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The ultimate Tour Guide to Hunza Valley

June 14, 2019by hoMusk342

The Indus valley civilization dates back to some 1000 years ago when Shahreis ruled this place before the Islamic age. Hunza Valley is also said to be the Shangri-la(heaven) on Earth by James Hilton in his novel ‘Lost Horizon‘.

Hunza Valley is famous for its scenic views of nature, the high mountains of the Karakoram and its culture.
If you ever plan to go to Hunza Valley, here’s a complete guide for you!

People of Hunza Valley and their Culture

People of Hunza Valley are extremely friendly like I haven’t found such friendliness and hospitality anywhere in Pakistan. You might find such hospitality in other regions, as well as people of Swat, are very hospitable.
BUT, the most amazing thing about people of Hunza Valley is that they’re educated (97.6% literacy rate, highest in Pakistan) and above all, THEY ARE ACCEPTABLE.

No matter what you’re wearing or what kind of party animal you are, they’ll accept you, just don’t mess with local people else you’re good to go.

Hunza Valley has a very unique culture, it is located in between China’s provincial region XINJIANG and Afghanistan, so it shares a very rich culture.
Anyhow, you’ll find yourself as soon as you cross Gilgit city and enter Hunza valley.

Route Map to Hunza Valley

If you live anywhere in Punjab, Sindh or Balochistan, you have to come to Islamabad first.
But if you live in KPK, you can continue your traveling from Besham/Battgram/Naran/Mansehra, whichever is accessible to you.

Ok, from Islamabad…

You have to reach Abbottabad first, whether you opt. Hazara motorway or G.T road. Then, continue your journey till Mansehra,
From Mansehra, you have the choice of two routes!

Route A(Grey): Mansehra to Chilas via Naran and Babusar Top. This route can only be accessed from July to September as it remains close to the rest of the year due to snowfall.

Route B(Red): Mansehra to Chilas via Besham and Dasu. This route is opened all the year but it is a rather long and hectic route.

Route C(By Air): Book a flight from Islamabad to Gilgit (1.15hrs), then get a cab from Gilgit to Hunza Valley.

From Chilas, you have to travel on Karakoram Highway, it is not just the road but the 8th wonder of the world, till Gilgit city and a further 2hr drive to Aliabad, the capital town of central Hunza Valley.

How much time will it take?

If you’re going on your vehicle, follow Google maps for navigation purposes but don’t believe the time of travel Google tells you (It is accurate in some parts but it will not guide you well throughout).
(You must stay one night in Naran/Besham/Dasu or Chilas and continue your journey next morning as you can’t travel in a night on Chilas road plus it is too hectic to travel up to Hunza Valley without night stay)

So, the estimated times (Normal traffic) are given here:

Islamabad to Hunza Valley via route A (625km): 19hr
Islamabad to Mansehra (156km) – 3.5hrs
Mansehra to Naran (121km) – 5hrs
Naran to Babusar Top (65km) – 3hrs
Babusar Top to Chilas (49km) – 1.5hrs
Chilas to Gilgit (134km) – 4hrs
Gilgit to Hunza (100km) – 2hrs

Islamabad to Hunza via route B (716km): 23hr
Islamabad to Mansehra (156km) – 3.5hrs
Mansehra to Battagram (69km) – 3hrs
Battagram to Besham (53km) – 2hrs
Besham to Dasu (79km) – 2.5hrs
Dasu to Chilas (125km) – 6hrs
Chilas to Gilgit (134km) – 4hrs
Gilgit to Hunza (100km) – 2hrs

Best Route

If the road till Babusar Top is opened, must go for it(Route A). As it is way more scenic and beautiful from Mansehra to Babusar and road is paved and clear all the way.
If Babusar Top is closed yet, then you have left with no other option than Route B.
The road is clear and paved from Mansehra to Besham but is under construction due to CPEC from Dasu to Chilas and is too bumpy.

Which vehicles can go to Hunza

As already mentioned, the roads are paved, though some parts are not paved it’s not a problem at all for any vehicle. Any vehicle from bicycle to a motorbike, Mehran to Land Cruiser and Bolan to Coaster can go there.

suzuki-mehran-at-khunjerab
YES!!! I repeat, the BOSS can go to Hunza!
Temperature Guide!

It’s cold all the year in Hunza, you won’t find anything near to Summers of Lahore in Hunza.
The temperature remains cold at night in summers too, as sometimes it goes below 0oC too. However, the temperature never goes above 20oC in summers. And in winter, you have to bear something like -10oC to -20oC.
But if you are planning to go to Khunjerab Pass (a.k.a. China border), then brace yourself for impact! xD
As you can expect snowfall in June or July too. The temperature never goes above 0oC at Khunjerab Pass and it goes way negative and unbearable in winters (though, you can’t go there in winters due to closure of roads)

Frozen-Khunjerab-Pass-in-summers
Frozen Khunjerab Pass in summers

What should you pack when visiting Hunza

Don’t bring too many extra clothes, just a few very necessary items to be packed when you come here(rest of the stuff like toothbrush, towels, etc. is all up to you).

  • Raincoat/Windbreaker
  • Jacket/Warm clothes
  • Even warmer clothes (If you’re planning to visit Khunjerab Pass)
  • Extra pairs of socks
  • Joggers/Hiking Boots
  • Extra pair of shoes
  • Gloves/Stoler/Muffler scarf/Shawl (Must for kids and Families, also recommended for men and boys too if you’re planning a visit to Khunjerab Pass ku k mard ko dard hota ho ya na ho, thand zurur lgti hai xD)

Places to visit in Hunza

Here is the most interesting thing, Places to visit in Hunza. So, let me start a list long of places.

  • On way to Hunza from Chilas
    -Garam Pani Chashma (Near Raikot Bridge)
    -Fairy Meadows (3 hr jeep ride from Raikot Bridge, then 3hrs of trekking to reach Majestic Fairy Meadows)*
    -Nanga Parbat viewpoint
    -Three mountains junction viewpoint (Where Hindukush, Himalayas and Karakoram Range meet together)
    -Naltar Valley (3hr jeep ride from Normal, a point on KKH)**
    -Rakaposhi viewpoint (In Aliabad)*You need to add 2 extra days on your trip to visit Fairy Meadows.
    **You need to add one extra day on your trip to visit Naltar Valley.
Rakaposhi
Rakaposhi

In Central Hunza

  • -Karimabad Bazar (Experience the rich culture of Hunza in their local bazar)
    -Baltit Fort
    -Altit Fort
    -Hopper Glacier(In Nagar Valley, few km from Karimabad)
    -Eagle’s Nest or Duiker(The most amazing viewpoint to experience sunset and sunrise at ladyfinger peak)
    -The Majestic blue water Attabad Lake
    -6 stunning tunnels on KKH
Baltit Fort Karimabad Bazar

Altit Fort Hunza Valley
Altit Fort Hunza Valley
Magical Attabad LakeMagical Attabad Lake
  • In Upper Hunza/Gojal
    -Hussaini Suspension Bridge (on way to Khunjerab from Hunza)
    -Passu Cones
    -Passu Glacier
    -Gulmit (A beautiful village along KKH)
    -Shimshal (Another beautiful village)
    -Sost (Said to be the LAST TOWN OF PAKISTAN)
Hussaini Bridge and Passu Cones Hunza Valley
  • Khunjerab National Park
    The National Park is a beautiful site itself where you can spot Ibex and Yaks but the road is way picturesque than any other site seeing points.
    -Khunjerab Pass (China Border 15,500ft altitude)
    -Highest ATM in the world (near China border is situated NBP’s ATM)
KKH-and-Khunjerab-National-Park
KKH and Khunjerab National Park

Easy Way to visit Hunza even if you’re low on budget!

Visiting Hunza valley costs you a lot of money in terms of fuel cost, challans, and hotels. But if you want to explore all this in low price, just don’t worry,
Try our Exclusive Hunza Valley tour

Better to see something once than hear about it a thousand times

2 comments

  • Assam shaat

    February 8, 2020 at 7:58 pm

    I am looking to travel for hints plus. Send full details about hints products

    • Discovering Pakistan

      February 10, 2020 at 11:00 am

      Kindly let us know what do you mean by ‘hints products’.

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