Baltit Fort

It is a very strong bond that a person has with his native soil. No matter where life takes you and no matter how often you get a chance to go back, that profound sense of belonging always remains there. Summer break is the best part of the year for me because it is the longest that I get to spend at home. But when I think about it, it is more than just my family or our home that I miss. It is the whole place– the sound of the river, the night-sky chalked across with the milky way and all those beautiful birds.
Nostalgia is hitting quite strong today, so I’m taking you guys on a small tour to the iconic Baltit Fort in my hometown, Hunza.

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Baltit Fort with Ultar in the background

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Built 7 centuries ago, this majestic fort overlooks Hunza and was home to the valley’s rulers.

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View from Baltit Fort. Hunza River divides the valley into Hunza (right) and Nager (left) and the snow-capped Rakaposhi, ranked 27th tallest mountain in the world, stands in the background.

 Multiple additions and renovations were done by different rulers in their time, expanding the original structure. But having endured vagaries of centuries, it was left in a dilapidated condition and began to deteriorate after the last ruler relocated to a new palace.

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A gallery on the roof of the fort with a view of Karimabad

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In 1990, Aga Khan Trust for Culture undertook the project of restoring the fort to its original glory. The renovation took six years and since then, it is being run as a heritage museum and is one of the most sought-for tourist destinations in Gilgit-Baltistan.

 

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Baltit Fort served as stronghold and a symbol of power of the local rulers. Multiple attacks were carried out by rival kingdoms, including Nager and Kashmir but it remained invincible. To prevent an attack from all around, the fort was built on a steep cliff which made its eastern face (the backside) inaccessible.

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Baltit Fort east face

It is open for tours which consist of a detailed narration of the fort’s history and visit to its multiple glorious sections. (Also included in the tour is a stop in dungeons, which I must say, isn’t so beautiful!)

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A chamber with  a small stove and some utensils. On the floor is a Sharma- a traditional handwoven rug. The coat hanging on the left is a Shuqa- a winter clothing staple in the valley.
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Folk string instruments displayed in the fort
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Kitchen with multiple utensils on display, lit by a skylight

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And this is me. 😀
fort1Baltit Fort at night. Source

Add this magnificent Fort to your bucket list and I promise you, it would be a magical experience.

Have a wonderful week!

Sahar

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