This article includes a list of references, but its sources remain unclear because it has insufficient inline citations . (September 2016) (Learn how and when to remove this template message)
|Elevation||1,500 m (4,900 ft)|
|• Languages||Urdu, Balti, Shina|
|Time zone||UTC+5:00 (PST)|
Gilgit (Shina: گلیت; Urdu : گلگت, IPA: [ˈgɪlgɪt] ) is the capital city of Gilgit-Baltistan, a territory in Pakistan-administered Kashmir. The city is located in a broad valley near the confluence of the Gilgit River and Hunza River. Gilgit is a major tourist destination in Pakistan, and serves as a hub for trekking and mountaineering expeditions in the Karakoram Range.
Gilgit was once a Buddhist centre; it was an important stop on the ancient Silk Road, and today serves as a major junction along the Karakoram Highway with road connections to China, Skardu, Chitral, Peshawar, and Islamabad. Currently, it serves as a frontier station for local tribal areas. Its economy is mainly agricultural, with wheat, maize, and barley as the main crops.
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 local people. In Brushaski, it is named Geelt and in Wakhi and Khowar it is called Gilt.
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 and Shinas appear in many of the old Pauranic lists of people who lived in the region, with the former also mentioned in Ptolemy's accounts of the region.
Gilgit was an important city on the Silk Road, along which Buddhism was spread from South Asia to the rest of 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 and 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 (Chinese :小勃律). They are believed to be the Patola Sahi dynasty mentioned in a Brahmi inscription, and are devout adherents of Vajrayana Buddhism.
In mid-600s, Gilgit came under Chinese suzerainty after the fall of Western Turkic Khaganate due to Tang military campaigns in the region. In late 600s CE, the rising Tibetan Empire wrestled control of the region from the Chinese. However, faced with growing influence of the Umayyad Caliphate and then the 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 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.
This corpus of manuscripts was discovered in 1931 in Gilgit, containing many Buddhist texts such as four sutras from the Buddhist canon, including the famous Lotus Sutra. The manuscripts were written on birch bark in the Buddhist form of Sanskrit in the Sharada script. They cover a wide range of themes such as iconometry, folk tales, philosophy, medicine and several related areas of life and general knowledge.
The Gilgit manuscriptsare included in the UNESCO Memory of the World register. They are among the oldest manuscripts in the world, and the oldest manuscript collection surviving in Pakistan, having major significance in the areas of Buddhist studies and the evolution of Asian and 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.
As of 6 October 2014, one source claims that the part of the collection deposited at the Sri Pratap Singh Museum in Srinagar was irrecoverably destroyed during the 2014 India–Pakistan floods.
The former rulers had the title of Ra, and there is a reason to suppose that they were at one time Hindus, but for the last five centuries and a half they have been Moslems. The names of the Hindu Ras have been lost, with the exception of the last of their number, Shri Ba'dut. Tradition relates that he was killed by a Mohammedan adventurer, who married his daughter and founded a new dynasty, since called Trakhàn, from a celebrated Ra named Trakhan, who reigned about the commencement of the fourteenth century. The previous rulers—of whom Shri Ba'dut was the last—were called Shahreis.
Gilgit was ruled for centuries by the local Trakhàn Dynasty, which ended 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, Azur Jamshid (also known as Shamsher), who secretly married the daughter of the king Shri Badat.
She conspired with him to overthrow her cannibal father. Sri Badat's faith is theorised as Hindu by someand 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.
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 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.
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 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 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, 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.
In 1877, in order to guard against the advance of Russia, the British India Government, acting as the suzerain power of the princely state of Jammu and Kashmir, established the Gilgit Agency. 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 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 and belonged to Chimkor Sahib village of Ambala district Punjab, British India. Abdullah Sahib was the first Muslim governor of the Gilgit in 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.
On 26 October 1947, Maharaja Hari Singh of Jammu and Kashmir, faced with a tribal invasion by Pakistan, signed the Instrument of Accession, 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, 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 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.
Gilgit is situated in a valley formed by the confluence of the Indus River, Hunza River and Gilgit River.
Gilgit experiences a cold desert climate (Köppen climate classification BWk). Weather conditions for Gilgit are dominated by its geographical location, a valley in a mountainous area, southwest of Karakoram range. The prevalent season of Gilgit is winter, occupying the valley eight to nine months a year.
Gilgit lacks significant rainfall, averaging in 120 to 240 mm (4.7 to 9.4 in) annually, as monsoon breaks against the southern range of 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 40 °C (104 °F). As a result of this extremity in the weather, landslides and avalanches are frequent in the area.[ dubious ]
|Climate data for Gilgit|
|Record high °C (°F)||17.5|
|Average high °C (°F)||9.6|
|Average low °C (°F)||−2.7|
|Record low °C (°F)||−10.0|
|Average rainfall mm (inches)||4.6|
|Average relative humidity (%) (at 17:00 PST)||51.3||34.6||26.7||27.6||26.6||23.7||29.8||36.8||36.7||42.2||49.1||55.0||36.7|
|Source: Pakistan Meteorological Department|
The city of Gilgit constitutes a tehsil within Gilgit District.
Gilgit is served by the nearby Gilgit Airport, with direct flights to Islamabad. Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) is the only airline operating in Gilgit.
Gilgit is located approximately 10 km (6.2 mi) from the Karakoram Highway (KKH). The roadway is being upgraded as part of the China–Pakistan Economic Corridor. The KKH connects Gilgit to Chilas, 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 Chinese cities of Tashkurgan, Upal and Kashgar in Xinjiang. Gilgit is also linked to Chitral in the west, and 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 in China.
The Astore-Burzil Pass Road, linking Gilgit to Srinagar was closed in 1978.
Gilgit is not served by any rail connections. Long-term plans for the China–Pakistan Economic Corridor call for construction of the 682 km (424 mi) long Khunjerab Railway, which is expected to be completed in 2030, that would also serve Gilgit.
Hunza, also known as Kanjut, was a princely state in a subsidiary alliance with British India from 1892 to August 1947, for three months was unaligned, and then from November 1947 until 1974 was a princely state of Pakistan. Hunza covered territory now forming the northernmost part of Gilgit-Baltistan, Pakistan.
Baltistan, also known as Baltiyul or Little Tibet, is a mountainous region of Pakistan near the Karakoram mountains just south of K2. Baltistan is bordered by Gilgit to the west, Xinjiang (China) to the north, Ladakh to the southeast, and the Kashmir Valley to the southwest. Its average altitude is over 3,350 metres (10,990 ft).
Skardu is a city in Gilgit-Baltistan region of Pakistan, and serves as the capital of Skardu District. Skardu is located in the 10 kilometres wide by 40 kilometres long Skardu Valley, at the confluence of the Indus and Shigar Rivers at an elevation of nearly 2,500 metres. The city is an important gateway to the eight-thousanders of the nearby Karakoram Mountain range. The town is located on the Indus river, which separates the Karakoram Range from the Himalayas.
The Gilgit Agency was a system of administration established by the British Indian Empire over the subsidiary states of the princely state of Jammu and Kashmir at its northern periphery, mainly with the objective of strengthening these territories against Russian encroachment.
Ghizer District is the westernmost part of the Gilgit-Baltistan region of Pakistan. Its capital is Gahkuch. Ghizer is a crossroads between Gilgit and Chitral via Shandur Pass, and also to China and Tajikistan via the Broghil Pass through Ishkomen Valley. Ghizer is a multi-ethnic district and three major languages are spoken: Shina, Khowar, and Burushaski. There are also Wakhi speakers in Ishkoman and some Tajiks.
Chitral is the capital of the Chitral District, situated on the Chitral River in northern Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Pakistan. Chitral also served as the capital of the princely state of Chitral until 1947.
Balawaristan (Urdu:بلاورستان) is the historical name of Gilgit-Baltistan that has regained some prevalence in recent years through political movements in Pakistan. The archaic English spelling for the name was Boloristan or Baloristan, and its first known documented usage is in Chinese sources from the 8th century AD. Balawaristan includes Chitral, Gilgit, Skardu, Hunza, Nagar, Ishkoman, Punial and Yasin. In addition, the regions of Baltistan, Ladakh are also considered to be a part of Balawaristan by the nationalist parties of Gilgit.
Yasin, also known as Babaye-i-Yasen or Worshigum in the Khowar Language,, is a high mountain valley in the Hindu Kush mountains, in the northwestern Ghizer District in the territory of Gilgit-Baltistan,India. The valley is about 148 kilometres (92 mi) from city of Gilgit. The Yasin Tehsil is situated on its territory.
Chilas is a historical city of District Diamer Diamer located in the Gilgit-Baltistan, Pakistan on the river Indus. It is part of the Silk Road connected by the Karakoram Highway and N-90 National Highway, which link it to Islamabad and Peshawar in the southwest, via Hazara and Malakand Divisions of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. In the north, Chilas is connected to the Chinese cities of Tashkurgan and Kashgar in Xinjiang, via Gilgit, Aliabad, Sust, and the Khunjerab Pass.
Hunza is a mountainous valley in the Gilgit-Baltistan region of Pakistan. Hunza is situated in the extreme northern part of Pakistan, bordering with the Wakhan Corridor of Afghanistan and the Xinjiang region of China.
Bunji (Urdu:بنجی) is a small town in Astore District, Gilgit-Baltistan, Pakistan. it is historically important being in the end of Dogra Rule before 1948 and on the brim of Ancient Yagistan. It was economically hub for Barter trade between Yagistan and Dogras. The distance from Bunji to Gilgit is about 50 kilometres (31 mi) on the Karakoram Highway. Bunji, located at the junction of Three Great Mountain Ranges, has its historical importance. The Village has its prominent traces in the socio-political and economical situations of the region in History. River Indus covers the village from North to west while from eastern side it is connected with river Astore. Baltistan region joins its territory from the North-East.
Gilgit-Baltistan has been under Pakistan administration since 1947 and was given self-governing status on August 29, 2009. Gilgit-Baltistan comprises 10 districts within three divisions. The four districts of Skardu Kharmang Shigar and Ghanche are in the Baltistan Division, four districts of Gilgit Ghizer Hunza and Nagar districts which were carved out of Gilgit District are in the Gilgit Division and the third division is Diamir, comprising Chilas and Astore. The main political centres are the towns of Gilgit and Skardu.
Jammu and Kashmir, also known as Kashmir and Jammu, was a princely state during the British East India Company rule as well as the British Raj in India from 1846 to 1947. The princely state was created after the First Anglo-Sikh War, when the East India Company, which had annexed the Kashmir Valley, Jammu, Ladakh, and Gilgit-Baltistan from the Sikhs as war indemnity, then sold the region to the Raja of Jammu, Gulab Singh, for rupees 75 lakh. (75,00,000)
Gilgit-Baltistan, formerly known as the Northern Areas, is a region administered by Pakistan as an administrative territory, and constituting the northern portion of the larger Kashmir region which has been the subject of a dispute between India and Pakistan since 1947, and between India and China from somewhat later. It is the northernmost territory administered by Pakistan. It borders Azad Kashmir to the south, the province of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa to the west, the Wakhan Corridor of Afghanistan to the north, the Xinjiang region of China, to the east and northeast, and the Indian-administered union territories Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh to the southeast.
Yashkun is a Dardic tribe in Gilgit-Baltistan, Pakistan. The tribe is spread throughout the Kohistan district in Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa extending as far Ladakh and Drass. The Yashkuns form the majority of the population in Gor, Chilas, Tangir, Darel valley the Indus Valley below Sazin, upper part of the Gilgit Valley, Gupis, Pingal Yasin(Qurqulti), Punial, Astore Valley, Chitral.majority in [Nagar] and [Hunza].
The Gilgit Scouts was a paramilitary force of the Gilgit Agency in the northern Jammu and Kashmir. They were raised from the local populations of the Gilgit Agency in 1913, and commanded by British officers. In November 1947, under the command of Major W. A. Brown, they overthrew the Governor of the Jammu and Kashmir state, and declared accession to Pakistan. Colonel Aslam Khan took over the command of the force on behalf of the Government of Azad Kashmir and conquered Skardu, leading to the eventual formation of Gilgit-Baltistan which continues to be under Pakistani control. The force was continued till 1975 when it was integrated into the Northern Light Infantry of the Pakistan Army.
Gilgit Baltistan is an administrative territory of Pakistan, that borders the province of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa to the west, Azad Kashmir to the southwest, Wakhan Corridor of Afghanistan to the northwest, the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region of China to the north, and the Indian state of Jammu and Kashmir to the south and southeast.
Ali Sher Khan Anchan (1590-1625) was a famous Balti king. He was a Maqpon dynasty king who unified Baltistan and expanded its frontiers to Ladakh and western Tibet in the east, and in the west to the borders of Ghizar and Chitral.
Mirza Hassan Khan was a Captain of the 6th Infantry of the Jammu and Kashmir State Forces. Placed at Bunji in the Gilgit wazarat, Khan rebelled against the Maharaja's regime after his accession to India and participated in the overthrow of the Governor of Gilgit in November 1947. He later fought in the First Kashmir War as part of Gilgit rebel forces under the command of Colonel Aslam Khan and rose to become a Colonel in the Pakistan Army. After leaving the Army, he founded the Gilgit League to protest against the Pakistan's ad hoc administration of Gilgit-Baltistan.
Tourism in Gilgit-Baltistan, an administrative unit of Pakistan, focuses on the mountains. Gilgit-Baltistan borders Pakistan's Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Province to the west, a small portion of the Wakhan Corridor of Afghanistan to the north, Xinjiang, China to the northeast, the Indian-administered Jammu and Kashmir to the southeast, and the Pakistani-administered state of Azad Kashmir to the south.
Similarly, Muslims in Western Jammu Province, particularly in Poonch, many of whom had martial capabilities, and Muslims in the Frontier Districts Province strongly wanted J&K to join Pakistan.
Nearly 70 years ago, the people of the Gilgit Wazarat revolted and joined Pakistan of their own free will, as did those belonging to the territories of Chilas, Koh Ghizr, Ishkoman, Yasin and Punial; the princely states of Hunza and Nagar also acceded to Pakistan. Hence, the time has come to acknowledge and respect their choice of being full-fledged citizens of Pakistan.
|Wikisource has the text of the 1911 Encyclopædia Britannica article Gilgit .|