The Kalash Valley( وادی کالاش) are valleys in Chitral District in northern Pakistan. The valleys are surrounded by the Hindu Kush mountain range. The inhabitants of the valley are the Kalash people, who have a unique culture, language and follow a form of ancient Hinduism. As such, the Kalash Valley are a source of attraction for Pakistani as well as International tourists. There are three main valleys. The largest and most populous valley is Bumburet (Mumuret), reached by a road from Ayun in the Kunar Valley. Rumbur is a side valleys north of Bumburet. The third valley, Biriu (Birir), is s side valley of the Kunar Valley south of Bumburet.
Kalash people are the smallest religious as well as the ethnic minority of Pakistan. Their customs and traditions are contradictory to the Islamic and Pakistani culture. The Kalash religion is polytheist faith and the people offer sacrifices for their gods. Their culture is interlinked with their religion and based upon several festivals and celebrations. The people generally do not intermarry or cohabit regions with local Muslims but neither are they hostile towards them. The people are under legal and constitutional protection of the State of Pakistan as a scheduled tribe.
The Kalash are considered to be an indigenous people of Asia, with their ancestors migrating to Afghanistan from a distant place in South Asia, which the Kalash call “Tsiyam” in their folk songs and epics. The invasion by the Ghaznavids is the first historically attested invasion of their lands while the Kalash themselves are first attested in 1339 during Timur’s invasion.
Per their traditions, the Väi are refugees who fled from Kama to Waigal after the attack of the Ghazanavids. Per the traditions of the Gawâr, the Väi took the land from them and they migrated to the Kunar Valley. According to Strand, the Askun-speaking Kalash probably later migrated from Nakara in Laghman to lower Waigal. The Čima-nišei people took over their current settlements from the indigenous people. The people Vânt are refugees who fled from Tregam due to invasions. According to Kalsha traditions, some of the Väi who ritually hunted a golden bird every year at a place presently called Râmrâm in Kunar, settled there after failing to find their quarry and became the speakers of the Gawar-Bati language.
Kalash mythology and folklore has been compared to that of ancient Greece,but they are much closer to Indo-Iranian (pre-Zoroastrian-Vedic) traditions.The Kalash have fascinated anthropologists due to their unique culture compared to the rest in that region.The culture of the Kalash people is unique and differs in many ways from the many contemporary Islamic ethnic groups surrounding them in northwestern part of Pakistan.They are polytheists and nature plays a highly significant and spiritual role in their daily life. As part of their religious tradition, sacrifices are offered and festivals held to give thanks for the abundant resources of their three valleys. Kalasha Desh (the three Kalash valleys) is made up of two distinct cultural areas, the valleys of Rumbur and Bumburet forming one, and Birir valley the other; Birir valley being the more traditional of the two.
The most important Kalash festival is the Chawmos (cawmōs, ghona chawmos yat, Khowar “chitrimas” from *cāturmāsya, CDIAL 4742), which is celebrated for two weeks at winter solstice (c. 7–22 December), at the beginning of the month chawmos mastruk. It marks the end of the year’s fieldwork and harvest. It involves much music, dancing, and the sacrifice of many goats. It is dedicated to the god Balimain who is believed to visit from the mythical homeland of the Kalash, Tsyam (Tsiyam, tsíam), for the duration of the feast. Food sacrifices are offered at the clans’ Jeshtak shrines, dedicated to the ancestors.
Things to do in Kalash Valley:
You can do a lot of things in this picturesque valley such as hiking ,bonefire , climbing, canoing.If you prefer to try something more daring, you can swim into the lakes in the sunny days, but remember that the water is cold even in the summer.Fishing is famous profession and hobby in Kalasha Valley. Brown trout and Mahseer are abundance in waters of Kunhar River which flows in the valley. Fishing licenses are issued by the ‘Fisheries Department at Kalash Valley’ or by the ‘Trout Hatchery’.
Where to stay:
You will find plenty of offers, depends on the budget or the location you pick. We suggest some places and best hotels in Kalasha Valley that is quite famous for its spectacular view and scenery This village, surrounded by peaks and forests. Many private 5 star hotels in Kalasha Valley ,houses or motels can be found at a reasonable price. Or you can forget all that and sleep a couple of days in a tent, captive in an amazing landscape.
Here we provide a list of Hotels which are the best hotels in Kalasha Valley.
- Ayun Fort Inn
- PTDC Motel Chitral
- Kalash Hotel Chitral
- Benazir Hotel