Most Beautiful Places in Hunza Valley
This magical mountainous valley is in Northern Gilgit Baltistan bordering Xinjiang, China, to the North East. Some of the world’s most beautiful places rest in this valley. It is famous that the fabled “Shang-Ri-La” aka paradise on earth was inspired by the Hunza Valley. You can find many works of graffiti and petroglyphs here along the Karakoram Highway done by the ancient Buddhists. So, to be sure you don’t miss out on knowing the best destinations in Hunza Valley, read on.
The 1100-year-old fort is the oldest monument in Gilgit Baltistan and has been crowned with the UNESCO Asia Pacific Heritage Award. You can view the low-walled ancient rooms and portals with exquisite wooden carvings. In the background of this fort, you can view the entire Hunza Valley with its beautiful rivers and snow-capped mountains. You’ll see red-orange wildflowers scattered across the rocky grounds. The best place to view the landscape is from the roof of the fort.
This 700-year-old fort is one of Hunza Valley’s most iconic sights. Interestingly, it was renovated in the 16th Century by a local prince who married a princess from Baltistan who had brought renowned craftsmen with her to renovate the fort as a part of her dowry. The interior of the fort is just absolutely gorgeous with ambient lighting, elaborately carved shelving, and even ancient deer mounts on the wall. Ancient Ibex skulls can also be seen hung outside the fort onto the royal pillars to signify power. You can also view local antiques, the fort’s cannon, and beautiful mosaics carved inside. You also have the remarkable scenery of Ultar Peak towering over the fort. Fort guards wearing distinctive uniforms surround the area to add to the experience. The best part though about visiting this fort is the dance festival featuring traditional music, costumes and the unique Balti dance.
Eagle Nest ViewPoint
The Eagle’s Nest ViewPoint provides one of the best views of the Hunza Valley and Karakoram Mountain range. You can hike to this viewpoint for the best experience from Altit or Karimabad, both neighbouring towns. If you were to hike from Baltit Fort, it would take 1 to 2 hours. Once up there, you’re rewarded with a panoramic view of the Lady Finger, Rakaposhi, and the Ultar Mountain. There is a hotel by the name Eagle Nest too where you can have a filling, traditional dinner or stay. From inside the rooms, you have the same kind of astonishing view. The best time to soak up the incredulity of this destination is either at sunrise or sunset. The colours of the sky behind the mountain ranges are like colours you’d have never experienced before.
Hussaini Hanging Bridge
Infamous for being one of the most dangerous bridges in the world, the Hussaini Hanging Bridge is set in the most marvellous of backdrops. It goes across the Hunza River and is surrounded by mountain ranges. This bridge has also been crowned the second-longest hanging bridge on earth. Though the widely spaced planks and shakiness of the bridge can be perilous to the nerve wrecked, many brave tourists test their nerves by crossing the bridge. It may be relatively safe if there are no strong winds and you can trust yourself and your balance as the bridge will not break away; the view of the river looking down from the bridge is extremely mind-blowing. When here, be sure to try some of the delightful dry fruits or fresh cherry juice the local vendors offer nearby the bridge to tickle your tastebuds.
Ranked as one of the top five “Best Tourist Sites” in Pakistan by The Guardian, this place is no joke. Formerly known as Baltit, Karimabad is bursting with history and tradition. It was also the capital of Hunza for over 750 years during the residence of the Royal family here until Pakistan’s independence. When Hunza voluntarily joined Pakistan, the capital changed. Nevertheless, the town has so much to offer from shopping compounds selling expertly made handicrafts to the most fulfilling restaurants and hotels catering to tourists to give them the best possible experience; the village even received the World Award of Tourism competing with countries from around the world such as Australia, Britain, Indonesia and India! There is so much culture to experience in this village where the hosts are helpful and welcoming so you can concentrate on seeing some of the world’s most beautiful sights here.
Known as the nine-coloured valley, Gulmit is one of the top tourist spots in Hunza where you can relish the view of the incredible Passu Cones. These are the multitude of pointed peaks pushing themselves into the sky out of each mountain. The locals call them the Tupopdan meaning “sun gulping mountains” due to the way the bronze sunset beams blaze off of the spikes. Moreover, the valley is adorned with fresh streams of water amidst orange-green grasslands. The people of the village are supremely hospitable and will love to host you by showing you around and offering you a session of tea and talk with them.
These are some of the best places in Hunza Valley that you need to see when travelling here. The destinations are all close to each other if you’re ready for some trekking and crashing at local hotels. The entire experience from feeling the culture of the Hunzai villages to taking in the spectacular views is gleeful. So, get your bags packed and head on over to see some of the most beautiful places in Pakistan without a second thought.