Research and written by: Hussain Ali Hari
Our dear readers! It would be appropriate to call it a “Gift for Eco-Tourism” We will also take a brief look at it, but first we will study its Geographical and Historical background.
We had previously written a research post on the historical background However, geographical study will be necessary. The fact is that the sloping surface to the north of the village of Shishkat, which is connected to Attabad Shishkat Gojal Lake, which is named after the local language Wakhi, Burushski and Domaki as “Gheendar”. From the height, the entire village can be seen from south to north, Attabad Shishkat Gojal Lake, the adjoining village Gulmit without any hindrance. According to the elders, especially according to the statement of my father Shukoor Ali Musa Baig, when this village was not settled, there was a bush-like forest which was later depleted as fuel and it took the form of a barren land. In its bushy forest, animals like leopards made their home, often coming from here, damaging the livestock of the small population of the village and hiding back in their habitat, as a result of the movement of this animal. The nickname has become Gheendar. Now, due to the overwhelming opinion of our youth, it has been renamed as “Leopard Hill Track”, meaning the cheetah’s abode or walking place, and the track named after it is in progress. When Shishkat was settled, Raja Nazim Khan tried to extract coal and settle it, but failed because it was difficult to extract coal for this place due to the hilly structure. Precious lives were also lost during its construction. Not long after, the locals of Shishkat took over the responsibility of resettlement and started extracting coal for this place and started its systematic resettlement.
Significance of “Gheendar or Leopard Hill Track Shishkat Hunza”:
The significance of this place lies in the fact that from its height one can see the villages of Shishkat and Shishkat Bala on both sides of the Nalla Balting-e- Bar. It is worth mentioning that from this place, the tourist track built in Gulmit which is named as “Gulmit Ondra Poiga” can be seen well. The two attract tourists together. This interest of tourists will be beneficial for both the places. The third important reason for its importance is that this place was the abode of an animal called leopard which I have mentioned earlier.
Plan of “Gheendar or Leopard Hill Trek Shishkat Hunza”:
The construction and expansion of this track has been started by the youth of Shishkat village with their help which will be completed in a few months (Watch the video of the opening ceremony on our YouTube channel) Arrival i.e. by March, April 2021 (Attabad Shishkat Gojal Lake) will be of interest to millions of domestic and foreign tourists. Recently, the place has become internationally acclaimed and the visit of the Canadian Ambassador to the place, which is valued by the locals, is also important to highlight the importance of the place. We are also grateful to those who encouraged the people there. We hope that Canada’s support and cooperation in development projects will continue. Canada, which plays a role in the world, especially in developing countries, in fulfilling and supporting development projects, continues to play its role in Pakistan as a sincere friend, which is commendable. The video of the full media coverage of the arrival of the Canadian Ambassador can be found on our YouTube channel theims media
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Places to visit in Shishkat village:
The pastures of this village are full of natural landscapes. Let’s read about and enjoy them
I have already mentioned the natural scenery and location of this place in my previous post (hence the summary).However, the name of this place and additional details are as per the heart. The word “Burondubar” is used interchangeably in Wakhi, Burushski and Domaki languages. However, there is a slight difference in pronunciation. The word “borondo” means Ring and the word “bur” means a canal or waterway. Our pastors still talk about this pasture, which for us is limited to stories, unable to understand and benefit from these facts, especially to ensure the protection of wildlife. So, that the next generation will have a useful and useful gift. My late grandfather Sikhawat Shah, a well-known hunter, used to mention about the wildlife found in this place in which special animals of other breeds besides Markhor are found that when Markhor is healthy and strong especially (Omar) in the last stages of, they reach this place and encamp. Their path is through Shimshal and Nagir from where their track is found, as if this place has status in every respect. There is a long history between Shimshal and Nagir which I will mention in the forthcoming research paper. I will present it to the readers soon. I hope you will get the material by subscribing to my website.
2. Ghawush Pasture:
The word “Ghawush” Wakhi is derived from the word “Ghafch wush” meaning more grass. It is a distorted form of the word. “Ghushbin” is a place near “Ghawush” in Wakhi language. Due to this name, the old name of Aaeenabad village is Ghawushben. Everyone agrees with the statement of the elders that the villages of Shishkat and Gulmit were sparsely populated and there was no place for the locals to graze their cattle, where the grass was plentiful. Being subject to taxes, they were forced to migrate to these places for a few months or days. Here they collected food items for themselves and to pay taxes.
Importance of Ghawosh Pasture:
The other important advantage is that Ghaush pasture which is at a height from which the famous Attabad Gojal Lake including other villages in which especially Shishkat, Gulmit full and many places of Hussaini village including Ghulkin can be seen from a height. The third important advantage is that for the international tourists, especially the “Idolatry” Buddhism and the Japanese in general, the “Pasu Cons” can be seen right in front of the hill of Pasu.
At present there is no track for tourists in Ghosh Chiragah but locals visit this place according to the weather conditions. Improving the condition of the track should give access to this beneficial and healthy place for the domestic tourists.
The word “looghbandi” in the Wakhi language means “vologh” meaning more cattle and “bandi” means a place to graze or rest. Its geographical and historical mentions are as follows. According to the elders (Including the statements of Amirullah Dafadar, Dinar Khan and Dadu Khan) that a resident of Gulmit, a member of the “Roi” family used to take cattle here, the place later became part of Shishkat. Another of the elders is that there were greenery, bushes and trees in this place. The milk of cattle was so abundant in this place that during the summer, milk was filled in the natural style pot-shaped stone of this place and this milk used to be wasted. There is a tendency for young people to go trekking in this place. Because from this place one can see the entire Attabad Shishkat Lake without any hindrance. From this place the water which falls in the form of a waterfall is a cause of interest. Not a high waterfall but due to the high altitude above the lake the view from the lake is beautiful, it adds to its natural scenery.
The place next to the water coming from this place was inhabited by “Bayodar”. Where we had privately owned land, including some of the village families The word “Bayodaar” is a Burushski word meaning “salty place.” There was a kind of salty soil in the place, which I have personally observed. The locals purified it and made its juice. The place of salt was used in food, hence the name Bayodaar. Unfortunately, with the emergence of Attabad Lake, all those lands have now been affected by the lake. At this point, special point boat stops have been built at this place from where tourists are facilitated. The boat stop has now become a business hub for the villagers. Apart from modern and traditional and cultural style accommodation for tourists, there are also facilities for sightseeing on the lake.
Historical and Geographical background:
Below the Ghawush pasture, on the hill above Ayeenabad village, is a special sight, “Baskochi”, where the locals of Ayeenabad get abundant hay for their livestock, which is the sole property of the people of Ayeenabad. “Baskochi” is a word from the Burushski language that means extra work. The king of that time took out coal for a place which was not favored by the locals because before that there were spots due to tribute and work. It was becoming an extra burden, so much so that it became known as “Bus Ko Chi”. From this place also a complete view of Shishkat Attabad Lake and Shishkat, Gulmit, Ghulkin including most of the places of Hussaini village can be seen.
“Bascochi” Proprietary Distribution:
These lands belonged to the kings of Hunza which later came under the ownership of late Raja Shehbaz Khan, the father of the late Raja Bahadur Khan, and a resident of Gulmit, Joined the property. For two decades, the people of Ayeenabad bought these lands from the late Raja Bahadur Khan and these lands became his (Villager’s) property. Contacts are also being made with governmental and non-governmental organizations to reach this place. Locals go there for trekking which is good for health.
A special place connected to Shishkat Attabad Lake is the pasture “Balting Bar”. It is located in a ditch between Shishkat Center and Shishkat Bala village, Coal has been extracted for both the villages from this ditch, I have in the previous post is a summary. Literally and figuratively, the word “Balting” refers to the apple in the local Burushski language, and the word “bur” refers to the canal with the apple. Why did readers get this name? It needs to be researched. I did not agree with the statements, so it is not appropriate to mention it. The special feature of this place is that the locals often go to this place for hunting and enjoyment in summer. Rare wildlife is found in this pasture which is often mentioned by my grandfather Jan late Sikhawat Shah who was a famous hunter.
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Special thanks to: Aisar Ali Harri & Leopard Hill Trek Management.
Location: Village Shishkat Gojal Hunza Pakistan
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