Geologically speaking Nanga Parbat is the westernmost peak of the Himalayas, because it is in Pakistan and relatively close to the Karakorams it tends to be considered with them, but any one who has seen this magnificent peak, with its great walls of ice towering above the Indus, will agree that Nanga Parbat is unique and should perhaps be considered along. The view from the Indus Valley along the road to Gilgit is that usually seen by visitors, but the mountain slopes are even steeper on all its other sides, and the 16,000 ft. precipice on the south flank, facing Kashmir, is an awe-inspiring sight. These faces, to steep for either vegetation or snow to take hold, give the peak its name of the Bare Mountain, though 20th century climbers know it as Killer Mountain because of the number of lives it has claimed with its violent and unpredictable storms. Atleast 45 modern day climbers have died on Nanga Parbat, more than any other important peak.
Such sombre considerations apart, however, Nanga Parbat can provide us with some excellent trekking. The approach to the mountain is through delightful Alpine country, with pine forests and grassy meadows filled with flowers. The mountains views, even from a relatively low altitude, are magnificent. The itinerary includes several spare days, and these can be used for relaxation or for exploration of the glacial region above the Fairy Meadows; there is also the possibility of climbing Julipar Peak at over 17,000 ft. on one of the spare days.
Route can be: Islamabad, Chilas, KKH, Astore Village, Tarashing, Nanga Parbat Base Camp Rupal Face, Shaigiri, Mazeno Pass 5377m, Loiba Meadows, Zangot, Kachal Pass, Juliper Pass 5206m, Nanga Parbat Base Camp Raikot Face, Beel, Fairy Meadows, Tato Village and down to KKH for onward to Islamabad.
18 DAY ITINERARY Note :- Although we try to adhere to the schedule listed below, this itinerary is subject to change due to numerous reasons beyond our control such as bad weather, canceled or delayed flights, road washouts, sickness, Government restrictions etc.
DAY 01 HOMELAND TO ISLAMABAD AM : Arrival at Islamabad Airport. Met & transferred to Hotel. The twin cities of Rawalpindi & Islamabad are situated at the edge of Potohar Plateau & 25 minutes apart by car. Rawalpindi was originally known as Fatehpur Boari. It was destroyed during 14th century by a Mughal invasion & remained deserted for a number of years. 350 years ago,during the reign of Emperor Jehangir, a Sikh Saint by the name of Rawal Jogi came to the deserted Fatehpur Boari & was instrumental in recreating the glory of the city. In appreciation the town became known as Rawalpindi. Today, Raja Bazaar, Saddar & Murree Road are the main shopping centers. The cantonment area created by the Britishers is comparatively a new establishment. It has a saddar Bazaar with modern shops & has subsequently become the hub of all shopping.
Islamabad on the other hand,is a city that is barely a quarter century old. Two sleepy villages, Saidpur & Nurpur existed here prior to the sudden sprouting of buildings. This gleaming new capital of Pakistan is a superb example of modern architecture. Almost 350 square miles site has been set aside for parks.
PM : Sightseeing excursion of Rawalpindi & Islamabad. Beginning from Raja Bazaar - The multicolored "king" of bazaars; Sarafa Bazaar - Where gold smiths still use primitive tools; Moti Bazaar - Exclusively for ladies.
Sightseeing of Islamabad includes visits to Shah Faisal Mosque - The world's biggest & the prettiest ; Damen-e-Koh - A vantage point offering Islamabad's bird eye view ; Folk Museum - Displaying traditional handicrafts; and The Tomb of Bari Imam - One of the greatest Saints of Sub-Continent. Overnight at Hotel Rawalpindi with all meals included.
DAY 02 ISLAMABAD -TO- GILGIT AM : Transfer to Islamabad Airport to embark weather permitting flight to Gilgit. This flight is the most spectacular mountain flight in the world and flies over the picturesque Kaghan Valley, Babusar Pass, Nanga Parbat & the mighty Karakorams. Perched at a height of 1500 meters, Gilgit is the gateway to the spectacular valleys and great mountains of Pakistan. On arrival at Gilgit, transfer to Hotel.
Note : Operation of all flights to Northern Pakistan is subject to clear weather and confirmation of seats is subject to clearance of back log. We "DO NOT GUARANTEE" seats on any such flight. If unable to fly, the group will be transferred by road (14-16 hrs) at extra cost with optional overnight enroute. Please check with our office that price of road transfer is included in quoted price or not.
Gilgit is the Capital of Northern Pakistan is a thriving frontier town that has expanded rapidly to include over 40,000 inhabitants since the Karakoram Highway was opened in 1978. It sits in a wide irrigated bowl 1500 meters above sea level at the Eastern end of the Gilgit Valley. The quaint little town of Gilgit has a cluster of interesting places in it short radius, including a beautiful rock carving of Buddha, a victory monument of Taj Mughal, built 700 years ago and the longest suspension bridge in Asia ( 600 ft long ) The favorite sport in Gilgit is Polo, which the locals claim originated here. It is a more rugged style than the sedate variety known in the plains. The polo tournament held in the 1st two weeks of November is a festive occasion and attracts a large number of spectators.
PM : Proceed for sightseeing of Gilgit. The Kargah Nulla is famous for its huge rock carving. This sculpture was carved in seventh century. A monastery, 03 stupas and Gilgit manuscripts were also found in the vicinity between 1931-39. They are now housed in London, Delhi, Rome and Karachi. The interesting legend behind this sculpture narrates - the villagers asked a passing saint to help them get rid of a man- eater ogress called Yakhshini who lived at Kargah. The saint succeeded in pinning her to the rock and declared she won,t bother them for as long as he was alive, however, if they buried him at the foot of the rock, she would never be free. So the villagers killed the saint and buried him below the rock. The Yakhshini is still slave and villagers are now safe.
The Gilgit bazaar is famous for its handicrafts such as woolen gowns known as chughas, waist coats, shoes, musical instruments, silver jewelry, caps, woolen rugs and embroideries. The Gilgit town has also become a major dry port for trade between Pakistan and China through Khunjerab Pass. Due to this dramatic reform one can easily purchase China wares, paintings, silk clothes, glass and various other Chinese products of excellent quality. Later, proceed to Chinar Bagh, where trees as much as 300 years old haughtily overlook the Gilgit river. This beautiful park is adorned with a bronze ibex mounted on a tall marble pillar. The monument was built to pay tribute to the local soldiers who sacrificed their lives for the liberation of their motherland. On our way back to hotel, we will drive across the Asia's longest suspension bridge (600 ft long 6 ft wide).
DAY 03 GILGIT Preparation for the trek. If flight does not operate from Islamabad to Gilgit, this day will be use to transfer the member to Gilgit.
DAY 04 GILGIT -TO- TARASHING After an early breakfast we embark our jeeps for a long but a thrill seeking jeep journey to Tarashing, the last village of the Astore Gorge. At Jaglot, we leave the Karakoram Highway & turn left onto a jeep track which runs parallel to the roaring Astore River. Overnight in tents. All meals included. Distance: 160 Km, Drive: 08 Hrs, Altitude: 2900M
DAY 05 TARASHING -TO- NANGA PARBAT B.C. After an early breakfast we begin our trek to Nanga Parbat Base Camp. Walking up the valley, we traverse Tarashing Glacier & arrive at the lush green Rupal Camp. After a brief pause, we resume our medium ascent amidst lush green meadows with a backdrop of Rupal Face of Nanga Parbat, a sheer drop of 5000 M & the highest in the world. From here we can have magnificent views of Nanga Parbat massif 8125 M & the most difficult route to the summit of Nanga Parbat which was followed by the famous German Mountaineer Herrlig Koffer. Overnight & all meals in camp. Walk : 07 Hrs, Grade : Easy, Altitude : 3510 M.
DAY 06 B.C -TO- SHAIGIRI We resume our trek for Shaigiri Camp. After crossing the Bazin Glacier, we arrive at the lush green historical Base Camp of Nanga Parbat Rupal Face. It domains lush green meadows with crystal clear streams feasting countless herds of cattle, sheep & yaks. After a short halt at the graveyard of mountaineers who lost their lives at Nanga Parbat, we continue our walk along a rushing torrent & arrive Shaigiri which offers excellent views of Nanga Parbat on one side & Laila Peak 5872 M on the other. Overnight & all meals at camp. Walk : 06 Hrs, Grade : Moderate, Altitude : 3700 M.
DAY 07 SHAIGIRI -TO- MAZENO B.C. After an early breakfast we resume our trek towards Mazeno Base Camp. Following the goat trail we trek along the Thoshe Glacier we behold excellent views of Toshe Glacier, Abom Pass, Liala Peak & many other smaller peaks. After a short ascent we arrive at the Base camp of Mazeno pass where we camp for the night in a lovely green meadow. Overnight & all meals in tents. Walk : 06 Hrs, Grade : Strenuous, Altitude : 4200 M.
DAY 08 MAZENO B.C -TO- MAZENO HIGH CAMP Today we begin our strenuous ascent to the High Camp on the Ridge. It is a hard & uphill trek, however, our efforts will be rewarded by the magnificent views of the mountains around us & the glaciers at the foot of the mountain. Trekking up along the Mazeno glacier we reach the high camp where we will spend the night in tents. Overnight & all meals in tents. Walk : 07 Hrs, Grade : Strenuous, Altitude : 4700 M
DAY 09 MAZENO PASS & UPPER LOIBA. After an early breakfast we pack up & continue our ascent upto the Mazeno Pass. Today will be the longest day of our trek. After 04 hours of trek we reach the top of the pass, where we can have excellent bird eye views of the whole Nanga Parbat range around us. The scenery all around is breath-taking. Descend down from the pass over the muddy glacier to upper Loiba Camp. On arrival camp for overnight. All meals included. Walk : 08 Hrs, Grade : Strenuous, Altitude : 5350 M - 4200 M,
DAY 10 UPPER LOIBA -TO- LOIBA MEADOWS After breakfast we slowly descend to the Loiba Meadows, a lush green meadow with countless herds of cattle & sheep in the foreground & awe inspiring peaks in the background. Meet the shepherds to reveal the centuries old legends of Nanga Parbat. Splendid views of Airi Galli & other nameless peaks. Spend the day exploring the area. Overnight in tents. All meals included. Walk : 04 Hrs, Grade : Easy, Altitude : 4000 M
DAY 11 LOIBA MEADOWS -TO- KACHAL Continue descend to Kachal, on Diamer side of Nanga Parbat. Trekking through birch & pine trees we shall behold good views of Nanga Parbat Range & other mountains. we reach Kachal, our camp for tonight. Overnight in tents. All meals included. Walk : 06 Hrs, Grade : Easy, Altitude : 2500 M.
DAY 12 KACHAL -TO- ZANGAL After breakfast we start our trek & follow the trail to Zangal. On our way we will cross the Kachal Pass arrive at the camp for overnight. Picturesque views of Juliper Peak. Overnight in tents. All meals included. Walk : 06 Hrs, Grade : Moderate, Altitude : 3100 M.
DAY 13 ZANGAL -TO- JULIPER PASS After an early breakfast, we leave the camp & walk through Meadwons to reach the Juliper Pass. If weather permit we will spend the night at Juliper pass. If not desend down to Beel for overnight camping. Arrive & camp for overnight. All meals included. Walk : 06 Hrs, Grade : Moderate, Altitude : 4500 M.
DAY 14 JULIPER PASS -TO- FAIRY MEADOWS After an early breakfast, we leave the camp & walk through Beel to reach the Fairy Meadows. We follow the Shaphards path to Fairy Meadows, a small village but very beauty full with magnificent view of Nanga Parbat and with a small camping hotel. Arrive & camp for overnight. All meals included. Walk : 06 Hrs, Grade : Easy, Altitude : 2300 M.
DAY 15 FAIRY MEADOW -TO- CHILAS Today we conclude our trek at Tato Village - connected to the Karakoram highway with a small jeep track. Walking among through the barren cliffs, we reach Tato Village. End of trek. We say goodbye to our porters & embark our jeeps to proceed to Chilas, a major town on the upper course of the Indus & a gateway to Gilgit, Hunza, Skardu, Nanga Parbat & Kaghan Valleys. It's ancient name was "Silvata", a Sunsikrit word which meant Rock or Stone. The name went in vogue because of the 06th & 08th centuries carvings & paintings on the nearby boulders at the banks of the Indus. Arrive & transfer to ........ for overnight and all meals. Walk : 03 Hrs, Grade : Easy, Altitude : 1275 M, Drive : 45 Mn.
After breakfast we visit the Rock Carvings for a short time & then leave for Abbotabad on the Karakoram Highway.
DAY 16 CHILAS -TO- ABBOTABAD Also known as the 8th wonder of the world, it connects Pakistan to China, twisting through the three mighty ranges of the world, the Karakorams, the Himalayas & the Pamirs - & follows the ancient Silk Route along the Indus, Gilgit & Hunza Rivers up the Chinese border at the Khunjerab Pass where it concludes in the Taklamakan Desert after winding through the Pamirs & Kashgar districts.
For much of the 1284 Km, the KKH crosses a high altitude desert with less than 04 inch rainfall per year. Passing through stupendous gorges, the road cuts along shelves on the cliff faces as much as 500 M above the river.
The highway is an incredible feast of modern engineering & an enduring monument to the 810 Pakistanis & 82 Chinese who died forcing a road through what has a reasonable claim to be the world's most difficult & unstable terrain.
The KKH runs through the middle of this collision belt where there is an average of one Earth Quake every 03 minutes. The Indus River separates the Himalayas from the Karakorams and the KKH hugs the banks of the Indus for 310 Kms on its journey North. It winds round foot of Nanga Parbat 8125 M, the 09th highest in the world & the last in the Himalayan Range & Rakaposhi 7788 M near Nilt in Hunza.
It leaves the Indus & cuts through the Karakoram Range, with 12 out of the world's 30 highest mountains. At 4733 M, the Khunjerab Pass is the highest metalled border crossing on a surfaced road in the world. The highway was a joint Cino-Pakistani project.
Completed in 1978, it took 20 years to build and employed 15000 Pakistanis & 30,000 Chinese. The pakistanis concentrated on the road & the Chinese on the bridges. The glaciers, brittle rock structures, strong winds, extremes of temperatures from 48C/118F in summers to -30C/-22F in winters and the seismic activity all combined to make the construction and today the maintenance of the highway a continual battle. The Pakistani army, today, has deployed 1000 soldiers to keep the road open.
Arrival at Abbotabad - a small cantonment named after James Abbott. With cool & pleasant air at an altitude of 1220 M, this growing town domains the biggest military academy & has lately become a hub of business, trade & tourist activities.
Transfer to Hotel for overnight. Distance : 375 Km, Drive: 08 Hrs, Altitude: 1220 M.
DAY 17 ABBOTABAD -TO- TAXILA & RAWALPINDI After breakfast we leave for Rawalpindi. Enroute we shall visit Taxila, Located 35 miles from Rawalpindi, Taxila, was once the hub of oriental culture. Originating from the Satrapy of Achaemenian Empire in the 6th century it was subjugated by Alexander in 327 B.C and passed on to the other rulers until it reached the hands of Ashoka the Great who molded this city into a center of philosophy, art & education. The creative Gandhara period flourished shortly thereafter and Taxila remained a prosperous city. It came to a disastrous end when sacked by the white Huns. Today, Taxila is an archaeologist's paradise. It contains a well maintained museum whose 8 mile circumference contains 8 archaeological sites. Among the best preserved are Sirkap, Julian, Mohra Muradu & Bhirmond. After sightseeing the Taxila museum & its neighboring sites, we continue our road journey to Rawalpindi. Overnight at Hotel Rawalpindi. All meals included. Distance : 120 Km, Drive : 03 Hrs, Altitude : 620 M.
DAY 18 RAWALPINDI AM : Rest, leisure & shopping. PM : Transfer to Islamabad airport.
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