Baltit Fort is situated in the valley of Hunza in Pakistan. Erected on top of a hill it overlooks the whole valley. The fort was built some 600 years ago. It is entirely made of stones, supported by timber beams and plastered over with sun-dried mud. Elders of Hunza tell that a Balti princess was married with the King of Hunza. She brought Balti masons and artisans to build this fort as a dowry item. The fort remained the palace and family home of the Kings until 1960 when a witch came to reside in it. The royal family shifted to a new granite palace. The fort has been well kept. It maintains a museum, library and a nice restaurant. The credit goes to the Agha Khan Trust for Culture.
Baltit Fort is three-storey building with 53 rooms. The main gate opens into a dark hall or corridor on the ground floor. There are guest rooms, kitchens, storerooms, prisons and living rooms attached to this corridor. A wooden staircase goes up through a square opening in the floor above.
The second floor has family apartments, reception rooms, royal court, arms depot and guards’ chambers. A balcony presents a fascinating view of the valley. Another ladder takes to the roof. This is the best spot to view the famous peak of Rakaposhi that rises straight out of cultivated fields and reaches 7788 meters in the sky. Behind the fort, the Korakoram rises in a series of needle-sharp peaks. The most famous of them is lady’s finger. Locals also call it Bulbuli’s peak, after a legendary Hunza princess. The peak is so steep that even snow cannot sustain on its top. Thus, the black peak stands in contrast with its snow covered neighbors.