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Katpna cold Desert ,skardu ,gilgit baltistan
Katpana Cold Desert/Credits: Jaam Saqi



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

Katpana Desert:

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.


Katpana/Credits: Jaam Saqi

Means of Travelling:
By Air:

Skardu is connected to Islamabad via Pakistan International Airlines. The flights are regular; however it is possible only on a clear day.

By Road:

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.

Sand Dunes Katpana

Sand Dunes of Katpana/Credits: Jaam Saqi

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

Indus Hotel

Karakorum Hotel Main Bazar

Hotel & Restaurant Dewan-E-Khas

Shangrila Resort

Shigar Fort Residence

K-2 Motel is a PTDC Motel in Skardu

ٓAuthor: Fehmeeda Farid Khan

About Fehmeeda Farid Khan

A freelancer, blogger, content writer, translator, tour consultant, proofreader, environmentalist, social mobilizer, poetess and novelist. As a physically challenged person, she extends advocacy on disability related issues. She's masters in Economics and Linguistics along with B.Ed.


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