Gilgit Baltistan is famous for its stunning natural beauty. People from all around the globe come here every year and marvel its beauty. Apart from natural beauty, Gilgit-Baltistan is also known for some man-made wonders. When you talk about Hunza valley, one of the distinguished names that come into everyone’s mind is Baltit Fort.
Here are some of the interesting facts about this fort that you should know before visiting this breathtaking site.
Baltit Fort is more than 700 years old:
The foundation stone of Baltit Fort was laid more than 700 years ago. Over the next few centuries the restoration work was carried out and the most notable work was carried out in the 16th century. At that time the artisans from Baltistan came to the valley and changed the whole look of the fort. The Tibetan look of the fort comes from the same restoration period. This restoration work was carried out as a dowry of the princess who got married to a prince of Hunza.
Baltit Fort was home to the Royal Family of Hunza:
Baltit Fort was home to the royal family of Hunza who were initially settled in the even more older fort i.e. Altit Fort which is in the Altit village at an elevated rock. After a conflict between the two brothers, one of the brothers settled in Baltit Fort. The one that stayed in the Altit fort was later killed and hence Baltit Fort became the center of Hunza state.
Centuries passed and this fort remained the home to the royal family of Hunza. Many festivities as well as some important meeting about the state of Hunza were held inside this fort. Some of the festivals are still celebrated in the Baltit Fort like the Ginani festival.
Abondoned in the mid-40s
In the year 1945, family of Mir of Hunza decided to move to the newly built palace in Karimabad town. After the royal family’s exit from the fort it remained a haunted place for decades. This fort then turned into ruins and some of the precious items were disappeared from the fort which were never recovered. No repair work was done till 1990 and a possible collapse of the fort was on the cards.
The renovation of Baltit Fort took 6 years:
The renovation work of Baltit Fort was carried out by Aga Khan Cultural Services for Pakistan and then it was opened for the general public in September 1996. It took 6 years to complete the restoration work of Baltit Fort. After the restoration the fort was inaugurated by Prince Kareem Aga Khan and the then president of Pakistan Farooq Ahmed Khan Leghari.
Baltit Fort is a museum now:
Once the restoration work was completed in the year 1996, it was opened for the general public. This fort is now managed by Baltit Heritage Trust. Each year almost 15,000 people visit this fort.
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