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Karakoram Highway and Indus
Baltistan ( ), also known as بلتیول (Baltiyul) in the Balti language, is a region in northern Pakistanmarker , bordering Xinjiang Autonomous Region of Chinamarker. It is situated in the Karakorammarker mountains just to the south of K2marker, the world's second highest mountain. It is an extremely mountainous region, with an average altitude of over 3,350 m (11,000 ft). It is inhabited principally by Balti Shia Ithna Ashri, of Tibetan descent who converted from Tibetan Buddhism prior to the 16th century.There is a small minority of Bhahais sect in Baltististan.

Baltistan consisted of small independent states who were connected to each other due to blood relationaships of the rulers called rajas, trade, common belief and a strong cultural and language bonds. These states were subjected by force by the Dogra rulers of Kashmir in the nineteenth century. In 1947 when India and Pakistan gained independence, it was still part of Kashmir. The people of Baltistan being pre-dominantly muslims revolted against the repressive rule of the Dogra rulers and after a hard and prolonged struggle of one year became independent and along with Gilgit became part of Pakistan of their own free will. Its linkage with Kashmir as a subjugated people todate continues to be an impediment in granting them the citizenship of Pakistan. Part of the region (Kargil) is still in India. The districts of Skardumarker and Ganche, which are a part of the Gilgit-Baltistanmarker region of Pakistan, its main town is Skardumarker. It has the highest peaks of the Karakoram, including K2marker. Indian-controlled Baltistan (the district of Kargilmarker) which is disputed and claimed by Pakistan is located in the north of Indian-administered Kashmirmarker.


A map of Baltistan and adjoining regions
Baltistan is often called "little Tibet". The adjoining territory of Baltistan forms the west extremity of Tibet, whose natural limits here are the Indusmarker from its abrupt southward bend in 74 45 E., and the mountains to the north and west, separating a comparatively peaceful Tibetan population from the fiercer Aryan tribes beyond. Muslim writers about the 16th century speak of Baltistan as Little Tibet, and of Ladakhmarker as Great Tibet, thus ignoring the really Great Tibet altogether. The Balti call Gilgitmarker a Tibet, and Dr Leitner says that the Chilasi call themselves But or Tibetans; but, although these districts may have been overrun by the Tibetans, or have received rulers of that race, the ethnological frontier coincides with the geographical one given. Baltistan is a mass of lofty mountains, the prevailing formation being gneiss. In the north is the Baltoro Glaciermarker, the largest out of the arctic regions, long, contained between two ridges whose highest peaks to the south are and to the north . The Indus, as in Lower Ladakh, runs in a narrow gorge, widening for nearly 20 m. after receiving the Shyokmarker. The capital, Skardumarker, a scattered collection of houses, stands here, perched on a rock . above the sea. The house roofs are flat, occupied only in part by a second storey, the remaining space being devoted to drying apricots, the chief staple of the main valley, which supports little cultivation. But the rapid slope westwards is seen generally in the vegetation. Birch, plane, spruce and Pinus excelsa appear; the fruits are finer, including pomegranate, pear, peach, vine and melon, and where irrigation is available, as in the North Shigarmarker, and at the deltas of the tributary valleys, the crops are more luxuriant and varied.29th august 2009 the government of islamic republic of pakistan anounced that the northern areas are a new province of Pakistan. and Gilgit city is its capital city. This province name is Gilgit-Baltistan.

See also

Headline text

Notable people

  • Notables include Syed Muhammad Shah Noorani (spiritual leader of Noorbukhshia), Muhammad Yusuf Hussainabadi, Agha Syed Ali Mosvi,Afzal Ali Shigri, Ghulam Muhammad Sikander, Haji Fida Muhammad Nashad, Syed Asad Zaidi , Wazir Sadiq, Wazir Ghulam Mahdi (Alig), Babu Ishaq, Sanaullah, Sheikh Mohsin Najfi, Aga Syed Mohammed Ali Shah,Shiekh Ghulam Mohammed, Aga Syed Mohammed Ali Shah, Aga Askari, Hasan Hasni, Fida Naushad, Imran Nadeem, Hasan Hasrat, Raja Saba of Shigar, Professor Dr. Hamidullah Abdulqadir, Dr Faiz Rehmani, Dr Abdulrahman Faisal ghulam Mohammed, Faqir Mohammed ibrahim, Shamim Baltistani, Syed Muhammad Machulu, Shaikh Muhammad Hassan jafari, Malika Baltistani,Daniyal yabgo nd samrina nooshin faizy.

Pop Culture References


  • History of Northern Areas of PAkistan by Prof Ahmad Hassan Dani
  • Baltistan in History by Banat gul Afridi
  • Baltistan per Aik Nazar by Yusuf Husainabadi

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