Thursday, April 12, 2012

K for Karakaram

During April, I'll be posting every day for A-Z Blogging Challenge.
My theme is the Hunzas.
Today is K.......for Karakaram.

Karakaram is the name of the mountain range in the Himalayas where Hunza is situated. The Karakaram Highway (also the KKH) has cut a road through the perilous mountains and now opens up Hunza with easy access to the world.

Hunza was securely protected for thousands of years due to the natural geography of the mountains. The trail that lead to their kingdom was passable only by humans, not even pack animals. In some places the path was less than 20 in. wide, flanked by a rock wall on one side and an 8,ooo ft. death-plunge on the opposite. At other spots, logs crossed bare chunks of missing path. Nimble of foot, the Hunza porters were able to travel this treacherous path with very few mishaps.

China and Pakistan jointly took on the construction of KKH. The huge undertaking started in 1966 and completed in 1986. It connects China to the Arabian Sea through a brilliant feat of engineering and a marvel of human endurance, ingenuity and determination at an altitude of 4,693 ft.


  1. I watched the entire video totally captivated by the mountain ranges and the play of light and shadow over the land.

  2. I bet the people who used to live there ages ago loved the stealth of the location. Very neat place

  3. Wow 20 years, that is some dedication to build the road. And that would be quite scary getting up there on such a small ledge with a death drop.

  4. Breath-taking! I loved those colorful trucks and the little children sitting on the bench, kicking their legs, just like all kids do.

  5. how lovely...I've never lived in a mountainous area but they are always so beautiful!
    :) Great K word!

  6. Unbelievable what people can do once they put their mind to it.

  7. With a highway allowing them access to the world,.. I wonder if their way of life as they knew it is going to change.

  8. Another great engineering feat! Wow!! Truly unusual and breath-taking!!
    Ann Best, Author of In the Mirror & Other Memoirs

  9. The video was both beautiful & fascinating! The life of the Hunzas WILL cahnge. Progress is not always a good thing!!

  10. I can't help but wonder if the intrusion of the modern world will be a good thing or bad.

  11. Oh that is amazing! How interesting! I had no idea something like that existed. It reminds me of when Dumbledore plunged to his supposed death in Lord of The Rings in that tunnel!

  12. That video is breathtaking, captivating! The scenery is beautiful, the mountains in particular. Loved the kids on the bench too, same as any other kids!!
    Thanks for sharing this wonderful information. I don't know if it's good for those people to now have the intrusion of tourists into their lives.

  13. 20 inches of trail flanked by a rock wall on one side and an 8,000 foot drop on the other...?
    Yep, I woulda left 'em alone.
    Learning a whole lot here!

  14. Delores : It was kinda long but glad you enjoyed it.

    Adam : Rightly so and it would afford them great protection. You could see enemies coming from any side.

    Pat : OMG.... even though I love mountains I get weirded out if I don't feel something secure under my feet. It's like a movie, " Quick ..... walk that log over the river as the natives are shooting poison darts behind us. "

    Bish : Did you know people in the middle-east decorate their trucks like that? I just recently found out they have big contests.

    Tracy : Well, I might say, you have missed something, but I won't te he..... I love flat land too, prairies. They are lovely .... and gently rolling hills and living by lakes or a river..... all very nice. The only place I lived where I was totally unhappy was by the ocean.... They are so noisy and all that salt rusts everything.

  15. Inger : I can't imagine how they would begin to build a road... lotsa dynamite, I suppose.

    Terry : I would like to think "not.' Because they seem to love their land so much and only one son can stay, they may feel it's the place for them to be.

    Ann : I can't imagine building that wide highway in steep solid rock. And those middle-east countries are the people the US always wants to make war with.

    Fishducky : Next they will have a Wal-mart and MacDonalds. Hope not.

    Susan : Could go either way but so far they've pretty much kept to the old way. Sure hope they continue.

  16. Awesome. Utterly awesome. To have the dream, to develop the design, to do the construction, mile by weary mile.

    A road for the Chinese; an invasion to the Hunza. Sounds normal in the world of today, even if it is so very sad.

  17. Jax : Oh my goodness. I was wondering if any people were killed during the building of that highway.

    Mimi : Those kids are so adorable. Chubby, happy little one.

    Al : Just the thought of crossing that, really freaks me out.

  18. What wonderful video you have found, dear Manzi! The views and scenes so dear to my heart..!
    This series is such an interesting reading! Thank you!

  19. A path only 20 inches wide? Wow. I'd need a guide rope against the mountainside to hold onto, just until I got used to it.

    The highway seems like a good idea, but I'm hoping it won't ruin the Hunza lifestyle too much (or at all).

  20. Zara, As I said, please jump in if you have something to add. You would know first hand and these are only things I glean from books.

    River : If you needed a guide rope ONLY until you got used to it, you're a better mountain climber than I am.... BY FAR. Just the thought of it scares the heck out of me.

  21. Hi Manzanita .. I'm sure I've seen some of this on British tv .. is it good to break open the mountains .. and expose the Hunzas to temptation and to modern influences .. I rather wish they'd have left them alone .. the Chinese aren't going to need the Arabian Sea ... but on the other hand they have very dubious ideas of power control ..

    I must come back and watch .. cheers Hilary