Geography

Gilgit-Baltistan borders Pakistan’s Khyber Pukhtunkhwa province to the west, a small portion of the Wakhan Corridor of Afghanistan to the north, China’s Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region to the northeast, the Indian-administered Jammu and Kashmir to the southeast, and the Pakistani-administered state of Azad Jammu and Kashmir to the south.

Gilgit-Baltistan is home to all five of Pakistan’s “eight-thousanders” and to more than fifty peaks above 7,000 metres (23,000 ft). Gilgit and Skardu are the two main hubs for expeditions to those mountains. The region is home to some of the world’s highest mountain ranges. The main ranges are the Karakoram and the western Himalayas. The Pamir Mountains are to the north, and the Hindu Kush lies to the west. Amongst the highest mountains are K2 (Mount Godwin-Austen) and Nanga Parbat, the latter being one of the most feared mountains in the world.

Three of the world’s longest glaciers outside the polar regions are found in Gilgit-Baltistan: the Biafo Glacier, the Baltoro Glacier, and the Batura Glacier. There are, in addition, several high-altitude lakes in Gilgit-Baltistan:

Sheosar Lake in the Deosai Plains, Skardu
Naltar lakes in the Naltar Valley, Gilgit
Satpara Tso Lake in Skardu, Baltistan
Katzura Tso Lake in Skardu, Baltistan
Zharba Tso Lake in Shigar, Baltistan
Phoroq Tso Lake in Skardu, Baltistan
Lake Kharfak in Gangche, Baltistan
Byarsa Tso Lake in Gultari, Astore
Borith Lake in Gojal, upper Hunza, Gilgit
Rama Lake near Astore
Rush Lake near Nagar, Gilgit
Kromber Lake at Kromber Pass, Ishkoman Valley, Ghizer District
Barodaroksh Lake in Bar Valley, Nagar
Ghorashi Lake in Ghandus Valley, Kharmang