All the happenings, stories and snippets from the vibrant world of Serena Hotels Pakistan
Our featured blogger is Nageen Hyat, Human Rights & Social Activist, founding member of Women’s Action Forum (WAF), Curator, Founder-Director of the Nomad Gallery and a renowned cultural writer.
Baltistan… Experiencing our Rich and Diverse Heritage
DAY 1 – As I walk into the cockpit of PK-451 route Islamabad to Skardu, I feel exhilarated and awestruck by the sheer beauty and majesty of the snow-capped mountains and wish I were a pilot!
The purpose of my journey to Khaplu and Shigar, as a solo cultural traveler, was with the aim of inspiring and promoting tourism in these rather remote and stunning areas of Pakistan, particularly following the aftermath of the terrible incident in Chilas (targeted killing of trekkers…many hundred miles away) which has further tarnished the image of Pakistan and affected group bookings and tourism.
I wrote my ‘diary’ on a daily basis and shared on my Facebook page aiming for the maximum global outreach. This is a voluntary initiative, with my aim being to be a part of a process to highlight the real situation on ground in Baltistan instead of just being a bystander.
The charm and understated, rich character of the Khaplu Palace & Residence provides the perfect spring board for all types of travelers, adventurers and researchers to explore the regions rich cultural heritage and to give you the chance to experience Baltistani Royalty. Both Shigar Fort and the Khaplu hotel were restored by the Aga Khan Cultural Services Ltd under the guidance of the Aga Khan Trust for Culture and were then handed over to Serena Hotels ( An institution of the Aga Khan Development Network) and are now being run as boutique hotels with due consideration for the environment and sanctity of history and heritage. The profits benefit the local community members of Baltistan.
Returned to the hotel and sampled regional Balti cuisine, prepared with fresh organic produce. I enjoyed relaxing under the shady trees reading and just taking in the gentle breeze and the beautiful environment.
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