Deosai Plains, also known as the Deosai National Park, is a breathtaking high-altitude alpine plateau located in northern Pakistan’s Gilgit-Baltistan region. Covering an area of approximately 3,000 square kilometers, Deosai is situated at an average altitude of 4,114 meters (13,497 feet) above sea level, making it one of the highest plateaus in the world.
The name Deosai means “Land of Giants” in the local Balti language, and the vast plains are home to a rich variety of flora and fauna.
How to get to Deosai Plains?
The Deosai Plains can be accessed from two main routes:
- From Skardu: Skardu, located approximately 30 kilometers away, is the most common starting point for visiting Deosai Plains. From Skardu, you can hire a jeep or arrange a guided tour of the plains. The journey takes around 2-3 hours, depending on the road conditions. The route passes through the picturesque Sadpara Lake and traverses a series of stunning landscapes before reaching Deosai.
- From Astore: Another route to Deosai Plains is via Astore, a town in the Gilgit-Baltistan region. From Astore, you can hire a jeep or arrange a guided tour to Deosai. The journey takes about 4-5 hours and passes through the scenic Chilim Valley, crossing the Bara Pani River and offering spectacular views of the Nanga Parbat mountain peak.
Both Skardu and Astore can be reached by air from Islamabad, followed by a road journey to Deosai Plains. Alternatively, you can travel by road from Islamabad to Skardu or Astore, which takes around 20-24 hours. Keep in mind that road conditions may vary depending on the season and weather.
Where to stay at Deosai Plains?
Deosai Plains itself has limited accommodation options due to its remote location and protected status as a national park. However, there are a few options you can consider when planning your visit:
- Camping: Many visitors choose to camp in Deosai Plains to fully immerse themselves in the breathtaking landscape. You can bring your own camping gear or rent it from Skardu or Astore. Be sure to camp in designated areas, follow the park’s regulations, and practice responsible camping to minimize your impact on the environment.
- Accommodations in Skardu or Astore: Given the close proximity of Skardu and Astore to the Deosai Plains, many travelers opt to stay in these towns and make day trips to the plains. Both Skardu and Astore offer a variety of accommodation options, ranging from budget guesthouses to mid-range hotels and luxury resorts. You can book your stay in advance, especially during peak tourist season, to ensure availability and better rates.
- Guesthouses near Deosai Plains: There are a few guesthouses and basic hotels in the surrounding areas, such as in Chilim Valley near the Astore route or in Satpara near Skardu. These accommodations can serve as a convenient base for exploring Deosai Plains while providing essential amenities and comfort.
Things to do at Siri Deosai Plains
- Wildlife Watching: Deosai Plains is home to a diverse range of wildlife, including the Himalayan brown bear, snow leopards, marmots, red foxes, and numerous bird species. Wildlife enthusiasts can spend their time observing these animals in their natural habitat while maintaining a safe distance.
- Hiking and Trekking: Deosai Plains offers a variety of hiking and trekking opportunities for adventure seekers. Explore the vast meadows, walk along the rivers and streams, or hike to one of the many lakes in the area, such as Sheosar Lake, Kala Pani Lake, or Bara Pani Lake.
- Camping: As mentioned earlier, camping is a popular activity in Deosai Plains. Set up your camp in a designated area and enjoy the serene beauty of the night sky, away from the hustle and bustle of urban life.
- Visit Sheosar Lake: Sheosar Lake, located in Deosai Plains, is a must-visit destination. The crystal-clear waters of the lake, surrounded by green pastures and snow-capped mountains, create a breathtaking and tranquil setting.
- Enjoy the Flora: During the summer months, Deosai Plains is adorned with a variety of wildflowers, painting the landscape in vibrant colors. Take a leisurely walk through the meadows to appreciate the beauty of the unique flora.
- Fishing: The rivers and lakes in Deosai Plains are home to various fish species, including trout. With the appropriate permits, visitors can try their hand at fishing and enjoy a relaxing day by the water.
Remember to respect the environment and adhere to the rules and regulations of Deosai National Park during your visit to ensure the protection and preservation of this unique ecosystem.
Best time to visit Deosai Plains
The best time to visit Deosai Plains is during the summer months, from June to September. During this time, the weather is pleasant, with daytime temperatures ranging from 15°C to 30°C (59°F to 86°F). The plains are accessible, and the landscape is adorned with vibrant wildflowers.
It’s important to note that Deosai Plains are inaccessible during the winter months due to heavy snowfall. The area is typically covered in snow from November to May, with some of the higher-altitude regions remaining snowbound even longer.
In conclusion, Deosai Plains is a mesmerizing destination that offers a unique blend of stunning landscapes, diverse wildlife, and unforgettable experiences. From breathtaking photography opportunities to exhilarating hikes and serene lakes, the plains provide a perfect escape from the hustle and bustle of everyday life. The ideal time to visit is during the summer months, when the area is accessible, and the beauty of its flora and fauna is on full display. Embark on a memorable journey to Deosai Plains and immerse yourself in the enchanting beauty of this remarkable destination.
Q1: Is it safe to visit Deosai Plains?
A: Deosai Plains is generally safe to visit, but it’s important to be cautious and prepared. High altitude can cause altitude sickness for some visitors, so it’s essential to acclimatize properly and be aware of any symptoms. Additionally, follow the park’s rules and guidelines, and be respectful of the environment and wildlife.
Q2: What kind of wildlife can I expect to see in Deosai Plains?
A: Deosai Plains is home to various wildlife species, including the Himalayan brown bear, snow leopard, marmot, red fox, and numerous bird species such as the golden eagle, Himalayan griffon vulture, and peregrine falcon.
Q3: Are there any trekking or hiking opportunities in Deosai Plains?
A: Yes, Deosai Plains offers several trekking and hiking opportunities, allowing visitors to explore the vast meadows, rivers, and lakes in the area. Hiring a local guide is recommended for a better understanding of the terrain and the region’s culture.