Hunza (Burushaski: ہنزو, Wakhi: shina; Urdu: ہنزہ) is a mountainous valley in the Gilgit-Baltistan region of Pakistan. Hunza is situated at the bank of Hunza River in the northern part of Gilgit-Baltistan, Pakistan, bordering with Ishkoman to the northwest, Shigar to the southeast, Afghanistan’s Wakhan Corridor to the north, and the Xinjiang region of China to the northeast.
The Hunza Valley is situated at an elevation of 2,438 meters (7,999 feet). Geographically, Hunza consists of three regions: Upper Hunza (Gojal), Central Hunza and Lower Hunza (“Shinaki”).
The visitors to Hunza are overwhelmed by the rugged charm, the fragrant breeze singing through graceful Poplar trees and the velvet-like green carpet of wheat fields, set against the background of snow-covered mountains.
Situated at an elevation of 2,438 metres, Hunza Valley’s tourist season is from April to October. The temperature in May is maximum 27 C and minimum 14 C. The October temperature are maximum 10 C and minimum 0 C. However, one can visit Hunza round the year.
Most of the people of Hunza are Ismaili Muslims, followers of His Highness the Aga Khan. The local language is Brushuski. Urdu and English are also understood by most of people.
Karimabad, the capital of Hunza, offers an awe-inspiring view of Rakaposhi 7,788 metres. The snows of Rakaposhi glitter in the moonlight, producing an atmosphere at once ethereal and sublime.
The fairy-tale like castle of Baltit, above Karimabad, is a Hunza landmark built about 600 years ago. Stilted on massive legs, its wooden bay windows look out over the valley. Originally, it was used as the residence of the Mirs (the title of the former rulers) of Hunza.
Mountaineering And Hiking
Hunza is ideal for mountaineering, trekking and hiking. Most of the treks in Hunza area are in open zone, for which tourists do not need any permit. However special permits are required from the Ministry of Tourism, Islamabad for mountaineering, trekking in restricted zone & climbing peaks over 6000 metres.
How to Get There:
Regular Bus and Van Services operate between Gilgit and Karimabad. PTDC Office at Chinnar Inn, Gilgit, arranges tours and transport for visitors.
Where to Stay:
There are reasonably priced hotels, motels and rest houses at Aliabad, Karimabad, Passu, Gulmit and Sost including PTDC Motels in Hunza and Sost.