Gilgit, the capital of Gilgit-Baltistan province, is a flourishing town located at an elevation of 1500m and is best known for its cold weather, warm hearted people and a variety of fabrics, chinaware and handicrafts.
Gilgit is one of the two major hubs in the Northern Areas for mountaineering expeditions to the Karakoram and other the peaks in the Himalayas; the other hub being Skardu. Gilgit has an area of 38,000 square kilometres (14,700 sq mi) and stands in the foothills of the Karakoram Mountains with an average altitude of 1,500 metres (4,900 ft). It is drained by the Indus River, which rises in the neighbouring regions of Ladakh and Baltistan.
The famous Karakoram Highway crosses Hunza, connecting Pakistan to China via the Khunjerab Pass. Travelling up the valley from the south, Hunza is the land to the left, and the former state of Nagar towards the right of Hunza River. Regular bus and van services operate between Gilgit and Central Hunza (Ganish Village, Aliabad and Karimabad) and also between Gilgit and Sost Gojal. PTDC Office at Gilgit, Sost, and Islamabad arrange tours and transport for visitors.
Gilgit lies about 10 kilometers (6.2 m) off of the Karakoram Highway (KKH). The KKH connects the city to Chilas, Dasu, Besham, Mansehra, Abbottabad, and Islamabad in the south. Towards the North, it is connected to Karimabad (Hunza) and Sust, and to the Chinese cities of Tashkurgan, Upal and Kashgar in Xinjiang. Gilgit-Baltistan borders the Wakhan corridor of Afghanistan to the northwest, China's Uygur Autonomous Region of Xinjiang to the northeast, the Indian-controlled state of Jammu and Kashmir to the south and southeast, the Pakistani-controlled state of Azad Jammu and Kashmir to the south, and Pakistan's Khyber Pakhtunkhwa to the west.
Polo is the favourite game of the people of Gilgit, Chilas, Astore, Hunza, and the surrounding areas.