of the major attractions of Chitral are the Kalash valleys-
the home of the Kafir-Kalash or "Wearers of the
Black Robes", a primitive pagan tribe. Their ancestry
is enveloped in mystery and is the subject of controversy.
A legend says that five soldiers of the legions of Alexander
of Macedonia settled in Chitral and are the progenitors
of the Kafir-Kalash.
Elevation: 1670-2309 meters (5,476-7,576 feet).
Distance: 32-36km. (20-22 miles) south of Chitral.
By jeep: 2 ½ hours
These are a group of three small valleys:
Brir, Bumburet and Rambur. Brir lies at the southern
most tip of Chitral at a distance of 34 km (21 miles)
and is easily accessible by jeep-able road via Ayun.
It is especially ideal for those not used to trekking.
Bumburet, the largest and the most picturesque valley
of the Kafir Kalash, is 36 km.(22 miles) from Chitral
and is connected by a jeep-able road.
Rambur is 32 km (20 miles) from Chitral,
the road is jeep-able. Foreign tourists require permits
for visiting the Kalash valleys. Permits are issued
free of cost by the Deputy Commissioner, Chitral, Tel:
1. Foreign visitors have to pay a toll tax of Rs.10
per person while Re. 1.00 per person is charged from
These valleys have an alpine climate.
The people inhabiting these valleys are the primitive
pagan tribes of Pakistan, who are known as Kafir Kalash,
which means the wearers of the black robes. Their origin
is cloaked in controversy. A legend says that soldiers
from the legions of the Macedonian conqueror, Alexander,
settled in Chitral and are the progenitors of the Kalash.
They live in small villages built on
the hillsides near the banks of streams. Their houses
are constructed of rough-hewn logs and are double storeyed
because of the steepness of the slopes. Kalash are very
lively people and are famous for their lively religious
festivals namely: Chilimjusht (spring), Phool (September)
and Chowas (from 21st December for a week). The Kalash
love music and their instruments are drums and flutes.
Their colorful dances impart a feeling of peace, joy
and contentment. If you join them in their dance, they
interpret it as a sign friendship and will open their
hearts to you and reveal some of their mysteries, their
joys and sorrows. You depart with a sense of poignancy
and nostalgia for these beautiful children of nature
and nagging fear that all the sweetness and innocence
may soon be swept away forever by the power and intolerance
that often hide themselves under the banner of progress.