THE people of the Hunza valley are immensely proud of their heritage. As I stumble through the doors of the Marcopolo Inn, Raja Hussein Khan, the general manager, ushers me past a rank of inviting-looking lounge chairs to inspect a prominent poster which traces the 452-year dynasty of the royal family of Hunza.
I am out of breath from the uphill scramble through terraced orchards of apple and apricot that has led me to the village of Gulmit, some 40km from Sust.
Hunzakuts are Muslim, but they are mostly followers of the Ishmaili branch of Shia Islam. A portrait of the revered Aga Khan, the spiritual leader of the Ishmailis, has pride of place in Hunza homes.