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About Gilgit-Baltistan

Gilgit-Baltistan, formerly known as the Northern Areas, is a region administered by Pakistan as an autonomous territory, and constituting the northern portion of the larger Kashmir region. It borders Azad Kashmir to the south, the province of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa to the west, the Wakhan Corridor of Afghanistan to the north, the Xinjiang region of China, to the east and northeast, and the Indian-administered union territories Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh to the southeast. The region, together with Azad Kashmir in the southwest, is grouped and referred to by the United Nations and other international organisations as “Pakistan-administered Kashmir”. Gilgit-Baltistan is six times larger than Azad Kashmir in terms of geographical area.

The territory of present-day Gilgit-Baltistan became a separate administrative unit in 1970 under the name “Northern Areas”. It was formed by the amalgamation of the former Gilgit Agency, the Baltistan district, and several small former princely states, the largest of which were Hunza and Nagar. In 2009, the region was renamed to “Gilgit-Baltistan” and granted limited autonomy through the Self-Governance Order signed in by former Pakistani president Asif Ali Zardari, a move that was reportedly intended to also empower the territory’s people.


In Pakistan, tourism mostly rely on the vast region of GB. This part of the country is famous for its snowy mountains, lush green valleys, mighty rivers, plentiful wildlife and beautiful lakes. Gilgit-Baltistan covers an area of over 72,971 km2 (28,174 sq mi) and is highly mountainous. It had an estimated population of 1.249 million people in 2013 (estimated to be 1.8 million in 2015 by Shahid Javed Burki). Its capital city is Gilgit (est. population 216,760). The region is home to five of the 14 eight-thousanders, including K2, and additionally has more than fifty mountain peaks above 7,000 metres (23,000 ft). Three of the world’s longest glaciers outside of Earth’s polar regions are found in Gilgit-Baltistan. The main tourism activities are trekking and mountaineering, and this industry has been growing in importance throughout the region.

Cultural Attractions

The GB has very much to offer in four seasons with highest plateaus including Deosai, cultural sites including Altit and Baltit forts in Hunza, Shigar Fort and Khaplu Fort in Baltistan, Waterfalls of Skardu region, ancient rock art carvings and inscriptions along KKH in District Diamer, lush green meadows and lakes in district Ghizer and Astore, Rakaposhi, Diran Peak and Hopper glacier in Nagar, rich culture, dry fruits and hospitality of Hunza that attract tourists to Gilgit-Baltistan. Gilgit is home to a number of diversified cultures, ethnic groups, languages and various backgrounds. It is home to people belonging to all regions of Gilgit as well as from other cities of Pakistan and aboard. This multitude of cultures is because of the strategic location of Gilgit. Being the headquarters of the Gilgit-Baltistan almost of the key offices are located in Gilgit.


Historical and cultural sites are places that are acknowledged for their importance in nation‟s history. Historic sites provide a tangible link with the past and these sites are associated with an event, a person, a place, or the built heritage. They are part of nation‟s heritage and contribute to define its identity. Historical sites are main asset of any society which imitates their identity and an individual can have a good grasp on his past and his forefather‟s lives.