Gilgit - Ghizer -Chitral Tours
Gilgit known locally as Gileet, is the capital city of the Gilgit-Baltistan region, an administrative territory of Pakistan. 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 northern Pakistan, and serves as a hub for mountaineering expeditions in the Karakoram Range. 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.
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.
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, and also to China and Tajikistan via the Karambar Pass through Ishkomen/Darkut Yasin (which are connected via Shandur Pass). 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.
The word Ghizer came form the name “Gherz” which means “refugees” in Khowar. “Gherz” is a village in Golaghmuli Valley, which is now known as Golaghmuli. Whenever the Chitral in the Suzerainty of the British Raj did forced some people to migrate towards Gupis. They were settled in the area between Chitral and Gupis and the area called Gherz and the people were called Gherzic. When Zulafiqar Ali Bhutto the President of Pakistan abolished the FCR system and had given another administrative district comprising the Tehsils (Political districts) the name Ghizer was given and agreed unanimously.
Ghizer District comprises Punial, Gupis, Yaseen and Ishkoman Valleys. The major portion of its area was ruled over by Brooshay Rajas known as Raja Sha Burush, Khan Bahadur Issa Bahadur Akber Khan, Raja Anwar Khan, Raja Mirbaz Khan and last Broosh families Raja Jan Alam and Raja Muzafer (who was living in Golodass, also known as Anwerabad as its second name). Currently the living Raja families in the District have no administrative function but act as a leading role in the development of society. Their linkage goes back to Sha Burush. Sha Burush, Sha Katur, and Sha Khushwaqt are three brothers. The Punial is famous in regional history for the polo game. Historically these Rajas were the best polo players and had a polo team of giants. Historically two main characteristics of the folk dress of Ghizer is the khoi and the shokah. The khoi is headgear made of homespun woolen cloths, while the shokah is a homespun woolen cloak reaching to the ankle with long sleeves.