The land of peaks Gilgit-Baltistan
The land of peaks Gilgit-Baltistan
Gilgit-Baltistan , the northernmost province of Pakistan , which is home to 17 of the world’s 50 highest peaks , is among the most important routes of Pakistani tourism with its long valleys at the junction of the Himalaya , Karakoram and Hindukush mountains.
Although it is approximately 500 kilometers from the capital Islamabad, the province’s Hunza Valley and Skardu cities, which can be reached after a journey that takes more than 12 hours by car, are home to 17 of the 50 highest peaks, including K2, the second highest peak in the world.
Consisting of several principalities in the past, the largest being the Principality of Hunza, Gilgit-Baltistan is still symbolically ruled by the Princes of Hunza after its annexation to Pakistan in 1948. The President of Pakistan, who appoints governors to the provinces in each election period, appoints the Prince of Hunza to Gilgit-Baltistan.
The province is also home to Pakistan’s most important tourism routes. The most important feature of the state, which hosts approximately 2 million domestic and 250 thousand foreign tourists annually, is that it is one of the most important centers of the world in nature sports and mountaineering.
There are about 50 peaks over 7,000 meters in the region
While 5 of the 14 peaks higher than 8 thousand meters in the world are located in Gilgit-Baltistan, there are about 50 peaks above 7 thousand meters within the borders of the state.
Gilgit-Baltistan, which has this feature, comes to visit thousands of foreign mountaineers, parachutists and adventure sports tourists every year. In the statement made by the State Tourism Ministry, it was announced that over 100 foreign climbers have come to the K2 and Nanga Parbat summits to climb in the last 3 years, and this number is a record.
The peaks of the state, between 5 and 7 thousand, draw attention as the mountains that can be climbed more frequently and where skiing can be done.
These peaks are especially concentrated in the Kerimabad region. While the Baltit Royal Palace in Kerimabad, which is also the capital of the historical Principality of Hunza, can see 5 of these peaks at the same time, the region is also frequented by those who come to watch the sunset.
The peaks of this region are called “Golden Peaks” because the sun’s rays hit the snowy mountains at a height of 6 to 7 thousand meters.
A junction point of the three mightiest mountain ranges of the world Juglot Gilgit
Gilgit-Baltistan is the state where the highest peaks in the world, including the Himalaya, Karakoram and Hindikuş mountains, meet.
While these mountain ranges converge in the Juglot region of Gilgit-Baltistan, the Hunza and Skardu rivers that separate the mountains from each other converge at the same point to form the Indus River, which is known as the lifeblood of Pakistan.
Because the three mountain ranges were formed as a result of the collision of the Indian subcontinent and the Asian continent, this region is referred to as “the place where the continents collide”.
The majority of the settlements in the state are located in the Hunza Valley, which separates the Karakoram and Himalayan mountains. Contrary to the snow and yellow color in the mountains, the residential areas along the valley are both warm and green.
The waterfalls and lakes formed by the melting glaciers in the mountains add value to the touristic value of the province.
The world's most dangerous roads are frequented by tourists
In Gilgit-Baltistan, unlike the rest of the country, while spices and meat are used less, Chinese and Central Asian dishes made with apricot oil are mostly eaten.
Hunza Valley is the most apricot-producing region of Pakistan and has hotels that host 1.5 million of the more than 2 million tourists.
The Karakoram Highway, built on the historical Silk Road, crosses this valley from beginning to end. The road is not only important for connecting China to the Middle East, but also known as the most dangerous road in the world.
The approximately 1,300-kilometer highway starts from the 4,200-meter-high Babusar peak of Gilgit-Baltistan and crosses the foothills of the entire Indus River, Hunza River and Nanga Parbat, known as the “Killer Mountain”, to the 4,700-meter Khunjarab Pass on the Chinese border.
Although it is called a highway, the Karakoram Highway, which is a two-lane mountain road, is among the frequent destinations of tourists and adventure lovers, despite passing dangerous bends, cliffs and tunnels.
Tourists especially prefer this highway to see the mountain views and the suspension bridges connecting the two sides of the valleys along this road.