1911 Encyclopædia Britannica/Hunza and Nagar

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HUNZA (also known as Kanjut) and NAGAR, two small states on the North-west frontier of Kashmir, formerly under the administration of the Gilgit agency. The two states, which are divided by a river which runs in a bed 600 ft. wide between cliffs 300 ft. high, are inhabited generally by people of the same stock, speaking the same language, professing the same form of the Mahommedan religion, and ruled by princes sprung from the same family. Nevertheless they have been for centuries persistent rivals, and frequently at war with each other. Formerly Hunza was the more prominent of the two, because it held possession of the passes leading to the Pamirs, and could plunder the caravans on their way between Turkestan and India. But they are both shut up in a recess of the mountains, and were of no importance until about 1889, when the advance of Russia up to the frontiers of Afghanistan, and the great development of her military sources in Asia, increased the necessity for strengthening the British line of defence. This led to the establishment of the Gilgit agency, the occupation of Chitral, and the Hunza expedition of 1891, which asserted British authority over Hunza and Nagar. The country is inhabited by a Dard race of the Yeshkun caste speaking Burishki. For a description of the people see Gilgit. The Hunza-Nagar Expedition of 1891, under Colonel A. Durand, was due to the defiant attitude of the Hunza and Nagar chiefs towards the British agent at Gilgit. The fort at Nilt was stormed, and after a fortnight’s delay the cliffs (1000 ft. high) beyond it were also carried by assault. Hunza and Nagar were occupied, the chief of Nagar was reinstated on making his submission, and the half-brother of the raja of Hunza was installed as chief in the place of his brother.