Hunza! Known as the heart of the mountains as it is surrounded by several high peaks. As the valley has different breathtaking sights, therefore, it’s also referred to as “heaven on earth”. These are the reasons for which this Valley is the greatest attraction for tourists.
It is located in the Gilgit-Baltistan region that connects China with Pakistan.
“The mountains are calling and you should go”.
It was an independent territory for more than 900 years until the British gained control of it and the neighboring valley of Nagar between 1889 and 1891 through military conquest.
All this remained until 1974 and was dissolved by Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto. Its capital was the town of Baltit also known as Karimabad.
Let’s also talk about the religion of the Valley at that time, Buddhism came to the Valley in the late 7th century. The region was Buddhist majority till the 15th century, before the arrival of Islam in this region. Since then most of the people converted to Islam.
After reading the above-mentioned beauty of Hunza Valley you will definitely plan a trip to Hunza Valley to see these captivating sights. So let’s go!
Things to carry
For a relaxed trip, you should be having a travel checklist of things to carry before traveling. You will find the things given below working best for you while traveling, check them out:
- Make your packing list to fit your needs
- Pack clothing stuff
- Pack your toiletry bag
- Prepare your personal item carry-on bag
- Check your photography equipments
- Pack electronic stuff
- Pick up the first aid kit
Other traveling stuff might be an empty bottle, plastic bags, sheets, or a few other things according to the weather and your needs.
For a detailed description of the traveling stuff, just take out a paper pen and note down the things while reading the article thoroughly.
Ways to reach Hunza Valley
Hunza Valley can be accessed by two ways, road or air.
So let’s make a plan of which one to choose for your trip.
Hunza Valley via road
If you are traveling by car, there are two routes that lead you to the Valley so that you don’t miss the enchanting scenes full of mountains of the Karakorum and the lake while heading towards Hunza Valley.
- One is via Kaghan through the Babusar Pass.
- The other is via the Silk Road through Dassu and Pattan in Kohistan.
You can take any vehicle for traveling but the only thing that needs surety is that; is your car well equipped and maintained for a road trip?
If, it’s a big Yes! You are ready for your trip.
But wait for a second, taking someone’s suggestion before taking a decision is always a good choice.
So let me suggest you not travel in your own vehicle. The reason why I’m suggesting that is, its roads need to be repaired and can often prove slippery.
If you still want to travel via road, try traveling through a bus, that could be arranged by a tour operation company.
They can arrange traveling and lodging within Rs 20,000. Traveling alone, through your own car, could cost you more. So that would be a smart choice to travel by bus.
Now moving to travel via air.
Hunza Valley via air
Some of you might love to travel through planes so let’s take a look at air travel. This option is simpler but far less exciting than the second option because you’ll miss the beautiful sights on your way to Hunza Valley.
Flight from Islamabad to Gilgit will take one hour and fifteen minutes, and then in two hours traveling you can be in Hunza Valley by road.
This is obviously the easiest and less troublesome way to travel to Hunza Valley till you’re not informed that your flight got canceled. As they are quite notorious for canceling the flights due to the unpredictable weather in the mountains.
I hope that till now you have decided which one to choose; road or air.
When to plan a trip to Hunza valley
Hunza is a beautiful valley and tourists always seek to enjoy their trip almost every month of the year because of the following reasons:
In April and May, the Apricot Blossom is at its peak, June and July provide you with a great opportunity to visit nearby areas. By the end of September and October, you will witness the Autumn Colors that are unforgettable. From November to March the Valley is filled with snow that makes the weather very cold.
Do you checkout the places on google before visiting them?
I think it’ll be a yes, I do that too.
So why not to checkout few of the famous places?
Famous places to visit
Rakaposhi! the “Shining Wall” is an hour’s drive from Gilgit and is located in Nagar. That is the first tourist attraction in Hunza Valley. The mountain of Rakaposhi can be seen from anywhere, no matter in which part of the Hunza Valley you are standing.
It is surrounded by some of the famous glaciers like:
The second most visited place is Karimabad, the capital of Hunza. The village is famous for its history as it is having the houses of the formers Royal family.
Moreover, some of the famous places in Karimabad are:
- Baltit Fort
- Queen Victoria Monument
- Channel Walk
Altit Fort is an ancient landmark in Hunza, above Karimabad. It was home to the hereditary rulers of the Hunza state. Which is adorned with the garden of cherries, as you enter there, these are the remains of the rulers of Hunza.
The interior is not as impressive as that of the Baltit Fort as the renovation is still ongoing, but the exterior of the fort and its surroundings are a memorable sight indeed. It is built with great architectural design on a rock of a mountain.
The Baltit Fort was built in 800 BC, and it is located on the top of a hill in Karimabad. It is one of the most prominent landmarks in the entire valley, surrounded by its snowy mountains and ancient design.
To get to Baltit Fort, you will need to climb up a steep hill for about 15 minutes. On a clear day, you can get a magnificent view of Karimabad, its surrounding valleys, the Rakaposhi, and the Diran peaks from the fort.
Forts are a bit boring places I guess, but stay with me! Here come the shining lakes.
One of the most amazing places in Hunza valley is Attabad Lake. A massive landslide made two mountains meet together and they stopped the flow of Hunza River, turning it into a beautiful lake. Its length is 13 miles and the depth of the lake is almost 358 feet.
This lake is one of the most peaceful locations in the entire valley.
Another beautiful lake in the Hunza Valley is Rush Lake. This lake is almost at the surface elevation of 4,694 meters.
The massive mountains surround the lake and it is considered to be the highest lake in Pakistan.
Sost is the last village of a Hunza on Karakoram Highway next to the Chinese border(Khunjerab Pass). Thousands of tourists come to explore its mightiness.
This is an important place on the highway for all passengers and cargo transport because all traffic crossing the Pakistan-China border passes through this. It is a magnificent symbol of Pak China friendship.
Former and latter are all the most photogenic spots in Pakistan and who doesn’t like to click photos?
I think everyone loves to capture photos and share them on their stories and timelines.
Gulmit! the nine colored Valley is a historic town that is centuries old. If you want to enjoy a peaceful walk, then go up to Upper Hunza to Gulmit. It has numerous museums and hamlets where you can learn about the rich history and culture of the Hunza Valley.
Above all, the most visited valley is a gateway to five different valleys that are:
- Shimshal Valley
- Chipursan Valley
- Misgar Valley
- Boibar Valley
While exploring the beauty of Gulmit valley, you will see a shining lake formed by melted water of Ghulkin Glacier i.e. Borith. Additionally, the lake is about at the surface elevation of 25000 meters.
Moreover, the lake is accessible by a 2 km jeep ride from Husseini village that is parallel to Ghulkin village.
Eagle Nest Duiker
As the name suggests, the Eagles Nest is one of the most popular viewpoints in Hunza valley. This place can be reached in 30 minutes’ drive from Karimabad.
Once you reach the Eagles Nest Hotel and witness the dawn and dusk you will forget everything else.
And I hope you must be planning a trip after reading the article and viewing the pictures of Hunza Valley.
So did you thought that where will you stay? For that let’s check out some hotels too!
Finding a home away from home
Obviously, nothing could ever replace your home but you need to stay somewhere when you’re on a long trip.
So you might find ease in the below mentioned hotels:
- Restaurant Hunza
- Hunza Serena Inn
- Eagle’s Nest Hotel
- Hotel Hunza Embassy
- World Roof Hotel
- Darbar Hotel
- Hunza View Hotel
- Hilltop Hotel
- Hunza Embassy Hotel
- World Roof Hotel Hunza
- Hunza View Hotel
- Fairy Land Hotel
Food to eat
Did you forgot eating food? Nah.! You can’t live without food.
You should necessarily eat the traditional food of the place you travel.
Below mentioned are the names of some of the traditional foods:
- Burus Berikutz
- Baterin xy Dawdo
- Diram Fiti
What to do more!
When you are done eating and resting why not become adventurous and enjoy your trip?
Below mentioned are numerous activates in the valley which you can opt for according to your preference:
- Legal hunting (Duck/Ibex)
- Horse Riding and Polo
- Hiking and Trekking
- Mountain Biking
- Safari tours
I hope you’re excited to see the astonishing beauty of Hunza Valley. So have a safe journey and do share your experience with me. 🙂