Khaplu Valley – The Land of Glaciers and Mountains [GUIDE BY LOCALS]

Khaplu also known as Khapalu, is the capital of District Ghanche. It is located in the Gilgit Baltistan, the Northern area of Pakistan. “Shyok Valley” and “Little Tibet” are also names of Khaplu. This beautiful valley is located in Baltistan and a distance of 103 KM towards the East of Skardu Baltistan. This valley is the main point to explore beautiful, lakes, trails, valleys, viewpoints, old Mosques, and Khanqaas.

Some beautiful and famous tourist points are Khaplu Palace, Chaqchan Mosque, Khaplu Broq, Khaplu Palace, Ehli Broq, Khaplu Hanjor, Thoqsikhar Viewpoint, Khaplu Khanqah, Ghanche Lake, Daholi Lake, Khaplu Kaldaq, Mashabrum View Point, Shyok River, and many more.

History of Khaplu

According to history, Ameer Kabeer Syed Ali Haamdani arrived in Khaplu in 1370. He was the very first person who taught Islam to Local peoples and converted them from Buddhism to Islam. He built many Khanqahs and mosques in the Baltistan region. Today many Mosques and Khanqahs still exist in this region.

The first person from Europe, who came to Khaplu was Captain Claude Martin Wade. Alexander Cunningham wrote a book on a brief geographical description of Khaplu. He did not visit Baltistan. Thomas Thomson visited these places in 1847 and briefly described this remarkable beauty. Jane Duncan also visited Khaplu in 1904 and stayed many weeks in this beautiful place.

Before the independence in 1947, the royal family famous as the ‘Raja/Yabgo Family’ was the ruler of Khaplu Baltistan. Many rulers ruled this valley and many times the attackers attacked Khaplu, that’s why The Rulers changed continuously. Yabgo Family was the only ruler who ruled this valley for a long time.

After the partition in 1947, this valley is a part of Pakistan, but India also claims that Gilgit Baltistan is a part of India. That’s why this beautiful valley has no constitutional right from Pakistan.

Tourism in Khaplu Valley

Today Khaplu is famous for its old places and tourist points. It is one of the most tourist points in Gilgit Baltistan. Thousands of tourists from all over Pakistan and the World visit this valley every year. Many people come with their families and use this place to enjoy the vacations.

Top Tourist Attractions of Khaplu

It is one of the most beautiful valleys in Baltistan. There are many tourist points in Khaplu Baltistan. We will tell you about some famous tourist points of Khaplu Valley.

  • Raja Palace (Khaplu Khar)
  • Khaplu Khanqah
  • Chaqchan Mosque
  • Khaplu Broq
  • Ehlie Broq
  • Kaldaq
  • Khaplu Thang
  • Ghanche Lake
  • Daholi Lake
  • Thoqsikhar View Point
  • Shahi Polo Ground

1. Khaplu Palace (Khaplu Khar)

Khaplu Palace locally known as Khaplu Khar is one of the most famous and most beautiful tourist points of Khaplu Valley. This beautiful palace was built in 1840 by the local Raja. Today this place is run by Serena Hotels. There is a beautiful museum inside the palace which is a point of local culture. Many tourists from all over the world visit this amazing architecture every year.

2. Khaplu Khanqah

Khaplu Khanqah is located in KHaplu Bala District Ghanche in Gilgit Baltistan province of Pakistan. This is one of the largest Khanqahs in the Northern region of Pakistan. Khanqah e Mualla Noorbakhshia was built by a Sufi Master 400 years ago with mud and wood. This is the main tourist spot and one of the oldest in this valley. The re-construction of this mosque is completed and you can visit this mosque in Khaplu.

3. Chaqchan Mosque Khaplu

Chaqchan Mosque is located in the muhalla of Khaplu Chaqchan in the headquarters of District Ghanche. This is also one of the oldest architectures of the Baltistan Valley. This Mosque was built in 1370 when the people of this valley converted from Buddhism to Islam. When the local raja of this valley converted to Islam he permitted to build a mosque near his palace. Today people use this Mosque to worship Allah. The Government of Pakistan is considered a heritage site of Pakistan.

4. Khaplu Broq

Khaplu Broq is located on a 1-hour trek from the city. You can also go to this place with your vehicle including a bike or any other vehicle. This is the best place for camping and you can go with your tents. There is only a single Guest House, most of the tourists visit during the day and return to Khaplu city to stay at night. You can get peace of mind here with the tall and beautiful mountains around you and some beautiful green scenery and the noise of water.

5. Ehlie Broq

Ehlie Broq is the next destination from Broq. There is a single to go to this amazing tourist point. There a lots of green fields so the people of Khaplu Valley grow potatoes, wheat, and other daily necessities. This is also the best camping site for visitors. There is a way to Surmo Broq from Ehlie Broq.

6. Ghanche Lake

Ghanche Lake is one of the most beautiful lakes in Pakistan and a hidden lake in the eyes of tourists. A road from Yabgo Palace and the muhallas of Hippi, Gharbuchung, and Ghareebpi go towards this lake. This is the most beautiful and amazing trek in the world. If you wanna visit this lake you need to stay a night in Hippi Khalas and start your journey from the Hippi Khalas in the early morning. You can visit this lake only in summer because the temperature goes to -50 in winter so it is impossible to visit this lake in winter. You need to hire a local guide or a local person who holds your bags or your luggage for this purpose. I suggest you hire a local guide from the muhalla of Hippi and Gharbuchung because they know every path of this lake.

Hotels in Khaplu

Khaplu is a main tourist point. There are thousands of tourists visit this valley every year. So there are many Hotels and Guest Rooms in Khaplu, that help tourist to enjoy their vacations. Here is a list of some beautiful Hotels in Khaplu Valley.

  1. Serena Hotel Khaplu
  2. Royal Cottage
  3. K7 Hotel
  4. Karakoram Lodge
  5. High Cliff Guest House
  6. North Palace
  7. Gayari Resort
  8. Mashabrum Hotel Khaplu
  9. Tourist Home Khaplu
  10. Khaplu Guest House

Restaurants in Khaplu

Many Restaurants in this valley serve delicious foods including desi foods, Pakistani foods, Chinese, Thai, and fast foods. Some beautiful Restaurants are 1. Serena Hotel 2. Ghanche Shinwari 3. Ghanche Street Food 4. Royal Cafe 5. Khaplu Inn Hotel 6. Mashabrum Hotel etc. Visit these hotels to make your trip beautiful.

When to Visit Khaplu

Tourists can visit Khaplu in any season, but the best seasons to visit this beautiful valley are spring, summer, and autumn. The beautiful view of autumn can’t be imagined because the colors of the trees turned yellow, red, and brown. In the spring blossom, the trees of apple, apricot, and cherry trees bloom. We can’t imagine the summer season when the whole valley turns green and looks like paradise.

Architecture in Khaplu Baltistan

Khaplu Valley is famous for its old heritage and buildings. Chaqchan Mosque Khaplu is the oldest Mosque in this valley. The great Khanqah was built in 1712 AD and is the second most important religious monument of this beautiful valley. Raja Palace Khaplu (Khaplu Khar) is the most beautiful and the last building of Tibetian Style Khar in Pakistan.

How To Reach in Khaplu Valley?

Tourists can visit this valley by road. Khaplu is located on a 3-hour drive from Skardu. There is only a single link road from Skardu. Some other roads are linked to Ladakh (Indian city), Kashmir, and Yarqand.
All weather is linked Khaplu to Drass, a city in India but it’s closed now. There are some helipads in this valley.

Additional Information About Khaplu

Elevation8,500 ft (2,600 m)
ProvinceGilgit Baltistan
Time zoneUTC+5 (PST)
Khaplu Gilgit Baltistan

Education in Khaplu

Education is a key role in any country. The Importance of Education is known by everyone all over the world. People of Khaplu also know about the importance of Education. There are hundreds of Primary schools in this valley. There are two high schools and a degree college providing education facilities in Khaplu. High School Khaplu, High School Khaplu Bala, and Degree College Khaplu. Nowadays more than fifty private schools are working and some of these schools are the positions held in the Board examination. Some private schools’ names are Uswa Public School, Khaplu Public School and College, The Real School, Five Star Public School, and Anwarul Mustafa Public School, etc.

Polo in Khaplu

Polo is the national game of Gilgit Baltistan and it is also played in Khaplu Valley. Shahi Polo Ground Khaplu Dinis is the only Polo stadium in this valley. In Khaplu Valley polo is the most famous game and it is played while sitting on a horse with a stick in the hand called Bentha in the local Balti Language. No foul in this game. That’s why this is called a freestyle Polo. There are 6 players in every team with two halves. If a team scores 9 goals in the first half then they will considered as the winner of that match.

Jashan e Ghanche is the annual cultural and sports festival of this valley. Teams from all districts of Gilgit Baltistan participated in this event and competed with each other. Some other Polo tournaments are the Jashan e Azadi Cup, the Jashan e Baharan Tournament, the Noroz Day Cup, the Pakistan Day Polo Tournament, etc.

The Jashan e Ghanche

The Jashan e Ghanche is the annual Sports and Cultural event of Khaplu Valley. This event takes place in summer every year. Tourists from all around the world have come to enjoy this beautiful event. There are many games and cultural exhibitions at this event. This is one of the oldest events in this region. Many sports are played in this event including Polo, Cricket, Football, Volleyball, etc. The final ceremony of this event was held at Shahi Polo Ground.

Sports in Khaplu

Polo is the most popular game in District Ghanche as well as in Khaplu. Football is the second most played sport in this valley. Many football players from Khaplu played in big teams in Gilgit Baltistan. Cricket, Volleyball, Tyaku Poloetc are the other games of this valley.

Tyaku Polo is also the oldest game in Baltistan like Polo. It has the same rules as Polo, but the main difference is that Polo is played sitting on a horse but Tyaku Polo is played without a horse. Cricket is also one of the most popular games. There is an annual cricket tournament at Saling Cricket Stadium, in which more than sixty teams from Gilgit Baltistan participate. This is the biggest cricket tournament in Gilgit Baltistan.

In summer, the people of Khaplu Valley play different games but in winter they play only Cricket Volleyball, and other local games.

Foods of Khaplu Valley

Khaplu has a history of famous foods. Some famous traditional foods are

  1. Prapoo
  2. Balay (There are many types of Balay such as Kroo Balay, Traspi Balay, Chaa Balay, etc)
  3. Marzan
  4. Azoq
  5. Zerchung
  6. Kisir
  7. Bengyas
  8. Mamtu
  9. Khurbaa
  10. Rxap Khoor etc.

Language of Khaplu Baltistan

Balti is the main language of this entire Baltistan Region. People of Khaplu Valley also speak the Balti Language. This is the tourist point of Baltistan so some people who work as tour guides also speak English. The people also speak the Urdu language.

Mobile Networks in Khaplu

Khaplu Valley is the center point of District Ghanche. All mobile networks provide their services in Khaplu Valley. Special Communication Organization (SCOM) provides 4G services. Other mobile networks including Zong, Telenor, Jazz, and Ufone have their franchise and provide services.

Transport in Khapu

You can reach Khaplu from Skardu by road. Local Buses and Vans provide the facility of Transport from Skardu to Khaplu daily services. You can also book a car or taxi. Daily taxi services also run. In Center Khaplu the facilities of transport are very good and you can find a taxi from any muhalla in this valley.


Khaplu is a palace of Muslims, and the ratio of Muslims is 100%. More than 90% are Noorbakhshia (Sofia and Imamia), and the other 6 to 10% of the population are from different sects including Shia Asna Ashri, Ahle Sunnat, and Ahle Hadith.