Pakistan the Land of Beauty
Pakistan was formed on 14 August 1947. It consists of four provinces Sindh, Punjab, Balochistan and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, a capital territory and federally administered tribal areas and Gilgit-Baltistan and exercise de facto jurisdiction over Azad Kashmir. It covers 803,940 square kilometers (310,403 square miles) and has a population of about 161,161,000.
With the mighty mountains in the North to the vast delta of the Indus River in the South, different types of natural features ranging from the sandy beaches in the southern coast to preserved beautiful moist temperate forests and the icy peaks of the Karakoram, Himalaya and Hindukush mountains in the north, Pakistan remains a land of high adventure and nature. The hilly and dry deserts of Balochistan in the west of the Indus and to the east are the sand dunes of the Thar Desert. The Thar Pakar Deserts in the south of Sindh province is the only fertile desert in the world. The climate varies with cold winters and hot summers in the north and a mild climate in the south. The central parts have extremely hot summers with temperatures rising to 45 Â°C (113 Â°F), and very cold winters, sometimes falling below freezing point.
Flora and fauna
Pakistan is endowed with a rich and varied flora and fauna. High Himalayas, Karakoram and the Hindukush ranges with their alpine meadows and permanent snow line forests down the sub-mountain scrub, the vast Indus plain merging into the great desert, the coast line and wetlands, all offer a remarkably rich variety of vegetation. The variety of landscapes and climates in Pakistan allows for a wide variety of birds and wild animals. Ten of 18 mammalian orders are represented in Pakistan with species ranging from the world’s smallest surviving mammals, the Mediterranean Pigmy Shrew, to the largest mammal ever known; the blue whale.
In the south, crocodiles are found at the mouth of the Indus River. Jackals, wild cats, panthers, and leopards with hawks, falcons, and eagles hovering over the blue sky are found in central Pakistan. Many species of wild animals, i.e. Marco Polo Sheep, Ibex, black and brown bears and snow leopard are found in Northern Mountains of Pakistan.
Society and culture
Pakistani society is multilingual and predominantly Muslim having high regard for traditional family values. Emergence of middle class families are seen in cities i.e. Karachi, Lahore, Rawalpind, and Peshawar that are moving towards a more liberal direction, but the people in the northwestern regions bordering Afghanistan remain highly conservative and stick to centuries-old regional/tribal customs.
Shalwar Qameez, originally derived from Turko-Iranian invaders, is the national dress of Pakistan and worn in all parts of Pakistan.
Approximately four million Pakistanis are living abroad, out of which half a million are living in the United States, about a million in Saudi Arabia, and about one million are living in the United Kingdom and burgeoning cultural connections.
Tourism is a growing industry in Pakistan, based on its diverse cultures, high mountains, long glaciers, friendly peoples and landscapes.
Pakistan is the home of five above 8000 meter peaks and long and prominent glaciers. The three great mountain ranges â€œKarakoram, Himalaya and Hindukushâ€ meet in Gilgit-Baltistan of Pakistan. The mountainous north of Pakistan includes some of the wildest and most spectacular landscapes on earth.
Pakistan has a wonderful panorama of ancient culture and fascinating landscapes stretching from the south beaches of Indian Ocean to the height of the Karakoram, Himalaya and Hindukush mountain ranges. The cultural heritage of ancient civilization of Taxila, Mohenjedaro and Harappa are versatile, dating back to 3000 years BC. The variety of attractions ranging from the ruins of ancient civilizations to the skyrocketing peaks in the north fascinates those who are interested in culture and adventure.
Trekking, mountaineering, white water rafting, wild boar hunting, mountain and desert jeep safaris, camel and yak safaris, trout fishing and bird watching are a few activities, which entice the adventure and nature lovers to Pakistan.
Gilgit,Baltistan of Pakistan offers tremendous opportunities for adventure travelers. The three great mountain ranges â€œKarakoram, Himalaya and Hindukush meet in Gilgit, Baltistan of Pakistan. Out of 14 above eight thousand meter peaks, five are located in Pakistan and four of which are located in Baltistan region of Gilgit,Baltistan. Tens of above six and seven thousand meter peaks and numerous un-scaled but challenging peaks are situated in the Karakoram Range of Gilgit,Baltistan of Pakistan. Skyrocketing peaks, long glaciers and trekking routes are there to be felt, explored and conquered. The Karakoram is truly called paradise for adventure travelers.
Stretching over about 400 Kilometers/250 miles Karakoram “The Black Mountains” lie in Baltistan, a remote region of Gilgit,Baltistan of Pakistan, bordering Tibet and India, present a wealth of opportunities for real adventure travel. Though best known for the worldâ€™s second highest peak, colossal pyramid shaped K2, the Karakoram Range is also peppered with unworldly granite spires that stand sentinel over the sweeping glaciers that spill off its central divide. Some as yet unclaimed by the mountaineering fraternity, these monoliths are the hallmark of the region and the sight of them bathed in the mellow light of sunrise or sunset, is simply unforgettable. Since its discovery by Europeans in the early 19th century, explorers, mountaineers and trekkers have marveled at what is the greatest concentration of high peaks and glaciers on earth.
Four out of 14 above 8000 m recognized peaks, are located in the Karakoram Range.
- K2 8611 m
- Gasharbrum I 8068 m
- Gasharbrum II 8035 m
- Broad Peak 8047 m
Road access in the Gilgit, Baltistan of Pakistan is very good these days. So, instead of walking from village to village, most of the time you will start your trek near the last villages, sometimes a day's walk or less from the snout of a glacier and just a matter of days from the base camps of the high peaks. The terrain is wild and spectacular. Some of the treks involve many days traversing glaciers and moraines. The main trekking season is from June to September when mountain temperatures are pleasant, the days are longer and the flowers are in bloom.
Most of the trips start and/or end with PIAâ€™s domestic flight to/from Skardu. Sometimes bad weather or back log can prevent flying in which case one must travel overland instead, for which adequate time is needed to build in the itinerary. Such occurrences are a part of adventure travel and we ask for your patience and understanding if an overland journey becomes necessary. Overland travel, through the Karakoram Highway, is by private coach, minibus or jeep, depending on the size of the group and will probably be the most spectacular journey of your life.