Chitral Valley

Chitral, is the capital of the Chitral District, situated on the western bank of the Chitral River in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Pakistan. It also served as the capital of the princely state of Chitral until 1969.

History

Nothing definitive is recorded about the town’s first settlers. In the 3rd century, Kanishka, the Buddhist ruler of the Kushan empire, occupied Chitral. In the 4th century, the Chinese overran the valley. Raees rule over Chitral began in 1320 and came to an end in the 15th century. From 1571 onwards Chitral was the dominion of the Kator Dynasty until 1969.

Chitral Valley

The entire region that now forms the Chitral District was a fully independent monarchy until 1895, when the British negotiated a subsidiary alliance with its hereditary ruler, the Mehtar, under which Chitral became a princely state, still sovereign but subject to the suzerainty of the British Raj. Chitral retained a similar status even after its accession to Pakistan in 1969, but was completely incorporated into Pakistan and became an administrative district of Pakistan in 1969.

Culture

The culture of Chitral bears traces of Greek, Iranian, Tatar and Turkish influences due to its unique location and historical links with Central Asia and Europe. The Chitrali people call the land of Chitral “Kho” and their language is Khowar. Persian is spoken only Madaglasht Valley. Pushto and Urdu have also made their into Chitral. Other languages spoken in Chitral include Kalash, Gujari, Nuristani, Dameli, Wakhi, Kirghiz, Yidgha, Gawar-Bati and Phalura. The tradition of hospitality can be observed throughout northern Pakistan but in few places it is offered as generously as in Chitral. Chitralis also have a strong musical tradition. The Chitrali sitar, a string instrument, can often be heard at many places and family gathering. Polo is the most popular sport in Chitral which has attained dary status. Matches are festive occasions, inevitably many tourists. The world famous Shandur Polo Tournament is held between Gilgit and Chitral every year from 7th to 9th of July at Shandur Pass near Laspur Valley.

Places to visit in Chitral

  • Tirich Mir
  • Governer Cottage
  • Barmoghlasht
  • Koghazi and Goleen
  • Chitral Museum
  • Shahi Qila (Shahi Fort)
  • Polo Ground
  • Ayun Valley
  • Kalash Valley
  • Garam Chasama
  • Shandur Pass