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Chitral Valley

"Away From the Rockfall.....under the Avalanche."
An Old Chitrali Saying

Click Here to EnlargeThe Chitral Valley located at an elevation of 1,128 metres is one of the most popular spots amongst mountaineers, anglers, hunters, hikers, naturalists and anthropologists. The 7,705 metres Tirich Mir, the highest peak of the Hindukush mountains, dominates this 322 kms long exotic valley.

The Chitral district has Afghanistan at its north, south and west. A narrow strip of Afghan territory, Wakhan, separates it from Tajikistan. The tourist season in Chitral is from June to September. The maximum temperature in June is 35 C and the minimum is 19 C. In September, the maximum goes upto 24 C and the minimum temperature falls down to 8 C. Which makes your stay pleasant and comfortable.

Click Here to EnlargeThe Muslim tradition of offering hospitality to the 'muzzafer', the traveller, is observed throughout Pakistan's Northern Areas, but in few places is it offered so genuinely as in Chitral. If someone should invite you to stay in his house, it will be an unforgettable experience. Most village homes in Chitral have a large family room called "Baipash". In the middle of the Baipash is a fire place with home spun rugs arranged near it upon which the family and neighbours sit. Some well-to-do people have a separate room especially for visitors called an "Angotee".

Chitral has a strong musical tradition. The "Chitrali Sitar" a graceful string instrument, is heard daily at small workingmen's teahouses in Chitral Bazaar. The 'Chenai' and 'Dol' (Oboe and Drums) frenetically accompany all polo matches.

Click Here to EnlargeOne of the major attractions of Chitral, is the famous Kalash valley - the home of the Kafir-Kalash or "Wearers of the Black Robes", a primitive pagan tribe. Their ancestry is enveloped in mystery and is the subject of controversy. A legend says that five soldiers of the legions of Alexander of Macedonia settled in Chitral and are the progenitors of the Kafir-Kalash.

Over 3,,000-strong Kafir-Kalash live in the valley of Birir, Bumburet and Rambur, south of Chitral. Bumburet, the largest and the most picturesque valley of the Kafir-Kalash, is 40 kms. from Chitral and is connected by a jeepable road. While Birir and Rambur are located at a distance of 34 and 32 kms respectively from Chitral.

Click Here to EnlargeThe Kalash women wear five large braids of and the 'Cheo', a black woolen homespun dress, red-beaded necklaces by the dozen, and an exceptional head piece (shaped differently in each valley) covered in cowrie shells, beads and trinkets that flow down their back.

The Kalash are a friendly and cheerful bunch, who love music and dancing, particularly on their religious festivals like Joshi Chilimjusht (From 14th - 21st December).

Polo is the most popular sport of Chitral. It holds similar importance amongst the Chitral & Gilgit populations. Polo matches are great attractions and festive occasions for all tourists. Even if you do'nt have a knack for this game you'll surely love the atmosphere it creates. A regular Polo tournament (Shandur Polo Tournament) is held every year (First week of July) at Shandur Pass. It is indeed a wonderful tourist attraction!

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