Pakistan has the densest, concentration of high mountains in the world, five peaks over 8000 meters and 101 peaks over 7000 meters within a radius of 180 kilometers. Our jeep safaris in the northern areas cut through the karakoram, Hindu Kush and western Himalayas. Here flows one of the world’s mightiest rivers the “Indus”. The Indus it self is 3200 kilometers long, the third longest river in Asia after the Yangzi and Yellow rivers. Rising in Tibet, it passes through Ladakh in northern India and enters Pakistan flowing northwest wards. The Indus separates the Himalaya and karakoram ranges, plunging through some of the world’s deepest gorges as it twists between the mountains until it finally finds an exit south to the plains of the Punjab and Sindh. Our journeys entail visits to sites as old as the Indus Valley civilization almost 5000 years old.
Baltistan is undoubtedly the birth center of “polo”. “The game of kings and the king of games” is played here even today in its original form. This royal sport is indigenous to the karakoram range. It was Ali Sher Khan Anchan the Maqpon ruler of Baltistan who introduced this game to other valleys upon his conquests that stretched far beyond his territory to Gillgit and Chitral. The town of Skardu is the gateway to mighty karakorams, where lie the giants K-2, Broad Peak, Gasherbrum I & II.
In Chitral our prime attractions are the “Kalash” valleys the home of the non-Muslims Kafir Kalash (Black Infidels). The Chitrali Kafir Kalash still follow their own religion, a mixture of animism and ancestor and fire worship and have retained some of there original culture. They make offerings to several gods, each god protecting a different aspect of daily life; Surisan protects cattle, Goishedoi tends milk products, Praba looks after the fruit, Sajior, the highest god, is in charge of everything.