A Road Trip to KKH – Hunza – Khunjerab Pass

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Greetings from Hunza, After spending a week among mountains, Its time to get back to work. Our journey started at around 12am from Lahore. Soon our mini bus was cruising on motorway. Our driver played old bollywood songs, but the youngsters in the bus demanded to switch to some party stuff..

char bottle vodka…

abhi to party shoro hue hay…

10km’s before bhera, The right Tire of the bus burst with an ear cracking sound. and then all of the sudden the songs started to make sense.. “abhi to parti shuru hue hay..”

This did not end there.. right after crossing kalar kahar, second tire was burst. At that point, we had both of the spare tires consumed and i had to do something for the group, so i asked one of my friends in mansehra and they arranged two brand new tires for me from taxila and we had them replaced as soon as we reached there.. It was already 12pm when we crossed Mansehra. That night, we had to spent in besham as we got late due to the unforeseen..

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Next day started out early.. at 4:00am, we were on our way to Hunza, cruising on KKH. The construction of KKH was started in 1959 and was completed in 1979. About 810 Pakistanis and about 200 Chinese workers lost their lives

We struggled with bad road conditions from DASU to CHILLAS, with no signals and very hot and dusty weather. There was hardly any flat patch though Rollers were working there to make the road much smoother to travel.. In the afternoon we crossed chillas and here you go, right after raikot we experienced paved road and scenic views. The road from Raikot to Hunza provide one of the most scenic and expansive views.

Next to the road was this sign.. and to our luck, we were able to see the Killer mountain in its full glory..

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Nanga Parbat has yet not been climbed in winter despite so many attempts.

Karakoram Highway following the indus river and accompanying the gigantic mountains looks splendid. making everything else look tiny and insignificant. On the way, we saw the GREAT 3

The place where Three Largest mountain ranges of the world meet.

1- Karakoram
2- Hindukash
3- Himalaya

 

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That night was spent in Hunza.. and the next morning came with a view.. Right after opening our eyes, we had the beautiful rakaposhi in the sight.. woah..

We left Hunza for sost that at mid day and planned to scale the KKH uptil Khunjerab pass. After driving through the plateau most of the time where the road slowly climbed up, the last section of the road went steep with a couple of switchbacks where the snowcapped mountains looked down at the road. Shortly before the border line there was acheckpoint where an officer checked our ID cards and noted our strength. Few minutes later, we were at khunjerab pass. In the first world, where you get fined upon not wearing a seat-belt, here a bunch of people sitting on the roof or hanging on the rear of the van is a common sight and that too on the curvy roads where the danger is even higher as the vehicles may swing from side to side.. I was among those who reached Khunjerab pass on the roof of the bus. Phew, it was really really cold..

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Khunjerab Pass, 4692m, marking the border between Pakistan and China is the highest international border crossing in the world.The atmosphere at this border was very relaxed. The tourists and the soliders from both side would often mingle with each other, at times going beyond the marked country border lines.

After spending a couple of hours at top, we descended back to SOST. The descend from the pass is gentle at the beginning but then it dipped sharply.

We had a scrumptious BAR B Q that night at sost.

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Next Morning we descended back to attabad lake, the landscape turned into drier, When you are travelling at the KKH you cannot help but appreciate the engineering and the effort that went into making this gigantic road across mighty mountains.

We payed a small visit to Attabad lake and hussaini bridge on our way back to Hunza.

Over 25 km section of KKH was submerged in Atabad lake after the deadliest earthquake of 2005. The road disappeared into the lake and the means of communication were blocked. So people started to communicate through boats. Big Loader ships were introduced in the lake to transport Heavy trucks and buses across the mysterious lake.

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The lake is  named after a village Atabad, one of the many villages submerged in it. Now a 7KM long tunnel has been constructed by passing the lake.

After boating through the beautiful lake, we visited the largest hanging bridge in the world. The famous hussaini bridge.

13321610_1066401710091756_3602254058168677396_nWow, what an experience it was, walking through the poorly maintained bridge, Where a slightest mistake could have had deadliest aftermath. The bridge was swinging with very strong wind and you have to hold on to the ropes very tightly to stay stable on it.

That night, we stayed in hunza, Hunza is a beautiful city, mainly famous because it offers mind blowing views of rakaposhi.. at least this is what i like the most about Hunza. Next morning we went to Baltit fort to pay tribute to the greats of Hunza and then started our journey towards Gilgit.

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Baltit fort is an ancient fort, founded 700 years ago, in Karimabad.

We continued our journey on KKH towards besham and stayed in PTDC besham that night. View of the Balakot city situated on the banks of River Kunhar is amazing.. It was a very Hot day. the hottest day of our trip, and we reached Lahore.

 

The end. 🙂

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