In this post I am going to show you Sarfaranga Cold Desert in skardu, Pakistan.
In fact I ended up there on motorbike during my recent trip to Gilgit Baltistan, by the way it was fun motorbiking in Sarfaranga desert where people usually drive when Sarfaranga Desert Rally happens here.
Did you ever visit the place in Pakistan having dessert, snow and mountains under one city?
Recently I visited Sarfaranga Cold Desert, Skardu where I had a chance to explore Cold Desert.
Wonderful and mesmeric experience with sunset at the prime of sand dunes, trout and Yak for dinner, Milky Way Galaxy watching over bonfire and plenty of stories.
Paths to a number of the world’s highest mountains that include K2, K3, and Gasherbrum; all are connected through this valley.
These high mountains attract thousands of climbers from everywhere the planet each year; some have even lost their lives in efforts to summit these steep climbs.
Sarfaranga cold desert in Skardu so I wish I also share some knowledge about Skardu with you.
Famous Places of Skardu
Skardu famous places are Deosai National Park, Basho Valley, Katpana Village, Shangrila Resort, Manthal Buddha Rock Cravings, Shigar valley, Satpara Lake, Kharpocho Fort, higher Kachura Lake, Nansoq Organic Village, and Sarfaranga Cold Desert Skardu.
Skardu is in the North of Pakistan, encircled by the mighty mountains of Karakoram and Himalayas, the personification of beauty, calmness, and wilderness, Skardu is that the capital of Skardu District situated in Gilgit-Baltistan, Pakistan and is the center of trekking, trailing and climbing journeys.
The Sarfaranga desert is famous to be called the highest cold desert within the world. The desert could be a type of patch of land on and across mountains.
Cold Desert Skardu (White Sand Desert)
The lovely place of Gilgit-Baltistan at Skardu the Cold Desert, Sarfaranga Desert Skardu in Pakistan, is that the world’s highest desert that presents a spectacular sight.
There are sand dunes in Skardu around the Indus River. This white sand desert spread from the Khaplu Valley to Nubra Ladakh and Shigar Skardu valley to Zanskar, India Occupied the Kashmir region.
However, the largest desert area is found in Skardu and Shigar valley. regionally known as Biana Naqpo and Katpana Biana.
Sarfaranga Cold Desert is found close to Skardu airport whereas the Shigar desert is located on the way to Shigar valley.
It is a marvel in itself as well as strongest winds shift the dunes as quickly as nomads. At this high altitude and cold region, this desert holds strange an attraction.
Sarfaranga Cold Desert Height
If you’re looking info concerning Cold Desert or Sarfaranga Desert. I tell you this White Cold Desert is located at an elevation of 2,226 meters higher than sea level and at this high altitude (14000 feet higher than sea level) and cold region.
This is one of the foremost lovely tourist attractions of Northern Areas in Pakistan. It’s known as Cold Desert of the Skardu Region.
It’s mesmeric cold nights and luxurious sandy views make it an impressive place to visit.
There are large sand dunes in a cold desert, that present a spectacular sight. It’s situated at an elevation of over 7, 303 feet. it’s one of the highest deserts within the world.
Gilgit-Baltistan in Pakistan, the Cold Desert Skardu mentioned as Sarfaranga Desert, is that the world’s highest desert. The sand that’s white, granular and really fine is as spectacular as a result of the desert regions in any a district of the earth.
This desert holds a strange attraction. Actually, Skardu is perhaps a 10 kilometers wide, vast and forty kilometers long valley, at the confluence of the Indus and conjointly the Shigar Rivers.
Pakistan tourism is on the boom and that I powerfully believe that there’ll be a time once tourists from everywhere the planet are running into this country and enjoying the festivities, luxury, and charm that this country holds and also the welcome that it offers.
The means that of traveling to Skardu are by air and by road solely.
There’s no choice of traveling by rail.
The best thing is that Skardu airport is the nearest airport to the Katpana desert. This desert region is or so half-hour far from Skardu airport.
By road if you plan to Katpana desert, you’ll take any of the subsequent routes:
Cold Desert by Air:
Skardu is connected to Islamabad via Pakistan International Airlines. The flights are regular; but, it’s attainable only on a clear day.
Cold Desert by Road:
Skardu may be reached by road from Islamabad, via four routes:
It is additionally doable to reach Skardu from Gilgit. it’s a 256 kilometres long route.
Distance from Skardu to Sarfaranga Cold Desert
The distance from Skardu to Sarfaranga Cold Desert is 30 minutes and 12 km.
If anyone desires to travel this cold desert, pre-planning is very important since there’s plenty of uncertainty concerning the climate, however, if the planning is ideal, then I feel it can be the simplest trip of one’s life.
Skardu to Sarfaranage Cold desert can go with Jeep, Car, and Bus because the road condition is very good, the road between the desert looks really cool, I went cold desert with my bike.
This road leads to Shigar and Askoli and called to the gateway of K2.
Sarfaranga Cold Desert Skardu Temperature
A day trip may be fun too however it’s known as cold desert for a reason, gets to 28 degrees to -25 at night and also the view is simply attractive from the top, of you
Its Sarfaranga desert temperature ranges from a maximum of 27 °C and a minimum (in October) 8 °C, that more drops to below -10 °C within the December-to-January, whereas the bottom temperature that may reach -25 °C. At this high altitude and cold region, this desert holds strange an attraction.
Sarfaranga Desert Rally
Sarfaranga desert rally organized with the collaboration of the government of Gilgit-Baltistan is aiming to be even more massive.
Government of Gilgit Baltistan since the beginning and this is the third consecutive year of collaboration.
The beauty of racing on the Sarfaranga track is that it provides the combination of different terrains like Soft sand, Gravel and Water Crossing.
Its fact that after the Cholistan Desert Jeep Rally, Sarfaranga Desert Rally has become the second biggest and well-renowned motorsport event.
It is really one of the most organized rally events that draw thousands of national and international visitors to witness the intense rally on the terrain of Sarfaranga near Skardu, Gilgit Baltistan.
Sarfaranga Rally Desert 2019
Sarfaranga Rally Desert 2019 was a three-day event with many veteran rally drivers being a part of it. Overall, there will be nine categories in total; 4 stock categories, 4 prepared and 1 women category. There are more than 150 drivers participating in the Sarfaranga desert rally 2019 and Starting from 23rd of August 2019. The prize money of Rs3.5 million is up for grabs.
Sarfaranga Desert Rally 2018
Last year, Sarfaranga Desert Rally 2018 concluded on 2nd September 2018.
The three-day event was a mix of passionate rally drivers and challenging tracks, and the local competitions and festivals like Zakh Competition, Mayphang, Polo Match, Cultural Night made it even more entertaining for the visitors.
These events not only project a soft image of Pakistan but also create economic activity in the region.
This desert holds a lovely unique place in the hearts of travelers due to its high altitude and cold region.
The shooting stars and the moving galaxy spread in the sky on cold nights of Sarfaranga.
Besides Indus River crystal clear beautiful water reflects the image of colorful trees, enhancing the beauty of Sarfaranga village.
Sarfaranga Cold Desert Mobile Networks
In Sarfaranga cold desert, almost all mobile networks are working perfectly and Scom 4G and Telenor 4G are speedy available for internet surfers.
Sarfaranga Cold Desert Food
Katpana Desert Food was very delicious. We adored the steamed Trout fish and barbecued Yak meat. The employees were very helpful.
Hotels and Resorts of Skardu
Tourists will get easy accessibility to the accommodation facilities here in Skardu. Motels, Hotels, and Restaurants offer all the modern amenities and comforts to the tourists. Some places to remain are as follows:
Hotel One Skardu
Shigar Fort Residence
Karakoram hotel Main Bazar
Hunza Inn, Naya Bazar, Skardu
Skardu Inn, Main Bazar, Skardu
K-2 motel is a PTDC motel in Skardu
Concordia – II, near K-2 court, Skardu
Yak N yurt Sarai, Satellite city, Skardu
Karakoram inn hotel Skardu
Baltoro rest house, Satellite town, Skardu
Baltistan tourist cottage, Chowk Yadgar, Skardu
Northern Areas PWD rest house, Hamid Garh, Skardu
Culture and Traditions in Sarfaranga Cold Desert Skardu
The traditional cap of Gilgit Baltistan has played a significant role to define the identity of Sarfaranga cold desert people of Gilgit Baltistan.
Cultural Khoi (Cap) of Gilgit Baltistan
The cap has completely different names within the major native languages. In Shina and Khowar languages, the cap is named Khoi, in Burushaski, it’s known as Phartsun or Pharsen and in Wakhi it’s known as Sekeed.
The design of the cap is slightly totally different in Baltistan and it’s known as Nating in Balti.
The traditional cap could be a soft round toped woolen hat.
It’s created by a local artisan and is accessible in varied colors.
Whitecaps are most well-liked within the region and considered as formal local wearing.
In several areas people particularly the older generation still wear their traditional cap all the time proudly. They think about it as a symbol of honor.
The most placing feature of the cap is that the peacock plume and also the feather stuck in front or on the side of the cap.
It offers a really elegant look to the cap. it’s considered a part of the formal dress cap and utilized in the groom’s dress as well as.
Diversity of cultural heritage and festivals held in Sarfaranga Cold Desert throughout the year presents an exclusive aspect of its cultural assortment and completely different kinds of expression.
These festivals represent a variety of necessary recurring merriment, cultural events and religious festival bring worth additions to the surroundings.
Sarfaranga Entertainment Culture
The Sarfaranga folk music instruments usually utilized are Gabi (flute), duff (a circle framed drum), Suranaye(a quite flute), Ghajak (spiked fiddle) sitar, Rubab and Dadang (drum) Damal (percussion),.
In several elements of Gilgit Baltistan, a little recent flower is stuck in front and side of the cap. Flower is an image of freshness, fragrance, and livelihood. once the spring season starts typically the farmers and shepherds stuck a pine tree leave to symbolize life.
On of the custom of the many regions in Gilgit Baltistan is just too stuck cash into the cap whereas somebody is performing arts. This symbolizes the love and respect of the dancer from his friend’s relatives and fans. The dancer provides this cash to the musicians once the dance is finished.
Sarfaranga Cold Desert People
A majority of the people in White Cold Desert Katpana like better to live in a joint family, that might comprise anyplace between a bunch of 2 or a lot of, even over twenty members generally.
It is the duty of a lady to take care of her home. As such, from her very childhood, a lady kid is instructed cooking, cleanup and dishwashing by her mother and different women in her family.
The traditional organized wedding has long been an integral part of the Katpana Desert the same as Gilgit Baltistan culture as against love marriage. it’s the idea within which the parents and members of the family look for the potential bride or groom, through their acquaintances or relatives.
Sarfaranga Desert Clothing
Sarfaranga Desert clothing contains a various cultural heritage because of the geographic location, the region’s traditional dress of Gilgit Baltistan has some link to the traditional dresses of central Asia, China, Iran, and Turkey.
With the passage of time and new geographical linkage the traditional dress additionally step by step modified.
Sarfaranga Desert clothings are Trousers or Shalwar (phirwal, tumboon, Chanalay), Kameez (kurtani, peeran, Cheelo), Dopata or Shawl (phatek, cheel) and a traditional Cap
Wearing a traditional dress is a way to indicate our real appreciation for our culture and to represent human diversity.
By dressing in traditional clothing, we are able to show our interest to preserve the cultural heritage and perceive the lifestyle of our ancestors.
Sarfaranga Desert Vegetation Information (Cold Desert)
Sarfaranga Desert vegetation or Katpana Cold Desert vegetation the grasses are the foremost common. These are natural vegetation in a cold desert.
They have an inclination to grow in clumps called bunch grass. Shrubs and brush plants additionally cover the terrain, like the sagebrush common within the Great Basin.
The soil pH scale, temperature and moisture content limit the plant growth to distinctive vegetation that is why this region is floristically distinct from the encompassing areas of Skardu.
Animal Life in Sarfaranga Desert
Birds that inhabit the cold deserts primarily include hawks and eagles, though the Antarctic region is home to many species of penguins.
Sarfaranga Desert Language
Sarfaranga cold desert language was Sanskrit as a written language in 720, now in sarfaranga desert people speak Balti and Urdu language as local.
Here are few details about surrounding of Sarfaranga Cold Desert Skardu
Katpana lake itself is a lovely spot and makes certain to take appropriate and adequate provides of fuel if you’re planning to move into winter or early spring.
Katpana Lake is very near to Sarfaranga cold desert.
You feel lucky enough you would possibly be invited to board the boat by locals as that’s their way to cross the lake to into village else simply walk and don’t intrude. A walk from top-down to the lake is necessary.
Vicinity of Skardu
Skardu is ten kilometers (6 miles) wide, vast and forty kilometers (25 miles) long valley, situated at the confluence of the Indus and the Shigar Rivers.
Vicinity of Skardu The Indus river changes throughout totally different seasons; turquoise waters at the banks during winters and various shades of gray during summers. according to Tibetan myths, the Indus gushes from the mouth of a lion, that’s why it’s conjointly called ‘Sher Darya’ (Lion River).
There’s Kharpocho Fort trying down the hills, this construction is 600 years old. it had been designed by Balti ruler Ali Sher Khan Anchan.
Once thought of unconquerable, this fort is currently battling for survival against time. however even though the shambles, Kharpocho still retains its beauty.
The breathless sight of the valley from the fort on a full moon night is a view that’s hard to miss.
Sadpara Lake is often seen where a dam has been constructed now.
In moving to forward from the Skardu city Bazaar, a road leads up to the world’s highest plains, Deosai, and on the same road,
There is just one hotel standing on the bank of Sadpara Lake. half it’s been submerged in water, and everyone that continues to be now is 3 rooms.
On a full-of-the-moon night, Sadpara Lake looks very attractive.
In the mountains, sunsets earlier than within the plains, and also the afterglow remains for many minutes.
The interval between the sunset and before twilight is an experience that can’t be represented in words to somebody who hasn’t been a witness to this.
I was walking on a slender strip once a window of a close-by home opened, and a boy with green eyes and a warm smile waved at me. All my exhaustion appeared to simply melt away.
I then, created my way to the main road, crunching over fallen leaves that had lined both sides of the road.
Someplace far, elegies were being played. Autumn, silence, and elegies created a strange combination, close the valley in an exceedingly strange disappointment.
I thus wished to hear the whistle of a locomotive. Fallen leaves, elegies, and also the whistle of a locomotive, all represent one issue separation.
Is Gilgit Baltistan Safe?
More than thousands of foreigners visit Gilgit Baltistan per annum with no fears and risks. Yes, clearly it is a very safe region, also for foreigners.
Gilgit Baltistan is considered one of the safest places in Pakistan.
Yumna Warraich Thought
“I actually have always been taking risks throughout my journeys and fortunately. We have a tendency to do have a lot of responsible, hospitable, and caring people. What my expertise has always taught me during travel is to be nice and respectable and everyone will be well.”
“I actually want that my story of traveling alone inspires heaps of women travelers who shall travel to Pakistan alone and are afraid. I think the danger is simply in your mind. Being a lady, I can state this clearly that not all Pakistani people are dangerous and not all Pakistani men shall hurt you. Be nice, do well and have well.”
“It also depends on however strong, assured and well determined you’re in your thoughts, personality, and plans.”