Beyond the hustle and bustle of city life and pollution lies the remote and breathtaking valley of Chitral in the northwestern region of Pakistan. Known as one of the most beautiful places on Earth, Chitral is situated in the midst of the Hindukush Range which is 7,709m above sea level, making it the highest peak of the ranges. In this scenic and majestic valley, the ‘Kho’ people live who derive their ancestry from Persian and Turkish heritage. They remain famous throughout the country for their simple lives dominated by uncomplicated routines, peaceful behavior and love for nature.
However Chitral remains famous throughout the world for the Kalash people who reside in the southwestern part of the country such as Bomboret, Birir and Bumbur. They remain an avid point of fascination for those interested in anthropology, history and the Kalash people’s obscure and colorful festivals and rituals. Close to Chitral is Birmoglasht, which was once ruled by the Mehters eons ago. Tourists are encouraged to go 45 miles north of Chitral to behold the hot springs called Garam Chashma for its healing properties.
Game of the Kings
A guide can tell you to take a trip to Buni which provides a glimpse into Chitral’s magical rural life. Every year, the “Game of Kings” known as Polo is played by skillful participants at Shandur Pass between the Arch rivels of Gilgit and Chitral.
Walking Tour of the Shahi Mosque
If you are interested in Muslim architecture then you must visit the Shahi Mosque in Chitral. Spanning over beautiful, pure white marble, the mosque is a sight to behold and fall in love with. The Fort of Chitral is located nearby which is a memoir of the minor contingent of the British Army where they were besieged for thirty days. You can view the magnificent Trich Mir Mountain with the Chitral River flowing close to it. A view of the bazaars in Chitral winding to and fro and beyond with antiques, fabric, food and happy people is unforgettable.
Birir or the Kalash Valley
The Kalash community resides in a valley only thirty or so miles southwest of Chitral. The main village known as Guru is perched on the hillside which is steep and narrow. Tourists can talk and meet the women of the Kalash valley who are seen in their long black robes and their attractive headgear which is skillfully made entirely of cowrie’s shells and buttons.
The Enchanting Bomboret Village
A tourist with an appetite for the enchanting and spellbinding will find true love in the form of Mother Nature in the Bomboret village. You can visit Brun where the deities of the Kalash people are kept. The graveyard in Bomboret village hold coffins where the deceased lie peacefully in colorful garb. It is like visiting your dreams in real life. You can visit the village of Shaikande where a Muslim minority from Nuristan lives. Their amazing motif work, embroidery and crockery making skills are highly impressive.
Buni – An Exotic Treat for Tourists
Chitral’s first village is known as Buni which is 84 km from Chitral and it gives tourists the chance to see the entire rural life of the region from the Bunizom Mountain which is 6,551 m above sea level. It is a two and a half hour journey of mountain sceneries, village culture and exotic nature.
Spend a night in Rambur which is only 9 km from Bomboret. The majority of the Kalash people live in this valley in villages called Kalashgrom and Balankuru. Then make a visit to Birmoglasht where the walnut trees grow abundantly and the people never stop making an effort to keep your visit as comfortable and memorable possible.