Hunza Valley

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The 7,788 m (25,551 ft) tall Rakaposhi mountain towers over Hunza
The 7,788 m (25,551 ft) tall Rakaposhi mountain towers over Hunza
Country Pakistan
Region Gilgit Baltistan
Time zone PST (UTC+5)

Hunza (Burushaski: ہنزو , Wakhi, and Urdu: ہنزہ‎) is a mountainous valley in the Gilgit-Baltistan region of Pakistan. The Hunza is situated in the extreme northern part of Pakistan, bordering with the Wakhan Corridor of Afghanistan and the Xinjiang region of China.


Baltit Fort, the former residence of the Mirs of Hunza
Hunza Valley, as viewed from the "Eagle's Nest"

Hunza was formerly a princely state bordering Xinjiang (autonomous region of China) to the northeast and Pamir to the northwest, which survived until 1974, when it was finally dissolved by Zulfikar Ali Bhutto. The state bordered the Gilgit Agency to the south and the former princely state of Nagar to the east, the state capital was the town of Baltit (also known as Karimabad); another old settlement is Ganish Village which means ancient god "Ganesh village. Hunza was an independent principality for more than 900 years, until the British gained control of it and the neighbouring valley of Nagar between 1889 and 1892 through a military conquest, the then Mir/Tham (ruler) Mir Safdar Ali Khan of Hunza fled to Kashghar in China and sought what would now be called political asylum.[1]


Hunza Valley in late autumn

An account wrote by John Bidulf in his book 'Tribes of Hindukush'

2010 landslide[edit]

In 2010, a landslide blocked the river and created Attabad Lake, which threatened 15,000 people in the valley below and has effectively blocked 27 km of the Karakoram Highway.[3]


The 7,027 m (23,054 ft) tall Golden Peak as viewed from the Baltit Fort

Hunza is divided into 3 geographic subdivisions:

Gojal Valley/Upper Hunza[edit]

Hunza District. The main towns, villages and valleys are:

Lower Hunza[edit]

View from Altit Fort

Lower Hunza comprises the parts of Aliabad tehsil of Hunza District, the main towns, villages and valleys are:

Central Hunza[edit]

At a height of 7,388 m (24,239 ft), Ultar Peak towers over central Hunza.

Central Hunza consists of the parts of Aliabad tehsil of Hunza District, the main towns, villages and valleys are:


The Sacred Rocks of Hunza contain drawings dating from the area's Shamanist past.

The local languages spoken include Burushaski, Wakhi and Shina, the literacy rate of the Hunza valley is believed to be more than 90%.[4]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Valley, Hunza. "Hunza Valley". Retrieved 23 November 2016. 
  2. ^ Tribes of the Hindoo Koosh by John Bidulph page 26
  3. ^
  4. ^ Siddiqui, Shahid. "Hunza disaster and schools". Dawn. Retrieved 6 July 2012. 
  • Kreutzmann, Hermann, Karakoram in Transition: Culture, Development, and Ecology in the Hunza Valley, Oxford University Press, 2006. ISBN 978-0-19-547210-3
  • Leitner, G. W. (1893): Dardistan in 1866, 1886 and 1893: Being An Account of the History, Religions, Customs, Legends, Fables and Songs of Gilgit, Chilas, Kandia (Gabrial) Yasin, Chitral, Hunza, Nagyr and other parts of the Hindukush, as also a supplement to the second edition of The Hunza and Nagyr Handbook. And An Epitome of Part III of the author’s “The Languages and Races of Dardistan.” First Reprint 1978. Manjusri Publishing House, New Delhi.
  • Lorimer, Lt. Col. D.L.R. Folk Tales of Hunza. 1st edition 1935, Oslo. Three volumes. Vol. II, republished by the Institute of Folk Heritage, Islamabad. 1981.
  • Sidkey, M. H. "Shamans and Mountain Spirits in Hunza." Asian Folklore Studies, Vol. 53, No. 1 (1994), pp. 67–96.
  • History of Ancient Era Hunza State By Haji Qudratullah Beg English Translation By Lt Col (Rtd) Saadullah Beg, TI(M)
  • Wrench, Dr Guy T (1938), The Wheel of Health: A Study of the Hunza People and the Keys to Health, 2009 reprint, Review Press, ISBN 978-0-9802976-6-9, retrieved 12 August 2010 

External links[edit]