Skardu is a beautiful city located in Gilgit-Baltistan, Pakistan, towards the extreme north of the country. With a population of 214,818 residents, Skardu is one of the top tourism spots when traveling up north. The population is diverse in both ethnicity and language, with Balti, Shina, Wakhi, Burushaski, Khowar, Domaki, and Urdu being spoken. Different religions are also accepted and practiced in Skardu, including Nurbakhshi Shiism (39%), Sufism, Sunni Islam (30%), and Ismaili Islam (24%).
Skardu Fort is one of the most popular tourist attractions due to its historic presence. The fort contains a mosque dating back to the 16th century CE. Skardu is the ideal spot to visit from April to October, before the cold winter weather (-12°C) freezes over the landscapes of Lake Kachura, Buddha Rock, and the Mantokha Waterfall. Skardu’s temperature rises from a cold 5°C to 13°C in the month of March to between 10°C and 22°C in August.
Skardu is also a great base for exploring the nearby Deosai National Park, a high-altitude plain (plateau) that is home to populations of wild bears. Deosai Plains are situated at an average elevation of 4,114 meters (13,497 ft) above sea level and are considered as the second highest plateau in the world.