Deosai National Park is located in between Skardu, Kharmang, Astore and Gultari valleys in Gilgit Baltistan. Majority of which lies in Skardu District. Deosai means “The land of Giants” in the Urdu language. The local Balti name of Deosai is Ghbiarsa which means “summer’s place”. Because it is only accessible in summer.
Geography and Wildlife
Deosai is located at the border of the Himalayas and Karakoram. It offers a western Himalayas ecosystem. Deosai covers an area of 3000 sq Km. It has a mix of plains, plateaus, hills, streams, lakes and mountains. Deosai is home to endangered Himalayan Brown Bear. Deosai National Park is also home to golden marmot, red fox, Ladakh urial, musk deer, Himalayan ibex, Markhor, Himalayan wolf and snow leopards. Birds include the vulture, falcon, snow cock, griffon vulture, golden eagle, sparrowhawk and migratory birds. To protect this wildlife especially the Himalayan brown bear, Deosai was declared a national park in 1993 by the government of Gilgit Baltistan. With the help of WWF and other organizations, the number of brown bears is increasing day by day. The total number of the brown bear is now 35 as of the 2006 report.
How to reach Deosai?
Deosai is accessible in summer while in winter it is inaccessible due to heavy snowfall. If you would like to visit Deosai via Skardu then, first of all, you have to travel to Skardu city. From Islamabad, you can travel to Skardu by Air (PIA) or by road via Karakoram Highway. It takes 45 minutes to reach Skardu from Islamabad by air. From Skardu city, it takes 1 hour to reach Deosai top via Sadpara. On the way to Deosai, you can see the beautiful crystal clear lake of Sadpara.
Besides that Deosai is also accessible via Chilim, Astore valley. After a long journey from Islamabad to Astore, you will reach Chilim. Furthermore, you have to travel via Chilim valley. Finally, you will reach Sheosar Lake. Skardu is the best and shortest route for you if you are in hurry. First, you have to travel to Skardu city by air. It takes only 45 minutes to reach Skardu by air. Furthermore, it takes 1 hour to reach Deosai from Skardu city. In addition, you can also visit Shangrila resort, Kachura lake, cold desert, and Shigar Fort in Skardu.
When to visit Deosai?
The best season to visit Deosai is from mid-June to August when Deosai is full of wildflowers. Deosai is in fact a high-altitude plateau. It is the second-highest plateau on Earth after Chang Thang plateau Tibet. Hence July is the best season to visit Deosai.
What to do ?
Deosai is now a national park therefore there are some restricted zones. The Parks and wildlife department of the Gilgit Baltistan government has divided the area into many zones. You can visit in certain zones only. The core zone is a specially protected area for Brown Bear. There are many streams and lakes. Fishing is allowed with a license. The plateau is a plateau full of wildflowers, lakes, streams and meadows. It is not less than a paradise on earth. A night camp at Sheosar Lake Deosai will take your soul beyond this planet. At night you can enjoy a heavenly view of the milky way galaxy and trillions of stars. You will never find such a stunning place anywhere in the world.