Chapursan is a right picturesque valley that stretches from the Karakoram Highway at Sost a full sixty kilometres westward to the watershed of the 5185 metre-high Chilinji Pass. Well-watered by many silvery streams and fertilised by the fine loam left behind by a glacier that melted perhaps about four hundred years ago, Chapursan has rich farmlands and orchards. The people, of old Kirghiz stock who speak Wakhi, a language that descends from archaic Persian, are notable for their extreme hardihood and cheerfulness.
Nestling in remote Gojal (as the upper part of Hunza is known), few Pakistanis know of this little paradise. But some may instantly recognise Chapursan as the home of a man who has single-handedly won more laurels for Pakistan than anyone else: the valley is home to the dashing Nazir Sabir (of movie-star good looks to boot), who has climbed the greatest peaks not only at home, but is also the only Pakistani to have summitted Mount Everest.
But that is an aside; a mere introduction to Chapursan Valley. The central part of the valley is home to a tale that is shared by all the villages. This is the story of Baba Ghundi — the Old Man from Ghund. Ghund, they say, is a tiny village that lies somewhere across Wakhan. The Baba, so the tale goes, once came travelling through the valley.
Scenic Chapursan that seems so very much a part of paradise, was in those days afflicted by one terrible bane: the man-eating dragon that dwelt in one of the valley’s lakes and took a daily sacrifice from the people. Lots were drawn and one unfortunate person ordained by fate was left by the lakeshore to be taken by the monster. One day the victim, a young a beautiful girl, sat by the lake tearfully waiting to be devoured when Baba Ghundi chanced upon her and asked her why she wept.
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