For faster navigation, this Iframe is preloading the Wikiwand page for Northern Pakistan.

Northern Pakistan

Northern Pakistan
شمالی پاکستان
Country Pakistan
Adm. Units Azad Jammu and Kashmir
 Khyber Pakhtunkhwa
 Punjab (Rawalpindi Division)
Largest cityRawalpindi
 • Total210,954 km2 (81,450 sq mi)
Time zoneUTC+05:00 (PKT)

Northern Pakistan (Urdu: شمالی پاکستان ALA-LC: śimālī Pākistān) is a tourism region in northern and north-western parts of Pakistan, comprising the administrative units of Gilgit-Baltistan (formerly known as Northern Areas), Azad Kashmir, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Islamabad Capital Territory and the Rawalpindi Division in Punjab.[1][2] The first two territories are a part of the wider Kashmir region.[b] It is a mountainous region straddling the Himalayas, Karakoram and the Hindu Kush mountain ranges, containing many of the highest peaks in the world and some of the longest glaciers outside polar regions.[3] Northern Pakistan accounts for a high level of Pakistan's tourism industry.[4]


The geography of Northern Pakistan is mountainous and terrain is different in each part.[5][6] The Karakoram range in Gilgit Baltistan cover the border between Pakistan, India and China in the regions of Ladakh and Xinjiang.[3] The Himalayan range in Pakistan occupies the regions of Kashmir, Kaghan, Kohistan, Deosai and Chilas.[3] The Hindu Kush rises southwest of the Pamirs extending into Swat and Kohistan areas, separated on the east from Karakoram by the Indus River.[3]

Snow often falls in the winter and many towns are closed such as Naran.[7]


The climate of Northern Pakistan is much colder than that of the rest of the country, and it has many glaciers and ice-capped mountains, earning it the nickname "Earth's 3rd pole".[8] The winters (Nov-Mar) are cold and dry, while the summers (Apr-Jun) are warm to hot and very rainy. The rest of the year is warm and sunny.

Flora and fauna

The regions of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Gilgit Baltistan include portions of two biodiversity hotspots; Mountains of Central Asia and Himalayas.[9] Some of the wildlife species found in northern mountainous areas and Pothohar Plateau include the Bharal, Eurasian lynx, Himalayan goral, Marco Polo sheep, Marmot (in Deosai National Park) and Yellow-throated marten and birds species of Chukar partridge, Eurasian eagle-owl, Himalayan monal and Himalayan snowcock and amphibian species of Himalayan toad and Muree Hills frog. Threatened species include the Snow leopard, Himalayan brown bear, Indian wolf, Rhesus macaque, Markhor, Siberian ibex and White-bellied musk deer.[10]


The western part of Northern Pakistan include Chitral, Dir, Swat, Shangla, Kolai-Palas, Battagram, Kohistan, and Mansehra. These include the famous tourist spots of Chitral, Kalash Valley, Bahrain and Kalam.[11][12]

Along the Karakoram Highway are major destinations for tourists including the famous Kaghan Valley, Babusar Top, Fairy Meadows, Rakaposhi, Nanga Parbat, Attabad Lake, and Lulusar Lake.[13] Main cities or towns include Mansehra, Balakot, Kiwai, Naran, Kaghan, Batakundi, Jalkhad, Tatta Pani, Chilas, Gilgit, Karimabad, and Passu.[14][15]

To the east of the Pothohar Plateau is located Azad Kashmir.[16] Main cities of Azad Kashmir include Muzaffarabad, Mirpur, Rawalakot, and Sharda.[17] Banjosa Lake is a major attraction in Poonch district.[18]


  1. ^ The total area of regions of Gilgit-Baltistan, Azad Kashmir, Rawalpindi Division, Islamabad Capital Territory and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.
  2. ^ The Kashmir region also includes Ladakh and Jammu and Kashmir which are claimed by Pakistan due to ongoing Kashmir conflict. These portions are de facto under Indian control.


  1. ^ Öztürk, Münir; Hakeem, Khalid Rehman; Faridah-Hanum, I.; Efe, Recep (5 May 2015). Climate Change Impacts on High-Altitude Ecosystems. Springer. p. 455. ISBN 978-3-319-12859-7. The northern Pakistan covers Gilgit-Baltistan, Azad Jammu and Kashmir, the upper region of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, including Chitral, and some parts of the central and northern regions of Pakistan.
  2. ^ "Islamabad history". Archived from the original on 30 June 2008. Islamabad is the capital of Pakistan, and is located in the Potohar Plateau in the north of the country...
  3. ^ a b c d Öztürk, Münir; Hakeem, Khalid Rehman; Faridah-Hanum, I.; Efe, Recep (5 May 2015). Climate Change Impacts on High-Altitude Ecosystems. Springer. pp. 455–456. ISBN 978-3-319-12859-7.
  4. ^ "Explore Pakistan's wildest, most beautiful landscapes". National Geographic Society. 16 August 2022. Archived from the original on 25 February 2021.
  5. ^ "Swat Valley, Mini Switzerland of Pakistan, Pakistan: Better Tips for Better Trips". 16 February 2017.
  6. ^ "Northern Areas of Pakistan". 2 April 2019.
  7. ^ "'Steps being taken to promote winter tourism'". 14 December 2021.
  8. ^ "SERVIR Hindu Kush Himalaya - NASA". Retrieved 6 November 2023.
  9. ^ "Biodiversity Hot spots of Pakistan and the world - SU LMS". Retrieved 30 November 2022.
  10. ^ Anwar, M.B.; Jackson, R.; Nadeem, M.S.; Janečka, J.E.; Hussain, S.; Beg, M.A.; Muhammad, G.; Qayyum, M. (2011). "Food habits of the snow leopard and common leopard Panthera uncia (Schreber, 1775) in Baltistan, Northern Pakistan". European Journal of Wildlife Research. 57 (5): 1077–1083. doi:10.1007/s10344-011-0521-2. S2CID 3004597.
  11. ^ "MyTrip - Swat and Chitral".
  12. ^ "THE 10 BEST Parks & Nature Attractions in Chitral".
  13. ^ "How to Travel the Karakoram Highway (Backpacker's Guide)". 7 April 2020.
  14. ^ "Major cities, towns, valleys and villages along the Karakorum Highway".
  15. ^ "سی پیک سیاحت: شاہراہِ قراقرم پر پہلا قدم (پہلی قسط)". 20 May 2022.
  16. ^ "THE 15 BEST Things to do in Azad Kashmir - 2022 (With Photos)".
  17. ^ "Azad Kashmir 2022: Best Places to Visit".
  18. ^ "Banjosa Lake".

List of Amazing Northern Areas of Pakistan

{{bottomLinkPreText}} {{bottomLinkText}}
Northern Pakistan
Listen to this article

This browser is not supported by Wikiwand :(
Wikiwand requires a browser with modern capabilities in order to provide you with the best reading experience.
Please download and use one of the following browsers:

This article was just edited, click to reload
This article has been deleted on Wikipedia (Why?)

Back to homepage

Please click Add in the dialog above
Please click Allow in the top-left corner,
then click Install Now in the dialog
Please click Open in the download dialog,
then click Install
Please click the "Downloads" icon in the Safari toolbar, open the first download in the list,
then click Install

Install Wikiwand

Install on Chrome Install on Firefox
Don't forget to rate us

Tell your friends about Wikiwand!

Gmail Facebook Twitter Link

Enjoying Wikiwand?

Tell your friends and spread the love:
Share on Gmail Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Share on Buffer

Our magic isn't perfect

You can help our automatic cover photo selection by reporting an unsuitable photo.

This photo is visually disturbing This photo is not a good choice

Thank you for helping!

Your input will affect cover photo selection, along with input from other users.


Get ready for Wikiwand 2.0 🎉! the new version arrives on September 1st! Don't want to wait?