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Review: The Shigar Fort Residence

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@asharjamil

I love to travel and photography makes me go an extra mile and I enjoy Nature like never before. I’m addicted to the internet and I love trying out new restaurants.

After an amazing two days in Khaplu, our next stop was Shigar…


This fort and palace is about 200 years older than the Khaplu palace, built in the 1640s, and opened as a heritage boutique hotel in 2005, managed by Serena Hotels, after it was restored and renovated by the Aga Khan Development Network.

The room…


… with a stone wall which extended into the bathroom…


… the room opens out here…


… facing this lovely garden…
We dined everywhere it was possible to dine at Shigar. The first day we ate a late lunch on this deck which overlooks the river that runs by…


… and later that night, everybody was in the mood for a lighter dinner, so we ordered this Balti soup, a mutton broth with meat, vegetables and homemade pasta…
This is the dining room…


… and this is the adjacent outdoor seating area. We ate breakfast here most days…


A lot of the food is similar to that in Khaplu but this apricot drink was something new and really nice, it’s made by draining off the liquid in which dried apricots are stewed so it has this really intense flavour…


The second day, after breakfast, we went out for a stroll and there were adorable giggly school children out and about everywhere during their break from school…

Later on we headed to the beautiful Satpara Lake. I’m so glad the weather was nice that day because, as I was going through the photos again, it doesn’t even look real it’s so gorgeous. I mean they look like postcards or something! The water is so blue…

After we had had our fill of photography at the lake, we went to the Shangrila Resort for lunch. This is another popular and beautiful hotel in Skardu and has been around since the 1980s. The main attraction here is the lake that perfectly reflects everything in its surroundings…

We were very hungry and had to wait a while for our food, so we helped ourselves to the apples growing on the grounds (the hotel staff said it was perfectly alright for us to do so). They were even kind enough to give us some apples to take back with us…

They have their own trout farms on the premises and we asked them to prepare some good old Fish and Chips for us…
For dinner one night we ordered this local dish Chicken Fasanjun, a chicken curry cooked in a walnut sauce. All these nutty curries were so rich and delicious…
The Shigar Fort is known in Balti as “Fong-Khar” which means ‘palace on the rock’…


… and this is the rock that gives it its name…


Here too rooms in the actual palace have been renovated as suites and you can stay there if you like (I didn’t get a chance to take pictures)…
Shigar is closer to the airport than Khaplu, just 40 minutes away, so it’s best to stay there the night before you plan to leave, just in case your flight gets delayed or cancelled.
We ended up staying at Shigar a bit longer than we originally intended because of bad weather and flight delays but it was a thoroughly enjoyable experience. The weather was clearer while we were at Shiagr and because we had done everything we planned to do in the first two days, the last couple of days we just relaxed, went for walks, read books and ate good food. I have to say that the food was better in Khaplu but we did try some new things in Shigar too, including a wonderful apricot dessert which my mother made once we got back home and I’ll post that recipe this week.
For further information, visit the hotel’s website

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