For many centuries,caravans have braved these tortuous mountains treading precariously along paths providing shortcuts between the great towns of central Asia and rich markets of South Asia.
However,the trails were hazardous, angry rivers horrifying to contemplate,and the nature,s storms caused even the most intrepid to quail on the high passes and the desolate gorges.1947, travel in and out of the Northern Pakistan could have been described almost as it had been 15 centuries earlier by the Chinese pilgrim Fa Hien in 1400 A.D ; the way is difficult and rugged, running along a bank exceedingly precipitous.
When one approaches the edge of it,his eyes become unsteady,and if wishes to go forward in the same direction,there is no place on which he can place his foot, and beneath are the waters of the river called the Indus.Thus, the traders of yore had traveled over this route for centuries and carried silk, tea and porcelain from china to be bartered for Gold, Ivory, Jewels and spice from south Asia.
It is against this backdrop that Pakistan and China joined hands in 1967 to construct a 900km”Karakorum Highway” on the alignment of the ancient silk rout. For its sheer mountain grandeur and breath-taking panorama of beauty, few places on earth can match the superb landscape though which Karakorum highway snakes. A fantastic and unforgettable spectacle is the passage of the highway along the baltura glacier, rated as the world’s seventh largest glacier. The Khunjerab pass, which highway crosses, and the nearby Mintaka pass lie astride the fabulous ancient silk rout that led from Europe to Asia and over which history’s most famous tourists once traveled. These include the Venetian trader Marcopolo, after whom has been named the wild Marcopolo sheep, in the 13th century, the Chinese monk Fa Hien in the 4th century and the central Asian historian, Abu Rehan Al-Beruni in the 11th century.
Today, the Karakorum highway connects Islamabad with Kashgar via Abbottabad, Mansehra, Thakot, Besham, Pattan, Chilas, Gilgit and Hunza across the 4733m high Khunjerab pass the highway, built by the Pakistani and Chinese engineers, has been described a marvel of civil engineering and even as “The Eighth wonder of the world.
8 Days Gilgit, Hunza, Khunjrab Pass
Day-1: Departure from Lahore to Abbottabad (1,220 meter)-gateway to the captivating North of Pakistan. Short stay en-route. Visit Taxila Museum. Arrival and transfer to hotel. In the evening, sightseeing of Abbottabad. O/N at Abbottabad. (Travel Time: 7-hours)
Day-2: Departure for Chilas. The main attraction of Chilas is the incredible collection of Rock Art which depicts early history of the region. Short stay en-route for lunch. O/N at Chilas. (Travel time: 9-hours)
Day-3: Departure for Karimabad, the most popular spot in Hunza Valley. Karimabad is a delightful village set in a wonderful location. On the way to Hunza, have a panoramic view of snow-capped peak, Rakaposhi (7,788 m). Afternoon, visit the dominating Baltit Fort, 900 year old summer residence of Mir of Hunza. Evening free for individual activities. O/N at Karimabad, Hunza.
Day-4: Departure for the enchaning Hoper Valley/glacier. Enjoy the natural and fascinating beauty of the valley. Visit of Altit Fort, Hunza.Evening free for shopping. Overnight at Karimabad, Hunza. (Travel Time: 7-hours)
Dav-5: Departure for Gulmit (Upper Hunza Valley). En-route visit tourist rocks, ancient rock inscription. Arrival Gulmit village and transfer to hotel. (Gulmit is famous for its beautiful views of Passu Cathedral Peaks, Batura Glacier, Passu Glacier, Bhorat Lake). Half day excursion to Khunjerab Pass (16,200ft). O/N at Gulmit.
Day-6: Departure for Gilgit along with Indus River. The town has spectacular scenic beauty. Arrival and transfer to hotel. Evening free for shopping or individual activities. O/N at Gilgit. (Travel Time: 4-hours)
Dav-7: Departure for Besham (Gateway to K.K.H).Sightseeing en-route. O/N at Besham. (Travel Time: 8-hours)
Day-8: Departure for Lahore. Short stays at Abbottabad and historical village Bhera (famous for Kino Gardens). (Travel Time: 11-hours)