10 Things You Probably Didn’t Know About the Hunza Valley

The people of Hunza spend most of their time doing physical activities such as woodcutting, hunting, water-fetching, etc.

How many of you have heard about the Hunza Valley? I was lucky enough to visit it a couple of years back. The place I am referring to is in Pakistan. The canyon itself is called heaven on earth. Moreover, the people who reside there are called the healthiest people on planet earth. Why? I’ll explain in a bit.

Source: Pixabay
The Baltit Fortress
The Baltit Fortress. Source: Pixabay

I pondered upon various things while sitting on a mountain top with a steaming cup of local ‘chai’ in my hands. It was a cold Sunday morning when we finally arrived at Hunza. Most of the articles that I write are related to history or science. However, this particular article is very close to my heart, mainly because I am a massive fan of picturesque sites.

Hunza Valley. Source: Wikimedia Commons

Here are ten fascinating facts you probably didn’t know about Hunza:

1) Hunza is located in the northern part of Pakistan:

Hunza is full of scenic mountains and small cottages. The natives offer you various kinds of foods and local chai on your visit. Moreover, the people residing there are quite considerate. The valley is located in the Gilgit-Baltistan region of Pakistan.

2) The natives of Hunza live for more than 90 years:

You cannot take vehicles to the valley. It is located in a very small part of the mountainous region. The people who live there generally walk or use animals as their rides. They live for more than 90 years, mainly because of the clean environment, pure diet, and physical activities.

3) The locals of the valley are also known as Brusho:

The people of Hunza are called Brusho, and they speak Burusashki. No one truly knows about the origin of the native language of Hunza. Multiple theories claim that the people of Hunza are the descendants of the army of Alexander the Great. According to various tales that surround the valley, the Greek decided to stay in this particular region on the way back from China.

4) The people of Hunza are still living in ancient times:

Most of the households do not have any sort of electronics. The people of Hunza spend most of their time doing physical activities such as woodcutting, hunting, water-fetching, etc.

5) Hunza valley is divided into three sections:

The Hunza valley is divided into three different parts; Upper Hunza, Lower Hunza, and Central Hunza. Approximately 34% of the population that live in Upper Hunza speak Burushaski, 65% Wakhi, and only 1% speak Domki language. Upper Hunza is also known for its several populous villages.

6) Ancient forts of Hunza:

The said forts are known as the Altit and Baltit Forts. Altit was the home of ancestral rulers of Hunza who were known as Mir. The occupants of Altit Fort eventually moved to a newly structured Baltit Fort. The forts were built so their rulers could protect the residents of Hunza.

7) K2 in Hunza Valley:

The second highest peak of the world, K2, is located in the Hunza Valley. Mountain climbing in quite popular in that region. According to NASA’s calculations, the K2 has a fatality rate of over 29%.

8) Rare rubies in Hunza:

The Hunza Valley is also known for harbouring world’s rarest rubies. Jewellers from all over the world seek rubies that come from Hunza. Multiple locals started running their private mining operations in Hunza valley once rare gemstones such as rubies started appearing amid the rocks of the canyon.

9) Over 400-year-old houses in Hunza:

There are certain houses in the valley that are over 400 years old. Moreover, most of the houses are made up of stone and are old-fashioned.

10) Rarest animals can be found in the Hunza canyon:

Locals have spotted Snow Leopard, Red Fox, Eurasian Lynx, Dhole, Himalayan Brown Bear, Himalayan Ibex, and Markhor in the wild forests of Hunza. None are allowed to hunt any of the aforementioned animals. Hunters that come from other countries seek permission from the authorities before setting foot in the wild of Hunza.

The Hunza valley is one of my favourite places of all time. It gives me peace and soothes my soul. I’d recommend you to visit it at least once.

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