shimsal pass

Shimshal is a village located in Gojal Tehsil of Hunza District, in the Gilgit–Baltistan Region of Pakistan, known as Northern Areas of Pakistan. It lies at an altitude of 3, 100 metres above sea level and is the highest settlement in Hunza Valley. The Village connects Gilgit-Baltistan to China. The area of Shimshal is about 3, 800 square kilometres. Shimshal consists of four major hamlets; Farmanabad, Aminabad, Central Shimshal and Khizarabad. Odver Stream flows from Odversar (6, 303 metres) also known as White-horn of Shimshal. It produces hydro-electricity for five months of the year from June to October. After October the water gets frozen. Local Community faces problems during the rest of seven months, because during this period they have to rely on kerosene oil, firewood, solar plates and compressed natural gas in cylinders as alternative sources of fuel.



It is narrated by Shimshalis that some thirteen generations ago, their ancestor Mamusingh explored the area of Shimshal and settled there with his wife. The wife Mamusingh was angry with him for bringing her to such a remote place. A Saint visited them to restore their relationship. They had a son afterward, named as her, who secured ownership of Shimshal by Pamir, by winning a Polo Contest against some Kyrgyz herders, who also had claim the ownership of the area.

Three sons of Sher, are the originators of three main clans of Shimshal;

  1. Boqi Kathor
  2. Ghazi Kathor
  3. Bakhti Kathor

Shimshal remains part of the Royal State of Hunza, until 1974 when Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto abolished Pakistan’s last existing Princely Kingdom, owned by Mir.


More than twenty mountaineers from Shimshal Valley have made Pakistan proud in the field of mountaineering; among them Samina Baig, the first women climber from Pakistan who climbed Mount Everest and all highest peaks in seven continents around the globe. Rajab Shah, who climbed all the five highest peaks in Pakistan, and Mehrban Shah have received Pride of Performance in the field of mountaineering.  Shimshal is often called “The Valley of Mountaineers” in Pakistan.

pamir lake shimshal pass

Shimshal Pass:

Shimshal Pass is elevated at 4, 735 metres above. It lies between the Indus River and Tarim River basins, which leads to the Valley of the Shimshal Braldu River, a tributary of the Shaksgam River on the border with China.

Annually, in the last week of July or the first week of August, there is a festival at Shimshal Pass, where locals participate in a Yak Race, followed by singing and dancing. In Wakhi language, it is called Woolyo.

Tourism in Shimshal:

Shimshal Valley is the largest adventure area in Hunza Valley and is a major tourist’s attraction. The highest mountains of the Valley are Distaghilsar (7, 885 metres), Shimshal White Horn (6, 303 metres) Mingliksar (6, 150 metres), Lupgharsar (7, 200 metres), Yazghailsar (6, 000 metres), Kunjutsar.

Gigantic glaciers include Malangudhi, Yazghail, Khurdopin (5, 800 metres), Braldu, Odver, Ver Zharav, and main passes are Chafchingoal, Khurdopin, Mai Dur, Braldu, Boi.

Solar Electricity in Shimshal:

There are almost 250 houses in Shimshal and almost every house uses solar panels to generate electricity. It means, compared to other people living on high altitudes in the region, residents of Shimshal live in a better way.

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