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Baltit Fort

Baltit Fort

In Gilgit-Baltistan in Hunza Valley, an ancient fort knows as Baltit Fort or Balti Fort was built 700 years ago. A local prince in 16 century married princes of Baltistan and as a part of her dowry she brought the master Balti craftsmen to renovate the fort for her. The Tibetan style of Buddhist reflects from the architecture that gives an indication of Tibetan influence in Baltistan at that time. In 1945, the rulers of Hunza moved to new palace downhill and abandoned the fort. because of no renovation and care the fort stared to decay that alarmed about the possibility that it might ruined.

baltitfort

Royal Geographical Society of London followed a survey and took an initiative to restore the fort with the help of Agha Khan Trust for Cultural and Historic Cities Support Program. In 1996 the restoration was completed and today this fort is running by the Baltit Heritage Trust as a museum.

baltitfort

In past, in Northern areas of Pakistan, many small independent states were formed that became the part of history. Among those states, two traditional opponent states were Hunz and Nager. The rulers of these states built many forts and buildings to show and secure their power. The rulers of these two states Mir are known as Thum. Initially the rulers of Hunza took their residence in nearbt Altit Fort. a conflict aroused between the two sons of ruler sultan named Shah Abbas and Ali Khan. Shah Abbas left the Altit Fort, moved to Baltit Fort, and made it the capital seat of Hunza. As the result of this power struggle between brothers, the younger brother eventually died and Baltit Fort became the leading seat of power in the state.

baltitfort

Mir of Hunza in 16 century married a princes from Baltistan named Shah Khatoon and modified the Altit Fort and later Baltit Fort. The architecture of Baltit Fort is influenced by the Tibetan or Ladakhi architecture and it and has some resemblance with the Potala Palace in Lhasa.

With the time many changes in the structure of Baltit Fort were made. In December 1981 the major change in its structure occurred with the invasion of British Raj. To seek political asylum the ruler of Hunza and his wazir Daddu with their families befriended to China. As required by the British the watch tower of Baltit Fort on its northwestern side were demolished. In 1982 his younger brother, Sir Muhammad Nazim Khan was announced as a ruler by the British.

baltitfort

On the third floor he demolished many rooms and in the British Colonial style added some rooms. He used color glass panel windows and lime wash. After the Mir Muhammad Jamal Khan who moved to a new house downhill and was the last ruler of Hunza, the Baltit Fort remained officially inhibited until 1945.

The fort started to ruin and then in 1990, restoration efforts were made and finally in 1996 the renovation of the fort was completed and this fort is now maintained by the Baltit Heritage Trust.

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