A Guide of the Unexplored Hunza

The big cities have trapped most of us in a bubble that hinders our traveling plans. Pakistan has a diverse landscape marked with a lot of enchanting places. These places differ by their locations and the type of beauty you can witness once traveled to. One guaranteed thing is the magical beauty and wonder-struck experience for you on a trip to such places. A place full of exquisite nature, a heaven on Earth is none other than Hunza. It is a place with a whole new spectrum of colors regarding nature and beauty.

Hunza, at an elevation of 2,438 m, lies in Northern Gilgit Baltistan and is bordering China in the North-East. It holds a Buddhist historical significance and has many preserved archeological sites. 100% literacy rate of Hunza contributes a major share in making people concerned about the beauty of Hunza and negligent towards it. . Hunza valley has beautiful meadows laden with exquisite colorful flowers, a mesmeric crystal blue covering of the sky, and mountains inhabited by lush green, orange, brown leafed trees. A trip to Hunza will surely make you feel enchanted by the beautiful surroundings. Hunza has a vibrant landscape that is divided into three regions Upper Hunza, Central Hunza, and Lower Hunza. This land is also home to an ancient Baltit castle, ancient watchtowers, and the great Altit Fort.

Ethereal Lakes of Hunza

Every form of nature- Mountains, forests, and greenery comprises something uniquely amazing. That is why there is something magical about the lakes of Northern Pakistan, that is incomparable to any sight you have seen before. The lakes are so mesmerizing that most of the locals associate those regions with mythical creatures such as fairies. Though spotting a fairy nearby any of the famous lakes of Hunza Valley is not guaranteed but for you will definitely fall in love with the enchanting scenery of the region. Some of the prominent lakes of Hunza are as follow,

Attabad Lake

At a drive of half an hour from Hunza, Gilgit Baltistan, lies the beguiling Attabad Lake. This is a natural lake but with an unusual story, as a catastrophe led to the creation of Attabad Lake. Attabad was once land until a massive landslide deteriorated the Hunza valley, and caused a rapid rise in water level forming Attabad Lake. It has a depth of 300 m and is 13 miles long dazzling turquoise lake flowing between the mesmeric mountains. Throughout the year, this lake showcases a reflecting crystal turquoise water in summers and a smooth frozen surface in winters. Attabad Lake is a recreational place all year long, making the tourists experience different activities like jet-skiing, boating, fishing, ice-skiing, sledding, and giving them many fun memories to always cherish.

Naltar Lake

Despite many other natural astonishments, Naltar Valley is mostly renowned for being home to three lakes- collectively known as the ‘Bashkiri Lakes’. The first Bashkiri Lake is located at a distance of 12 kilometers from Upper Naltar. The lakes are surrounded by lush green forests and entrancing gardens and majestically shaped mountains. Satrangi lake is a multi-hued glory, that reflects prominent green, blue and yellow colors. The sight of it is a treat to watch and makes you believe in the unrealistic beauty of nature. It is located at a distance of 40 Km from Gilgit city and takes 2 hours to reach Naltar valley from Gilgit. A further 10 min drive from Satrangi Laki takes you to Pari Lake. The deep blue water of this captivating alpine lake comes from natural springs and glacial melts.

Borith and Firoza Lake

Borith Lake has a unique feel to it and is located in the Gojal Valley of Hunza. This lake lies within a hollow land and is considered a sanctuary since it’s a common spot for migratory birds like wildfowl. Then another beautiful Lake of Hunza is Froza lake. It has shadows of looming mountains reflecting on it and the sky from a height creates a peculiar mirroring effect that leaves many in awe. Both of these lakes can either be accessed through jeep or a trek that takes about 2-3 hours.

Touristic Places of Hunza

Hunza has a division into three portions- Upper, Centre, and Lower Hunza. These regions offer you so many exotic places for vacations. Places like Ayean Abad, Shishkat, Gulmit, Ghulkin Passu, Hassan Abad, Ali Abad, Dorkhan, Shiras, Gareth, Khizir Abad, Mayoon, Hussainabad, Khana Abad, and Nasirabad.This valley has several other beautiful natural sights, which are the attractions for tourists, as follow,

Baltit and Altit Fort

Tourists visit this valley to take sight of the two most famous forts known as Altit and Baltit fort. The Altit Fort is the oldest fort in northern areas and it is located in the Altit village. It has a great architectural design on a rock of a mountain where the Hunza River flows at its back. Baltit Fort is another beautiful fort in the Hunza valley at the top of Karimabad. It has now been renovated into a heritage museum.

Khunjerab Pass

Khunjerab Pass is the highest border-crossing pass in the world. This pass is elevated at a height of 4,693 m in the Karakorum mountain ranges and is situated on the Northern border of Pakistan and the South-West border of China. This Khunjerab pass also leads to a Khunjerab National Park, which is home to many exquisite animals and endangered species like snow leopards.

Glaciers of Hunza

Besides all these, Hunza valley beholds the treasure of Pakistan’s most famous and long glaciers. The popular glaciers in Hunza include the Batura Glacier, Hussaini Glacier, and Passu Glacier. All of these glaciers are situated in Gojal Valley-Upper Hunza. These glaciers attract thousands of domestic and international tourists every year. Opportunities for hiking and other recreational activities are quite immense in the Hunza Valley.

Written By: Aleen Tariq