Visit Khaplu from Gilgit Baltistan Province

Khaplu is the administrative capital of the Ghangche District of Gilgit-Baltistan. Lying 103 km (64 mi) east of the town of Skardu, it was the second-largest kingdom in old Baltistan of Yabgo dynasty. It guarded the trade route to Ladakh along the Shyok River. Khaplu Valley of the Shyok River is 103 kilometres (64 miles) from Skardu and two hours by jeep. There is a sprawling village perched on the slopes of the steep mountains that hem in the river. Many famous mountains, such as Masherbrum, K-6, K-7, Sherpi Kangh, Sia Kangri, Saltoro Kangri and Siachen etc. are located here. The town is a base for trekking into the Hushe valley which leads to Masherbrum mountains.

History

If Baltistan is a hidden country, this applies much more in the eastern part of the Baltistan Khaplu. The first mention of this former small kingdom called Khápula is in Mirza Haidar's (1499–1551) famous work Tarikh-i-Rashidi (p. 410). The author lists Khaplu district of Balti (stan). Khaplu was also due to close political and family ties with the royal family of Ladakh, in this neighboring country in the 17th and 18th century proven to be very well known. Khaplu probably first visited by Europeans by Captain Claude Martin Wade (1794–1861), who mentioned "Chílu" in 1835 in a Journal of the Asiatic Society of Bengal essay. Moorcroft-Trebeck (her book was published in 1841) described Khaplu as follows (Part II, p 264): "Kafalun is a province west of Nobra, on the left bank of the Shayuk." Godfrey Thomas Vigne has Khaplu 1835-1838, relying in particular on the local mountain fortress, commented that he was still in an intact condition vorfand (Part 2, pp. 317f). Alexander Cunningham(p. 28ff), who did not visit Baltistan, published in 1854 a brief geographical description of Khaplu and a genealogy of the rulers of this country. Thomas Thomson traveled in November 1847 and briefly described a place of remarkable beauty for Tibet (p. 210ff). Knight reported on his visit to Khaplu (p. 253): "This fair spot what Kapalu, the richest district in Baltistan, and Regarded as a very Garden of Garden of Eden by the Balti people." Jane E. Duncan reached Khaplu in 1904 and held there for three weeks. A detailed report on their stay in Khaplu is well worth reading. De Filippi, who reached Khaplu 1913, characterized the site as follows: "It is, perhaps, the loveliest oasis in all the region." Further information on Khaplu was on a travel report by Arthur Neve (p. 99f). Recent descriptions can be found in the guidebooks Arora, pp. 211f, Lonely Planet, pp. 306f and Beek, pp. 252ff.

Architecture

The most important religious monuments in Khaplu are the great Khanqa prayer hall, which was built by Sayyed Mohammad, a saint of the Islamic Nūrbkahshīya sect, in 1712, the Astana grave monument of the saint in the immediate vicinity of the large prayer hall and the Chakchan Mosque. The Astana grave monument has been perfectly restored by the Aga Khan Cultural Service Pakistan and thereby saved from total disintegration. The Chakchan Mosque is the largest and most important of the traditional mosques in Baltistan. After Klimburg (p. 155) its establishment as the Amburiq Mosque in Shigar Islamic missionary Sayyed Ali Shah Hamadani is attributed (14th century), which is considered historically as not secured like the Aburiq Mosque.

Transport

Khaplu is only approachable by road. The normal road route into Khaplu is by a link road from the Skardu Valley. There are four or five other road links to Kashmir and Ladakh. A famous all-weather Khaplu-Drass road linked Khaplu with Drass, a city in Ladakh. Since the annexation of Gilgit Baltistan by Pakistan, the road has been closed.