|Zood Khun, mountain in front of Pamir Serai at 10:30 PM, early August|
Remote and isolated Zoodkhun, the high mountain village of Gojal in Gilgit Baltistan, is a remarkable place to observe and to photography night skies. This article is the translation of the French one published by Bernard Grua, from France, on his travel blog: “Chapursan, quand la nuit de Zoodkhun dévoile l’univers”.
|Zood Khun, western ridges, light going down to the Valley at 05:45, early August|
The gate to another endless worldIn the Upper Hunza, on the borders of Central Asia, at the end of the narrow Chapursan Valley, Zood Khun is surrounded by the high ranges of Karakoram, Hindu Kush and Pamir. There, by the end of twilight, the observer does not feel himself in a wide space encircled by the lower edges of a celestial vault. He gets nearly the sensation of being in an almost closed environment. However, he soon understands his first impression was wrong. While, looking up, it seems to him, in the contrary, that the real world is not on the planet where he stands. This one would be only a tiny cell. For the night is neither black nor blue. It is not "one." It is not a lid. It does not exist. It's a different day. The day of a gigantic and brilliant universe.
A vertiginous astonishmentThe fading of the last sun rays awakens, in an unknown vertigo, an overcrowded space, a multiple and inconceivable luminosity. Darkness is like replaced by sand where each grain is glittering. The viewer, then, tells himself the anthropic light pollution deprives him, everywhere else, of such a vision. Even, in the Atlantic Ocean or in the Mediterranean Sea, even far off the shores, it is impossible to access this revelation because of the evaporation.
|Zood Khun, western ridges - Sun lights did not totally disappear, however sky is so pure |
that numerous stars can already be seen at 08:15 PM, early August
A glittering infinite thanks to a crystal clear air
|Zood Khun,milky way at 10:30 PM, early August|
The village is so far away from any urban center and from the Karakoram Highway (KKH) that no artificial light might pollute the sky. During nights with no winds, no dust tarnishes the crystal clear firmament. Thus, the eye, if it avoids being distracted by the regular falling stars, distinguishes an almost contiguous multitude of colored glitters.
Behind these ones, other gleams extend towards an obvious infinite. Although its measure defies all imagination.
If you want to access a specific point of view, if you want to trek or to attend some tours during day light between your night sky photo sessions, just ask Pamir Trails and visit its webite.
Bernard Grua, Nantes, Bretagne, France (Facebook page: Bernard Grua Photography)
Other articles of Bernard Grua about the same topics
- EN: Report of a French traveler about a domestic hate speech against the Wakhi minority of Chapursan Valley and its male international guests - credibility assessment of an alleged sexual conspiracy against local women and foreign female visitors – concerns about an emerging external extremism
- FR: Le Grand Jeu : rencontre anglo-russe aux confins du Pamir, de l'Hindou Kouch et du Karakoram
- EN: What to see and what to do in a short period of time in Hunza?
- EN: At the knot of past empires: Zood Khun, a Wakhi village in the high northern mountains of Pakistan
- FR: Chapursan, quand la nuit de Zoodkhun dévoile l’univers
EN: Chapursan, where Zoodkhun nights unveil the universe
- FR: La Karakoram Highway, prototype des nouvelles Routes de la Soie? EN: Karakoram Highway, a prototype of the new Silk Roads?
- FR: Quelques réflexions sur le développement d’un tourisme responsable et communautaire dans la vallée de la Hunza, Pakistan
EN: Some reflections about the development of a responsible and community based tourism in Hunza Valley, Pakistan
- EN: Tusion, the hidden gem of Pamir
Browse Upper Hunza landscapes and villages photo album
Browse Wakhi people from Upper Hunza photo album
Where to stay in Chapursan ValleyPamir Serai guest houses are the traditional homestay of Zoodkhun and Baba Ghundi for external visitors. They are run by the internationaly famous Alam Jan Dario’s family.
Sky Bridge Motel & Resorts opened in 2018. It is run by Fahim U. Baig in Zoodkhun.
Hilltop Guest House is run by Haider Badakhshoni in Reshit.