The Karakoram Highway is a road that connects Islamabad, the Pak capital to Kashgar, a city in western China. The highway stretches for a total of eight hundred miles. The road is one of the most remarkable feats of construction and engineering. The terrain here is among the most rugged in the entire world, and the climate deadly harsh.
The Karakoram Highway was built about thirty years ago, and took close to twenty years to build. The Chinese and Pakistani road workers battled all sorts of hardships to complete the road. More than five hundred laborers from both Pakistan and China were killed while constructing.
It was in the year nineteen seventy eight that the Karakoram Highway was completed. It was inaugurated in the year nineteen eighty two but was made accessible to foreigners only in nineteen eighty six.
The highway is certainly one of the most scenic drives in the world. The majesty of the towering mountains and the simply spectacular panoramic views on offer makes it a heavenly experience to drive down.
The highway has points extremely close to great mountains more than twenty five thousand feet in height such as Rakaposhi and Nanga Parbat. There are rock carvings related to Buddhism along the whole length of the highway and principally around the Chilas area.
It is because of the spectacular views and the scenery that the Karakoram highway is now a popular destination with travelers and adventure lovers all over the world. It has been featured in many publications and TV shows as one of the best road trips ever.
Traveling by the highway is ny no means an easy task, and certainly not for the faint of heart. The huge number of avalanches, mountain slides, scree slides and other calamities are ever present, but even without them taking on the precarious hair pin turns and trying to keep your vehicle on the road will be tough even for an accomplished driver.
As you travel the road, you will see wrecks of cars, buses and trucks having fallen off the cliff sides. As there are no shoulders here, automobiles have to skirt within inches from the thousands of feet high drops.
Karakoram Highway has gotten a lot safer than it was earlier, when it was nothing more than a treacherous death trap. However, the monsoon season makes the ride the most hair raising.