Hunza Valley – Everlasting Charm of Pakistan

Introduction to the Stunning Region

Hunza Valley is located in Gilgit (Baltistan) of Pakistan. It’s a marvelous mountainous valley at the northern side of Hunza River. It’s at an altitude of about 2500 meters. Hunza’s territory is 7900 sq kilometers. Aliabad along with Karimabad is the major town as a famous tourist destination. This is due to the fact that the area have spectacular sceneries containing mountains such as Rakaposhi, Ultar Sar, Ghenta Peak, Bojahagur, Duanasir II, Passu Peak, Hunza Peak, Ladyfinger Peak (Bublimotin) and Diran Peak all are of 6000 meters or even higher.

History of Hunza

Hunza was originally the princely state. Not only that, it was also the most trusted vassals to Maharaja of Kashmir and Jammu bordering China and Pamir to north-west that survived till 1974 when finally suspended by the Prime Minister of that time named Zulfikar Ali Bhutto. The capital state was Baltit (town also called asKarimabad) and its oldest settlement is the Ganish Village. The principality of Hunza stayed independent for over 900 years. When the British came, they conquered Hunza and Nagar (its neighboring valley) between 1889 till 1892 accompanied by military involvements of serious intensity. Both the states of Nagar and Hunza were once ruled by the Shahries who were the rulers of Gilgit at that time.

How Do You Reach Hunza

Hunza is about 100 km away from Gilgit and people mostly reach there by road. It takes 2-3 hours for arriving at Hunza straight from Gilgit. The bus stand operating is placed at karakoram highway Aliabad. Booking agents are available for lengthy distances on jeeps and buses along the karakoram. The journey to Hunza from Islamabad takes not less than 24 hours. From China, a bus service is there making a route to Hunza from Sost crossing above the Khunjerab Pass. Across the Hunza River at Sost, a village is situated known as Khuda Abad. From Sost, tourists can perform several activities on the way for instance trekking in valleys or driving to Hunza where Baltit Fort stands.

Language and People of the Region

The area of Hunza is principally shelter to people coming from three ethnicities:

  • Lower part of Hunza extending from Khizerabad till Nasirabad chiefly belongs to Shinaki Shina is their local language.
  • The part central to Hunza comes from Murtazaabad approaching Attabad and belonging to Burushaski speakers.
  • Upper area of Hunza is commonly called Gojal extending from place named Shiskat to Khunjerab. This part is governed by Wakhi

The scenic beauty of valley is as welcoming as they people living in Hunza. They are uniquely hospitable and tender-hearted. The largely accepted language is Burushaski but majority can also easily understand English and Urdu. Several cultural happenings are linked with Hunza valley and people here are very fond of fully celebrating the events. Traditional dance most common among every age group.

Traditional Festivals

Hunza valley welcomes warmly numerous festivals relating to cultural, normal and religion life events. The exciting festivals fall under two major sections namely cultural festivals based on agricultural or daily life and religious festivals. Religious festivals are:

  • Eid-ul-Azha
  • Eid_ul-Fitr
  • Eid-Ul-Meladul Nabi
  • Nowroz festival
  • Shab-e Barat
  • Shab-e-Miraj
  • Eid Ghadeer
  • Salgira-e-Imam Zman Mubar (Agha Khan’s birthday)

Traditionally, Ginani festival is always celebrated by locals with gatherings arranged in Aliabad, Baltit and Altit. The festival invites the harvesting season. It’s celebrated with honest happiness and joy. The celebrations start with music, dance and their traditional dish named Dirum Pitti to keep the festival memorable. Another very popular festival is Spring Blossom that gives people the opportunity to enjoy by sitting together in a friendly and joyous manner. Cultural shows, exhibitions and sports programs attract audience in the festival celebrating cultural heritage of Hunza.

Lifestyle of the Enchanting Place

People residing in Hunza are healthy and most interestingly, they have longest lifespan. They remain vigorous and strong even when they are old. This happens because of drinking pure water and taking natural diet. Commendably, people walk on the terrains almost everybody which keeps them physically fit as they do a forceful exercise. The fruit which they greatly consider as their gold is apricot. People eat as well dry their gold like fruit and make ice creams and jam later on. These people are fortunate enough to have nutritional richness such as fruits including peaches, red and black cherries, pears and apples. Number of trees and orchards under cultivation has been used for gauging economic stability to local people of Hunza.

Sights to Meditate and See in Hunza

The eye-catching sights of Hunza valley and miraculous mountain peaks make Hunza favorite spot for tourist coming from all over the world. There are five sights which one can’t afford to miss out on.

Ultra Sar

This area is part of Karakoram Range. Approximately, it’s located at a distance of ten kilometers north of Karimabad which is the capital of city of Hunza. Until 1996, it cherished a reputation of staying the unapproachable peak of world. Other worth watching peaks is Lady Finger Peak or Bublimating, Golden Peak and Hunza Peak.

Rakaposhi Mountain

Its part of Karakoram Mountain and the height is 7788 meters. It’s also called Dumani which means Mother of Mist. Rakaposhi Mountain is viewed from various areas of Hunza. Strikingly, the meaning of the word Rakaposhi is Shinning Wall because it’s encompassed by popular glacier valleys such as Pisan, Bagrot, Barpu and Biro. It’s the twelfth tallest mountain peak in Pakistan and it’s famous for scenic beauty.

Altit Fort

The fort was residence for the rulers. It’s said that the fort is century older than Baltit Fort. It lies at foot of Hunza valley. Due to severe negligence of government, it was completely in ruins. Gladly, now it’s being renovated by Agha Khan Trust which is for cultural historic cities program.

Baltit Fort

The magnificent structure of Baltit Fort is 700 years old. It was also the rulers’ residence. Over the passage of time, it went various alterations and in 1996, it was restored and taken over by Aga Khan Trust. This is served as museum. Stilted on gigantic legs it’s a sight worth being praised.

Hunza River

It’s the chief river in Northern areas of Hunza in Pakistan. It’s formed by the linkage of Khunjerab River, Shimshal River, Gujerab River, Chapursan River and Misgar River. Glaciers feed these rivers. All these rivers meet Hunza River in the upper course. The river has cut through Karakoram Range which flows from the north to south. Karakoram Highway wonderfully crossed Hunza River which stands near Nagar and Hunza valleys. The Hunza valley entirely relies on Hunza River. Many bridges new as well as old have been constructed over the Hunza River.

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