Deep in the heart of the Himalayan and Karakoram Mountain Ranges lies the picturesque land of Balitistan, Also called Little Tibet, the land is known for its scenic valleys, mighty towering peaks rising from 1000-8000m, and is also the source of the mighty River Indus that flows down to the Arabia Sea. The land of Baltistan consists of six major valleys: Skardu, Ghanche, Shigar, Kharmang, Rondhu, and Gultari. It is the largest apricot producing region in Pakistan and some of the world’s best and finest apricots are grown in this very area, particularly Ghanche.
It is a common sight to see mountain roads lined with beautiful apricot trees, with branches bending with the heavily laden fruit during the summer months, adding to the enchanting beauty of the valley. The capital of Ghanche District is Khaplu and is considered one of the coldest places within Pakistan. It is often termed as the Third Pole with temperatures reaching below -20C in the winter, thus providing the ideal conditions for growing apricots, also termed as “gold of the snow” by Zulfikar Ali Bhutto,