Shades of Ten

Untitled by Ahmed Hussaini

Nanga Parbat is the second highest mountain peak of Pakistan and is the ninth highest mountain of world. It is located in Karakoram mountain range.

While exploration of the Karakoram only started in the 19th century, the ranges of this area have an old and fascinating history, one that is only completely understood when surrounded by the awesome power of the Karakoram. From Alexander the Great in 327 BC to Changhiz Khan, the Karakoram has been influenced by the experiences, traditions, beliefs, languages, and culture of some of the most powerful and legendary rulers and empires. And through this process it has become a legend of its own.


Silk and species traveled from China and India to the West on the Silk Route, an essential route for trade in Central Asia. This is now the Karakoram Highway (KKH), and links Islamabad to China’s legendary city of Kashgar. This road is 1300 km long and has opened up an ancient world for the curious traveler. This awe-inspiring highway, which opened in 1986, took over twenty years to complete and cost both Pakistan and China over a thousand lives in the process.

The Karakoram can be traced from the Ishkoman River and along Pakistan’s border with China into India. On the west of the Karakoram is the Hindukush and on the east the Himalayas. The most number of peaks over 7,000 meters can be found here, all situated in South and Central Asia. Among them, the ever famous and ever daunting K2. This is not only the second highest peak in the world, but also the most feared but the mountain with most lives in its name is Nanga Parbat which means “Naked Mountain.” Derived from sanskrit language. The sanskrit word parvata means “mountain rocks” and nanga means “bare”.


It is also among the Deadlist Mountains to climb and is also known as the “Killer Mountain” because of its immense and dramatic rises far above its surrounding terrain. It is also been given the name “Murder Mountain” by Germans and “Mountain of the Devil” by sherpas localities’ of the Himalayan region. It is the only peak which has the longest list of human deaths and tragedies.

Recently ten climbers were shot dead at the base camp by a group of terrorist in the middle of the night. This was the first blood shed in which the mountain itself played no role.

The notable feature of Nanga Parbat is: Nanga Parbat has tremendous vertical relief over local terrain in all directions. To the south, Nanga Parbat boasts what is often referred to as the highest mountain face in the world. Its climate, which is Daunting and wild, bearing the onslaught of gnawing wind and torrential rain during the monsoons, makes it the most dangerous peak to climb up.


Height: 8126 meters

Mountain Range: Himalaya

Location: Pakistan

First ascent: July 3, 1953 by Hermann Buhl