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Day 4: Chillas to Gilgit

Author: Nawab Tanweer Ahmad
Date of Trip: September 2015

Date: 18th September 2015

There are many wonders along the road we were traveling toward Gilgit. The first one is just outside Chillas, called Tata Pani. These are a series of hot water streams running from the mountains. The water is so hot that steam can be seen evaporating along the main road. For a moment, we looked into the water and go on toward Gilgit.

Smoothly and comfortably traveling on the route, we get to an awesome place in Thalichi area, the Nanga Parbat Viewpoint. From this spot on a clear day, one can view the Peak of Nanga Parbat Mountain. Nanga Parbat at the height of 26,660 ft. above sea level is the ninth highest mountain in the world. It is the western anchor of the Himalayas around which the Indus River skirts into the plains of Pakistan. The impression after looking at the mighty Nanga Parbat is unexplainable. We simply stand on that point and keep on staring at it for a long time.

Except for some patches the Karakorum Highway is marvelously constructed. We have been going for about 9 hours starting from Naran, and 4 Hours from Chillas. After stopping at Nanga Parbat View Point and the famous Rai Kot Bridge, the road that leads to Nanga Parbat Base Camp, Fairy Meadows, we arrived at our next stay at the Confluence of Indus and Gilgit Rivers. At this point, the Indus River meets the Gilgit River. The Indus is 3,200 km long, making it the 3rd longest river in Asia and the 21st longest in the world. It enters Pakistan flowing northwestwards in Baltistan, having already travelled nearly a 1,000 km from its source near Lake Mansarovar and Mount Kailas in Tibet, China passes through Ladakh along the path.

Gilgit is the river that originates from the Shandur Lake at a height of approximately 12,000 foot. This river is a tributary of the Indus River and flows past the town of Gilgit. Gilgit River is also referred to as the Ghizar River.

Another wonder that also exists at this place is where the three mightiest mountain ranges of the world converge. The Karakoram, the Hindukush and the Himalayan ranges meet here at the confluence of the Indus and Gilgit rivers. East across the Indus is the Himalaya; the Karakoram in the North and in the West the Hindukush.

The Himalaya, is about 2,400 km long, runs through Pakistan, India, China, Bhutan and Nepal. The Karakoram, 500 km long, lies mostly in Gilgit-Baltistan, Pakistan. The 966 km long Hindukush range straddles both Pakistan and Afghanistan.

After spending about 10 hours on the road, we arrived at our today’s destination Gilgit. Gilgit is a big city and there was lots of traffic. There are many Hotels and Restaurants in Gilgit both budget and high class. We prefer to stay at Jamal Hotel on Airport Road. It is a good budget hotel with courteous and caring staff. The room was neat and comfortable too and also has free internet connection. In that respect is beside a local market near the hotel where we roamed around after checking-in at the hotel. We had dinner at a local restaurant in the marketplace before arriving back to the hotel to catch some Z’s.

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