The Gilgit Town is situated at an altitude of 1500 meters above sea level. The weather is hot in June to August and freezing from December to end to February. Shina is the local and common language while Urdu and English languages are also spoken in the urban areas.
Gilgit offers all kind of utilities, health, business, education, communication and transport related facilities. Tourism is the vital source of business for local economy. Other significant local sources of income include agriculture, fruit farming, mining and handicrafts.
Gilgit is the mountaineering paradise with exceptionally vast variety of climbing and trekking possibilities. From mountain climbing to family holiday outings, this mountain city offers charming options to visitors of every taste and age group.
The Kargah Buddha, a rock carving is an excellent short trip. The Buddha was carved in 7th century AD. Three stupas were also excavated at about half kilometers from the Buddha. These ancient carving and stupas are only 6 kilometers from Gilgit.
Thickly forested and scenic Naltar valley is a 2 hours drive from Gilgit. At an altitude of 2880 meters, Naltar is a splendid valley with lakes, snow covered mountains and waterfalls.
Jaglot is about 50 kilometers from Gilgit and a place where three highest mountain ranges meet each other. The Himalaya, Karakoram and Hindukush mountain ranges with views of Nanga Parbat, Haramosh, Rakaposhi along with confluence of Indus and Gilgit rivers is a unique exposure.
Gilgit is the only place where mountains of Himalaya, Karakoram and Hindukush invite the climbers. It is impossible to mention all the high peaks of Gilgit region but most famous names are Nanga Parbat, Rakaposhi, Ultar, Batura, Passu, Kunyang Kish, Distaghil Sar, Spantik, and Diran.
Gilgit also offers the widest and broadest landscape for trekkers. The most renowned and visited trails include Fairy Meadows – Nanga Parbat, Rupal Valley – Mazeeno Pass, Naltar to Ishkoman, Karumbar Lake, Rakaposhi Base Camp, Rush Lake, Shimshal valley, Hispar – Snow Lake, Batura Base Camp and Phandar Lake. Many other trekking oppoutunities are there in the Ghizar, Hunza, Nagar and Astore valleys.
The handicrafts and handmade decoration items from Gilgit, Hunza, Ghizar and other areas are unique gifts to buy. Dry fruit of surrounding valleys are considered as the best in Pakistan. Gem stones and warm woolen clothes are also worth buying. Gilgit is an important trade hub between Pakistan and China. A vast variety of Chinese goods are available at NLI market.
Where to stay
A large number of hotels and rest houses are available in Gilgit to meet every budget requirement. Finding a room or two is not a problem even in tourist season; but for large expeditions, an advance booking shall be made to avoid any inconvenience.
Transport and Access
By road, Gilgit is linked to the Karakorum Highway. Due to the extreme weather and mountain conditions in the winters, the road traveling can be challenging.
From Rawalpindi, several busses and vans leave for Gilgit daily. The usual time from Rawalpindi to Gilgit is 18 hours which usually expand upto 24 hours due to the road conditions.
For air traveling, two flights between Islamabad to Gilgit are scheduled by Pakistan International Airline (PIA). The air travel is also subject to the weather conditions around the Nanga Parbat region.