Karakoram Highway (KKH) is the highest paved international
road in the world. It connects China and Pakistan across
the Karakoram mountain range, through the Khunjerab Pass,
at an altitude of 4,693 m/15,397 ft. as confirmed by both
SRTM and multiple GPS readings.
new all-weather road, the Karakoram Highway connecting
Rawalpindi/Islamabad with China's Xinjiang Province runs
through the Northern Areas.
The 805 km. dual carriage
metalled road starts from Havelian 100 km. From Islamabad
and winds through Abbottabad-Mansehra-Thakot-Besham-Pattan-Sazin-Ghils-Gilgit-Hunza
to the Chinese Frontier across the 4,733 metres high
Khunjerab Pass. The road built by the Pakistan Army
engineers in association with the Chinese experts and
technicians has been described as a marvel of civil
engineering and even as "The Eighth Wonder of the
World". Completed in 15 years, it has been forced
through some of the world's toughest terrain. The road
not only opens up the Northern Areas to trade and travel
but also provides easy access to hitherto closed regions,
connected by jeep or goat tracks.
There are more than
20,000 pieces of rock art and petroglyphs all along
the highway that are concentrated at ten major sites
between Hunza and Shatial. The carvings were left by
various invaders, traders and pilgrims who passed along
the trade route, as well as by locals. The earliest
date back to between 5000 and 1000 BC, showing single
animals, triangular men and hunting scenes in which
the animals are larger than the hunters. These carvings
were pecked into the rock with stone tools and are covered
with a thick patina that proves their age.