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Chitral is an area of outstanding natural beauty, boasting spectacular mountains which offer endless opportunities for culture, trekking, and climbing. It is also home to a fascinating variety of people, including the non-Muslim Kalash and the semi-nomadic Wakhi. As in Hunza, the people of upper Chitral are Ismaili Muslims and much more open in their outlook.
The Kalash numbering approximately 4500 is the smallest group amongst the religious minorities of Pakistan. Unlike the other minorities, they live exclusively in a particular geographical area; the three valleys of Birir, Rumbur and Bumburet situated in Hindukush between the Afghan border and Chitral Valley, the people called this area as Kafiristan. Until 1896 Kafirstan also included present-day Nuristan in Afghanistan, inhabited by the red Kafirs, whereas the Kalash were called “Black Kafirs”.
The origin and early history of the Kalash’s popular theory is that they are descendants of one Shalak Shaw, a General in the invading army of Alexander the great. Another theory is that the Kalash Originated from Tsiyane a country in the Tibetan belt. They shifted to Afghanistan in the early Christian era. Mahmood of Ghazni pushed them into the narrow valley of Hindu Kush in the 10th century. Until the second half of 14th century the Kalash were dominant throughout the southern Chitral. There were finally subdued by the Rais a ruling family of Chitral by the end of 14th century.
The Kalash believe in God they call “Deziao”. However, their religious practices are a mixture of animism and ancestor worship. There is also a concept of male and female sacred spirits called “Dewalok” who are responsible for different activities and are believed to communicate prayers to Deziao. There is also a concept of pure-impure dualism in Kalash religion. The pure is called ‘Onjesta’- the pure ” while women are considered Pragata- the impure. During childbirth and menstruation, the Kalasha women are secluded and confined to special places called ‘Bashali’. Rare opportunity seized by any tourist to see the colorful Kalash dance is that of a festival day. There are four main festivals of the Kalash people. The spring festival in May to safeguard the shepherds when they go out to pastures, the summer festival of harvest in August, the autumn festival in October to celebrate the grape and walnut harvest and the winter festival in December to welcome the New Year and purity the village.
Islamabad International Airport
Based on Flights Schedule
Arrival at Islamabad international airport, you will be received by the team of Active Tours Pakistan and after welcome reception, transfer to centrally located hotel in Islamabad. Half day, there will be city tour of Islamabad. Welcome dinner will be served at local traditional restaurant and overnight stay will be at hotel.
Following breakfast, we will drive to Peshawar. En route we will visit Taxila Museum and truck art painting. We will reach Peshawar around late noon and after check-in at hotel, we will visit local market. Dinner will be at local restaurant and overnight stay at hotel.
Full day city tour of Peshawar include, Peshawar markets, story tellers bazaar, Mohabat Khan Mosque, Peshawar Museum, qisa khani bazaar and Chowk Yadgar. Dinner & overnight stay will be at hotel.
We will leave peshawar in the morning to Swat Valley. En route, we will visit Takht-e-bhai Monetary. Later we will continue our drive to Mingor, Swat via Malakand Pass. Dinner & Check-in at hotel.
Today, we will explore swat valley. Our visit will start from Saidu Sharif by visiting Swat Museum, Butkara, white palace and around noon we will visit Mingor bazaar for walk. Evening we will get back to hotel for dinner & overnight stay.
Following breakfast, we will drive to Kalash Valley via lowari pass or tunnel. En route we will stop for photography, tea and toilet break. We will reach Kalash around late noon and remaining time, we will walk in Bamburat Village and meet local people.
Today we will explore Kalash Valley and the most interesting thing here will be meeting with local people and you will be amazed by knowing their history culture and traditions. As this only part of Pakistan that someone can see the local in very traditional. Dinner and overnight stay will be at hotel.
Following breakfast, we will drive to Chitral town, we will visit local market, shahi mosque and fort (if permit) and then we will continue our drive to upper chitral through Boni. We will make several photo stops and we will reach hotel around evening. Dinner & overnight stay will be at hotel.
This is an interesting day, as we are crossing Shandur Pass where world highest polo ground is locating. We will stop for couple of hours on top and enjoy the nature. After visit, we will drive to Phandar and rest of time we will visit a village. Dinner will be served and overnight stay at hotel.
We will drive to Gilgit, En route we will make several stops as the valley is called Ghizer and you will be amazed by the scenery. We will reach gilgit around late noon and will have Gilgit Town visit include Karga Buddha, local bazaar and suspension bridge. Dinner & overnight stay will be at hotel.
We will drive to Karimabad Hunza. After check-in at hotel we will have local visits includes Baltit Fort, local bazaar, Water channel walk and sunset photography. Dinner & overnight stay will be at hotel.
Full day excursion to Khunejrab Pass. En route we will stop at rock carving, atabad lake, suspension bridge, veiw point of passu peaks, glacier and cones. We will reach Gilgit around evening, dinner & overnight stay will be at hotel.
Following breakfast we will drive to Naran via babusar pass. En route we will stop at junction point, Nanga parbat view point, rock carving and lalusar lake. Dinner & overnight stay will be at hotel.
Morning we will visit Siaful Maluk Lake by 4×4 jeeps. Around noon we will leave Naran and drive to Islamabad. En route we will stop at several photo point and we will reach Islamabad around evening, dinner and overnight stay will be at hotel.
You will be transfer to Islamabad International airport. From peace and serenity of Hunza to the hustle and bustles of “modern” trends, you say Khuda Hafiz, the typical farewell, as you depart after a tour into Shangri-La. End of the tour.
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