The Karakoram Highway Skardu

The Karakoram Highway Pakistan

The Karakoram Highway (KKH), also known as the Friendship Highway of Pakistan-China, is one of the highest international roads in the world that connects the region of Xinjiang in China and Gilgit–Baltistan in Pakistan, at a height of 15,397 ft.

Because of its magnificent views and as it was constructed under difficult circumstances, it is generally referred as ‘The Eighth Wonder of the World’. The valiant Chinese and Pakistani road builders took around 20 years to complete 805 miles long highway. It is built at an elevation of 15,397 feet upon the Karakoram mountain range with a total length of 1,300 km. The part of highway forms a part of The Asian Highway AH4.

The highway starts from Havelian near Abbottabad and crosses many attractive spots which include Mansehra, Besham, Chils, Thakot , Hunza  and Gilgit Baltistan. N-35 which is now a part of KKH starting from Hassanabdal. The highway passes near the Indus River at Thakot and goes along the river till Jaglot, where the River of Gilgit joins the Indus River. At this place the Himalaya, the Hindukush, and the Karakoram mountain ranges meet. 

Nanga Parbat which is the ninth highest peak of the world can also be seen from this highway. The highway crosses Gilgit and passes from the valleys of Hunza and Nagar, providing splendid views of River Hunza. 

Although very few foreign tourists visit Pakistan but in the past few years the highway has become a tourist destination for both local and foreign tourist. The Guardian ranked KKH as the ‘3rd best tourist destination’ in Pakistan in 2006. The road provides easy access to high-peaked mountains, glaciers, and magnificent lakes of this area. 

There are almost 50,000 rock pieces carved with art and petroglyphs along the highway between the areas of Hunza and Shatial. The carvings are believed to be done by the traders, invaders, and pilgrims who had passed through the route and are believed to date back to 5000-1000 BC with pictures of triangular men, animals and hunting scenes.

The Karakoram Highway offers access to expeditions to majority of the peaks of  Kashmir, Gilgit–Baltistan and other peaks of Xinjiang in China. This area has been blessed some of the world's largest glaciers like Baltoro Glacier. Many glaciers like Minapin Glacier, Passu Glacier and Ghulkin Glacier can be seen while travelling on this road. Some prominent mountains like Nanga Parbat, Rakaposhi, and Diran can be seen while travelling on the highway. One must visit this valley, atleast once in his life time to witness the wonders.

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