Hunza Valley is a stunningly beautiful and popular region in the Northern Areas of Pakistan.
Hunza, a remote mountain kingdom, may have been the inspiration behind James Hilton's "Shangri-La." The area opened up in the 1970s following the completion of the Karakoram Highway (KKH); an engineering marvel tracing the old Silk Route from Pakistan into China.
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 27°C and minimum 14°C. The October temperatures are: maximum 10°C and minimum 0°C.
The fair skinned and light-eyed Hunzakuts claim to be descendants of soldiers lost from Alexander's army as he invaded India. Their language, Burushaski, provides linguists an enigma as it is unrelated to any other language known to man.
The beauty of this mountain paradise is matchless; from the soft blossoms of the apricot trees to the dark snowcapped rock monuments of Rakaposhi (7788 m.), recently climbed Ultar Peak (7388 m.) jabbing a vivid blue backdrop high above, and Bublimoting Peak.
Most of the people of Hunza are Islamili Muslims, followers of His highness the Aga Khan.
Via the Karakoram Highway.
Hunza is just 100 KM drive from Gilgit, and most people arrive by road and it takes almost 2 - 3 Hours to reach Hunza from Gilgit. The main bus stand is on the KKH Aliabad. There are booking agents in town for long distance buses & jeeps along the KKH. The journey from Islamabad can take as long as 24 hours.
From Kashgar (China) there is a regular bus service to Hunza via Sost crossing over the Khunjerab Pass (about 5000 meter high). Across river Hunza at Sost, there is a village called Khuda Abad. People usually do not stop at Khunjerab Pass, they just carry on their journey to Sost with the bus. From Sost, you can do a number of activities around like trekking in the valleys, or drive to Hunza-Karimabad (2 hours), where the Baltit Fort is standing. The Khunjerab Pass is open from May 1st to Dec 30th, but closed in winter.
Gilgit Airport (IATA: GIL) is small and has 45 minute flights to Islamabad on PIA
PIA offers regular flights of small 42 seater planes between Gilgit and Islamabad. All flights, however, are subject to weather clearance, and in winters, flights are often delayed by several days.
Private vehicles are normally used as local transport. Renting jeeps is also a common way of moving around. You can go to nearby cities on buses and by air.
Hunza is one of the most exotic places in Pakistan. Several high peaks rise above 6,000 m in the surroundings of Hunza valley. The valley provides spectacular views of some of the most beautiful and magnificent mountains of the world which include Rakaposhi 7,788 m (25,551 ft), Ultar Sar 7,388 m (24,239 ft), Bojahagur Duanasir II 7,329 m (24,045 ft), Ghenta Peak 7,090 m (15,631 ft), Hunza Peak 6,270 m (20,571 ft), Darmyani Peak 6,090 m (19,980 ft), and Bublimating (Ladyfinger Peak) 6,000 m (19,685 ft).
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.
Hunza Valley is also host to the ancient watch towers in Ganish , Baltit Fort and Altit Fort. Watch towers are located in heart of Ganish Village, Baltit Fort stands on top of Karimabad whereas Altit Fort lies at the bottom of the valley. Dating back to 8th century AD, a huge Buddha figure surrounded by small Buddhisatvas is carved on a rock. Pre-historic men and animal figures are carved on rocks along the valley. Borith Lake is located in upper Hunza and Rush Lake is located near Nagar.
The valley is popularly believed to be the inspiration for the mythical valley of Shangri-la in James Hilton's 1933 novel Lost Horizon. As one travels up on the Karakoram Highway, the beautiful sceneries keep on revealing themselves.
On the way one can witness the 65 km long 'Batura' glacier, the second longest in Pakistan, surround by Shishper, Batura and Kumpirdior peaks. On reaching Sost one can continue the journey up to Khunzhrav or turn west to witness the mystic beauty of Chipursan (also Chapursan) valley. Chipursan valley has some of most exotic tourist spots in the area. In Yarzerech (also Yarzirich) you can have a look at the majestic Kundahill peak (6000 m), or trek along the Rishepzhurav to the Kundahill to experience the soothing sceneries. Beyond Yarzerech you can travel further to Lupghar, Raminj, Reshit, Yishkuk up to Bobo Ghundi (Oston), the shrine of Baba-e-Ghund, a saint from Afghanistan near the border between Pakistan and Wakhan region of Afghanistan.
Two-days in Hunza Valley
Day 1: Stay at Hunza Baltit inn, Enjoy sceneries, , See Baltit Fort, Altit Fort, eat at Cafe de Hunza and relax.
Day 2: Visit the Village located near the Chinese border.
Hiking and Trekking
Cafe de Hunza, Hunza, Near Baltit Fort
Hunza Explorers (Tour Operator) , 0092 321 4364 658, Village Ghulkin Gojal Upper Hunza Gilgit-Baltistan Pakistan, Hunza Pakistan, Hunza Explorers is basically operating Culture tours, Hunting tours, Jeep Safaris, adventure tour, mountaineering, rafting, wildlife safari in relevant areas in camping/ tented basis adventure trips. Hunza Explorers is tour company in Pakistan established by a team of professionals involved tourism since 2003, we commit providing a home away from home for trekkers / adventure Travelers / Mountaineers.
The local language is Brushuski. Urdu and English are also understood by most of the people.
Urdu is the national language and is spoken throughout Pakistan as lingua franca. Local language is Burushaski, As elsewhere in Pakistan, English is fairly widely spoken among the educated classes and those involved in the tourist industry.
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.
Ganish Village – the oldest village in Hunza, with 800 year old mosques, it was honored by UNESCO in 2002 and 2009.
To China Thrice-weekly bus service was scheduled to begin crossing the border from Gilgit, Northern Areas, to Kashgar, China, and road widening work was scheduled for 600 kilometres of the Karakoram Highway. There were also plans for one daily bus in each direction between Sust and Taxkorgan in the border areas of the two countries.
To Islamabad Via the Karakoram Highway, popularly known as the Silk Road.
To Gilgit Via the Karakoram Highway, popularly known as the Silk Road.
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Stefan Ertmann, Claus Hansen, D. Guillaime, Sajjad Hyder, wasim, Nicolas and Saleem Ullah Khan, Cacahuate, Huttite and Vidimian
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