Ishkoman is a city located in the Ghizer district of Gilgit-Baltistan, Pakistan. Despite its small size, the city has a rich cultural and historical significance that makes it a unique destination for tourists and researchers alike. In this article, we will provide a comprehensive overview of Ishkoman, covering its geography, demographics, history, culture, religion, economy, and infrastructure.
Geography and Demographics
Ishkoman is situated in the eastern part of Ghizer district, bordering the Wakhan corridor of Afghanistan. It is surrounded by majestic mountains, including the Karakoram and Hindukush ranges, which offer stunning views to visitors. The city covers an area of approximately 1,693 square kilometers and has an estimated population of around 35,000 people. The majority of the population is composed of Dards, who speak Shina, Gojri, and Wakhi languages.
Ishkoman has a rich historical background that dates back to the pre-Islamic era. The city was part of the Kushan Empire and was later ruled by various local dynasties, including the Trakhanas, the Katoras, and the Yabgo rulers. During the 16th century, Ishkoman became part of the Baltistan kingdom, and later came under the control of the Dogra Raj in the 19th century. Since the creation of Pakistan in 1947, Ishkoman has been an integral part of Gilgit-Baltistan.
Culture and Tradition
Ishkoman has a unique cultural heritage that is influenced by its location and history. The people of Ishkoman are known for their warm hospitality, and they take pride in their customs and traditions. One of the most famous festivals in Ishkoman is the Shina festival, which is celebrated in late autumn and is characterized by traditional dances and songs. Ishkoman is also famous for its arts and crafts, particularly woodcarving and embroidery.
Ishkoman is a melting pot of different religions, and people of various faiths coexist peacefully. The majority of the population is Muslim, but there are also small populations of Ismaili Muslims, Sunnis, and Shias. The Ismaili community plays a significant role in shaping the city’s culture and traditions, and their religious practices are often intertwined with local customs.
Agriculture and livestock rearing are the primary sources of livelihood in Ishkoman. The city is known for its high-quality fruits, particularly apricots and cherries, and its famous cheese, called “ghaora.” In recent years, tourism has emerged as a new source of income, as visitors are attracted to the city’s natural beauty and cultural heritage.
Infrastructure and Development
Ishkoman is a remote area, and its infrastructure and development are still in their infancy. However, the government has taken steps to improve the city’s connectivity by constructing new roads and communication networks. Education and healthcare facilities are also being upgraded, but there is still a long way to go in terms of development.
In conclusion, Ishkoman is a city that is rich in cultural and historical significance. Its stunning natural beauty, combined with its unique customs and traditions, make it a destination that is worth exploring. However, the city is still facing significant challenges in terms of development and infrastructure, and there is a need for more investment and support to unlock its full potential. With the right resources and attention, Ishkoman could become a thriving center of tourism and commerce in the region.