The Bursusho, also known as Hunzakuts, are dominant ethnic group of the Hunza valley. They are broken into four clans centered around the town of Baltit: the Diramiting, the Barataling, the Khurukuts, and the Buroong, all of which are said to have been named after their founding ancestors. These groups seldom intermarry with the other ethnic groups in the valley — the Wakhi, the Shin or the Dom — and their language is not related to any other in the entire world. [Source: John McCarry, National Geographic March 1994]

The king-like leader of the Burusho is called a mir. Hugh R. Page, Jr. wrote in the “Encyclopedia of World Cultures”: ““The Burusho are a mountain people inhabiting a small number of rocky terraces in the independent Pakistani states of Hunza and Nagir. The region is mountainous and is characterized by deep valleys carved by the Hunza River. The geographical focus of the Burusho homeland extends from 36° 00 to 37° 10 N and from 74° 10 to 75° 40 E. The area is dry and quite barren and the terraces occupied by the Burusho require considerable ingenuity to be rendered habitable. The major portion of the area occupied by them falls within the boundaries of Hunza. In 1959 the population of Hunza totaled some 25,000 persons. This figure represents a significant increase from the figures of 1894 (6,000) and 1934 (15,000). [Source: Hugh R. Page, Jr. “Encyclopedia of World Cultures Volume 3: South Asia,” edited by Paul Hockings, 1992 |~|]

Paul Raffaele wrote in Smithsonian magazine: The Hunza valley “has a population of about 50,000, and the slopes are thick with apple, peach and apricot orchards. Mud hut villages front terraced fields of wheat, barley and potato dug out of the dizzying rock slopes. Friendly-looking people throng the bazaars lining the road. Unlike the lowland Pakistanis, the Hunzakuts are rosy-cheeked and fair-skinned, with blue, green or gray eyes. Their hair ranges from corn yellow to raven black. Here, too, the women wear no veils with their colorful robes and scarves. And here, too, Mehdi, the Pakistani geneticist, has found genetic links to Alexander's army. [Source: Paul Raffaele, Smithsonian magazine, January 2007]

Bursushaki, the language of the Burushos, appears to be related to no other language on earth. It is believed to be a remnant of the aboriginal language spoken in much of northern India before the arrival of the Aryan settlers. Bursushaki spoken in Hunza is regarded as purer than that spoken in Nagir which is believed to be influenced by Shina, another old language. |~|

Hunza Valley

Hunza Valley (near the Chinese border) is perhaps the most beautiful valley in the Karakoram Range area. Dominating it is 7,787-meter-high (25,551-foot-high) Rakaposhi, an unusual mountain in that rises directly up from the river valley without any other mountains in the way to obstruct the view. It rises nearly 6,000 meters from top to bottom, the greatest uninterrupted rise of any mountain in the world. Covered in the thick glaciers the mountain is best seen in the mid-afternoon when its entire face glistens in the sun. The Karakorum Highway goes so close to its base, spurs of the mountain block the view of the summit. It best viewed from further back. Nearby is Ultar Mountain, which protects a once-secret pass to Central Asia. Hunza was largely cut off from the outside world until a road was chiseled into the mountains in 1978, connecting it with western China.

The Hunza Valley is about half the size of Massachusetts, with a population 35,000 people. The states of Hunza and Nagir are regarded as semi-independent entities within Pakistan. Surrounded by glaciers and 7000 meter (20,000 foot) peaks, the Hunza area was accessible for many years only on cliff-chiseled footpaths and shaky bridges, but now with the Karakorum highway threading right through the middle it it is visited by a steady stream of tourists. To get to some places you have to cross dangerous rivers on scary, rickety hanging bridges made of steel cables string across the river with wooden steps every 50 centimeters or so held in place with wires.

The Hunza area is mountainous and characterized by deep valleys cut by the Hunza River. The region is quite barren but thrives through the ingenuous use of irrigation and terracing . The sides of the mountains are stark and forbidding but the bottom of the valley itself is an oasis of apricot orchards, glacier-irrigated corn fields and lush green pastures grazed by goats and sheep. Many Himalayan valleys are said to be the inspiration for James Hilton's Shangri-la but perhaps this is the one valley that best fits the billing

Situated at an elevation of 2440 meters (8000 feet), the Hunza River is fed by glaciers and mountain streams. The irrigation canals that feed off the rivers and streams produce a bountiful supply of apples, plums, cherries, peaches and grapes as well as apricots. The people of the Hunza Valley are famous for being some of the long living people on the planet and they attribute their longevity to the fruit, especially the apricots, which they say is nourished by traces of gold in the water.

Most of the people of the Hunza are Ismali Muslims, followers of Aga Khan. The people here have their own language although many of them speak English. The southern part of the valley is inhabited by the Shinakis who are known for their hot blood and passion. The Burushos in the central Hunza are reputed to be hardworking and thrifty..

Burusho History

Some people believe the Burushos are descendants of three soldiers from Alexander the Great's army who were forced to remain behind because of physical problems. Each of these soldiers is said to have founded the three Hunza fort villages: Baltit. Ganesh and Alti. The ruling families claim to be direct descendants of these soldiers. Others say the Burusho are descendants of fairies. Physical characteristics of the Burusho seem to indicate the have some European blood.

Up until the early part of the 20th century many Burushos made their living raiding the caravans that traveled between Leh and Yarkand over 5,540-meter-high (18,176-foot-high) Karakorum pass. Some were slave traders. The ruling Thums not only exploited travelers and merchants who passed through their territory they also exploited their own people; taxing them when the Thums were under threat and enslaving them if they resisted. Occasionally a sword dance is held as a reminder of their brigand days,

The Burushos have traditionally had good relations with the Chinese. For a while the Hunza Valley was part of Kashmir. The British captured the valley in the 1930s to hold off Soviet expansion into the valley, but they had a difficult time. A British colonel impressed with their stamina called the men of the Hunza "an oasis of manliness in a desert of trousered women." Hunza is now part of the Gilgit Agency in Pakistan.

In recent decades relations between the Burusho and other peoples have been amicable. Intervillage rivalry has been traditionally channeled nonviolently into polo matches. Relations between the Burusho toward their neighbors in Nagir have sometimes been hostile and armed conflict has occurred. Both Hunza and Nagir supported the military action that led to the annexation of the region to Pakistan.

Burusho Religion

The people in the Hunza Valley, converted to Islam in 1800s, which relatively late. Most of them belong to the Ismaili sect whose spiritual leader is the Aga Khan. In the Hunza valley the Aga Khans have opened clinics which have greatly reduced the number of dysentery and TB cases and sponsored organizations which teach everything from animal husbandry to accounting.

Burushos are Muslims but they sometimes tie prayer flags like Buddhist. They also drink yak tea laced with butter and salt like Tibetans. In addition to this, they also believe in fairies, mountain spirts and ghosts who are blamed for avalanches and other misfortunes. They observe a major spring festival called Naurvoz, the same name used by Central Asians for their New Year celebration. The Burusho don’t have a developed concept of the afterlife other than that the living and dead will be united at some point.

According to the “Encyclopedia of World Cultures”: “No professional priesthood exists among the Burusho. The Mir appoints several literate men as khalifas to officiate at burials, weddings, and naming ceremonies. These individuals do not perform these duties on a full-time basis. Religious ceremony plays little part in the daily life of the Burusho. Ritual prayer and fasting are practiced by some. While little is known of pre-Islamic religious practices, it is believed that at one time sacrifice was offered to the boyo (divinities thought to occupy a place above the fort at Hini). [Source: Hugh R. Page, Jr. “Encyclopedia of World Cultures Volume 3: South Asia,” edited by Paul Hockings, 1992 |~|]

Burusho Shaman and Wizards

Shaman known as Bitans are called upon to placate trouble-making spirits. Most shaman are male. They usually serve as intermediaries with spirits and are called upon to act in some healing rituals and predict the future in annual festivals and before long journeys Contact with the spirts is made in trance initiated by inhaling the smoke of burning juniper bushes and other plants and the music of flutes and drums. The shaman dances to the music, faster and faster and then stops and in a singing voice translates messages he receives from the spirits. In some ceremonies a goat is sacrificed and the head is offered to the shaman while he dancing. He drinks blood from it which is said to be the blood of fairies.

Paul Raffaele wrote in Smithsonian magazine The wizard of Hunza is Mashraf Khan, 40, a stocky, dark-hued man with wild eyes. He was appointed to the job when he was 8 years old by Ghazanfar's father. When I meet him over a pot of tea, Mashraf tells me that when he dances with the snow fairies, they help him see the future. "Two hundred years ago, a wizard here prophesied that metal horses carrying men would one day fly through the sky, and so it happened," he says. Now he will carry out a ritual that Alexander himself might have seen. [Source: Paul Raffaele, Smithsonian magazine, January 2007]

“On a field facing Rakaposhi, three musicians sit cross-legged on the grass playing drums and flutes. The wizard, clad in pantaloons and a cream woolen coat, bends over a fire of sacred juniper leaves, inhales deeply and leaps into the air. Then he looks skyward and smiles beatifically. "He sees the snow fairies coming," my guide explains.

“As the music quickens, Mashraf charges around the clearing, whirling, face beaming. Suddenly, he twitches and jerks as if an invisible person has him on a string. "He's dancing with the snow fairy queen," the guide whispers.

“Mashraf bends low over the musicians and begins to sing in a thin voice, echoing a prophecy related to him by the snow fairy queen. Then he rises, spins furiously, then abruptly falls down and lies as still as death on his back, his arms outstretched.

“After he has "recovered," Mashraf tells me that the snow fairy queen and several subordinate fairies came to dance with him. "They resemble humans, but their mouths are wider and their legs are much longer than ours, with the feet facing backward," he says matter-of-factly. "They have wings to fly through the air, and are clad in green robes." Of course I am eager to know what the snow fairy queen prophesied, but when I hear his answer, I am sorry I asked: "A girl will die a month from now, falling into the river to the north," he says.

Burusho Marriage, Men and Women and Family

Burusho marriages have traditionally been held once a year: on December 21st, the winter solstice, after some snow is on the ground. Child marriage are not encouraged. Cousin marriages occur but are not common. The average marital age in the 1990s for 16 for girls and 18 for boys. Weddings are usually held at the bride’s family’s house. Marriages are technically arranged but parents generally do not insist that a couple gets married if it is against their wishes. Divorces are rare. Men are only allowed to divorce on the grounds of adultery. Women may not divorce. They can petition the Mir to force her husband to divorce her. Some polygamy occurs. There is also very little intermarriage between the Burushos and people in nearby valleys. In the neighboring Nagir valley there are very few old people over 80 and all the people in the Nagir had heard of the "superior health and longevity of the Burushos."**

Some Burusho women used to have children from 12 to 30 spaced out evenly every four or five years. To achieve this one women said, "We leave our husbands until each child is weaned." This method is not practiced as much as it once was and as a result the population rate has soared. [Source: Sabrina and Roland Michaud, National Geographic, November 1975]

Most chores are done by both men and women. Both sexes do winnowing, threshing and load carrying and child rearing. Women go unveiled and put a lot of time into working in the fields. Schoolgirls usually go to school until two, rest for an hour, and then work in the fields until sunset. After having dinner and helping with chores around the house they study and go to bed. Men do some heavier chores like plowing, wall building and irrigation maintenance.

Hugh R. Page, Jr. wrote in the “Encyclopedia of World Cultures”: “The Burusho population contains four major clans and several minor ones. The major clans are centered on the city of Baltit while the minor clans are dispersed in other settlements. Small extended families (the procreated family of one individual in the senior generation and those of at least two in the next generation) with limited polygyny are the norm. [Source: Hugh R. Page, Jr. “Encyclopedia of World Cultures Volume 3: South Asia,” edited by Paul Hockings, 1992 |~|]

“The socialization of children is a responsibility shared by both parents, with the bulk of it being assumed by the mother. Siblings also share in this task. In 1934, a public school system was donated and put into place by the Aga Khan, thus placing part of the burden for child rearing on teachers.” If a family with a son and a daughter are only allowed to send one of them to university they will usually send the daughter because, they say, the son will "always find a way to look after himself."

“The father of a family owns all of the family property. He may choose to divide his property among his off-spring before his death or it may be divided after he dies. Upon his death, his estate is divided equally among his sons. Sons may choose to work any land inherited together (i.e., as a group) or they may divide it among themselves. Sons by second wives inherit a grandson's share. The youngest son inherits the family dwelling. Provision is usually made so that the eldest son inherits the best land. A daughter is not permitted to inherit property. She may be allowed the use of certain property during her lifetime. Unmarried daughters must be cared for (including the provision of a dowry) by the estate of a deceased father. Apricot trees (and their produce) are often willed to daughters. |~|

Burusho Society and Customs

Burusho society contains five classes: 1) Thamo (royal families); 2) Uyongko, Akabirting (bureaucrats); 3) Bar, Bare, Sis (farmers); 4) Shadarsho (servants); and 5) Baldakuyo, Tsilgalasho (porters for the Thamo and Uyongko). The Berico (India blacksmiths and musicians) also held an important position in society. They have their own customs and speak their own language (Kumaki).

Murder is unheard of in the Hunza valley. The most serious crimes are things like "a man receiving a blow on his arm or his face during a personal dispute." The plaintiff in such a case, if he were to be tried in a traditional Burusho court, would have to pay the victim "one ox for one blow and two oxen for two blows." Today one man told McCarry, decisions that used to take five minutes "now it takes five months and cost a lot of money in bribes." [Source: John McCarry, National Geographic March 1994]

As a greeting Burusho women kiss their male friends on the hand. The man in turn kisses the place on his hand where he was kissed. Not every man is greeted in this way. Usually those that are "smart men" like teachers or men who have proved themselves in battle. Women expect to be treated with an equal amount of respect. Women in the Hunza Valley fling precious flour over their shoulder to wish travelers good luck on the road.♀

Burusho Homes, Culture and Clothes

Burusho villages are built on shelves several hundred meters feet above the Hunza River gorge at an elevation of between 2,500 and 3,000 meters. They are often fortified and reached by narrow roads built above the river basin. Homes are made of stone, rock or clay with wooden doors, roofs and supporting pillars. Houses have traditionally been close together, often on top of one another, for defensive purposes and have a courtyard for animals. An average Burusho home has carpets instead of chairs. Some have a small courtyard with peach or apricot trees.

Burusho men dress like other Pakistani men. Women dressed a traditional style sport bright pillbox hats, adorned with traditionally needlework and crowned by a white scarf. Men in the Hunza and other parts of Pakistan dye their hair or beards orange with henna, but rarely both. A common sight is an old man with short snow white hair and an orange Hemingway style beard.*

Burusho are known for their woolen outer robes known as “chogas.” After wool is woven into material Burushos pound it with mallets. The imperial court in pre-revolutionary France wore shawls made by Hunza wool which at time was more fashionable than cashmere.

Burusho prefer the wool of yaks because it is the most durable. These beasts also provide shoes, water containers from their hide, tools and musical instruments from their bones, fly whisks and brooms from their tails, and fuel from the dung. [Source: Sabrina and Roland Michaud, National Geographic, November 1975]

Embroidery and wood carving are the most developed forms of visual arts. Dancing, music and dramatic arts are important components of ceremonial life. The Burushos also have a oral traditional of literature, folk tales, anecdotes and songs. Bollywood films with girls dancing suggestively in the rain are popular. VCRs and televisions made their way to the Hunza Valley in the 1980s and 90s. Entrepreneurs rented them to people who carried the equipment home in a wheelbarrow.

Burusho Food and Medicine

Apricots are practically the staple of the Burusho diet. They are eaten fresh in the summer and dry in the winter, and their oil is pressed and put to various uses. A lovely time to visit the Hunza is during the autumn when baskets of orange and yellow harvested apricots are laid out all over the place to dry in the sun. Guests are served tea, apples and hard-boiled eggs.

The Burushos also raise corn and barely. Goats and sheep provide milk, meat and wool and oxen are used as beast of burden. Before the Karakorum Highway was built Burushos often were reduced to eating "turnip tops and dandelion leaves" at the end of the winter, now with money generated from tourism and trade they can buy supplies transported along the highway. Goods that arrive from China include lots and lots of thermos and cheaply made porcelain.

A typical Burusho meal is comprised of beef baked in embers and wrapped in chapati and boiled potatoes served with apricot shavings. A Burusho breakfast usually consists of chunks of bread dipped in a bowl of salted tea and milk. Cooked dandelions are often served at dinner. Margarine wasn't introduced to parts of the Hunza valley until 1960 when the first roads arrived. before then people squeezed their cooking oil from apricot seeds. [Source: Sabrina and Roland Michaud, National Geographic, November 1975]

A variety of natural substances such as roots, herbs, and berries are used as medice. Access to Western medicine has increased over the years. The Burusho have traditionally believed that spirits and supernatural forces were involved in sickness and poor health. Medical practitioners are often in short supply.

The Mir and Burusho Governance

The Hunza was ruled for 900 years by an autocratic monarch known as the mir. His power was regarded as absolute. He was assisted in his duties by a grand vizier. They were responsible fro meeting out justice and distributing goods. Villages were led by chiefs assisted by sergeant in arms. “Kalifas” appointed by the Mir presided over important events. Social control was maintained mainly through the impositions of fines and the threat of deportation and forced labor.

The Mir often consulted with elder members of the community about daily matters great and small. For many years, the Mir was the only one with a clock. In the old day he used rely on forced labor. When the Mir was in power he often ordered clan members to work his fields instead of their own. The Mir often stayed long periods of time at the Intercontinental hotel in Karachi which some of his subjects visited just so they could embarrass him by shouting insults.

In 1974 the Mir handed over control of the government to the Pakistan government. The present Mir, Ghazanfar Ali Khan II, retains his title and now holds an elected administrative position. By the 1990s, the Pakistani government had provided 80 percent of the household's in the valley with electricity and almost all of them have a clean water supply. At that time 90 percent of all children in the valley attended school and many attended college. The school system was initiated in 1934 by the Aga Khan.

Paul Raffaele wrote in Smithsonian magazine: “On my 1998 visit to the region, Ghazanfar Ali Khan, Hunza's pale-skinned king, greeted me at the steps of the 700-year-old Baltar Fort, a granite stronghold in the region's capital, Karimabad. His black velvet robe was embroidered with gold thread, and he wore leather slippers with upturned toes. Precious jewels studded his headband, from which a feather fluttered in the breeze. [Source: Paul Raffaele, Smithsonian magazine, January 2007]

At 48, the king still had a warrior's face, and his piercing blue eyes gripped mine. "My family has ruled Hunza for 900 years," he said as we climbed the fort's stone steps to the rooftop courtyard to gaze over the verdant valley. One of his royal predecessors reportedly bragged of his descent from a union between Alexander and one of the snow fairies inhabiting the alpine meadows and icy peaks. Ghazanfar pointed to Rakaposhi and said, "Our wizard can call down the snow fairies to dance with him."

Burusho Economics and Tourism

In the remote valleys of the Hunza Valley area some Burusho have so little money so almost all goods and services are battered or exchanged. Before the Karakorum Highway opened up wheat was often a medium of exchange instead of money. Now some traders are raking it in by trading tea and cigarettes for Chinese carpets and silk clothes. In the old days the Chinese used to trade silver and silk for yak wool and apricots. [Source: John McCarry, National Geographic March 1994]

Goods that the Burushos have traditionally produced for themselves include iron cooking grills, wooden trays, goat-hair rugs and saddlebags, animal-skin boots, woolen garments, blankets and tools made of iron and woods. Other products and services were obtained through trade.

According to the “Encyclopedia of World Cultures”: “Trade between the Burusho and their neighbors has been negligible since antiquity. In exchange for personal services (as laborers, porters, and burden bearers), Chinese caravanners provided cooking implements, cloth, tea, silk, and other commodities to Burusho traders. The Burusho also obtain food from Nagir by means of barter and the exchange of money (though cash has always been in scarce supply in Hunza). The Burusho obtain salt (once mined locally at Shimshal) from Pindi and Gilgit. Most luxury items from India, Turkestan, and central Asia are purchased by the Burusho at markets in Gilgit. [Source: Hugh R. Page, Jr. “Encyclopedia of World Cultures Volume 3: South Asia,” edited by Paul Hockings, 1992]

In 1991 40,000 foreign tourists visited the Hunza valley. Tour groups often witness a show with a shaman doing a sword dance with the severed goat in his hand. During the dance he lifts the goat head up and drinks the blood that drops into his mouth. A Burusho man who was watching the ritual whispered to journalist John McCarry that the whole thing was fake because the musician was playing a flute that dropped vertically from his lips. "If it were the real thing," he said, "the musician would playing a “gabi”, which is flute you play horizontally from your lips and which is the only flute fairies can hear. [Source: John McCarry, National Geographic March 1994]

The Burushos are known as the Sherpas of the Karakoram. Most mountain climbing expeditions in the region hire them as porters. There are some pretty scary bridges in the Hunza Valley and Baltistan. Some are nothing more than a series of cables with boards place on top. Because wood is in short supply the boards are often spaced three feet apart and you to step from one to the next like stepping stones in a streams. The only difference is below the boards is a chasm several hundred feet deep. [Source: Sabrina and Roland Michaud, National Geographic, November 1975]

Burusho Agriculture

Burushos are not allowed to sell their land to outsiders. Parcels of land remain within the same family from generation to generation. One man said it "would be like selling his children." The land is nourished with irrigation canals carved centuries ago into the cliffs using ibex horns. The source of water is streams that spurt out of the bottoms of the glaciers.

The agricultural terraces used by the Burusho are held in place by stone retaining walls and nourished with a complex system of irrigation channels, A great amount of labor is required to keep the system maintained. Popular and birch trees have been planted to serve as shade trees. The land has traditionally been cultivated with wooden tools. Metal tools include iron-tipped plows, hoes, spades, shears and sickles. [Source: Hugh R. Page, Jr. “Encyclopedia of World Cultures Volume 3: South Asia,” edited by Paul Hockings, 1992]

Burushos produce potatoes, tomatoes, garlic, beans, peas, carrots, leafy vegetables, mulberries, apples, walnuts, almonds, plums, pears, cherries, grapes, millet, wheat, barely, rye, buckwheat, rices, spices, cucumbers. Tobacco and flax. They also raise small breeds of cattle, yaks, goats and sheep. Ducks, crows, golden eagles, vultures, pheasants, chickores (red-legged partridges), pigeons and doves are hunted. Cats are kept as pets.

There are orchards with mulberries, walnuts and apricots. After the harvest the fruit are dried on the roofs of houses. The dried fruit provide nourishment for the winter. Early spring, when dried apricot supplies run low has traditionally been a vulnerable time for the Burushos. Infant mortality rates have traditionally been much higher this time of the year than other times. The Burushos are very resourceful with their apricots. The pits are ground and fed to animals and the oil is extracted from the kernels and used for healing and as a skin moisturizer. The main cash crops are almonds and dried apricots.

Are Burusho the Longest Living People on Earth?

The Hunza region of Pakistan is reputed to the home of some the oldest people in the world. One man who claimed to be 108 in the 1990s said he could remember the British invasion of the Hunza in 1891. Another man who claimed to be 106 still herded goats The Hunza region is said to have many people over 100 years old, but since their language, Burushaski, is so unusual and traditionally has had no written language and written documents are scarce, these claims are difficult to verify. Dr. Alexander Leaf M.D., who studied these people, said, "It was the fitness of many of the elderly people rather than their extreme ages that impressed me...I had the definite impression of an unusual number of very vigorous old folk clambering over the steep slopes of this mountainous land. [Source: "Search for the Oldest People", Alexander Leaf, National Geographic, January 1973 [**];

Most people attribute the Burushos longevity to diet, which is mainly fruit and grains. This diet is dictated more by environment than anything. Pastureland is scarce so as a result there is little meat or milk and fruits and grains are what grow best in the irrigated fields of the Hunza. A variety roots, herbs and berries are taken as medicines. Access to Western medicine is generally available. [Source: Sabrina and Roland Michaud, National Geographic, November 1975]

Very old people in Hunza tend to be quite slim. Their average daily caloric intake is 1,923 calories, with 50 grams of protein, 36 grams of fat, and 354 grams of carbohydrates. Meat and dairy products constitute only 1½ percent of the total. "The absence of pastureland," Dr. Leaf said, "makes animal husbandry nearly impossible, and the few livestock are usually killed for food during the festival season in winter. Fats of animal origin are scarce; instead oil obtained from apricot seeds is generally used for all culinary purposes.**

There is no evidence that Hunza life expectancy is significantly than anywhere else in Pakistan. Claims of health and long life were based mostly on the statements by the local Mir. John Clark, a researcher who had contact with Burusho people over a long period of time, said overall they were unhealthy. Clark and Lorimer reported frequent violence and starvation in Hunza. Claims that the Hunza diet prolongs life are not based on science. [Source: Wikipedia]

Image Sources: Wikimedia Commons

Text Sources: New York Times, Washington Post, Los Angeles Times, Lonely Planet Guides, Library of Congress, Pakistan Tourism Development Corporation (tourism.gov.pk), Official Gateway to the Government of Pakistan (pakistan.gov.pk), The Guardian, National Geographic, Smithsonian magazine, The New Yorker, Time, Reuters, Associated Press, AFP, Wikipedia and various books, websites and other publications.

Last updated February 2022

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