Sep 22, 2012

Kalash Valley Chitral Pakistan | | Best places to visit in Kalash

Where is Kalash valley located? 

The Kalash valley is located in the extreme northwest of Pakistan just a few kilometers away from the border of Pakistan and Afghanistan. The Kalash valley consists of series of small and medium size villages, hamlets and ravines but three of these villages are famous for their unique cultures and can be accessed by a jeep-able road from the Ayun valley of Chitral district, Ayun comes before the Chitral town.

Kalash valley women in local dress

Why Kalash valley is so famous?

The Kalash valley is famous for the culture, rituals, traditions, customs, festivals and belief of the people. Unlike other parts of the Pakistan, this valley has distinct features in term of religion, culture, traditions and their lifestyle. The people of Kalash are known as the oldest tribes of South Asia who have retained their culture and belief for centuries in small valleys and ravines predominately dominated by two Muslim countries, Pakistan and Afghanistan. 
They speak the Kalasha language from the Dardic family of the Indo-Aryan-branch and are considered among the unique tribe of the Indo-Aryan-peoples of Pakistan. These people are thought to be the descendants from the Kafristan province, present day Nuristan province of Afghanistan.

Festivals

People of Kalash are very lively people and one of the most prominent things for which they are famous particularly in Pakistan is because of their culture-riched and colorful festivals. During the festivals, the participant's vibrant dress and hypnotic ritual dances are one of the things to observe. The colorful dances impart a feel of contentment when you observe their special dance in their indigenous dresses. The people of Kalash love music very much and they play instruments as well, among the instruments drum and flute are common and they play these well.
The three famous festivals which are celebrated in different seasons are:

1-Joshi in late May.

This festival is celebrated in May and this is meant to be the welcome of the spring and a welcome tribute to the fairies. 

2-Uchau in autumn 

This festival is the celebration of harvest, as the Kalash valley is some 3000 feet above sea level and observes harsh and freezing winter, therefore, a successful accomplishment of harvest is a kind of feat for them. The valleys in the past were totally self-sustained but now the scenario has somehow changed. 

3-Caumus in mid-winter

This festival is one of the most important festivals according to the belief of Kalash people. Although people mostly visit the Kalash valley during the other two festivals mentioned above because in winter it is difficult to reach there and even if you reach there you would need to carry a lot of fabrics and other things. But for the Kalash valley people, this festival is the most prominent one because the male spirit of Balumain passes through the valley during this festival and he carries the prayers and of the people with him. 

Descendants of Alexandar the Great 

According to some sources, the people of Kalash valley are the progenitor of the Alexander the Greate because when he attacked the China and was on the way back to Greece a soldier of his army settled in Kalash valley and the present day people are said to be the direct lineage of the soldier. 

Valleys of Kalash 

Kalash valley consists of series of valleys but the three valleys which are inhabited by considerable people are famous and people visit these valleys and festivals are observed in these valleys. These valleys are:

  1. Bir 
  2. Bamburet and
  3. Rambur

How to reach Kalash valley? 

If you want to visit Kalash valley and witness the colorful and vibrant festivals of Kalash people then there are two options for you. You can reach there by air or by road, depending on your choice you can choose one. 

By air journey

If you want to visit the Kalash valley by air then you need to reach in the Islamabad first because no airline operates between Chitral and other cities except PIA flights. PIA flights from the Islamabad will carry you to the Chitral valley and from there you can reach the Kalash valley by a jeep-able road. From Chitral town, it would take a maximum of one and half hour to reach there. 

By road journey

If you want to visit by road then you need to cover about 450 kilometers from Islamabad and it would take about 10-12 hours. You can also visit the Kalash valley from Gilgit as well. Kalash is about 400 kilometers southwest of Gilgit and it would take about 8-10 hours to reach Kalash from Gilgit. 

Kalash valley girls in local dress

Kalash valley kids

Kalash valley dress



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