Hotels in Hunza, Pakistan has been on the news most of the times for all the wrong reasons. It’s a pity that the tourism is not promoted and a big majority of the tourists. Around the world know nothing about the splendid scenic beauty of this part of the world. Places like Murree, Hunza Valley, Gilgit, Skardu, Kaghan, Naran, Mansehra are a treat to watch. Not to forget the spectacular mountain peaks like K2, Nanga Parbat and Khapalu Biafo Glacier. Apart from the tourism, Pakistan keeps getting all sorts of visitors, from entrepreneurs to professionals, from students to diplomats.
Local conditions and security situation of Hotels in hunza
When traveling in Pakistan, you need to follow the general guidelines set for other countries. Contrary to the popular belief, there’s no specific threat. (At least the threats are not that alarming and the situation will soon get better hopefully). Many countries issue travel warnings to their citizens; you can check with the concerned department. If there’s no warning, there’s really nothing to worry about. Before traveling get proper details of your local embassies to get the assistance if you need any.
Hospitality of People
People are extremely welcoming; you should familiarize yourself with the local conditions and security situation. Always carry a valid passport and visa with you. There’s no need to carry excessive amount or credit cards (the place is not expensive at all for foreigners. And you may not need to spend that much in most cases). Also, to avoid any unwanted situation, dress in a more local manner. However that doesn’t mean that you need to camouflage or must look like a local.
Relatively easier to your stomachs
Avoid high risk areas, you can ask for your hosts or local. Embassies to get the list of these areas or places. It’s good to inquire before taking photos in sensitive areas or government offices. Talking about the food, you should try to drink mineral water always, which is easily available at almost all of general stores, it’s not that you don’t get clean water in the cities, but usually foreigners (especially children) go through some digestion problems in the start, mineral water is supposed to be relatively easier to your stomachs.
Similarly, eat out at proper restaurants, even when you are lured by some small shop at roadside. Because the hygienic conditions are not good enough at those food-carts or shops around the corner. In most cases, you can converse around in English. However learning some routine words in local language. (Which happens to be Urdu) is not a bad idea.
Hunza Pie in Hunza
They’ve never heard of Hunza Pie in Hunza…Instead. I settle for a mountain-style cappuccino made. A tiny machine that an enterprising young Hunzakot has shipped up from Karachi. Far to the south They’ve never heard of Hunza Pie in Hunza. Nowhere among the bazaars. Tea shops of high Karimabad can I find the succulent wedge of cheese. spinach and wholemeal pastry that epitomised 1970’s “hippie vego” cuisine – and. That came, one imagined, with lashings of longevity and quasi-Himalayan wisdom. Instead of Hotels in hunza, I settle for a mountain-style cappuccino. Made on a tiny machine that an enterprising young Hunzakot has shipped up from Karachi, far to the south.
Karakoram Mountains of northern Pakistan
The Karakoram mountains of northern Pakistan rise in a vertical backdrop above ancient Karimabad, the largest settlement in Hunza. Saw tooth wedges of air and earth interlock while, far below, the Hunza River. Coloured like wet cement, churns its way south, returning the mountains to the Indian Ocean grain by grain. A small but steady stream of tourists tackle the high road to Hunza. Getting there is more than half the adventure. The Karakoram Highway. (Jointly built by China and Pakistan between 1958 and 1978) is often affected by glaciers and washouts. After all, Karakoram is a Turkic term for “crumbling rock” – and fearless Pakistan. Army bulldozer drivers are permanently deployed to keep the “KKH” safe.
Noisy with kingdoms
En route to Hunza, our mini-bus has followed this snow-fed torrent beside the Karakoram Highway. Which is modestly lauded on one Pakistani tourism poster as “the most brilliant achievement of mankind of the 20th century.” We will test the proposition, firstly by climbing to Hunza. Then over the 4733 metre Khunjerab Pass to Kashgar in China’s Xinjiang Province. More than guiding us is Asghar Khan, an avuncular Hunzakut. Whose capacity to arrange for small mountains to be moved (if necessary by bulldozer). Palms to be greased and dinner to arrive on time makes the KKH, for us at least, a pushover.
The fabled Kingdom of Hotels in hunza, long an oasis on this route. Was not always so easily reached, nor so tranquil. Pilgrims, Silk Route traders and imperial invaders. Once had to balance on narrow foot trails etched into the valley walls. “Noisy with kingdoms” was Marco Polo’s take on this region in 1273. Even then, Baltit Fort towered over the town of Karimabad (formerly known as Baltistan). Seven centuries later, this 62-room palace-cum-fortress, once occupied by the Mir (king) of Hunza, still stands, framed by pinnacles of stone and snow.
Hotels in hunza
We eat dinner in the same palace room – now beautifully restored. In which Captain Francis Younghusband confronted the Mir in 1889. Demanding that he cease raiding the caravans that passed on their way from Central Asia to British India. The Mir protested in words to the effect of, “But it’s our only income. However, if your Queen Victoria is unhappy, I can cut her in on the booty”. “Preposterous suggestion!” Younghusband no doubt thought as he withdrew; then, as “Great Game” warriors were wont to do. He sent in the British Army to better explain the imperial point of view. Hunza was incorporated into Pakistan only in 1974. The last Queen is still alive, aged 78, although the current Mir. Now a local politician, no longer carries the status of King. Indeed, as one of his political opponents disapprovingly sniffed, “He is the mere remnant of a Mir.”
Fields, Corduroyed with crop rows,
The 10,000 people of inhabit one of the most benign vales of the Himalaya-Karakoram chain. Lush fields of maize are shaded by orchards weighted with fruit; tourism provides a modest cash flow; as followers of the liberal Ismaili sect of Islam, Hunza girls (unlike many others in Pakistan) receive equal education with boys, and women are not obliged to veil their faces.
In sunny Karimabad you can look out from a number of modestly comfortable Hotels in hunza and see fields, corduroyed with crop rows, glowing in the afternoon light. Stepped terraces are threaded by ingenious irrigation channels that, over the centuries, have transformed this mountain desert terrain into a breadbasket. As we follow the level foot-trails that weave through the hamlets of the valley, Asghar Khan points out a 200-year old mulberry tree and, near another ancient fort, a gnarled, 500-year old walnut tree.
People of Hunza
During the 1960s and 70s, the people of Hunza briefly became famous in the West for supposedly living to over 100 years of age, sustained by pure, 2,400 metre air and (it was said) an equally pure vegetarian diet – featuring, presumably, endless servings of Hunza Pie. Recent research reveals no particular longevity (in fact, there’s evidence of inbreeding), nor of the fabled pie. It seems that the myth of spinach-powered centenarians was concocted, as it were, by the author of a Swiss vegetarian cookbook.
Background songs of Nuzrat Fateh Ali Khan
Nevertheless, the Hunza diet might still set a vegetarian’s mouth watering, being rich in almonds, apples, cherries and apricots and fairly sparse on meat. Dinner (at least for tourists) tends to be a rice-and-chicken washed down by tea but no beer, for Pakistan is “dry”. My pleasure then is great at finding, among the carpet boutiques of Karimabad’s climbing, winding main street, a bookshop with a cappuccino machine. Each afternoon I return for my caffeine tweak, there to browse through Peter Hopkirk’s various yarns about The Great Game, or to jot a postcard, all to the sublime background songs of Nuzrat Fateh Ali Khan.
If the “Immortality through Hunza Pie” sect fixated upon this valley, so too did the “Shangri-La-ists”, proclaiming this to be the prototype happy kingdom of James Hilton’s 1933 novel, “Far Horizons”. That a number of very far pavilions, from Bhutan to Mustang to Zhongdian, China, all claim the mythic mantle of “the real Shangri-La” makes little difference to any of their boosters.
“Where else could you simply drive in – rather than having to trek for a fortnight – and find yourself surrounded by 7000 metre snow peaks?” marvels one of my friends. On our approach to Hunza, we have seen the giant peaks of Nanga Parbat (8125 metres) and Rakaposhi (7790 metres) glowing in crystal serration against the sky. Waking at dawn for a jeep excursion to a spot called Eagle’s Nest, at 3200 metres, we scan a ring of snow-capped mountains – Ultar, Rakaposhi, Lady Finger and Golden Peak – sliding their massive shadows down the opposite wall of the Hotels in hunza then across its fertile floor.
The Karakoram range has been described as “where heaven and hell meet.” Hotels in hunza can seem like a place where the mountains have been karate-chopped by the Almighty and the resultant rift then embroidered by humans, with willow-clad slopes and emerald terraces. Certainly, “a most brilliant achievement” for all parties.