The Courier News from ,  on November 11, 1961 · Page 6
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The Courier News from , · Page 6

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Saturday, November 11, 1961
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LAND f LONGEVITY Visitors entering Hunia ride in a box 300 feet above ttie Hunia River. A flood destroyed o bridge here 20 years ago. Hunza men are tall and fair-skinned. Those two are leaving a religious gathering. It's not un- nmon for Hunia men to strechildren inlheir 80s and then live to see the children grow up. idden away in the recesses of the Himalayas in no, thernmost Pakistan is one of the least-visited, most inaccessible states in the world -the "lost" kingdom of Hunia. To enter Hunza, a visitor must go in by box. The box hangs from a cable 300 feet above ihe Hunia River. A towline pulls it across the river which divides Hunia from the rest of Pakistan. It is the highlight of a journey that helps explain why the state has registered only 483 visitors since a guest book was opened in Baltif, Jhe capital, in 1914. The feature thai most impresses Hunza'sinfrequentvisitorsis the remarkable longevity of her men, many of whom live past 100. Human men keep siring children into their 80$. Mir Muhammad Jamal Khan, ruler of the semi-autonomous state at the back door of Russia and China, admits that his own family is a case in point. "My grandfather lived past 90," says the Mir."He had a daughter when he was 74 and there was nothing extraordinary about it." Walking in the mountain air may help explain the extreme longevity. The only wheeled vehicles are two jeeps owned by Jhe Mir. Another factor may be Hunia's diet, which is based on raw fruit and boiied vegetables. Still another may be the unhurried nature of a pastoral existence that has remained the same since the land was first settled by deserters from Alexander's army in the 4fh Century, B. C. For the 32,000 Humans who live in the 8,000-square-mife area, and devote their time to small farming and crafis, a new era may be opening up. A hydrogeneratorproject is in the works —and that will mean light bulbs, power switches and new industries. A jeep, one of two in all Hunia, crosses narrow wooden bridge in Ballil Valley during tough trip to Baltil, the capital. Religious gathering near the Mir's old palace. Worshippers are devoul Moslems Beautiful Bollit Volley, 8,000 feet above sea level, ties nestled between peaks which tower up to 26,000 feet. The Mir Muhammad Jama! Xhon, ruler of Hun«o, whose family hot held supreme power in itate for more tfion 600 years. This old man, who posed in Baltit, told photographer he was IOS years old. It's not uncommon for Hunia men to live post 100. Five of the Mir's six daughter! at religious gathering. He al» Sa« three son<. This Waek's PICTURE SHOW by AP Staff Pholootophef WaUon Sims

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