Gojal – The Rooftop of Pakistan


Gojal valley (Upper Hunza), in Gilgit Baltistan Agency,
a valley of beautiful landscape is located on the top of Northern Areas of
Islamic Republic of Pakistan. Gojal is a sub region of famous region Hunza
former princely state, valuable in rich traditions, international spot for
peace, mesmerizing landscapes, mountains, simplicity, and 100% literacy
rate.

 

The main corridors open to Russia the former USSR and
the neighbour country China from Gojal (Upper Hunza). Kunjareb pass, Chupurson
pass, Kilik, Mintaka and Shimshaal passes are international passes open to both
neighbouring states of Pakistan, China and Russia. Gojal is strategically
important area due to border passes. Gilgit is an administrative part of
Pakistan so there is any military check post nor any civilian settlement in the
region.

The four seasons are celebrated with the tradition in
our area, Welcoming spring with a traditional event called Tha´gham; an ancient
agricultural festival and part of wakhi culture and it has been celebrated for
centuries in welcoming of spring season.

The traditional Chineer or Nouroz festival is
celebrated on March 20 and 21 in the valley with traditional zeal. The Wakhi
people celebrate the day with music, dance and Sa´amin a traditional dish
prepared to mark the festival.

The Golden autumn is always lovely with having all the
shades of red to golden. One feels living in a golden world. We celebrate the
autumn as ´´Kouch Kh´mak´, Which is to bring back the cattle from fairy meadows
and collect all the fruit and dry vegetable to store for the winter. And finally
come the tremendous silence of winters with the snowflakes falling gently from
the sky. The day becomes white — there is no visible colour in sight as all the
other colours become invisible under snow. At the end of the winter we
celebrate Khitxith, saying goodbye to winter and cold.

There many other national, traditional and religious
rites and ceremonies which cannot be summed up in this article.

Local music and dance programs are very famous in every
celebration organised here, and Polo is played as a traditional game of the
area. The area is beautiful and amazing place to visit but unfortunately the
9.11 terrorist attack has badly affected tourism. Not many people visit such
beautiful land now. Once in a blue moon there’s a random traveller appearing in
the area but now the local tourists are making their way to Gojal.

The glaciers, natural sprins, streams down the
mountains, cascades, Milky way so close and mountains leaves which make you
speechless and make you become a passionate nature lover at the end of the
day.

People of the area have no access to the Internet
connection, especially in Gojal. But the literacy rate of the area is 100%.
Youth are highly educated and made it to Harvard and Oxford Universities for Ph.
D and Masters degree. Education for girls is a better choice than education for
boys. It is a general perception that if the parents have two kids a boy and a
girl and have enough to educate only one child, they should choose the girl to
receive education.

The people living in the area are mostly from one
community call, The Shia Imami Ismaili Community also called Aga Khani
community, following the 49th Imam of the time, His Highness Prince Karim The
Aga Khan III. Men and women wear traditional caps which are completely organic
and made out of wool. They usually wear woollen jackets and
overcoats.

Large number of traders, business and labourers from
different parts of Pakistan dwell here and the economic activity has raised more
in the area which has given rise to economic activities more than other places
in the region nowadays.

The  region is also home to several rare species
of snow leopards, bears, Ibex and Markopolo sheep and the golden
eagle.

There are three different linguistical people existing
in the region, Wakhi;originated from Wakhan corridor and 65% of population
Speaks Wakhi Burushaski; migrated from Hunza during Kingdom of Ayashoo and 34%
of population is Burushaski.

Domki; is the third dilect and only 1% living in
Gojal.

The Gojal valley starts from Shishkat ,Ayean Abad
village recently effected by the Attabad land slide on January 4, 2010, blocking
the river and formed a lake called Attaabad Lake to date, it sunk Ayen Abad
village completely. Gojal extends to Shimshal, Chipurson and Misgar valley which
are the border areas. Gulmit is centre Gojal and Sost is gateway to the CPEC
(China-Pakistan Economic Coridoor) and very important due dry port for
commercial purpose. Upper Hunza is sub divided into four regions, Gojal1
including; Shishkat, Gulmit, Passu, Hussaini. Gojal 2 including the villages
composed of Khyber, Galapan Murokhoon, Jamal Abad, Gircha, Nazimabad, Hussain
Abad, Sost, Khudabad and Misgar. Gojal3 is Shimshaal and Gojal 4 includes the
villages; Khair Abad, Rashit, Kirmin, Khill, Espang, Sher-e-saabz, and
Zodokhon.

The Chipurson valley in the north west whose border
touches the Wakhan region of Afghanistan after which starts Tajikistan. Gojal
was part of the Hunza Princely State governed by Mir of Hunza before 1974. In
the Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto´s era, he brought some political reforms and motivating
Mir of Hunza of the time to announce the affiliation with Pakistan. It was a
fall of the Princely State of Hunza. Now Gojal enjoys being identified as a
Tehsil of Hunza.

The dry and sharpe mountains of Karakoram and the lakes
formed from the land slide with the perfect route along, called Silk Route
earlier and Karakurum Highway now, which also dubbed as the eighth wonder of the
world creates the best scenery.

The Gojal Valley shares borders with China and
Afghanistan, the border with Chinese border meets at Khunjerab and is 15,397
feet above sea level and always remains covered with snow throughout the
year.

 

Zar Nigor

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