Pakistan is gifted with exceptional Natural scenery and weather, not many countries on earth are blessed with such admiring variety. According to the statistics of the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), Pakistan is bestowed with 152 Wildlife Sanctuaries, among which 62 are the National parks.
I wonder why our people visit and admire foreign natural scenery and landscape, without knowing that their own country is heavenly gifted with unique natural beauty and rich culture.
This writing is about the road trip from Gujranwala to Khunjreb via Hunza(Eagle’s Nest). I will try my best to give a brief overview of the whole journey, the road condition, weather and the details of the best hotels in the specific area.
Traveling time from Lahore/Gujranwala to Hunza:
Hunza is located at the Northern border of Pakistan. It borders both China and Afghanistan. It’s surrounded by magnificent Karakoram range. The total traveling distance from Gujranwala to Hunza is approx 850 km and it takes 19hrs, obviously, you have to break this journey into two parts and one night stay is a must.
Hunza Via Babusar Top
The best places to stay along the route are Balakot, Kaghan or Naran. You can fresh start your journey the next morning after spending a night in the place of your choice.
Hunza Via Karakoram Highway
Babusar Top is closed from November to March due to heavy snowfall, so you have to go through Karakoram highway, which adds extra five hours of traveling. You can go left for Karakoram Highway and right for Balakot/Naran from Mansehra Bypass.
Hotels are available at Dassu or Chilas. Kohistani people are very conservative and they don’t like women wandering on the road without a hijab or proper dressing, so dress appropriately especially in Kohistan.
Hotel Fare in Naran/Balakot/Chilas
The Hotel fares on Karakoram highway are relatively low as compared to the fares in Balakot, Kaghan, and Naran. Also, fares are a bit low from September to December, because not so many tourists plan their journey in these months.
The change in tourist attitude is noticed in recent years and the comparatively large number of tourists is seen during the offseason.
PTDC rates are almost the same throughout the year. The rate list is mentioned below.
In Naran & Kaghan you have a lot of choices to stay, you can find the hotel room for as low as Rs.1000. The upper limit depends on how much you can afford.
Naran To Gilgit/Hunza
Next morning, the journey for Hunza starts from Naran or Chilas, Gilgit is almost 2.5hrs away from Chilas and 6hrs from Naran, along the way from Naran to Chilas you can visit Lulusar lake and Babusar Top, both routes join at zero-point at Chilas and from here onward KKH leads to China border via Hunza.
You can find the junction point of Karakoram, Himalaya and Hindukush Mountain range at Jagalot on KKH, River Indus and River Gilgit also meets at this point. After some distance, a Magnificient view at the right side of KKH mesmerizes the tourists, its the world’s ninth highest mountain at 8,126 meters (26,660 ft) above sea level, Nanga Parbat the “killer mountain”.
Those who intend to go to Astore, Deosai or Skardu turn right from KKH and others to go straight at KKH for Gilgit or Hunza/Nagar.
The Road to Hunza/Nagar Valley turns about 2km before Gilgit city, Karimabad is almost 100km from Gilgit and it takes 2hr to reach there, a lot of hotels are available in Aliabad and Karimabad. Hotels in Aliabad are cheaper than Karimabad.
There are many worth seeing places to visit in and around Hunza, you can stay for days and each day you can visit a new place.
The road turn left for Karimabad after passing through the Aliabad Bazar, Karimabad and Baltit fort need another left after about 3km. After about 1km a road on the right leads to Altit fort……If you go straight you will reach Eagle’s Nest after about 3 km, Eagle’s nest is the last place on this road.
Hotels in Eagle’s Nest, Duikar
The Hotels in Eagle’s nest are really expensive even in offseason …………Hotel fairyland and Eagles Nest hotel offer economy room @ min Rs.8K/night, I found room in Hunza Elysian Resort in a very affordable price and with almost the same facilities. The contact number of a hotel manager is shared for convenience of tourists [email protected]
When you visit Eagle’s nest, at least enjoy a sunrise or sunset in Hunza valley from the viewpoint. You can see LadyFinger Peak, Hunza Peak, Ultar Peak, Golden Peak, Rakaposhi, Diran peak, Hopper glacier and the whole Hunza valley from Eagle’s Nest.
Most of the Peaks you view from this point are above 7000m high.
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