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Monday, 15 August 2011

Valley of Hunza

Welcome TO Hunza Valley Heaven On Earth In North Of Pakistan.
Human’s 30,000 inhabitants have been ruled by the same family for 1960 years. They long believed themselves the equals of the great powers, years. Probably because of their impregnability. A legend states that the Hunzakuts, as the people of Hunza are known, are descended from five wandering soldiers from Alexander’s army. It is true that some of the people are fair- haired with blue or green eyes. In central Hunza the people speak Burushaski, Wakhi and aboriginal language.
Hunza retained its isolated independence until the British conquered it; on the fruits of caravan raids slave trading and attacking it’s neighbors. It did not become par of Pakistan until 1974, and even now the Mir of Hunza retains much of his traditional importance. The society is co-operative rather than competitive; there is remarkably little difference in the people’s weather, each family growing enough corn, apricots and walnuts for its own use. The economy used to be entirely self-sufficient, but this is rapidly changing as the Karakoram Highway opens up the valley.
Hunza was the likely model for the Shangri-La of James Hilton’s novel ‘Lost Horizon’ where he describes it as a country of peace and contentment where the people do not ago. The myth of the longevity of the Hunzakuts probably stems from the fact that it was selected by the National Geographic magazine as the kingdom where people loved longest, free from social stress and succored by their high intake of apricots and low intake of animal fat. Fruit was, and is, the staple diet. During the summer the people used to eat nothing else; in order to conserve fuel and precious cereals cooking in the summer months was forbidden. In winter the people ate flour made from apricot kernels and drank brandy distilled from mulberries, and wines from the grapes that used to grow everywhere, smothering the poplars and roofs.
You see in Hunza a large number of old people, most of them apparently in good health, but few, if any, live to be 120. Life is as hard in Hunza as it is elsewhere in the northern areas, particularly in the early spring when the supplies of stored food are running low.
Hunza Map :

another map overlay from northern pakistan.
hunza nagar map with a quite large description.
HUNZA (also known as KANJUT) and NAGAR, two small states on the North-west frontier of Kashmir, formerly under the administration of the Gilgit agency. The two states, which are divided by a river which runs in a bed 600 ft. wide between cliffs 300 ft. high, are inhabited generally by people of the same stock, speaking the same language, professing the same form of the Mahommedan religion, and ruled by princes sprung from the same family. Nevertheless they have been for centuries persistent rivals, and frequently at war with each other. Formerly Hunza was the more prominent of the two, because it held possession of the passes leading to the Pamirs, and could plunder the caravans on their way between Turkestan and India. But they are both shut up in a recess of the mountains, ...
...and were of no importance until about 1889, when the advance of Russia up to the frontiers of Afghanistan, and the great development of her military sources in Asia, increased the necessity for strengthening the British line of defence. This led to the establishment of the Gilgit agency, the occupation of Chitral, and the Hunza expedition of 1891, which asserted British authority over Hunza and Nagar. The country is inhabited by a Dard race of the Yeshkun caste speaking Burishki. For a description of the people see GILGIT. The Hunza-Nagar Expedition of 1891, under Colonel A. Durand, was due to the defiant attitude of the Hunza and Nagar chiefs towards the British agent at Gilgit. The fort at Nilt was stormed, and after a fortnight's delay the cliffs (1000 ft. high) beyond it were also carried by assault. Hunza and Nagar were occupied, the chief of Nagar was reinstated on making his submission, and the half-brother of the raja of Hunza was installed as chief in the place.
Hoper Glacier:

Hoper Glacier taken from Hoper in Nagar valley
Nagar Valley  is a valley near Gilgit Valley and Hunza Valley in the northern areas of Pakistan.
The Nagar valley is situated at an elevation of 2,438m (7,999 feet). Nagar Khas is the main town and the capital of the former state of Nagar. The Spantik peak (Golden peak) can easily be seen from here.
Gulmet is the popular tourist attraction in Nagar because of the spectacular scenery of the surrounding mountains like Rakaposhi at 7,788m (25,561), and Diran.
Nagar was formerly a princely state in the northernmost part of the Northern Areas of Pakistan, which existed until 1974. Administratively there are two Tehsils in Nagar namely Nagar-1 and Nagar-2 of Gilgit District. Nagar was an independent principality for 1200 years. The British gained control of Nagar during a battle at place of Nilt (Jangir-e-Laye) between 1889 and 1892. Nagarkutch fought bravely but was defeated due to lack of weapons. The Tham (Chief) of that time, Azur Khan, was sent in exile to Kashmir.
Hunza was previously under the domination of Nagar and collectively called Buroshall and their capital was Capal Dongs. But after the reign of the Miyor Khan his sons divided Buroshall into Nagar and Hunza and declared the river as the border: Muglot became the king of Nagar and Kirkis became the king of Hunza.
The British retained Nagar's status as a principality until 1947. The people of Nagar and Hunza were ruled by a local Mir for more than 1200 years, which came to an end in 1974. Although never ruled directly by neighboring Kashmir or the British, Nagar and Hunza were a vassal of Kashmir from the time of Maharaja Ranbir Singh of Jammu and Kashmir. The Mirs of both sent an annual tribute to the Kashmir Durbar until 1947, and along with the ruler of Hunza, was considered to be among the most loyal vassals of the Maharaja of Kashmir. After the change in Pakistani Central Government to a democracy on 25 September 1974 Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto dissolved the Princely States of Nagar as well as Hunza and set the prisoners free and gave democratic representation to the Northern Areas Council, now the Northern Areas Legislative Council.

Hispar Pass & Glacier:

                  Hispar Pass - The crossing point between Baltistan and Hunza valley is the Hispar pass which is at the elevation of 5151 meters from the top looking back gives a feeling of vast snowy space without a hint of vegetation. Coiling out from snow lake smooth glaciers writhe between nameless and unclimbed peaks the highest peak due east is the Baintha Brak 7285 meters high. In the west the Hispar glacier rough and snow covered stretches down as far as the eye can see, Separating the Hispar Muztag range on the right from the Rakaposhi and Balchish range.
Baltit Fort....Hunza Valley:

Defiying Time... the Baltit Fort. Eleventh-century Baltit Fort, perched 2,800 m up the Himalayan peaks, was built to resist time, enemies and frequent earthquakes. Until 1950, the fort was the residence of the Mirs of Hunza, but was then left to go to ruin. Its recent restoration, proposed by the Aga Khan Trust, has carefully respected the original building techniques. Though rain is rare in the Hunza Valley, it is irrigated by an ingenious ancient system of canals fed by glaciers.
Hunza-'Valley of dreams and fairy tales':
                   Hunza is the northernmost part of a region known as the Northern Areas of Pakistan. It is a real life green paradise on earth.
For many centuries it has provided the quickest access to Swat and Gandhara (in modern north Pakistan) for a person on foot. The route was impassible to baggage animals, only human porters could get through, and then only with permission from the locals.
Travelling up the valley from the south, Hunza is the land to the the left, and Nagar to the right of the river. They traditionally have been separate principalities.
From hunza there are spectacular views of the beautiful and magnificent 7,788m (25,551 ft) Rakaposhi.
The famous Karakoram Highway crosses Hunza, connecting Pakistan to China via the Khunjerab Pass.
Hunza has three parts, not divided administratively but ethnically: Gojal, mainly populated with Wakhi speakers; Central, with Brushaski speaking people and Shinaki, the Shina speaking people. Brushaski is understood throughout Hunza.
Until 1974 Hunza was a princely state with its capital situated at Baltit (also known as Karimabad). It is now ruled directly from Islamabad through the administration based in Gilgit, the regional capital of Gilgit-Baltistan.
Hunza was an independent principality for 900 years. There is a common missbelief that Hunza was under the rule of Maharajas of Kashmir, but it never was. The British failed to gain control over Hunza and the neighbouring valley of Nagar untill 1889.
Altit fort is situated in the village of Altit about three kilometers from Karimbabd. It has been built on a sheer rock cliff that falls 300 metres (1,000 feet) inti the Indus river. The fort is a 100 years older than the Baltit Fort and weas at one time inhabited by the ruling family.
Today there is a museum built within the Fort for the tourist. A trip to the Baltit & Altit is must while your tour to Hunza Valley