Where is this fort located?
Baltit Fort or Balti Fort is marvelous and an ancient fort in the Hunza valley in Gilgit-Baltistan, Pakistan at a distance of about 100 kilometers from Gilgit and about 600 kilometers from Islamabad city of Pakistan.
When was the fort constructed?The construction of the fort dates back to 1000 AD and since its construction, it has gone through several renovations, conversations and facade improvements.
What is special about this fort?
Unlike many other forts you would find in any part of the world this one is a unique fort in many terms, the reason many of the visitors enjoy the sublime beauty of the fort. The first thing when the word fort comes to the mind is that it should be fortified with big and wide boundary walls and spread over dozen hectares of land. Forts in different parts of the world had been built primarily for the defensive purpose, therefore, construction of high and wide walls around the fort has been a pretty common phenomenon. But this fort's history tells us a different story and the architecture and the landscape manifest the history.
The fort is on a hill top having a settlement on the front and a deep valley on the back of the fort. The fort is accessed by staircases made of stonework depicting the old-fashioned work of early days when there was no role of modern engineering in construction.
The architecture of the fort
The architecture of the fort is in Tibetan architectural design, you would find most of the forts in Gilgit-Baltistan in this style. But the fact behind the architecture of this fort is somewhat different and of course interesting as well. This fort is also known as the Balti fort, some historians think that the present day name "Baltit" has actually originated from the Balti Fort. Balti is a language which is spoken in the Baltistan region of Gilgit-Baltistan, a dialect of Tibetan language, and in recognition of the Balti language, this fort was named Balti fort.
Actually, the story unfolds this way; a prince of Hunza married a princess from the Baltistan and the princess wanted to reside in a fort having Tibetan or Balti architectural style. So, to fulfill the wish the prince hired the Balti craftsmen from Baltistan for the facade improvement of the fort, although the fort already existed but not in Tibetan architectural style or might be there wasn't a worthy architectural design. So keeping the Balti people' work in mind or the Balti princess the fort was known by the name "Balti Fort" which later evolved into Baltit Fort.
How to reach there?Reaching there is pretty easy, you can fly by air from Islamabad or enjoy the by road journey. If you choose the by air journey, you would be there in Gilgit within 45 minutes and from there it would take maximum 2 hours to reach the site of the fort from Gilgit city. If you choose the by road travel then it would take 20 hours to reach the Gilgit city and two more hours to reach the actual fort.
For stay, you can choose either Gilgit or Hunza, both cities have numerous hotels and motels and you wouldn't face any problem in finding your choice of hotel whether in term of outdoor or indoor facilities or in term of food and much more. Our suggestions are, if you want to move ahead till the Khunjerab top at Pak-China border then staying at Hunza will be favorable because the accessibility from here would be easier and shorter. But if your plan doesn't include the visit to Pak-China border then staying at Gilgit will be suitable, especially if you are determined to visit any other famous tourist spot in Skardu, Astore or Ghizer etc.