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The Hunza Valley is a mountainous valley in the northern part of the Gilgit-Baltistan region of Pakistan, formed by the Hunza River,

The Hunza Valley is a mountainous valley in the northern part of the Gilgit-Baltistan region of Pakistan, formed by the Hunza River, bordering Ishkoman to the northwest, Shigar to the southeast, Afghanistan’s Wakhan Corridor to the north, and the Xinjiang region of China to the northeast.

 

The Hunza Valley is a mountainous valley in the northern part of the Gilgit-Baltistan region of Pakistan, formed by the Hunza River, bordering Ishkoman to the northwest, Shigar to the southeast, Afghanistan’s Wakhan Corridor to the north, and the Xinjiang region of China to the northeast. The Hunza Valley floor is at an elevation of 2,438 meters (7,999 feet). Geographically, the Hunza Valley consists of three regions: Upper Hunza (Gojal), Central Hunza, and Lower Hunza (Shinaki).

 

Buddhism, and to a lesser extent, Bön, were the main religions in the area. The region has several surviving Buddhist archaeological sites, such as the Sacred Rock of Hunza. Nearby are former sites of Buddhist shelters. Hunza valley was central as a trading route from Central Asia to the subcontinent. It also provided protection to Buddhist missionaries and monks visiting the subcontinent, and the region played a significant role in the transmission of Buddhism throughout Asia.

The region was a Buddhist majority till the 15th century, before the arrival of Islam in this region. Since then, most of the population has converted to Islam. Thus, the presence of Buddhism in this region has now been limited to archeological sites, as the remaining Buddhists of this region moved east to Leh, where Buddhism is the majority religion. The region has many works of graffiti in the ancient Brahmi script written on rocks,

 

produced by Buddhist monks as a form of worship and culture. With most locals converting to Islam, they had been mainly left ignored, destroyed, or forgotten, but are now being restored

 

“Hunza was formerly a princely state bordering Xinjiang (autonomous region of China) to the northeast and Pamir to the northwest, which survived until 1974, when it was finally dissolved by Zulfikar Ali Bhutto.

 

Hunza was an independent principality for more than 900 years and then in the early 1800s, Hunza played a vital role in the British “Great Game”. In 1891 Hunza was captured by the British Empire, and the ruler of Hunza, Mir Safdar Ali Khan, fled to Kashgar, China, and the British army installed his brother Mir Nazim Khan (1892-1938) as a puppet ruler of Hunza Valley, but all orders were passed by British officers who were appointed in the capital Gilgit.

 

The ruling family of Hunza is called Ayesha “aya-sha” (heavenly). The two states of Hunza and Nagar were formerly one, ruled by a branch of the Shahreis, the ruling family of Gilgit, whose seat of government was Nagar. First [M] Muslims came to Hunza-Nagar Valley some 1000 years (At the time of Imam Islām Shāh 30th Imam Ismaili Muslims). After the introduction of Islam to Gilgit,

 

On 4 January 2010, a landslide blocked the river and created Attabad Lake (also called Shishket Lake), resulting in 20 deaths and 8 injuries and effectively blocked about 26 kilometers (16 mi) of the Karakoram Highway.[9][10][11][12] The new lake extends 30 kilometers (19 mi) and rose to a depth of 400 feet (120 m) when it was formed as the Hunza River backed up. The landslide completely covered sections of the Karakoram Highway

The Karakoram Highway revamp is a key part of China’s trade and infrastructure initiative in the region, and local communities’ expectations are high.

 

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