Throughout northern areas of Pakistan, each day’s travel brings fresh revelations and the magic of incomparable vistas, breathtaking discoveries of Snow Mountain crests, dynamic and colorful cultures, rare wildlife, jade lakes and rippling streams, dancing waterfalls, and pine-cloaked hills ablaze in summer with glorious alpine flowers.
Bounded in the west by Afghanistan, separated from Russia in the north-west by a narrow neck of land nowhere wider than fifty kilometers (30 miles), with China to the north and Indian held Kashmir to the east, northern areas of Pakistan, tumultuous and magnificent, draws the breath of all who fall under its spell.
In its perpendicular wildernesses, treacherous and forbidding, few living thins find sanctuary. Not surprisingly, therefore, less than one per cent of the world’s ninth most populous nation, roughly one million people, lives in the 140,000 square kilometers (57,000 square miles) of northern areas of Pakistan.
The region consists of the old Gilgit and Baltistan agencies, the former fiefdoms of the Hunza and Nagar, now divided into three administrative districts, the Swat and Chitral valleys and the green hills above the Grand Trunk Road between Peshawar and Rawalpindi. In these lost and hidden valleys a proud, hardy people till their precious soil and live far beyond the span of most mortals.
This glittering mosaic of human cultures contains many different ethnic groups and tribes, some the descendants of Genghis Khan and Tamurlane, some of Mongol, Aryan and Turanian stock all homogenized by their shared Islamic faith but for one exception, the pagan Kalash of Chitral.
Hidden within their girdles of ice-encrusted peaks, these valley states have changed little fastnesses, cut off for centuries from any real contact with the outside world, these communities have maintained and enriched their traditions, uncorrupted by so-called civilizing influences. It is lovely place to visit and country is promoting the tourism in the northern areas of Pakistan.