Phander Valley is located 61 km (38 miles) from Gupis valley, District Ghizer of Gilgit-Baltistan, Pakistan. A winding road through lush green fields and forests with a view of a flowing river and snowcapped peaks will lead you to this fascinating valley.
From freshwater springs to lakes and rivers of blue water, there is every color of natural beauty in the Phandar Valley. A preview of this valley will alleviate all the fatigue of the trip and will empower you with its amazing views. The calm, deep blue waters of the Ghizer River and the surrounding green and gold fields are amazing.
Phander Valley Weather
The weather in Phander Valley is always very good between June and July and this is the best time to visit this valley because the beauty of this valley is the best during these months. The days are always nice and warm and the nights are a little colder.
Phander Valley Location
Phander is the name of a settlement and village in the Gupis-Yasin region located in Gilgit-Baltistan, Pakistan. It is located 184 kilometers from Gilgit on the road to Shandur Pass, which continues to Chitral.
It is well known in the area that there is a reason for naming the valley Phander, as “Phan” means palm in the local Khowar language and the area is as flat as a palm tree, hence the name Phander. This place attracts tourists. There are four lakes in this small valley, which is Phander Lake’s largest. Phander is one of the few places where the river Gilgit splits into several strands as it enters the valley, which also meets at the mouth of the valley.
Language, culture, and religion in Pander
The inhabitants of Phander are mainly Muslim-speaking Ismaili Muslims, followers of the Aga Khan.
The Ismailis as a whole are generally educated and liberal. You will see a lot of women traveling compared to other parts of Pakistan, boys and girls often go to mixed sex schools, and literacy rates are very high.
How to get to the Phander Valley
Phander Valley sits along the “highway” from Chitral to Gilgit. If you take the Chitral-Gilgit road, you will be passing Phander Valley.
Distance from Gilgit to Pander Valley
The NATCO bus from Gilgit to Mastuj is your most reliable bet… or depart at 6:00 p.m. I bought my ticket right away, but during the peak season (summer, after Ramadan) you may want to book your seat a day early at the NATCO stop located at the corner of River View Road and Punyal Link Road in Gilgit. Tickets cost Rs 400 — don’t forget to tell the ticket holder that you are getting off at Phander, not Mastuj.
If you are on a bus, the journey should take about 6 hours. You will be in Phander at 12 for lunch.
Alternatively, the Hi-Ace minivan leaves the same NATCO stop at 11:00 a.m., whenever it is full.
From Chitral / Mastuj to Phander Valley Distance
The process is the same on the other side. You will need to board a NATCO bus from Mastuj from the station (even worse) at 5:00, and notify the driver that you are getting off at Phander.
Note that the Chitral-Gilgit road is not open from about November to May each year, as Shandur Pass closes due to snow.
Phander Valley Accommodation
There are a limited number of residential and limited accommodation in Phander – where you live depending on your budget. Keep in mind that prices may rise over the course of a season due to demand.
Things to do in Phander
Phander is a kind of place where you live and watch the world go by, don’t chase after a bucket list of Top Things to Do. While I think you should take a breather and let things happen in a living way, there are a few things you can look forward to in Phander:
Trout fishing in Phander Valley Ghizer
Phander is all about trout fishing, and many locals are crazy about it.
Officially you need a fishing permit… but no one has it, and no one is looking after it. Ask your hotel owner if you can borrow a fishing rod (meaningless question), and dive into the water to try your luck. The river areas around the town of Handrap outside Phander were very numerous when I was there in May.
Note that the fishing season is approaching late autumn, when the trout mating season begins.
Phander to Teru and Shandur Pass
Teru is another beautiful mountain town, slightly higher than Phander. You can easily spend the day wandering around its fields and simple houses.
The famous Shandur Pass, about 2-3 hours from Phander, is very far from nature.
Both can be visited as a day trip if you rent someone’s motorcycle or have your own transportation. Be sure to check that Shandur is open before you go out — most of the year it is closed due to snow.
Communication in Phander Valley
The downside of Phander — and all of Gilgit Baltistan — is a sad mobile signal. Mine, though.
SCOM is the only network operating in Phander. Despite the consistency, it slows down more than slugs.
Don’t expect to have more 2G in Phander, and make sure you get your SCOM SIM card in Gilgit if possible. There is not much in the way of mobile stores in Phander.