Gilgit has an area of 38,000 square kilometres (14,672 sq mi). The region is significantly mountainous, lying on the foothills of the Karakoram mountains, and has an average altitude of 1,500 metres (4,900 ft). It is drained by the Indus River, which rises in the neighbouring regions of Ladakh and Baltistan.
A Dance at Gilgit by G. W. Leitner, 1893
Gilgit was an important city on the Silk Road through which Buddhism was spread from South Asia to the rest of Asia. A large number of Buddhist Sanskrit texts, included the long version of the Heart Sutra have been unearthed in Gilgit. The Dards and Cizinas also appear in many of the old Pauranic lists of peoples, with the former finding mention in Ptolemy's accounts of the region. Two famous travellers, Faxian, and Xuanzang are known to have traversed Gilgit as per their accounts.
Places to visit:
Gilgit Bridge: The bridge over the fast flowing Gilgit River, at the end of its traditional bazaar, is the largest suspension bridge in Asia (182 metres long and 2 metres wide) permitting enough room for one jeep at a time to cross.
Kargah Buddha: Located on a rock near Kargah Nullah (ravine), 10 km. from Gilgit town is a beautiful rock engraving of Buddha from 7th century A.D.
Monument of Taj Mughal: A victory monument of Taj Mughal, built 700 years ago, is 30 km. jeep drive from Gilgit town.
Sher Qilla: It is 38 km. from Gilgit - Trekking route links with Naltar valley. Trout fishing can be enjoyed in Sher Qilla Nullah and a small lake.
Singal: About 61 km from Gilgit - Trekking route links with Chilas and Kohistan valley.
Gahkuch: Headquarter of Ghizer District - Ideal place for trekking, good fishing sports and duck shooting in season. It is the gateway to Iskoman Valley. Government rest house and private hotels are available (73 km from Gilgit). Archaeological sites in village and a near by village Hatoon.
Naltar Valley: Two hours jeep drive from Gilgit link rod. Government Rest house, Private hotels and a Ski slope, lush green Alpine forest with small lakes and glaciers, trout fishing in lake. Trekking routes link with Iskoman, Chalt and Punial valley.