Hunza, A mystical land


If I told you, a little bit of heaven exist here on earth would you believe me?

Do you believe me now?

This is the land of fairies, a mystical mountain of miracles that surround it, a land of life, called Hunza Valley.

Hunza valley is truly one of the most beautiful places I’ve ever seen. Imagine an area surrounded by towering mountains, some fang white, while some are barren with different shades of mountains, ranging from brown, dark blue, purple and so on.

Imagine waking up in the morning, opening your window and witnessing the majestic mountain, the ‘mother of mists’, Rakaposhi, the 27th highest mountain in the world and the 12th highest in Pakistan.

Now imagine, sitting alongside a river stream, while the sun sets on ice capped mountains, while listening to the burble of the river with different types of flowery scents.

Doesn’t it sound relaxing, wouldn’t you call this heaven?

It’s been five months since I last visited that area and I truly can’t get enough. I remember the day we reached Serena Inn. I walked towards the garden and looked ahead of me. I was so mesmerized with the way nature layered the mountains, the shape, the color and the snow that covered it all. For a moment I forgot every single worry, every single regret and just froze in time.

Sometimes it just baffles me how God created this earth with such beauty that I wonder how heaven would be like.

Hunza is located 100 kilometers away from Gilgit . There are two ways of reaching this enchanting destination. You can either fly to gilgit and drive two hours to hunza or you can go to Islamabad, get a car and go by road to Hunza.

Hunza The first day we went to witness the ever blue, attabad lake located in Gojal Valley.

The beauty behind this lake actually hides a dark secret. 4th july 2010, during the dark hours of the night, a large landslide occurred in the Upper Hunza Valley. One side of a mountain split and completely buried the small village of Atta bad, killing thousands. This created a blockage on the hunza river, which created a natural damn that we know as Attabad Lake. Who knew such beauty can actually be the reason behind so the death of many, that’s why they always say, ‘never judge a book by its cover.’

From Attabad Lake, begins the journey to Passu, a village beside the Hunza River.

The home of the most bizarre yet beautiful mountains, called Passu Cones. As the name suggests each mountain looks like an ice cone, seeping through the ground, stretching to the heavens, with bits of ice falling onto the cloud ridges of the mountains. This was the best of my trip, to witness these mountains and just to lust over them. To me, these mountains remind me of the ice queen’s castle. An enchanted yet daring place, filled with all kinds of unknown’s. Sometimes I wonder whether any type of undiscovered civilization exists on these stair cases to heaven or not. I don’t think anyone has truly explored this area, even though it is the most photographed area in Hunza, but it is the most steep, daring and difficult mountains to climb, with a height of 20,000 ft, who knows what type of animals lives there.

Ahead of Passu, a small village is situated. This village is known as Sost.

Sust/sost is 87 kilometers away from the Pak-China border. This is the last town you will see before the border. This was the first port from which the business of the silk route had started. This place is mostly a resting area for tourists or the importers/exporters. It has small snacks shops, some restaurants, inns and small shops that sell material and gem stones.  This place is known to develop into a Chinese market place where Chinese are going to come and sell their items.  Many famous hotels are being built in this area and many more developments are being taken place here.  Soon this will be a large percent of Pakistan’s income.

As soon as you depart from Sost, you are first greeted by a check point, from which you will need a slip that will allow you to advance further. If you are going through the border, then you will need to get all your immigration done from here and advance next.

The journey to the border was an unforgettable one. I remember the moment I left the immigration/check point. I was stunned.  I was being greeted by large barren mountains, with every shade of brown you could think off.  The mountains were so high, like giants struggling to go back to their homes in heaven, it felt as though, at any second this mountain would tip over and we were forever carved in the land under us. For some reason, I did not mind that.

It felt like a fantasy, driving through the mountains, blasting music and watching the river flow by beside us. With every breath we were going higher and higher. I felt like we were soaring through the sky even though we were on wheels and we were following the path which reminded me of the way a kart goes up the rails, during a rollercoaster ride.

After 85 kilometers the Pak China border arrived.

Surrounded by angel White Mountains is where the Pak China border is situated.

There is a brick wall, with an opening which has the signs of china engraved in it. It is surrounded by iron walls and iron wires, which do not allow anyone to pass through it, without orders from the army or the security that guard the area.

There are speakers nearby which play authentic Pakistani music and the visitors on both sides of the border loudly chant ‘Long live Pakistan/China’, playfully. Later on some people randomly start dancing because their just truly happy and filled with a lot of pride for their country. The love and devotion can truly be seen, when you set your eyes on them. They way they danced was filled which such happiness, such excitement, that made me wonder, how much love is in us, how beautiful each individual is and how we can give so much love into the place we live and the people around us.

Being 15000 feet high you would not really think of any restaurant or any snack store being situated in this place. What if I told you there was.

This brave man sells biryani and other things to the people who visit the border. In the middle of thick glacier and an area which reaches -20/-50. This brave man still comes and sells food, just to make money and give the joy of food to others. He said it was important to leave every customer with smile, because just for that moment, you made someone happy.

Pak-China border was truly an amazing experience and I would recommend everyone to go. It truly a different place that I don’t think is common in this world.

Going back to Hunza and spending a day there, witnessing the people, observing my surroundings and taking the history of such a beautiful place, felt like a blessing.

Hunza Valley was a princely state, which bordered the Xinjiang (Autonomous region of China) in the northeast and Pamir in the northwest, that survived ill 1974. This had come to an end by Zulfikar Ali Bhutto. The capital of this state was baltit ( also known as Karimabad). Hunza was an independent principality for more than 900 years, until the British took control of the neighbouring valley of Nagar between 1889 and 1892. The ruler fled to Kashghar in china and took political Asylum.

The valley of Hunza is known for its long life, the people their live more than a hundred years and the crime rate is 0.

Can you believe that, a place with zero crime rate, in today’s day and age. It is unbelievable. Hunza is known for the people’s kindness and hospitality. The market in Karimabad is also very known for its jewelry, material and the rare stones which are purchasable in this area.

This area can boost Pakistan’s economy rise, if they develop it properly and let foreigners have access to this magnificent Valley then Pakistan will thrive in Wealth.

Pakistan you are truly beautiful.

Blog By:

Haneen Akbari


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