serena shigar fort skardu

Serena Shigar Fort Skardu: An Ancient Castle of 17th Century

Shigar Fort means Fort on Rock is an ancient castle of Baltistan and Pakistan located in the city of Shigar. Serena Shigar Fort Skardu was built in the 17th century by Raja of the Amacha Dynasty of Shigar.

Shugar Fort was restored by the Aga Khan Cultural Service Pakistan (AKCSP-P), the Pakistani arm of the Aga Khan Historic Cities Program. After the restoration, Serena Shigar Fort Skardu was transformed into a museum and luxury hotel owned by Serena Hotels. The restitution process took place from 1999 to 2004 and cost about US $ 1.4 million. 

Shigar Fort Built

Shigar Fort Skardu was built in the 17th century by Raja of the Amacha Dynasty of Shigar. 

Location of Serena Shigar Fort Skardu

Serena Shigar Fort Skardu is located in the Mal Shigar region, Gilgit Baltistan. Raja Hassan Khan Amacha, ruler of the Amacha Dynasty, built the fort in the 17th century. This Fort is almost 400 years old. Wood, stone, and clay have been used in the construction. All Kashmir artisans were invited to build the castle with them, and the local people also participated in the construction.

Shigar Fort is also known as “Fongs Khar”. The name Fongs means big stone and Khar says Fort is Balti, the language of the Baltistan region. Shigar Fort is a complete renovation of the original building. This is because the Castle is over a rock about 32 km away from the town of Skardu.


Serena Shigar Fort Skardu was restored by the Aga Khan Cultural Service Pakistan. After the restoration, the Fort was transformed into a historic hotel and luxury hotel run by Serena Hotels. Restoration work took place from 1999 to 2004 and cost about $ 1.4 million. More than 70% of the revenue is spent on the care of the people of Shigar district and castle.

The Castle – Main Tourist Attraction

Shigar Castle has been made an excellent destination for tourists who are also considered a protected heritage site of the region. The royal hall in which it was built has been transformed into a museum containing old utensils, cupboards, jewelry, and royal books. The castle also has a historic mosque. There is a room in the garden for which Raja is famous after the Polo game wasted time. What is important is that this room has twelve pillars. 

This castle has three parts namely:

 Old house

 Regional values

 Garden house

Serena Shigar Fort History

There is a big tree in Fort that is famous for burning every 200 years. Non-governmental organizations should provide more opportunities to preserve historic buildings, just as NGOs work to protect a fortress.

Built 400 years ago by the Shiite Amja Kingdom of the Amacha, the fort has been restored by the Aga Khan Cultural Service Pakistan and now serves as a treasure trove and a popular hotel owned by Serena Hotels. The first palace was built on a platform 5 feet [5 m] from the ground and was partially surrounded by a huge cone-shaped rock, which gives it the name Fong-Khar or “rock castle”.

The former Raja of Shigar Palace has now been converted into a 13-room guesthouse adorned with unique wood carvings, handwoven fabrics, and original accommodations and scenes of royal family history that are hard to find elsewhere. Along with the guest house, the main hall has been transformed into a museum that allows visitors to experience a little of the Balti culture. 

The Shigar complex also contains a “Garden House” which has also been converted into a guest house but the balconies still overlook the traditional Amacha garden, shaded by the ancient Chenar tree. It also has a water-repellent Kashmir-style tile that provides a peaceful and relaxing environment for anyone wishing to take a roll in the garden.

“Old House” is the name given to the building just south of Fort Palace and is believed to be the royal stable of Fong-Khar itself. This space used to be a stable, a barn, and a place to store animals for food. It is now used as a reception area, lounge area, and guest restaurant while providing easy access to gardens and garden areas.

On your way to Skardu, one cannot miss the splendor of Shigar Fort and the royal ambiance it offers its guests! 

Scroll to Top