Hispar Pass - The crossing point between Baltistan and Hunza valley is the Hispar pass which is at the elevation of 5151 meters from the top looking back gives a feeling of vast snowy space without a hint of vegetation. Coiling out from snow lake smooth glaciers writhe between nameless and unclimbed peaks the highest peak due east is the Baintha Brak 7285 meters high. In the west the Hispar glacier rough and snow covered stretches down as far as the eye can see, Separating the Hispar Muztag range on the right from the Rakaposhi and Balchish range.
Defiying Time... the Baltit Fort. Eleventh-century Baltit Fort, perched 2,800 m up the Himalayan peaks, was built to resist time, enemies and frequent earthquakes. Until 1950, the fort was the residence of the Mirs of Hunza, but was then left to go to ruin. Its recent restoration, proposed by the Aga Khan Trust, has carefully respected the original building techniques. Though rain is rare in the Hunza Valley, it is irrigated by an ingenious ancient system of canals fed by glaciers
Hunza is the northernmost part of a region known as the Northern Areas of Pakistan. It is a real life green paradise on earth.
For many centuries it has provided the quickest access to Swat and Gandhara (in modern north Pakistan) for a person on foot. The route was impassible to baggage animals, only human porters could get through, and then only with permission from the locals.
Travelling up the valley from the south, Hunza is the land to the the left, and Nagar to the right of the river. They traditionally have been separate principalities.
From hunza there are spectacular views of the beautiful and magnificent 7,788m (25,551 ft) Rakaposhi.
The famous Karakoram Highway crosses Hunza, connecting Pakistan to China via the Khunjerab Pass.
Hunza has three parts, not divided administratively but ethnically: Gojal, mainly populated with Wakhi speakers; Central, with Brushaski speaking people and Shinaki, the Shina speaking people. Brushaski is understood throughout Hunza.
Until 1974 Hunza was a princely state with its capital situated at Baltit (also known as Karimabad). It is now ruled directly from Islamabad through the administration based in Gilgit, the regional capital of Gilgit-Baltistan.
Hunza was an independent principality for 900 years. There is a common missbelief that Hunza was under the rule of Maharajas of Kashmir, but it never was. The British failed to gain control over Hunza and the neighbouring valley of Nagar untill 1889.
Altit fort is situated in the village of Altit about three kilometers from Karimbabd. It has been built on a sheer rock cliff that falls 300 metres (1,000 feet) inti the Indus river. The fort is a 100 years older than the Baltit Fort and weas at one time inhabited by the ruling family.
Today there is a museum built within the Fort for the tourist. A trip to the Baltit & Altit is must while your tour to Hunza Valley.
The visitors to Hunza are overwhelmed by the rugged charm, the fragrant breeze singing through graceful poplar trees and the velvet-like green carpet of wheet fields, set against the background of snow-covered mountains.
Situated at an elevation of 2,438 meters, Hunza Valley's tourist season is from May to October. The temperature in May is maximum 27oC and minimum 14oC. The October temperatures are: maximum 10oC and minimum 0oC.
Most of the people of Hunza are Islamili Muslims, followers of Aga Khan. The local language is Brushuski. Urdu and English are also understood by most of the people.
Karimabad, the capital of Hunza, offers an awe-inspiring view of Rakaposhi (7,788 meters). The snows of Rakaposhi glitter in the moonlight, producing an atmosphere at once ethereal and sublime.
The fairy-tale like castle of Baltit, above Karimabad, is a Hanza landmark built about 600 years ago. Stilted on massive legs, its wooden bay windows look out over the valley. Originally, it was used the resistance of the Mirs (the title of the former rulers) of Hunza.
This valley is composed of terraced ridges running from the high pastures down to the river, with extensive irrigation channels bringing meltwater from the glaciers to the terraced fields and villages. A wide variety of crops are grown here; including potatoes, barley, wheat, and vegetables - along with apricots, apples, cherries, almonds, and other fruit/nut crops. We hiked the valley during the apricot tree bloom, a beautiful time of spring of planting and blossoms.This area has been easily accessible since in1986 when the Karakoram Highway was completed, running through the Khunjerab Pass and into China. This has opened the valley to increasing tourist visits and the social transformation that occurs along with this. Evidence of this transformation is found throughout the central valley, though away from the highway the valley is more primitive.
This valley full of green fields and apricot trees looks like paradise . Friendly people greeting you everywhere. The women do not wear veils. Most people belong to the Islamic sect of Ismaelits. There are many schools, also some specially for girls.
One of the main activities of the locals is the cultivation of abricots.
So that is why all the roofs in this neighborhood are coloured orange, because of the abricots who are drying in the sun.
Maybe a good idea for a gift, a portion of dried abricots.
But be careful when you make such a picture, as it is kind of prohibited to make pictures of the local ladies in this region, and the drying of the abricots is their duty . . . .
When you stand on the terrace of the Baltit Fort in Karimabad, it is almost impossible to stop looking around to those magnificent high mountains.
But stop looking up, you must also look down, because from the terrace of the Baltit Fort you also have a splendid bird's eye view on the houses of the village Karimabad.
What a great view, you should not miss that.
Humm...What you do in a magical and wonderful place like Hunza ?;Its a clear guess.
You can see the beautiful sites of Hunza,like the fort.THey are so many that I will need one hour to describe them.So I will just write that you can do every thing because its Hunza.
A traveler can see Hunza,see the beautiful river,climb mountains and offcourse see the beautiful Rakaposhi peak.
You must go north to Karimabad, the capital Hunza. It is a storybook place: quiet, laid-back, and splendidly set with a mountain locals call 'Ladyfinger' behind it and Rakaposhi facing it. It is one of the world's most beautiful spots, in my view.
Admission Fee : 300 Pakistani Rupee
worth to see
just walk along the narrow road thru bazar
pass the lovely stone+wooden houses
at the top of valley
Baltit Fort is there
...and I mean that in the most littoral sense of the word. Just walk down the Karokoram Hwy staring at the awesome mountains. just incredible. these photos dont do them justice