Khaplu – Tourist Destination in Northern Pakistan
Khaplu, also known as Khapalu, is a town in the Baltistan region of Gilgit-Baltistan, Pakistan. The city is the capital of the Ghanche District and was historically part of the Kingdom of Kashmir.
It was the second-largest kingdom in old Baltistan. It is 110 km to the east of Skardu. Ladakh lies to its northwest, and the Shyok River valley to its east.
The town is full of beautiful and fragrant fruit orchids and architectural heritage. In addition, you can enjoy the mesmerizing views of streams and high-rising mountains.
Khaplu is undoubtedly a perfect tourist attraction and beautifully represents Pakistan.
The weather in Khaplu Gilgit Baltistan is excellent in the summer and cold in the winter. Therefore, the best time to visit here is from June to September.
From October, the weather starts getting cold; temperatures can dip below freezing point by January.
Snowfall is common in Khaplu from December to February.
As per weather reports, the average temperature here in summer is 15 degree Celsius, and in winter, it is –5 degree Celsius.
Now you know the best time to visit and what to expect regarding weather conditions.
Some people might find the cool weather of Khaplu a bit too cold. But if you dress warmly, you will be just fine.
Are you planning to trek in the Himalayas? Or do you want to enjoy the scenic beauty of this place? Khaplu is worth a visit for both.
Just make sure you choose the right time to go.
History of Khaplu
Now comes the exciting part – the history of Khaplu. The region was once a part of the ancient kingdom of Baltistan.
As legend has it, Syed Ali Hamdani came to Khaplu by the end of the 14th century. His purpose was to preach Islam in far-flung areas and to convert the local people to this religion.
He converted a large number of people here and in the neighboring villages.
The mosques and shrines he built are still present in the area and bear testimony to his visit.
The people here are very proud of their rich culture and heritage.
Khaplu was an essential stop on the trade route between Ladakh and Baltistan. In addition, it served as a gateway to the region.
After this, many famous English and European travelers visited here.
They have left behind the account of their journey. Instead, they shared descriptions of the people and places they saw.
One of them, De Filippi, named it the most beautiful oasis in the area. He visited Khaplu in 1913.
The people here are very hospitable. They are warm and welcoming.
The scenery is breathtaking. The mountains, the river, the green fields, and the trees make it a wonderful place.
Khaplu, Pakistan, is a place with a rich history and culture. There are many old fortresses and palaces in the area.
How Much is the Height of Khaplu?
The height of Khaplu is about 2,600 meters altitude above sea level. That makes approx. 8,500 feet.
It is the capital of the Ghanche District, the Gilgit-Baltistan region of Pakistan.
The town is at the confluence of the Shyok River.
It has been around for centuries and was once a thriving trade center. The population is about 175,000 people.
What to Pack when Visiting Khaplu?
When packing for a trip to Khaplu, make sure you have everything you need to be comfortable in the mountains:
It is located in a high mountain valley so that the evenings can be cool even in summer. Bring sweaters or jackets for evening wear.
Your clothing should also be loose and comfortable to allow for easy movement.
Also, don’t forget to pack a raincoat or umbrella, as the weather can be unpredictable.
You will be doing a lot of walking here, so make sure you have comfortable shoes.
The terrain is also rocky in places, so avoid wearing open-toed shoes. And make sure you pack a pair of thick socks to keep your feet warm at night.
There are not many stores in Khaplu, so bring all the toiletries you will need for your stay.
That includes items like toothpaste, soap, shampoo, and toilet paper. And also, don’t forget to pack your towel.
Additionally, insect repellent is a must, as many mosquitoes are here.
Khaplu is beautiful, and you will want to take lots of photos. So make sure you bring your camera and plenty of batteries or charging cords.
Your digital camera will probably do just fine. But if you have a DSLR camera, then bring that too.
There are lots of unique places to take photos in Khaplu. Including the fort, the mosque, and the mountains.
First Aid Kit
It’s always a good idea to be ready for any eventuality. So make sure you pack a first aid kit with all the essentials.
That includes items like Band–Aids, antiseptic creams, painkillers, etc.
Also, don’t forget to pack any prescription medications you might need.
Sunscreen & Moisturizers
The sun in Khaplu can be pretty intense. So make sure you pack sunscreen and moisturizers to protect your skin.
Your skin will get dry quickly in the dry, mountainous climate. Also, don’t forget to pack lip balm to protect your lips from the sun.
Snacks & Water
Make sure you pack enough snacks and water to keep you going. The trek up to the Shyok Valley can be challenging, so you’ll need all the energy you can get.
Your Khaplu adventure awaits you! Make sure you are ready by packing these essential items. And most importantly, have fun!
When to Visit Khaplu?
The perfect time to visit is from June to September. That’s when the weather is the most pleasant, and you can enjoy all the activities.
The starting months of June and July see the snow melting in the mountains. It makes them ideal for trekking.
The meadows are also starting to green up, making them perfect for picnics and camping.
August and September are the best months for rafting on the Shyok River. It is also when the fruits are at their ripest, so try the delicious apricots, apples, and peaches.
Remember that it gets very crowded during July and August because of tourists.
Places to Visit in Khaplu
Khaplu is home to some of the most beautiful places in Pakistan. From mesmerizing waterfalls to stunning forts, there is no shortage of things to see in this town.
Some of the must-visit places are:
Historic Chaqchan Mosque
The Chaqchan Mosque is one of the most popular tourist attractions in Khaplu. The mosque dates back to 1370 and is famous for its beautiful architecture and views.
It is from the time when the masses converted from Buddhism to Islam.
The mosque perfectly blends Tibetan, Mughal, and Persian architecture.
The main shrine has beautiful carvings. It has two stories with a turret top and semi-basement.
The Khanqah of Khaplu is another popular tourist spot. It was built almost 400 years ago by a Sufi master of the Nurbakshi order.
The Khanqah is made of mud and wood and is one of the largest in the Gilgit-Baltistan region. It is also one of the oldest places in Baltistan and is a famous landmark.
It is a large rectangular building with a courtyard in the middle. A verandah supported by wooden pillars surrounds the courtyard.
The Khanqah has four entrances, and its roof has wooden carvings.
The Khaplu Palace is a historic building here in Gilgit-Baltistan, Pakistan. It got built in the 19th century by the Raja of the place.
The palace is an art of Kashmiri and Balti craftsmen. Serena Hotel now uses the palace as a hotel for some part.
The other part is a museum open to the public and protected by the archaeology department.
Hushe Valley Base
Hushe Valley is in the valley of the Hushe River. It flows from Masherbrum Mountain (at 7,821 meters) and nearby glaciers south to Shyok River.
In the heart of the valley is the village of Hushe. Karakoram Range surrounds the town on three sides.
There are many other peaks surrounding Hushe Valley, such as:
- Laila Peak
- Murtaza Peak
Thoksikar Mosque Khaplu
Thoksikar Mosque is a historic mosque in Khaplu, Pakistan. It got built around 500 years back. It takes around 3 KM from the main town of Ghanche, Baltistan.
The mosque has a long mountainous tail. The mosque’s architecture is unique and one of the most beautiful mosques in Pakistan.
Shyok River flows from River Indus and enters Ladakh via Khaplu Valley. It is one of the most beautiful rivers in Pakistan.
The river has many rapids and is an excellent place for rafting. It starts from the origin of the Siachen Glacier.
The Nubra River is a right tributary of Shyok. The river has glacial water and is an excellent place for fishing.
What to Do in Khaplu?
There are some great things to do in Khaplu. Here are some of the most popular ones:
If you love adventure, then you will enjoy rock climbing in Khaplu. There are many great spots for rock climbing, and you can even find a guide to help you out.
Rock climbing is a great way to get some exercise, and it is also a great way to explore the area.
Visiting Historical Places
This is home to many historical places. Some of the most popular ones include:
· Thoksikar Mosque Khaplu
· Khaplu Palace
· Khaplu Khanqah
· Historic Chaqchan Mosque
Rafting on Shyok River
Rafting on the Shyok River is another excellent activity to do in Khaplu. Many different companies offer rafting tours, and you can even find a guide to help you out.
Shyok River is one of the most popular rafting spots in Khaplu. It is a great way to see the area.
Hiking is another great way to explore Khaplu. There are many different trails that you can take, and you can even find a guide to help you out.
The trail to the Thoksikar Mosque Khaplu is one of the most popular trails. It is a great way to see the area and learn about the history of Khaplu.
- High Cliff Guest House Khaplu
- Serena Khaplu Palace
- Karakoram Lodge Khaplu
- Geyari Resort Khaplu
- PTDC Motel Khaplu
What is Khaplu Valley Famous for?
Khaplu Valley is a beautiful valley in the Gilgit-Baltistan region of Pakistan. The valley is famous for its scenic beauty, historical places, and trekking trails.
The most popular destinations here are:
- Thoksikar Mosque Khaplu
- Khaplu Palace
- Khaplu Khanqah
- Historic Chaqchan Mosque
- Shyok River
The rich culture and history of the valley make it a popular tourist destination. The valley is also home to many trekking trails, making it an excellent place for adventure seekers.
How to Reach Khaplu Valley?
The best way to reach this Valley is by air. It is 112 KM from Skardu, which has an airport. You can take a bus or a jeep to Khaplu Valley from Skardu.
If you come from Islamabad, the best way is to fly to Skardu. Then travel to Khaplu Valley by road.
It takes 2-3 hours from Skardu, and the journey is very scenic. The route from Skardu goes through the beautiful Shyok Valley.
Skardu to Khaplu Distance
As said earlier, the distance from Skardu city to Khaplu is nearly 110 KM. However, Skardu airport is 115 KM from Khaplu.
It takes 2-3 hours to get there from Skardu by road.
The location of Khaplu Valley is at an elevation of 2,600 meters or 8500 feet. It is the capital city of the Ghanche District in Gilgit Baltistan, Pakistan.
Khaplu is also the largest village in the valley and is close to the Shyok River.
It is a beautiful valley with several treks, glaciers, and trails. The valley is also home to the world’s highest concentration of apricot trees.
Frequently Asked Questions
Is the Road to Reach Khaplu Safe?
The road to Khaplu is safe and well-maintained. There are no dangerous animals or areas to worry about.
Also, once you reach here, there are plenty of people to help guide you around.
What is the Most Famous Place in Khaplu?
The most famous place here is the Chaqchan Mosque. The mosque, built in the 16th century, is one of the most beautiful in Pakistan.
Also, the view from the mosque is incredible. You can see for miles and miles.
To cut a long story short, this is a perfect place to enjoy your summer vacation. The high-rising mountains and eye-catching streams will refresh your mood away from your hectic daily life. So plan a trip and have fun!