Orient Airways DC-3 at Skardu

On October 13th, 1950 Hilton's fiction turned into a reality when a DC-3 aircraft belonging to Orient airways crash landed after three minutes of take off. All passengers and crew survived. One of it's famous passengers was James Mitchener. Brig. Khan bought this plane from Orient airways for Rs. 150.00, and after three months of efforts involving hundreds of men, bullocks and horses, moved it to its present site.

In his famous book " Lost Horizon", James Hilton narrated a fictitious tale in which an airplane crash landed near a river bed, in the early 1920s. The surviving passengers came across some Buddhist monks from a nearby temple and sought their help, who took them to a lamasery which was very beautiful and filled with all sorts of fruits. The monks looked quite young although they claimed to be hundreds of years old. The idyllic place was called Shangrila, a Chinese word meaning "Heaven on Earth". There was also a hollywood movie made on this book. The name of that black-and-white movie is "Lost Horizons of Shangri-Law."

The founder, late Brig. (Retd.) Mohammed Aslam Khan was inspired by the idea and decided to create a similar Shangrila in the northern areas of Pakistan.He acquired some land close to a beautiful lake called Kachura and planted an orchid with a large variety of fruits.

In 1983, a Resort was built at this place by Mr. Khan and was named "Shangrila". The plane was converted into a caf´┐Ż and became one of the world's most unique tourist attractions.This resort quickly became famous for its natural beauty and tourists started pouring in from all over the world.

Another photo of the DC-3.
Photo credit Bruce Hallman.


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