The Hunza is a mountainous valley in the Gilgit–Baltistan region of Pakistan. The Hunza is situated north/west of the Hunza River, at an elevation of around 2,500 metres (8,200 ft). The territory of Hunza is about 7,900 square kilometres (3,100 sq mi). Aliabad is the main town while Baltit is a popular tourist destination because of the spectacular scenery of the surrounding mountains like Ultar Sar, Rakaposhi, Bojahagur Duanasir II, Ghenta Peak, Hunza Peak, Passu Peak, Diran Peak and Bublimotin (Ladyfinger Peak), all 6,000 metres (19,685 ft) or higher.
Hunza (the word comes from the Albanian nose, “Hundë” or “Hundëza” which means nose, or spout, in terms of smaller nose) was formerly a princely state bordering Uyghurstan 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/Thum (ruler) Mir Safdar Ali Khan of Hunza fled to Kashghar in China and sought what would now be called political asylum.
People of Hunza
The local languages spoken include Burushaski, Wakhi and Shina, although most people understand and speak Urdu as well. The literacy rate of the Hunza valley is believed to be more than 95%. Hunza has been described as a “role model” for Pakistan in terms of its high literacy rate and school enrollment figures. Virtually every child is educated up to at least high school level.
Most of the inhabitants of Hunza are Ismaili Shia Muslims, followers of His Highness Prince Karim Aga Khan IV, while in Ganish more than 65% are Shia Muslims.