hunza valley forts

Hunza Valley Forts and the people

Hunza Valley Forts of Altit and Baltit in Karim Abad town Gilgit-Baltistan Pakistan, renovated by Agha Khan Foundation, are a must see in the area.  It is on the UNESCO World Heritage tentative list since 2004. 

Also see, Road Trip Details to reach Hunza Valley

What is Hunza Famous For?

  • Mountain Peaks : Rakaposhi, Passu, Ultar, Kuksel Sar
  • Rubi Mines
  • Forts
  • Women
  • Hunza Water Grape and Apricot Wine
  • Friendly People
  • Clean environment
  • Weather
  • Serenity
  • Base Jumping by Para gliders
  • Twin Nagar Valley
  • Hopper Glacier
  • Mountain Treks

History of Hunza Valley Forts Altit and Baltit

The rulers of Hunza initially resided in Altit Fort but later on, they shifted to Baltit Fort. There are many places to see in Hunza, besides the forts for that go to this link.

Both Altit and Baltit forts are about 700 years old and they were built at the foothills of a glacier that has long receded. The man-made foundations of these forts have been able to resist earthquakes, sliding glaciers, and even attacks.

Baltit Fort

Baltit fort Hunza Pakistan is the prettier of the two because it is airier and the view from the top of Hunza and Nagar both is gorgeous. 

Baltit Fort is the younger of the two forts erected in close vicinity. I wonder what were these people fearful of considering they were high in the mountains where the snow hardly melted 4 months of the year.

Altit Fort

It is this location, especially the Altit Fort vicinity where the Burushiky speaking people reside. This language is not spoken anywhere else close to Hunza.

 Altit is the older fort amongst the two and one Shikari tower of Altit fort is dated back 1100 years.

This was the ancient route to China though. Maybe the emperor send his crack troops to defend the entry gates in Hunza, to the Xinjiang province up ahead.

The renovation work is splendid and the road leading up to the forts is made of beautiful stones.

baltit fort

Hunza town around the fort.   

baltit fort

We reached the Fort after 20 to 25 minutes of pleasant uphill walk from Hunza town center. The guide is available and he is quite knowledgeable about the fort and the general area too.

baltit fort

The cobbled path to the two forts Altit and Baltit

Just a generation back all this was squalid poverty

baltit fort

clean sewerage system and civilized people make Hunza a lovely place to visit. We looked for souvenirs; they only had postcards, when we went there.  We got free postcards with the ticket we had to buy to enter the fort

  

Take a guide with you inside the fort for some useful information 

      baltit fort

baltit fort

Fort is beautiful and well preserved.  The view from the fort from all directions is beautiful.

baltit fort

You can walk between Altit and Baltit Fort but not in the Blazing Summers Sun.

     

The best part of visiting the forts is that you get an idea of where the people of Hunza come from.

Hunza Valley People

The locals say these Burushisky people were descendants of the elusive white Huns that came to the Sub Continent in the 5th century. Because they have their language and history intact, it could very well be possible.

Since Burushisky people are completely isolated from anything resembling this language in the neighborhood, this got researchers wondering.

This language has parallels with the Basque People of Spain, who are equally Isolated. Maybe they came with Alexander, maybe not.

Religion of Hunza Valley

The people of Hunza town are mostly Ismaili Sect of Islam. Ismaili sect consider Prince Karim Agha Khan as their Imam. Ismaili is a more sufi oriented progressive sect of Shia Islam.

The neighboring town of Ganish, however, has 90% Shia population

Women of Hunza

The women of Hunza are the most prettiest and demure ladies I have ever seen. They are also quite well educated. I have never seen a Hunza girl being rude to others, unlike some novo riche women in cities.

Then because there is still quite a lot of manual labor required to be done around the house and fruit farm, they are fit and healthy.

Yes, Hunza women marry of their free choice and are not really controlled by their men folk.

The Old age secret of Hunza Valley

It is true the last generation of Hunza people did live to be more than 100 years. There is no secret to longevity in life.

  • Clean glacier fed water
  • clean air
  • Zero Pollution
  • Low Stress level isolated from cities
  • High altitude
  • Plenty of company
  • lots of physical labor; Hunza has just been connected with a wide road
  • Non processed food
  • lots of fruits and vegetables like apricots with B-17 cancer busting vitamins
  • low meat diet
  • Low Carbohydrates

There are several people still in Hunza above 100 and close to 120 years old

Hunza Weather

The weather of Hunza can be categorized as cold, by Pakistani standards. Temperature ranges between -10 Deg C during day time in January to + 34 Deg C during day time during June.

During the night winters become bitterly cold since there is no piped gas available and wood is scarce.

Best Hotels in Hunza Pakistan

Karakorum View Hotel Hunza Phone +92 3008542401. Room price starts at Rs 9000 per night

High Hard Rock Hunza Resort and Villas +92 5813457179, +923437378887

Conclusion

If there is one place that is a must see in Pakistan, it would be Hunza.

Also see

Gupis

Gilgit City

Yasin Valley

Gahkuch

Phandar

Shimshal

Shandur

Top places in Pakistan

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3 Comments

  1. inshaAllah will visit soon

  2. What a beautiful place
    You people are lucky to see all these amazing places and I enjoy the photography
    Keep up the good work

  3. Ashraf Chowdary says:

    Beautiful place to visit

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