One of the historic structures in Hunza, Pakistan, is the Altit Fort. It has withstood conflicts, assaults, and seismic activity. It is said by the locals to be the birthplace of the Hunza realm. Hunza was a separate governing territory until 1972, however, it is now a part of Pakistan. Many people travel to Hunza to see the Fort, a distinctive historic building in Gilgit-Baltistan. It is one of Pakistan’s ancient forts.
Hunza’s Altit Fort: A Historical Treasure
At eight hundred years old, Altit Fort is a historic fort. It is located in Northern Pakistan’s Hunza Valley. It was constructed in the eleventh century by a ruler known as the Mir of Hunza, who resided there with his family until the sixteenth. Numerous major occurrences, including wars and notable population movements, took place at the fort. Mir and his family relocated to Baltit Fort, a nearby fort, in the sixteenth century. Following that, Altit Fort was abandoned and eventually crumbled. However, it was fixed and made lovely again in the 1990s. The Shikari Tower at Altit Fort is particularly ancient, dating back around 1100 years. It is the most historic location in Gilgit-Baltistan.
There hasn’t been much research on the theory that the people living in Altit are members of the white Hun tribe. Although there are differing opinions regarding their origins, the locals place a high importance on their heritage. It is thought that in 47 A.D., white Huns introduced Bruchiski to the region. But evidence linking Burushaski to any modern language is still required.
Town of the Huns
There is a legend that claims that Altit village, which is in the Gilgit-Baltistan region of Pakistan, was formerly called Hunukushal, which means “village of Huns.” The Huns are thought to have arrived in the region many centuries ago after migrating from China’s Huang-Ho Valley. The settlement’s name eventually evolved to Broshal, which translates as “village of Burushaski speakers.” Before being exposed to Islam in the fifteenth century, the villagers practiced Buddhism, Hinduism, and spiritual worship.
Altit Hamlet had a dramatic change in religious views in the 1830s when a large number of its residents converted to the Ismaili branch of Islam. Along with the people’s religious practices, this transition also affected their social and cultural norms. Altit Hamlet is now a mingling pot of many religions and civilizations, with a special fusion of antiquated customs and contemporary influences. The village’s rich cultural legacy has been preserved through the years, and people from all walks of life are still captivated and motivated by it.
The architecture of Altit Fort
The architecture of Altit Fort blends Islamic, Central Asian, and Tibetan elements. With a stunning view of the surrounding mountains and the Hunza River, it is perched atop a large rock. The fort is divided into two sections. The bottom section contains a mosque, a particular guest house, and areas designated for animals. The Mirs and their families resided in the upper section. Constructed from local stone and wood, the fort demonstrates how ancient humans erected structures.
Vitality of Altit Fort
Altit Fort is a hub for the community’s culture in addition to being a historic location. The locals have preserved their customs and handicrafts. Cultural events are held at the fort, such as the annual Altit Fort festival. People travel from all over to appreciate it. The festival’s main goal is to celebrate the local culture with delicious traditional cuisine, music, and dance.
Ticket Cost and Schedule
Tickets must be purchased in advance to discover the intriguing history of Altit Fort in Hunza Valley. The cost of the ticket is approximately PKR 500–600 for local guests and PKR 1000 for foreign visitors.
Every day of the week, the fort is open; however, the summer and winter months have somewhat different hours. It is open from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. in the summer and from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. in the winter.
The breathtaking view of the stunning Hunza Valley and the Karakoram Highway that Altit Fort in Gilgit Baltistan provides is one of the main reasons for its popularity. You can see all of these breathtaking surroundings from your elevated position. Because different people have varied definitions of beauty, it’s like heaven for those who appreciate the natural world. It is always fascinating to visit this amazing area if you value the beauty of nature. These are some of Altit Fort’s well-liked attractions:
The guard room, perched atop pillars, greets you as soon as you enter the fort. Inside is a little square on the ground where wine was kept by the Mirs (leaders) of Altit Fort before the arrival of Islam in the Hunza Valley.
The conference hall comes next. Here, the Hunza ruler once spoke with powerful people about important issues. Here, they convened significant gatherings to address matters of great state importance.
An old mosque, constructed on the fort’s rooftop over 400 years ago, marks the arrival of Islam in Gilgit Baltistan.
There are several rooms, including an underground jail where those with authority housed detainees and rebels against the government. The place was poorly ventilated and dark.
There is another chamber called the safety room directly in front of the jail. The monarchs housed royal wives and children here for protection during wartime. The walls had tiny gaps through which the defenders fired arrows at their adversaries.
A look at KKH
The KKH is visible from Altit Fort’s rooftop. It meanders alongside the magnificent Hunza River and into the highlands. It’s a breathtaking sight, particularly for nature lovers.
Shahi Hamam, the Baths/Advanced Woodworking
The Mirs and their wives used to utilize an old subterranean bathhouse and toilet next to the living room.
Built entirely of wood, the fort is earthquake-resistant. The fort remains upright despite the wooden components moving. Buddhist symbols were carved on wooden pillars by people in the past.
Pots That The Royal Family Uses
In the dining room are cooking pots made of peculiar pebbles. Since metal was scarce in those days, people used these pots.
Standing Prince Ali Khan’s Grave
There is a standing grave in the safety room that has a tragic history. It tells the story of Ali Khan, a prince who revolted for the kingdom against his elder brother. He was buried alive by his brother. He is still buried in Altit Fort.
The royal family cooks using an antique pot in the living room. For cooking, there is a fireplace as well. People used to want to have their kitchen and bedroom in the same room.
On top of Altit Fort, the Mirs erected a tower to observe the surrounding area. They had a view of the Hunza River and all of the mountains from that location. In addition to being used to monitor opponents, this tower could also be used to toss prisoners into the Hunza River as a form of punishment.
Hunza River view
You can overlook Gilgit Baltistan’s stunning Hunza River from the summit of Altit Fort. It is the result of several rivers coming together to produce Attabad Lake. The Hunza River is beside the Karakoram Highway. It’s an incredible sight.
What is the reputation of Hunza’s Altit Fort?
The historical significance and magnificent architectural architecture of Hunza’s Altit Fort, which combines Islamic, Central Asian, and Tibetan elements, are well known. It serves as evidence of the rich cultural legacy of the area.
What are Altit Fort’s primary points of interest?
Visitors can explore a number of areas within Altit Fort, such as the underground jail, meeting hall, guard room, and royal residences. Unique attractions include a standing cemetery, a museum with historical artifacts, and the Shahi Hamam, a bathhouse.
What is the purpose of Altit Fort’s Shikari Tower?
Defenders were able to keep an eye on the surrounding area thanks to the strategic watchtower function of the Shikari Tower at Altit Fort. It was also used to monitor adversaries, and as a form of punishment, inmates were occasionally tossed from the tower into the Hunza River.
Is Altit Fort home to a museum?
The Altit Fort does indeed have a museum. The museum was founded in 1891 and displays historical documents and artifacts to provide visitors a glimpse into the past of the area.
How does Altit Fort’s view look?
The stunning vistas of the Karakoram Highway, which winds through the mountains next to the lovely Hunza River, may be found at Altit Fort. From the fort’s elevated location, visitors may also take in expansive views of the Hunza River and the surrounding mountains.