Interview with Mr Zahid Iqbal – CEO, Royal’s Adventure Club (Pvt) Ltd
PAKISTAN & GULF ECONOMIST had an exclusive conversation with Mr Zahid Iqbal vis-à-vis TOURISM IN PAKISTAN. Following are the excerpts of the conversation:
Royal’s Adventure Club (Pvt) Limited is one the best and pioneer DMC in Pakistan since 2009. I am myself a passionate traveler and a mountaineer. Royals’ Adventure Club (Pvt) Limited offers various tour packages for domestic and foreign tourists for different touristic places in Northern Areas of Pakistan like Hunza Valley, Skardu, Swat, and Chitral. Not only this, we also offer packages for honeymoon couples to spend quality time in the places like Shangrila Resort in Skardu. In winters our company promotes winter sports like Skiing, Ice Skating and trekking to the various hill stations like Fairy meadows and Nanga Parbat Base camp.
Pakistan is home to 108 peaks above 7,000 meters and probably as many peaks above 6,000 m. There is no count of the peaks above 5,000 and 4,000m. Five of the 14 highest independent peaks in the world (the eight-thousanders) are in Pakistan (four of which lie in the surroundings of Concordia; the confluence of Baltoro Glacier and Godwin Austen Glacier). K2 also known as Mount Godwin-Austen or Chhogori, at 8,611 metres (28,251 ft) above sea level, is the second highest mountain in the world, after Mount Everest at 8,848 metres (29,029 ft). It is located on the China–Pakistan border between Baltistan in the Gilgit-Baltistan region of northern Pakistan, and the Taxkorgan Tajik Autonomous County of Xinjiang, China K2 is the highest point of the Karakoram range and the highest point in both Pakistan and Xinjiang.
HUNZA VALEY is a district in Pakistan’s northern area in Gilgit Baltistan region. This is the last district bordering with China’s Xinjiang province. This rich cultural valley is famous for tourism in Pakistan. High altitude peaks, lakes and valleys are the attractions of this area. Hunza valley lies in Karakoram range considered one of the biggest mountain ranges in the world. People of Hunza valley speak brushiski language and famous for hospitality. Valley is connected thorough a beautiful 1300KM long Karakoram Highway.
KHUNJRAB NATIONAL PARK is one of the highest national parks in the world also it considered the highest crossing point between two countries. Khunjrab is Hunza’s the highest destination 17000 feet and it is reachable by any of the car motorcycle through Karakoram Highway. 60 KM travel from sost to Khunjrab border between Pakistan and china provides spectacular views while travelling on Karakoram highway. The border between Pakistan and China is open between April to November every year.
SKARDU VALLEY or district is also a part of Gilgit Baltistan province in Pakistan. Skardu is one of the major destinations for tourist in the region. Famous Shangrila resort is also in Skardu. There many lakes, beautiful valleys and rivers in this area. Skardu is also famous for the starting point for expeditions to K2 Mountain. Shigar and Khaplu are further two attractions in this area where you can go to explore the spectacular landscape and witness the valleys of rich culture of balti people. Deosai national Park Manthoka waterfall and Khamush waterfall is the most go to places in this region.
DEOSAI NATIONAL PARK is one of the highest national parks in the world. This 2.3 Kilometer long and 1.8 kilometer wide grassy plain gives beautiful view of the surrounding Himalayan mountains and lakes in it. Royal’s Adventure Club arrange the most luxury SUVs from Skardu for its customer for the jeep safari in Deosai National Park. Upon reaching on Deosai top from Skardu in one hour drive you can feel how the environment clean at the top of the National Park at 4400 meters. We make two stops at Bara Pani and Kala pani rivers for some photography and tea break.
Passion for Polo will be the highest on the world’s highest Polo ground. Every year, Shandur (3,734 meters) invites visitors to experience a traditional polo tournament between the teams of Chitral and Gilgit from 7th to 9th July. The festival also includes folk music, folk dance, traditional sports and a camping village is be set up on the Pass. The version of game played at Shandur Top has attained legendary status.
Cholistan Desert Jeep Rally started back in 2005. The event portrays a softer and positive image of Pakistan abroad. The rally covers three districts of Punjab including Rahim Yar Khan, Bahawalnagar and Bahawalpur. The prime objective to hold this event in the majestic desert of Cholistan is to show outside world its history and rich culture and open this area as Winter Tourist Destination.
Chilam Joshi Festival is one the most vital kalash festivals. Kalash Festival of Chilam Joshi is also known as Kalash spring festival. The Kalash people celebrate this four-day festival across all three Kalash valleys of Rumbur, Bumburet and Birir. A large number of domestic and foreign tourists attend the Chilam Joshi festival every year. Chilam Joshi begins with “Milk Day”. Ten days prior to the festival, The Kalasha people store milk from their households. On the day of the festival the people of Kalash offer their libation. The festival reflects their unique cultural richness, the harmony in their society and message of peace to the world. They ask for blessing from the God and pray for a prosperous year of agriculture and health and safety of their herds. The main objective behind the Kalash festival of Chilam Joshi is that Kalasha men and women can find themselves a spouse to get married. The women wear traditional attire with lively colors and hair dresses have patterns of flowers on it. They wear beaded necklaces which compliments their dresses and head gears. Men wear traditional Shalwar Kameez with a waistcoat made of wool. They dance together and sing in a circle on drum beats. Every year this festival brings smile to the bachelors and spinsters of Kalash Valley tribes as it gives them an opportunity to choose their life partners and announce their names on the last day of the festival.
Hospitality is our pride. We always welcome our guests in Pakistan, come explores with us the cultural and adventurous destination in a style.