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Gilgit (;
Shina
Shina
: ; ur, ) is the capital city of
Gilgit–Baltistan Gilgit-Baltistan (, Balti: རྒྱལ་སྐྱིད་ སྦལྟི་ཡུལ།), formerly known as the Northern Areas, is a region administered by Pakistan Pakistan, . Pronounced variably in English language, English as , ...

Gilgit–Baltistan
,
Pakistan Pakistan, . Pronounced variably in English as , , , and . officially the Islamic Republic of Pakistan, is a country in South Asia. It is the world's List of countries and dependencies by population, fifth-most populous country, with a popul ...

Pakistan
. The city is located in a broad
valley A valley is an elongated low area often running between hills or mountains, which will typically contain a river or stream running from one end to the other. Most valleys are formed by erosion of the land surface by rivers or streams over ...

valley
near the confluence of the
Gilgit River The Gilgit River (; also referred to as the Ghizer River) is a tributary A tributary or affluent is a stream or river that flows into a larger stream or main stem (or parent) river or a lake. A tributary does not flow directly into a sea or oce ...

Gilgit River
and
Hunza River Hunza River ( ur, ) is the principal river of in , Pakistan It is formed by the confluence of the Chapursan and ''nalas'' (gorges) which are fed by s. It is joined by the and the Naltar River, before it flows into the . The river cuts thr ...

Hunza River
, and is a major tourist destination in Pakistan, serving as a hub for
trekking Backpacking is the outdoor recreation of carrying gear on one's back, while hiking Hiking is a long, vigorous walk Walking (also known as ambulation) is one of the main gaits of terrestrial locomotion among legged animals. Walking is t ...
and
mountaineering Mountaineering, or alpinism, is the set of outdoor activities that involves ascending tall mountains. Mountaineering-related activities include traditional outdoor climbing, skiing and traversing via ferratas. Indoor climbing, sport climbing ...

mountaineering
expeditions in the
Karakoram The Karakoram is a mountain range spanning the borders of China China (), officially the People's Republic of China (PRC; ), is a country in . It is the world's , with a of more than 1.4 billion. China spans five geographical and ...

Karakoram
mountain range. Gilgit was once a major centre for
Buddhism Buddhism (, ) is the world's fourth-largest religion Religion is a social Social organisms, including humans, live collectively in interacting populations. This interaction is considered social whether they are aware of it or not, and ...

Buddhism
; it was an important stop on the ancient
Silk Road The Silk Road () was and is a network of trade routes connecting the Eastern world, East and Western culture, West, from the 2nd century BCE to the 18th century CE. It was central to the economic, cultural, political, and religious interactions ...

Silk Road
, and today serves as a major junction along the
Karakoram Highway The Karakoram Highway ( ur, , translit=śāhirāh qarāquram; known by its initials KKH, also known as N-35 or National Highway 35 ( ur, ) or the China-Pakistan Friendship Highway) is a national highway which extends from Hasan Abdal Ha ...

Karakoram Highway
with road connections to
China China (), officially the People's Republic of China (PRC; ), is a country in East Asia East Asia is the eastern region of Asia Asia () is Earth's largest and most populous continent, located primarily in the Eastern Hemisphere ...

China
as well as the Pakistani cities of
Skardu , nickname = , motto = , image_skyline = , map_caption = , pushpin_map = Gilgit Baltistan#Pakistan , pushpin_label_position ...

Skardu
,
Chitral Chitral ( ; khw, , lit=field, translit=ćhitrār) is a town situated on the Kunar River, Chitral River in northern Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Pakistan. It serves as the capital of the Chitral District and likewise served as the capital of the Chitra ...

Chitral
,
Peshawar Peshawar (; ps, پېښور ; hnd, ; ; ur, ) is the capital of the Pakistani province of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and its List of cities in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa by population, largest city. It is the List of most populous cities in Pakistan, six ...

Peshawar
, and
Islamabad Islamabad (; ur, , translit=Islām Ābād) is the capital city A capital or capital city is the municipality holding primary status in a Department (country subdivision), department, country, Constituent state, state, province, or othe ...

Islamabad
. Currently, it serves as a frontier station for the local tribal areas. The city's economic activity is mainly focused on
agriculture Agriculture is the science, art and practice of cultivating plants and livestock. Agriculture was the key development in the rise of sedentary Image:Family watching television 1958.jpg, Exercise trends, Increases in sedentary behaviors su ...

agriculture
, with wheat, maize, and barley as the mainly-produced crops.


Etymology

The city's ancient name was ''Sargin'', later to be known as ''Gilit'', and it is still referred to as ''Gilit'' or ''Sargin-Gilit'' by the local people. The native
Khowar Khowar (), is an Indo-Aryan language The Indo-Aryan or Indic languages form a major language family A language is a structured system of communication used by humans, including speech ( spoken language), gestures (Signed language, s ...

Khowar
and Wakhi-speaking people refer to the city as ''Gilt'', and in
Burushaski Burushaski (; ) is a language isolate A language isolate is a language that is unrelated to any others. In the absolute sense, it is a natural language with no demonstrable genealogical (or "genetic") relationship—one that has not been demo ...
, it is called ''Geelt''.


History


Early history

Brogpas trace their settlement from Gilgit into the fertile villages of Ladakh through a rich corpus of hymns, songs, and folklore that have been passed down through generations. The
Dards The Dards are a group of Indo-Aryan peoples found predominantly in northern Pakistan, northwestern India and eastern Afghanistan. They speak Dardic languages, which belong to the Indo-Aryan languages, Indo-Aryan group of the Indo-European langua ...
and Shinas appear in many of the old Pauranic lists of people who lived in the region, with the former also mentioned in
Ptolemy Claudius Ptolemy (; grc-koi, Κλαύδιος Πτολεμαῖος, , ; la, Claudius Ptolemaeus; AD) was a mathematician A mathematician is someone who uses an extensive knowledge of mathematics Mathematics (from Greek: ) includes ...
's accounts of the region.


Buddhist era

Gilgit was an important city on the Silk Road, along which Buddhism was spread from South Asia to the rest of
Asia Asia () is Earth's largest and most populous continent, located primarily in the Eastern Hemisphere, Eastern and Northern Hemisphere, Northern Hemisphere of the Earth, Hemispheres. It shares the continental landmass of Eurasia with the cont ...

Asia
. It is considered as a Buddhism corridor from which many Chinese monks came to Kashmir to learn and preach Buddhism. Two famous Chinese Buddhist pilgrims,
Faxian Faxian (337 CE – c. 422 CE), also referred to as Fa-Hien, Fa-hsien and Sehi, was a Chinese Chinese can refer to: * Something related to China China, officially the People's Republic of China (PRC), is a country in East Asia. It is the ...
and
Xuanzang Xuanzang (; fl. 602 – 664), born Chen Hui / Chen Yi (), also known as Hiuen Tsang, was a 7th-century Chinese Buddhist monk A monk (, from el, μοναχός, ''monachos'', "single, solitary" via Latin Latin (, or , ) is a classica ...

Xuanzang
, traversed Gilgit according to their accounts. According to Chinese records, between the 600s and the 700s, the city was governed by a Buddhist dynasty referred to as ''Little Balur'' or ''Lesser Bolü'' (). They are believed to be the
Patola Shahis The Patola Shahis, or Patola Shahis, also Gilgit Shahis, were a dynasty of Buddhist kings of the Kingdom of Gilgit Gilgit ( Shina: ; ur, , ) is the capital city of Gilgit–Baltistan, Pakistan Pakistan, . Pronounced variably in Engli ...
dynasty mentioned in a Brahmi inscription, and are devout adherents of
Vajrayana Buddhism Vajrayāna (Sanskrit: "thunderbolt vehicle" or "diamond vehicle") along with Mantrayāna, Guhyamantrayāna, Tantrayāna, Secret Mantra, Tantric Buddhism, and Esoteric Buddhism are names referring to Buddhist Buddhism (, ) is the world's ...
. In mid-600s, Gilgit came under Chinese suzerainty after the fall of
Western Turkic Khaganate The Western Turkic Khaganate () or Onoq Khaganate ( otk, 𐰆𐰣:𐰸:𐰉𐰆𐰑𐰣, On oq budun, Ten arrow people) was a Turkic Turkic may refer to: * anything related to the country of Turkey * Turkic languages, a language family of at lea ...

Western Turkic Khaganate
due to Tang military campaigns in the region. In late 600s CE, the rising
Tibetan Empire The Tibetan Empire (, ; ) was an empire centered on the Tibetan Plateau, formed as a result of imperial expansion under the Yarlung dynasty heralded by its 33rd king, Songsten Gampo in the 7th century. The empire further expanded under the 38th ...

Tibetan Empire
wrestled control of the region from the Chinese. However, faced with growing influence of the
Umayyad Caliphate The Umayyad Caliphate (661–750 CE; , ; ar, ٱلْخِلَافَة ٱلْأُمَوِيَّة, al-Khilāfah al-ʾUmawīyah) was the second of the four major caliphate A caliphate ( ar, خِلَافَة, ) is an Islamic state under ...
and then the
Abbasid Caliphate The Abbasid Caliphate ( or ar, اَلْخِلَافَةُ ٱلْعَبَّاسِيَّةُ, ') was the third caliphate A caliphate ( ar, خِلَافَة, ) is an Islamic state under the leadership of an Islamic steward with the tit ...

Abbasid Caliphate
to the west, the Tibetans were forced to ally themselves with the Islamic caliphates. The region was then contested by Chinese and Tibetan forces, and their respective vassal states, until the mid-700s. Chinese record of the region last until late 700s at which time the Tang's western military campaign was weakened due to the
An Lushan Rebellion The An Lushan Rebellion was an uprising against the Tang dynasty The Tang dynasty (, ; ), or Tang Empire, was an imperial dynasty of China that ruled from 618 to 907, with an interregnum An interregnum (plural interregna or interregn ...

An Lushan Rebellion
. The control of the region was left to the Tibetan Empire. They referred to the region as Bruzha, a toponym that is consistent with the ethnonym " Burusho" used today. Tibetan control of the region lasted until late-800s CE.


Gilgit manuscripts

This corpus of manuscripts was discovered in 1931 in Gilgit, containing many Buddhist texts such as four
sutra Sutra ( sa, सूत्र, translit=sūtra, translit-std=IAST, translation=string, threadMonier Williams, ''Sanskrit English Dictionary'', Oxford University Press Oxford University Press (OUP) is the university press 200px, The Pitt Build ...
s from the Buddhist canon, including the famous
Lotus Sutra The Lotus Sūtra () is one of the most influential and venerated Buddhist Mahāyāna sūtras The Mahāyāna Sūtras are a broad genre of Buddhist Buddhism (, ) is the world's fourth-largest religion Religion is a social system, ...
. The manuscripts were written on
birch bark Birch bark or birchbark is the bark Bark may refer to: * Bark (botany), an outer layer of a woody plant * Bark (sound), a vocalization of some animals Places * Bark, Germany * Bark, Warmian-Masurian Voivodeship, Poland Arts, entertainment, ...

birch bark
in the Buddhist form of
Sanskrit Sanskrit (; attributively , ; nominalization, nominally , , ) is a classical language of South Asia that belongs to the Indo-Aryan languages, Indo-Aryan branch of the Indo-European languages. It arose in South Asia after its predecessor langua ...

Sanskrit
in the
Sharada script The Śāradā, Sarada or Sharada script is an abugida writing system of the Brahmic family of scripts. The script was widespread between the 8th and 12th centuries in the northwestern parts of Indian Subcontinent (in Kashmir and neighbouring a ...

Sharada script
. They cover a wide range of themes such as
icon An icon (from the Greek#REDIRECT Greek Greek may refer to: Greece Anything of, from, or related to Greece Greece ( el, Ελλάδα, , ), officially the Hellenic Republic, is a country located in Southeast Europe. Its population is appr ...

icon
ometry,
folk tales Folk or Folks may refer to: Sociology *Nation *People * Folklore ** Folk art ** Folk dance ** Folk hero ** Folk music *** Folk metal *** Folk punk *** Folk rock *** British folk rock ** Folk religion * Folk taxonomy Arts, entertainment, and media ...

folk tales
,
philosophy Philosophy (from , ) is the study of general and fundamental questions, such as those about Metaphysics, existence, reason, Epistemology, knowledge, Ethics, values, Philosophy of mind, mind, and Philosophy of language, language. Such questio ...

philosophy
,
medicine Medicine is the science Science () is a systematic enterprise that builds and organizes knowledge Knowledge is a familiarity, awareness, or understanding of someone or something, such as facts ( descriptive knowledge), skills (proced ...

medicine
and several related areas of life and general knowledge. The Gilgit manuscripts are included in the
UNESCO The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) (french: Organisation des Nations unies pour l'éducation, la science et la culture) is a specialised agency United Nations Specialized Agencies are autonomous orga ...

UNESCO
Memory of the World 's Memory of the World Programme is an international initiative launched to safeguard the documentary heritage of humanity against , neglect, the ravages of time and climatic conditions, and willful and deliberate destruction. It calls for the of ...

Memory of the World
register. They are among the oldest
manuscript A manuscript (abbreviated MS for singular and MSS for plural) was, traditionally, any document written by hand – or, once practical typewriter A typewriter is a or machine for characters. Typically, a typewriter has an array ...

manuscript
s in the world, and the oldest manuscript collection surviving in Pakistan, having major significance in the areas of
Buddhist studies Buddhist studies, also known as Buddhology, is the academic study of Buddhism Buddhism (, ) is the Major religious groups#Largest religions, world's fourth-largest religion with over 520 million followers, or over 7% of the global population ...
and the evolution of
Asian Asian may refer to: * Items from or related to the continent of Asia: ** Asian people, people in or descending from Asia ** Asian culture, the culture of the people from Asia ** Asian cuisine, food based on the style of food of the people from Asi ...
and
Sanskrit literature Sanskrit literature broadly comprises texts composed in the earliest attested descendant of the Proto-Indo-Aryan language Proto-Indo-Aryan (sometimes Proto-Indic) is the Linguistic reconstruction, reconstructed proto-language of the Indo-Aryan ...

Sanskrit literature
. The manuscripts are believed to have been written in the 5th to 6th centuries AD, though some more manuscripts were discovered in the succeeding centuries, which were also classified as Gilgit manuscripts. Many of the original manuscripts from Gilgit can be found in the
National Archives of India The National Archives of India (NAI) is a repository of the non-current records of the Government of India and holds them in trust for the use of administrators and scholars. Originally established as the Imperial Record Department in 1891, in Calc ...

National Archives of India
and the Pratap Singh Museum in Srinigar. Two manuscripts collected by the orientalist Sir Aurel Stein are in the
British Library The British Library is the national library A national library is a library established by a government as a country's preeminent repository of information. Unlike public library, public libraries, these rarely allow citizens to borrow book ...

British Library
in London. They include a rare paper version of the
Lotus Sutra The Lotus Sūtra () is one of the most influential and venerated Buddhist Mahāyāna sūtras The Mahāyāna Sūtras are a broad genre of Buddhist Buddhism (, ) is the world's fourth-largest religion Religion is a social system, ...
. As of 6 October 2014, one source claims that the part of the collection deposited at the Sri Pratap Singh Museum in
Srinagar Srinagar (English: , ) is the largest city and the summer capital A summer capital is a city used as an administrative capital during extended periods of particularly hot ummerweather. The term is mostly of relevance in a historical context ...

Srinagar
was irrecoverably destroyed during the 2014 India–Pakistan floods.


Pre-Trakhàn


Trakhàn Dynasty

Gilgit was ruled for centuries by the local Trakhàn Dynasty, which ended about 1810 with the death of Raja Abas, the last Trakhàn Raja. Frederick Drew (1875) ''The Jummoo and Kashmir Territories: A Geographical Account'' E. Stanford, London
OCLC 1581591
/ref> The rulers of and Nager also claim origin with the Trakhàn dynasty. They claim descent from a heroic Kayani Prince of Persia, '' Azur Jamshid'' (also known as ''Shamsher''), who secretly married the daughter of the king ''Shri Badat''. She conspired with him to overthrow her
cannibal Cannibalism is the act of consuming another individual of the same species as food Food is any substance consumed to provide Nutrient, nutritional support for an organism. Food is usually of plant, animal or Fungus, fungal origin, and conta ...
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 Islam (; ar, اَلْإِسْلَامُ, al-’Islām, "submission o God Oh God may refer to: * An exclamation; similar to "oh no", "oh yes", "oh my", "aw goodness", "ah gosh", "ah gawd"; see interjection An interjection is a word or ex ...
, the most likely preceding influence of the region is Buddhism. Prince Azur Jamshid succeeded in overthrowing King Badat who was known as the ''Adam Khor'' (literally "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 ''Raja'' (; from sa, राजन्, IAST The International Alphabet of Sanskrit Transliteration (IAST) is a transliteration scheme that allows the lossless romanisation Romanization or romanisation, in linguistics Linguis ...

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 stepbrother ''Shah Rais Khan'' (who fled to the king of Badakshan, and with whose help he gained Chitral from ''Raja Torra Khan''), as the now-known dynastic name of Trakhàn. The descendants of ''Shah Rais Khan'' were known as the ''Ra'issiya Dynasty''.


1800s

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#REDIRECT Indus River
{{Redirect category shell, {{R from move {{R from miscapitalisation {{R unprintworthy ...

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 #REDIRECT Sulaiman Shah Shahab al Din Sulaiman shah ( ar, شهاب الدین سلیمان شاه, ku, Şehabeddin Suleyman Şah شەھابەدین سولەیمان شا, d. February 1258 AD) was a Kurds, Kurdish governor of Kurdistan and an Abb ...
, Raja of Yasin, conquered Gilgit. Then, Azad Khan, Raja of Punial, killed Sulaiman Shah, taking Gilgit; then Tahir Shah, Raja of Buroshall ( Nagar), took Gilgit and killed Azad Khan. Tair Shah's son Shah Sakandar inherited, only to be killed by Gohar Aman, Raja of Yasin of the Khushwakhte Dynasty when he took Gilgit. Then in 1842, Shah Sakandar's brother, Karim Khan, expelled Yasin rulers with the support of a
Sikh Sikhs ( or ; pa, ਸਿੱਖ, ', ) are people who adhere to Sikhism, a Monotheism, monotheistic religion that originated in the late 15th century in the Punjab region of the Indian subcontinent, based on the revelation of Guru Nanak. The te ...
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 Maharaja Gulab Singh (1792–1857) was the founder of Dogra dynasty and the first Maharaja of the princely state of Jammu and Kashmir (princely state), Jammu and Kashmir, the second largest princely state under the British Raj, which was create ...

Gulab Singh of Jammu and Kashmir
in 1846 by the Treaty of Amritsar, and
Dogra The Dogras or Dogra people, are an Indo-AryanIndo-Aryan refers to: * Indo-Aryan languages ** Indo-Aryan superstrate in Mitanni or Mitanni-Aryan * Indo-Aryan peoples, the various peoples speaking these languages See also *Aryan invasion theor ...

Dogra
troops replaced the
Sikh Sikhs ( or ; pa, ਸਿੱਖ, ', ) are people who adhere to Sikhism, a Monotheism, monotheistic religion that originated in the late 15th century in the Punjab region of the Indian subcontinent, based on the revelation of Guru Nanak. The te ...

Sikh
in Gilgit. Nathu Shah and Karim Khan both transferred their allegiance to Gulab Singh, continuing 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 Raja Gohar Aman, Gilgit's inhabitants drove their new rulers out in an uprising in 1852. Raja Gohar Aman 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. In the 1870s Chitral was threatened by Afghans, Maharaja Ranbir Singh was firm in protecting Chitral from Afghans, the Mehtar of Chitral asked for help. In 1876 Chitral accepted the authority of Jammu Clan and in reverse get the protection from the Dogras who have in the past took part in many victories over Afghans during the time of Gulab Singh Dogra.


British Raj

In 1877, in order to guard against the advance of Russia, the British India Government, acting as the
suzerain Suzerainty () is a relationship in which one state or other polity controls the foreign policy and relations of a tributary state, while allowing the tributary state to have internal autonomy. The dominant state is called the "suzerain." Suzeraint ...
power of the princely state of
Jammu and Kashmir Jammu is the winter capital of the Indian union territory of Jammu and Kashmir (union territory), Jammu and Kashmir. It is the headquarters and the largest city in Jammu district of the union territory. Lying on the banks of the river Tawi River ...
, established the
Gilgit Agency The Gilgit Agency ( ur, ) was an agency established by the British Indian Empire over the subsidiary states of the princely state of Jammu and Kashmir (princely state), Jammu and Kashmir at its northern periphery, mainly with the objective of s ...
. The Agency was re-established under control of the British Resident in Jammu and Kashmir. It comprised the Gilgit Wazarat; the State of Hunza and Nagar; the Punial Jagir; the Governorships of Yasin, Kuh-Ghizr and Ishkoman, and Chilas. The
Tajiks of Xinjiang Chinese Tajiks or Mountain Tajiks in China ( Sarikoli: , ''Tujik''; ), including Sarikoli language, Sarikolis (majority) and Wakhi people, Wakhis (minority) in China, are an extension of the Pamiris, Pamiri ethnic group that lives mostly in the P ...
sometimes enslaved the Gilgiti and Kunjuti Hunza. In 1935, the British India government demanded from the Jammu and Kashmir state to lease them Gilgit town plus most of the Gilgit Agency and the hill-states Hunza, Nagar, Yasin and Ishkoman for 60 years. Abdullah Sahib was an
Arain Arain (also known as Raeen) are a large Punjabi Panjābī (pʌnˈdʒɑːbi) (ਪੰਜਾਬੀ) (پنجابی) Punjabi or Panjabi most often refers to: * Something of, from, or related to Punjab Punjab ( Gurmukhi: ; Shahmukhi: ; , ; , ...
and belonged to Chimkor Sahib village of
Ambala Ambala (), is a city and a municipal corporation A municipal corporation is the legal term for a local governing body An Academy school in England England is a Countries of the United Kingdom, country that is part of the Unite ...
district
Punjab, British India Punjab was a province of British India. Most of the Punjab region was annexed by the East India Company in 1849, and was one of the last areas of the Indian subcontinent to fall under British control. In 1858, the Punjab, along with the rest of ...
. Abdullah Sahib was the first Muslim governor of the Gilgit in
British British may refer to: Peoples, culture, and language * British people, nationals or natives of the United Kingdom, British Overseas Territories, and Crown Dependencies. ** Britishness, the British identity and common culture * British English, ...

British
time period and was close associate of Maharaja Partap Singh. Khan Bahadur Kalay Khan, a Mohammed Zai Pathan, was the Governor of Gilgit Hunza and Kashmir before partition.


1947 Kashmir war

On 26 October 1947,
Maharaja Hari Singh Maharaja Sir Hari Singh (23 September 1895 – 26 April 1961) was the last ruling Maharaja of the princely state of Jammu and Kashmir (princely state), Jammu and Kashmir in the British Raj and later India. Early life Hari Singh was born o ...
of Jammu and Kashmir, faced with a tribal invasion by Pakistan due to Masscre of Muslims in Jammu by Hindus and Sikh mobs, signed the
Instrument of Accession The Instrument of Accession was a legal document first introduced by the Government of India Act 1935 The Government of India Act, 1935 was an Act of Parliament, Act adapted from the Parliament of the United Kingdom. It originally receive ...
, joining India. Gilgit's military leaders did not favour the State's accession to India. The military leaders of the Frontier Districts Province (modern day Gilgit-Baltistan) wanted to join Pakistan. Sensing their discontent, Major William Brown, the Maharaja's commander of the
Gilgit Scouts The Gilgit Scouts constituted a paramilitary force of the Gilgit Agency in northern Jammu and Kashmir (princely state), Jammu and Kashmir. They were raised by the British Raj in 1913, on behalf of the princely state of Jammu and Kashmir, to police ...
, mutinied on 1 November 1947, overthrowing the Governor Ghansara Singh. The bloodless ''coup d'etat'' was planned by Brown to the last detail under the code name "Datta Khel", which was also joined by a rebellious section of the Jammu and Kashmir 6th Infantry under Mirza Hassan Khan. Brown ensured that the treasury was secured and minorities were protected. A provisional government (''Aburi Hakoomat'') was established by the Gilgit locals with Raja Shah Rais Khan as the president and Mirza Hassan Khan as the commander-in-chief. However, Major Brown had already telegraphed
Khan Abdul Qayyum Khan Khan Abdul Qayyum Khan Kashmiri ( ur, عبدالقیوم خان کشمیری) (16 July 1901 – 23 October 1981) was a major figure in British India The provinces of India, earlier presidencies of British India and still earlier, presidency ...
asking Pakistan to take over. The Pakistani political agent, Khan Mohammad Alam Khan, arrived on 16 November and took over the administration of Gilgit. Brown outmaneuvered the pro-Independence group and secured the approval of the mirs and rajas for accession to Pakistan. Browns's actions surprised the British Government. The provisional government lasted 16 days. The provisional government lacked sway over the population. The Gilgit rebellion did not have civilian involvement and was solely the work of military leaders, not all of whom had been in favor of joining Pakistan, at least in the short term. Historian Ahmed Hasan Dani mentions that although there was lack of public participation in the rebellion, sentiments were intense in the civilian population and their anti-Kashmiri sentiments were also clear. According to various scholars, the people of Gilgit as well as those of Chilas, Koh Ghizr, Ishkoman, Yasin, Punial, Hunza and Nagar joined Pakistan by choice.


Geography

Gilgit is situated in a valley formed by the confluence of the
Indus River The Indus ( ) is a transboundary river A transboundary river is a river that crosses at least one political border, either a border within a nation or an international boundary. Bangladesh has the highest number of these rivers, including t ...

Indus River
,
Hunza River Hunza River ( ur, ) is the principal river of in , Pakistan It is formed by the confluence of the Chapursan and ''nalas'' (gorges) which are fed by s. It is joined by the and the Naltar River, before it flows into the . The river cuts thr ...

Hunza River
and
Gilgit River The Gilgit River (; also referred to as the Ghizer River) is a tributary A tributary or affluent is a stream or river that flows into a larger stream or main stem (or parent) river or a lake. A tributary does not flow directly into a sea or oce ...

Gilgit River
.


Climate

Gilgit experiences a
cold desert climate The desert climate or arid climate (in the Köppen climate classification The Köppen climate classification is one of the most widely used climate classification Climate classification is a way of categorizing the world's s. A climate clas ...
(
Köppen climate classification The Köppen climate classification is one of the most widely used climate classification Climate classification is a way of categorizing the world's s. A climate classification may correlate closely with a category, as climate is a major infl ...
''BWk''). Weather conditions for Gilgit are dominated by its geographical location, a valley in a mountainous area, southwest of
Karakoram The Karakoram is a mountain range spanning the borders of China China (), officially the People's Republic of China (PRC; ), is a country in . It is the world's , with a of more than 1.4 billion. China spans five geographical and ...

Karakoram
range. The prevalent season of Gilgit is winter, occupying the valley eight to nine months a year. Gilgit lacks significant rainfall, averaging in annually, as
monsoon A monsoon () is traditionally a seasonal reversing wind accompanied by corresponding changes in precipitation In meteorology Meteorology is a branch of the (which include and ), with a major focus on . The study of meteorology ...

monsoon
breaks against the southern range of
Himalayas The Himalayas, or Himalaya (; Sanskrit Sanskrit (; attributively , ; nominalization, nominally , , ) is a classical language of South Asia that belongs to the Indo-Aryan languages, Indo-Aryan branch of the Indo-European languages. It ar ...

Himalayas
. Irrigation for land cultivation is obtained from the rivers, abundant with melting snow water from higher altitudes. The summer season is brief and hot, with daily high temperatures occasionally peaking at over . As a result of this extremity in the weather, landslides and avalanches are frequent in the area.


Administration

The city of Gilgit constitutes a
tehsil A tehsil also known as tahsil, taluka, or taluk) is a local unit of administrative division Administrative division, administrative unitArticle 3(1). , country subdivision, administrative region, subnational entity, first-level subdivision, a ...
within
Gilgit District The Gilgit District ( ur, ضلع گلگت) is one of the 14 districts of Pakistan-administered territory of Gilgit-Baltistan Gilgit-Baltistan (, Balti: རྒྱལ་སྐྱིད་ སྦལྟི་ཡུལ།), formerly known as the ...
.


Transportation


Air

Gilgit is served by the nearby
Gilgit Airport Gilgit Airport is a small domestic airport situated 1.25 nautical mile, nm (2.3 km) east of Gilgit,Aeronautical Information Publication, AIP PakistanOPGT – Gilgit a city in the Gilgit-Baltistan region of Pakistan. The city of Gilgit is one ...

Gilgit Airport
, with direct flights to Islamabad.
Pakistan International Airlines Pakistan International Airlines ( ur, ; abbreviated PIA, ur, ) is an international airline that serves as the national flag carrier A flag carrier is a transport Transport (commonly used in the U.K.), or transportation (used in ...

Pakistan International Airlines
(PIA) is the only airline operating in Gilgit. The Government of Pakistan is planning to build a new international standard airport in Gilgit to meet the requirements of international tourists and demand from domestic investors.


Road

Gilgit is located approximately from the
Karakoram Highway The Karakoram Highway ( ur, , translit=śāhirāh qarāquram; known by its initials KKH, also known as N-35 or National Highway 35 ( ur, ) or the China-Pakistan Friendship Highway) is a national highway which extends from Hasan Abdal Ha ...

Karakoram Highway
(KKH). The roadway is being upgraded as part of the
China–Pakistan Economic Corridor China–Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) (; ur, چین پاکستان اقتصادی راہداری) is a collection of infrastructure projects that are under construction through out Pakistan beginning in 2013. Originally valued at $47 bill ...
. The KKH connects Gilgit to
Chilas Chilas ( ur, ) is a city and is the divisional capital of Diamer District The Diamer District ( ur, ), also spelled Diamir District,) is one of the 14 districts of Pakistan-administered territory of Gilgit-Baltistan. The headquarters of the d ...
,
Dasu Dasu or Dassu ( Abasin Kohistani/Pashto/Urdu: داسو) is the district headquarters of Upper Kohistan District, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Pakistan. It had 15 Union councils of Pakistan, Union Councils before the separation of the Kandia valley. Since i ...

Dasu
, Besham, Mansehra, Abbottabad and Islamabad in the south. Gilgit is connected to Karimabad (Hunza) and Sust in the north, with further connections to the People's Republic of China, Chinese cities of Tashkurgan Town, Tashkurgan, Upal and Kashgar in Xinjiang. Gilgit is also linked to
Chitral Chitral ( ; khw, , lit=field, translit=ćhitrār) is a town situated on the Kunar River, Chitral River in northern Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Pakistan. It serves as the capital of the Chitral District and likewise served as the capital of the Chitra ...

Chitral
in the west, and
Skardu , nickname = , motto = , image_skyline = , map_caption = , pushpin_map = Gilgit Baltistan#Pakistan , pushpin_label_position ...

Skardu
to the east. The road to Skardu will be upgraded to a 4-lane road at a cost of $475 million. Transport companies such as the Silk Route Transport Pvt, Masherbrum Transport Pvt and Northern Areas Transport Corporation
NATCO
, offer passenger road transport between Islamabad, Gilgit, Sust, and Kashgar and Tashkurgan Town, Tashkurgan in China. The Astore (city), Astore-Burzil Pass Road, linking Gilgit to
Srinagar Srinagar (English: , ) is the largest city and the summer capital A summer capital is a city used as an administrative capital during extended periods of particularly hot ummerweather. The term is mostly of relevance in a historical context ...

Srinagar
was closed in 1978.Ibrahim Shahid (27 March 2004
Gilgit-Srinagar Road: Govt seeks NA admin's opinion
''The Daily Times''


Rail

Gilgit is not served by any rail connections. Long-term plans for the
China–Pakistan Economic Corridor China–Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) (; ur, چین پاکستان اقتصادی راہداری) is a collection of infrastructure projects that are under construction through out Pakistan beginning in 2013. Originally valued at $47 bill ...
call for construction of the long Khunjerab Railway, which is expected to be completed in 2030, that would also serve Gilgit. File:KKH.png, Route of the
Karakoram Highway The Karakoram Highway ( ur, , translit=śāhirāh qarāquram; known by its initials KKH, also known as N-35 or National Highway 35 ( ur, ) or the China-Pakistan Friendship Highway) is a national highway which extends from Hasan Abdal Ha ...

Karakoram Highway
File:Hunza Tunnel.jpg, Tunnels are common in Gilgit


Education

* Karakoram International University Gilgit *Public Schools and Colleges Jutial Gilgit
Aga Khan Higher Secondary School Gilgit


Sister cities

* Skardu, Skardu, Baltistan * Kashgar, China (since May 2009) File:Polo Statue Located near APSACS Gilgit.jpg, This statue is made to show the spirit of the Polo Sport. It is located at Jutial. Polo is played every year in the valley Shandoor. File:I Love Gilgit Sign.jpg, I Love Gilgit sign made to show patriotism towards the region File:Dumplings of Gilgit.jpg, Dumplingsm a.k.a. manto, are a widely eaten dish in the region


See also

*
Gilgit District The Gilgit District ( ur, ضلع گلگت) is one of the 14 districts of Pakistan-administered territory of Gilgit-Baltistan Gilgit-Baltistan (, Balti: རྒྱལ་སྐྱིད་ སྦལྟི་ཡུལ།), formerly known as the ...
*
Karakoram Highway The Karakoram Highway ( ur, , translit=śāhirāh qarāquram; known by its initials KKH, also known as N-35 or National Highway 35 ( ur, ) or the China-Pakistan Friendship Highway) is a national highway which extends from Hasan Abdal Ha ...

Karakoram Highway


References


Citations


General sources

* *


Further reading


Tribes of the Hindoo Koosh by John Biddulph.


External links


Official Website of the Gilgit Baltistan Tourism Department Official Website of the Government of Gilgit Baltistan Gilgit Nomination
UNESCO, the Memory of the World Register entry document
Britannica Gilgit
* {{Authority control Gilgit, Capitals of Pakistan History of Buddhism in Pakistan Populated places in Gilgit District Populated places along the Silk Road Karakoram Cities in Pakistan