MY DAY AT THE ‘MOVING GLACIER’ A Visit to the Hopper Glacier-  NAGAR VALLEY

Explore Pakistan with SD! Our team takes you on a magical journey as we experience the greatness the Northern Areas have to offer

Hunza is known to be a haven of wonders. Every year thousands of people go across this region to enjoy its many sights and sounds. It has been gaining popularity significantly and it is true- there is just no place like Hunza out there! However my article will be touching upon its neighbor, a region which is less known yet is very deserving of the same spotlight. I am talking about Nagar. Home to some of the most lush green valleys, warm and welcoming villages and three of the most resounding glaciers. I was lucky enough to have gotten to drive through the majestic Hopper valley, in order for me to reach this one of a kind experience of a glacier which is known to move about 4-6 inches everyday. The Hopar Valley is a scenic portion of the Nagar Valley in northern Pakistan. It is about 10 km away from Nagar Khas, the principal city of the Nagar Valley. Hopper Valley is a cluster of villages around a natural bowl at a bend of Bualtar Glacier. Opposite Hopper the white Bualtar is joined by the Barpu Glacier. This is a base camp for treks into the high, glacier-draped peaks called the Hispar Muztagh. There are just so many sights to marvel at. It completely takes your breath away! Drive to the picturesque Hopper Valley, the land of peaks, torrents and glaciers. While many people would love to just drive down to this fascinating valley, I would absolutely recommend for you to enjoy the sights by parking your car across the road and then walking your way up to where the Hopper glacier is situated. Along the way, you will be completely amazed by the lovely streams flowing across! People are extremely humble and warm; much like the experience you will get in Hunza. And the mountain goats and sheep make up for a complete scenic route. I was lucky enough to even spot a baby bison across one of the village fields.
Getting an Up-Close Experience

This all is just a peek of all the amazing and fascinating sights which still lie ahead. Once me and my family reached the glacier view point. It didn’t look as impressive from the top. The glacier is 28 km long and it is the second fastest moving glacier in the world only after one in Alaska. Although covered by mud , it still manages to look graceful surrounded by high mountain peaks. But this alone was not enough. While there is a beautiful café and restaurant at the top of a mountain peak, as it turns out many of these visitors just head into this amazing sight, soak in the views while having a hot beverage. That wasn’t enough for me. I wanted to see the glacier in all its glory. This can only be done when you get an up-close view. And that is only possible when you are ready to descend from the steep slope for a 2hour hike. So there we were. We took our guide who knew the place quite well and began walking down through rough rocky patches. The adrenaline rush as you keep on getting closer to this huge, majestic structure is what makes this whole trip so worth it! It is completely spellbinding. Locals have given the glacier the name of ‘Black Glacier’. They tease that this is a male glacier; however it stands apart in its own beauty.


You can see the fascinating structure up-close and how unbelievably spellbinding it is as you get closer. From the sides, you can notice the water is dribbling down slowly. There is a haunting silence to where the glacier is and the rhythmic pattern with which small pieces of the glacier smash into the deep, cold water below creates a haunting yet mesmerizing effect. While for those who wish to visit the ‘Rush Peak’, they have no choice but to climb and walk across the glacier to the other side, if you don’t have the proper shoes or travelling with young children, it is best to take images from one end only. The glacier is extremely slippery and due to its very rough formation, it does not make for a smooth walk. So your best bet is to enjoy this awe-striking sight from afar and marvel at God’s perfect creation.
Once you’re done from your very steep descent and even harder (but rewarding) climb back up, treat yourself to some amazing snacks from the shops above and make sure you look into the souvenir shops and get yourself something special to commemorate your special day at the moving glacier.



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