You should visit Chitral at least once in your life. Chitral is the home to freestyle Polo, Sitter (musical instrument), performing arts, and Kalash Tribes. Tirichmir mountain and its family associates provide water and security to Chitral from the invading Afghans. Kowar is the lingua-franca in Chitral. However, Wakhi and Pashtu are also spoken in parts of Chitral. ‘Gol National Park is a wildlife sanctuary, and only a limited number of licensed hunting is permitted; previously, it was a royal hunting ground reserved for the Mehtar (king) of Chitral.

The park had a jeepable track since 1930 when the Mehtar used to dive there in his model-T Ford. Trophy hunting is now well regulated, and 80% of the income from hunting is disbursed to the local villagers who ensure illegal hunting away.

The annual Shandur freestyle Polo Tournament is the main tourist attraction. Top contesting teams from Gilgit Baltistan and Chitral participate in the event. Thousands of polo fans make it to the polo event and enjoy the contesting team’s performance. Kalash annual Chilimjosh Festival is also a special event that revolves around the cultural interpretations of the Kalash tribes in their colorful attires. The expedition to Tirichmir and tracking to the base camp is also the adventurers’ choice.

Chitralies are well-educated, well-behaved, and smiling people who will greet you with a broad smile. The tourist infrastructure is still underdeveloped, giving one a sense of staying in the wilds and enjoying mother nature’s offerings.

Featured Image Credit: Imran Shah

Why Visit Chitral Valley?

  • Adventure seekers can find moderate to extreme adventures throughout the valley. Following are some of the challenging experiences that the challengers can encounter in Chitral valley: –
    • Extreme experience in human endurance and determination may lead you to climb the 7708 meters/25280ft high TirichMir Peak along the Pakistan-Afghanistan border. It is also the water source for the valley in the form of glaciers and flowing streams.
    • Rafting in the wild Chitral river along the length of the Yarkhun river is yet another extreme sport that some zealots prefer.
    • Trying your driving skills on the sharp ascent to ‘Gol National Park is yet another thrilling experience in the valley.
    • ‘Freestyle Polo,’ Paragliding, and hang-gliding on the Shandur Polo field is also an exciting adventure to encounter the cold breeze above 3735 meters/12254ft.

Visit Chitral - Kalash Valley

  • Nature lovers can enjoy the beautiful valley of Chitral and its’ trout fish’ for breakfast and a natural steam bath in the “Garam Chashma” hot springs (natural healer). visit Chitral
  • The geography/geology/genealogy students can follow the traces of Alexander/Afghans/Tajiks/Patans in Chitral valley. Kalash tribe number of around 4000 is the unique feature of Chitral’s diversity, pluralism, and cultural harmony.  
  • The “Wildlife Lovers,” including ‘Wildlife Photographers and ‘Trophy Hunters too, are interested in the areas. Chitral Valley is rich in wildlife, including black bears, snow leopards,  Chitral Markhor, Ibex, wolf, and fox.
    • Gol National Park’ and its wildlife. The Flora and fauna of the vast 8000 hectares/20000 acres park are unique and precious.
    • Shandur plains and surrounding areas are famous for trout fish in clear water captured by hand. It is enjoyable to follow and trace trout fish in the freezing water. When you successfully get one, you forget about the cold and stay in the water in search of more and more. Shandur is one of the best places in Pakistan to visit during summer season polo festivals.
  • The corporate/marketing people may find the ‘Chitral Valley’ a lucrative investment opportunity in the hospitability and tourism services industry. The annual “Shandur Polo Tournament” in July and Chilimjosh Festival in Kalash are lucrative business venues for which entrepreneurs frequently endeavor in these valleys. visit Chitral
  • Social scientists and women enthusiasts may be interested to see women power rising steadily in Chitral. Girls from Chitral are making their presence felt in various fields, including medicine, sports, and teaching across Pakistan and abroad. For example, the famous ophthalmic surgeon Dr. Zubaida Sirang’s book “Optics Made Easy” came from Chitral and was awarded ‘Pride of Performance.” Similarly, Chitrali girls are making it to national football and cricket teams.
  • The Sportsperson and trackers may find it fascinating to pitch your determination, willpower, and physical strength against the tricky ascend/descent while approaching ‘Gol National Park, Tirichmir Base Camp, and Brugil pass. visit Chitral
  • The mountaineers will find ‘Tirichmir Peak’ a fascinating adventure. It includes trekking to the base camp or climbing expeditions to the summit. Tirichmir top gives you the luxury to take a sigh and enjoy the panoramic view of Pakistan in the southern direction and the view of Afghanistan in the northern border.
  • Honeymoon couples find ‘Chitral Valley’ a rendezvous with peace and music. Chitral is musical; it is lovely, it is beautiful, it is dancing, it is fragrant, and above all, it has courteous. They love birds and can identify with the sitar music, trout breakfast, Kalash costumes, and freestyle polo.
  •  The performing art lovers will find the ‘place of art and music all along Chitral valley. The melodious voices of Mansoor Ali Shabab, Ansar Elahi, Iqbal Uddin Sahar, and other Kwar singers are soul-touching and trancing. visit Chitral

When to Visit Chitral Valley?

  • ‘Chitral  Valley is an all-weather visiting place. However, certain times/seasons are dedicated to unique visits.
  • Cherry Blossom Tours, from 10 Match to 10 May (10 March starts at Chitral City, and 15 May ends at Boroghil.
  • Autumn Tours, 15 October to 30 November.
  • Winter Sports Tours, 20 December to 20 February.
  • Shandur Polo Tournament ( 1 to 10 July)
  • Trophy Hunting Tours, 15 October to 15 April.

How to Visit Chitral Valley?

By Air visit Chitral

Islamabad to Chitral
Peshawar to Chitral

By Road visit Chitral

Islamabad – Mardan- Chakrara- Lawawi tunnel – Drosh Chitral
Peshawar – Mardan- Chakrara- Lawari tunnel – Drosh -Chitral
Gilgit – Gupis- Phandar- Shandur -Mastuj-Chitral
Kashgar – Tashkurgan – Khunjrab PASS – Sost Dry Port- Hunza – Gilgit- Shandur -Chitral (From China Side)

Pakistan’s famous places – visit Chitral Valley

  • Aun Fort
  • Shandur polo Ground
  • TirichMir Base Camp
  • Kalash Valley

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