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Khaplu

Introduction:
Khaplu is the administrative capital of the Ghanche District of Gilgit-Baltistan in Pakistan.Lying 103 km (64 mi) east of the town of Skardu, it was the second-largest kingdom in old Baltistan of Yabgo dynasty. It guarded the trade route to Ladakh along the Shyok River.

Khaplu Valley is 103 kilometres (64 miles) from Skardu and two hours by jeep. It is a sprawling village located at the confluence of the Indus and the Shyok Rivers in Pakistan.

Skardu is a base for trekking into the Hushe valley which leads to Masherbrum mountains. Many famous mountains, such as Masherbrum, K-6, K-7, Sherpi Kangh, Sia Kangri, Saltoro Kangri and Siachen etc. are located there.

The first mention of the former small kingdom called Khápula is in Mirza Haidar’s (1499–1551) famous work Tarikh-i-Rashidi (p. 410). The author lists Khaplu district of Balti (stan). Khaplu was also due to close political and family ties with the royal family of Ladakh, in this neighboring country in the 17th and 18th century proven to be very well known.

Geography:
In contrast to Skardu and Shigar the territory of Khaplu not focused on a single large river valley, but was spread over three valleys of Shayok, namely on the territory of the present town 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 Gangche district whose administrative center is located in Khaplu, covers the places Balghar and Daghoni addition to the mouth of the Indus in Shayok and includes the former Kingdom of Kiris as a military bulwark of the West against the incursions of the archenemies Skardu and Shigar the mountain fortresses of Kharku were next to a castle in Balghar and saling been built. In eastern Hushe / Saltoro Tal was in Haldi another fortress. Most important defense system was viewed as militarily impregnable fortress in the town of Khar Thortsi Khaplu

Tourism:
Khaplu has been called many names like “Shyok Valley,” “Ghangche” and “Little Tibet.” In Khaplu there are many historical places like the beautiful Chaqchan Mosque (700 years old founded by Mir Sayyid Ali Hamadani, the first Islam preacher in this area).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.

Khaplu is the gateway to Masherbrum Peak, K-7,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. Khaplu is a scenic place for hiking like Khaplu Braq, Khaplu Thung and Hanjoor,Kaldaq,kholi,Ehli. There is rafting on the Shyok River and rock climbing places like Biamari Thoqsikhar and DowoKraming (hot spring).

Transport:
Khaplu is only approachable by road. The normal road route into Khaplu is by a link road from the Skardu Valley. There are four or five other road links to Kashmir and Ladakh.

A famous all-weather Khaplu-Drass road linked Khaplu with Drass, a city in Ladakh. Since the annexation of Gilgit Baltistan by Pakistan, the road has been closed. …NOTE… But nowadays there are few helicopter landing pad (helipad) or platform for helicopters are available where people like visitors can land easily their helicopters.

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