Some Information About Khunjerab Pass
So we were in Gilgit after a long tiring drive from Rawalpindi. Our plan for the day was to go to Khunjerab Pass. A place claimed to be world highest border at an elevation of approximately 15 and half thousand feet. Word ‘Khunjerab’ is from Wakhi language. It constitutes of 2 words, ‘khun’ like in urdu language means blood and Jerab means streamlet. It’s approximately 5-6 hours on side drive from Gilgit city. It is situated on the engineering marvel of Karakoram highway and it connects northern part of Pakistan with southwest part of China.
From Giglit to Khunjerab Pass
We left our hotel in Gilgit at 8 am and set our sails for Khunjerab Pass(just a figure of speech as we were driving our own jeep). Any tourist who is in Gilgit Baltistan, this pass is his dream destination. Almost all the trade with China is happening through this pass. In future, it is going to be nucleus of the CPEC (China is building an economic corridor to enhance trade with Pakistan and other south and central Asian countries).
After travelling for almost 2.5 hours, we crossed karimabad (part of Hunza valley). As we were planning to stay in Hunza at night so we kept on moving. After an hour we reached at Attabad Lake. There are many places to visit on this road and Attabad Lake is one of them. Other places are Pasu (or Passu) and Sost.
Pasu and Sost Attractions:
Passu or Pasu is an ancient settlement and is located between Hunza and Sost. Although it is a small village but it has great significance among tourists as it serves as a junction between nearby glaciers and passes. It has an amazing landscape. Famous Pasu attractions are Pasu Cones (a very uniquely structured mountain also known as Passu Cathedral) and Passu Glacier. There are few other places for sight seeing as well like Pasu suspension bridge. Batura glacier (one of the longest and largest glacier outside of polar region. Approxmiately 57 km long) is also close to Passu.
Sost comes before the khunjerab Pass. It has a dry port and customs office and all the trade goods pass through this city first. There are few shops in the bazar so you can have tea and food from here. From Sost on wards, there is a gradual ascent on the road until you reach Khunjerab pass.
Finally At Border
We parked our car roughly half a mile before gate. Upon opening our jeep doors, we were welcomed with chilly winds and cold weather. Something we didn’t expect. However, the landscape was beautiful with ice covered mountains at sides and a grassy meadow with water stream. One thing which we noticed was the lack of oxygen at this altitude of 15,400 feet. So, if you are smoker like me, don’t expect lighter to work. There was only one truck parked serving very average tea and snacks. And as we had no options available, so we had to content on his food.
A piece of advice for those planning to go to khunjerab pass. You must have your jackets with you while you are here. Other than this place, all other places we visited in Gilgit were relatively warm. The only activity here is to take photographs and catch your breath (due to lack of oxygen) after some walk. I salute the cyclists participating in ‘Tour de Khunjerab’ cycling competition. It’s not easy to cover a distance of 280 km in these conditions.
After spending some time, we decided to call it a day and started going down towards Hunza Valley where we were planning to spend night. I will share rest of the details in upcoming post.