Saturday, 21 May 2016

Historical Yasin Valley in the mountains of Hindukush Pakistan

Like the Ishkoman Valley, the Yasin Valley is to the north west of the Ghizar District. It lies to the east of Ishkoman at an altitude of 2100 meters to 2800 meters. In its lower part the valley is wide flat and well watered, making it completely fertile, with irrigated fields on the either side of the Yasin River.
  The people here speak the original language of Brushaski which is also spoken in Hunza and Nagar valleys. It has played a leading role in the history of the region continually fought over by the rulers of both Chitral and Gigit, the history of the ruler of Yasin reads like catalogue of patricide, fratricide and avunculicide.
 Until the twentieth century, Yasin was an important Kingdom controlling the shortest and easiest Route between the Oxus and Indus Valleys. In the early centuries AD, it was the capital of the Little Bolor, which ruled Gilgit, the early in the eighth the century, the Tibetans, who controlled Great Bolor (Baltistan) tried to gain access through Yasin to the Oxus Valley in order to join forces with Arab and attack China. With Chinese help, Yasin kept the Tibetans at bay until 742, when the Tibetans persuaded the king of Yasin to marry a Tibetan princess and align himself with Tibet.
 The Chinese retailed by attacking in747. With 10,000 troops they crossed the Pamir and defeated an equal force of Tibetans on the Wakhan side of the Broghil pass, then chased them across the Broghil and Darkot passes. The Chinese than took Yasin and cut the birch-rope bridge across the Gigit River at Gupis which was as source of access, it took one year to rebuild. Thus blocking the advance of Tibetans reinforcement coming from Gilgit, as the Gigit River cannot be forded in the summer and there is no route along its north bank. Chinese rule proved to be short lived, however, as a defeat in 751 near Tashkent at the hands of Arab lost them control of Central Asia. The Chinese returned in 1749. In the eighteenth century the king of Mastuj controlled Yasin and at times Gilgit as well. The Ghizar Valley west of Yasin smooth as the Shandur Pass is making easy for Mastuj to communicate with Yasin.
 Yasin has playe pivotal role in the history of Gillgit Baltistan. It came to the attention of vitorian Britain following the murder of British explorer Goerge Hayward in Darkot village in 1870 ( will describe in the next pages about this).  Russian advanced through Darkot and Broghil pass in order to capture Gilgit but they were stopped at Darkot pass. The British took an interest in the valley and opened its agency at Gilgit in 1877, Britsh and Russian continued to jostle for control. Russian spies stood at the top of the Darkot Pass at 1890, peering down into Yasin, but retreated unseen. Five years later the Pamir Boundary Commission crossed the Darkot Pass with 600 ponies to survey the frontier. The Russian threat subsided, and in twentieth century Yasin became another small kingdom ruled by raja. It was absorbed by Pakistan in 1972.
Geographically, Yasin Valley of Gilgit Baltistan is the meeting point to the Central Asian countries in the Hindukush range of great mountains Gilgit baltisistan, to the North east its borders connect with Ishkomman Valley which has long border along the Korumbar and Wakhan Corridor and Chilinji Pass to Chupusan upper Gojal,to the South its border connects with the Yarkun Vally of Chitaral district of NWFP now KPK to continue to Afghanistanse. Because of this geographical importance ancient invaders and conquerors used these passes to proceed to the Sub-Continent.
 It was considered one of the remotest regions in Gilgit Baltistan but the modern technology and sacrifice of martyr (shaheed) Lalik Jan Nishan-e- Haider made it accessible in a short time by improving the road to Yasin, once it took eight hours from Gigit to reach there, but now it takes only four hours. The valley is very beautiful with spectacular views of the snowcapped mountains of Hindu Kush and passing through the beautiful villages of Punial and Gupis on the Shandur road leads to Chitral. The people of Yasin are unique in their hospitality as compare to any other part of Gilgit Baltistan. There is unique beauty for the travelers to enjoy their holidays. It has camping spots simple reasonable hotels to stay and easy and challenging trekking routes for trekkers and mountains for climbers (most of them are unclimbed yet). You can go on a day short trek or a month long trek from the valley crossing passes from a part to another part of the district. The detailed itineraries and descriptions of the trekking routes will be shared in the next posts. Some of them have been described already in the previous posts.
I hope you will find this article interesting and comment on it. Positive feedback is always welcome.


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