Gilgit, known locally as Gileet, is the capital city of the Gilgit-Baltistan region, an administrative territory of Pakistan. The city is located in a broad valley near the confluence of the Gilgit and Hunza Rivers. It is a major tourist destination in northern Pakistan and serves as a hub for mountaineering expeditions in the Karakoram Range. It was once an important stop on the ancient Silk Road. Today, it serves as a major junction along the Karakoram Highway with road connections to China, Skardu, Chitral, Peshawar, and Islamabad.
Food and Drinks
You can try local fruits like apples, cherries, apricots, and a variety of nuts rich in omega 5 like almonds, chestnuts, and walnuts. Restaurants offer a range of breakfast options from Western to local – like salted tea and bread as well as Chinese food, Tanduries, and other local dishes. In this region, people do not eat spicy food like in the rest of the country. Local food consists of special baked breads (different varieties), handmade-noodle soups, salted meats, roasted meats, vegetables, fruits, & dairy products. All the foods are organic, as they believe in traditional farming without the use of chemical fertilizers and sprays. Most of the high end hotels have their own bars and some areas they have their local alcohol, too.
Places to Visit
The Gilgit Bridge lies over the fast flowing Gilgit River at the end of its traditional bazaar. It is the largest suspension bridge in Asia (182 metres long and 2 metres wide), permitting enough room for one jeep at a time to cross.
The Kargah Buddha is located on a rock near Kargah Nullah (a ravine), 10 km. from town. It is a beautiful rock engraving of Buddha from the 7th century A.D.
The Monument of Taj Mughal is a victory monument of Taj Mughal. It was built 700 years ago and is 30 km. jeep drive from town.
Sher Qilla is 38 km. from Gilgit. A trekking route links with Naltar valley. There is a small lake in Sher Qilla Nullah where you can trout fish.
Singal is about 61 km from Gilgit. A trekking route links with Chilas and Kohistan Valley.
Gahkuch is an ideal place for trekking, good fishing, sports, and duck shooting (in season). It is the gateway to Iskoman Valley. You can stay in a government rest house and private hotels if necessary (73 km from Gilgit). There are archaeological sites in village and in a near by village called Hatoon.
The Naltar Valley is a two hours jeep drive from Gilgit link rod. Government Rest house, Private hotels, and a Ski slope are available. It’s full of lush green Alpine forests with small lakes and glaciers, with trout fishing on the lake. Trekking routes link with Iskoman, Chalt and Punial valley. You can see the statue of Budha in Kargah.
Ghizar District, Chilass City, Astor District, Hunza Valley, Skardu City, and Ghanchy are a quick jeep drive from Gilgit. At 28,250 meters, K-2, is the worlds 2nd highest peak. You can also trek Mashaburam, Gashaburam, Rakaposhi, and Nanga Parbat (killer mountain and the world’s 6th highest peak).
Gilgit is fairly stable and safe compared to other regions. Travelers, both local and foreign, still visit the area and enjoy the breathtaking beauty and nature. Gilgit has some of the cheapest accommodations for visitors with a budget.