deosai plains

Deosai Plains: The land of Giants Skardu

Deosai Plains are a plateau at a height of 3500–5500 meters in the Skardu Region of the Western Himalayas and close to the Karakorum Mountain Ranges of Pakistan. The flora and fauna of the area have stayed isolated from human contact and are therefore exceptionally unique.

What does deosai mean?

Deosai is an Urdu word that means “the shadow of giants.”. The local name for Deosai is Ghabiarsa, meaning “summer palace.”.

Top 5 things about Deosai Plains Astore, Skardu

This is why everyone loves Deosai Plains:

The serenity

Deosai Plains in the Skardu district of Gilgit-Baltistan, Pakistan, the land of giants, is a flat, green prairie at 14000 feet with mountains on its edges and freshwater streams flowing through it.

It feels like heaven there.

Deosai Astore Skardu
Deosai Astore Skardu

8000-meter mountain peaks

On a clear day, you can even see the 8000-meter peaks. Low-level clouds float through the landscape, leaving shadows running across the vast plain. Floats of snow are scattered all over the place at the beginning of spring.

Deosai Skardu
Deosai Skardu

The best time to visit the plains is in June when the snow melts on the jeep tracks.

Surprisingly, this park is clean.

The only available jeep track runs through ‘Chota Deosai’; the real Deosai plains are accessible on foot only.

Fresh Snow Lakes

Deosai Plains has many lakes around the park:

  • Sheosar Lake
  • Bara Pani Lake
  • Kala Pani Lake

I visited Sheosar Lake, the only one close to the jeep track. It was still partially frozen over.

deosai plains

Trout Fish in the FreshWater

Kala Pani and Bara Pani are freshwater streams that have wild trout that attract brown bears, especially after their winter slumber.

deosai plains

Hot Springs in the cold

Around Sheosar are hot springs that release steam into the early morning air, making it magical.

deosai plains

Sadpara Lake

You can also see the depleted Satpara Lake on the way back.

deosai plains

The scent of flowers

High-altitude flowers are nothing you have ever experienced. The scent they spread out spreads across mountain valleys and is so intense that you can feel the freshness reaching your brain.

deosai plains

The fresh scent of flowers and herbs greets you the minute you roll down your windows. It is very unusual for a city slicker like me who has gotten used to dusty, stinky city life. Deep breathing, yoga-style, gives you an unbelievable rush.

These flower varieties I have never seen anywhere else in Pakistan. The colorful flowers dance to the breeze blowing across the plain.

deosai plains

The wildlife

We only saw the golden marmots scrambling across the flats. I would have loved to see the

  1. Himalayan brown bear
  2. The snow leopard
  3. Foxes
  4. Wolves
  5. Ibex
  6. Markhor.

The park ranger told me these animals had left for the higher plains and the ravines to avoid the tourists. There is a plain higher than Deosai Plains itself (5500 meters). That’s a good thing for these vulnerable animals.

deosai plains

Some of the birds I saw there had bright yellow colors. The high-altitude raven had a black and white coat. All the birds were brightly colored.

I guess that is Mother Nature’s way to amplify her beauty in the small summer window available.


The good thing is that the road to Deosai Plains is accessible from Skardu as well as the Astore side. It is better to take a 4×4 Jeep from the local towns.

deosai plains

Frequently Asked Questions on Deosai Plains

People usually ask these questions:

How is the road to Deosai?

The roads leading to the Deosai Plains are well-developed. It’s only when you get into the park that the track breaks up. I would only recommend a 4×4 vehicle to traverse Chota Deosai.

deosai plains

Which route to Deosai is recommended?

there are two routes to Deosai:-

  1. From Astore – Deosai Plains – Sheosar
  2. From Skardu-Sadpara-chillum-Bara Pani Deosai side

The best route would be to start from Skardu to Deosai Bara Pani. This way, you wouldn’t be able to go across the plains to the other side, where Astore is, but still, you’d be able to get an idea about Deosai. This route would take 2 hours in the summer.

Deosai Astore Skardu Route
Deosai Astore Skardu Route

If you want to traverse the plains, then take the Astore-Deosai Plains-Sheosar route and leave early in the morning. It will take 4.5 hours to traverse Deosai national Park. This way, you can cross Deosai, see most of the lake, and also see Sadpara on the route back to Skardu

In winter, Deosai is closed to traffic because of a fear of black ice slippage, but you can theoretically drive to Bara Pani from Skardu.

deosai plains

Which hotel is recommended in Deosai?

Coming from the Sadpara Chillum side, the hotels are very basic. You might have to sleep in your car. It is a two-hour drive from Astore to Deosai Plains, on the opposite entrance of Deosai National Park. Astore is 5 hours from Chilas

If you plan to use the Skardu Deosai route, then try to get:

  • Legend Hotel Skardu
  • Mashabrum
  • Shangrila Skardu

Important Tips for Travelers to Deosai Plains

  • Hire a park ranger to take you for a bear or ibex sighting.
  • Take your tents and cooking appliances with you in case you want to camp there.
  • It gets really cold after rains, even during the summer months, so cover-up
  • The park is very clean; people take their junk with them in plastic bags.
  • The downward journey from Deosai to Skardu is very steep. Do learn to brake with gears to avoid screwing up your brakes.
  • The Astore side Deosai Plains is a lot prettier than the Skardu- Chillum side.
  • You can live on wild salmon abundantly found there but do bring your food with you just in case.

deosai plains

Is Deosai the highest plateau in the world?

No, Deosai is the second-highest in the world after Changtang, Tibet.

Weather at Deosai?

The Deosai Plains stay closed from October to July due to heavy snowfall.

Attractions near Deosai Plains in Gilgit Baltistan

There is no point in visiting the bland streets of Western countries if you haven’t visited this jewel in our backyards. you have to visit

Let me book  trip for you

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