Khaplu is situated at an elevation of about 2,560 m (8,400 ft). It is the capital town of the Ghanche District of Gilgit-Baltistan, lying 103 km from Skardu town.
Khaplu is the eastern most part of Baltistan, with the Shyok River, a tributary of the Indus River dividing the valley into two halves. The valley has steeper slopes and there is lesser land available than in other valleys in Baltistan. However in terms of architectural heritage and cultural expression it has arguably more treasures than any other place in Baltistan, possibly as a result of its proximity to both Leh in Ladakh and Srinagar in Kashmir.
It was the 2nd largest kingdom in old Baltistan guarding the trade route to Ladakh along the Shyok River. Khaplu is not a town but a collection of scattered hamlets set amid fields on a wide alluvial fan that is surrounded by towering 6,000m peaks. The hamlets are connected by paths, stone walls and irrigation channels are a labyrinth of old timber and stone buildings – houses, stores and religious monuments.
Khaplu is the gateway for trekkers and mountaineers to Masherbrum Peak, K7, K-6, Namika, Chogolisa and many more high altitude peaks.
Polo is a popular sport played regularly on the Khaplu Polo ground in the spring, summer and autumn.
The population consists of diverse linguistic, ethnic, and Nurbukshi and Shia Muslim religious groups. The people of the Khaplu valley speak Balti – a sub-dialect of Ladakhi and part of Tibetan language group, which is spoken by the entire population of Baltistan.