12 Unique Things to Do in Chitral Valley, If you’re looking to experience an off-the-beaten-path adventure while visiting Chitral, then look no further than this list of the best things to do in Chitral Valley. From the Shandur Polo Festival, an event so off-the-wall it has its own Wikipedia page, to the Kalash valley, a small corner of the world where residents continue living in the same way they have since ancient times, this list covers all that there is to see and do in one of the more remote areas of Pakistan. Get ready to pack your bags!
Visit Chitral Valley
Chitral is a relatively undeveloped area, so tubing down one of its many rivers— this one also provides water for locals and livestock—is a memorable way to really connect with local culture. Tubing is also an activity that’s ideal for any age or skill level. It doesn’t require you to be particularly fit, but it does get you out into nature while connecting you with other travelers, who will often create memorable friendships (especially if they’re as energetic and playful as most backpackers). If tubing isn’t your thing (or if there’s no river nearby), look into rock climbing or rafting instead.
The beauty of Chitral Valley, an undoubtedly Touristic Heaven:
What will you do if someone hands you an all-expenses-paid trip to Chitral Valley, Pakistan? Explore the area’s rich culture, see its beautiful landscape, or maybe play a game of polo on horseback as the British royalty do it? Whatever option you choose, your trip to Chitral will undoubtedly be filled with adventure and fun. To help you decide what to do when visiting Chitral, here are ten unique things to do in Chitral Valley that will help you create unforgettable memories during your visit
Thriving off of the natural beauty of the Chitral Valley, Pakistan, the Chitral Valley Festival has been steadily growing in size and popularity over its short existence. The festival features not only Shandur Polo, but also a variety of other sports, exhibitions, and dances from surrounding regions including Kalash valley and Gilgit-Baltistan. If you’re looking to try something completely new while visiting Pakistan’s Chitral Valley, here are 10 unique things to do that you won’t find anywhere else!
12 Unique Things to Do in Chitral Valley
Chitral is the capital of the Chitral District, situated in the extreme North-West Frontier Province of Pakistan. The valley of Chitral became part of the Afghan Durrani Empire in the early 18th century and was ruled by the Bugti tribe until 1892 when it became part of British India. It remained peaceful until the late 1970s when sectarian violence began and has plagued it ever since. Today, Chitral remains one of the most culturally intact and conservative valleys in Pakistan and its surrounding areas, famous for its diverse range of people, cultural practices, languages, and sects.
Visit to Kalash Valley
Located just west of Chitral, Kalash valleys is a cluster of seven major valleys and hundreds of villages populated by distinctive brown-skinned people who still speak an ancient language. There are many interesting places to visit for tourists around here including a few Buddhist monasteries, museums, and caves where you can see ancient paintings. The living Buddha is based on one of those mountains where people from across north Pakistan flock when it’s time for him to get married every now and then. You also have a chance to play Shandur Polo Festival, which takes place at Shandur Pass each year.
If you’re a cultural explorer, then the Kalash Valley will be interesting for you. There are many sightseeing opportunities and things that can help you understand the people who live there better such as museums, monasteries and caves. The living Buddha is also a fascinating person and if you’re interested, then it would be great to visit him when he gets married every now and then. There is one more thing that can add thrill or excitement to your trip – Shandur Polo Festival, which takes place each year in January at Shandur Pass. Polo players from all over Pakistan come here for a month-long tournament. If you want to join them, make sure you book your hotel early because rooms tend to get booked out pretty fast during that time of year.
Nagar Fort Chitral
This fort, which is also known as The Roof of Chitral because it overlooks most of northern Pakistan, was built by Mehtar Amanullah Khan. Although he died before its completion, local craftsmen and traders finished building it in 1856. Inside you’ll find a mosque, a palace and several buildings. There are many ways to enter Nagar Fort; however, only one entrance is open at any given time. The main gate closes each evening at sunset and opens again around 6 am. Alternatively, you can enter through Khoi Darwaza (also called Picket Gate) or Jogi Kho from where you can climb to Kala Pahad and enjoy stunning views of Kunjut Sar and Asmar Sar peaks.
In July, during Shandur Polo Festival, Nagar Fort becomes a hotspot. With 32 participants from various countries playing a total of six matches, it’s one of Asia’s largest polo festivals. The opening ceremony and closing dinner are held here and visitors can enjoy these events along with a cricket match between local players and an international team. If you’re in town for festival time or any other occasion, stop by Nagar Fort and enjoy beautiful views from atop its walls. You might even see Mehtar Amanullah Khan looking down at you as he had originally intended!
See the Biggest Polo Field
Known as one of Pakistan’s most scenic tourist destinations, and often referred to as the Switzerland of Pakistan, there is no shortage of reasons why people want to visit Chitral. From walking down a street in downtown Chitral lined with shops selling just about anything you can imagine—from traditional embroidered cloths from India to handmade shoes—to witnessing women wearing ornate robes and gold jewelry while making their way up a nearby mountain-top, you’ll feel like you are stepping back in time. The scenery is also spectacular: You can hike through ancient villages that sit beneath towering peaks or spend hours enjoying hot springs that cascade over slate rocks.
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If you’re looking for something a little more lively, though, we recommend heading straight to Kala Pattan. Kala Pattan is home to Pakistan’s biggest polo field and plays host to frequent tournaments and matches. The field is surrounded by mountains on all sides so it can be difficult for fans without a clear view of one of them. To get a great spot for watching polo, look for homes that are built on top of small hills or find an elevated location from which you can get an unobstructed view of the match.
The Shandur Polo Festival is a popular attraction for tourists. A four-day-long festival held at an altitude of 16,500 feet, it’s played by teams from Chitral and Gilgit. In our list of Best Things to Do in Chitral Valley, Once part of a significant trade route between Baltistan and Central Asia, polo was originally introduced to local tribesmen as a recreational activity. This can be seen today during game breaks—Chitralis take advantage of their time on horseback to pop wheelies or gallop through flags set out as obstacles.
Ayun valley Chitral
Ayun valley is one of the most beautiful places in Chitral. Ayun means spring and it is because of their beautiful water springs and gardens that tourists visit Ayun valley. The astonishing snow-capped mountains on both sides make it one of the finest valleys. The picturesque view of Kagan village with green orchards and lush fields set amidst these mountains is a special tourist attraction. But Kagan town is also famous for its Jaghoori Kalan which means big Jaghori a sweet delicacy made from wheat flour, sugar and cardamom seeds, which is a specialty here.
Trek through Shandur Pass
The Shandur Pass, a mountain pass at an elevation of 4,693 meters (15,397 feet), lies near Drosh in Chitral District, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province of Pakistan. The mountain pass is snow-covered during winter and it becomes very challenging and dangerous for human beings to move there. However, the breathtaking scenery here makes trekking across Shandur one of those 12 things to do in Chitral valley. If you are looking for some exciting activities to enjoy with your friends or family members, then we would recommend you to visit Shandur Pass once. It will be worth visiting! You will not regret visiting such a beautiful place on earth.
Beside Trekking, there are also some more exciting things to do and enjoy at Shandur. While you are on your way to Khyber Pass and after crossing Shandur Pass, you can visit Sheer Durgham Hot Springs. These hot springs are considered as one of the most popular destinations among locals and tourists. They have beautiful natural scenery with hills around it and hot water flowing down from them. It will be an amazing experience that you should never miss!
Tirch Mir Chitral
Tirch Mir is one of top tourist attractions located in Astore District, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Pakistan. It is known as the ‘Roof of The World’.The range lies south and southeast of Gilgit, reaching altitudes of up to 7,705 meters (25,274 ft). The name means abode of snow in Kashmiri (tir = snow; mir = house or abode) and is pronounced Tark-mir by locals. Tirchmir is a high mountain peak situated at an elevation of 24,015 feet above sea level on Muztagh Ata massif in Hunza–Nagar District.
Wonderful Tirch Mir:
The top of Tirch Mir offers a wonderful view of some of the most beautiful peaks. From K2 to Mt. Makalu, Nanga Parbat, Broad Peak, and Gasherbrum-I all can be seen when weather conditions are right. The descent down on foot takes about 8 hours but if you have time and energy, then there is another way to get back down—sledding! It might sound crazy but that is one adventurous thing you should try at least once in your life.
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To create more fun and explore the unseen beauty of Chitral valley, You can book an expedition of one or two days, depending on how much time you have. Because it goona charge you to get the best trip out of our list of best Things to Do in Chitral Valley. It is recommended that you take a good sleeping bag, a warm blanket, and good shoes (with grips). You will be provided with everything else: food, shelter, and most importantly, highly-trained local guides. One thing for sure—you will come back totally satisfied and without any regret! Tirch Mir is definitely one place where you can say wow!
Experience Chitral Local Festivals
There are lots of local festivals celebrated throughout Chitral. Some of them are restricted to a certain tribe while others enjoy participation in all communities. But whether it is Khowar, Kalash, Yidgha or Kirgiz-Chitrali locals you can observe these unique celebrations for your selves. In many places, you can also join in some rituals but remember not to disturb their culture and spirit. Here is a list of some amazing festivals you should check out if you happen to visit Chitral
One of the biggest and most popular festivals held on the 15th of April every year is called Beedai (ڀليد). It is held at Rumbur which is located in Talliyal valley, some 14 kilometers from upper Chitral. This festival lasts for four days during which local residents take out a colorful rally and horses are ridden around with drums playing. People dance together while beating drums and celebrate as the whole community including newcomers joins together. Not only locals but you will also find tourists dancing with them on these occasions.
In Chitral, you can also experience other festivals such as Mashooyee Jashan, Sohni Mahiwal, Aryan Utsav, and Merah Ko Day.
Aryan Utsav is an event to celebrate the heritage and culture of the Aryan people who ruled India a long time ago. This festival is organized every year on June 24th which is the day before the solstice. People gather together for music, drum beating, dance, and food. While Merah Ko Day is day local folk festival where men fight with wooden sticks as part of their sporting event. Women cheer them up by dancing at the same time.
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Ski on Broken Bridge Ski Resort
The best and most recommended fun activity in our list of unique Things to Do in Chitral Valley, The landscape around Chitral is a dramatic mix of barren, windswept peaks and wide, snowy valleys. Although much of it is heavily used for agriculture, there are also plenty of areas that remain untouched by humans. This makes it a top destination for mountain lovers and skiing enthusiasts alike. The Broken Bridge Ski Resort is particularly special because skiers get to enjoy all of its natural beauty without having to worry about crowded slopes or rude strangers on chairlifts. Take advantage of its long hours (daily from 10 am to 6 pm) and stunning backdrop during your next trip!
Skiing is a popular pastime for many Pakistanis, but few make it all the way up to Chitral. For them, Broken Bridge Ski Resort is an excellent place to learn. The resort features a full-service ski school that can teach even inexperienced skiers how to navigate downhill slopes. If you’re visiting from out of town, you’ll also find some nice places where you can stay while learning; many of these are set up specifically for guests of ski resorts like Broken Bridge. Your advance booking is mandatory before leaving.
Take an Easy Walk Around Town (Chitral City Walk)
Climbing icy peaks is a thrill-seeking sport that involves donning special gear and navigating a vertical surface, usually while climbing up or down. It’s not surprising, then, that it appeals to such a large audience: anyone can do it! If you have an adventurous side, head to Malam Jabba Mountain resort for some of Pakistan’s best ice climbing routes. At around 7500 feet above sea level, these challenging routes are far enough from civilization that few ever attempt them—except for experienced climbers like you! Now is your chance. Reaching for new heights is easier than you think with our expert guides by your side.
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Scenic Chitral Valley
There are few places in Pakistan more beautiful than Chitral, which is why we recommend doing a scenic drive on our way up. The breathtaking scenery of mountain peaks will be your backdrop as you head north toward Malam Jabba. If you’re lucky, you may even spot one of Pakistan’s elusive snow leopards along your journey! For those looking for a more active vacation, there are plenty of ways to get out and explore surrounding areas from both inside and outside of your vehicle. No matter how long you stay or what activities you choose to pursue during your trip, at Walnut Travel we believe that it should be an experience worth remembering—and that’s why we work so hard to ensure all travelers are satisfied with their travel plans.
There are few villages in northern Pakistan that have a connection to all major festivals, but Bonni Chitral is one of them. That actually love the most in our last article named,” Things to Do in Chitral Valley“. While many villages of Chitral only participate in locally popular festivals like Muloor and Lakay Tiraha, Bonni also takes part in religious celebrations such as Eid ul-Fitr and Eid ul-Adha. If you visit during these times, you will find thousands of people participating and enjoying merrymaking with bonfires across the city. The festival is attended by people from nearby areas as well; particularly local Shina tribesmen who come dressed up in traditional clothes with their children dressed up in different colors too; make sure you don’t miss out on these colorful clothes.
Bonni is one of those villages where time seems to have stopped and people live as they used to hundreds of years ago. The culture of Bonni lives through its centuries-old pukhtoon houses; small shops on streets covered with dry grass and small rivers flowing within the city.
The dry grass and rivers add a lot of charm to the city. Villagers sit outside their homes on a bed made up of dry grass, sipping tea and socializing with neighbors. The locals are friendly and cordial as well; no matter which way you go through Bonni, children will surround you asking for candies and adults will come with respectful questions about where you’re from, and how many people are traveling in your group, etc.
Bumburet Valley Chitral
The Bumburet valley is named after an Afghan trader Muhammad Hussain who moved here and started growing poppies for opium. The Bumburet valley is a green paradise and you can come across lush orchards of apricots, cherries, peaches, apples, etc. You will find snow-covered mountains on one side while on the other there are beautiful river streams flowing through green grassy meadows towards Kalash Valleys. Kalash Valleys and Bumburet valleys share some common things like their cultures, their architecture, festivals, etc. All people of both valleys are of the same race but still, they speak different languages i.e Kalasha in the case of Kalash Valleys and Pashto in the case of Bumboret Valley.
Why do you read the best things to do in Chitral Valley?
The main occupations of people here are agriculture and livestock farming but tourism is another profitable business. The place presents a picture of true peace and tranquility which makes it a perfect relaxation zone for tourists. Here you can explore varieties of tourist attractions such as beautiful mountains, rivers, waterfalls, etc. Bumburet valley is located at a distance of 20 kilometers from Khumban village which serves as its base camp. It takes about 2 hours to reach there from Peshawar by car on a rough road.
Garam Chashma Chitral
The Garam Chashma Glacier, located at an altitude of 12,908 feet (3,940 m), is considered one of the most accessible glaciers. It is still a significant attraction for tourists. Overhanging rocks and icefalls add to its formidable nature. The glacier also attracts tourists due to its close proximity to Kalash Valleys and Shandur Polo Festival. Tourists can take pleasure rides on donkeys for closer inspection of snow-capped mountains. The Shandur Pass is an important link between Pakistan and Afghanistan, lying at a height of 13,440 feet (4,100 m). It has been used as a strategic route by armies throughout history. The famous Kalash Valleys are home to fair-skinned people living much like their ancestors did thousands of years ago. These valleys attract tourists because they’re home to unique festivals celebrated by Kalash tribesmen including Rosh Hashanah and Tushe Wati. The natural beauty of Kalash Valleys is also worth noting with its stunning waterfall and scenic surroundings. The Shandur Polo Festival takes place every year in July or August.
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