– Officially named Gilgit-Baltistan in 2009 (formerly The Northern Areas)
– Gilgit is the capital of Gilgit-Baltistan and Skardu is the capital of Baltistan
– Population of approximately 1.5 million
– The area is sandwiched between three Asian powers – China, India & Pakistan
– Key Industries: Subsistence farming, animal husbandry, gems mining & tourism
– The six languages of Gilgit-Baltistan are Urdu, Balti, Shina, Burushaski, Wakhi & Domaaki the language of black smiths & musicians.
– Gilgit-Baltistan is home to five of the 8,000 m peaks and to more than fifty peaks above 7000 meters; including the worlds 2nd highest mountain, K2.
– The building of the Karakoram Highway in the late 1970’s opened up Gilgit-Baltistan to the outside world.
– Baltistan is inhabited by the Balti people who are of Tibetan descent
– In the 16th Century Baltistan was referred to as “Little” Tibet