Mansehra and Abbotabad. Overnight at Chancery hotel.
Day 13. Islamabad
Full day for sightseeing of twin cities Islamabad/Rawalpindi. Overnight at hotel.
Day 14. Fly out
Transfer to airport for homebound flight.