Gilgit (Urdu: گلگت) is the capital city of the Northern Areas, Pakistan and a tehsil (headquarters) of Gilgit District. Its ancient name was Sargin which later on came to be known as Gilit and it is still called Gilit or Sargin-Gilit by local people, in the Burushaski language, it is named Geelt. Ghallata is considered its name in ancient Sanskrit literature. Gilgit city is one of the two major hubs on the Northern Areas for all mountaineering expeditions of Karakoram to the peaks of the Himalayas, the other hub being Skardu.

Gilgit has an area of . The region is significantly mountainous, lying on the foothills of the Karakoram mountains, and has an average altitude of . It is drained by the Indus River, which rises in the neighbouring regions of Ladakh and Baltistan.


Gilgit was an important city on the Silk Road through which Buddhism was spread from South Asia to the rest of Asia. A large number of Buddhist Sanskrit texts, included the long version of the Heart Sutra have been unearthed in Gilgit. The Dards and Cizinas also appear in many of the old Pauranic lists of peoples, with the former finding mention in Ptolemy's accounts of the region. Two famous travellers, Faxian, and Xuanzang are known to have traversed Gilgit as per their accounts.

'The former rulers had the title of Ra ,and there is reason to suppose that they were at one time Hindus , but for the last five centuries and a half they have been Mohommedans . The names of the Hindu Ras have been lost , with the exception of the last of their number , Shri Buddutt. Tradition relates that he was killed by a Mohommedan adventurer , who married his daughter and founded a new dynasty , since called Trakhane , from a celebrated Ra named Trakhan , who reigned about the commencement of the fourteenth century . The previous rulers of whom Shiri Buddut was the last were called Shahreis .

Gilgit was ruled for centuries by the local Trakhàn Dynasty. However, its independence came to an end about 1810 with the death of Raja Abas, the last Trakhàn Raja.

The rulers of Hunza and Nager also claim origin with the Trakhàn dynasty. They claim descent from a heroic Kayani Prince of Persia by the name of Azur Jamshid (also known as Shamsher) who secretly married the daughter of the king Shri Badat who conspired with him to overthrow her Cannibal father. Sri Badat's faith is theorised as Hindu by some and Buddhist by others. However, considering the region's Buddhist heritage, with the most recent influence being Islam, the most likely preceding influence of the region is Buddhism. Though the titular Sri and the name Badat denotes a Hindu origin of the this ruler. Cannibalism is also not practiced in Buddhism at all.

Prince Azur Jamshid succeeded in overthrowing the tyrant cannibal King Badat who was known as Adam Khor (lit. man-eater), often demanding a child a day from his subjects, his demise is still celebrated to this very day by locals in traditional annual celebrations. In the beginning of the new year, where a Juniper procession walks along the river, in memory of chasing the cannibal king Sri Badat away.

Azur Jamshid abdicated after 16 years of rule in favour of his wife Nur Bakht Khatùn until their son and heir Garg, grew of age and assumed the title of Raja and ruled, for 55 years. The dynasty flourished under the name of the Kayani dynasty until 1421 when Raja Torra Khan assumed rulership. He ruled as a memorable king until 1475. He distinguished his family line from his step brother Shah Rais Khan (who fled to the king of Badakshan and with who's help he gained Chitral from Raja Torra Khan), as the now known dynastic name of Trakhàn. The descendants of Shah Rais Khan being respectfully known as the Ra'issiya Dynasty.

' The period of greatest prosperity was probably under the Shin Ras , whose rule seems to have been peaceable and settled . The whole population , from the RA to the poorest subject lived by agriculture . According to tradition Shri Buddutt's rule extended over Chitral , Yassin, Tangir, Darel, Chilas, Gor, Astor, Hunza, Nagar and Haramosh all of which were held by tributary princes of the same family.

The area had been a flourishing tract but prosperity was destroyed by warfare over the next fifty years, and by the great flood of 1841 in which the river Indus was blocked by a landslip below the Hatu Pir and the valley was turned into a lake. After the death of Abas, Sulaiman Shah, raja of Yasin, conquered Gilgit. Then, Azad Khan, raja of Punial, killed Sulaiman Shah, taking Gilgit; then Tair Shah, raja of Buroshall (Nagar), took Gilgit and killed Azad Khan. Tair Shah's son Shah Sakandar inherited, only to be killed by Gaur Rahman, raja of Yasin of the Khushwakhte Dynasty, when he took Gilgit. Then in 1842, Shah Sakandar's brother, Karim Khan, expelled Gaur Rahman with the support of a Sikh army from Kashmir. The Sikh general, Nathu Shah, left garrison troops and Karim Khan ruled until Gilgit was ceded to Gulab Singh of Jammu and Kashmir in 1846 by the Treaty of Amritsar, and Dogra troops replaced the Sikh in Gilgit.

Nathu Shah and Karim Khan both transferred their allegiance to Gulab Singh and continued local administration. When Hunza attacked in 1848 both of them were killed. Gilgit fell to the Hunza and their Yasin and Punial allies, but was soon reconquered by Gulab Singh's Dogra troops. With the support of Gaur Rahman, Gilgit's inhabitants drove their new rulers out in an uprising in 1852. Gaur Rahman then ruled Gilgit until his death in 1860, just before new Dogra forces from Ranbir Singh, son of Gulab Singh, captured the fort and town. The rule of Jammu was restored. Gilgit came under British rule in 1889, when it was unified with neighbouring Nagar and Hunza in the Gilgit Agency.

Tourism and transport

Gilgit city is one of the two major hubs for all mountaineering expeditions in the Northern Areas of Pakistan. Almost all tourists headed for treks in Karakoram or Himalaya Ranges arrive at Gilgit first. Many tourists choose to travel to Gilgit by air since the road travel between Islamabad and Gilgit, by the Karakoram Highway, takes nearly 24 hours, whereas the air travel takes a mere 45-50 minutes.

Important Places to Visit

  • Naltar
  • Hunza
  • Ferry Meadows (Raikot)
  • Shigar (Skardu)
  • Kutoval (Haramosh)
  • Bagrote
  • Dev sai Plane (Astore)
  • Rama (Astore)
  • Gaasho Pahoot (Juglot Sai)
  • Phunder
  • Yaseen Valley

Road transport

Gilgit lies about 10 km off the Karakoram Highway. The KKH connects it to Chilas, Dasu, Besham, Mansehra, Abbottabad and Islamabad in the south. In the North it is connected to Karimabad (Hunza) and Sust in the Northern Areas and to the Chinese cities of Tashkurgan, Upal and Kashgar in Xinjiang.

There are various transports companies i.e. Silk Route Transport Pvt, Mashabrum Transport Pvt and Northern Areas Transport Corporation (NATCO). But NATCO has vast coverage faciality. It offers passenger road service between Islamabad, Gilgit, Sust and Tashkurgan, and road service between Kashgar and Gilgit (via Tashkurgan and Sust) started in the summer of 2006. However, the border crossing between China and Pakistan at Khunjerab Pass (the highest border of the world) is open only between May 1 and October 15 of every year. During winter, the roads are blocked by snow. Even during the monsoon season in summer, the roads are often blocked due to landslides. The best time to travel on Karakoram Highway is spring or early summer.

Air transport

Pakistan International Airlines flies ATR 42-500 flights twice daily between Gilgit Airport and Islamabad International Airport and the journey offers one of the most scenic aerial views in the world as it passes close to Nanga Parbat and the mountain peaks are higher than the aircraft's cruising altitude. There are two routes that the aircraft takes: One is the direct route from the capital Islamabad that takes the plane over the Margalla Hills then over the town of Haripur directly over the Kaghan Valley from where it heads towards Nanga Parbat and finally abeam the mountain the descent starts into the Indus valley. The other route that it flies is all along the Indus valley which is also scenic but a little longer. These flights, however, are subject to the clearance of weather and in winters, flights are often delayed by several days. After a Fokker aircraft crashed near Multan, the Government of Pakistan banned all Fokker flights in domestic operations.


There are two major hospitals in Gilgit proper. The first is the DHQ or District Head Quarters which is the general hospital for the city. The Aga Khan Health Services Hospital is the other major health system including Emergency, Medicine, Paediatrics and Gynaecology Ops. It was started by the Aga Khan in 1981 under an umbrella organization called Aga Khan Development Network (AKDN). It is generally considered the best hospital system in the entire Northern Areas.

CMH combine military hospital Jutial Gilgit.



1. F.G.Boys High School, No.1 Gilgit city 2. F.G.Boys High School, No.2 Gilgit city 3. F.G.Boys High School, Amphary Gilgit City 4. F.G.Boys High School, Kashrote Gilgit 5. F.G.Boys High School, Basin Bala Gilgit 6. F.G.Boys High School, Sharote Gilgit 7. Aga Khan Higher Secondary School,Gilgit 8. Fouji Founadation School, Gilgit. 9. Al-Azhar Model School & Commerce Collge, Gilgit. 10.F.G. Girls High School, No 1,Gilgit 11.F.G. Girls High School, Kashrote Gilgit 12.F.G. Girls High School. Bargo Bala, Gilgit 13.F.G. Girls High School, No 2,Gilgit 14.D.J. Girls High School, Sonikote Gilgit 15.F.G. Boys High School,Jugloe Sai, Gilgit 16.F.G. Boys High School,Dankyore,Gilgit 17.F.G. Boys High School, Damote Juglote Sai,Gilgit 18.Shaheen Boys High School,Danyore,Gilgit. 19.DJ. Girls High School,Danyore Gilgit. 20.F.G. Girls High School Danyore,Gilgit 21.Community High School,Muhammadabad Danyore Gilgit. 22.D.J Girls Community High School,Sultanabad,Danyore, Gilgit. 23.F.G Boys High School,Oshikhandass, Gilgit 24.DJ. Girls High School,Oshikhandass Gilgit. 25.Vision High School,Oshikhandass Gilgit 26.F.G Boys High School,Datuchi Bagrote, Gilgit 27.F.G Boys High School,Jalalabad,Gilgit 28.Al-Mustaf Public School & Girls Academy Jalalabad, Gilgit. 29.F.G Girls High School,Jalalabad,Gilgit 30.F.G Boys Model High School, Sassi Haramosh,Gilgit 31.F.G Boys High School,Nomal,Gilgit 32.F.G Boys High School,Rahimabad,Gilgit 33.F.G Boys High School,Chalt Nagar,Gilgit 34.F.G Boys High School,Nilt Nagar,Gilgit 35.F.G Boys High School,Sikandarabad Nagar,Gilgit 36.F.G Boys High School,Gulmit Nagar,Gilgit 37.F.G Boys High School,Askurdass Nagar,Gilgit 38.F.G Co-education High School,Nagar proper,Gilgit 39.F.G Boys Model High School,Aliabad Hunzai Bagrote Gilgit 40.F.G Boys High School,Murtaza Abad Hunza,Gilgit 41.F.G Boys High School,Nasirabad,Hindi,Hunza,Gilgit 42.Hunza Public School & Degree Collage,Aliabad,Hunza Gilgit 43.D.J High School,Hussainabad Hunza Gilgit. 44.Hunza Model School Alibad,Hunza,Gilgit 45.F.G Girls Model High School,Aliabad Hunza,Gilgit 46.D.J High School,Nasirabad Hunza Gilgit 47.F.G. Boys High School, Kariamabad,Hunza,Gilgit 48.New Beacon House Altit, Hunza, Gilgit. 49.F.G Girls High School,Kariamabad,Hunza,Gilgit 50.Aga Khan Higher Secondarky School,Hunza,Gilgit. 51.F.G Boys High School,Gulmit Gojal, Hunza,Gilgit 52.Al-Amyn Model School,Gulmit Gojal,Hunza, Gilgit 53.F.G Girls Higher Secondary,Moorkhun Gojal,Hunza,Gilgit 54.D.J High School, Sost Gojal Hunza,Gilgit 55.Community High School,Rashit Chaplursan Gojal Hunza,Gilgit 56.Universal Academy,Danyore, Gilgit 57.Muslim Ideal School,Gilgit. 58.D.J Girls High School,Hyderabad,Hunza,Gilgit 59.National Model High School,Gilgit 60.Sir Syed Public School,Gilgit 61.North Land Public School,Gilgit 62.Public Welfare Model High School,Danyore Gilgit 63.Sedna School and Degee College Alibabad,Hunza Gilgit 64.Hussainia Higher Secondary School,Nomal,Gilgit 65.High Flyers School and College,Jutial Gilgit. 66.F.G Girls High School,Askurdass Nagar, Gilgit 67.

  • Public School and college Jutial,Gilgit city
  • Army Public School Gilgit city
  • Al-Mustafa Public School Gilgit City Campus
  • Al-Asar Public School System
  • Diamond Jublee Girls School System
  • Agha Khan Higher Secondary School


  • F.G Degree college Jutial Gilgit city
  • F.G Degree college for women Gilgit city
  • Army Public School and College Gilgit city
  • Public School and Colleges Jutial Gilgit city
  • Aga Khan Higher Secondary School Konodass Gilgit city
  • Al-Musataf Public School and College Gilgit City
  • Gilgit College of Commerce Jutial Gilgit city
  • Karakurum College of Commerce Gilgit City
  • Al Azhar College of Commerce


  • Karakoram International University Gilgit

Notable people

Picture Gallery



  • The Gilgit Game by John Keay (1985) ISBN 0-19-577466-3
  • Drew, Frederic. Date unknown. The Northern Barrier of India: a popular account of the Jammoo and Kashmir Territories with Illustrations. Reprint: Light & Life Publishers, Jammu. 1971.
  • Jettmar, Karl, 1980. Bolor & Dardistan. National Institute of Folk Heritage, Islamabad.
  • Knight, E. F. 1893. Where Three Empires Meet: A Narrative of Recent Travel in: Kashmir, Western Tibet, Gilgit, and the adjoining countries. Longmans, Green, and Co., London. Reprint: Ch'eng Wen Publishing Company, Taipei. 1971.
  • Leitner, G. W. 1893. Dardistan in 1866, 1886 and 1893: Being An Account of the History, Religions, Customs, Legends, Fables and Songs of Gilgit, Chilas, Kandia (Gabrial) Yasin, Chitral, Hunza, Nagyr and other parts of the Hindukush, as also a supplement to the second edition of The Hunza and Nagyr Handbook. And An Epitome of Part III of the author's “The Languages and Races of Dardistan. First Reprint 1978. Manjusri Publishing House, New Delhi.
  • Muhammad, Gulam. 1980. Festivals and Folklore of Gilgit. National Institute of Folk Heritage, Islamabad.
  • Imperial Gazetteer of India. Provincial Series: Kashmir and Jammu
  • Shri Badat The Cannibal King A Buddhist Jataka from Gilgit

See also

External links

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