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near Skārdu, Gilgit-Baltistan (Pakistan)
Skardu district is at the confluence of Indus and Shyok rivers and makes it the starting point for the touristic destinations in Gilgit-Baltistan, including K2. Skardu city, outside the southern boundaries of the Park, is built in a very open valley on a sandy layer. The Indus river creates here enormous dunes and the valley is so open that airplane can land making round circles. Historically this place has been the starting point for all the Karakorum explorers, as famous pictures shows. Skardu inhabitants speak English and Urdu but their mother tongue is Balti. Of particular interest, Kharpocho Fort, Manthal Rock (Buddha Rock), Sadpara and Kachura lake, beautiful Shangile lake and the Deosai Plateau should be cited.
A few kilometres from Skardu there is Shigar village with its beautiful fort. Shigar fort, renovated following scientific guidelines while preserving the cultural and architectural values, on the one hand presents a through learning of the history and culture and on the other hand offers a comfortable stay in traditional room/suites with continental and local food varieties.
Where Braldu river flows into Shigar river, the Shigar valley splits into Basha and Braldu valleys. Following Braldu river you arrive to Askoli, the last village before entering in the heart of Karakorum and hike on the Baltoro glacier.
Skardu is the logistic point from which the most famous trekking of Karakorum could be reached. Usually, jeeps area leaving from Skardu to Askoli, from where trekking to K2, Broad Peak, Gasherbrums base camps start.