Glaciers are made up of mass snow accumulation on a land over a long period of time. Glaciers vary according to their sizes and play a major role in keeping the atmosphere cool. There are many glaciers in Pakistan that are famous as trekking sites and tourist attractions. Most of the glaciers are located in Northern areas of Pakistan, especially around Karakoram mountain range. These glaciers are a special focus of attention for travelers all around the world and are frequently visited by people coming from all parts of the world. Their undisturbed beauty and lack of pollution in the surrounding environment makes them great trekking locations. The glaciers are a valuable asset of Pakistan because of helping the region keep its temperature normal which would have been enormously hot. These glaciers also add to the scenic beauty of Pakistan making her a beautiful country with rich natural scenery. The glaciers are quite large in number and therefore all of them cannot be mentioned here. However, a list of top ten glaciers of Pakistan on the basis of being the largest ones with their locations has been jotted down below:
1) Siachen Glacier at Karakoram range, Baltistan
2) Batura Glacier at Karakoram range
3) Hispar Glacier at Karakoram range
4) Biafo Glacier at Karakoram range, Shigar
5) Baltoro Glacier at Karakoram range
6) Yengunta Glacier at Karakoram range, Baltistan
7) Chianter Glacier at Hindukush, Chitral
8) Tirich Mir Glacier at Hindukush, Chitral
9) Chogo Lugma at Karakoram range-2
10) Passu Glacier at Karakoram range, Hunza Valley
Trekking is an activity that comprises of travelling along wide distances on foot. It is especially done on places where travelling by car or any other means is not possible or difficult to do. There are many geographical areas that are regarded as trekking sites or treks all around the world because of being of interest to travelers. Similarly, Pakistan is proud to offer travelling opportunities to people all over the world to walk on the famous trekking sites here. The particular areas reserved for trekking in Pakistan are located in Himalayas, Karakoram and Hindukush and are fascinating places to look at. Pakistanis and foreigners both can enjoy trekking in the Northern Areas of Pakistan to get in touch with natural beauty at its peak. Another feature of the trekking sites at these areas is the lack of pollution and virgin beauty of the enormous mountains and lakes flowing side-by. It is difficult to list down all the famous trekking sites of Pakistan due to the abundance to treks in Pakistan. However, an attempt has been done to selectively present a list containing top ten treks of Pakistan based on their popularity which is given below:
1) Trek of K-2 Base Camp
2) Trek of Biafo-Hisper Glaciers
3) Treks of Nanga Parbat
4) Trek of Batura Glacier
5) Trek of Chillinji Pass
6) Trek of Spantik Base Camp
7) Trek of Charakusa Glacier
8) Trek of Masherbrum Base Camp
9) Trek of Shimshal Valley
10) Trek of Thalle La
15 km from Miar Peak
In the northern areas of Pakistan there are many spectacular lakes, one of which is Lake Rush. This lake is one of the world’s highest alpine lake. Few kilometers away are the Spantik or the Golden Peak and the Miar Peak. It is a high altitute lake and is located very close to the Rush Pari Peak which is 5,098 meters high. The Rush Peak is a good spot for mountaineers without much training because it is easy to climb in summers as compared to other mountains. But in winters climbing becomes much difficult due to heavy snow fall.
If you want to reach this lake you can either take the route via Hopar and Nagar or via Hopar Glacier commonly known as Bualtar Glacier and the Miar Glacier. The journey to this lake is full of amazingly beautiful views. You will see Malubiting, Phuparash Peak, Ultar Sar and Spantik on the trek to Rush lake.
The lake is covered with snow in winters but in summers the lake is surrounded by lush green grass with beautiful flower trees. People do lots of fishing here. Muskie is one of the common fish in the lake. Tourists also do camping in summers and even play golf in the gardens around this beautiful lake.
On 4th January 2010 disaster struck the picturesque valley of Hunza in the form of a massive landslide. The landslide caused a major blockade of the Hunza River thereby creating an artificial lake. This lake is called as Atta Abad lake. The lake fed by the melting glaciers expanded steadily and is now 353 feet deep with the water rising at an average of 2 to 3 feet daily. Many villages and at an estimate 100 houses have submerged in water. Around 1,700 people have been rendered homeless as the rising water gushed into the villages.
The officials fear that the worst is yet to come as the lake might burst its banks and cause more flooding which would disrupt the lives of 50,000 people besides causing considerable damage to the infrastructure. Even the Karakoram Highway is under threat. Part of the Karakoram Highway is already closed because of the flooding of Gilmat a resort on the Highway linking Pakistan and China.
Steps Taken By the Government
To lower the pressure, a spillway is being dug to divert the water from the lake to its old course the River Gilgit. The government has also set up relief camps where medicines and food supplies are available. Nine tent camps for the displaced people have been set up as well. To warn the people of any emergency, warning sirens have been installed in control rooms and help centers throughout Hunza and Gilgit.
NWFP (KPK-Khyber Pakhtoonkhwah) is nicknamed “the Switzerland of Pakistan” because of its spellbinding beauty. It is a land of mountains covered with Alpine and coniferous forests, sparkling streams, dancing water falls and glaciers. It is guarded by the three mighty mountains the Hindu Kush, Karakoram and the Himalayas. Relics of the Gandhara –Buddhist era are scattered all over the northern areas. So if you are a nature’s freak or interested in mountain climbing, hiking and trekking then do visit the northern areas of Pakistan.
Punjab is famous for its hospitality and historical places. A number of buildings from the Mughal era are found in the plains of Punjab. Punjab is a land of lush green fields. It is also the land of five rivers. The tributaries of the River Indus snake through Punjab.
Sindh has a rich history. The remains of the world’s oldest civilization are found at Moen Jo Daro. Other historical sites include Rani Not Fort, Pucca Qila, Makli Hills Tomb, Chaukhandi Tombs and Shah Jehan Mosque. There are some shrines as well which are thronged by thousands of devotees whole year round. The Karlri Lake, Keenjhar Lake and the Kirthar Natural Park are some places worth seeing.
Karachi the capital of Sindh is a coastal city and a valid reason to visit Sindh. Karachi is the most modern and biggest city of Pakistan. It has a number of buildings from the colonial era. Karachi is famous for its shopping centers and beaches.
Baluchistan is mostly dry but there are some interesting places which allure the tourists. The juniper forests, Hanna Lake, Ziarat, Quetta and Chaman are some places of interest in Baluchistan. There are many beaches in Baluchistan such as Gadani, Somiani etc. The coastal city of Gawadar is being developed with all modern amenities for the future.