To recap, I mentioned in my previous Blog Trip to Hidden Paradise via Naran that we divided our trip into two short trips. First was to travel from Lahore, Punjab to Naran, KPK. Second one was from Naran, KPK towards Hunza Valley, GB.
Trip to Hunza Valley from BabuSar Top
This is the continuation of my Trip to Hunza Valley from BabuSar Top onwards. For about 45 Minutes, you’ll finally reach to a level where steep descend will be low enough. But you will keep going on the Winding road further.
Entering Gilgit Baltistan
One thing you will notice as you Enter in Gilgit Baltistan area after Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, the color of mountains change.
After driving through for an hour and half on N15, we joined Karakoram Highway N35 along with Indus River.
Right at that point, Chilas is at your left side. And on your right, it’s your further trip down towards Hunza Valley.
Nanga Parbat Peak
While we were on N35, we witnessed Marvellous and Beautiful Peak Nanga Parbat. It is at 8126 meters high, and 8th highest peak in the world.
On N35 after about 1 hour and 15 minutes, you will reach to a point called Raikot Bridge. It is Gateway point to Fairy Meadows and Nanga Parbat over Indus River. You will notice lot of Jeeps and a Resort which I will not recommend you to stay. At even for lunch or dinner, due to their worst customer service and hotel services.
Indus Gilgit Confluence
After travelling through further 35 to 45 minutes, we reached at The most Historic point at Jaglot. It is called Indus-Gilgit Confluence. It’s where The three Mightiest Mountain Ranges of the Himalaya, Karakoram, and Hindu Kush come together in Pakistan at the Confluence of the Two Rivers, namely Indus River and the Gilgit River.
After further 45 minutes or 50 Kms worth of travel , we reached at Gilgit. It is Capital of Gilgit Baltistan Province of Pakistan, but we didn’t stay there. Gilgit was on our right side and we kept going further straight on N35.
After 1 hour and 30 minutes, we reached at Rakaposhi View point. From this point, we could clearly see Mesmerising Rakaposhi Peak. It is 7,788 meters high which makes it 27th highest peak in the world. Its known as Mother of Mist as well.
Further onward, there’s only 1 hour left to our Hotel destination Hunza View Hotel (HVH). It is situated in Karimabad. It’s one of the old Hunza Valley Hotels, with a history. As soon as you enter the hotel, you’ll soon realize that you have entered at a Tourist spot. It’s a 3-star hotel at a very prime location. From it you could view Peak of mountains from your Balcony.
We were so tired that we all slept after having early dinner, and woke up early in the morning. We were greeted by the beautiful Hunza Valley mountains.
Altit Fort and Baltit Fort
We had a plan to visit Altit Fort and Baltit Fort, hence we reached to Baltit Fort first. Altit Fort is about 1100 years old whereas Baltit Fort is about 900 years old Fort. In earlier days the area was built between different states with different rules and they had many wars among them too.
At Baltit Fort, we were shown multiple sections of it. There were two chambers, one on roof top with all of kings advisors used to sit for meetings. The other place is where queen used to sit and resolve women issues there.
Hunza has Literacy rate of more than 77% and famous for Apricots and Cherries.
After visiting Baltit Fort we had delicious Cherries from Morning Glory Restaurant which is famous for Apricot and Cherry Juices.
Tip: One thing you must remember that these Forts are built on mountains, so when you go up on Baltit Fort, it’s a steep hight and lots of stairs. If you’re not physically strong, then you may not be able to reach Baltit Fort. There are few Jeeps available for Older, sick or children to take them up there.
Duikar Mountain Peak
Our next destination was to stay at Eagle nest Hotel which is on Duikar mountain peak. It is about 25 min to 35 minutes drive upwards from Karimabad with 8 to 10 very steep turns.
Once you get there, its a whole new world you can see from the peak with mesmerising and splendid Valley views.
Best thing about Eagle Nest is it’s View. we could see Lady finger peak on our one side, Golden peak on the opposite side, Rakaposhi Peak at the north and Ultar peak at the south.
There are couple of shops around eagle nest from which you can buy local made goods. We witnessed during Sunrise Golden Peak with Gold colour on it.
After our stay at Eagle Nest Hotel, our next destination was Atabad Lake.
Karakoram Highway Tunnel
We traveled through Karimabad, and crossed Karakoram Highway Tunnels going through multiple mountains, which were built after Atabad lake blocked the Karakoram Highway Road.
Karakoram Highway tunnels are a symbol of Pakistan China Friendship which helped not only transportation but many Locals who had to cross through Boats. Now you travel the entire long lake distance through Karakoram Highway Tunnels which are about 5 of them spread across 24 km (15 mi) from multiple mountains.
Tip: Please note that Google Maps will not show you Tunnels, so don’t worry about it and follow signs towards Atabad and Passu.
We reached at Beautiful Atabad lake after travelling from Karimabad for about 30 to 45 minutes. It comes at your left side of it and it made me stop my car to take a picture, as I have never seen any lake like this before due to it’s natural parrot blueish green colour of it.
Atabad lake is long lake which got formed due to major land sliding on Hunza river. Once you’re out of tunnel, there’s a spot at Shishkat for water sports which is on Atabad lake, that includes boating, Fishing and Jet skies.
On our way through towards Hunza Valley, we could see Beautiful Passu Cones.
On our way, we saw Hussaini bridge, which is a very old hanging bridge, connects made on top of Hunza river which connects Zarabad Hamlet to Hussaini Village. We crossed by it and saw mesmerising Passu Peaks right in front of us.
There’s a road on Left, if coming towards Passu from Atabad which leads towards Borith Lake.
Tip: The road is very thin with steep turns of approximately 10 minutes. If you’re not an expert in driving on dangerous tracks, then you can call Borith Lake Resort to have their Driver, drive your car or in their Jeep up towards the Lake.
Once we reached at Borith Lake Resort, it was A Heaven in Heavens. We stayed at Borith lake hotel and resort for further three nights. Our rooms front view was a lake view surrounded by mighty and beautiful Ultar Peak and Shispare Peak.
In our surroundings we could see Passu cons on our right, and slightly on its further right there’s Gulmit peak with Gulmit Glacier and Ghulkin glaciers.
Borith Lake resort is very beautiful, clean, with fresh water. The colour of lake is so pure, that after enjoying Atabad lake, it was another master piece. Resort management was very friendly and their quality of food was amazing.
Khunjrab pass from this lake is around 110 km which can be covered in 3 to 4 hours approximately to it one way.
Khunjerab Pass is a high mountain pass in the Karakoram Mountains, in a strategic position on the northern border of Pakistan.
It is the highest-paved international border crossing in the world and the highest point on the Karakoram Highway.
Gilgit Baltistan Wild life
Locals told us that they do see Snow leopards at the other side of Borith lake rarely, and as Wild Life Rules became stronger there, they now see increase in snow leopards. Along with it local community also promotes preservation of Wild life there. They have seen last year about 250 to 300 IBEX (Mountains Goats) which is an increased number from past couple of years.
We stayed in Hunza for a week which ended too soon for us. I personally never wanted to leave such beautiful paradise and I’d love to come back here. The next morning we left at 5 am from Borith Lake, and continued our journey to Naran the same way we came from Lahore.
Tip: It is recommended to leave BabuSar Peak maximum by 2 pm as there’s 4 hours distance from BabuSar Peak to Naran KPK.
Five Rivers with different colors
We have seen 5 different colors of water in Rivers and Lakes throughout the Trip from Grey, Brown, Blue, Sky blue and Green.
If you liked my blog then you may like blog to Naran Valley as well.
Did you find some great Tips and useful information in this Blog? Please do write us If you have visited Hunza Valley or Kaghan Naran Valley before, if so how was your Journey and what was your favourite Spot?
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Jawad Abid is multi-talented Business, Technology and Customer Service Professional with two decades of Experience with Large Telecoms, Banks & Outsource Service Providers, Startups and Fortune 500 companies in multiple Roles. He’s passionate about Gaining Knowledge on Technologies, How Technologies enable Businesses & Improve Lives, and Sharing Knowledge in the attempt of giving back to Community.
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