Pakistan is one of the few countries in the world with such a diverse landscape; rivers, deserts, lakes, waterfalls, springs, and glaciers abound.
The Hunza Valley, commonly referred to as “paradise on earth,” is surrounded by the majestic Himalayan and Karakoram mountain ranges and has long been a popular tourist destination.
The Best Time To Visit Hunza Valley
The best time to visit Hunza Valley is from April to October, but if you don’t like crowds, avoid June and August. During the summer months, the Hunza Valley can become quite crowded as both locals and Chinese tourists flock there when the weather is nice and warm.
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Things To Do In Hunza Valley
1. Hike To The Ultar Base Camp
If you can’t get enough trekking in Pakistan, there’s a day hike near Karimabad that you can do. The trail begins near the Baltit fort and leads all the way to Ultar Base Camp, where you can get a close look at the glacier and the Ultar peaks.
As the trail climbs sharply up a tight gorge, it will take you along the irrigation canal. It should take you about 4 to 5 hours to reach the ridge, where you’ll be rewarded with a view of Ultar’s vast glacier and stunning craggy peaks.
During the summer, there is a hut at the base camp that serves tea and meals. If you have camping equipment, you can camp here or return to Karimabad in one day.
2. Climb Up The Baltit Fort
This fairy-tale-like fort, built on top of a hill overlooking Karimabad in the 8th century BC, is one of Hunza Valley’s most recognisable monuments. I knew this was Shangri-La the instant I laid sight on the fort. The fort’s spectacular setting, surrounded by snow-capped mountains, makes it one of Pakistan’s most photogenic locations.
To get to the fort, climb a steep road through a local village for 15 minutes before arriving at the fort, where you will have an unobstructed view of Karimabad and the valleys beyond. On a clear day, you can see Rakaposhi and Diran peaks from the fort.
Spend some time walking around the little village around the fort to see what it has to offer.
3. Visit The Altit Fort And Village
Another fort, located at the foot of the valley, is worth visiting despite its lack of upkeep. Before reaching the fort, simply follow the Sultan Abad route across the river and along the Ahmedabad road. Because the remodelling is currently happening, there isn’t much to see on the interior, but the exterior is fascinating in and of itself.
4. Visit Ganish Village
Ganish village is the Hunza Valley’s oldest settlement, dating back over a thousand years. People came from all around, and as the settlement flourished, it expanded outside and into new locations throughout Hunza Valley. You can visit numerous old mosques, one of which is 400 years old, as well as the Shikari watchtower. If you enjoy history as much as I do, a trip to Ganish Village is a must.
5. Take A Break At Cafe De Hunza
Last but not least, stop into Cafe de Hunza for a cup of coffee and one of their famous walnut cakes. They sell western-style coffees and pastries, so if you’re in need of a good cup of coffee, especially if you’ve been travelling throughout Pakistan for a while, stop by Cafe de Hunza and sample their offerings.
My Experience In Hunza Valley
It was April, the sun was shining, and as we arrived in Nilt from Gilgit, I was surrounded by a new palette of colours; I was completely mesmerised.
Plants filled with white, pink, and orange blooms could be spotted across the meadows. Why hadn’t I arrived here earlier, I kept thinking?
The route from Hussainabad to Aliabad was lined with so many flowers that it appeared to be the actual definition of primrose path. Spring was my first love, and while you can forget about everything else, you can’t forget about your first love.
Hunza fascinated me so greatly that I spent several years exploring Gilgit-Baltistan after first hearing about it.
You can live a fairly comfortable life in a huge city, but if you come to the northern territories, you will discover that the true peace of mind is found among these lovely mountains.
People used to come to Hunza for rehabilitation at one time. They still do, but the tourism factor is considerably more now than it was previously. Nature appears to be in a transition stage from winter to spring. Every season brings something new to this location.
I have a strong desire to return to my Hunza trips whenever I am reminded of them. After all, what is the allure of living in a society where lynchings, bombings, and killings are commonplace and dissenting voices are dwindling? How can one have peace of mind at an environment where smiles are faked with the intention of pulling one’s leg as soon as possible?
In the mountains, one feels isolated; isolated from depressions, isolated from everything except the welcoming inhabitants of northern areas, who are lovely and compassionate people.
The season of spring has here. The period of transition has ended. Transition periods are fraught with instability and uncertainty, whether they are caused by weather or circumstances.
However, it is during this time that the approaching weather, time, and circumstances are nurtured and enhanced. It also encourages one’s creativity.
How To Get In Hunza Valley
• Via The Karakoram Highway
Hunza is a 100-kilometer drive from Gilgit, and most people arrive by road, which takes approximately 2-3 hours. The main bus station is located on the KKH Aliabad. Booking agents for long-distance buses and jeeps along the KKH can be found in town. The trip from Islamabad can take up to 24 hours.
There is a regular international bus service from Kashgar (China) to Hunza via Sost, which crosses the Khunjerab Pass (about 5000 m high). Khuda Abad is a village located across the Hunza River in Sost.
People usually do not stop at Khunjerab Pass, instead continuing on to Sost by bus. From Sost, you can do a variety of activities such as trekking in the valleys or driving to Hunza-Karimabad (2 hours) to see the Baltit Fort.
The Khunjerab Pass is open from May 1st to December 30th, but it is closed during the winter.
• By Plane
Gilgit Airport is small, with 45-minute PIA flights to Islamabad.
PIA operates regular flights between Gilgit and Islamabad in small 42-seat planes. All flights, however, are subject to weather clearance, and flights are frequently delayed by several days during the winter.
Local transportation is typically provided by private vehicles. Renting jeeps is another popular mode of transportation. You can travel to nearby cities by bus or plane.
Does Hunza Have Snowfall?
Yes, Hunza receives a lot of snowfall from December to February. The region’s harsh winter season lasts three months. During the winter, Hunza’s temperature falls below freezing.
Can You Go To Hunza In Winter?
Hunza, originally a royal state, is open all year and visitors can visit at any time. Hunza’s tourism nearly vanishes in the winter. In the winter, the views from Atta-Abad Lake and the high summits Ultar Sar, Hunza Peak, and Passu Peak are stunning.
Why Should You Visit Hunza Valley?
The Hunza Valley is known for its snow-capped and rocky mountains. Despite the fact that Rakaposhi is located in the adjoining Nagar Valley, most visitors to Hunza come to see the Rakaposhi Mountain’s gleaming ice wall. From Karimabad, Hunza, you can see the peak towering in front of you.
Famous Dish Of Hunza Valley
Harissa is one of Hunza’s most delectable meals. Meat, rice, wheat, and green lentils come together beautifully in this dish. This is similar to haleem, but it has a distinct flavour due to the use of ghee in the preparation.
Hotels In Hunza
1. Luxus Hunza
To begin with, this premium hotel is known for its breathtaking views of Attabad Lake. This resort is one of the nicest locations to stay in Hunza and is linked with luxury.
Luxus Hunza Attabad Lake Resort is one of Pakistan’s most famous tourist locations, with views of the gorgeous mountains and Attabad Lake and world-class facilities to make your trip to Gilgit Baltistan an amazing experience. Furthermore, this hotel mixes luxury with nature and is an excellent alternative for getting away from it all.
Luxus Hunza Attabad Lake Resort’s stunning interior design and classic wooden decorations, in addition to its picturesque location in Hunza, Gojal, Aina Abad, Attabad, Gilgit-Baltistan, contributed to its popularity.
The large windows in each room allow you to gaze out at the magical blue water beneath a clear sky. The complex has a total of 25 rooms, each with its own balcony.
Because it is a little out of the way from the main shopping area, it is particularly popular with hikers and hikers. This allows visitors to participate in some local activities, enhancing their Hunza experience.
All of the luxurious amenities available here: These are some of the other services offered by one of the best hotels in Hanseatic, in addition to daily housekeeping, 24-hour reception, and laundry services.
There is also an outdoor fireplace, a picnic area, water sports facilities, a gazebo, a garden with a barbecue, and other amenities.
2. Serena Hunza Hotel
The second one on the list is a lovely view of the Serena Inn in the scenic Hunza Valley. Hunza Serena Inn is one of the most popular hotels in Hunza, Gilgit Baltistan, and is located in the beautiful city of Karimabad (formerly Baltit).
This luxurious hotel, surrounded by the majestic Karakoram Mountains, offers stunning views of the vast rolling green fields, the blue sky of the Hunza River, and the snow-capped Rakaposhi Mountain. The landscaped gardens, as well as the apple, apricot, and walnut orchards that surround the hotel, provide much-needed respite from the stresses of everyday life.
Furthermore, Hunza Serena Inn spans 6 acres and boasts impressive interiors that perfectly showcase the region’s culture and traditions. Each room has hand-carved wooden furniture, picturesque terraces, and other amenities, making this Hunza hotel a popular choice among foreign representatives, politicians, and diplomats.
This hotel is one of the best places to stay in Hunza, whether you are exploring the valley, learning about the local culture, or simply enjoying the natural scenery of Pakistan. Furthermore, facilities include: In addition to valet parking, free Wi-Fi, and 24-hour room service, Hunza Serena Inn offers the following convenient amenities.
Please keep in mind that their luxury tents must be reserved in advance because their design will provide visitors with a one-of-a-kind experience. The tent, like the standard and deluxe rooms, has a comfortable king-size bed, shower, minibar, flat-screen TV, heating, and other amenities.
3. Darbar Hunza Hotel
Darbar Hotel in Hunza, as the name suggests, provides ultra-modern facilities for those who visit Hunza and choose to stay at Darbar Hotel.
This is a boutique hotel with locations throughout the valley that provide high-quality domestic and international services.
The Darbar Hunza Hotel has 40 rooms in total, with 5 suites, 21 double rooms, and 14 single rooms. Each room has a modern bathroom and room service is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Constant power supply, laundry, internet access, extra bed upon request, and so on.
The hotel also has a multi-cuisine restaurant that serves Chinese, Continental, and Pakistani cuisine, as well as traditional local fare. Enjoy the rooftop barbecue with local artists while admiring Rakaposhi’s beauty. You will be astounded.
The hotel’s well-trained management, on the other hand, welcomes couples, groups, and business travellers. We also provide valet parking for our professional conference facilities. Plan a trip to Hunza and reserve a luxurious hotel in Darbar for an unforgettable experience.
Hunza Valley History
The British launched the Hunza-Nagar Campaign in the early 1890s, with the goal of annexing Hunza and Nagar.
In 1890, British troops led by Colonel Durand captured Nilt Fort. They then went to the Baltit Fort, but were met with fierce opposition.
With minimal trouble, the British took entire control of Hunza and Nagar. Following this, the Mir of Hunza, Safdar Ali Khan, and his family fled to Kashgar, China, and the British appointed his brother, Mir Muhammad Nazim Khan, as the new ruler of Hunza.
Hunza Valley is a hilly region in Pakistan’s Gilgit Baltistan. Hunza was once a princely state bordering China to the north and Pamir to the northwest, which existed until 1974, when Zulfikar Ali Bhutto disbanded it. The state was bordered on the south by the Gilgit Agency and on the east by the old princely state of Nagar. Baltit (also known as Karimabad) was the state capital, while Ganish Village was the old hamlet.
For about 900 years, Hunza was an independent principality. Between 1889 and 1892, the British took possession of Hunza and the nearby valley of Nagar, which was followed by a bloody military conflict. The then-Thom (Prince) Mir Safdar Ali Khan of Hunza went to Kashghar, China, in search of political asylum.
Hunza’s ruling family is known as Ayeshe (heavenly) because of the following occurrence. Hunza and Nagar were once one state, ruled by a branch of the Shahreis, Gilgit’s reigning family, whose seat of government was Nagar. Mayroo Khan, the first Muslim Thum of Nagar, married a daughter of Trakhan of Gilgit, who produced him twin boys named Moghlot and Girkis, according to legend, approximately 200 years after Islam was introduced to Gilgit. Nager’s current ruling dynasty is descended from the former.
The twins are claimed to have been antagonistic against one another since infancy. Their father, perceiving this and unable to settle the succession issue, divided his kingdom between them, giving Girkis the north side of the river and Moghlot the south. The raw appeal of Hunza, the fragrant breeze singing through graceful poplar trees, and the velvet-like green carpet of wheat fields set against the backdrop of snow-covered mountains, overwhelm visitors.
The Hunza Valley is 2,438 metres above sea level. From May through October, the tourist season is in full swing. In May, the temperature reaches a maximum of 27°C and a minimum of 14°C. Temperatures in October range from a high of 10°C to a low of 0°C.