Skardu Foudation

 skardu foundation

SKARDU

Skardu “star stone, meteorite”) is a town and capital of Skardu District, in Gilgit–Baltistan, Pakistan. Skardu is in the 10 kilometres (6 miles) wide by 40 kilometres (25 miles) long Skardu Valley, at the confluence of the Indus and the Shigar River. Skardu is at an altitude of nearly 2,500 m (8,200 ft). The town is surrounded by grey-brown coloured mountains, which hide the 8,000 metre peaks of the nearby Karakoram range. There are three lakes in the vicinity: Upper Kachura lake, Lower Kachura Lake, and Sadpara Lake.

 

History

The first mention of Skardu dates to the first half of the 16th century. Mirza Haidar (1499-1551) described in his in the forties of the 16th century wrote Tarikh-i-Rashidi Baltistan and called Askardu as one of the districts of this country. With the conquest of Kashmir in 1586 by the Mughal Emperor Akbar (1556-1605) were starting with Ali Sher Khan Anchan, the kings of Skardu mentioned as ruler of Little Tibet in the historiography of the Mughal Empire. These are, in particular, histories of Al-Badaoni, Abu’l Fazl, ‘Abdu-l Hamid Lahori, Saqi Must’ad Khan and Inayat Khan.

The first mention of Skardu in a European literary work of Frenchman François Bernier (1625-1688). Bernier was a physician and world traveler who reached India in 1659 and 1663 in the wake of the Mughal emperor Aurangzeb (1658-1707) traveled to Kashmir. In 1670, publishing his travel experiences, he describes the encounter with a King of Little Tibet — these related to Murad Khan — and mentions Eskerdou (= Skardu) as one of the places of Baltistan. After this mention of Little Tibet and Skardu through the country, Little Tibet and Skardu were quickly shot into the Asia maps produced in Europe. Skardu was first mentioned as Eskerdow the map “Indiae orientalis nec non insularum adiacentium nova descriptio” by Nicolaes Visscher II, published 1680-1700, and the first recorded Baltistan as Tibet Minor.

 

History of Baltistan

The Historical Mosque “Chaqchan Khanqah” located in Khaplu Distt. Ghanche

In the 14th century the Buddhist population of Baltistan, Kargil and some villages of Ladakh converted into Muslim as a result of preaching of Syed Ali Hamdani (714-786 al hija) – a saint and Islamic scholar of Kobravi sufi order followed by preaching of Syed Muhammad Nurbakhsh (795-859 alhijra) a disciple of Khawaja Ishaq Khatlani himself the principal successor of Syed Ali Hamdani of same Kubravi Sufi Order. Thus a Muslim society developed first time in the Northern Areas of subcontinent

 

This Muslim society apart from Quran and Sunnah follows Al-Fiqatul Akhwat consisting of legal provisions (furu) and Usool Aitaqadia consisting of principles (Usool-e-Islam) written by Syed Mohammad Nurbakhsh. Therefore they are named Sufia Nurbakshia such as Shia Jafferia and Sunni Hanifia.

 

Nurbakhshis fundamentally like Ahle Sunnat & Ahle Shia believe in God, angels, holy books, Mohammed and last day judgment with oral declaration of Kalma-e- Shahadat and practically offering of five time prayers, fasting during Ramdan, Zakattul Mall (charity of wealth) and performance of Hajj, subject to availability of resources.

 

As interpreted by Arabic Dictionary Ul-Monjid in the Alfiqatul Ahwat a middle way between Shia and Sunni teachings is shown as a Shariat-e-Islmia. Mission of Syed Muhammad Nurbakhsh as proclaimed by both Shia and Shinn School of thoughts because of their teachings as introductory page Al-Fiqatul Ahwat has been to unify all different sects of Islam, by following Shria prevailing during abeying the lifetime of Mohammed.

 

Nurbakhshis are known as peaceful, tolerable and moderates, who not only equally respect other Muslim school of thoughts but also stress upon to behave human beings lovely – In the chapter relating to Mrar-bil- Maroof wa Nahi anil Munkar Alfiqatual Ahwat the aim of Islamic pravaling is defined to be obeying God’s order and becoming kind to His creature.

 

In the Zikharatul Malook by quoting a Saying (HADITH) of Mohammed reported by Hazarat Imam Hussain the prime wisdom after accomplishment of religious duties is to love human beings and without regarding his being good or bed to do good deeds to every one.

 

Syed Ali Hamdani by quoting a Hadith of Mohammed says that those who are protectors of lives and properties of human being are Momin ( real believers) while Syed Mohammad Nurbakhsh says that a Momin ( believer) refrains himself from great sinful deeds ( Gona-e-Kabira) like Shireek, killing/ Murder, docorty theft forgery and cheatings etc.

 

Syed Ali Hamdani and Syed Muhammad Nurbakhsh are claimed by both Shia and Sunni probably because of their teachings stressing upon the Moadat-e- Ahlibeit and the need of following Sunnah of Mohammed apart fiqatual Ahwat permits different style of praying preachers agreeable to Shia and Sunni as optional.

 

Syed Ali Hamdani wrote about 170 books, pamphlets leaf lets handouts of which about 70 are traced in either published or unpublished shape. Similarly Syed Mohammad Nurbakhsh is an author of about one and half dozen books in Arabic or Persian.

 

In the Nurbakhshi Mosque called Khanqah adjacent to main praying halls small rooms are provided for the purpose solitary praying (Atikaf). These Khanqahs have been using as a central couching and preaching place by the Nurbakhshia.

 

It is said that followers of Nurabkhshis Maslak do exist in central Asia specially Tajkistan, Siangkang and Yarqand provinces of China, Turkey Kurdistan and Iran. But present day Nurbakhshis do not have any linkage with Nurabkhshis living in other parts of world out side sub-continent.

 

Barat Library Khaplu and Suffa Islamic Library Madarasa Shah-e-Hamdan Sufia Noorbakhsh can become main source for searching further detail about Nurbakhshisium.

 

Geography

Skardu is in the 10 kilometres (6 miles) wide by 40 kilometres (25 miles) long Skardu Valley, at the confluence of the Indus river (flowing from near Kailash in Tibet and through neighbouring Ladakh before reaching Baltistan) and the Shigar River. It is at an altitude of nearly 2,500 m (8,200 ft). The town is surrounded by grey-brown coloured mountains, which hide the 8,000 metre peaks of the nearby Karakoram range.

 

Tourism

Skardu, along with Gilgit, are the two major tourism, trekking and expedition hubs in Gilgit–Baltistan. The mountainous terrain of the region, including four of the world’s 14 Eight-thousander peaks (8,000 m and above), attracts the attention of tourists, trekkers and mountaineers from around the world. The main tourist season is from April to October; except this time, the area can be cut off for extended periods by the snowy, freezing winter weather.

 

Accessible from Skardu by road, the nearby Askole and Hushe are the main gateways to the snow covered 8,000 m peaks including K2, the Gasherbrums, Broad Peak, the Trango Towers, and to the huge glaciers of Baltoro, Biafo and Trango. This makes Skardu the main tourist and mountaineering base in the area, which has led to the development of a reasonably extensive tourist infrastructure including shops and hotels. However, the popularity of the region results in high prices, especially during the main trekking season.

 

Treks to the Deosai Plains, the second highest in the world at 4,114 metres (13,497 ft) above sea level, after the Chang Tang in Tibet, either start from or end at Skardu. In local Balti language, Deosai is called Byarsa, meaning ‘summer place’. With an area of approximately 3,000 square kilometres (1,158 sq mi), the plains extend all the way to Ladakh and provide habitat for snow leopards, ibex, Tibetan blue bears and wild horses.

 

Climate and geology

The climate of Skardu during the summer is moderated by its mountain setting; the intense heat of lowland Pakistan does not reach it. The mountains block out the summer monsoon, and summer rainfall is thus quite low. However, these mountains result in very severe winter weather. During the April-to-October tourist season, temperatures vary between a maximum of 27 °C (81 °F) and a minimum (in October) 8 °C (46 °F).

 

Temperatures can drop to below −10 °C (14 °F) in the December-to-January midwinter period. The lowest recorded temperature was −24.1 °C (−11 °F) on 7 January 1995.

 

The Shigar River is a tributary to the Indus River, joining at the town of Skardu. The Basha and Braldu rivers are northern tributaries of the Shigar. Numerous complex granitic pegmatites and a few alpine-cleft metamorphic deposits are found in the Shigar Valley and its tributaries. Shigar Valley contains the Main Karokoram Thrust separating the metasediments (chlorite to amphibolite grade) on the Asian plate from the southern volcanoclastic rocks of the Kohistan-Ladakh island arc.

 

Access / Transport

Skardu is accessible by two methods, road or air. The normal road route into Skardu is via the Karakorum Highway and a linkroad into the Skardu Valley from it. There are four or five other road links to Kashmir and Ladakh. Alternatively, there are normally one or two flights daily between Skardu Airport and Islamabad. The high cost of air travel means that travel via the Karakorum Highway and the link road onward to the Skardu Valley is often the preferred option of locals and tourists alike.

 

A famous all-weather road, the Kargil-Skardu road linked Skardu with Kargil, a city in Ladakh. Since the annexation of Gilgit Baltistan by Pakistan, the road has been closed. Whilst the Indian government has been interested in opening the road as a humanitarian gesture, this initiative has been refused by the Pakistani government.

 

The climate can have adverse effects on transport in and out of the Skardu Valley, as Skardu becomes snowbound during the winter months. The roads in and out of Skardu (and other Northern Areas locations) can be blocked for weeks at a time depending on conditions (though two to five days is more normal), sometimes leaving air travel as the only feasible alternative. However, air travel in winter is also subject to disruption due to the unreliable Skardu weather. Flights can occasionally be delayed by several days.

 

Satpara Dam

The Satpara Dam development project on the Satpara Lake was inaugurated in 2003. It was expected to be completed in December 2006; now the development work will be completed in December 2013. It is 6 km (4 mi) south of Skardu city and is at an altitude of 8,700 feet (2,700 m) from mean sea level. The main source of water is melting ice of the Deosai plains during the summer season. Now Satpara Dam provides drinking water to the whole city of Skardu and agricultural water to major areas of Skardu, for example Gayoul, Newrangha, Khlangranga, Shigari khurd, etc.

It is a multipurpose project, which will produce 17.36 megawatts hydro generation, irrigate 15,000 acres (61 km2) of land and provide 13 cusecis drinking water daily to Skardu city.

 

Skardu Fort (Kharphocho Fort)

Skardu Fort or Kharphocho Fort lies on the eastern face of the Khardrong or Mindoq-Khar (“Castle of Queen Mindoq”) hill 15 metres or 40 feet (12 m) above Skardu town. The fort dates from the 8th century CE and contains an old mosque probably dating back to the arrival of Islam in the 16th century CE. The fort provides a panoramic view of Skardu town, the Skardu valley and the Indus River. It was built by Rmakpon dynasty rulers of Baltistan. It was a seven-storey building. Mostly local people say that Kharpoocho is made by a ghost as they were servants of the ruler of that time.

Kharphocho (Skardu) fort was built on a design similar to that of Leh Palace and the Potala Palace in Lhasa, Tibet. The name Kharpochhe means the great fort — Khar in Tibetan means castle or fort and Chhe means great.

 

Shigar Fort

ocated on the route to the world’s second highest mountain, K-2, is Shigar Fort. It is also known as Fong-Khar, which in the local language means the “Palace on the Rock”. The complex at Shigar comprises the 400-year-old fort/palace and two more recent buildings: the “Old House” and the “Garden House”. The former palace of the Raja of Shigar has been transformed into a 20-room heritage guesthouse, with the grand audience hall serving as a museum of Balti culture and featuring select examples of fine wood-carvings, as well as other heritage objects.

 

Lakes near Skardu

 

Kachura Lakes

There are two Kachura Lakes — the less well-known Upper Kachura lake and the more famous Lower Kachura Lake, better known as Shangrila Lake. Lower Katsura Lake is home to the Shangrila Resort hotel complex (possibly the reason for the lake’s alternative name), built in a Chinese style and another popular destination for tourists in Pakistan. The resort has a unique restaurant, set up inside the fuselage of an aircraft that crashed nearby. Kachura Lake 18m from Skardu. Kachura Lake is famous for its deep blue waters. There are numerous places to visit and things to do near Kachura Lake, near Skardu in the northern area.

 

Satpara Lake

Satpara Lake is Skardu Valley’s main lake. In 2002, the government of Pakistan decided to build a dam on the Satpara Lake allocating $10 million to the project, in 2004. Progress has, however, been slow. Satpara Lake is 6 miles (9.7 km) from Skardu. Satpara Lake is one of the largest fresh water lakes in the countryside offering trout fishing and row boating. This lake is the source of Skardu’s drinking water. The dam was mostly completed in 2011 and four powerhouse units are operational; the latest started operation in June 2013

 

Askole

Askole or Askoly is a small town located in Shigar Valley, in the most remote region of the Karakoram mountains, in Northern Areas, Pakistan. It is the last settlement before the wilderness of the Karakoram. Askole is the gateway to four of the world’s fourteen highest peaks known as Eight-thousanders (above 8,000m). Askole is located at 35°41′N 75°49’E.

Expeditions to the following peaks are launched from Askole:

  • K2, 2nd highest of the world at 8611m
  • Gasherbrum I, 11th highest of the world at 8,080m.
  • Broad Peak, 12th highest of the world at 8,047m.
  • Gasherbrum II, 13th highest of the world at 8,035m.
  • Gasherbrum III, 7,946m. (Often regarded as a subpeak of Gasherbrum II.)
  • Gasherbrum IV, 17th highest of the world at 7,932m.
  • Masherbrum (K1), 22nd highest of the world at 7,821m.
  • Chogolisa, 36th highest of the world at 7,665m.
  • Muztagh Tower, 7,273m.
  • Snow Dome, 7,160m.
  • Biarchedi, 6,781m
  • Trango Towers, 6,363m, the highest cliffs of the world.
  • Mitre Peak, 6,010m.

 

Mountain peaks and glaciers

The highest peak in Skardu District is K2 (8,611 m) which is the highest peak in Pakistan and the second highest peak on earth. The Baltoro Muztagh (the subrange of Karakoram that includes the mighty peaks of K2 (8,611 m), Broad Peak (8,047 m), Gasherbrum (8,000+ m) and Masherbrum (7,821 m) lie in the Skardu District. Askole is the last settlement in the district for all treks to Concordia (the confluence of Baltoro Glacier and Godwin-Austen Glacier). The Biafo Glacier and a major part of Hispar Glacier are also included in the Skardu District.

 

Mountain passes

Hispar Pass and Gondoghoro Pass are also in the Skardu District. Skardu is a beautiful place where 99% people are Shia and few are Sunni in Skardu city. Most of people are very simple and they don’t want to take complexity in life and they often use old living life style. Manthokha

 

Deosai National Park

Deosai is one of the highest plains in the world. The district shares the territorial limits of Deosai National Park with Astore which has major portion, (second highest plains after Tibet). The Indus River enters the Gilgit–Baltistan territory from the Kashmir Valley.

 

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