Chitral is one of the most beautiful, eye-catching and famous places of Pakistan in the KPK province. It shares a border with the Gilgit-Baltistan to the east, with Afghanistan to the north and west, and with the Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa districts of Swat and Dir to the south. A narrow strip of Wakhan Corridor separates Chitral from Tajikistan in the north. The breathtaking Chitral valley is known to the world for its fascinating and complete beauty. The beautiful towering mountain of the Hindukush range and the rich culture of the region, especially the Kalash people who are the descendants of Alexander the Great. Kalash valley is a source of attraction all over the world. The unique culture and way of living of Kalash people make them different from the rest of the people.
The weather in Chitral is harsh and cold in winter, while the summer is very pleasant and the best season to visit the area. A variety of vegetables including tomatoes, onion, garlic, spinach, okra, lettuce, pumpkin, and brinjal are cultivated in Chitral. The famous fruits of the area include apples, apricots, pears, grapes, peaches, strawberries, and cherries.
How to reach there?
The best way to reach there is by air.PIA operates between Chitral and Islamabad on a daily basis. Another way to reach Chitral is through Kunar valley which connects the valley with Afghanistan. Through Lowari pass one can reach here from Peshawar covering a distance of 365 km. It can also be visited from Gilgit Baltistan covering a distance of 405 km passing from the Shandur pass known as the roof of the world.
Popular Historical Places in Chitral :
The Chitral valley is known throughout the world for its rich cultural heritage and scenic beauty. In order to perverse and protect the rich cultural heritage of Chitral, the idea of the establishment of the Chitral Museum was adopted. The museum was built on July 8, 2010. The museum is divided into two different sections: The ethnological gallery and the archaeological and Kalash gallery. In the first section, the ethnological gallery exhibits the culture and mode of life of Chitral valley. The objects on display include jewelry, embroidery, weapons, ceramics, musical instruments, household objects, hunting tools, and furniture of the ancestor that was used in the 12th century. And the second gallery houses the Archaeological antiquities and cultural materials of Kalash valley. The archaeological collection mainly consists of Gandhara Grave antiquities discovered in the recent excavations conducted by the Directorate of Archaeology and Museums Govt. of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa at the sites of Sangoor and Parwak, including jewelry, pendants, finger rings, bangles, arrowheads, spearheads, semi-precious stone beads, and pottery. The gallery also exhibits the profound cultural heritage of the Kalash valley. It displays wooden commemorative effigies, effigies of Kalasha goddesses, jewelry, dresses, headdresses, household objects, and architectural elements.
Shahi Masjid is a piece of beautiful architecture, built by Shujaul Mulk in 1924. Shujaul Mul was the Mehtar of Chitral, the ruler of Chitral from 1895 to 1936. The construction of the Masjid is truly a wonderful piece of architecture with pinkish walls and white marbles and engraved works of art. The architecture truly represents the culture and tradition of the aristocrats of Chitral.
The fort is situated on the banks of river Chitral besides the Shahi mosque. It is believed to be constructed in the 14th century by Raja Nadir. This place still serves as a residence for the royal family of Chitral. Pictures and artifacts of Mehtar of Chitral are very well-preserved here. Unfortunately, it is a private property you’ll need to get permission for visiting the fort.
Kalasha-dur museum is located in Bumburet valley of Chitral, the building was built by an NGO called the Greek Volunteers, based in Greece. The credit for this great job goes to Athanasios Lerounis, a Greek teacher. The building houses a museum on its first floor set up with the help of donations by the Kalasha people and procured from various sources. The museum has numerous objects related to the Kalasha people and their religion, culture, festivals, rituals, feasts, etc. Attached to the museum is a small library containing a collection of books on the Kalasha people and their culture.
Chitral Gol National Park:
Chitral Gol National Park is located in the Chitral District in KPK province of Pakistan besides the Chitral river, at a distance of two hours drive from Chitral Valley. The park includes three valleys. There are several glaciers in the park. The park is rich in trees, particularly cedar trees. The park also serves to provide shelter to vast biodiversity, especially Markhor. In addition, other animals also found in the park include Snow leopard, Siberian Ibex, Black bear, Tibetan wolf, Himalayan otter, and red fox.
One of the tallest peaks in all-mountain ranges is Tirich Mir, which is also the highest in the Hindukush mountain range. It is almost at the altitude of 7,708 m (25,289 ft.)Tirich Mir can be viewed from higher places of Chitral town (like a rooftop of a hostel where you stay )in clear weather. It can also be viewed from Chitral’s King Palace. The mountain is also the highest in the world apart from the Karakoram and the Himalayan range. Moreover, whoever ever visits the Chitral valley must witness the dawn and dusk at this peak.
Kalash Valley is one of the most beautiful and one of the most mysterious places in Pakistan, located in the Chitral District of KPK province. It takes 8 hours,38 minutes to travel from Islamabad to Kalash Valley. The approximate driving distance between Islamabad and Kalash Valley Link Road is 432 km. Kalash Valley is surrounded by the Hindukush mountain range. Kalash valley has a unique local culture and religion that dates back thousands of years. The people of Kalash valley are from the Dardic family of the Indo-Iranian branch. They speak the Kalasha language. There are three main valleys in Kalash valleys i.e. Bumburet valley, Rumbur valley, and Barir valley. Every year thousands of people from Pakistan and abroad visit the Kalash valley in order to know more about the culture and tradition of the people of Kalash and also to enjoy the spectacular natural beauty of the area.
Bumburet valley is the popular and old valley of Chitral. It is a stunning spot to visit. The valley is brimming with picturesque beauty and amazing individuals. The best time to visit this valley in summer and spring. Bumburet Valley is very attractive because of shady meadows, apricot trees, yellow and green fields. It joins the Rumbur valley and afterward, it joins the Kunar valley. The distance of Bumburet valley from Islamabad is 425 km, the one can reach Bumburet valley from Ismalabad in 11 hours through a car.from Chitral, you can reach to Bumburet valley in 1 hour.
Rumbur valley is the second of the Kalash valley, located three hours,45 km away from Chitral town in the heart of Hindukush.t has got nice landscapes, rivers and rich culture of the Kailash community. Rumbur valley exhibits a lively culture of the Kalash community. Rumbur valley is a perfect place to visit if you wish to take a break from worldly life and routine as it is less occupied by travelers and visitors.
A very beautiful small valley,45 Km away from Chitral is a two hours drive on a bumpy road. Barir valley is the third village of the Kalash. It’s rarely visited by the tourists so if one wants to enjoy the pagan culture of Kalash, especially for anthropologists and photographers, they should visit the valley.
The Ayun valley is situated between the Chitral town and the Kalash, located 12 km south of the town of Chitral. The valley has lush green fields all around and is surrounded by Hindukush mountains. The valley is famous for its wonderful natural beauty and hospitality of the people.
Garam Chashma also known as “The Hot Spring ” is a must-visit attraction in the valley of Chitral. The naturally birthed spring hosts the miraculously scientific waters which are warm due to the sulfur deposits at the feet of Hindu Kush. Garam Chashma is famous for healing properties like joint and skin diseases. Additionally, the place is also famous for its precious stones, trout fish and beautiful landscape. The Garam Chashma is accessible through a jeep ride to the north of Chirtal at about 45 miles.
Toshi Game Reserve
It is located 30 minutes drive from Chitral town, on Garam Chashma road, in the afternoon one could enjoy the wildlife of the game reserve where the Markhor (wild goat) descend to the river for water.
The famous Shandur Polo Ground is located a 4-hours drive from the Chitral valley. Polo is one of the most popular games in the Chitral Valley. The famous Shandur Polo Ground hosts international and national polo matches every year. Shandur’s most famous polo field is considered the highest polo field in the world. Thousands of local and foreign tourists gather to witness this wonderful game here.
Barmoghlasht is one of Chitral’s most famous summer resorts. Located at a distance of 14.5 miles away from the Chitral, nestled between the huge beautiful mountains and lush green lands, tourists preferred to visit the place in both seasons. Each season brings adventure to this resort, the resort is ideal for paragliding and in winter for skiing.
Koghazi & Goleen
Koghazi & Goleen is located at a distance of 14 km from the Chitral Valley. A land full of wonder, the grassy land, the tall fruit trees, rare spice of flora, pleasant climate, huge waterfall, the cold water of the stream, make anyone amazed by its natural beauty.
Karomber lake is one of the most beautiful, perfect and pure lakes of Pakistan at an elevation of 4272m a high altitude lake, lies on the boundary of Broghil valley in Chitral and Ishkoman valley in Gilgit Baltistan. It is known as the 33rd highest lake in the world and one of the highest biologically active lakes on earth. The easy and shortest route to Karomber lake is from the Chitral side. The route is Chitral > Mastuj > Kishmanja > Garhil > Irgit maidan and Lalay Rabat side. This whole route is also called along the Wakhan corridor route.
Bashkar Gol Lake
One of the most beautiful lakes with a greenish-blue color with beautiful landscape. The starting point is a village called Sor Laspur which is at a foot of Shandur Top on the Chitral side. The trek is 22.5 km long (one way) and takes around 11 hrs to reach the lake.
Here is the list of some of the mountain passes of Chitral :
- Shandur Pass
- Darkot Pass
- Brogil Pass
- Lowari Pass
- Dorah Pass
- Thoi Pass
- Zagaran Pass
- Karambar Pass
- Shakuh An
Here is the list of some of the famous trekking routes in Chitral:
- Lohigal An
- Owir An
- Khot An
- Kachakani An
- Tirich Mir base camp
- Karambar An and Darkot An
- Broghil and Karambar An
- Gokhshal An and Dooni An
- Shah Jinali An
- Roghili Gol
- Zani An
- Phargam An
- Donson Pass and Kundyak An