Kurram Valley

Resting Place along Kurrum River

The Kurram Valley in ancient times offered the most direct route to Kabul and Gardez. The route crossed the Peiwar Pass 3,439 m (11,283 ft) high, just over 20 km west of modern Parachinar. The Kurrum River flows through the Kurrum Valley across the Afghan-Pakistani border west to east (crossing from the Paktia Province of Afghanistan into the Kohat border region of Pakistan), about 80 km southwest of Jalalabad. The valley is highly irrigated, well peopled, and crowded with small fortified villages, orchards and groves, to which a fine background is afforded by the dark pine forests and alpine snows of the Safed Koh (White Mountain). White Mountain separates Afghanistan and Pakistan. The highest point is Sikaram and is 15,000 ft high from sea level. The beauty and climate of the valley attracted some of the Mogul emperors of Delhi, and the remains exist of a garden planted by Shah Jahan. In the Rigveda, the Kurrum is mentioned as Krumu.

Safed Koh - White Mountain

Developed by British in 1930 as a skiing resort, this place is called Chapari and is at height of 10,000 ft. A small rest house invite visitors in all season.

Spring in Parachinar - Russian Olives (left) Peach Flowers (right)

In the early 19th century the Kurram Valley was under the government of Kabul, and every five or six years a military expedition was sent to collect the revenue, the soldiers living meanwhile at free quarters on the people. It was not until about 1848 that the Turis were brought directly under the control of Kabul, when a governor was appointed, who established himself in Kurram. During the second Afghan War, when Sir Frederick Roberts advanced by way of the Kurram Valley and the Peiwar Kotal to Kabul, the Turis lent him every assistance in their power, and in consequence their independence was granted them in 1880. The administration of the Kurram Valley was finally undertaken by the British government, at the request of the Turis themselves, in 1890. Technically it ranked, not as a British district, but as an agency or administered area.

Road to Afghanistan near Parachinar

In recent years the Kurram Valley has once again assumed a very strategic position and has been an area of intense military activity between the Taliban and American and allied forces.

(All Photographs courtesy www.flicker.com)

Related Links: | Battle of Peiwar Kotal | Arithmetic on the Frontier - Rudyard Kipling |

This page was created on 28 February 2007

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