Map of the Northern Areas of Pakistan, showing the six districts and tehsil boundaries
|• Total||5,092 km2 (1,966 sq mi)|
|Time zone||PST (UTC+5)|
|Number of Tehsils||2|
Astore is one of the six districts of the Gilgit Baltistan, Pakistan. The district contains the Astore Valley and is bounded to the west by Diamer District (from which is was separated in 2004), to the north by Gilgit District, to the east by Skardu District and to the south by Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa and Neelum District of Azad Kashmir. According to the 1998 census of Pakistan the population was 71,666.
The Astore valley has an area of 5,092 km² and an altitude of 2600m.
Astore is connected to Gilgit which is well connected by air with Islamabad(weather dependent) and by road with Islamabad/Rawalpindi, Skardu and Chitral. You can take a flight to Gilgit from the capital of the country and drive to Astore from Gilgit on metalled road.
According to the Imperial Gazetteer of India, around 1600:
|“||Ghāzī Mukhpun, a Persian adventurer, is said to have married a princess of the Skārdu reigning family. The four sons born of this union became Rās of Skārdu, Astor, Rondu, and Kharmang respectively, and from them are descended the families of the present chiefs of those places. Afzal, Guada,Chilma respectively was sons of Astor.They was live in Juttay,Ganda gam(Arzal abad),Gudai(Guada abad) ,Chilm(Chilma abad) respectively.The independence of Astor ceased at the Dogra conquest.||”|
Astore valley has a moderate climate during summer. In winter it can snow up to 6 inches (15 cm) in the main valleys and up to 2–3 feet (60–90 cm) in the mountains. In Mirmalik valley it snows up to 6 feet (1.8 m) in February.
The main language spoken in the valley is Shina (also known as Tshina). Urdu, which is the National language of Pakistan, is the second most frequently spoken language.There are different dialect of Shina spoken in the region. Since Astore has a history of modest tourist traffic in the summer months, local guides and police in Tarashing or Astore may speak some English.
Villages and Valleys
There were some negative perceptions in past due to rough mode of transport but nowadays there are paved roads connecting Gilgit and Islamabad through the Karakorum Highway. Landslides and rockfall may be an issue in some areas of the Indus Valley. There is a permanent road through Gilgit as well as seasonal road access via Deosai Plateau to Skardu. Here you can obtain all types of vehicles (Jeeps, taxis, wagons, SUVs) and hire jeeps and SUVs at affordable prices. The most used vehicles are Jeeps and SUVs with a local preference for Pajeros and Landcruisers.
Places of interest
Astore lies about the massive base of Nanga Parbat, the 9th highest peak in the world. To the south of the Nanga Parbat massif lies Rama Valley, which is home to Rama Lake, with basic facilities for visitors. It has a hotel called the PTDC, constructed by the government of Pakistan. Astore valley is a unique area for tourists to visit, surrounded by the high peaks of the far western Himalaya. Nearby the two river junction the village Louze, popular for apples,apricot, cherry and other fruits especially the wild almond oil. Louze a small village with literacy rate of about 95%, the only biggest power house for electricity supply up to 1000 kW to whole district approx since 1987, nearby Louze a peaks include Nanga Parbat, Shaigiri, Rupal Peak, Chongra Peak and Laila Peak (Rupal Valley). Astore Valley ascends from the Indus River Valley near Jaglot, Pakistan. Deosai plains are the highest plateau in himalayas and are most picturesque with a bowl shapped lake, wild flowers,and a habitat of brown bear.The easiest route from Astore is via, Gorikot,(tarzay sultan abad) Gudai,Chilum and then a track leads to this area with little steep hike. Its been declared a Natural park, a special status to preserve its fora and fauna.
- 1998 Census of Pakistan
- Gilgit - Imperial Gazetteer of India, v. 12, p. 239 According to the Imperial Gazetteer, which was compiled in the first decade of the twentieth century, the marriage took place over three hundred years ago