Surprising phenomenon of longevity of the tribe of Hunza

The valley of the river Hunza is on border of India and Pakistan, it is called still “a youth oasis”. Why? Life expectancy of locals — 110-120 years. They almost are never ill and look young. Their longevity still leads up a blind alley researchers.

Means, there is a certain way of life coming to ideal when people feel healthy, happy don’t grow old, as in other countries, already to 40-50-year age. It is curious that inhabitants of the valley of Hunz, unlike the next nationalities, are externally very similar to Europeans (as well as galoshes which live absolutely nearby).

According to a legend, the dwarfish mountain state located here was founded by group of soldiers of army of Alexander of Macedon during his Indian campaign. They, naturally, have established strict fighting discipline here — such that inhabitants with swords and boards had and to sleep, and is, and even to dance …

At the same time hunzakuta with delicate irony belong to the fact that someone else in the world is called mountaineers. Well, really, whether it is obvious that rightfully only those who live near the well-known “place of a mountain meeting” — points where three highest systems of the world meet have to bear this name: Himalayas, Hindu Kush and Karakorum. From 14 peaks eight-chiliarches of Earth five are nearby, including K2, the second after Everest (8 611 meters) on rise in which climbing community is appreciated even more, than conquest of Chomolungma. And what to tell about not less glorified local “top murderer” Nanga-Parbat (8 126 meters) which has buried record number of voskhoditel? And about tens seven – and the six-chiliarches literally “crowding” around Hunza?

Will be beyond the power to pass through these rocky massifs if you not the world-class athlete. You will be able only “to filter” narrow passes, gorges, tracks. Since ancient times these rare arteries were controlled by principalities which imposed a considerable tax on all passing caravans. Hunza was considered among them as one of the most influential.

In far Russia about this “Land of the Lost” a little, and for the reasons not only geographical, but also political is known: Hunza, along with some other valleys of the Himalayas, appeared in the territory for which nearly 60 years India and Pakistan conduct a furious dispute (much more extensive Kashmir remains its principal object).

The USSR — out of harm’s way — always tried to separate from the conflict. For example, the same K2 (other name — Godwin Austen) is mentioned in the majority of the Soviet dictionaries and encyclopedias, but without specifying of the area in which it is. Local, quite traditional names were erased also from the Soviet cards, and, respectively, from the Soviet news lexicon. But here that surprisingly: in Hunz about Russia all just know.

Two captains

“Lock” many locals respectfully call the Baltitsky fort hanging from the rock over Karimabad. He is about 700 years old, and in due time he served the local independent governor as both the palace of the world, and fortress. Not deprived of impressiveness outside, from within Baltit it seems gloomy and crude. Dark rooms and a poor situation — regular pots, spoons, the huge furnace … In a floor the hatch — under it the world (prince) of Hunza kept the personal captives in one of rooms. Light and big rooms a little, perhaps, only “the balcony hall” makes a pleasant impression — the majestic type on the valley opens from here. On one of walls of this hall — a collection of ancient musical instruments, on another — weapon: sabers, swords. And the checker presented by Russians.

In one of rooms two portraits hang: the British captain Yangkhazbend and the Russian kapitanagrombchevsky who decided destiny of the principality. In 1888 on Karakorum’s joint and the Himalayas the Russian village nearly appeared: when to the world of Hunza Safdaru Ali of that time there arrived with a mission the Russian officer Bronislav Grombchevsky. Then on border of Hindustan and Central Asia there was a Big Game, active opposition of two superstates of the 19th century — Russia and Great Britain. Not only the military, but also the scientist, and subsequently even the honorary member of Imperial Geographical Society, this person wasn’t going to win lands for the tsar. And there were with it then only six Cossacks. But nevertheless it was talked of the fastest device of a trade trading station and the political union. Russia which had by then influence on all Pamir turned the eye towards the Indian goods now. So the captain joined the Game.

Safdar very warmly accepted him and willingly signed the offered agreement — he was afraid of the British pressing from the South.

And, as it appeared, not without the bases. Grombchevsky’s mission outright disturbed Calcutta where at that time there was a yard of the viceroy of the British India. And though special representatives and spies comforted the authorities: it is hardly worth being afraid of appearance of the Russian troops on “the top of India” — to Hunza conduct too difficult passes besides closed by snow the most part of year with the North — here it was decided to send urgently group under Francis Yangkhazbend’s command.

Both captains were colleagues — “geographers in shoulder straps”, they met on the Pamir expeditions more than once. Now they should determine the future ownerless “the hunzakutskikh of bandits” as they were called in Calcutta.

In Hunz meanwhile slowly there were Russian goods, weapon, and in the palace Baltit even the ceremonial portrait of Alexander III appeared. The far mountain government began diplomatic correspondence with St. Petersburg and suggested to place with itself the Cossack garrison. And in 1891 the message came from Hunza: the world Safdar Ali officially asks about acceptance it with all people in the Russian citizenship. This message reached also Calcutta soon, as a result of December 1, 1891 mining shooters of Yangkhazbend occupied the principality, Safdar Ali ran to Xinjiang. “The door to India for the tsar is shut” — the British invader wrote to the viceroy.

So, Hunza considered by the Russian territory herself only four days. The governor of hunzakut wished to see himself Russian, but didn’t manage to receive the official answer. And British were fixed and kept here till 1947 when during disintegration of the British India which gained independence the principality suddenly appeared in the territory under control to Muslims.

Today Hunza is operated by the Pakistani Ministry of affairs of Kashmir and the Northern territories, but warm memory of a cancelled outcome of the Big Game, remained.

Moreover, locals ask the Russian tourists why so there aren’t enough tourists from Russia. At the same time British, though left nearly 60 years ago, still their hippies flood the territories.

Apricot hippies

It is considered that Hunza for the West was rediscovered by hippies who fermented in the 1970th years about Asia in search of the truth and exotic. And, spread this place so that even usual dried apricots Americans call Hunza Apricot today. However, here “children of flowers” were attracted by not only these two categories, but also the Indian hemp.

One of the main sights of Hunza — a glacier which the wide cold river goes down to the valley. However, on numerous terrace fields grow up potatoes, vegetables and hemp which here not how many smoke as add for seasoning to meat dishes and soups.

As for young long-haired people with the inscription Hippie way on undershirts — whether the real hippies, whether fans of a retro — that they in Karimabada and generally eat greedily apricots. It, undoubtedly, main value hunzakutskikh of gardens. All Pakistan knows that only here “hansky fruits” which exude with fragrant juice on trees grow.

Hunza is attractive at all not only for radical youth — both fans of mountain travel, and admirers of history, and just fans go here to get far away from the homeland. Numerous rock-climbers supplement a picture, of course …

As the valley is on half-roads from the Hundzherabsky pass prior to the beginning of the Hindustan plains, hunzakuta are sure that they control a way in general to “the top world”. To mountains, per se. It is hard to say whether really this principality was once founded by Alexander the Great’s soldiers, or it were baktriyets – Aryan descendants of once uniform great Russian people, but some secret in appearance of this of the small and original people in the environment, certainly, is. He speaks in own tongue of a burushaskha (Burushaski which relationship is still not established with one of world tongues though all know also Urdu here, and many — English), confesses, of course, as well as most of Pakistanis, Islam, but special sense, namely Ismaili, one of the most mystical and mysterious in religion which professes up to 95% of the population. Therefore in Hunz you won’t hear the habitual appeals on a prayer rushing from loudspeakers of minarets. Everything is silent, a prayer — a personal record and time of everyone.


Hunza bathe in ice water even at the 15th-degree frost, up to hundred years play outdoor games, 40-year-old women at them look as girls, in 60 years keep symmetry and grace of a figure, and in 65 years still give birth to children. In the summer they eat crude fruit and vegetables, in the winter — the apricots and germinated grains, sheep sheep cheese which are dried up in the sun.

The river Hunza was a natural barrier to two medieval principalities Hunza and Nagar. Since the 17th century these principalities constantly were at enmity, stole each other women and children and sold in slavery. Both those, and others lived in the strengthened villages. One more is interesting: inhabitants have a period when fruit didn’t keep up yet — it is called “in the hungry spring” and proceeds from two to four months. These months they almost eat nothing and only once in day drink drink from dried apricots. Such post is built in a cult and is strictly observed.

The Scottish doctor Makkarrison, the first described the Happy valley, emphasized that consumption of whites is there at the lowest level of norm if at all it is possible to call it norm. Daily caloric content of a hunza averages 1933 kcal and includes 50 g of white, 36 g of fat and 365 carbohydrates.

The Scot lived in close proximity to Hunz’s valley within 14 years. He came to a conclusion that the diet is a major factor of longevity of these people. If the person eats incorrectly, then from diseases he won’t be saved also by mountain climate. Therefore it isn’t surprising that the neighbors of a hunz living in the same climatic conditions have the most various diseases. Their life expectancy is twice shorter.

Mack Karrison, having returned to England, put interesting experiments on a large number of animals. One of them ate usual food of the London working family (white loaf, a herring, sugar – lump sugar, tinned and boiled vegetables). As a result in this group the most various began to appear “human diseases”. Other animals were on a diet of a hunz and throughout all experience remained absolutely healthy.

In the book “Hunza — the people which don’t know diseases” R. Birkher emphasizes the following very essential advantages of model of food in this country:

— first of all it is vegetarian;
— large number of crude products;
— in a daily diet vegetables and fruit prevail;
— products are natural, without any chemicalixation and prepared with preservation of all biologically valuable substances;
— alcohol and delicacies consume exclusively seldom;
— very moderate consumption of salt; the products which are grown up only on the domestic soil;
— regular periods of starvation.

It is necessary to add to it also other factors favoring to healthy longevity. But the way of food has here, undoubtedly, very essential, crucial importance.

In 1963 Hunz was visited by the French medical expedition. As a result of the population census conducted by it it was found out that average life expectancy at hunzakut makes 120 years that twice exceeds this indicator among Europeans. In August, 1977 in Paris not the international cancer congress the statement was made: “According to data of a geokantserologiya (science on studying of cancer diseases in different regions of the world) total absence of cancer diseases takes place only among nationality of a hunz”.

In April, 1984 one of the Hong Kong newspapers reported about the following surprising case. One of hunzakut who was called Said Abdul Mobut who arrived to the London Heathrow airport brought into bewilderment of employees of emigration service when showed the passport. According to the document, hunzanut was born in 1823 and to it 160 years were performed. The mullah accompanying Mobud noted that his ward is considered a Saint in the country Hunza which is famous for the long-livers. Mobud has an excellent health and sensible mind. He perfectly remembers events, since 1850.

Locals speak about the secret of longevity simply: be a vegetarian, work always and physically, constantly move and don’t change a life rhythm then you will live years to 120-150. Distinctive features хунз as the people having “full-fledged health”:

1) High working capacity in the broadest sense. At hunz this working capacity is shown both in operating time, and during dancings and games. For them to pass 100–200 kilometers — all the same that for us to make short walk near the house. They extraordinary easily climb up cool mountains to transfer some news, and come back home fresh and cheerful.

2) Cheerfulness. Hunza constantly laugh, they always in good mood even if are hungry and suffer from cold.

3) Exclusive firmness. “At hunz nerves strong, as ropes, both thin and gentle as a string — Makkarison wrote. — They never become angry and don’t complain, aren’t nervous and don’t show impatience, don’t quarrel among themselves and with complete peace of mind endure physical pain, troubles, noise, etc.”

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Harem King

huh im the heathiest most well developed person I’ve ever seen, and I never eat fruits or vegetables or bread or dairy or soy. I eat salmon and salmon alone. I never use chemicals or anything unnatural, and when I go to the buffet I eat 6 plates of salmon. My diet consists of salmon and beef liver with garlic and onions ontop, and that’s it. I like coldweather and hate the heat, and when I walk in -5 degrees fahrenheit it does not bother me. I like to sleep 16 hours a day.

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