Gilgit-Baltistan an Passu:
Passu is the place of great significance when we talk about Gilgit-Baltistan. It is the junction of three great mountain ranges of the world, the highest peaks like K2, Nanga Parbat, Gasherbrum, Masherbrum, Rakaposhi as well as Deosai Plains, huge Glaciers like Baltoro, Batura, scenic valleys.
There are so many places to wander about the Gilgit-Baltistan Region but a tiny area of Passu in Hunza has a great distinction and immensely famed among the tourists from all over the world because of its location along the Karakoram Highway (KKH). It plays a role as a junction point between the nearby Passes and Glaciers. Passu Village is some 14 kilometres away from Gulmit, which is the Tehsil (Sub-Division) Headquarters of the Gojal Valley of Gilgit-Baltistan and about 150 kilometres upward of Gilgit and lies on the brink of Passu Glacier.
Batura glacier (the fifth longest non-polar glacier of the world) is in the South of Passu and just 56 kilometres away from the Karakoram Highway (KKH). Passu Village is between Hunza and Sost, adjacent to Khunjerab Pass from where the border of China is on a distance of a few kilometres. Total surface area of the village spreads over 1,050 square kilometres. The village looks beautiful with a unique landscape, the highest mountains of the world, the meadows, the barren lands, the terrains, the plateau creeks as well as the glaciers.
The highest point of the area is Too Popdan, at an altitude of 6,106 metres (20,033 feet) above sea level, also known as “Passu Cones” or “Passu Cathedral”. On the Northern side of the Passu village are Passu-Sar, Shispare-Sar and Batura Glaciers.
Important Areas in Passu:
- Passu Village:
Passu is one of the ancient settlements in Gojal Valley (Upper Hunza) and situated between Hunza & Sost areas. The people are of Ismaili Sect and Tajik Origin who speak Wakhi language. This place is famous for its routes and tracks junctions towards nearby Passes and Glaciers.
Tupopdan (The Sun Drenched Mountain) also known as Passu Cathedral or Cathedral ridge stands tall along-with the small village of Passu, which is blessed with captivating charm by the mother-nature. Because of its unique structural attributes, Passu Cathedral has been given the different names by the tourists but the most popular are “Passu Cones” and “Passu Cathedral”. Mount Too Popdan is the most publicized Mountain Peak of the Region.
This Glacier (White Glacier) is in Hunza Valley and in the South of Passu village. Passu Peak is on the back of the glacier. This very glacier links the Batura Glacier with other glaciers of the area and it is the major tourist attraction. Initially KKH was passing through this glacier, but now the route is shifted away of it.
Yunz Pasture is a linkage between Passu Glacier and Batura Glacier. It is a green grassy land with abundant shrubs and Alpine trees on its surroundings. The trek is easy and full of panoramic view of the two glaciers and Zarth-Sar. Tourists can see ridges and rocks all around the valley. It takes five to six hour hiking to reach to the Yunz Pasture.
Yak Meadows of Avdegar presents a spectacular look, especially when a tourist takes a glimpse from the helicopter. Whereas the huge glaciers and mighty KKH are visible from the far off places which are not so easy to access. Camping seems awesome along with the eye-catching and stunning scenery of Shishper, the Batura and other sky-scrapping peaks create a magnificent collection of life-long sweet memories of the trip.
Batura Valley is the home of 65 kilometres long Batura Glacier, one of the longest glaciers of the region, which takes refuge between the lofty mountain peaks of the world. The trek is mainly a comfortable strolling along the flowery patches between the moraine ridges and the mountains of the valley. In the summers, the trek provides a rare chance to observe the rotine life of Wakhi people of Gojal Valley (Upper Hunza) as well as exploration of Ultar-Sar (7,388 metres), Passu Peak (7,478 metres), Karon Koh (7,200 metres) and twin Batura Glaciers (7,500-7,785 metres).
Passu Suspension Bridge:
Tourists will cross two bridges while trekking to Passu and adjoining areas:
i. Passu Suspension Bridge
ii. Hosseini Suspension Bridge
First suspension bridge comes on the way to Khuramabad on the River Hunza. The distance from Khuramabad to the main village takes an hour to access to the second suspension bridge. Khuramabad connects to Zor-Abad, in Hosseini. The trekking of area takes about five hours.
Accommodation facilities are readily available for the tourists at all the major places. All kind of vehicles are available to approach the Shimshal Pass, Sost, Chipurson, Khunjerab and other downtowns of Hunza and Gilgit-Baltistan.
Author: Fehmeeda Farid Khan