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    The Unexplored Khalti Lake…………By: Tahir Abbas


    It’s a scientific fact that looking at beauty purifies man’s mind. Man by nature is eager to taste beauty, and it’s the experience of beauty on the bases of which man values nature. Without realizing the glamorous of nature, one cannot understand the glory and creativity of the Almighty, Allah.

    Gilgit-Baltistan is famous all around the world for its breathtaking views and natural beauty. It has rightly been called the Roof of the World, the Wonderland of Asia and the Jewel of Pakistan. Every district of the northernmost territory offers some unique sights and attractions to its visitors, but poor infrastructure and inadequate marketing have kept some hidden gems out of the tourism radar.

    Khalti Lake, located in Ghizer is one of the most unexplored sights of Gilgit-Baltistan. It is situated on Gilgit-Shandoor road, at approximately 2217 meters from sea diploma. The 8000 feet long and 1500 feet wide lake, which serves as a natural swimming pool for the locals, was formed after a landslide in 1980, and named after the alluring village of Khalti. The stunning lake, also known as ‘Khaltio Chatt’ is partly surrounded by lush green terraced fields and woods, and partly bordered by some rocky mountains. The crystal clear emerald blue water, the dazzling waves, and the rocky hills make a person think about Allah’s glory.

    Khaltio Chatt (Khalti Lake) is a treat for the visitors in all four seasons. The lake is known for its fresh water and housing good sized trout. In summer, one can enjoy boating and trout fishing. The place is also famous for its peace and silence. One can clearly hear the charming sound of the birds, sound of the sea breeze, and of the land breeze. In spring, the fresh green blooming look of the surrounding woods coupled with the dazzling flowers on the trees present a marvelous scene of beauty. Fall is the most colorful and romantic season around the lake. The falling of leaves on the emerald blue water, and on them the heaps of the sunshine, gives additional romantic scene to the earthly paradise. And winters is no exception at all. The lake freezes and serves as a playground for local youth to play and celebrate cultural events. Playing games on a frozen lake at temperature below the freezing point may sounds a fairy tale, but a visit to the lake in winters make it look the other way. The lake hence, portrays picturesque views in all four seasons and presents the true face of Dilkash-o-Dilnasheen.

    Geographically, Khalti Lake is as beautiful and rich as it could be. Snow-capped mountains, delicious trouts, and the scenic beauty is regarded as earthly paradise. However, despite this wealth of tourist attractions, the tourism sector falls far behind due to lack of facilities. The previous governments did not bother much boosting this potential industry. They spent very little efforts and neglected the essential steps needed to enhance the tourism sector. Travelling is considered to be a luxurious activity, but poor infrastructure and lack of travelling facilities discourage both locals and foreigners to explore the hidden beauty. Moreover, The Lake has great potential for water sports in all seasons, but no remarkable efforts have ever been made by any of the previous governments to promote seasonal sports.

    Tourism in the remote areas of GB does need a kick start to be as alive as its natural beauty. The Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf led government has shown a keen interest at the federal level to boost the travel and tourism industry of Pakistan in general, and the unexplored parts in particular; but poor federal-provincial coordination has always been an unfortunate challenge which hamstrung tourism. Our provincial government, by presenting these scenic beauties and clear attractions before the federal government, can take a strong position for negotiation.

    Furthermore, there is a great potential for the private investors to invest in water sport activities and tourism sector. High involvement of private sector and enforcement of quality standards are the least expectations of the local community from the new PTI government. With the right policies in place, the very potential sector of tourism can easily be translated into a sustainable development.

    In nutshell, ‘Khaltio Chatt’ is a hidden gem and one of the most unexplored lakes of Gilgit-Baltistan. By developing the tourism industry, the lake can emerge as a top destination for both local and foreign visitors.


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