Latest Posts

Pakistan’s Hunza Valley

High Literacy And Gender Equality in a Valley Flanked by Majestic Mountains and Glaciers

Pakistan’s Hunza Valley lies south of the China border along the Hunza River

Located in the far north of Pakistan, the Hunza Valley lies in the Gilgit–Baltistan region just south-southwest of the China border and southeast of the Afghan Wakhan Corridor.  Stretched along the Hunza River at an elevation of 2,500 m on average, the valley is flanked by a few spectacular peaks higher than 6,000 metre, including Rakaposhi (7,788 m), Hunza Peak (6,270 m), Passu Peak (7,478 m), Bublimotin (Ladyfinger Peak) (6,000 m), Diran Peak (7,266 m), and Ultar Sar (7,388 m).

Hunza Valley mapThe valley is dotted with quant villages such Nasirabad in the Lower Hunza Valley, Karimabad in the Central Hunza Valley, and Gulmit in the Upper Hunza Valley. Some villages have ancient fortresses standing such as the Altit Fort in Altit Village and the Baltit Fort in Karimabad.

Apart from the spectacular peaks, glaciers, the river, and the quant villages, the people of the Hunza Valley are quite friendly. Most of the inhabitants of the valley are Ismaili Shia Muslims and also followers of His Highness Prince Karim Aga Khan IV (a few small villages are mainly Shia Muslims). Many of these Ismaili Shia people are fair skinned and trace back their ancestors to Central Asian countries such as Tajikistan to the north.

The Lower Hunza Valley is home primarily to the Shinaki people who speak Shina while the Central Hunza Valley is mainly inhabited by the Burushaski speakers. In the Upper Valley (referred to as the Gojal Valley) are the speakers of the Wakhi and Burusho languages. Most of these people are very friendly and happily agree to be photographed, in stark contrast to some of the Shia and Sunni communities, in particular those at the Fairy Meadows near Nanga Parbat Peak.

How to get to the Hunza Valley?

Fly from Islamabad up to the town of Gilgit where you will meet your friendly guide, Nasir Ahmed who will drive you up to the Hunza Valley, and guide you around the villages, along scary paths up the mountains, across the glaciers, and straight to the apricot and cherry trees back down in the valley.

Flying over the Karakoram Highway (KKH) which is the highest paved international road in the world, north of Gilgit, Hunza Valley, PAKISTAN

Flying over the Karakoram Highway (KKH) which is the highest paved international road in the world, north of Gilgit, Hunza Valley, PAKISTAN

Lower Hunza Valley, PAKISTAN

Lower Hunza Valley, PAKISTAN

Baltit Fort, Karimabad, Lower Hunza Valley, PAKISTAN

Baltit Fort, Karimabad, Lower Hunza Valley, PAKISTAN

Views over Karimabad, Lower Hunza Valley, PAKISTAN

Views over Karimabad, Lower Hunza Valley, PAKISTAN

Views Karimabad from "Eagle's Nest Hotel" in Duker Village, Lower Hunza Valley, PAKISTAN

Views of Karimabad from “Eagle’s Nest Hotel” in Duker Village, Lower Hunza Valley, PAKISTAN

Views of Rakaposhi Peak, Karimabad and Hunza River from "Eagle's near Nest Hotel" in Duker Village, Lower Hunza Valley, PAKISTAN

Views of Rakaposhi Peak (7,788 m), Karimabad and Hunza River from “Eagle’s near Nest Hotel” in Duker Village, Lower Hunza Valley, PAKISTAN

Altit Fort stands in front of peaks near Ultar Peak seen from KKH highway, Lower Hunza Valley, PAKISTAN

Altit Fort stands in front of peaks near Ultar Peak seen from KKH highway, Lower Hunza Valley, PAKISTAN

Southern end of Attabad Lake, Hunza Vallay, PAKISTAN

Southern end of Attabad Lake, Hunza Vallay, PAKISTAN

Bridge south of Passu Glacier, north of Gulmit Village in the Upper Hunza Valley north of the Attabad Lake, Hunza Vallay, PAKISTAN

Bridge south of Passu Glacier, north of Gulmit Village in the Upper Hunza Valley north of the Attabad Lake, Hunza Vallay, PAKISTAN

Passu Cathedral Peak, South of Passu Glacier, north of Gulmit Village in the Upper Hunza Valley north of the Attabad Lake, Hunza Vallay, PAKISTAN

Passu Cathedral Peak, South of Passu Glacier, north of Gulmit Village in the Upper Hunza Valley north of the Attabad Lake, Hunza Vallay, PAKISTAN

South of Passu Glacier, north of Gulmit Village in the Upper Hunza Valley north of the Attabad Lake, Hunza Vallay, PAKISTAN

South of Passu Glacier, north of Gulmit Village in the Upper Hunza Valley north of the Attabad Lake, Hunza Vallay, PAKISTAN

South of Passu Glacier, north of Gulmit Village in the Upper Hunza Valley north of the Attabad Lake, Hunza Vallay, PAKISTAN

South of Passu Glacier, north of Gulmit Village in the Upper Hunza Valley north of the Attabad Lake, Hunza Vallay, PAKISTAN

Around Passu Glacier, north of Gulmit Village in the Upper Hunza Valley north of the Attabad Lake, Hunza Vallay, PAKISTAN

Around Passu Glacier, north of Gulmit Village in the Upper Hunza Valley north of the Attabad Lake, Hunza Vallay, PAKISTAN

Passu Glacier, north of Gulmit Village in the Upper Hunza Valley north of the Attabad Lake, Hunza Vallay, PAKISTAN

Passu Glacier, north of Gulmit Village in the Upper Hunza Valley north of the Attabad Lake, Hunza Vallay, PAKISTAN

Around Gulmit Village in the Upper Hunza Valley north of the Attabad Lake, Hunza Vallay, PAKISTAN

Around Gulmit Village in the Upper Hunza Valley north of the Attabad Lake, Hunza Vallay, PAKISTAN

Crossing the Attabad Lake, Hunza Vallay, PAKISTAN

Crossing the Attabad Lake, Hunza Vallay, PAKISTAN

Girls in Gulmit Village in the Upper Hunza Valley north of the Attabad Lake, Hunza Vallay, PAKISTAN

Girls in Gulmit Village in the Upper Hunza Valley north of the Attabad Lake, Hunza Vallay, PAKISTAN

Girls in Gulmit Village in the Upper Hunza Valley north of the Attabad Lake, Hunza Vallay, PAKISTAN

Girls in Gulmit Village in the Upper Hunza Valley north of the Attabad Lake, Hunza Vallay, PAKISTAN

Girls in Gulmit Village in the Upper Hunza Valley north of the Attabad Lake, Hunza Vallay, PAKISTAN

Girls in Gulmit Village in the Upper Hunza Valley north of the Attabad Lake, Hunza Vallay, PAKISTAN

An older lady in Gulmit Village in the Upper Hunza Valley north of the Attabad Lake, Hunza Vallay, PAKISTAN

An older lady in Gulmit Village in the Upper Hunza Valley north of the Attabad Lake, Hunza Vallay, PAKISTAN

A lovely family in Gulmit Village in the Upper Hunza Valley north of the Attabad Lake, Hunza Vallay, PAKISTAN

A lovely family in Gulmit Village in the Upper Hunza Valley north of the Attabad Lake, Hunza Vallay, PAKISTAN

Gulmit Village in the Upper Hunza Valley north of the Attabad Lake, Hunza Vallay, PAKISTAN

Gulmit Village in the Upper Hunza Valley north of the Attabad Lake, Hunza Vallay, PAKISTAN

Near Gulmit Village in the Upper Hunza Valley north of the Attabad Lake, Hunza Vallay, PAKISTAN

Near Gulmit Village in the Upper Hunza Valley north of the Attabad Lake, Hunza Vallay, PAKISTAN

Altit Fort near Karimabad, Hunza Vallay, PAKISTAN

Altit Fort near Karimabad, Hunza Vallay, PAKISTAN

South of Karimabad, Hunza Vallay, PAKISTAN

South of Karimabad, Hunza Vallay, PAKISTAN

Minapin Glacier at Rakaposhi Base Camp, Hunza Vallay, PAKISTAN

Minapin Glacier at Rakaposhi Base Camp, Hunza Vallay, PAKISTAN

Minapin Glacier at Rakaposhi Base Camp, Hunza Vallay, PAKISTAN

Minapin Glacier at Rakaposhi Base Camp, Hunza Vallay, PAKISTAN

Minapin Glacier at Rakaposhi Base Camp, Hunza Vallay, PAKISTAN

Minapin Glacier at Rakaposhi Base Camp, Hunza Vallay, PAKISTAN

Minapin Glacier at Rakaposhi Base Camp, Hunza Vallay, PAKISTAN

Minapin Glacier at Rakaposhi Base Camp, Hunza Vallay, PAKISTAN

Minapin Glacier at Rakaposhi Base Camp, Hunza Vallay, PAKISTAN

Minapin Glacier at Rakaposhi Base Camp, Hunza Vallay, PAKISTAN

Minapin Village, Hunza Vallay, PAKISTAN

Minapin Village, Hunza Vallay, PAKISTAN

Campling next to Minapin Glacier at Rakaposhi Base Camp, Hunza Vallay, PAKISTAN

Campling next to Minapin Glacier at Rakaposhi Base Camp, Hunza Vallay, PAKISTAN

Crossing Attabad Lake, Hunza Vallay, PAKISTAN

Crossing Attabad Lake, Hunza Vallay, PAKISTAN

 

TRAVELER’S GUIDE: Nasir Ahmed, Gilgit, northern Pakistan

The Hunza Valley: A Paradise Of High Literacy And Gender Equality In a Remote Corner Of Pakistan