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The much renowned Hunza Valley is often referred to as heaven on earth. Enveloped by the grand Himalaya and the Karakoram mountain ranges, this area has been and continues to be a major tourist attraction.
Hunza is located at a distance of 100 kilometres from Gilgit and a once hardscrabble Himalayan town where residents barely had enough to eat, known as Karimabad. Hunza is now one of Pakistan’s most idyllic spots – an oasis of tolerance, security and high educational standards. This standard of living can be traced to the residents’ moderate interpretation of Islam as well as the considerable support it receives from one of the world’s largest charities.
The Hunza Valley is the centrepiece of the Karakorum Highway. The flow of its river, the Hunza River, through mighty grey-brown scree slopes and up to snowy peaks, including 7788m Rakaposhi, is a reminder of the river’s deep impact across the Karakoram. In spring, the famous fruit trees erupt with white blossoms whereas in autumn a riot of yellow poplars and bright red orchards dominate the landscape. If one takes a look at the houses in the villages, it is easy to spot the golden maize drying on the rooftops. Irrigation sustains the numerous orchards of Hunza’s famous apricots, peaches, plums, apples, grapes, cherries and walnuts. The irrigation system also sustains the fields of maize wheat, and the ever present poplars, a fast growing source of fodder, firewood and timber.
The word ‘Hunza’ is commonly used to categorise the entire broad valley. In fact, two former princely states, Hunza and Nagyr (nah-gr), which once shared a language and ancestry, now stand on opposite banks of the river. Hunza refers to the villages on the northern bank from Khizerabad to Ghareghat (or sometimes as far as Nazimabad). Gojal is sometimes described as part of Hunza too.
Smaller but more populous Nagyr occupies the entire southern side of the valley and the northern side around Chalt, which includes Rakaposhi and the lower Hispar Glacier. Although it enjoys less media fame, Nagyr is home to some of the best trekking paths in the Karakoram.
3 Hours Before Departure time of Tour
We depart early and drive to Besham via Haripur, Abbottabad and Mansehra. After a short break at Besham, we resume our drive on Karakoram Highway, along River Indus. We will make photo stops at Shatial Rocks with ancient graffiti’s on it. We reach Chilas and transfer to hotel for night stay.
From Chilas we travel on towards Hunza and on the way sightseeing at Nanga Parbat View Point and confluence of 3 mountain ranges (Karakorum, Himalaya and Hindukush) including the confluence of Gilgit River into the Indus. From here we reach Gilgit. We shall continue bypassing Gilgit and following Hunza River. We will have lunch stopover at Rakaposhi viewpoint and then will move on to reach Karimabad, the capital of Hunza valley. We will check in to hotel in Karimabad and stay there for night.
Today we will make an excursion to the Sino-Pak border at Khunjerab, crossing the villages of Gulmit, Passu and Sost en route. Khunjerab is the highest point on KKH at 4734 meters and considered as the highest trade route in the world. In the evening we will return to Karimabad and stay there for night.
Ultar, Hunza Dome, Bublimating, Spantik and Diran are famous peaks surrounds us at Karimabad, while Rakaposhi at 7788m dominates the whole panorama. At Karimabad, we will visit Baltit Fort Museum and Altit Fort and in the afternoon drive to Gilgit and make brief trip to the bazaar on arrival. Night stay will be in Gilgit.
After breakfast, we will visit the Gilgit city for shopping and local handicrafts and then drive to Besham and move to hotel for night stay.
From Besham we will resume our journey towards Islamabad passing through Mansehra, Abbottabad and Havelian we will reach Islamabad at our designated drop off place.