Shangrila Lake or Lower Kachura Lake is a part of the Shangrila resort located at a drive of about 20 minutes from Skardu (nearly 2,500 m or 8,200 feet) town.
It is a popular tourist destination, and has a unique restaurant that is built on the fuselage of an aircraftthat had crashed nearby.
Shangrila was established in 1983 with the opening of the first Resort Hotel in Skardu, Baltistan. It was named “heaven on earth” because of its spectacular beauty,and breathtaking view and peaceful atmosphere. Shangrila Resort Hotel was founded by the late Brig.(Retd) Muhammad Aslam Khan, the first commander of the Northern Scouts of the Pakistan Army.
Shangrila was named after a book titled “Lost Horizon” by James Hilton. In the novel, the author narrates a tale in which an aeroplane crash landed near a riverbed, in the early 1920’s. The surviving passengers came across some Buddhist monks from a nearby temple and sought their help. They were taken to a beautiful lamasery filled with a variety of fruits and flowers. The monks looked quite young, although they claimed to be hundreds of years old. The idyllic place was called Shangri-la, a Tibetan word meaning “Heaven on earth“.
How to reach?
Pakistan International Airlines flies daily from Islamabad. However, since the pilots fly on mere sight (no computer navigation), the flight only goes on clear days. During the flight it’s possible to catch a glimpse of Nanga Parbat (the 9th highest mountain in the world) and K2 (the 2nd highest mountain in the world.The air journey is full of thrills and could itself be regarded as the highlight of the visit. After following the same air route, which connects Gilgit to Islamabad/Rawalpindi, the plane turns right and flies over the gorge of the Indus River.
Skardu can be reached by bus from Islamabad. The drive takes you all the way over the KKH (Karakoram Highway).
Since the KKH is still under construction and the Skardu road still has to be repaired, the road can take up to 36 hours by public transport (cost approx. 1500 Rupees).
It’s also possible to get to Skardu from Gilgit. Though it’s less than 200km the journey will take you close to 8 hours (by public transportation.
Most places in Skardu town are within a 30 minute walk. However it’s pretty easy to get a taxi or hire a driver for trips that will take you outside of the town.
- Karakoram Inn, Hotel & Resturant, skardu. S.R. D.R. Tel: (92-0575)55438
- Concordia – II, Near K-2 Motel, skardu. S.R. D.R. Tel: (92-058154)52515
- Hunza Inn, Naya Bazar, Skardu. Room Rs. 200/- Tel: (92-0575) 2570 Meal: Rs. 60/-
- Baltistan Tourist Cottage, Chowk Yadgar, Skardu. Room: Rs. 150/- to 200/- Tel: (92-0575) 2707
- Baltoro Rest House, Satellite Town, Skardu. Rooms: Rs. 200/-, Tel: (92-0575) 2443 (for government servants)
- Northern Areas PWD Rest House, Hamid Garh, Skardu. VIP Rooms = 07 – Rs. 2500/-, Tel: (92-0575) 2405 (for government servants)
- Yak N Yurt Sarai, Satellite Town, Skardu. Tel: (92-0575) 2856
- Skardu Inn, in the main Bazaar
- Indus Hotel
- Karakuram Hotel in the main bazar
- Hotel & Restaurant Dewan-E-Khas, is the only hotel that is open year round. Rooms feature western bathrooms (some with bathtub), 24 hour hot water, TV and Wireless internet.
ph.+92 5815 455494 Mob.+92 3009091494
- Shangrila resort  is the most popular resort of the country.
- Shigar Fort Residence  recently restored by Aga Khan trust is a must see. Rooms start at 8,000 Pakistan Ruppees (about $100).
- K2 Motel is a PTDC motel in Skardu