Founded in the 8th century by the valley's feudal rulers, called the Mir, this Tibetan-influenced complex on stilts is now a museum devoted to the Hunza's medieval history, and is just one of the cultural and natural attractions of a valley widely - in the north, abutting China, and accessible by air from capital Islamabad - considered to be the country's most beautiful. On the culture/history side, there are a number of Buddhist archaeological sites (the region was Buddhist until the 15th century, when it was Islamicized), such as the Sacred Rock of Hunza, dating back to the first millennium BCE; and the village of  Ganish, the valley's oldest settlement (dating back some thousand years) that was part of the ancient Silk Road. Plus there are a number of other atmospheric forts (like Altit) and settlements (such as Duikar, Ghulkin, and Gulmit)

Other eco/adventure activities - using the valley’s main town Karimabad as a base - include hiking the base camp of loft Mount Ultar; various other treks including Passu Glacier; swimming in Borith Lake; and boating on Attabad Lake.

Overall an exotic, otherworldly experience indeed!

 Samar irfan


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