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Astore Valley Travel Guide – Complete Guide

Astore Valley

Let’s Explore ‘Astore Valley’

Nanga Parbat to its east and gateway to Deosai in its lap, Astore is the valley abundant with beautiful sceneries and seasons to give your mood a delightful feast.

The valley is home to dozens of villages and once there, your short trip will never do justice to the attractions offered by this breathtaking valley.

Beside, flower and fauna and mesmerizing landscape you can also plan trekking and mountaineering in vicinities of Astore valley.  (For Treks in Pakistan Click Here)

Explore (How to Reach Astore)?

Explore (When to Plan a trip to Astore)?

Best time to Visit are Springs and Summers: May, June July, August

Winters Fall in: Sep, Oct, Nov

Months not recommended for trips: Dec, Jan, Feb, Mar

Exploring local Cuisine

Astore Valley offers the variety of traditional cuisines; most of them are widely famous across Gilgit-Baltistan region.

For all the food lovers the variety of cuisine offered by Gilgit-Baltistan is the best treat ever. Don’t forget to try out new local dishes. 

1.    Chapshuro:

Meat and beef chopped and filled in bread, also known as Hunza pie served with delicious sauces. Look alike of Chapshuro in Khyberpakhtunkhwa and Balochistan is called ‘Phiraki’. You will find variety of Phiraki’s stuffed with spinch, reddish, potaties or etc.

2.    Mantu:

This dish is also popular in central Asian countries. Small cute dumplings stuffed in dough with meat and vegetable and then steamed. If you want to make mantu at home here is the recipe: Mantu Recipe

3.    Harissa:

Can be called an alteration of Haleem but this dish has its own taste. This rich source of diet made with ghee also contain other ingredients i.e. wheat, rice, meat and green lentils. It is the best treat found in Gilgit-Baltistan to keep your appetite filled and happy.

4.    Sharadi:

Made with locally grown vegetable called Pino and Chinese cabbage. If you want to take delight from this unique Gilgit-Baltistan cuisine follow the link. Sharadi Recipe

5.    Sharbat:

One of the most energy consuming dish to prepare but it’s worth it. Made with butter and wheat this dish is the feast for frosty cold inhabitants of Gilgit-Baltistan. Rich in protein this dish is prepared on special occasions. Find here how it is prepared: Sharabat Recipe

6.    Goli:  

It is referred to with three names, Goli, Rishoki and Giyalink. This is one of the G/B’s supper and brunch treat served with tea. Made with egg, flour and milk, this crispy mouthwatering Goli is must try G/B cuisine. Other variation of this dish is found in Parachinar where they call it ‘Shilli’. If you want to try this at home find recipe here: Goli Recipe

7.    Chupati:

The must have breatkfast item of Gilgit-Baltistan people. this item is made from wheat flour which is baked. You may also call it simple cake available in bakery but the desi furnace used for baking with aroma of wood and ash gives it a unique taste.

8.    Diram Fiti:

Made with special type of flour and then baked. After the loafs get baked hot butter is poured over the baked breads and served with margarine. Have a look here: Diram Fiti Recipe

9. Dou Do:

A traditional Soup of Gilgit-baltistan made with chunks of chicken/meat with homemade flour Noodles. Homemade flour noodles are called ‘Aash’ in some parts of Quetta and Afghanistan and variety of tasty dishes are made from these noodles. For Recipe click here: Dou Do Recipe

Also Read: Waziristan Travel Guide

Explore (What to do in Astore)?

Mountaineering

Astore Valley
Peaks in Astore Valley

For the climbers and mountaineers Astore Valley offers a huge variety of adventure. You can plan a trip to Nanga Parbat Base camp and daredevils can plan summit of Nanga Parbat. Also, Chongra and Rupal peaks are the other hovering peaks marking the boundaries of this magnificent valley. Among the peaks, in 60km radius falls the following:

  • Rupal Peak which is 5642 m is 46.4 km from Astore
  • Rakhiot Peak which is 7070 m is at 49.5 km
  • Chongra Peak which is 6830 m is at 50.6 km
  • Nanga Parbat which is 8125 m is at 51.2 km
  • Shaigiri Peak which is 5584 m is at 52.9 km
  • Ganalo Peak which is 6608 m is at 57.7 km
  • Laila Peak in Rupal Valley which is 5971 m is at 59.4 km

For more Information on Mountain peaks around Astore Valley Click here: Peaks around Astore

Trekking

Astore is also called the ‘Land of Pastures’. There are numerous treks that range from moderate-strenuous in terms of difficulty. You can trek all the way to Rama lake, Trek from tarashing (the last village) to Latobo, trek to shagiri, trek to Mazino lower and high base camps, trek to Loiba, trek to Zangot, Trek to Halela and etc. Also, treks to and beyond Deosai plains are often buzzed with trekkers.

Astore Valley Jeep Safari

Jeep safari is another entertaining and thrilling expedition. This fun filled safari allows you to witness all the wet and dry of Astore Valley and its surrounding areas. Most often the jeep safaris are long tours covering most of the Gilgit-Baltistan in a couple of days or week.

Explore (Places to See in Astore)?

Places to See Distance from Astore Valley Attraction Point
Gutumsar Valley 18km Tall pine trees, Urdong Meadows and its lake famous point, banak la and harapo pass lie in this valley, species of animal and medicinal plants are found here.
Chilim 52km Gateway to Deosai plains, also passage to Minimerg, burzil pass and gultari. Picturesque landscape
Minimerg 88km Occupies right side of Neelum, north of taobat. Rainbow lake found here, minimerg is heavenly place with fully green plains and water springs.
Daas Kharam 48km Well known for fishing and also has three beautiful villages with soothing environment
Rupal Valley 20km Lies south of Nanga parbat, home for trekkers and mountaineers
Rama Meadows 10km Marked with dense pine forest, rama lake beautiful attraction, home to famous animal species like, ibex, deer, snow leopard and etc.

Exploring ‘New culture’?

Locals in the region preferable speak English and Urdu with the outsiders but their local language is ‘Shina’.

Handmade artifacts including but not limited to unique embroidery, jeweler and pouches beside, gemstones are found decorated in marketplaces. For those who prefer homeopathy, may also find herbs and medicines.

Before You Explore! Remember:

  • Mobile Signals are Weak throughout the Valley in whatever direction you travel
  • 3G/4G/Internet is not good, even in Good hotels
  • Always Keep Warm Clothes and complete travel gear with you. For trekkers and climbers take professional advice.
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