of Baltistan Gilgit
Hunza has been ruled by the same family known as Mirs of Hunza for 960
years. Hunzakuts are believed to be the descendents of five wandering soldiers
of Alexander the Great. The people of Hunza speak Brushuski, an aboriginal
language. This preincely state retained its isolated independence for a long
time in the remote part of the areas which now from the Northern Areas of
Pakistan adjoining the Sinkiang Autonomous Region of China.
The people of Hunza are noted for
their friendliness and hospitality. The local languages spoken are
Burushaski, Wakhi and Shina, many people understand Urdu. The people are
educated and literacy rate of the Hunza valley is believed to be more
than 86%. Normally all children of the new generation go to at
least high school. Many pursue higher studies from prestigious colleges
and Universities of Pakistan and Europe.
Majority people of Hunza are Ismaili Shia Muslims,
followers of His Highness Prince Karim Aga Khan IV, while in Ganish
Village more than 90% are Shia Muslims.
During early nineteenth century, Hunza resented Kashmir's attempts to gain
control and its rulers periodically expelled Kashmir garrisons, threatended
Gilgit, and politicked with the rulers of Kashgar to the north where the
Russians were gaining influence. Fearing Russians infiltration into their
northern frontiers, the British took over direct political control at Gilgit in
1889. Incesant fratricidal intrigues in Hunza and Nagar made the areas doubly
insecure. This, coupled with the Mir of Hunza's consistent intransigence induced
the British to march on Hunza in December 1891, where they fought a decisive
battle at Nilit, 60 km beyond Diaynor Bridge. After this the British garrisoned
Aliabad until 1897 when Hunza became a princely state protected by the
Government of British India. After the Pakistan was created in 1947, the people
of Hunza also gained liberation and the princely state was merged in Pakistan.
Nature has given Gilgit Baltistan with perfect beauty, high peaks, snowy
mountains, fresh water lakes, lush green fairy meadows, at the same time
this area is also blessed with unlimited and heavy deposits of precious
and semi-precious stones, precious & semi-precious metals, and
industrial stones like Ruby, Gold, Topaz, Aquamarine, Tourmaline,
Epidote, Paragasite, Zircon, Actinolite, Lead, Moonstone, Himalayan
Quartz, Emerald, Marble, Granite, Feldspar, Mica, Calcite, Feldspar,
Antimony, Graphite, Alum, Coal, Copper, Barite, China Clay etc. It is
estimated that almost 95% of the precious & semi-precious stones located
in Pakistan are found in Gilgit Baltistan.
At an elevation of 1453.90 meter lies the Gilgit valley, offers spectacular
scenic beauty. It is surrounded by lakes, rivers, glaciers and high mountains
ranges. Some of them world's largest peaks, such as Nanga Parbat, 8125 meter and
Raka Poshi, 7788 meter are located here. The best season to visit is from May to
mid October. The local dialect is Shina, however, Urdu and English are also
spoken and understood.