Baltit Fort is located in Hunza District, Gilgit Baltistan, Pakistan. This hilltop fort was built some 650 years ago when the royal family of Hunza split and the foundational throne moved from Altit fort to Baltit fort.
In the 10th century, when the prince here married the princess of Baltistan. So she brought Balti craftsmen and artisans with her to renovate the fort and the current shape of this fort is due to the then Balti artisans.
In 1945, Mirihanza left this fort and built another fort-like house down the mountain and moved there. After which this fort became deserted and terrorized place. Gradually, the condition of this fort began to deteriorate and the fears of its collapse increased. Then with the collaboration of the Aga Khan Trust and the “Royal Geographical Society” of London, its repair work started, which ended in 1996. And then the fort converted into a museum run by the Baltit Trust.
Baltit Fort is also somewhat similar to Altit Fort. Its doors and windows are beautiful designs. Going up the stairs is a hall with doors to three rooms. One room has utensils and a beautiful red carpet, while the other is the kitchen, which has all kinds of utensils and unique items. Skins of mountain goats and feathers of birds are also on display. Therefore, it is a full reflection of the culture of Hunza Valley.
There is a beautiful throne of the Emirs of Hunza state in a niche decorated with woodwork. Along with this, the frame and horns of the Markhor are mounted on the wooden wall for display. All the upstairs rooms are part of the museum. Where in the first room, the photos of Hunza governors, costumes, Hunza flag, shields and swords are on display.
The next room is decorated with a beautiful Kashmiri-style ceiling. And there are Kashmiri carpets of Mir Muhammad Kaleem Khan’s era, copper vessels and copies of trade agreements between the state of Hunza and China written in Chinese and Shina languages. The next room is beautified with Meeran-e-Hunza’s family photos, armchairs, clocks and old telephones. Beyond that is the kitchen where small utensils and a cute baby cot are on display.
The last room highlights the culture of the region. Which is adorned with regional instruments such as Dhol, Rubab and Tambuk on one side of the wall. This room is decorated with red, yellow, blue, and green glass windows on the other side. Old Chinese notes of the 1920s are also displayed here. While on another wall hangs a 1900s Xinjiang (China) carpet. From here the stairs take you down to the place where Hunza’s famous ‘Zilzila Boos‘ cannon is placed.
The people of Hunza provided copper vessels and coal for this cannon and they used it against the British in 1891. After the British army conquered the states of Gilgit and Hunza. This cannon then placed outside the office of the British Political Agent of Gilgit Agency. It remained there even after the formation of Pakistan when handed over to the Baltit Fort Trust in June 1999.