Day 14: Gilgit to Hunza.

Gilgit, Dainyor, Sankhar, Jaglotgah, Aliabad, Karimabad (Hunza).

Distance: 101km, 7th July 2000.

Route: As the KKH leaves Gilgit district and enters Nagar. The KKH takes a sharp bend to the right following the course of the Hunza river. To the left, a jeep road drops down to the river and crosses on a new bridge to the village of Chalt, the Hunza river and the KKH make a 90 degree bend, there are marvelous views of Rakaposhi straight ahead. Although the KKH continues on the Nagar side of the valley, across the river the first Hunza village (khizerabad) can be seen. The KKH then passes through the small Nagar village of Jaferabad. Beyond jafarabad is the small settlement of Nilt (1425 metres).

The green, fertile lands on the Hunza side of the river belong to the small villages of Maiun and Khanabad. At Pisin on the KKH, a Jeep track branches right to Minapin 4kilomtres, a little beyond Pisin the road leaves Nagar and crosses the Hunza river by way of a Chinese built bridge onto the Hunza side of the river. It is 80 kilometers south to Gilgit from here, and 21 kilometers north to Aliabad.

The first village in Hunza on the KKH is Nasirabad (1,500 metres).The KKH then passes through Murtazabad, Beyond the vilage, a jeep road crosses a rope suspension bridge to Shayar, on the Nagar side. On the Hunza side of the river, there are magnificent views of the daunting Ultar Peak (7,388 metres). As the road enters the mouth of the Hasanabad valley, you pass from lower Hunza into central Hunza, the road to the left runs the 10 kilometers up to Karimabad.

The main KKH continues through Aliabad, which is 101 kilometers from Gilgit.

Travelogue:

The morning breakfast at the PTDC dinning room was cornflake omelets and fried eggs with orange juice. By the time we were ready to leave it was past eleven in the morning. I filled the diesel tank at the PSO petrol pump the vehicles took 60 liters. The local bakery is well stocked with snacks and pepsi so the kids were very happy. The road to Hunza is a back track on the KKH for about ten kilometers and then the left fork to the bridge, which crosses the Gilgit river and then heads on to Daniyor. The road travels on the left of the river through some of the most scenic mountain terrain I’ve ever driven through. 30 Km from Gilgit is the Monument to mark the soldiers who laid their lives while working to carve this road out of the mountains. It is a huge drill on the left side of the road above the graveyard of the martyred soldiers. The road is very broad and the surface is as smooth as silk, driving for an hour the mighty Rakaposhi suddenly comes into view on the right as it towers up into the sky. We stopped for tea on the roadside caf´┐Ż and admired the majestic view of the mountain in front of us. Looking through binoculars one can see the huge mass of snow that stretches up for miles and the minute details on the surface such as the crevasses and cracks are easily visible through these modern prism binoculars. The surface of the snow on the mountain has that rugged rough look. I often admire the courage and determination of those who attempt to conquer such rugged slopes.

We reached Hunza by the evening and settled in at the PTDC luxury suites as the economy ones were full. We were upgraded to our surprise. The view from the hotel of the peeks that encircle the Hunza valley is breathtaking. The seven sisters are a sight to behold as they spike up into the sky. It is said that most of the peaks that soar up in the sky around this valley are above 20000ft. Many are still uncharted and unnamed. It was late in the evening when we had dinner in the dinning room of the hotel, this newly built dinning room is a fabulous piece of architecture made from wood and metal beams. The lush green lawn in front of the dinning hall was the venue for late night green tea. The view of the sky with millions of shinning stars and the dark silhouette of the mountains in the background were very enchanting. It has been deeply engraved in my memory. The shimmering stars still glow in the depths of my mind.

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