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Altit Fort is an ancient fort at Altit town in the Hunza valley in Gilgit Baltistan, Pakistan. It was originally home to the hereditary rulers of the Hunza state who carried the title Mir, although they moved to the somewhat younger Baltit fort nearby three centuries later.

Altit Fort and in particular the Shikari tower is around 1100 years old, which makes it the oldest monument in the Gilgit–Baltistan.

The word Altit means this side down and the area around the fort is inhabited by Burusho people. The people of Altit are said to belong to the white Huns, although not much research has gone into the matter. There are several theories about their origin but local indigenous origin holds much value among the people. It is also said that the present language Bruchiski was brought here by the white Huns in 47 A.D but there is no link between burushaski and any other language of today. According to the legend the first name for Altit village was Hunukushal, meaning the village of Huns. The Huns came from the Huang-Ho valley in China. The name later changed to Broshal, translated as a village of Bruchiski speakers. They were spirit worshipers as Shamanism was in practice and also followed Buddhism and Hinduism. In the 15th century Islam was introduced. Around 1830 in turn many converted to Ismailism.

The Altit Fort was in great disrepair, but has recently been restored by the Aga Khan Trust for Culture Historic Cities Support Programme and the Government of Norway. It is characterized by small rooms and low portals with exquisite wood carvings. Japan has contributed to the renovation of the surrounding old village. Altit Fort is a tourist site which has been open to the public since 2007.

Baltit Fort is an ancient fort in the Hunza valley in Gilgit-Baltistan, Pakistan. Founded in the 1st CE, it has been on the UNESCO World Heritage Tentative list since 2004. In the past, the survival of the feudal regime of Hunza was ensured by the impressive fort, which overlooks Karimabad.

The foundations of the fort date back to 700 years ago, with rebuilds and alterations over the centuries. In the 16th century the local prince married a princess from Baltistan who brought master Balti craftsmen to renovate the building as part of her dowry.

The Mirs of Hunza abandoned the fort in 1945, and moved to a new palace down the hill. The fort started to decay which caused concern that it might possibly fall into ruin. Following a survey by the Royal Geographical Society of London a restoration programme was initiated and supported by the Aga Khan Trust for Culture Historic Cities Support Programme. The programme was completed in 1996 and the fort is now a museum run by the Baltit Heritage Trust.

In the past several small independent states formed part of the history of the Northern Areas of Pakistan. Among them Hunza and Nager were traditional rival states, situated on opposite sides of the Hunza (Kanjut) river. The rulers of these two states,Mirs known as Thum (also Tham, Thom or Thámo), built various strongholds to consolidate their power. According to historical sources, the Hunza rulers initially resided in nearby Altit Fort, but after a conflict between the two sons of the ruler Sultan, Shah Abbas (Shάboos) and Ali Khan (Aliqhάn), Shaboos moved to Baltit Fort, making it the capital seat of Hunza. The power struggle between the two brothers eventually resulted in the death of younger one, and so Baltit Fort became the prime seat of power in the Hunza state.

Ayasho II, Thum/Mir of Hunza in the early 15th fifteenth century married Princess Shah Khatoon (Sha Qhatun) from Baltistan (inMoghul history Baltistan is called Tibet Khurd, which means Little Tibet), and was the first to modify the face of Altit and, subsequently Baltit Fort. Baltistan had a very strong cultural and ethnical relation with the Ladakh territory to the east. Not surprisingly, the structure of Baltit Fort was influenced by Ladakhi/Tibetan architecture, with some resemblance to the Potala Palace in Lhasa. Then additions, renovations and changes to the building were being made through the centuries by a long line of following rulers of Hunza.

Home of many ancient forts, the Northern Areas of Pakistan lost some of its heritage around the 19th century as a result of attacks by the Maharaja of Kashmir. However, one of the biggest changes in the structure of the Baltit Fort came with the invasion of the British in December 1891. Safdarali Khan, ruler of Hunza and his wazir Dadu (Thara Baig III), fled to befriended Kashgar (China) to seek 'political asylum' with their fellows and families. With the conquest of Hunza and Nager states the fortified wall and watch towers of the old Baltit village and watch towers of the Baltit Fort on its north-western end were demolished as required by the British. They installed his younger brother, Sir Muhammad Nazim Khan K.C.I.E, as the ruler of Hunza state in September 1892.

During his reign, Nazeem Khan made several major alterations to the Baltit Fort. He demolished a number of rooms of third floor and added a few rooms in the British colonial style on the front elevation, using lime wash and colour glass panel windows.

Baltit Fort remained officially inhabited until 1945, when the last ruler of Hunza, Mir Muhammad Jamal Khan, moved to a new palatial house further down the hill, where the present Mir of Hunza, Mir Ghazanfar Ali Khan, and his family are still residing.

With no proper authority entrusted the Fort was exposed to the ravages of time and over the years its structure weakened and began to deteriorate. His Highness Aga Khan IV initiated the restoration efforts for Baltit Fort in 1990, when Mir Ghazanfar Ali Khan and his family generously transferred the Fort to the Baltit Heritage Trust, a public charity formed for the explicit purpose of owning and maintaining the Fort. The restoration undertaken by the Aga Khan Trust for Culture in Geneva in association with the Aga Khan Cultural Service Pakistan (Pakistan), took six years to complete. The project was supported by the Aga Khan Trust for Culture as the main donor through its Historic Cities Support Programme, as well as by the Getty Grant Program (USA), the Norwegian Agency for Development Cooperation and the French Government.

The restored Fort, resplendent in its formal regal glory, was inaugurated on September 29, 1996 in the presence of His Highness the Aga Khan IV and the president of Pakistan Farooq Ahmad Khan Laghari. It is now operated and maintained by the Baltit Heritage Trust and is open to visitors. The Baltit Fort serves as a good example of culture restored and preserved for future generations.

The Hunza is a mountainous valley in the Gilgit–Baltistan region of Pakistan. The Hunza is situated in the extreme northern part of Pakistan. Hunza was formerly a princely state bordering Uyghurstan also called 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. The state bordered the Gilgit Agency to the south and the former princely state of Nagar to the east. The state capital was the town of Baltit (also known as Karimabad); another old settlement is Ganish Village. Hunza was an independent principality for more than 900 years. The British gained control of Hunza and the neighbouring valley of Nagar between 1889 and 1892 through a military conquest. The then Mir/Tham (ruler) Mir Safdar Ali Khan of Hunza fled to Kashghar in China and sought what would now be called political asylum.

An account wrote by John Bidulf in his book 'Tribes of Hindukush'

The ruling family of Hunza is called Ayeshe (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 Nager. First muslim 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, married a daughter of Trakhan of Gilgit, who bore him twin sons, named Moghlot and Girkis. From the former the present ruling family of Nager is descended. The twins are said to have shown hostility to one another from birth. Thereupon their father, unable to settle the question of succession, divided his state between them, giving Girkis the north/west, and to Moghlot the south/east bank of the river.

The traditional name for the ruler or Prince in Hunza was Tham (also Thom or Thum), which is also a respectful greeting used by the people of both Hunza and Nager who belong to the clan of Boorish. The Shin use the term Yeshkun for the Boorish.

Both Thams are also addressed as Soori, a title of respect. This appears to be the same [in meaning] as Sri, commonly prefixed to the names of Hindu princes in India, to denote their honour and prosperity. The Tham's wives are styled ghenish which is almost identical with the original Sanskrit word for mother, and their sons are calledgushpoor.

In 2010, a landslide blocked the river and created Attabad Lake, which threatened 15,000 people in the valley below and has effectively blocked 27 km of the Karakoram Highway.

The first seat of power of the formerly Hunza State was Altit. Later it shifted to Baltit (modern-day Karimabad). Until the fall of princely state in 1974, Baltit served as political center of Hunza and hence its capital. Today, Baltit is one of the major tourist destinations in Hunza. The center of activities has however shifted to the nearby Aliabad, which is a commercial hub in the region and has most of the governmental infrastructure.

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