Chitral Valley

Chitral lies amidst the Hindu Kush Range and undoubtedly one of the world's most beautiful regions. Towering to at 7,708m, the majestic Trichmir oversees the entire valley. Chitral was once located on an old trade route between China and western Asia and changed hands several times between the Chinese, the Iranians, and members of the Kushana Dynasty from Peshawar. Chitral has an area of about 11,700 square kilomtres (about 4,500 square miles) and is chiefly drained by the Chitral River, a tributary of the Kabul River. The "Kho" (meaning the mountain) people of Chitral trace origins from Persia and Turkey. Chitral is more famous on two accounts: the Kalash people (left) and Shandur Polo Festival. The Kalash people, believed to be the descendants of the Greek soldiers who came with the Greek army of Alexander the Great, married here and left their imprints. Because of their obscure origins and colourful festivals they attract a large number of anthropologists, historians and tourists every year. The Kalash habitats are spread over three Valleys; Bomboret, Birir and Rumbur. For polo lovers to see the game in its land of origin, the annual Shandur Polo Festival Polo is the best venue. Played by skillful, daring participants in traditional style, Polo tournament is held every year in July near Chitral at Shandur Pass between Gilgit & Chitral.

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Shahi Mosque, a beautiful white structure built by the former rulers of Chitral, is a great attraction. The historic Fort of Chitral where a small contingent of the British Army was besieged for almost thirty days has an awe-inspiring view of Trichmir Mountain with the Chitral River flowing nearby. About 45 kilometres north of Chitral Town are the famous hot springs Garam Chashma, containing hot sulphur are known for their curing properties. Wildlife such as Marco Polo Sheep, Markhor or Ibex, Snow Leopard and Brown Bear are found in the heights of the Hindu Kush. Read More..

This page was created on 28 February 2007

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