Khaplu, also spelt Khapalu, is a town that serves as the administrative capital of the Ghanche 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 the Yabgo dynasty. It guarded the trade route to Ladakh along the Shyok River.
The Khaplu Valley is 103 kilometres (64 miles) from Skardu and two hours by jeep. It is a sprawling village located at the confluence of the Indus and the Shyok Rivers in Pakistan.
Khaplu is a base for trekking into the Hushe valley which leads to Msherbrum Mountains. Many famous mountains, such as Masherbrum, K-6, K-7, Sherpi Kangh, Sia Kangri, Saltoro and Siachen etc. are located there. According to Forbes Magazine, Khaplu is the coolest place for tourists. Anuually approximate 100 thousand tourists visit Khaplu to see Siachen Glacier and 3rd 4th 5th and 6th highest peak of the world. Khaplu has a mosque naming Chaqchan, a 700 hundred years old mosque, founded by Ameer Kabeer Syed Ali Hamadani(RA). Tourist places. Hanjor, ThoqsiKhar, Kaldaq, Chaqchan Mosque, and Shyok River view are known tourist places in Khaplu town.
History: The first mention of the former small kingdom called Khápula is in Mirza Haider’s (1499–1551) famous work Tarikh-i-Rashidi. The author lists the Khaplu district of Balti(stan). Khaplu was also very well known in the 17th and 18th century due to its close political and family ties with the royal family of the neighbouring country of Ladakh
The first European to visit Khaplu was probably Captain Claude Marten Wade (1794–1861), who mentioned “Chílú” in 1835 in a Journal of the Asiatic Society of Bengal essay. Subsequently, William Moorcroft and George Trebeck wrote in their 1841 book “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. Alexander Cunningham, who did not visit Baltistan, published a brief geographical description of Khaplu and a genealogy of its rulers in 1854. Thomas Thomson travelled in November 1847 and briefly described a place of remarkable beauty for Tibet. Knight reported on his visit to Khaplu: “This fair spot what Kapalu, the richest district in Baltistan, and Regarded as a very Garden of Eden by the Balti People.” Jane E. Duncan reached Khaplu in 1904 and stayed there for three weeks. A detailed report on her stay in Khaplu is well worth reading. De Filippi, who reached Khaplu in 1913, characterized the site as follows: “It is, perhaps, the loveliest oasis in all the region.” Further information on Khaplu was included in a travel report by Arthur Neve. Recent descriptions can be found in the guidebooks Arora, Lonely Planet.
Geography: Khaplu lies at the base of the Karakoram Range
In contrast to Skardu and Shigar, the territory of Khaplu was not focused on a single large river valley, but was instead spread over the three valleys of Shayok, namely on the territory of the present town of Khaplu, the valley of Thalle River, and the Hushe / Saltoro valley. The area around the mouth of the river in the Thalle Shayok formed the western border of the kingdom. Today Gangche district, whose administrative centre is located in Khaplu, covers Balghar and Daghoni in addition to the mouth of the Indus in Shayok. It includes the former Kingdom of Kiris as a military bulwark of the West against the incursions of the archenemies Skardu and Shigar the mountain fortresses of Kharku were next to a castle in Balghar and saling been built. In Haldi, in eastern Hushe / Saltoro Tal, was another fortress. The fortress in the town of Khar Thortsi Khaplu was viewed as militarily impregnable and the area’s most important defence system.
Tourism: Khaplu has been called many names like ” Shyok Valley, “Ghanche” and “Little Tibet.” In Khaplu there are many historical places like the beautiful Chagchan Mosque (700 years old founded by Mir Sayyid Ali Hamadni, the first Islam preacher in this area). Raja Palace is a beautiful building and the last and best Tibetan-style palace in Pakistan. Khaplu Khanqah is attributed to Mir Mukhtar Akhyar and was built in 1712 AD/1124 AH.
Khaplu is the gateway to Masherbrum Peak, K-7, K-6 and Chogolisa for mountaineers and Gondogoro la, Gondogoro Peak, Saraksa Glacier, Gondogoro Glacier, Masherbrum Glacier, Aling Glacier, Machlu Broq, Thaely La, Daholi lake, Kharfaq Lake, Ghangche Lake and Bara Lake for trekkers. Khaplu is a scenic place for hiking like Khaplu Braq, Khaplu Thung and Hanjoor, Kaldaq, Kholi, Ehli. There is rafting on the Shyok River and rock climbing places like Biamari Thoqsikhar and Dowo Kraming (hot spring).
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