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Are you exhausted by your bustling routine and need to take a break from the polluted and hectic City life? Hunza might be the ideal place for you to blow off some steam. It is the most visited valley by local and foreign tourists due to its famous historical sites and other tourist attractions. Hunza is known to be the most beautiful place in Gilgit Baltistan with its alluring landscapes and majestic mountains.
Hunza is a small town located only at 100 Kms from Gilgit, on the Karakorum Highway. At an altitude of 8,200 feet, it’s the first main town closest to China. Hunza was an independent state for more than 900 years until the British came and gained control. Then from November 1947, it now stands as the princely state of Pakistan.
It won’t be wrong to call it paradise on earth because of its fascinating snow-capped mountains and white glaciers. You can take a hike in the Fairy Meadows and Rakaposhi or explore the graceful countryside in Karimabad. You can lay a bit back and relish the cultural and historic vibe in Upper Hunza Gojal, Central Hunza, and Lower Hunza.
The best time to visit Hunza is from April to October if you don’t want to share the place with huge crowds. Months apart from these may have vast flocks of both local and foreign visitors as they like to enjoy when the temperature is warm and pleasant. Now, if you’re looking for a guide for the best places to visit in the Hunza Valley, there’s no need to hassle.
We’ve done detailed research and concluded the top 9 places to visit in Hunza.
1. Rakaposhi Peak
The Rakaposhi Peak is the most magnificent mountain range, which is even visible from the Karakoram Highway. The altitude is 7,800 meters high above sea level, and it’s located in the Nagar Valley.
It is approximately 100 km north of Gilgit’s city in the Gilgit District and is surrounded by the famous glaciers; Barpu, Biro, Bagrot, and Pisan.
The Rakaposhi Peak is the 26th highest mountain on Earth and the 12th highest in Pakistan. It is also considered one of the most beautiful mountain ranges, and the most notable highlight is the tourist spot known as the “Zero Point of Rakaposhi.” It’s located in the town of Gulmat in the Nagar Valley. At this spot, you’ll be able to see the most enchanting view of the entire Rakaposhi Peak.
The ideal months to visit Rakaposhi Peak are from May to October. During these months, trails are almost clear of snow, and you’ll get a perfect and clear hiking day.
After this duration, the atmosphere becomes quite windy, and the temperature may drop below zero at night. Hence, it depends upon your preference that whether you want a hike on a warm sunny day or between the
Karimabad is the capital of Hunza and is known as one of the most famous places for tourists. The area was named after Prince Karim Agha Khan, the Shia Ismaili Nizari community’s spiritual head.
Karimabad town is located on the Hunza River’s west bank, in a valley that’s 8,200 feet above sea level. Meaning, you can expect exceptional scenic views, with vibrant apricot and cherry trees.
The main highlight of this small town Karimabad Bazaar Hunza. It’s a must to visit this market when visiting Karimabad as it’s got the ancient, cobbled streets, as beautiful as the ones in Scotland. You can get a variety of handcrafted goods from here. Apart from this market, you can trek, hike, paraglide while being in Karimabad.
The weather in Karimabad is delightful, and the best time to visit is between April and October. In these months, you won’t get to face any crowds, and you can freely roam around the marketplace. The temperature in Karimabad doesn’t really vary, as you may feel cold throughout with a low chance of rain or snow.
3. Altit Fort
Altit Fort is the most ancient one in all the northern areas as it harks back to 1100 years. It was constructed under the reign of the king of Hunza, famous as Mir, to protect the village from invasion. It was built in the Altit village in Hunza Valley, Gilgit Baltistan, and is known for its royal garden and local communities.
Agha Khan Culture Trust renovated the fort to preserve this tremendous ancient heritage for future generations. It even received the UNESCO Asia Pacific Heritage Award for Cultural Heritage Conservation. The rushing water of the Hunza River and the stunning mountains make it more enticing for travelers.
Altit fort was built over 1,000 feet above the Hunza river and is 30 minutes away from Karimabad City. The weather is the same as Karimabad, of course as it’s situated inside it.
4. Baltit Fort
The absolute beauty of the Baltit fort perfectly harmonies with the vast, enticing landscapes. The fortress was architected 700 years ago in the Hunza Valley, near the town of Karimabad. It resembles the Potala Palace in Lhasa as it bears almost the same architectural style as Ladakhi-Tibetan.
Its imposing beauty was a symbolic message to the surrounding states that Hunza was an advanced town with intelligent and creative people.
The fort was abandoned entirely and turned to ruins until 1945 when Aga Khan Trust restored it and turned it again into a masterpiece. It has now been under the World Heritage Tentative list since 2004.
Weather conditions above Baltit Fort stay as pleasing as you can imagine. There’s always a hint of some clouds in the sky that escalate the fort’s overall beauty with scenic landscapes view. There are also snowy mountains surrounding the fort to make it one of Pakistan’s most photogenic spots.
5. Attabad Lake
Attabad Lake is in the Shiskat Valley in Hunza and on a 30-minute drive from Karimabad. It was formed due to a life-threatening land-sliding, forcing the locals to settle elsewhere. Presently, it has become one of the most famous spots in Hunza Valley. The flawlessly clear turquoise lake and the enormous dark mountains make this place exceptionally tempting for all the visitors.
As it has become a popular spot for tourists, the Attabad lake now offers a wide range of activities. There is an array of water activities such as boating, jet-skiing, fishing, and much more. Boating is a perfect way to have a glimpse of the beautiful valley of Hunza.
The best time to visit Attabad Lake is from April to October as snow doesn’t fall during these months. The sun beautifully shines all over the clear water as it sparkles glamourously due to the rays of sunshine. In winters, the lake freezes, and you can expect a winter wonderland.
6. Borith Lake
Borith Lake is situated in Gojal, 2 km away from the north of Ghulmit village. You can reach here by means of any transport or can even trek for about 2-3 hour trekking route. It stands at an altitude of 2,600 meters above sea level. Residents of the Gulmit village use this lake for their irrigation purposes.
The lake itself is a blissful embodiment of peacefulness. It is one of the very few places that attract both wildlife and humans because of its undisturbed natural beauty. The cosmic mountains and charming blue lake are the quaint images that won’t ever get off your mind.
The weather stays pleasant throughout the year. But if you happen to be a birdwatching enthusiast, then do visit Borith Lake between March and June. You can get a chance to witness cute little ducks from southern Pakistan, migrating here in these months.
7. LadyFinger Peak
Ladyfinger Peak is a peculiar rock tower in the Batura Muztagh, the Karakoram Range’s westernmost sub-range in Pakistan. It lies on the southwest edge of the Ultra Sar massif, the most southeasterly of the significant groups of the Batura Muztagh. The weather stays cold on this peak, and the mountains remain capped up with snow almost all year long.
The most interesting legend about this place is that Kisar, a prince from Baltistan, came to this valley and married a princess named Bubli. Upon hearing the news of his first wife’s kidnapping, he took Bubi up to this peak and gave her a sack of grain and a chicken.
The princess asked about the prince’s return, on which he said, “Every year, give this chicken a single grain to eat, and I’ll return once the sack is empty.” He left, and locals say that Bubli is still waiting to this day, and they’ve seen glimpses of her.
8. Khunjerab Pass
Khunjerab Pass is a tremendous mountain pass in the Karakoram Mountains ranges, in a deliberated position on the northern border of Pakistan and southwest border of China. Its elevation is around 4,693 meters or 15,397 feet above sea level. Being at this altitude, make sure to have lots of water as your oxygen level may decrease.
Khunjerab pass is definitely worth your time and money with all its pleasing sceneries and mountain views. It’s the highest paved international border crossing globally and the highest point on Karakoram Highway.
The weather is frigid here, so ensure bringing loads of warm clothing. But it’s not that cold if you may think that you’re going to shiver the entire time on your remaining trip to Hunza. It has a subtle cold climate for you to enjoy lovely weather when all other cities in the country are burning.
Haldeikish is among the most fascinating and intriguing archaeological sites in Hunza Valley, dating back to the 1st Millennium AD. It is located right next to the Karakoram Highway, and you can visit it when going to Ganesh Village or Attabad Lake. The site is filled with massive rock formations, reaching up to 300 feet high.
These gigantic rocks portray various ancient petroglyphs, dating back from prehistoric times to the Buddhist era. These captivating petroglyphs incorporate many Ibexes and several engravings in different languages, including Tibetan, Bactrian, Sogdian, Brahmi, and much more.
The most famous rock in this area is the Sacred Rock of Hunza, which is 30 feet high and 300 yards long. The stone is divided into two parts; the upper portion and the lower portion. The upper portion has inscriptions carved in Sogdian, Kharosthi, Brahmi, Sarada, and proto Sarada. In contrast, the lower part has engraved images of Ibexes in different situations.