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Hidden Paradise on Earth

Updated on February 7, 2020
Habiba Bebo profile image

I am a qualified health care professional, Optometrist by occupation.I did Optometry from King Edward Medical University Lahore, Pakistan.

In the north part of Pakistan, the beautiful valley of Gilgit Baltistan is located. This area is known in the world for many reasons. Due to its high mountain ranges, lush green valleys, rich culture and hospitable inhabitants, its known in the whole world.

Gilgit Baltistan covers an area of over 72,971 km² and is mainly mountainous. It had an estimated population of 1,800,000 in 2015. Its capital city is Gilgit. The total number of districts are ten. Gilgit Baltistan is home to five of the “eight-thousands” and more than fifty peaks above 7,000 metres (23,000ft). Three of the world’s longest glaciers outside the polar regions are found here.

There are variety of languages spoken in different parts of Gilgit Baltistan namely, Wakhi, Burushaski, Shina, Khuar and Balti. This diversity in languages is assumed to be due to the migration of people from different countries to this area in the old times. All of the people are Muslims by religion. The people of Gilgit Baltistan are so friendly and hospitable that they are remembered by the tourists and visitors who visit there.

Mountain Ranges

There are various tourist attraction spots in Gilgit Baltistan. Most of the highest peaks in Pakistan lie in the Karakoram mountain range (which lies almost entirely in the Gilgit-Baltistan region of Pakistan, and is considered to be a part of the greater Himalayn range) but some peaks above 7,000 m are included in the Himalayan and Hindu Kush ranges.The main tourism activities are trekking and mountaineering , and this industry is growing in importance day by day.

K2, is located at 8,611 meters (28,251 ft) above sea level, and is the second highest mountain in the world. Nanga Parbat is the ninth highest mountain in the world at 8,126 meters (26,660 ft) above sea level and is located in the Diamer.

Wonder of the World

The karakoram Highway also known as the KKH is a 1300km national highway is considered the eighth wonder of the world.It extends from Hassan Abdal in the Punjab province of Pakistan to the Khunjerab Pass in Gilgit Baltistan, where it enters into China and becomes China National Highway.It is known the Eighth wonder of the world because of its high elevation and the difficult conditions in which it was constructed.

This route is highly significant between Pakistan and China because it connects both countries and also the business between both countries is carried out via this rote.This route is further going to play its role in the China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) in the coming years which will further boost trade among both countries.

Climate

The climate of Gilgit Baltistan is mostly cold because it is much above the sea level and also surrounded by high snow capped mountains which are covered with snow throughout the year. There is heavy snowfall during the months of December and January. Summers are hot and clear and they are between June and August, while winters start from October till February.

Winters in Khyber Gojal Hunza

Culture and Languages of the Locals

The culture of Gilgit Baltistan is very rich and diverse which is manifested in the music, dresses and food of the local people. As the people of Gilgit Baltistan had migrated from different areas of the world like central Asia, China, and some other parts as well. They belong to different ethnic groups which is depicted in their languages, food and way of living.

There are five main dialects spoken there which are Wakhi, Burushaski, Khuaar, Shina and Balti. These dialects are totally different from each other. People are so friendly and hospitable that one cannot feel strange while living among them. That is why the tourist coming from within the country as well as outside the country share their experiences, especially quoting the behavior and attitude of the local people as very warm and welcoming.

Food and local Dishes

The basic food of the people of Gilgit Baltistan is very simple and unique. It does not contains different spices but its very pure and organic in nature. This is the reason that most people of this area live longer lives. As this area is cooler than the rest of the country so people prefer to eat such kind of foods to keep them warm in cold weather.Most of these dishes are made with flour and butter. Some of the famous traditional dishes are as follow:

1. Mollida

2. Gerral

3. Bath

4. Shulbut

5.Mull

6. Chap shurro

7. Harissa

Handicrafts

Hunza valley is especially known for its handicrafts and embroidery works. Male and female both work side by side to make variety if things with their hands. Women mostly make embroiled gowns, wallets, key chains, caps, and frames. while, men make carpets, wood utensils and woolen crafts. This work is very hard work and much time consuming. The local people earn through this by sending these products to the local markets and to some other cities.

This region of Pakistan is the tourist attraction point and it is declared as one of the most wanted tourist areas in the world. Hunza valley is one of the most beautiful areas in the world. It is famous for its eye catching scenery and historic buildings. Some of the very oldest forts are located in Hunza . Altit Fort and Baltit Fort are among the most famous ones. These forts were the residences of the then local rulers of Hunza. But now these are open for tourists from all over the world.

I would say that Gilgit Baltistan is one of the must visit places in the world. One should experience the beauty of the valleys, the rich culture and the history of the area which will be a great experience.

© 2020 Habiba Yasmeen

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