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Baltit Fort

Date of Submission: 30/01/2004
Criteria: (i)(ii)
Category: Cultural
Submitted by:
Department of Archaeology and Museums
Coordinates: 36°20'00” N 74°39'00” E Northern areas of Pakistan
Ref.: 1882
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Description

Baltit Fort is situated in Karimabad, once was capital of the state of Hunza, now Tehsil Headquarter of District Gilgit. It is approached by Karakuram Highway from Gilgit, the capital of Northern Areas, Pakistan. The Baltit Fort stands on a artificially flattened spur below the Ulter Glacier. Strategically located with a commanding view of the Hunza Valley and its Tributaries, its inhabitants controlled the seasonal trans-Karakuram trade between south and Central Asia. The Baltit Fort is rectangular in plan with three floors and stands on a high stone plinth Fig-I. Whilts the ground floor consist mainly of storage chambers, the first floor is oriented around as open hall. A staircase leads to the second floor which was mainly used during the winter months and contains an audience hall, guest room, dining hall, kitchen and servants quarters. A further staircases leads up to the third floor which is partly open to the elements and contains the summer dining room, audience chamber, bedroom and reception hall. Inhabited by the Mir, or ruler of Hunza until 1945. The conservation work carried out in the 1990 indicated that the core of the structures, a single defensive timber and stone tower, had been built in the eight century A.D. This tower was augmented by additional towers and linked by a single story construction consisting of small rooms and sub-surface storage chambers. The complex was then later expanded by the addition of a second, and then a third floor. The structure’s stone walls, built in an area of frequent seismic movements, were provided with a traditional internal framework of timber for greater stabilisation.