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Hunza - Pakistan
A land of Greatest Mountains & Colorful Culture - A
Complete Guide to Pakistan
Basic Info History Climate
Places to Visit Slide Show Search Tours
Hunza is probably Pakistan's most visited valley, by the tourists. It is a fairy tale land surrounded by beautiful rugged & snow capped mountains. Only at a distance of 100 Kms. from Gilgit Hunza is a small town on Karakorum Highway. At the altitude of 7000 - 800 feet it is the first main town or stop if you are entering Pakistan from China.
The central Hunza known as Karimabad is basically a town of just 6 villages. The first main villages as you come from Gilgit on the main Karakorum Highway is Aliabad. There there are spectacular views of Rakaposhi mountain (7788 meters), PTDC Motel Hunza and other small hotels are located on the main Karakorum highway here. Just above Aliabad on the hill are Altit and Baltit villages the heart of Hunza. There is a very interesting Bazaar and two Forts in Altit & Baltit Villages. The Baltit fort has recently been restored and converted into a guided museum.
Hunza is undoubtely the Shangri-la of James Hilton's novel The Lost Horizon. It is probably the most Photogenic point in the world. There are numerous tours and activities available from Hunza Below you will find some options for bus/culture tourist where as for the adventure lovers there is more info on our Adventure Tours section.
Places in Hunza
Karimabad: As described above is the main bazaar of Hunza full of colorful shops with local dry fruits (Dried Apricots, Apricot Nut, Almonds, Walnuts Mulberry, etc.) At the end of bazaar is the Baltit village and Baltit fort which are restored by the Aga Khan fund for Culture & heritage. The fort has been brought into a guided museum you can spend time in the for visiting different sections of the fort and viewing the slide show in the small hall of the fort.
Duikar: At an height of 10000 feet above sea level this is a beautiful spot to see sunrise. You can see 8 peaks above 7000 meters from here each gets the sun light one by one as sun rises.
Hotels in Karimabad Hunza:
Hotels in Gulmit Gojal Hunza
Many other smaller hotels
Hunza - Sost :
85Kms. 3 Hours with stops. it is a spectacular journey through some of the most interesting villages of Karakorum Highway. This transfer is more like an excursion as there are many photogenic points and we need to stop and see the magnificent scenery of the Karakorums. As we leave Karimabad we stop at the rock drawings on the road, later we stop at Gulmit to see a great view of cathedral , & Gulmit tower mountains. Later we make several stops for Passu , Shispar , Rakaposhi and other beautiful views. Sost is a small border town where only in the mornings there is some activity . You have to change to Government coach to go to China.
Hunza - Tashkurgan
Drive to on your normal coach to Sost . After Customs & Immigration formalities transfer to the Government of Pakistan bus to drive to Tashkurgan via Khunjerab pass. The whole journey will take around 7 - 8 Hours. at Tashkurgan after arrival formalities in China transfer to the Chinese busses to transfer you to the hotel.
Half day Altit Baltit tour
Pick up from your hotel at 9AM or 2:30PM the duration of the tour is 3 - 4 hours you can take it either in the morning or afternoon
Visit the newly restored Baltit fort a guided tour will be offered inside the fort emphasising the history of Hunza vally and architecture of Baltit fort which was made about 600- 400 years ago by Tibatan Artisans brought by the wife of Mir of Hunza. Late we will have an easy walk in Karimabad bazaar, we than drive to Altit for which is actually under renovation. If you desire we can also visit a school in Hunza or visit a family home in Hunza.
Half Day Nagar & Hoper
Pick up from your hotel at 9AM or 2:30PM the duration of the tour is 4 hours you can take it either in the morning or afternoon
Drive by jeep to the spectacular valley of Nagar across the Hunza river. Jeep ride is awesome. You see beautifully laid terraces for different crops and orchids. Jeep passes through the villages and the fruit orchids . At Hoper you get down and watch the Hoper glacier. If you feel like you may hike down to the glacier and have a great view of Kapal & Golden peaks.
Full day Hisper Tour
Morning Sunrise Safari :
Drive early morning (Before Sunrise ) by jeep to Duikar (10000 ft altitude ) Watch the snowcapped mountains as sun lits all the snow capped peaks one by one, later have a breakfast in the wilderness return to the hotel in time for your other program.
Full Day Khunjerab Pass:
Early morning 7AM or 8AM Drive to Khunjerab pass an extraordinary drive with beautiful view of mountains at the pass have some snack and walk a few steps in China later drive back to Sost for a Lunch . or carry Lunch boxes and do a picnic at Khunjerab National park. Return to Hunza late Afternoon.
Half Day Gulmit & Passu:
If you are not doing Khunjerab pass you must drive upto Passu for those (must See) views of the Karakorums in Gulmit & Passu. You can also have a walk in the Gulmit village and hike to Passu glacier. Scenery is beyond description. Yow will Just love it.
History of Hunza Valley & Kingdom
Hunza was formerly a princely state bordering China to the north-east and Pamir to its north-west, which continued to survive until 1974, when it was finally dissolved by Zulfikar Ali Bhutto. The state bordered the Gilgit Agency to the south, the former princely state of Nagar to the east. The state capital was the town of Baltit (also known as Karimabad) and its old settlement is Ganish Village.
Hunza was an independent principality for more than 900 years. The British gained control of Hunza and the neighbouring valley of Nagar between 1889 and 1892 followed by a military engagement of severe intensity. The ruler of Hunza (Prince) Mir Safdar Ali Khan of Hunza fled to Kashghar in China and sought political asylum there, while British apponted Mir Jamal Khan as the new Mir of Hunza under the rule of British Government
The traditional name for the ruler in Hunza was Thum, which is also a respectful appellation used by people of both Hunza and Nager who belong to the clan of Boorish. The Shin use the term Yeshkun for the Boorish.
First Muslim Thum (Ruler)
The ruling family of Hunza is called Ayeshe (heavenly), from the following circumstance. The two states of Hunza and Nagar were formerly one, ruled by a branch of the Shahreis, the ruling family of Gilgit, whose seat of government was Nager. Tradition relates that Mayroo Khan, apparently the first Muslim Thum of Nagar some 200 years after the introduction of the religion of Islam to Gilgit, married a daughter of Trakhan of Gilgit, who bore him twin sons named Moghlot and Girkis. From the former the present ruling family of Nager is descended. The twins are said to have shown hostility to one another from birth. Their father seeing this and unable to settle the question of succession, divided his state between them, giving to Girkis the north, and to Moghlot the south, bank of the river. ?
? Both Thums are still addressed as Soori, as a title of respect. This appears to be the same [in meaning] as Sri, an commonly prefixed to the names of Hindu princes in India, to denote their honour and prosperity. The Thum's wives are styled ghenish which is almost identical with the original Sanskrit word for mother, and their sons are called gushpoor
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