Coordinates: 35°10′N 76°20′E / 35.167°N 76.333°E / 35.167; 76.333
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خپلو ཁཔ་ལུ།
City administered by Pakistan
Shyok valley
Khaplu is located in Gilgit Baltistan
Location in Pakistan
Khaplu is located in Pakistan
Khaplu (Pakistan)
Coordinates: 35°10′N 76°20′E / 35.167°N 76.333°E / 35.167; 76.333
Administering countryPakistan
Autonomous territoryGilgit Baltistan
Baltistan divisionGhanche
 • Deputy CommissionerAdeel Haider Baryar (PAS)
8,500 ft (2,600 m)
 • Total175,000
Time zoneUTC+5 (PST)
 • Summer (DST)UTC+6 (GMT+6)
WebsiteKhaplu Valley, Skardu

Khaplu (Urdu: خپلو, pronounced: [xəpluː]; Balti: ཁཔ་ལུ།), also spelt Khapalu,[1] is a city that serves as the administrative capital of the Ghanche District of Pakistan-administered Gilgit-Baltistan in the disputed Kashmir region.[2] Lying 103 km (64 mi) east of the city of Skardu, it was the second-largest kingdom in old Baltistan under the Yabgo dynasty. It guarded the trade route to Ladakh along the Shyok River east of its confluence with the Indus.

Khaplu is a base for trekking into the Hushe valley, which leads to the high peaks of Masherbrum, K6, K7, and Chogolisa. Khaplu has a 700-year-old mosque, Chaqchan, founded by Ameer Kabeer Syed Ali Hamadani (RA). Other tourist sites include Ehlie broq, Hanjor, ThoqsiKhar, Kaldaq, and the Shyok River.


According to tradition, Ali Hamdani arrived in Khaplu in the late 14th century and converted locals to Islam. To this day, mosques and khanqahs attributed to him exist in the region.[3]

The first mention of the former small kingdom called Khápula is in Mirza Haidar's work Tarikh-i-Rashidi, [4] which lists the Khaplu district of Balti(stan). Khaplu was also very well known in the 17th and 18th centuries due to its close political and family ties with the royal family of the neighbouring country of Ladakh.[citation needed]

The first European to visit Khaplu was probably Captain Claude Martin Wade, who mentioned "Chílú" in 1835 in an essay in the Journal of the Asiatic Society of Bengal.[citation needed] Subsequently, William Moorcroft and George Trebeck wrote in their 1841 book:[5] "Kafalun is a province west of Nobra, on the left bank of the Shayuk." Godfrey Vigne was in the area in 1835-1838, relying in particular on the local mountain fortress, commented that he was still in an intact condition[6][clarification needed]

Alexander Cunningham,[7] who did not visit Baltistan, published a brief geographical description of Khaplu and a genealogy of its rulers in 1854. Thomas Thomson travelled there in November 1847 and briefly described a place of remarkable beauty. [8] Jane Duncan reached Khaplu in 1904 and stayed there for three weeks. De Filippi, who reached Khaplu in 1913, characterized the site as follows: "It is, perhaps, the loveliest oasis in all the region."[9] Further information on Khaplu was included in a travel report by Arthur Neve.[10]


Haldi Cones
Khaplu lies at the base of the Karakoram Range.

In contrast to Skardu and Shigar, the territory of Khaplu was not focused on a single large river valley, but was instead spread over the three valleys of Shayok, namely on the territory of the present town of Khaplu, the valley of Thalle River, and the Hushe/Saltoro Valley. The area around the mouth of the river in the Thalle Shayok formed the western border of the kingdom.

Today Ganache district, whose administrative centre is located in Khaplu,[11][unreliable source?] covers Balghar and Daghoni in addition to the mouth of the Indus in Shayok. It includes the former Kingdom of Kiris as a military bulwark against incursions of the Skardu and Shigar. In Haldi, in eastern Hushe/Saltoro Tal, was another fortress.


Raja Palace is a beautiful building and the last and best Tibetan-style palace in Pakistan. Khaplu Khanqah is attributed to Mir Mukhtar Akhyar and was built in 1712 AD/1124 AH.[12]

Khaplu is the gateway to Masherbrum Peak, K-7,[13] K-6, Chogolisa for mountaineers and Gondogoro la, Gondogoro Peak, Saraksa Glacier, Gondogoro Glacier, Masherbrum Glacier, Aling Glacier, Machlu Broq, Thaely La, Daholi lake, Kharfaq Lake, Ghangche Lake and Bara Lake for trekkers. There is rafting on the Shyok River and rock climbing places like Biamari Thoqsikhar and DowoKraming (hot spring).Dongsa Rock Kuro (Dongsa view point)

Panoramic view of Khaplu


Khaplu in autumn.

The most important religious monuments in Khaplu are the great Khanqa prayer hall and the Chaqchan Mosque. The former was built in 1712 by Sayyed Mohammad, a saint of the Islamic Nūrbkahshīya sect, whose Astana grave monument is in the immediate vicinity. The Astana grave monument has been restored by the Aga Khan Trust for Culture Pakistan and thereby saved from total disintegration.


Khaplu is only approachable by road. The normal road into Khaplu is a link road from the Skardu Valley. Four or five other roads link to Kashmir, Ladakh and Yarqand.[14]

An all-weather road once linked Khaplu to Drass, a city in Ladakh. Since the joining of Gilgit Baltistan with Pakistan, the road has been closed. However, today there are a few helipads (helicopter landing pads).[citation needed]


  1. ^ Khapalu (Approved) at GEOnet Names Server, United States National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency
  2. ^ "Khaplu — off the beaten path". 27 July 2014.
  3. ^ Rieck, Andreas (1995). "The Nurbakhshis of Baltistan — Crisis and Revival of a Five Centuries Old Community". Die Welt des Islams. 35 (2): 159–188. doi:10.1163/1570060952597761. ISSN 0043-2539 – via JSTOR.
  4. ^ p. 410
  5. ^ Travels in the Himalayan Provinces of Hindustan and the Punjab in Ladakh and Kashmir in Peshawar, Kabul, Kunduz and Bokhara From 1819 to 1825 (in two volumes)Part II, p 264
  6. ^ Part 2, pp. 317f
  7. ^ p. 28ff)
  8. ^ p. 210ff
  9. ^ Khaplu — off the beaten path, by Sumaira Jajja, The Sun, July 27, 2014
  10. ^ p. 99f
  11. ^ "District Headquarter Khaplu - A historical settlement". Retrieved 9 September 2019.
  12. ^ History of Baltistan, Hassan Hasnu
  13. ^ Baltistan in History, Banat Gul Afridi
  14. ^ Baltistan aik nazar, usaf Abadi


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