Baltistan is located amidst the great Himalayas, the Karakoram Range and the mighty river of Indus. Within it lies the great valley of Skardu, also referred to as ‘Little Tibet’ because of its ethnic cultural and linguistic affiliations. It spreads over an area of 26000 square kilometers. Baltistan is surrounded in the west by Gilgit and Hunza valleys, in the southeast Kargil, Ladakh and Kaskmir and towards the north lies the Chinese province of Sinkiang. Baltistan itself consists of 6 valleys namely; Skardu, Shigar, Khaplu, Kharmang, Gultari and Roundu. Skardu is at a distance of 724 km from Islamabad via the brilliant Karakoram Highway. PIA also offers an approximately 45 minutes daily flight to Skardu. Summer in Baltistan is pleasant, which serves as a safe haven from the sizzling heat of the south. In winter (Oct-Feb), the temperature can go as low as -26 degree centigrade. Baltistan is home to munerous highest mountain peaks of the world. Most prominent amongst these are; Godwin Austin K-2 (8611m.), Gasherbrum aka K-5 (8080m.) and Chagolingsa (8047m.) Baltistan also comprises of vast glacial chain which includes Siachin, Concordia, Baltoro, Baifo and prominent others. Baltistan is also famous for its exotic fruits such as cherries, black currents, apricots, apples and strawberries. Polo the king of sports is also a great tourist attraction. Every Year numerous teams from all over the world participate in the polo tournament, held in Shandur in the second week of August, to mark the liberation of Baltistan from the Dogra rule of 1948. Deosai National Park: The Deosai National Park is located in Skardu Gilgit-Baltistan It is accessible from Skardu and Astore. Deosai means ‘the land of Giants’. The park is located on the Deosai Plains of the Gilgit-Baltistan geographic region. Deosai is a tourist attraction and lot of tourists who visit Baltistan go to Deosai as well. Deosai Plateau which is the second highest plateau in the world after the Chang Tang in Tibet. In local Balti language, Deosai is called Byarsa, meaning ‘summer place’. The plateau is located at the boundary of the Karakoram and the western Himalayas.