“Alter Rock”, Thalpan – Petroglyphs along the Indus River

The Altar Rock at Thalpan is located on the sandy north bank of the Indus River. The rock is carved with motifs, mainly animal rather than Buddhist motifs. This is a fascinating example of Petroglyphs from the ancient Silk Road.

Since ancient times, Thalpan has had many visitors who come and go through this area.  It was the nomads who first chose this site to carve. The rock face in front of the Alter Rock may have been used as a veritable ‘altar’, with various animals and slaughter scenes depicted.
These Petroglyphs with non-Buddhist motifs are thought to date from the mid-1st millennium BC.

overall view of Alter Rock

One of the Petroglyphs that stands out on this Altar Rock is this image of a Warrior with Sacrifice. It appears to be a scene of a man slaughtering an  animal (many sources call it a goat, but as an animal lover, it looks like an ibex to me). The figure of a Central Asian-style man holding a large knife is very distinctive.

The man’s dress is thought to be that of an equestrian nomad of the time, and it has been suggested that he may be from the Parthia, a dynasty that flourished on the Iranian plateau from the 3rd century BC to the 3rd century AD.

This animal sacrifice (or slaughter) Petroglyphs motif suggests that the influence of Central Asian peoples was stronger than the influence of Buddhism, which forbids the killing of animals.

This is a designed horse or unicorn with its forelegs bent at 45 degrees.

This pose, called “Knielauf,” was used in ancient Greece to depict a flying condition and was also popular in Achaemenid Persian art. The horse’s mane and tail are braided, giving them an appearance of bows.

Is it a designed ibex? The circular eyes are also an Iranian expression.

This shows a deer-like creature with antler and a predator with two tails chasing it. As a wildlife observer in Pakistan, it looks like a snow leopard attacking an ibex on a cliff to me. What is interesting, is that there is a head of a snake, at the end of the jagged line that also looks like a cliff.

One theory is that it shows an ibex in trouble, with a snake in front, a snow leopard behind, plus a hunter and his dogs, and nowhere to go.”

Such wavy designs are said to be a common feature of the art of the Altai region in southern Siberia.

The presence of Petroglyphs with Iranian elements at Altar Rock is not surprising, as Gandhara and Taxila were already satraps of the Achaemenid period. It is surprising that there was interaction between the Altai region of southern Siberia and this Indus region in the north, across one of the most mountainous regions in the world.

Petroglyphs from Thalpan Zyarat depict motifs from the Okunev culture of southern Siberia.

A large Buddha figure with a halo is seated with four smaller seated Buddha figures, also all with halos.

Each Buddha is in Dhayana Mudra sign and their garments cover their shoulders, with gracefully drawn parallel robe crests. Such garment crests are similar to designs found in the Gupta empire art, which flourished in India between AD 320 – 550.

A creature, possibly an ibex, is depicted on the same rock, and its movement and direction suggest that the ibex was carved first, and then the Buddha image was carved on top of it.

The west panel is also covered with Petroglyphs.

The Alter Rocks are the masterpieces of the Indus River Petroglyphs.

As we posted in previous blogs, it is such a shame that these rock carvings will be lost forever due to the construction of the dam.

 

Photo & text: Mariko SAWADA

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Category : ◆ Gilgit-Baltistan > - Indus river bank > ◇ Rock carvings / Petroglyph
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Climbing Shatung Peak, a 5,000-meter summit on Deosai Plateau

We finally fulfilled our long-cherished dream to climb Shatung Peak in the Deosai Plateau. That became possible only inn summer 2023, while in summer 2020 the tour was cancelled due to Covid -19 pandemic, when international flights were put to a halt. Overcoming the aftermath of pandemic and a tough route, we were able to reach the summit. We are tremendously grateful to our climbing guides and porters from Satpara village for their gracious support.

360-degree panoramic view from the summit. Feel like a high altitude climber!

From Chilas, we drove up to the Deosai Plateau through the Astor Valley. On the way, we were astonished by the view of  Nanga Parbat (8,126m), the 9th highest peak on the planet. On the Deosai Plateau, we camped by the beautiful Sheosar Lake, from where this majestic peak was visible. The lake is a very beautiful peaceful place, but sadly many local tourists were enjoining loud music until late at night. The next morning we entered an area with no other visitors in sight and found the original Deosai Plateau.

The first part of the climb was a relatively easy route, with patches of buttercups and primroses. Little did we know that a difficult scree slope was awaiting.

The mountain en route is dotted with lakes in a very beautiful valley. The snowy mountain in front is Shatung Peak, and we are aiming exactly there!

We walked through a patch of primrose to the camp. It was easy up to this point.

We arrived at Camp 1 on the scree slope. Now where shall we pitch our tents?

Sleeping on the snow is generally much more comfortable than sleeping on scree. Finally, we will challenge the summit early tomorrow morning!

The route from Camp 1 to the summit is this slope, covered with a mass of smaller loose stones. The climb is steep and strenuous.

The view is spectacular when you stop and look back.

Beyond the mountains is Kashmir on the Indian side. Srinagar is also very close. The famous peaks of the Indian Himalaya, Nun peak and Kun Peak were also visible.

The world’s 9th highest peak, Nanga Parbat 8,126m, is on the left.

The steep climb up the scree slope is almost over. The ridge is getting closer.

Once on the ridge, all that remained was to climb up the snowy ridge. The sun was getting high in the sky.

We successfully climbed Shatung Peak (5,260m) with 5 core team members, guides, and porters! Nanga Parbat is in the background!

From the summit, we could see K2 and the Baltoro Mountains. From summit we could see all five of the 8,000 peaks in Pakistan: Nanga Parbat (8,126m), K2 (8,611m), Broad Peak (8,051m), Gasherbrum I (8,068m), and Gasherbrum II (8,034m). The weather was fine, with no wind. Forgetting about the steep scree slope that awaited us, we stayed at the summit for about an hour and enjoyed this blissful moment.

 

Image & text : Tomoaki TSUTSUMI

Tour conducted in July 2023, Deosai National Park, Gilgit-Baltistan

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Category : - Nanga Parbat > ◆ Gilgit-Baltistan > - Deosai National Park > ◇ Mountain of Pakistan
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Hungry Tigress Jataka- Rock Carving of Chilas

“This blog is documenting the precious Silk Road heritage site, the ‘Indus rock carvings’, which will be lost forever in a few years when two dams on the Indus River are completed”

 

Have you ever heard of the Hungry Tigress Jataka「捨身飼虎」?  In Japan, the story of the Hungry Tigress Jataka is depicted on the side of the Tamamushi Zushi「玉虫厨子」, a national treasure in the collection of ancient Horyuji Temple(法隆寺), even before Kyoto was built – when Buddhism was freshly adoped by the Japanese elite.

There are rock engravings along the Indus River in Chilas where the Hungry Tigress Jataka can still be seen, despite certain degree of deterioration the engravings underwent.

 

About Hungry Tigress Jataka (Vyaghri-Jataka) 

Long ago, there was a king in India who had three brothers, every of them a prince. One day, the king and the three princes went to play in a bamboo forest. There they met a mother tiger with seven cubs. The animals were starving, emaciated and on the verge of starvation.
The three princes felt deep compassion, but two of them left, saying that they could not save the animals. The third prince said, “Bodhisattvas offer themselves out of compassion to save others. I will offer myself to save the life of a starving tiger “. The prince gave himself up and the tiger ate him. The story goes that the prince who saved the lives of the tiger was the Buddha himself in one of his previous lives.

More information on Hungry Tigress Jataka and the Tamamushi Zushi at Horyu-ji Temple can be found on the websites of the respective temples.

The following is a sketch of this rock engraving, although it is quite faded and difficult to make out.

Source : The Indus – Cradle and Crossroads of Civilizations (Pakistan-German Archeological Research)

This sketch of the rock engraving shows a lying prince, a tiger cub about to eat the prince, the father king and two brother princes watching from safe distance behind a rock.

Decipherment of the Brahmi script beside this image has also proved that it is Hungry Tigress Jataka (Vyaghri-Jataka).

The entire surface of the rock on which the Hungry Tigress Jataka is depicted. A large stupa is depicted in the centre. There is a hemispherical Anda on a square base, with Harmika, symbolic umbrellas and banners, which are characteristic of the Gandhara style. It is thought that Buddhism was at its peak influence in the Upper Indus around the 5th century.

Unfortunately, this precious rock engraving will also be lost when the dam is completed. “Unfortunately” is not the right word that can be used to describe it, perhaps. The destruction of the rock engravings began with the construction of the Karakoram Highway in the 1960s, and the rock engravings have been destroyed with every expansion of the road. Some were even lost when they were painted over by people who did not like the Buddhist motif for a time.

Painted rock engravings along the Karakoram Highway. The central figure of a snow leopard chasing an ibex was washed out in December 2020.

Again, the time was limited, but we worked on washing the rock engravings that had been painted.

This is the current state of the rock engraving. From right to left, Manjushri, Bejewelled Buddha with a devotee holding an incense burner or lamp and stupa. A trefoil-shaped arch surrounds the Buddha’s entire body, is in Kashmir style.

The picture below shows how this looked before the paint was applied.

Source:The Indus – Cradle and Crossroads of Civilizations (Pakistan-German Archeological Research)

We will continue to wash off the paint from these rock engraving panels.Please come and witness this wonderful Buddhist heritage before it is submerged in the dam.

 

Photo & text : Mariko SAWADA

Site : Chilas, Gilgit-Baltitstan

*About the article: the article is based on an old book. I wonder if other views and explanations exist. I would be very happy if you could let me know so that I can study it.

Reference :”Huma records on Karakoram Highway”, ” The Indus, cradle and crossroads  of civilizations”

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Category : - the Karakoram Highway > ◆ Gilgit-Baltistan > - Indus river bank > ◇ Rock carvings / Petroglyph
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Rock Carvings of Shatial, – Silk Road heritage – soon to be submerged in the Indus river dam

This blog is documenting the precious Silk Road heritage site, the ‘Indus rock carvings’, which will be lost forever in a few years when two dams on the Indus River are completed.

 

Stunning stupa depictions and inscriptions, “rock carvings of Shatial”

Shatial Rock Carvings, on a slope slightly off the Karakoram Highway down to the Indus River, located on the south bank of the Indus, between the Darel Valley to the east and the Tangir Valley to the west, were very important site for travelers, trade caravans and pilgrims on the Silk Road.

The rock carving ranges from those considered pre-Buddhist to those from the Gandhara heyday and post-Gandhara eras.

Firstly, the picture below shows the most famous rock carving in Shatial site. This rock art is impactful enough to elicit “wow!” response even from an ordinary tourist.

In the center of the rock is a large, delicately depicted stupa with many bells. On the left is a depiction of the “Sibi Jataka” and on the right is a votive stupa.

On the left side of the rock, the name of the stupa’s builder is inscribed in Kharoshthi script (or Gāndhārī, ancient Indo-Iranian script), which dates back to the 5th century.
Between the stupa and the votive stupa the names of people who lived back then (perhaps, some dignitaries) are inscribed in Brahmi and Sogdian script.

Two devotees dressed in Central Asian-style costumes approach the main stupa from three stepping stones. This staircase leads to a plinth decorated with a ‘four-stepped design’. Two pillars support the beam and the domed stupa. Bells are also attached to the beam, stupa and niche.
The stupa is topped by a series of umbrellas, from the top most of which hang down banners on either side like an arch. Small bells are also attached to the umbrellas, making this rock engraving different and novel from the other stupas.

The votive stupa to the right of the main stupa has four steps leading up to a high base, depicting a triangular stupa with a series of umbrellas above it and flags billowing and fluttering. It is a different style of depiction from the main stupa.

This figure on the left shows the ‘Sibi Jataka’.

 

About Sibi Jataka

(The Jataka is the stories of former lives of the Buddha )

There was a kind-hearted king named King Sibi.
A dove chased by a falcon flew to King Sibi and asked for help.

The falcon came to King Sibi and said, “I have not eaten for many days and if I do not eat the dove, I will die from starvation. Whose life do you consider more important, the dove’s or mine?”

So King Sibi thought that the falcon’s life is also important, so he cut off a piece of meat from his own leg, weighing the same as the dove, and placed it on the balance. But the dove was heavier, so he cut off the flesh again and placed it on the balance, but the weights were not equal.

King Sibi thought deeply and put his own body on the balance, and it balanced. The king said to the hawk, “Please eat me and get well”.
King Sibi tried to save the dove’s life by giving his own life to the falcon.

The falcon, knowing King Sibi’s heart, appeared to him in the form of Indra God and he saluted King Sibi’s action by saying, “You will become a Buddha in the future”.

 

In this rock carving, the Buddha sits in a cave, holding a ‘dove’ in his hand. The person depicted on the right holds a balance. The object on the balance is the flesh of King Sibi, which was cut off to save the dove’s life.
Below the Buddha holding the dove, devotees are depicted on both sides.

The above description is just one of many stories behind carvings in the main stupa. Shatial site has many other unique, valuable iconographies.

This is the carving on the rock opposite the main stupa, “Yantra”, a holy set of symbols at the center to the right, and “Labyrinth” on the bottom left.

 

Above and below are Sogdian tamga, emblems used by ancient Eurasian sedentary and nomadic tribes and their influenced cultures, represented in rock carving.

Sogdian Tamga

It’s difficult to see, but can you see the person holding what looks like a cup?

This is a rock carving of Sogdian performing a ritual in front of an altar, most probably. Probably a fire worship ritual?

 

 

 

 

 

Other animal rock carvings are depicted by people who walked the Silk Road. The rock carvings in the upper Indus, Gilgit and Hunza river basins are mainly ibex wild goat, with snow leopards and markhors goats, but here we see camels and elephants depicted.

The elephant figures remind us of the proximity to India. Apart from the picture below, there were several rock carvings that appeared to be camels and elephants, but only those that more or less certain are shown here.

Petroglyph of Bactrian Camel
Petroglyph of Goose
Petroglyph of Bactrian Camel

There is always something new to discover at the Shatial site.

By the way, the village seen from the rock carving site is full of dwellings that have been built at a rapid pace to get compensation for the submerged dwellings caused by the dam. The environment around the ancient rock carving has changed considerably.

 

Photo & text : Mariko SAWADA

*About the article: the article is based on an old book. I wonder if other views and explanations exist. I would be very happy if you could let me know so that I can study it.

Reference :”Huma records on Karakoeum Highway”, ” The Indus, cradle and crossroad of civilizations”

*Contact us, Indus Caravan for more information or to make arrangements for visiting Rock carving along the Indus.

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Category : ◆Khyber Pakhtunkhwa > - Indus river bank > ◇ Rock carvings / Petroglyph > ◇ Heritage of Pakistan
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Skardu – Indus Valley in Spring

You will be amazed by the scenery as you arrive in Skardu on a domestic flight; almost all tourists take photos as soon as they arrive. The airport is on a desert plain, surrounded by snow-capped peaks, on the banks of the Indus River.

Skardu’s airport is on an high-altitude desert of 2,230m. Last year, it was promoted to “International Airport.” Recently, the operation rate of the Skardu route has improved, and it is now flying not only from Islamabad, but also from Karachi and Lahore in summer. However, in case of flight cancellation, there is no land route from Karachi. It is still safer for foreign tourists to choose flights from Islamabad instead.

Video of Islamabad – Skardu flight with the Nanga Parbat right at the front!

It takes about 20 minutes from the airport to the town of Skardu. Inhabited by the Balti people, Skardu means ‘land between two high places’ in the Balti language. It was once part of Tibet and was also a trading center to Kashmir. It later became Islamized, and after the independence of India and Pakistan in 1947, it went through three wars and in the end, it belonged to Pakistan.

March 23rd, when I arrived, was Pakistan Day. On March 22, 1940, Muhammad Ali Jinnah proposed the founding of Pakistan at a meeting of the All-India Muslim League, and on the following day, on the 23rd, the founding of the country was unanimously resolved. It is an important Pakistani Memorial Day, just like Independence Day.
There must have been an event at school, as there were children walking down the street with national flags in their hands.

Skardu’s Bazaar, a store that sells beans and grains.

A villager who came to buy goods from Kowardo village in the suburbs of Skardu. Their face is a bit Tibetan, unlike the Hunza and Punjab regions.
Balti men are known to be strong and are active in the K2 base camp trek and climbing in the summer.

A shop in the bazaar also had pink rock salt that was mined in the “Salt Range” from the Punjab region. There are various uses for it like salt licks for livestock, and smaller blocks are used when drinking “namkheen chai” (salty chai).
About Himalayan Salt: The Salt Range

At the Skardu vegetable market, a shipment of vegetables and fruits from the Punjab region arrived.

On this day, the apricots of Skardu were almost in full bloom

The Indus River seen from Hussain Abad Village in Skardu Valley. At this time of year, the Indus River is not mixed with melted glacier water and has a beautiful blue color.
The Indus River flows from Ladakh, India. 93% of the 3,180km (1,976 miles) long Indus River flows through Pakistan. After leaving the northern mountainous region, it flows across Pakistan into the Arabian Sea.

Skardu Valley looking back from the road from Skardu to Gilgit. This large canyon, 10 km wide and 40 km long (6.2 mi wide x 24.9 mi long), is said to have been formed by the glaciers of the Indus and Shigar Rivers between 3.2 million years ago and the Holocene period.

I took one last look before entering “Skardu Road,” which connects Karakorum Highway and Skardu.

The valley of Skardu is a very beautiful place with apricot blossoms in the spring, greenery in the summer and golden poplars in autumn.

 

Photo & text : Mariko SAWADA

Visit : March 2023, Skardu, Gilgiti-Baltistan

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Category : ◆ Gilgit-Baltistan > - Indus river bank > - Skardu Valley
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Shigar Valley in the Early Spring

Just after Nowruz (March 21), I visited the Shigar Valley. Nowruz is the Iranian New Year, but it is also celebrated in northern Pakistan. In Persian, “Now” means “new”, “Ruz” means “day”, and it falls on the vernal equinox. On this day, they start working in the fields and start new things.

On the domestic flight from Islamabad to Skardu, there were many elderly people heading to Skardu. They usually will spend the harsh winter in Islamabad and Karachi, where their sons and grandchildren live, and later return to their villages around Nowruz. The flight was full of villagers.

Shigar Village seen from the entrance of the valleyThe Shigar Valley is called the gateway to ‘Karakoram,’ and this ‘Shigar Road’ continues to the end of the motorway, Askole. Trekking and mountaineering start from Askole, walking on the Baltoro Glacier to K2, Broad Peak and Gasherbrum base camp. This is the path most people who aim for K2 take. The Shigar River is fed by the Braldu River, which flows from the Baltoro and Biafo Glaciers.

Apricot blossoms

The time I visited was when the apricot flowers were in full bloom. It can only be in “full bloom” for 1-2 days. Even so, there are differences in how the apricot blossoms bloom depending on the altitude, the amount of sunlight, and the amount of water, so I was able to see many stages of the apricot blossoms.

Shigar Village is the largest village in Shigar valley. Shigar Fort, managed by the Serena Hotel chain, is a lovely hotel that has been renovated from an old feudal lord’s castle. I walked around the hotel, and they are the village’s children.

Shigar Village
Shigar village

Compared to the past, Shigar Village has developed more than the image of the rustic village, and in the center, there are more cars now. But just taking a stroll around the village, you can enjoy the scenery and have some memorable encounters with the villagers.

Recently, more and more people are going to the Hashupi Fruit Garden, which is located further inside Shigar Village. The views of the valley and villages from Shigar Village to Hashupi Village are very beautiful. The scenery of the village also continues to be rustic.

Time spent with the children of the village
Photoshoot of the apricot blossoms

In the early morning, head to the Sarfranga cold dessert.

The Sarfranga Cold Desert lies on the bank of the Indus River, at the entrance to the Shigar Valley. It is a superb view point where you can see the sand dunes with the snowy mountains in the background.

Hussainbad Village seen from the Sarfranga sand dunes
The snowy mountains of Karakorum seen from the sand dunes

And after the morning shoot, I had a picnic breakfast, and the chai was the best!

 

Photo & text : Mariko SAWADA

Visit : March 2023, Shigar Valley, Skardu, Gilgit-Baltistan

Category : ◆ Gilgit-Baltistan > - Skardu Valley > - Shigar Valley
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Lolly, the Snow Leopard 2023

I visited “Lolly, the Snow Leopard” for the first time in a long time. The first time I saw her was in 2015, at the KVO check post in the border town of Sost, and at that time, she was 3 years old, being raised by people. Afterwards, Lolly was moved to Naltar Valley, where the Pakistan Army facilities are located.

So it must be that she is over 10 years old now?

Seeing Lolly through the bushes. She is so beautiful. But, she seems to be “a bit chubbier” than a wild snow leopard.

I waited for her to move away from the fence and go to a place where I could get some nature in the background of the photo. Here, Lolly was sitting in her favorite spot. On the day I visited, there was only one other local photographer there.

One of Lolly’s favorite sitting spots.

Oh, maybe she’s gonna make a move?

You can hear the rapid fire of camera shutters clicking in the moment she makes a move.

The thick tail of a snow leopard. This tail helps them balance when hunting on steep slopes and cliffs.

The bottom of her foot, covered with fur to protect it from the cold, and with a large ground surface area, making it easier to walk on snowy surfaces.
Pads on her feet…for the people who love them, we just can’t get enough of these ‘toe beans’!

The back is also nice to see, her ears, the nape of the neck…If you are watching a wild snow leopard, you can hardly get a view of them from this angle. Lolly was very cooperative this day, and during our stay of about 2.5 hrs, we could see her move to her ‘favorite spots’ and finally settle down right beside me.

Lolly was a very close distance (I could have reached out and felt her fluffy fur). I could hear her making growling noises.
Even though she is raised in captivity, for people who love snow leopards, to be able to be at this proximity with one, this is an interesting place where you can observe her to your heart’s content.

 

Photo & Text: Mariko SAWADA
Observation: Jan 2023, Naltar Valley, Gilgit-Baltistan

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Category : - Snow Leopard (captivity) > ◆ Gilgit-Baltistan > ◇ Wildlife of Pakistan > - Naltar Valley
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In Serch of Punjab Urial – Kalabagh Private Game Reserve

In January, we went on a search of the Punjab Urial, an endemic species of Pakistan, at the Kalabagh Private Game Reserve in the Java Mountains of the Punjab Plain.

The Kalabagh Private Game Reserve is a wildlife sanctuary for hunting, but in order to increase the number of animals for trophy hunting quota, the population needs to be allowed to grow. The rangers patrol with guns around the area to stop poachers, so the sanctuary is brimming with wild animals.

The Urial is an artiodactyl mammal of the family Bovidae. It is wild species of sheep, so they have large, arching horns and long beards on their necks. They live in the mountainous areas from South Asia to Central Asia. The Urial inhabiting the Punjab region of Pakistan were given the same protections as the Ladakh Urial in India, but in a 2016 publication in “Bovids of the World,” they listed it as the Punjab Urial, making it a separate species of Urial.

We got down from the vehicle, and slowly approached the Urial on foot to get closer. We paid close attention to the wind direction as we approached.

When we got too close to them, they quickly put some distance between you and themselves. We were able to see more than 30 of them, including some males with large horns, while we were watching them for about 2 hours.

And…the long awaited lunch time. At the Hunting Lodge, the setting and the service was very pleasant.

They served loads of locally produced ingredients for lunch. And it was orange season!!!

The interior of the Hunting Lodge. It was heavily decorated with many “Trophies” everywhere. The price at the Punjab Urial hunting auction is expensive at US$15,000 to US$16,000 per animal. About 15 are hunted from the Punjab plains each year.

Around the lodge, there were some young Urial kids that had lost their fear of people. They kept their distance from us visitors, but they could go up close to the people who worked at the lodge.

Our guide Abul with a Punjab Urial kid.

I will introduce to you the the wildlife of the Kalabagh Private Game Reserve.

This is the Salt Range Chinkara. It used to be a subspecies of the India Chinkara, but it became independent as a species according to the picture book published in 2016. It is distributed from the salt mountains of Pakistan to near Delhi, the capital of India.

An Indian Hare

The Greater Coucal, found in the plains and rural areas of India and Pakistan.

A young Eurasian Griffon. The wings will turn white once they mature.

A Grey Francolin, found in the plains of India and Pakistan.

They are very cute birds, that are skittish and run away quickly into the bushes to hide.

Wild Boar

This is a beautiful male Black Francolin.

After 2 hours of wildlife watching in the morning, taking a break for lunch, and then making 2 more hours of observations, we headed back to Islamabad. Probably, we would have seen even more, had we been there in the morning and dusk hours.

Finally, the majestic figure of the Game Reserve Ranger who guided our group. I was surprised at first to learn that they are protecting these wildlife so they can be hunted, but by all means, please protect them properly!

 

Photo & Text : Mariko SAWADA

Observation : Jan 2023, Kalabagh Private Game Reserve, Punjab

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Category : ◆ Punjab > - Urial > ◇ Birds of Pakistan > ◇ Wildlife of Pakistan
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Who Visited The Ibex Carcass?

In the winter, in the mountains of the Upper Hunza, a carcass of a Himalayan ibex was found in the snow. A snow leopard had hunted it and it had been there for several days. This is a summary of the wild animals of the Karakoram that were captured by camera traps for 5 days there.

Who came on Carcass of Ibex?

Wildlife that was spotted: Snow Leopard, Yellow-billed Chough, Red-billed Chough (not shown in the video), Red Fox, Raven and Bearded Vulture

The ibex was said to have been hunted a few days before (maybe a week earlier), and there was still a little meat left on the ibex’s carcass. It seemed that it had fallen into the river while being hunted, and then pulled out of the water, so the carcass was frozen solid (the temperature is minus 20 degrees). In the video, there is a snow leopard that checks around the ibex but not eating it. It is possible that this might be a different snow leopard than the one which caught it.

Luckily, the camera trap was set up at just the right angle to be able to capture the entire body of the snow leopard, including its long tail. The time is 6:08 pm and it showed up shortly after dark.

There were some red foxes that came in the night and also during the day. According to the difference in their fur, it seemed like two different foxes had come to eat some of the leftovers.

We were also very excited to see a bearded vulture which was caught on camera as well! It was seen alongside with a common raven, and immediately flew away.

Even though it is just a single ibex, it becomes an important food source for a lot of different animals. Nature is really amazing.

 

Image & text: Mariko SAWADA
Observation: Jan 2023, Gojar, Gilgit-Baltistan

*Contact us, Indus Caravan for more information or to make arrangements for observing wildlife of Pakistan.

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Category : - Snow Leopard > = Video Clip Gilgit-Baltistan > ◆ Video Breathtaking Views of Pakistan > ◆ Gilgit-Baltistan > - Gojar > ◇ Birds of Pakistan > ◇ Wildlife of Pakistan
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CONCORDIA 360 DEGREE

We stayed at Concordia on a truly cloudless, crystal clear morning in mid-June. The video was rattled by manual paaning, but I made a 360-degree mountain view video from Concordia.

CONCORDIA 360 DEGREE

 

Image by Mariko SAWADA

A big thank you to the the whole Baltoro Glacier trekking team for working with us!

 

Related article

Youtube : Our baltoro Trek in 1 Min !

K2 & Baltoro Glacier Trekking 2022 (Part 1) Skardu to Paiju

K2 & Baltoro Glacier Trekking 2022 (Part 2) Paiju to Khoburtse

K2 & Baltoro Glacier Trekking 2022 (Part 3) Khoburtse to Urdukas

K2 & Baltoro Trekking 2022 (Part 4) Urdukas to GoreⅡ

K2 & Baltoro Trekking 2022 (Part 5) GoreⅡ to Concordia

Staying in Concordia, surrounded by the high Peaks of the Karakorum: K2, Broad Peak, Gasherbrum Mountain Range

★★★★★

*Contact us, Indus Caravan for more information or to make arrangements for your Baltoro Glacier trek.

Category : - Baltoro Glacier & Concordia > = Video Clip Gilgit-Baltistan > ◆ Video Breathtaking Views of Pakistan > - Baltoro Glacier & Concordia > ◆ Gilgit-Baltistan > ◇ Mountain of Pakistan > - Karakorum Range
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