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Places to Visit >> Mountain Valleys >> Chitral

Chitral, PakistanChitral is also known as Chitrar and Qashqar. Chitral is the heart of Marco Polo land, nestling between the rugged mountains of the Hindukush- ‘Slayers of the Hindus’. The region is a hidden Paradise in the Hindukush range, This interesting country of snow-peaked mountain ranges, ageless glaciers and deep green valleys through which flow the icy cold and crystal clear hill torrents from mountain springs and blue white glaciers has a natural charm and attraction of its own.

Location of Chitral, 35°53'15"N 71°48'01"E, It is here in Chitral that the worlds famous and highest Polo ground stands right on the very summit of the over 12,250 ft Shandur Pass. It varies in elevation from about 1070 m (about 3500 ft) in the extreme south in Arandu to 7,690 m (25,230 ft) at the summit of Terich Mir in the Hindukush.Truly speaking Chitral needs no introduction out side of the world, past and present, natural and the supernatural. It has been the familiar abode of giants and fairies since times of immemorial. Its high hills still preserve the huge caves where in inhibited the ancient giants called KASH and GABAR. It is the home of the mysterious khow tribes who fought the armies of Alexander the Great. Here lives the ancient Kalash tribe in some of its remote valleys, practicing a culture and beliefs, and way of life that date back to beyond history, are yet a problem unsolved for the experts of Human Sciences or Sociologists. Here live the brave peoples of Chitral who were the first among the princely states to opt for the new Islamic country Pakistan, who shed their blood for the liberation of Northern Areas from Dogra tyranny during the Kashmir Jehad. It is here in Chitral that stands the majestic Terichmir Peak, 5th highest in the world, towering over 25,000 ft. into the sky along with other sister peaks throwing a challenge to the adventure loving men of the world.The history of Chitral .... Under Research...

Physical Features and Climate of Chitral

The district is a mountainous tract. The mountains are bare except for the lower part of the district and it is only in small patches at the bottom of the deep and narrow valleys that any cultivation is to be found. Altitude of the mountain ranges from 3500 feet in the extreme south in Arandu to 25263 feet at Terich Mir. The district is made up of several valleys most important and the

largest of which is the Chitral-Mastuj valley stretching from Broghil in the Pamirs to Arandu on the southern tip on Afghan border. The others are Laspur, Mulkhow, Torkhow, Terich, Owir, Lotkoh, Shishi and Ashuret valleys.

Chitral, PakistanThe district contains numerous peaks over 20,000 feet, Terichmir being the highest with an altitude of 25263 feet. The Chitral-Mastuj valley which is approximately 320 kilometers long is surrounded to the west bordering Afghanistan by Hindu Kush range, to the east the Hindu Raj range and in between the Shandur-Karakuram range.

The climate of Chitral is distinctly continental. It is hot in summer, ranging from very hot in low lands to warm in the uplands and cool in the higher elevations. Spring weather is unpredictable with frequent rain and snowfall. Autumn has mild and pleasant temperature. The extreme max temp recorded in Chitral in July is 36o C. The summer at high altitude such as Broghil, Sorlaspur, Gobore, Begusht, Kiyar, Arkari, Owir, Rech etc, are cold and windy with extremely cold nights.

In winter most of the valleys are in the grip of northerly wind and blizzards. The extreme minimum temperature recorded at Chitral stations have been –0.9o C for the months of January.

Chitral district receives rainfall between 250 to 1000 mm. The winter and spring precipitation is very important because it firstly, provides moisture to rabbi growing season and secondly, the whole year flow of streams and Rivers depend on the snow fall in these seasons.

The summer and autumn form only about 32 percent of the total annual rainfall. It is received from the thunderstorms, which often give torrential rains and cause great damages due to floods. Dust storm also occurs during July and August, particularly in the afternoons. They rarely bring showers. Nearly all the moisture contents of the monsoons become almost exhausted over the plains of India and Pakistan before reaching these remote valleys. Chitral, therefore, benefits little from them.

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