Hunza, almost Russian land

At first, some disappointment occurred: after a long exhausting path – this is the ordinary plateau surrounded by snow-white peaks. That is, picturesque, of course, but a lot in these mountains. At first glance, you will not understand what was in one of the most remarkable historical places in all Himalayas. From here, from a height of 4,700 meters, Hundzrabsky Pass leads to the famous area – almost the only one you can get there. At first, some disappointment occurred: after a long exhausting path – this is the ordinary plateau surrounded by snow-white peaks. That is, picturesque, of course, but a lot in these mountains. At first glance, you will not understand.

Once the pass opened the caravangers, which sent Chinese porcelain, paper and silk to India in exchange for spices, jewels and elephant bone. Moreover, one of the versions, it was here that the great silk path originated, more precisely, his early prototype. After all, at first, the imminent traded with "Country of thousands of miracles", India, and then Western routes were opened.

Today, Hundzrab is located the most high-altitude in the world. Edge post – two wooden meters in five hundred from each other. This is a neutral territory between Pakistan and PRC. Barriers, state flags, bored officer from the Pakistani side, and the range – valley, covered with raw grass and lakes of melt water. Further – desert mountains and glaciers. Only on "Non-lane" marry not knowing customs rules lazy yaki.

… The most numerous "guests" In these places – trucks. Then alone, then "Mechanized groups" severely loaded machines with a solid streams seep through the checkpoint to "stepping" There, down, – on the South Asian side. Well, back. The famous Karakorum highway begins here, in essence, coinciding with an ancient caravan expensive. It is possible to move between the coast of the Indian River, the Chinese Xinjiang and even Central Asia.

On the inscription trucks mainly in Chinese and Urdu, but before they finish their way, letters will probably have to be covered with an impenetrable layer of dirt. Ahead of the long route over cliffs of cold foaming rivers, including the mentioned already great Indus, which originates quite nearby from these places, and here it seems simple mountain stream ..

On many cars is written just "Hunza", And our accompanying-Pakistanny smiles: "Almost all roads pass through it. And since you are from Russia, too, too: everyone in Hunga remembers how their ancestors almost became "Russian".

Dance with sabers

Residents of this ancient principality, Hongzakuts, with light irony belong to the fact that someone else in the world is called mountaineers. Well, in fact, it is not obvious that with full right, this name should be worn only those who live near the famous "Places of Mountain Meeting" – Points where three of the highest systems of the world are converging: Himalayas, Hindukush and Karakorum. Of the 14 eight-year-old peaks of the Earth five are nearby, including the second after Everest K2 (8,611 meters), the rise in which in the climbing community is even more appreciated than the conquest of Jomolungma. And what to say about no less glorified local "Top-killer" Nanga Parbat (8,126 meters), buried a record number of climbers? But about dozens of seven and six thousandths, literally "crowded" around Huns?

Pass through these rocky arrays you will not be able if you are not a world-class athlete. You can only "Leave" narrow passes, gorges, paths. Since ancient times, these rare artery were controlled by semi-stirred principalities, which had a significant duty of all passing caravans. Hunza was considered among them one of the most influential.

In distant Russia about this "lost World" Slightly known, and for reasons not only geographical, but also political: Hunza, along with some other Himalayan valleys, it turned out to be in the territory for which India and Pakistan are conducted for almost 60 years (the main thing is the main thing much more extensive Kashmir). USSR – from sin away – always tried to distance themselves from the conflict, and did it with the clumsy. For example, in most Soviet dictionaries and the encyclopedias of the same K2 (another name – Chochi) are mentioned, but without specifying the terrain in which it is. Local, quite traditional names were erased from Soviet cards, and, accordingly, from the Soviet news sheet lexicon.

But it’s amazing: in Hunse about Russia just know everything – this fact testified to us literally the first oncoming, somety Ismail, by profession – the performer of national dances with arms in hand and teeth. Hongzacutes – the people of warriors. According to legend, their dwarfish city state founded a group of warriors who fought off the army of Alexander Macedonsky during his Indian campaign. Naturally, they installed a strict combat discipline here – such that residents with swords and shields had to sleep, and there are, and even dance ..

With Ismail, we met by chance, at the entrance to the city of Karimabad, the administrative capital of Huns. My driver pointed us on this "of the famous artist", And he learned from where I come from, agreed for a reasonable fee to show "Real Hongzakut Dance". In the evening, Ismail, already with his son, went to my hotel: "Let’s go, there is one lost place .."

It turned out that the artist knew all the most secluded and picturesque glads in the district. On one of them, naturally, overlooking the mountains, a small orchestrick is already located. Father and son, taking sabers and small shields (cavalry, as they explained), went slowly to describe circles around her. Gradually, smooth motions were changed to the real battle on swords – theatrical, but little like dance. The senior dancer was quickly heavily, but young clearly did not want to let him go, enjoying the wonder "Duele"..

In the family of Ismail, this is not the first case of the inheritance of the profession – the art of exotic dance is transmitted from generation to generation "Already many centuries. And note that these are not idle television. Thanks to our dances through the epochs, we reached the techniques of this fight. All around them have long been forgotten .." – A new acquaintance winked me. The fact is that the real battles on the sabers are officially prohibited (since Hongzakuts, they say often resorted to them). Dancers are mostly entertaining tourists using all weapons, which will come to hand. By the way, "You know what’s here, in the castle, the Russian sword is stored? True, it is not suitable for presentation, too heavy. But thanks to him, we remember how many days have managed "live" in your country". Now about everything in order.

Two captains

"Castle" Many locals respectfully call the Baltic fort, hanging from the rocks over Karimabad. He has already been about 700 years old, and at one time he served the local independent ruler and the palace of the world, and the fortress. They say, the masters from the neighboring Tibet built the fort with the calculation so that he merged with the surrounding mountains, although, in my opinion, the citadel is perfectly visible from the valley from everywhere. Today, not deprived of impressiveness outside, from the inside Baltit seems gloomy and raw. Severe rooms and poor furnishings – ordinary pots, spoons, a giant oven … In one of the premises in the floor, a hatch was found – under him the world (prince) Hunza kept his personal prisoners. Light and large rooms are a bit, perhaps, only "Balcony Hall" makes a pleasant impression – from here opens a majestic view of the valley. On one of the walls of this hall – a collection of old musical instruments, on the other – weapons: sabers, checkers and, finally, the same "Russian Sword", about which interpreted Ismail. He turned out to be the usual Dragun officer’s executioner, donated to the world.

And then unfolds a very nontrivial story. In one of the rooms, the guide with pride announces: "Here are two portrait: British Captain Younghazbenda and your colonel of the Grumbshevsky, who decided the fate of our principality". ("Not quite right", – I note about myself. By the time this "solutions" Grombchevsky was also still captain"…)

This is how it happened that the Russian Stannaya appeared at the junction of Karakorum and Himalayas: In 1888, the Russian officer Ari officer Arcislav Bronislav Grombchevsky arrived at the junction of the Karakorum and Himalaya. Then on the border of Industan and Central Asia, a big game was going on, an active confrontation between the two superpowers of the XIX century – Russia and the United Kingdom. Not only military, but also a scientist, and afterwards even an honorary member of the Imperial Geographical Society, this man was not going to conquer for his king of the land. Yes, and it was with him then only six Cossacks. But we were talking about the speedy device of the trading factor and the political union. Russia, who had an impact on all the Pamirs by that time, fixed her gaze to the Indian goods. So the captain entered the game.

Safdar very warmly accepted him and willingly concluded the proposed agreement – he feared Went from the South of the British.

And, as it turned out, not without reason. The mission of the Grumbshevsky was not a joke alarmed Calcutta, where at that time was the courtyard of the Vice-king of British India. And although special authorized and spies reassured the authorities: it is unlikely to fear the appearance of Russian troops on "Makushka India" – From the north in Hunse, too difficult passes are conducted, besides the snow closed most of the year, it was decided to immediately send a squad under the command of Francis Younghazbend.

It’s funny that both captains were colleagues – "geographers in the pursuit", They have repeatedly met in Pamir expeditions. Now they had to determine the future of Nemeless "Hongzakut gangsters", As they were called in Calcutta.

In the HUNZ, in the meantime, Russian goods appeared slowly, weapons, and even the front portrait of Alexander III appeared in the Baltit Palace. The distant mining government began a diplomatic correspondence with St. Petersburg and offered to accompany the Cossack garrison. And in 1891 a message came from Hunza: The world of Safdar Ali officially asks for admission to him with all the people of Russian citizenship. This alarming message soon reached Calcutta, and then the fate of the principality finally decided: December 1, 1891, Janghazbend’s mountain arrow moved to the offensive. Safdar Ali fled to Xinjiang. "The door to India for the king slam", – Posted by a successful occupant vice-king.

So our buddy, the dancer Ismail, is mistaken: the Russian Hongz territory officially never had. There were only four days, during which the ruler of Hongzakuts wanted to see himself "Russian". But did not receive an official answer.

And the British secured and kept here until 1947, when during the collapse of the independence of British India, the Principality suddenly turned out to be in the territory controlled by Muslims.

Hunza, almost Russian land

Today, Hunza is managed by the Pakistani Ministry of Kashmir and Northern Territories, but the warm memory of the failed outcome of a big game, as you can see, remained: "Why, in fact, tourists from Russia are so rarely coming to us? – Surovo asked me a guide to Baltic, finished his excursion. – British here also left almost 60 years ago, and look: they are still around the pond of the pride! Some hippie then stand".

Apricot hippie

Indeed, re-opened Hongza for the West of Hippie, which wandered in the 1970s in Asia in search of truth and exotic. However, here "Children flowers" attracted not only these two categories, but also an Indian cannabis.

In the mountains of the Mravah are not so strict as on the plain: Hongzakuts do not intend to abandon their historical habits for some there "Healthy Stupidity".

One of the main attractions of the HUNZ – a glacier, which is a wide cold river descends to the valley. And around it – numerous terraced fields where potatoes, vegetables and narcotic plants grow. "Hashish, hashish, it’s hashish!" – a boy from a pack who gathered to one of these terraces. "Hashish", Which here, it turns out, not only smoke, but also add like seasoning to meat dishes and soups.

As for young long-haired guys with the inscription Hippie Way on T-shirts – whether the real hippies, or retro lovers, – they are in Karimabad, according to my observations, and do not smoke at all, but mostly apricots will be departed.

This is undoubtedly the main value of Hongzakut gardens. All Pakistan knows that only here we grow "Khan fruit", which will be combined with fragrant juice still on trees.

… I found myself in Hunse just in the harvest season. All roofs were settled by baskets with fruits prepared for drying, as if someone splashed to the valley of an orange pulverizer. Sweet fragrance hung over the Karakorum highway, and all the oncoming foreigners continuously chewed fragrant orange "Krugli". Western tourists who are not particularly involved in a confusing question about the state affiliation of the local territories, long and firmly chose them. And attractive Hunza is at all not only for radical youth – fans of mountain travel, and fans of history, and just lovers to get away from their homeland. Complement the picture, of course, numerous climbers – on the way our jeep constantly met minibuses with climbing equipment on the roof, then here, then there were visible on the slopes on the belts "Live clusters".

By the way, since the valley is at halfway from the Hundzhark pass before the start of the Industan Plains, Hongzakuts are confident that they control the way in general in "Upper world". In the mountains as such. It is difficult to say whether the principality really founded the soldiers of Alexander the Great, but some kind of mystery in the appearance of this small and very distinctive in his surroundings of the people, of course, is. He says in his own language of Burushshi (although everyone here knows and Urdu, and many are English), confesses, of course, like most Pakistanis, Islam, but a special sense, namely Ismailitsky, one of the most mystical and mysterious in religion. Therefore, in Hunse, you will not hear the usual appeals on prayer carrying from the speakers of minarets. All quietly, prayer is a personal case and the time of each.

Hongzakuts live – according to statistics! – longer than most of their neighbors. Old people under 100 years old are not rarely found. Residents themselves explain this circumstance by mountain air and "Molding power" Non-loving apricots. However, one of the buddies acquired by me in Karimabad, Zulfikar, a little confusedly reported that there is another important means. It turns out that despite the prohibitions imposed in Muslim Pakistan for the use of alcohol, here traditionally do "Strong wine" – Own "version" Grapemogon. Zulfirir even gave me a plastic bottle with this drink – for memory, saying that they need to drink kebab from Yak – it is prepared in the evenings in street cafes.

Kabab turned out to be amazingly delicious, but "Motherogonka" With a sharp smell and strange watery taste explicitly pumped up. However, it can, for the achievement of longevity, just such an alcohol and need, in the end, a lot of it will definitely drink it.

High-mountain topography of the Huns naturally suggests: a brief trip along this small size valley should end there, where it began – on "Packed Path", Karakorum highway, laid and highly packed in the past decades by Pakistani and Chinese builders. Now it is an unusually picturesque, albeit a long, and a tedious road that loops among those hanging right above the abyss of the villages, waterfalls, mountain rivers.

However, Hongzakuts hope, and not at all likely that the number of trailers passing through their valley, thanks to the new highway will grow and grow. Especially since Pakistan has become an observer country in the Shanghai Cooperation Organization – now they may appear here "merchants" from Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan and even Russia. Waiting for their road signs on the highway already decorated with inscriptions in appropriate languages. Say, I personally saw a pointer "on yislamabad". Translator probably was a Chinese. But do not find fault. Expensive attention ..

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