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Karakoram Highway and Indus

Baltistan (Urdu: بلتستان), also known as بلتیول (Baltiyul) in the Balti language, is a region in northern Pakistan, bordering Xinjiang Autonomous Region of China. It is situated in the Karakoram mountains just to the south of K2, the world's second highest mountain. It is an extremely mountainous region, with an average altitude of over 3,350 m (11,000 ft). It is inhabited principally by Balti Shia Ithna Ashri, of Tibetan descent who converted from Tibetan Buddhism prior to the 16th century. There is a small minority of Bahais in Baltistan.

Baltistan consisted of small independent states who were connected to each other due to blood relationships of the rulers called rajas, trade, common beliefs and strong cultural and language bonds. These states were subjugated by force by the Dogra rulers of Kashmir in the nineteenth century. In 1947 when India and Pakistan gained independence, Baltistan was still part of Kashmir. The people of Baltistan being predominantly Muslims revolted against the Dogra rulers and after a struggle lasting a year became independent. Along with Gilgit, it is now claimed by Pakistan as the region of Gilgit-Baltistan (formerly Northern Areas). Its links with Kashmir as a subjugated people today continues to be an impediment in granting its population citizenship of Pakistan. The Kargil district of this region is located in the north of Indian-administered Kashmir, while the districts of Skardu and Ganche, whose main town is Skardu, are located in the Pakistan-administered Gilgit-Baltistan region. The region has the highest peaks of the Karakoram, including K2.



A map of Baltistan and adjoining regions

Baltistan is often called "little Tibet". The adjoining territory of Baltistan forms the west extremity of Tibet, whose natural limits here are the Indus from its abrupt southward bend in 74 45 E., and the mountains to the north and west, separating a comparatively peaceful Tibetan population from the fiercer Aryan tribes beyond. Muslim writers about the 16th century speak of Baltistan as Little Tibet, and of Ladakh as Great Tibet, thus ignoring the really Great Tibet altogether. The Balti call Gilgit a Tibet, and Dr Leitner says that the Chilasi call themselves But or Tibetans; but, although these districts may have been overrun by the Tibetans, or have received rulers of that race, the ethnological frontier coincides with the geographical one given. Baltistan is a mass of lofty mountains, the prevailing formation being gneiss. In the north is the Baltoro Glacier, the largest out of the arctic regions, 35 miles (56 km) long, contained between two ridges whose highest peaks to the south are 25,000 ft (7,600 m) and to the north 28,265 ft (8,615 m). The Indus, as in Lower Ladakh, runs in a narrow gorge, widening for nearly 20 m. after receiving the Shyok. The capital, Skardu, a scattered collection of houses, stands here, perched on a rock 7,250 ft (2,210 m). above the sea. The house roofs are flat, occupied only in part by a second storey, the remaining space being devoted to drying apricots, the chief staple of the main valley, which supports little cultivation. But the rapid slope westwards is seen generally in the vegetation. Birch, plane, spruce and Pinus excelsa appear; the fruits are finer, including pomegranate, pear, peach, vine and melon, and where irrigation is available, as in the North Shigar, and at the deltas of the tributary valleys, the crops are more luxuriant and varied. 29 August 2009 the government of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan announced that the northern areas are a new province of Pakistan. and Gilgit city is its capital city. This province name is Gilgit-Baltistan.

See also

Notable people

  • Notables include Syed Muhammad Shah Noorani (spiritual leader of Noorbukhshia), Muhammad Yusuf Hussainabadi, Agha Syed Ali Mosvi,Afzal Ali Shigri, Ghulam Muhammad Sikander, Haji Fida Muhammad Nashad, Syed Asad Zaidi , Wazir Sadiq, Wazir Ghulam Mahdi (Alig), Babu Ishaq, Sanaullah, Sheikh Mohsin Najfi, Aga Syed Mohammed Ali Shah,Shiekh Ghulam Mohammed, Aga Syed Mohammed Ali Shah, Aga Askari, Hasan Hasni, Fida Naushad, Imran Nadeem, Hasan Hasrat, Raja Saba of Shigar, Professor Dr. Hamidullah Abdulqadir, Dr Faiz Rehmani, Dr Abdulrahman Faisal ghulam Mohammed, Faqir Mohammed ibrahim, Shamim Baltistani, Syed Muhammad Machulu, Shaikh Muhammad Hassan jafari, Malika Baltistani,Daniyal yabgo nd samrina nooshin faizy.

Pop Culture References


  • This article incorporates text from the article "Ladakh and Baltistan" in the Encyclopædia Britannica, Eleventh Edition, a publication now in the public domain.
  • History of Northern Areas of PAkistan by Prof Ahmad Hassan Dani
  • Baltistan in History by Banat gul Afridi
  • Baltistan per Aik Nazar by Yusuf Husainabadi

External links



Travel guide

Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From Wikitravel

Asia : South Asia : Pakistan : Baltistan

Baltistan is in Pakistan's north eastern corner and in India. In the heart of Karakoram, it provides the world's most magnificent mountain scenery and mountaineering possibilities. With Skardu its main city, Baltistan is renowned for the largest glaciers, four 8000m peaks, and many over 7000m. Baltistan is administratively divided into three districts i.e. Skardu, Rondu and Khaplu. Each district offers unique mountaineering and trekking opportunities.

  • Chogori (K2)
  • Broad Peak
  • Gasherbrum I
  • Gasherbrum II
  • Siachin
  • Baltoro
  • Biafo
  • Chogolungma
  • Sadpara
  • Kachura
  • Shaucer
  • Shangri-la
  • Shigar
  • Rondu
  • Shot
  • bilamik
  • tormik
  • Hushe
  • Thalle
  • Deosai
  • Skardu
  • Khapulu
  • Surmo
  • Khane
  • Chorbatt

Rondu bilamik is a very beautiful village. And often tourist can not know about that village its road begin from shot bridge from Karakuram high way. sgh Its really new one to explore and tour. syed.

  • Indus
  • Shyok
  • Braldu
  • Hushe

In addition, there are an uncountable number of attractions in the unchanged natural parts of Baltistan.

  • Dewan e Khas Hotel and Restaurant. They serve English, Chinese, Continental, Pakistani and Local dishes.  edit
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Simple English

Baltistan (Urdu: بلتستان) , also known as بلتیول (Baltiyul) in the Balti language, is a region in northern Pakistan. It borders Xinjiang Autonomous Region of China. It lies in the Karakoram mountains just to the south of K2, the world's second highest mountain. It is an extremely mountainous region, with an average altitude of over 3,350 m (11,000 ft). It is inhabited principally by Balti Shi'a Muslims of Tibetan descent who converted from Tibetan Buddhism before the 16th century.

Baltistan was an independent state but was occupied by the Raja (King) of Kashmir in the nineteenth century. In 1947 when India and Pakistan gained independence, it was still part of Kashmir. Now the region is divided between Pakistan and India.

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