"Balawaristan.....Bala.war. i-san....... (Urdu:بلاورستان) .....is an historical name of Gilgit-Baltistan that has regained some prevalence in recent years. The archaic English spelling for the name was Boloristan, and its first known documented usage is in Chinese sources from the 8th century AD......Gilgit-Baltistan includes Gilgit, Skardu, Hunza, Ishkoman Puniyal and Yasin (see Districts of Gilgit-Baltistan). The regions of Baltistan, and Ladakh (including Kargil) are also considered to be a part of Balawaristan by nationalist parties of Gilgit, and sometimes Chitral is as well......The people of this region have historically been referred to as Balawars (or highlanders), which is said to have come from the term 'Bala', which means high, a reference to the high-altitudes prevalent in this area......
Balkh was known by the Persian 'Sham-i-Bala', loosely translated as "Elevated Candle"....Elevated/raised/divine/high is Persian 'Bala' and 'Sham' is Persian candle/light/sun
Click on the map to enlarge
"Dardistan (Perso-Arabic: داردستان) is a term coined by Gottlieb William Leitner for the northern Pakistan, Kashmir and parts of north-eastern Afghanistan. It is inhabited by Dards speaking Dardic languages. Dardistān, region inhabited by the so-called Dard peoples in the north of Pakistan and northern Kashmir. It includes Chitrāl, the upper reaches of the Panjkora River, the Kohistān (highland) of Swāt, and the upper portions of the Gilgit Agency. Mentioned by the classical historians Pliny the Elder, Ptolemy, and Herodotus, the Dards (Daradae, Daradrae, or Derdae) are said to be people of Aryan origin who ascended the Indus Valley from the Punjab plains, reaching as far north as Chitrāl. They were converted to Islām in the 14th century and speak three distinct dialects of Gilgit, Khowari, Burushaskī, and Shina, employing the Persian script in writing.......Herodotus (III. 102-105) is the first author who refers to the country of Dards, placing it between Kashmir and Afghanistan. It also has reference in Mahabharata where it mentions the tribute of the ant-gold pipilika brought by the nations of the north to one of the Pandu sons, king Yudhisthira......The Dards are also the Darada of the Sanskrit writers. The Darada and Himavanta were the regions to which Buddha sent his missionaries."........http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dardistan
"Baloristan (Gilgit-Chitral) is the name of a region of Gilgit–Baltistan, Pakistan. It borders the Pakistani province of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa to the west, Afghanistan and China to the north and Indian-administered Jammu and Kashmir to the east, leading to the frozen wastes of the Siachen glacier.....In history books, the area is also known as Baloristan or Dardistan. Prof Ahmed Hasan Dani, in his book, History of Northern Areas of Pakistan (1994) writes that the area was collectively called Baloristan by Chinese and other Central Asian historians."......http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Baloristan
"The Deosai National Park is located in Skardu Gilgit-Baltistan province, in northern Pakistan. Deosai is accessible from Skardu District in the north and the Astore District in the west. The plateau is located at the boundary of the Karakorum and the western Himalayas. Deosai is a tourist attraction and lot of tourists who visit Baltistan go to Deosai as well. Deosai Plateau which is the second highest plateau in the world after the Chang Tang in Tibet......In Urdu language Deosai Urdu "دیوسای٘" means 'the land of Giants'. In local Balti language, Deosai is called Ghbyarsa,"غبیارسا" (Balti "དབྱར་ས"།) meaning ‘summer's place’. Balti people gave the name because Deosai is only accessible during Summer."
"Herodotus......Research by the French ethnologist Michel Peissel makes a claim that the story of 'Gold-digging ants' reported by the Greek historian Herodotus, who lived in the 5th century BC, was founded on the golden Himalayan Marmot of the Deosai plateau and the habit of local tribes such as the Minaro to collect the gold dust excavated from their burrows.".....Peissel, Michel. "The Ants' Gold: The Discovery of the Greek El Dorado in the Himalayas". Collins, 1984
"Herodotus, The Histories 3.102-.......Besides these, there are Indians of another tribe, who border on the city of Caspatyrus, and the country of Pactyica; these people dwell northward of all the rest of the Indians, and follow nearly the same mode of life as the Bactrians. They are more warlike than any of the other tribes, and from them the men are sent forth who go to procure the gold. For it is in this part of India that the sandy desert lies. Here, in this desert, there live amid the sand great ants, in size somewhat less than dogs, but bigger than foxes. The Persian king has a number of them, which have been caught by the hunters in the land whereof we are speaking. Those ants make their dwellings under ground, and like the Greek ants, which they very much resemble in shape, throw up sand heaps as they burrow. Now the sand which they throw up is full of gold. ".......http://www.livius.org/he-hg/herodotus/hist06.htm
"Baltistan lies in the extreme north of the Indian subcontinent, bordering the towering Himalaya Mountains. It is a disputed province straddling the uneasy cease-fire line separating the armies of India and Pakistan......It is in this territory few bother to visit that the "ants" revealed themselves to Peissel on the Dansar plain....."Whereas many people thought they'd found it, nobody was ever able to back their claims or locate it," said Peissel......Baltistan's Minaro people, an archaic group whose origins are not entirely clear to academics, directed Peissel to the Dansar plain."...... http://www.terrierman.com/goldenant.htm
"The documentary film series Land of the Tiger, in episode 5 - the "Mountains of the Gods", features the plants and animals of Deosai. Karakoram Heli skying 2013 by Walkabout Films. Documentary movie "Deosai the last sanctuary"
"Herodotus and Megasthenes only succeed in confounding their readers concerning the location of the country of gold-digging ants and the Derdai or, as Leitner classified them, the Dards. Neither gives us any telling detail of this strange land. Meanwhile, we have the geographer Ptolemy introducing yet another name relevant to this discussion. With reference to the various tribes inhabiting the mountainous country between the Jaxartes River (Syr Darya of Uzbekistan) and the Himalayas, he mentions, besides the Daradarai, one group called Byltai. In the two thousand years since Ptolemy, the name of the Balti people has not changed at all. "......http://odysseuslahori.blogspot.com/2014/03/Baltistan.html
"Little P’o-liu included Gilgit and the country westward as far as Chitral, while Great P’o-liu was Baltistan. That is, in medieval times the generic name for the tract of mountain country stretching from Baltistan to Chitral along the right bank of the Sindhu River on the south and the Pamir region on the north was Po-lu-lo, P’o-liu or Bolor........Sometime between the years 670 and 690 the Tibetans, who had already been in possession of Ladakh for a long time, also took control of Bolor. Slowly they expanded westward to occupy Gilgit and Yasin valley in order to eventually maintain a large military presence as far away as Wakhan. It was not until 747 that the Chinese were able to rout them from this country. But in the fifty or so years that the Tibetans held it, they appear to have considerably altered the ethnography of Great Bolor through inter-marriages with the original population. The result, a curious mix of Aryan and Tibetan blood found in Baltistan, prompted an early 20th century anthropologist to label this country ‘a living anthropological museum.’.......It was during this period of Tibetan occupation that the language of Baltistan changed from the original Indo-European Shina to Balti, an archaic form of Tibetan, that one today hears in the country.".......http://odysseuslahori.blogspot.com/2014/03/Baltistan.html
John Hopkins....Northern New Mexico