Astore and Rama

by - August 20, 2013

While you are on the Karakoram highway, you might as well see these two places, that should definitely be on your bucket list. After passing the exit for Fairy Meadows, keep driving for about another 20 minutes. When you come across the sign for Astore, turn right, keep going for another 2-3 hours. You will arrive at the village of Astore. Astore is the capital of Astore District of Gulgit-Baltistan. It is at an altitude of 2546 metres (8353 feet) and is the coldest place within the country, with temperatures reaching -26 degrees celcius.


From Astore, you should enquire from the locals for directions to Rama Valley. The valley is popular for camping in the summers, and also has a good PTDC hotel. From Astore, you can take a jeep ride to Rama Valley, a forested vale with huge pine, cedar, fir and juniper trees. In summer, the valley becomes lush green with some snowy patches left from the Winter. From here one can trek to east side of the Nanga Parbat (also known as the Killer Mountain), the world's 8th highest mountain. I believe there is a documentary on it.


These places should not be avoided at any cost. You haven't seen the beauty of this world if you haven't been here. However, I went at a time when the road to Rama Lake from the valley wasn't cemented and I have heard that it has been done so now. This only has left me worried, because the large influx of the tourists will destroy the place. 

When I went, I vividly remember the long walk through rock and snow, to reach this untouched lake, so virgin in its beauty. There wasn't any trash lying around as there is in many tourist lakes such as Saif-ul-Malook. The only person I saw was a Pakhtun, saying his prayers on a piece of rock. It was a divine moment, watching the lake, so calm and still and clear. I wanted to stare at it forever. The PTDC Motel at Rama is also one if not the best PTDC Motel in Pakistan. It has standards as high as the Serena, and yet the rates are so nominal that you will be pleasantly surprised.


SIGHTS TO SEE:
  • Lakes on the way to Rama Lake 
  • Rama Lake- exquisitely serene. 
  • Nanga Parbat 
  • Small villages- observing the simple people is interesting since they are so happy with even the barest of necessities 

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