Hunza Valley is a Heaven on Earth and it is the most beautiful mountainous valley of the Gilgit-Baltistan Region of Pakistan. It is in the North-West of Hunza River and several lofty mountain Peaks are surrounding the valley. These world high Peaks of the world include; Rakaposhi, Hunza Peak, Bojahagur Duanasir II, Darmyani Peak, Ghenta-Sar, Ultar-Sar and Ladyfinger Peak.
The valley has so many beautiful natural tourist attractions and some manuments of cultural heritage, like the Baltit and Altit forts. The Baltit fort has been transformed into the museum, soon after its renovation.
Tourists can throng around the Karimabad Bazar. It is famous for its local handicrafts such as, handmade rugs, traditional embroidered caps, shawls, hand-woven cloth (Paffu) and world famous gemstones especially, the Ruby. The Mines of the Ruby is another popular tourist attraction.
People and Languages:
The majority of population of Hunza is Ismaili Shia Muslims and the followers of the Prince Karim Aga Khan IV.
The Hunza Region consists of three ethnicities;
The Lower Hunza:
It stretches from Khizerabad to Nasirabad. The people are Shinaki and they speak Shina.
The Central Hunza:
This area spreads from Murtaza-abad to Atta-abad the people are Burushaski speaking.
The Upper Hunza:
This area is commonly known as Gojal valley and it stretches from Shiskat to Khunjerab Pass. The people are Wakhi speaking.
The people of Hunza are very healthy and strong. They have the longest life expectancy, not only in Pakistan but also in the whole world. It is mainly because of pure water they drink, simple organic food they eat, natural clean environment they dwell and a lot of physical activity they do.
The valley is the home of the colorful festivals. The festivals dipict the picture of their religious, cultural and routine life events. These festivals are of two categories;
Religious Festivals; and
The Religious Festivals:
Salgira-e-Imam-e-Zamana Mubar (Birthday of Aga khan)
The traditional Ginani festival is celebrated to welcome the harvesting season. Different cultural activities are arranged in Altit, Baltit and Aliabad. This festival is celebrated with dance, music and a traditional dish, Dirum Pitti.
Another popular festival is on the beginning of the Spring Blossoming season which gives the people an opportunity to get together and enjoy life. Exhibitions, sports programs and cultural shows attract the tourists. This festival is the cultural heritage of the region.
Apart from these, other festivals are Baba Ghundi and Shimshal Kutch festival.
The local specialty of Hunza is “Fittis” which is very delicious and tasty dish. Fettis is the loccal cake and its ingrediants are wheat flour, milk, butter and salt. The baking method is took cook it on the hot stone. The Hunza bread is a nutritious diet of grains. Apricots, apples, plums, peaches, cherries and grapes are among the various fresh fruits of the valley. Theses are widely used in the jams and jellies. Grape extract known as “Hunza Water” is very popular among the foreign tourists.
Author: Fehmeeda Farid Khan
Pic. Credits: Tariq Anwar