Baltit Fort or Balti Fort is an ancient fort in the Hunza valley in the Northern Areas of Pakistan.
In former times survival of the feudal regimes of Hunza was ensured by the impressive Baltit fort, that sit on top of Karimabad. The foundations of the fort are said to date back around 700 years, but there have been rebuilds and alterations over the centuries. In the 16th century the Thum married a princess from Baltistan who brought master Balti craftsmen to renovate the building as part of her dowry. The architectural style is a clear indication of Tibetan influence in Baltistan at the time.
The Mirs of Hunza abandoned the fort in 1945, and moved to a new palace down the hill. The fort started to decay and there was concern that it might possibly fall into ruin. Following a survey by the Royal Geographical Society of London, a restoration programme was initiated and supported by the Aga Khan Trust for Culture Historic Cities Support Programme. The programme was completed in 1996 and the fort is now a museum run by the Baltit Heritage Trust.
How to reach there?
Via the Karakoram Highway.
Hunza is just 100 KM drive from Gilgit, and most people arrive by road and it takes almost 2 – 3 Hours to reach Hunza from Gilgit. The main bus stand is on the KKH Aliabad. There are booking agents in town for long distance buses & jeeps along the KKH. The journey from Islamabad can take as long as 24 hours.
From Kashgar (China) there is a regular bus service to Hunza via Sost crossing over the Khunjerab Pass (about 5000 meter high). Across river Hunza at Sost, there is a village called Khuda Abad. People usually do not stop at Khunjerab Pass, they just carry on their journey to Sost with the bus. From Sost, you can do a number of activities around like trekking in the valleys, or drive to Hunza-Karimabad (2 hours), where the Baltit Fort is standing. The Khunjerab Pass is open from May 1st to Dec 30th, but closed in winter.
Flights between Islamabad and Gilgit
Gilgit has an airport, providing daily flights to Islamabad, punctuated only by adverse weather conditions. Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) flies 12 weekly flights between Gilgit and Islamabad and the flight is one of the most scenic flights of the world as its route passes over Nanga Parbat and the mountain’s peak is higher than the aircraft’s cruising altitude. These flights, however, are subject to the clearance of weather and in winters, flights are often delayed by several days
- Airport Type – Public
- Elevation – 4,781 ft (1,457 m)
- Length – 5,400 ft (Asphalt) 983 ft (Concrete)
- Phone Number – 92-572
- Coordinates – 35?55’07″N, 4?20’01″E
- Time Zone:
+5:00 hours from UTC/GMT
- Airport Code:
FlightStats code: GIL
IATA code: GIL
ICAO code: OPGT
Flights from Islamabad to Skardu:
Skardu PKLatitude / Longitude:
35.3 / 75.73333Time Zone:
+5:00 hours from UTC/GMT
FlightStats code: KDU
IATA code: KDU
ICAO code: OPSD
Skardu Airport (IATA: KDU, ICAO: OPSD) is a small domestic airport, located at Skardu, Northern Areas, Pakistan. Skardu is one of the two major hubs of all trekking expeditions in the Northern Areas, a region that includes four of the fourteen Eight-thousander peaks (8,000 m (26,247 ft) and above) of the world. Skardu is the gateway to Baltoro Glacier, Concordia, where spectacular views of three of the Eight-thousanders are available.It is also being used as a regional PAF airbase.
Although the journey from Islamabad to Skardu by Karakoram Highway provides a beautiful scenery, the journey by road takes 20 to 24 hours whereas the flight time for the same journey is nearly an hour. This makes air travel from Islamabad to Skardu an attractive choice for many trekkers.
Cities / Villages near Hunza
- Karimabad, the capital of Hunza, offers an awe-inspiring view of Rakaposhi (7,788 meters). The snows of Rakaposhi glitter in the moonlight, producing an atmosphere at once ethereal and sublime.
- Ganish Village – the oldest village in Hunza, with 800 year old mosques, it was honored by UNESCO in 2002 and 2009.
- Nasir Abad