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or Chetrar, translated as field in the native language Khowar,
is the capital of the Chitral District, situated on the western bank of the
Kunar River (also called Chitral
River), in Pakistan. The town is at the foot of Tirich Mir, the highest peak
of the Hindu Kush, 25,289 ft
(7,708 m) high. It has a population of 20,000, while the district (of 14,833
km˛ or 5,727 sq mi), has a population
of 300,000. The altitude of the valley is 3,700 ft (1,100 m).
Chitral on Satellite Map
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The main languages spoken in this area of Pakistan are Khowar and about 13
other dialects. The people of the Kalash
Valley speak the Kalash language. Urdu is widely spoken and understood in
major towns and to some extent Pashto is also spoken.
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The main tribe, the Khow, speak Khowar (or Chitrali), one of the Dardic
languages, which is also spoken in parts of
Yasin, Gilgit, Ghizer and Swat. Pashto language is also spoken and
understood by some in the city. Chitral is known
for the famous Kalash tribe polytheist native inhabitants that ruled the
region for centuries later invaded by "Khow".
The Kalasha reside in an enclave of three remote valleys west of Ayun, which
is ten miles (16 km) down from Chitral
The Chitral culture is Islamic and contrasts considerably with the urban
cities of Pakistan as well as the adjacent
district of Gilgit. Women are nearly invisible except to their male
relatives and other women.
They avoid walking the streets of the town, so men or children do most of
the shopping. Travel requires the company
of a close male relative and sometimes the wearing of a burqa. There is
also a sizeable population of Nuristanis,
Tajiks and Uzbeks most of whom arrived from Afghanistan in the late 1980s.
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Satellite View of
Unlike the rest of Pakistan where cricket dominates, polo is most popular
sport, with football being the most played sport.
A number of sport festivals and tournaments are held throughout the year,
includeing the Shandur polo
tournament held at the highest polo ground in the world. Around 15,000
people travel to Shandur for the tournament, which
lasts around a week.
Chitral has also produced some national players such as Muhammad Rasool who
plays for the national football team. There
are many football clubs in Chitral.
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Buddhist and Hindu Period
Chitral was a Buddhist country before the extention of Islam , and the
traces of Buddhism are still found.
“ Equally interesting are the remains of what may have been a Hindu temple
at Chaghan Saray , in the Kunar valley ,
in the extreme east of Afghanistan.
“ The northernmost portion of the Durand Line commenced from Chitral where
the Indian Chinese and Russian empires
met.On the Afghan side of the border most of the population was non-Muslim
but by 1900 it had been converted to
Islam by Abd al- Rahman's integrationist policy , and the area was renamed
A British garrison, sent from Gilgit to oversee the smooth transition of
power to the heir apparent after a ruler was.
murdered, was besieged in Chitral Fort for over a month in 1895.
Find more about
History of Pakistan
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