Hunza the remote mountainous valley lies in the north east of Pakistan. Because of its impressive snowcapped mountainous landscape, green fertile valleys, large glaciers and untouched nature, Hunza is known as “The Paradise on Earth”.
It is situated at a height of 8,500 feet above sea level and is surrounded by mountain peaks some as high as 25,550 feet. The inhabitants of Hunza are Ismaili Muslims of Shia sect. They are friendly and hospitable people.
Due to their simple life style and interaction with nature, they live a long life. Serious diseases are unheard of as is obesity. Apricots are a major part of their diet and are assumed to be the secret of their long lives and young looks.
Sights of Hunza
The spellbinding beauty of the valley and its magnificent mountain peaks have made Hunza a favorite spot of tourists all over the world. It is a mountaineer’s, nature lovers’ and a photographer’s dream. Some must see sights of Hunza are its mountain peaks, forts and the bazaar.
The must see Peaks of Hunza
1. Rakaposhi Mountain
It is a part of the Karakoram Mountain range and is 7,788 meters high. Also known as Dumani (Mother of Mist), Rakaposhi Mountain can be seen from many parts of Hunza. The word Rakaposhi means “Shinning Wall” most probably because it is surrounded by famous glacier valleys like Barpu, Biro, Bagrot and Pisan. It is the 12th highest mountain peak of Pakistan and is famous for its scenic beauty.
2. Ultra Sar
It is also a part of the Karakoram Range and is situated at an approximate distance of 10 km northeast of Karimabad (capital of Hunza). Till 1996, it enjoyed the reputation of being the inaccessible peak of the world. Other peaks worth watching are the Hunza Peak, the Bublimanting or Lady Finger Peak and Golden Peak.
3. The Baltit Fort
The Baltit Fort is a magnificent structure 700 years old and was the residence of the rulers. Over the years, it under went many alterations and then in 1996 it was taken over and restored by the Aga Khan Trust For Culture Historic Cities Support Program and now serves as a museum.. It sits on top of Karimabad. Stilted on massive legs it is a must see on every tourists list.
4. Altit Fort
Altit Fort was also the residence of the rulers. It is said to be a century older than the Baltit Fort and lies at the foot of the valley. Due to negligence of the government it was in ruins but now it is also being restored by the Aga Khan Trust for Culture Historic Cities Support Program. The local handicrafts can be purchased from the colorful bazaar of Hunza.
5. Hunza River
Hunza River is the major river of Hunza, in the Northern Areas of Pakistan. It is formed by the union of the Khunjerab River, Gujerab River, Misgar River, Chapursan River and Shimshal River. These rivers are fed by glaciers. These rivers join the Hunza River in its upper course. In its middle and short course it is joined by small steams.
The river cuts through the Karakoram Range, flowing from north to south. The Karakoram Highway crosses the Hunza River near Hunza and Nagar valleys. The entire Hunza Valley depends upon the Hunza River. Hanging bridges over the river at Passu are a must-do activity. A number of bridges both old and new are built over this river.