Katpana happens to fall in Skardu which is a town and also the capital of Skardu District, in Gilgit-Baltistan. Skardu is a 10 kilometres (6 miles) wide and 40 kilometres (25 miles) long valley, at the confluence of the Indus and the Shigar Rivers. Skardu is at an altitude of about 2,226 metres (7,303 feet). The town is surrounded by grayish-brown mountains. The famous Katpna desert lies in the suburbs of Skardu
There are sand deserts in Skardu and Shigar valleys, on the banks of Indus and Shigar rivers. Katpana Desert stretches from the Khaplu valley to Nubra, Ladakh and Shigar, Skardu valley to Zanskar in Indian Occupied Kashmir. The largest area of Katpana Desert is found in Skardu and Shigar valleys. It is called Biana Naqpo and Katpana Biana, in local language.
Katpana Desert is located near Skardu city while Shigar Desert is located on the way to Shigar valley. Katpana Desert is situated at an elevation of 2,226 metres above sea level. This is one of the most beautiful tourist attractions of Northern Areas in Pakistan. It is called Cold Desert of Skardu. Its mesmerising cold nights and magnificent sandy view makes it a majestic place to visit. There are large sand dunes in Katpana Desert which gives a spectacular look. It is located at an elevation of more than 7,303 feet. It is one of the highest deserts in the world.
Means of Travelling:
Skardu is connected to Islamabad via Pakistan International Airlines. The flights are regular; however it is possible only on a clear day.
There are four routes to Skardu from Islamabad:
Islamabad > Mansehra > Basham > Dasu > Chilas > Jaglot > Skardu
Islamabad > Mansehra > Basham > Dasu > Chilas> Deosai > Skardu
Islamabad > Mansehra > Balakot > Naran > Babusar Top > Chilas > Jaglot > Skardu
Islamabad > Mansehra > Balakot > Naran > Babusar Top > Chilas > Deosai > Skardu
It is also possible to reach Skardu from Gilgit which is a 256 kilometres long route.
Hotels and Resorts:
Tourists can get an easy access to the accommodation facilities here in Skardu. Hotels, Motels and Restaurants provide all the modern amenities and comforts to the tourists. Some places to stay are as follows:
Hotel One Skardu
Karakorum Inn Hotel & Restaurant Skardu
Concordia II, Near K-2 Motel, Skardu
Hunza Inn, Naya Bazar, Skardu
Baltistan Tourist Cottage, Chowk Yadgar, Skardu
Baltoro Rest House, Satellite Town, Skardu
Northern Areas PWD Rest House, Hamid Garh, Skardu
Yak N Yurt Sarai, Satellite Town, Skardu
Skardu Inn, Main Bazar, Skardu
Karakorum Hotel Main Bazar
Hotel & Restaurant Dewan-E-Khas
Shigar Fort Residence
K-2 Motel is a PTDC Motel in Skardu
ٓAuthor: Fehmeeda Farid Khan