Turquoise waters of Phandar of Ghizer Valley Gilgit Baltistan

phandar gilgit

Phandar Gahkuch of Ghizer Valley are right on the Shandur – Gilgit road.

Information on Phandar Gahkuch Ghizer Valley

Ghizer Valley is a name used for Ghizer District which is the western most district of Gilgit Baltistan.

  • The western side of Ghizer district has Phandar, Gupis Yasin Valleys
  • The Eastern side of Ghizer District has Ishkoman and Puniyal Valleys.

All these places are nature’s wonderland.

But you cannot see them all in on go.

phander valley


Phandar Gahkuch of Ghizer Towns

These towns are so mesmerizing that anyone driving through would be forced to stop just to take in their natural untouched beauty.

Route to Phandar Gahkuch Ghizer Valley

There are two routes that take you to Ghizer Valley

  • The Chitral Shandur Ghizer Valley Route
  • The Babusar- Gilgit – Gahkuch-Ghizer route

The route I took from Chitral to Gilgit, driving over Shandur. Locations of Phandar, Gahkuch and Gilgit are shown on the map.

Ghizer Valley Distance and time from Islamabad

Ghizer is 600 km from Islamabad and it takes 14 hours to get there, if Babusar Top is open and there is no traffic jam on the way.

Gigit to Ghizer Distance

Gilgit to Ghizer distance is 115 km

Hunza to Phandar 

It is  7 hours and 265 Kms to go from Hunza Valley to Phandar in Ghizer of Gilgit Baltistan

Can we get to Ghizer Valley from Islamabad in one day?

Yes, you can but it is extremely tiring and dangerous to force a 15 hours drive on yourself and your family.


Leave for Phandar Gahkuch Ghizer Valley early in the morning to avoid traffic

Ghizer Valley route Map

The road map of Phandar Gahkuch and Ghizer through Gilgit is pasted below.

Chitral to Gilgit route map


The valleys branching out Northwards are Phandar, Gupis, Ghizer, Ishkoman etc

How I came across Phandar Gahkuch Ghizer?

Any avid traveler will tell you these valleys are a must see.


Recommended Hotels Islamabad to Ghizer Valley Trip

  • Duroyo Hotel Gilgit overnight 0341 7854770 / 0355 4382911
  • Green Palace Ghakuch 0349 8235464
  • Blossom Inn Resort Gupis (058144) 55131 / 923465466404
  • Fort hotel Yasin 0311 0466911

Things to see Phandar Gahkuch Ghizer Valley Trip

  • Hanuchal Lake Sherqilla Ghizer
  • Visit Valleys along the way for sight seeing
  • Tourist Garden Hopper
  • Trek to Hopper Waterfall
  • Phandar lake / Khalti Lake / Langer Top
  • Shandur Top
  • Sight seeing Yasin Valley
  • Historical sites of Yasin Valley
  • Shopping at Gilgit for Salageet and Qehwa leaves

Descent from Shandur Top to Phandar Gahkuch Ghizer

After descending a few hours from Shandur top, we entered the beautiful Ghizer District. Clear Blue River flows along the metaled road. The road on the GB side is metaled, but not before that. From what I have heard, Chitral-Shandur road is also approved to be metaled soon.


Ghizer district is difficult to reach for casual tourists and therefore, is still preserved in its pristine form. The roads are less traveled, the air is fresher and overall it is very quiet. Just a drive on this road can make you forget your worries for a while, as you can’t help but appreciating God’s creation.


Arrival at Phandar Ghizer

In our second hour of descent from Shandur Top, the mountains suddenly opened up to reveal a tortoise river lake right beside the road. This turquoise water is called the Phandar lake, I was told. We drove on for ten minutes and the beauty kept getting better with a wooden bridge over the lake with duck floating across. Green trees lined the road and the settlements on another side of the lake.


Then came a few guesthouses and ‘yak’ grazing in the field. I stopped to check from the ever-so-friendly people of the town and they said this is Phandar. We stopped there, walked across the bridge, and tried to book a night at the local PTDC hotel. The charges are Rs 4000 per night, in the off season.

Phandar was a farming town with lush green fields fed by melting snow from the surrounding mountains. It felt like a piece from heaven. Absolutely quiet and peaceful! Even the ducks in the lake were quiet, except for the cyclist who was using one as a horn, by squeezing its abdomen.


Phandar Ghizer Hotels

PTDC motel overlooks another clean pond, but it doesn’t have trees around it. The mobile network was available and the town had all provisions for boarding and lodging.


Local guides, for a nominal fee, can arrange for trout fishing on the lake.

The trouts here are the real thing, with red dots on their sides, unlike the farm variety with dark dots.

The trouts of Ghizer Valley

A desi, boiled trout explodes like a grenade inside, as soon as it is consumed, so be careful. Boat ride with wooden oars is relaxing and you can see the snow-clad mountains reflecting off the water surface. The other side of Phandar across the river is the place to stay.


It is a lot more beautiful as well. Everything shuts down at sunset, so get your rooms before that. People offer their houses as guest rooms as well. This makes it a lot cheaper, but then you don’t have bedsheets and warm water of your choice. Shandur top to Phandar is 2 hours and then on to Gilgit is 6 hours more. Either way, the journey is unbelievable.


Arrival at Gahkuch Ghizer

Half an hour short of Gilgit is another valley opening, called Gahkuch town. It’s traditionally a hunting ground as the river spreads open and slows down on the bed below. This allows migrating birds to settle down here, hidden in the vegetation and trees. Visitors can get a breathtaking perch view of the inlet and outlet of the valley and the vegetation below from the roadside.

Actually, Gahkuch is a lot more beautiful than Gilgit itself and it’s just half an hour away. It also has a decent hotel there.


Weather at Phandar Gahkuch Ghizer

The weather and temperature at Phandar Gahkuch Ghizer district are always on the cooler side, and very cold in winters.

Also see,

Some trivia on Phandar Gahkuch Ghizer Valley

The government of Pakistan and WAPDA has proposed to build an 80MW hydropower station at Phandar jheel Ghizer and has proposed it to China Pak Economic Corridor.

This Phandar valley has nothing to do with the twisting Phandar wood tree and Phandar musical instrument they make with the wood.

Phandar is also spelled as phander. The Gahkooch postcode is 15200. Civil Aviation plans to build Gahkuch airport for some reason.


Phantom drone and X Pander Mitsubishi

I tried to take my X pander SUV to Phandar deep inside the town to get better shots through my Phantom 3 Drone but had to face problems over the deep mud on the road.


Phandar is not for people who just want to touch and go from the place. This is a town to be savored for at least 7 days, relaxing and enjoying the peaceful environment.

Similar Posts

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *