Pakistan is known for its breathtaking mountains, stunning valleys, and rich culture. Shigar is one such hidden gem that is located in the Baltistan region of Gilgit-Baltistan. It is a small town situated in the valley of the same name and is located about 32 kilometers away from Skardu. Shigar is an important tourist destination in Pakistan and attracts thousands of visitors every year. This article will highlight the history, culture, and tourist attractions of Shigar, making it easier for you to plan your next trip to this beautiful region.
History of Shigar
Shigar has a rich historical background and has been an important trade route between India, China, and Central Asia. The Shigar Fort is a prime example of the region’s historical significance. Built in the 17th century, the fort is a symbol of the region’s cultural heritage and is now a popular tourist attraction. The fort has been restored and converted into a heritage museum that showcases Baltistan’s rich history and culture. It houses antique weapons, household items, and other artifacts that give visitors an insight into the region’s past.
The town’s strategic location on the ancient Silk Route made it an important trading hub for centuries. The trade route that passed through Shigar was used to transport goods such as silk, spices, and precious stones. Farmers from the surrounding areas would also come to Shigar to sell their produce, which included apricots, apples, and wheat. The town’s economy was primarily based on agriculture and trade, and this is reflected in the region’s vibrant culture.
The best time of the year to visit Shigar is from May to October. During this time, the weather is pleasant, and the town’s natural beauty is at its peak. The town has several tourist attractions, including the Shigar Fort, the K2 museum, and the Khaplu Palace. Visitors can also enjoy trekking, mountain climbing, and river rafting.
Shigar offers several accommodation options, including hotels, guesthouses, and campsites. Visitors can choose from budget-friendly options to luxury resorts, depending on their preference and budget.
Culture and Traditions
The Shigari culture is a mix of Balti, Tibetan, and Islamic traditions. The people of Shigar are warm and welcoming, and visitors can experience the region’s rich culture through various activities. Traditional crafts and arts such as pottery, weaving, and embroidery are a significant part of Shigar’s culture. Visitors can also try traditional food and drinks such as yak butter tea and momos, a type of dumpling.
Trekking in Shigar
Shigar is a popular destination for trekkers and hikers. The town’s scenic beauty and challenging terrain make it an ideal destination for adventure enthusiasts. The popular trekking routes in Shigar include the K2 base camp trek, the Concordia trek, and the Gondogoro La trek. The best time for trekking in Shigar is from June to September, when the weather is mild.
Visitors must take precautions and safety measures while trekking. It is recommended to hire a local guide who is familiar with the terrain and can provide assistance if needed.
Sustainable Tourism in Shigar
Sustainable tourism is crucial for the preservation of Shigar’s natural beauty and cultural heritage. There are several eco-friendly accommodation options in Shigar that are designed to minimize the impact on the environment. Visitors can also engage in eco-friendly tourism activities such as bird watching, wildlife safaris, and nature walks.
Community involvement in the tourism industry is essential for the sustainable development of the region. The local community is actively involved in promoting tourism in Shigar and is working towards preserving the region’s natural and cultural heritage.
Shigar is a hidden gem in Pakistan that offers a unique blend of natural beauty, culture, and adventure. Visitors can explore the region’s rich history, experience its vibrant culture, and enjoy various adventure activities. Sustainable tourism practices are vital for the preservation of Shigar’s natural and cultural heritage, and visitors must take precautions to ensure that their travel does not negatively impact the region. Shigar is an ideal destination for those looking to experience the unexplored beauty of Pakistan.