HUNZA PANORAMA

05 days/ 04nights

 

Gilgit and Hunza are at their best during spring with fruit and walnut trees in blossom and autumn when the trees turn brilliant orange, red and brown. What a contrast to the snowy peaks, which are all around.

Karimabad – the capital of Hunza. Shipton declared it as the ultimate manifestation of mountain grandeur Yes! The Legendary Hunza – who’s very name, is overwhelming! Is known for its towering snow covered peaks, creeping glaciers, fragrant apricot orchards & the longevity of its people. Lord Curson noted “The little State of Hunza contains more summits of over 20,000 ft than there are of over 10,000 ft in the entire Alps”. This magical land of contrasting geology abounds in glaciers too, including the 58 Km (world’s 5th longest) Batura Glacier. The Nubra, Braldu, Hushe and Saltoro Rivers are born in the Karakoram glacial vastness: the Shyok River encircles the entire flanks of the range: but only the Hunza river literally cuts through the width of the Karakoram Range. Hunza’s extreme isolation thus imposed by the unbelievably steep gorges of the Karakoram, rise to a long standing, wholly indigenous & pure diet consisting almost entirely of apricots, wheat and “Hunza Water”, a locally brewed wine, & hence the long living inhabitants. The hardy people of Hunza are thought to be the descendants of the Alexander’s lost column of army. Until 1974, Hunza remained a semi – autonomous princely state presided over by a benevolent “MIR” who personally held a daily court & the subjects paid taxes in goods rather than money. Nestled under the shadows of Rakaposhi 7788 m, perches its capital Karimabad – guarded with centuries old sentinel of Altit & Baltit. Our approach to Hunza is by jeep on the Karakoram Highway, a thin ribbon of pavement carved into the walls of the stupendous Karakoram. This road completed in 1978, now links the ancient trails of the Silk Route from Gilgit to Kashgar. The same family has ruled Hunza’s inhabitants since the 11th century. A legend relates that the Hunzakuts, (as the people of Hunza are known) are the descendants of the 05 lost soldiers of the Alexander’s Army. Brushuski, an aboriginal language is spoken in the central Hunza & Wakhi, related to Chinese Turkistan is spoken in the upper Gojal. Hunzakuts lived off the fruits of caravan- raiding, slave trading & attacking their neighbors. The kingdom retained independence until the British took over in 1891 and became part of in 1974. The society is co-operative rather than competitive. Each family grows enough food for its own use. As the Hunzakuts lived aloof from the outer world, each citizen was self sufficient in making his own shoes, clothes & bowls, until, the Karakoram Highway linked them with the world. The people are cheerful & friendly. Almost the entire population belongs to the Ismaili Shias sect headed by the Prince Karim Agha Khan. The women wear bright clothes, long shirts over baggy trousers and little embroided pillbox hats over which they drape their shawls.

ITINERARY

NOTE: – Although, we try to adhere to the schedule listed below, this itinerary is subject to change due to numerous reasons beyond our control such as bad weather, canceled or delayed flights, road washouts, vehicle breakdowns, sickness, accidents, govt restrictions & all other unforeseen exigencies for which we cannot make provisions. 04 nights and 05 days

DAY 01 ISLAMABAD / RAWALPINDI -TO- CHILAS

AM : After an early breakfast, drive to Chilas, a major town on the upper course of the Indus & a gateway to Gilgit, Hunza, Skardu, Nanga Parbat & Kaghan Valleys. The whole journey will proceed on the Karakoram Highway, also known as the “eight wonder” of the world. Karakoram Highway – connects Pakistan to China, twisting through the three mighty ranges of the world, the Karakorams, the Himalayas & the Pamirs – & follows the ancient Silk Route along the Indus, Gilgit & Hunza Rivers up the Chinese border at the Khunjerab Pass where it concludes in the Taklamakan Desert after winding through the Pamirs & Kashgar districts.

 

On arrival transfer to Hotel. All meals included.

Distance:  km,  Drive : 10-11 hrs,  Altitude : 950 meter.

 

DAY 02 CHILAS -TO- HUNZA

AM : After breakfast, drive to Karimabad, the prettiest valley and capital of Hunza. Eric Shipton declared it as the ultimate manifestation of mountain grandeur Yes ! the Legendary Hunza – whose very name is overwhelming ! is known for its towering snow covered peaks, creeping glaciers, fragrant apricot orchards & the longevity of its people.

 

PM : Arrive Hunza for overnight at Hotel. All meals included.

Distance : 200 km,  Drive : 06 hrs,  Altitude : 2500 meters.

 

DAY 03 HUNZA -TO- KHUNJERAB PASS / GULMIT

AM : Drive from Karimabad to Khunjerab Pass (4500 Metres) for a full day excursion,  In route Passu Village is setting off point for climbers for the Batura, Passu, Kuk & Lupghar Groups. Located  under the shadows of Shispar & Passu Cones, the fabulous trek to the legendary Shimshal too begins from Passu. From the outskirts of Passu, 30 Kms before Sust, (immigration check post) begins the Khunjerab National Park, the natural habitat of the endangered Marco Polo Sheep & Snow Leopard. The last stretch of the road winds up round 12 wide, well engineered hairpin bends to the top. Khunjerab Pass 4703 M, is the highest border crossing on a paved road in the world. The Khunjerab Pass is the continental watershed, on the side flowing down to the Indian Ocean and that on the Chinese side being swallowed by the Taklamakan Desert in the Tarim Basin. Taklamakan literally means, “IF YOU GO IN YOU WON”T COME OUT“. The scenery is remarkably different on either side of the pass. The Pakistani side is marked with barren deserted gorges with no sign of human life for the last 40 Kms before border, the Chinese side, however, is wide, open, grassy, high altitude plateau, with herds of yaks, sheep & low humped Bactrian camels tended by the smiling colorful TAJIKS. Subject to permission, we shall pay a brief visit to Raja Bahadur Khan, one of the Mirs of the Royal family to behold his invaluable personal collection of antique weapons, musical instruments, rugs, pots & jewelry.

 

Overnight Hotel Gulmit, all meals included.

Distance :  km,  Drive : 8 hrs,  Altitude : 4500 meters.

 

DAY 04 GULMIT  -TO- BESHAM

After an early breakfast, drive back to Besham. Overnight hotel in Besham, all meals inclusive.

 

DAY 05 BESHAM -TO- RAWALPINDI/ISLAMABAD

AM : Resume road journey to Islamabad upon arrival transfer to your hotel. End of our Service.

 

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