Location & Contact

Stay in the Shigar Valley

Serena Shigar Fort is situated in Baltistan, Pakistan. Known as Fong-Khar, which in the local language means the “Palace on the Rock,” the hotel is located along the legendary route to K-2, the world’s second highest mountain.

Daily, one-hour PIA (Pakistan International Airlines) flights operate between Islamabad International Airport and Skardu Airport, which is a 45-minute drive from the hotel. The hotel also offers access to both private and charter helicopters via the helipad at Shigar, which is 10-minute drive away. Guests enjoy complimentary meet and greet services at both the airport and the helipad.

If you require further information or would like to book accommodations for an upcoming visit, please contact us today.



Shigar, Baltistan,

T: +92-5815-467107 or +92-5815-467108
E: reservation.ssf@serena.com.pk

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Serena Shigar Fort is situated in Baltistan, Pakistan. Known as Fong-Khar, which in the local language means the “Palace on the Rock,” the hotel is located along the legendry route to K-2, the world’s second highest mountain. Daily, one-hour PIA (Pakistan International Airlines) flights operate between Islamabad International Airport and Skardu Airport, which is a 45-minute drive from the Hotel

About Shigar

Shigar is a small peaceful village, which stands on the banks of the Shigar River in the Gilgit-Baltistan region of Pakistan. The valley in which it stands is one of only two routes leading from Skardu into the High Karakoram, and was once a separate Kingdom in its own right. Nowadays, all that remains of this kingdom is the Shigar Fort Palace, which is known locally as Fong Khar and was once the palace of the former Raja. The village also features some beautiful wooden mosques: Khlingron Mosque, which stands beside Fong Khar; the Kanqa-e-Moalla Mosque, and the 14th century Amburiqu Mosque. Shigar is also the setting for the ruins of an early Buddhist monastery and some rock inscriptions that are thought to date back to the 5th century.

About Shigar & Gilgit-Baltistan

The territory of Gilgit-Baltistan borders Afghanistan to the north, China to the northeast, the Pakistani-administered state of Azad Jammu and Kashmir (AJK) to the south, and the Indian-administered state of Jammu and Kashmir to the southeast. It is a non-self-governing territory under Pakistani control. The territory was formerly known as the Northern Areas and is the northernmost political entity within the Pakistani-controlled part of the former princely state of Jammu and Kashmir. The territory became a single administrative unit in 1970 under the name "Northern Areas" and was formed by the amalgamation of the Gilgit Agency, the Baltistan District of the Ladakh Wazarat, and the states of Hunza and Nagar. Before the independence of Pakistan and the partition of India in 1947, Maharaja Hari Singh extended his rule to Gilgit and Baltistan. After the partition, Jammu and Kashmir, in its entirety, remained an independent state. The Pakistani parts of Kashmir to the north and west of the cease-fire line established at the end of the Indo-Pakistani War of 1947, or the Line of Control as it later came to be called, were divided into the Northern Areas (72,971 km²) in the north and the Pakistani state of Azad Kashmir (13,297 km²) in the south. The name "Northern Areas" was first used by the United Nations to refer to the northern areas of Kashmir.

The region is home to some of the world's highest mountain ranges-the main ranges are the Karakoram and the western Himalayas. The Pamir mountains are to the north, and the Hindu Kush lies to the west. Amongst the highest mountains are K2 (Mount Godwin-Austen) and Nanga Parbat, the latter being one of the most feared mountains in the world. Three of the world's longest glaciers outside the polar regions are found in Gilgit-Baltistan - the Biafo Glacier, the Baltoro Glacier, and the Batura Glacier.

The climate of Gilgit-Baltistan varies from region to region, surrounding mountain ranges creates sharp variations in weather. The eastern part has a moist zone of western Himalayas but going toward Karakoram and Hindu Kush the climate dries considerably. There are towns like Gilgit and Chilas that are very hot during the day in summer, yet cold at night, and valleys like Astore, Khaplu, Yasin, Hunza, and Nagar where the temperatures are cold even in summer.

There are more than 20,000 pieces of rock art and petroglyphs all along the Karakoram Highway in Gilgit-Baltistan, concentrated at ten major sites between Hunza and Shatial. The carvings were left by various invaders, traders, and pilgrims who passed along the trade route, as well as by locals. The earliest date back to between 5000 and 1000 BCE, showing single animals, triangular men and hunting scenes in which the animals are larger than the hunters. 

Prior to 1978, Gilgit-Baltistan was cut off from Pakistan due to the harsh terrain and the lack of accessible roads. All of the roads to the south opened towards the Pakistani-controlled state of Azad Jammu and Kashmir (AKJ) and to the southeast towards the present-day Indian-controlled state of Jammu and Kashmir. During the summer, people could walk across the mountain passes to travel to Rawalpindi. The fastest way to travel, however, was by air, but air travel was accessible only to a few privileged local people and to Pakistani military and civilian officials. Then, with the assistance of the Chinese government, Pakistan began construction of the Karakoram Highway (KKH), which was completed in 1978. The Karakoram Highway (KKH) connects Islamabad to Gilgit and Skardu, which are the two major hubs for mountaineering expeditions in Gilgit-Baltistan. The journey from Islamabad to Gilgit takes approximately 20 to 24 hours. Landslides on the Karakoram Highway are very common. The KKH connects Gilgit to Taxkorgan and Kashgar in China via Sust (the customs and health inspection post on the Northern Areas side) and the Khunjerab Pass, the highest paved international border crossing in the world at 4,693 metres (15,397 feet).

The population consists of many diverse linguistic, ethnic, and religious groups, due in part to the many isolated valleys separated by some of the world's highest mountains. Urdu is the lingua franca of the region, understood by most male inhabitants. The Shina language (with several dialects) is the language of 40% of the population, spoken mainly in Gilgit, throughout Diamer, and in some parts of Ghizer. The Balti dialect, a sub-dialect of Ladakhi and part of Tibetan language group, is spoken by the entire population of Baltistan.

About Pakistan

As a tourist destination, Pakistan is probably one of the world's best kept secrets. Not only does it offer some of the highest and most spectacular mountain ranges in the world, but also it boasts the architectural glories of the Mughal empire, the drama and adventure of the Khyber Pass; and the glories of the Karakoram Highway, which travels 1300km through stunning scenery beside the Indus and Hunza rivers, and over high mountain passes into central Asia.

Although subject to undeniable security problems, Pakistan offers a number of advantages: tourism is minimal and much of the country remains undiscovered by international travellers; Pakistanis are by nature a welcoming people and meet travellers with genuine interest and enthusiasm; the ancient bazaars offer unrivalled shopping; the cuisine is one of the most multi-facetted in the world and the culture and music one of the most colourful.

Pakistan is a special interest destination. Its main attractions include adventure tourism in the Northern Areas, cultural and archaeological tourism as found in Taxila, Moenjodaro, Harrappa, and early Muslim and Mughal heritage of Multan, Lahore. For centuries, the ancient Silk Road remained the main trading route between the South and the Central Asia. After the construction of the Karakoram Highway (KKH), which joins Pakistan with the Chinese Muslim autonomous region of Xinjang, tourism on the ancient trade link has been revived. The KKH has provided a great opportunity for international travelers to explore the unspoiled natural beauty, unique culture and traditions of Northern Pakistan together with other Silk Route destinations, such as China, Kirgizstan, Tajikistan, Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan.

From the mighty stretches of the Karakoram's in the north to the vast alluvial delta of the Indus River in the south, Pakistan is a land of high adventure. Trekking, mountaineering, white water rafting, wild boar hunting, mountain and desert jeep safaris, camel and yak safaris, trout fishing and bird watching are all popular activities. The whole of Pakistan is dotted with magnificent shrines and mosques, some of the finest of which are in Lahore and souttern Punjab.

Pakistan is in the northwest part of South Asia. The eastern and southern parts of the country are dominated by the Indus River and its tributaries. Most of Pakistan's population lives along the Indus. West of the Indus the land becomes increasingly arid and mountainous. To the north the land rises to the great mountains of the Hindu Kush and Karakoram and include K2, the world's second highest mountain after Everest, at 8,611 meters (28,250 feet). The High Himalayas, Karakoram and the Hindukush ranges feature alpine meadows up to the permanent snow line. Coniferous forests and sub-mountain scrub cloak the foot hills. The vast plains of the Indus merge into the great desert, coast line and wetlands.

Pakistan is endowed with a rich and varied flora and fauna, both endemic and migratory. Pakistan's ocean-to-alpine geography supports an amazing variety of animals and plants: 188 species of mammals, 666 species of migratory and resident birds, 174 species of retiles, 16 species of amphibians and 525 species of fish. Of the approximately 5,000 wild plants, 372 are endemic.

Pakistan has 255 protected areas including 14 national parks, 99 wildlife sanctuaries and 96 game reserved equating approximately to 91,700 sq km or 10.5% of the country. The main parks are : Central Karakoram National Park, Chitral Gol National Park, Deosai Plains National Park, Khunjerab National Park and Lal Suhanra National Park.