Readers must have heard the name of Hunza, as a paradise on earth, let me tell you it’s more than what you are wondering. I would name it as a Hidden Treasure, The Magical, & Absolutely Incredible!
Recently have come back to Islamabad from this wonderful fairy land, with suitcase full of magical moments & stories, that I wish to tell the world. Moreover, it was my solo trip, which make it much more important to share, since I want to tell the communities around the world with much confidence that, it is Safe to visit Pakistan, even as a solo woman.
Pakistan, a land blessed with vibrant landscapes; rivers, sands, lakes, snow-capped mountains, valleys, waterfalls, springs, glaciers and a lot more, moreover in great abundance. Hunza is one from the list.
Hunza is a mountainous valley, situated in the northern part of Gilgit-Baltistan, Pakistan, bordering with Khyber Pakhtunkhwa to the west and the Xinjiang region of China to the north-east.
The valley is situated at an elevation of 2,438 meters, which make the topography and climate particularly extreme. People of the area speak local languages such as Burushaski, Wakhi, and Shina, however, the native of the valley can speak English very well.
The region has one of the highest literacy rates as compared to other similar districts in Pakistan due to the influence of Prince Karim Aga Khan, whom most of the Hunzakuts follow as their spiritual leader.
One my visit I found as much as girls going to schools as boys, also community is broad minded, hospitable and friendly. Likewise, you would witness women working as café owners, farmers and shop keepers as well. Much thanks to AKDN, that educated and empowered the community.
I came to Hunza in the first week of March. Far before landing, I got the understanding that, what I have read about the region was nothing in front of what I am watching. Snowcapped mountains, the blue sky, it’s totally dreamlike.
PIA landed on a beautiful tiny airport of Gilgit, it was much fun to see clear blue sky and huge rocks towering every sides of the airport.
My first stay was at Gilgit Serena Hotel. An attractive and luxurious lush green hotel, encircled with huge mountains casting spell on the viewer, with a scenic view of Rakaposhi world’s 6th highest peak from the Dumani restaurant.
Next morning, I set for the journey with a guide to known paradise, here I would like to suggest the people who always ask questions about safety and security that, all you need is to book a reputable hotel and a travel-guide, as this will help you in knowing places and a sense of safety.
Hunza is 2.5 hours from Gilgit, the journey is as exciting, scenic and adventurous as one can imagine, and I was wondering, if the journey is that spellbinding, what about the destination.
Reaching Hunza, I felt like the whole land is celebrating the Pink day! Since the roadside farms, trees and meadows, all were laden with pinkish white flowers.
Before checking in to the hotel, I decided first to explore the celebrated Altit Fort that enjoys a history of 1,100 years and the surrounding 100-year-old heritage village and its civilization, that is renovated by Aga Khan Cultural Services Pakistan.
It was extreme cold, which made my heads spinning, equally from the encircled road trip, thus I told my driver to take me straight to Karimabad.
I checked in to Hunza Serena Inn, immediately I was moved into the comfort of Deluxe Room, they served me with a hot cup of tea with some traditional biscuits that saved me from getting cold. The hotel offers a variety of tasty food, also you can order something that is not in the menu and it will appear in minutes.
Later, the evening I spent switching off my mobile phone watching the mountains, in mountains, one feels seclude: secluded from word, from everything but the hospitable people and the love of nature.
Early morning, I packed by bag to explore more of Hunza, my first stop was Baltit Fort. A fairy-tale-like fort built in the 8th Century BC on top of a hill overlooking Karimabad, is the most prominent landmarks in Hunza. Its majestic location, being surrounded by the snowy mountains, make this fort one of the most photogenic.
In order to get to the fort, one will have to climb a steep road for 15 minutes through a local village before you will arrive at the fort where you will be able to get an unobstructed view of Karimabad and the valleys beyond. On a clear day, you can see Rakaposhi and Diran peaks all the way from the fort.
The local village around the fort is also worth exploring as well so be sure to spend some time and walk around the village.
Later in the noon, I set off for Passu Cones & Glacier, the grandeur of Cones on very sight will enthralled your spirits. Meanwhile, on crossing Attabad Lake I become speechless by encountering the tranquility of emerald green water, with the background of huge mountains.
The next spot was a sparkly frozen Passu lake, whose glittery crystals dragged me down the sloppy hill, and there I felt as a living character of The Arabian Nights: walking on water, really it felt magical, well Hunza itself is a magic.
Late afternoon occurred as an adventurous journey of crossing Hussaini Bridge, known as the most dangerous bridge in the world. By now I was totally tired, however still I maneuvered myself up to a hill way for reaching Borith Lake, a gorgeous pond where you would discover a number of birds, and maybe yaks, also the locals are very hospitable, and they would love to host you. Having tea with the loving and hospitable host is all I have wanted.
Note; The information is being published in the vast interest of general readers for their knowledge only – “Pakistan in the World” has no commercial or whatsoever, arrangement with any part of this article. Editor