Ma Hunzat Gasus – Exploring Places

Hunza Valley Photo Credits... Nasr Rahman
Hunza Valley
Photo Credits… Nasr Rahman

Day 3

We woke up to the sound of Dhol (a double headed drum) as the locals were celebrating the Jubilee of Prince Agha Khan. Despite already having planned a busy day we welcomed the suggestion of being invited to the fun fair organized as a part of the traditional Jubilee celebrations. Our day began with the desire of viewing Rakaposhi the Taj Mahal of Karakoram. Since our class fellow Zeeshan belonged to Hunza so we asked him to point out to Rakaposhi. Zeeshan pointed a snow covered mountain whose top was covered in clouds. In my view another mountain seemed bigger. However, Rakaposhi was actually bigger than the former. Ever since I had read about Rakaposhi expedition I wanted to see it.  I was wonder struck by the enormity of the magnificent and magnanimous Rakaposhi. Our first destination was the Baltit fort which covered a small area in comparison to Shahi Fort Lahore and the Rohtas Fort near Jhelum city.  This well preserved fort was built at a considerable height so that the guards could get a clear view in order to precisely attack the adversary. The fort was jam packed with tourists so we had to wait for a while to get the tickets. The cost of the ticket was RS, 250 which included a guide to show around the fort to tourists. Our guide not only showed us the kitchen, bedrooms, prison, guest rooms but all that was worth watching. The fort had been converted into a museum owing to the restoration place carried out in the late 90’s.

An old mirror became the object of my attention as it had witnessed the changing times. The mirror that was once used by the royal family had now been reduced to a showpiece. The other object which caught my attention was the throne on which no tourist was allowed to sit. However, the guide on seeing my excitement and interest allowed me to sit on the throne once the entire tourist had left the room. The guide informed us of a new residence that been built for the prince in the surrounding area.  We heard about the Lady Finger hill which turned out to be the last destination of many tourists even whose dead bodies could not be found. The fort despite being not as mighty as one would imagine was great. The antiques inside the fort were not only eye catching but also capable of evoking ones interest in history. I found my guide to be one of the sweetest guys that I had come across during my tour. He not only gave me his cap to wear but also allowed me to have my picture taken which was indeed an honor for me.

The Majestic Altit Fort, Hunza Valley

From Baltit we were headed to Altit which is famous owing to a myth. During my first year in the medical college I had discovered about the legend of un-hu-qais-ki-lainey from my class fellow Zeeshan who was a native of Hunza. As legend has it a giant with the head of a donkey and the body of a human lived in a cave close to the bridge between Baltit to Altit. It is believed that this monstrous creature was so notorious that the natives would avoid taking this route especially at night. Once two travels had taken this route at night but whilst crossing the bridge they felt a strange demonic presence. However, they saw nothing but were still scared to death as some invisible being began to thrown pebbles at them. Resultantly they fled screaming and shouting giving rise to the legend of un-hu-qais-ki-lainey. According to myths and fables the natives had several fights with these strange creatures resultantly some people lost their lives. However, these particular travelers who had crossed the bridge had not actually seen any alien creature. In my opinion un-hu-qais-ki-lainey is a psychological monster and an imaginary figure that has tormented people in their imagination.  The legend of un-hu-qais-ki-lainey had aroused my curiosity to the extent that I and a few of my class mates decided to walk to Altit. I found that the way to Altit was serene however the meticulous details of the myth astounded me as there was a cave close to the bridge. Nevertheless, no one hurled stones at us.

Altit Fort

We had reached Altit before the rest of our class mates so whilst waiting for them we decided to visit the fun fair.  After a while one bus out of three reached Altit as the other two had taken the students to Atta Abad Lake.  We first decided to visit the Eagles nest which gives an eagle’s eye view of Hunza.  By the time we reached the Eagle’s Nest there was drizzle adding to its scenic beauty.  On returning to Altit we discovered that the fort had now been closed. Moreover, our class fellows had visited the fortress in our absence. Consequently this led to a heated debate which was followed by our decision of setting our journey early morning as to compensate the time which had been wasted. ………………………………………………………………..

 

 

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