The Kachura Lakes are two lakes in the Skardu District of Gilgit-Baltistan, northern Pakistan. The lakes, at 2,500 metres (8,200 ft) in elevation, are Upper Kachura Lake and Lower Kachura Lake. The latter is also known as Shangrila Lake and is within a tourist resort named Shangrila Resort outside the town of Skardu.
The lakes are in the Karakoram mountain range of the western Himalayas, the greater Kashmir region, and in the Indus River basin.
Upper Kachura Lake
Upper Kachura Lake is of clear water and has a depth of 70 metres (230 ft).  In summer it has a temperature of 15 °C (59 °F). In winter the surface is frozen solid. The upper Indus River flows nearby at a lower elevation.
The beauty of the Upper Kachura Lake is almost untampered and mostly unexplored by travelers, due to lack of infrastructure owing to its rough terrain The area is has a rich flora of the Western Himalayan subalpine conifer forests ecoregion, and also known for its wild apricot – Prunus armeniaca orchards. Recreation activities at Upper Kachura Lake include hiking, trout fishing, and Himalaya mountaineering.
Lower Kachura Lake
Shangrila Lake or Lower Kachura Lake is a part of the Shangrila resort located at a drive of about 20 minutes from Skardu (nearly 2,500 m or 8,200 feet) town.
It is a popular tourist destination, and has a unique restaurant that is built on the fuselage of an aircraft that had crashed nearby.
Shangrila was established in 1983 with the opening of the first Resort Hotel in Skardu, Baltistan. It was named “heaven on earth” because of its spectacular beauty,and breathtaking view and peaceful atmosphere. Shangrila Resort Hotel was founded by the late Brig.(Retd) Muhammad Aslam Khan, the first commander of the Northern Scouts of the Pakistan Army.
Shangrila was named after a book titled “Lost Horizon” by James Hilton. In the novel, the author narrates a tale in which an aeroplane crash landed near a riverbed, in the early 1920’s. The surviving passengers came across some Buddhist monks from a nearby temple and sought their help. They were taken to a beautiful lamasery filled with a variety of fruits and flowers. The monks looked quite young, although they claimed to be hundreds of years old. The idyllic place was called Shangri-la, a Tibetan word meaning “Heaven on earth”.
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