Ghizer – Broghil Valley, Gilgit Baltistan

The Northern Areas of Pakistan without a doubt have one of the world’s most stunning valleys and their grandeur cannot be explained by words alone. Broghil Valley is one such place among them, whose dotted wetlands, green fields, superb wildlife and extensive glaciers all leave one enthralled. Located at about 250 kilometers from Chitral in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, the journey to Broghil Valley itself provides tourists with a unique experience.

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To reach Broghil Valley, a 14 hour drive, and a trek through the twisty valley and road is required. Mastuj is the nearest place and Broghil is about a 10-hour drive and hike away. The track has now been expanded into a road up to Shakarwar. Earlier, it was only passable on horses or ponies, but now the area can also be reached by jeeps. The preferable time to visit this place is between June and August due to its rich events and landscapes.

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One of the most famous attractions of Broghil Valley is the Qurumber Lake, which is the 31st highest lake in the world and the second highest in Pakistan at a height of 14,121 feet (4,304 meters). It is also one of the most biologically active lakes on earth. Apart from this, the valley maintains about 30 freshwater lakes of different sizes, presenting breathtaking sights which serve as energizers during the long traverse through the valley. In Broghil Valley, the elevations range from 3,280 meters at Kishmanjah village to 4,304 meters at Qurumber Lake in the northeast.
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Qurumber, Ghizer, Gilgit Baltistan, Pakistan.
Another sight truly worth seeing in the Broghil Valley is the Broghil Pass. Also spelled Broghol, it is a high mountain pass at a height of 12,460 feet (3,798 meters) along the Durand Line border, which crosses the Hindu Kush mountain range and connects the Wakhan District of Badakhshan Province, Afghanistan with the Chitral District of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Pakistan. According to the National Geographic Project, the Broghol Pass appears to be the route used by the ancestors of all modern Western-Europeans to reach Europe. Also, on the route to the Broghil Valley, there is the Darkot Mountain Pass which connects Baroghil Valley in Chitral and Rawat valley of Ghizer District of Gilgit-Baltistan, Pakistan. It is also known as Darkut“.
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The entire area of the Broghil Valley is rich in terms of biodiversity, glaciers, rugged terrain and grazing lands, due to which in 2010, the Broghil National Park was established under the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Wildlife (Protection, Preservation, Conservation and Management) Act, 1975. The Broghil National Park is a treasure to wild native and migratory fauna especially of Pamirian and Siberian bird species. The valley itself is mainly Alpine tundra, a treeless mountain tract where the vegetation consists of dwarf shrubs, sedges and grass, moss and lichen.
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Moreover, the Broghil Valley is renowned for the Broghil Festival which is held every year from the 15th to the 17th of July. The event includes Yak Polo, Yak Race, free style Polo, Buskashi, Horse Race, Donkey Race and Polo, Tug of War plus the Traditional Wakhani Music. The Yak Polo and Yak Race are the main attractions of this event, and they are perhaps exclusive to these parts of the world. As the Yaks cannot sustain high temperatures, the ideal time for the sport is morning or early afternoon. For the locals, Yaks are also useful means of transportation and support the livelihood of the local people.
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