Shigar Fort – The Palace On The Rock

Do you want to experience what’s it like living in a 17th-century palace? Look no further because Shigar Fort welcomes you to stay in the royal chambers as a royal guest and experience the hospitality and culture of the Amacha Dynasty with your own eyes!

Build some 400 years ago by a Raja of Amacha Dynasty of Shigar, the fort has been restored by Aga Khan Cultural Service Pakistan and now serves as a museum as well as a famous hotel managed by Serena Hotels. The original palace was founded on top of a platform that rises 5m from the ground and partly surrounds a gigantic cone-shaped rock, which gives it the name Fong-Khar or “the palace on the rock”. The former palace of the Raja of Shigar has now been transformed into a 13-room heritage guesthouse which is decorated with unique wood carvings, hand-woven textiles and original bed niches and screens from the royal family’s history which is difficult to find anywhere else in Pakistan. Along with the guesthouse, the grand hall has been transformed into a museum which lets visitors catch a glimpse of the Balti culture.

The Shigar complex also consists of a “Garden House” which has also been transformed into rooms for the guesthouse but the verandas still overlook the traditional Amacha garden, shaded by the centuries-old Chenar tree. It also features the Kashmir-style pavilion set surrounded by water which provides a peaceful and relaxing environment to anyone that wishes to take a scroll in the garden.

“The Old House” is the name given to the building to the south of the Fort Palace and it is believed to be the royal stable for the Fong-Khar itself. The space accommodated a horse stable, a cattle pen and storage for animal feed. It is now used as a reception area, guest lounge and restaurant for the guests while also providing easy access to the orchards and garden areas.

When traveling to Skardu, one cannot miss the glory of the Shigar Fort and the royal ambiance it provides its visitors!

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