Type of Attraction: Sightseeing, Landmarks, Adventure, Nature, Historic Sites
Activities: Bonfire, Camping, Jeep ride, Hiking, Trekking, Jet Ski, Climbing, Boating
Check-ins: Attabad Lake, Altit Fort, Borith Lake, Mulungutti Glacier, Kalam Darchi Fort, Karimabad Bazaar, Ganish, Baltit Fort, Shimshal Valley, Sacred Rocks of Hunza, Nasirabad, Aliabad, Khunjerab Pass, Sost Border, Passu Cones, Hunza River, Rakaposhi, Naltar Valley, Pissan Cricket Stadium, Minapin, Eagle’s Nest, Hussaini Suspension Bridge, Khunjerab Pass.
Location: Hunza is a mountainous valley in the Gilgit-Baltistan region of Pakistan. Hunza is situated at the bank of Hunza River in the northern part of Gilgit-Baltistan, Pakistan, bordering Ish Koman to the northwest, Shigar to the southeast, Afghanistan’s Wakhan Corridor to the north, and the Xinjiang region of China to the northeast.
The Hunza Valley is situated at an elevation of 2,438 meters (7,999 feet). Geographically, Hunza consists of three regions:
- Upper Hunza (Gojal)
- Central Hunza
- Lower Hunza (Shinaki)
Importance: Pakistan is one of the few countries with such a dynamic landscape; rivers, deserts, lakes, waterfalls, springs, and glaciers we seem to have it all in great abundance.
The much renowned Hunza Valley is often referred to as heaven on earth, enveloped in the grand Himalayas and the Karakoram Mountain ranges, this place has been a great tourist attraction for many years.
In the early 1890s, the British embarked upon a mission to annex Hunza and Nagar, which is also known as the Hunza-Nagar Campaign. British soldiers led by Colonel Durand occupied Nilt Fort in 1890. After that, they proceeded to the Baltit Fort but faced heavy resistance. The British gained complete control of Hunza and Nagar with little effort. Thereafter, the Mir of Hunza, Safdar Ali Khan along with his family, fled to Kashgar in China, and his brother Mir Muhammad Nazim Khan was made the new ruler of Hunza by the British.
You can live a pretty comfortable life while being in your home in a large metropolis, but as soon as you travel to the northern areas, you find that the real peace of mind lies within these beautiful mountains.
There was a time when people used to visit Hunza for rehabilitation. They still do, but now the tourism factor has increased much more than before. From winter to spring, nature seems to be in a transition period. This place remains remarkable with every changing season. The valley is popularly believed to be the inspiration for the mythical valley of Shangri-La in James Hilton’s 1933 novel, Lost Horizon.
The local languages spoken include Burushaski, Wakhi, and Shina. The literacy rate of the Hunza Valley is more than 95%. The Hunza Valley is also home to some Wakhi, who migrated there from northeastern Afghanistan beginning in the nineteenth century onwards.
Climate: The climate in Hunza is moderate during summer. The temperature in July-August reaches a maximum of 31 °C in Central Hunza. If you are looking for a much more temperate summer climate during your holidays, spend more time in Gojal Valley (Upper Hunza) because it remains much cooler even in summer. Visiting Hunza in the winter will feel like a dream when you live in sub-zero temperatures and wake up to fresh blankets of snow every morning. Hunza’s beauty this time of the year is unparalleled to anything you may have seen before.
Distance: It takes 13 hr. 4 min (587 km) via N-15 and Karakoram Hwy/N-35 from Islamabad Airport to reach Hunza.
The Bazaar of Karimabad is famed for its local handmade handicraft products, Hunza Dry fruits, handmade carpets, traditional embroidered caps, shawls, handwoven cloth, and gemstones (Precious and Semi-Precious) that are famous all around the world, especially Ruby.
The Capital of Hunza is Karimabad (Baltit), Prince Karim Agha Khan is the religious head of the Shia Nizari community, and Karimabad is named after him, it’s surrounded by three lovely peaks Rakaposhi, Diran, and Ultar.
Altit and Baltit Forts
In central Hunza, the thousand-year-old Altit Fort and 700-year-old Baltit Fort are some of the region’s oldest standing monuments and evidence of the valley’s feudal regime. Traditionally home to the Mir, or king, of Hunza, Altit Fort was eventually vacated in favor of Baltit Fort. The rectangular stronghold sits at the foot of the Ulter Glacier and commands a view of the Hunza Valley and its tributaries—a strategic position for controlling the Karakoram trade route between South and Central Asia. The fort served as home to Mir until 1945.
Established in 1994, Hunza Eagles’ Nest is a 48-Rooms Hotel situated on the top of Hunza Valley at the best viewpoint of Duiker Valley, Altit, Hunza. The Hotel is a maximum of 20-minute drive away from Karimabad town. A 6-kilometer-long metal road leads from Karimabad town to the Hotel’s parking lot. Hunza Eagle’s Nest offers the World’s only viewpoint that offers spectacular views of 11 peaks, all 6,000 – 7,788 Meters high. The most famous are Rakaposhi, Ultar Peak, Golden Peak, Diran Peak & Lady Finger. The hotel has 30 fully furnished rooms, 2 restaurants, a lobby, an open terrace built on a rock, a fruit garden & a traditional Hunza House. A unique feature of the hotel is that you can have a view of the whole Hunza Valley and surrounding peaks from any room of the restaurant.
In the Gojal Valley, (Gilgit Baltistan) of Pakistan lies the very stunning Attabad Lake, which was created by a natural disaster in the year 2010. Also known as the Attabad Disaster.
Attabad Lake, is a shimmering turquoise lake that is now one of the main attractions in the Gilgit-Baltistan region of Pakistan. The lake’s chilly waters are stunning turquoise in spring and early summer when meltwater from the surrounding mountains deposits glacial silt into the lake. In winter, the lake typically freezes over. Most visitors come to enjoy this spectacular landscape when the lake is ice-free. Various recreational activities take place on and around the lake, including boating, jet skiing, and fishing. And with the rise in tourism, an increasing number of hotels and guesthouses have sprung up around the lake, as well as a handful of campsites.
Gojal Valley became the second Sub-Division within the Hunza District, which is regarded as one of the most beautiful places in Pakistan and is rich in its culture and heritage. Hunza is located in the extreme north, in the Gilgit-Baltistan region of Pakistan. It borders China at the Khunjerab Pass and Afghanistan at the Chapursan Valley.
Nagar Valley is another beautiful tourist place which is situated in the northernmost part of Gilgit-Baltistan. Once upon a time, the Nagar Valley was known as a princely state. Nagar Valley is also home to mountain peaks like Rakaposhi(7788m), Deran Peak (7265m), Rush Peak, and Golden Peak. Nagar Valley contains 24 villages in a district named Halt, Chaprot, Bar, Bidlas, Sikandarabad, Jafarabad, Thol, Nilt, Yalt, Masot, Gulmit, Minapin, Tashot, Pissan, Dadimal, Miachar, Shayar, Phikar, Hakuchar, Askurdas, Hoper and Hisper, Sumayar, Nagar Khas.
The people of Nagar Valley are too hospitable. They are kind-hearted people. The whole district is located in the mountains.
Minapin is one of the most attractive tourist places in all 24 villages. It is also known as the base camp of Minapin. Minapin is located on the left side of the Hunza River, can be reached by some one-hour hiking from Pisan (2445m), and is located on the Karakoram Highway. A guest house at Minapin is available.
The best period for this route is May to September each year.
Passu Cones are located in a small village called Passu in the Gojal Valley in the Hunza district of the Gilgit Baltistan region in Pakistan. Passu is a major tourist attraction in Hunza because of its scenic landscape and highlights such as Passu Sar Mountain, Passu Glacier, and Mount Tu Popdan also known as Passu Cones which is the highest peak in this region and is about 6,106 meters above sea level.
Sacred Rocks of Hunza (Haldeikish)
The Sacred Rock of Hunza is a carved rock as well as a cultural heritage site in Gilgit-Baltistan, Pakistan. The carvings on the rock date back to the 1st Millennium AD. The rock is on top of a hill that lies east of the Hunza River. The site is on the main Karakoram Highway (KKH) in between Ganish village and Attabad Lake. The rock is divided into two parts, there used to be some Buddhist shelter caves that fell over time. The rock is one of the major tourist attractions in Gilgit-Baltistan. The sacred rock is located in a place called Haldeikish near the small town of Karimabad in Hunza Valley.
Ganish is a village in Pakistan. It is the oldest and first settlement on the ancient Silk Road in the Hunza Valley and is the site of various ancient watchtowers, traditional mosques, religious centers, and a reservoir. It is located 90 km and 2.5 hours traveling time from Gilgit. Ganish means gold in Burushaski. Ganish has been home to many tribes and caravans traveling through the village in the Hunza Valley.