Chitral (Pashto/Urdu: چترال‎; Khowar: چھترار‎, Khowar for "field") is the capital of the Chitral District, situated on the Chitral River in northern Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Pakistan. Chitral also served as the capital of the princely state of Chitral until 1969.


  • چھترار
  • چترال
Clockwise from top: view of Chitral valley and snowcapped peak of Tirich Mir, Chitral's Shahi Qilla, Shahi Mosque, Chitral Fort
Clockwise from top: view of Chitral valley and snowcapped peak of Tirich Mir, Chitral's Shahi Qilla, Shahi Mosque, Chitral Fort
Chitral is located in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa
Location of Chitral
Chitral is located in Pakistan
Chitral (Pakistan)
Coordinates: 35°50′46″N 71°47′09″E / 35.84611°N 71.78583°ECoordinates: 35°50′46″N 71°47′09″E / 35.84611°N 71.78583°E
ProvinceKhyber Pakhtunkhwa
DistrictChitral District
 • BodyMNA
 • MNA (NA-32)Iftikhar ud Din (APML)[1]
 • Total57 km2 (22 sq mi)
Elevation1,493 m (4,898 ft)
 • Total447,362
 • Density7,800/km2 (20,000/sq mi)
 • OfficialKhowar[3]
Time zoneUTC+5 (PST)
1720 – 0xx[4]


Shahi Mosque, Chitral
Chitral's Shahi Mosque

Nothing definitive is recorded about the town's first settlers. In the 3rd century CE, Kanishka, the Buddhist ruler of the Kushan empire, occupied Chitral. In the 4th century, the Chinese overran the valley. Raees rule over Chitral began in 1320 and came to an end in the 15th century. From 1571 onwards Chitral was the dominion of the Kator Dynasty until 1969.[5]

The entire region that now forms the Chitral District was a fully independent monarchy until 1895, when the British negotiated a subsidiary alliance with its hereditary ruler, the Mehtar, under which Chitral became a princely state, still sovereign but subject to the suzerainty of the British Raj. Chitral retained a similar status even after its accession to Pakistan in 1969, but was completely incorporated into Pakistan and became an administrative district of Pakistan in 1969.[6]


City of Chitral
Chitral city

The city has an average elevation of 1,500 m (4,921 ft).


Chitral has a Mediterranean climate (Köppen Csa), with warm summers and mild winters.


According to 1981 census, Khowar is main language and spoken by 98% of population while Pashto is spoken by small population. [8]


Chitral is represented in the National Assembly[9] and Provincial Assembly by one elected MNA and one elected MPA.[10] [11]

See also


  1. ^ "Personal Profile". National Assembly of Pakistan. Retrieved 29 May 2017.
  2. ^ "Geography of Chitral". Retrieved 2015-11-06.
  3. ^ "INDO-IRANIAN FRONTIER LANGUAGES". Encyclopaedia Iranica. 15 November 2006. Retrieved 2015-11-06.
  4. ^ "Post Codes". Pakistan Post Office. Retrieved 17 March 2015.
  5. ^ "Chitral, a Study in Statecraft" (PDF). IUCN. Retrieved 2015-11-06.
  6. ^ Osella, Filippo; Soares, Benjamin (2010). Islam, Politics, Anthropology. John Wiley & Sons. p. 58. ISBN 978-1-4443-2441-9.
  7. ^ "Climate: Chitral". Retrieved 18 November 2017.
  8. ^ "Population Demography". Retrieved 18 November 2017.
  9. ^ [1] Archived 17 February 2012 at the Wayback Machine
  10. ^ [2] Archived 17 June 2009 at the Wayback Machine
  11. ^ Khan. "Chitral to lose one of its two provincial assembly seats".


  • Decker, D. Kendall (1992). Languages of Chitral. ISBN 4871875202.
  • Durand, Col. A. (1899). The Making of a frontier.
  • Leitner, G. W. (1893). Dardistan in 1866, 1886 and 1893: Being An Account of the History, Religions, Customs, Legends, Fables and Songs of Gilgit, Chilas, Kandia (Gabrial) Yasin, Chitral, Hunza, Nagyr and other parts of the Hindukush, as also a supplement to the second edition of The Hunza and Nagyr Handbook. And An Epitome of Part III of the author's The Languages and Races of Dardistan (First reprint ed.). New Delhi: Manjusri Publishing House. ISBN 4871877787.

External links

Chitral (princely state)

Chitral (or Chitrāl) (Urdu: چترال) was a princely state in alliance with British India until 1947, then a princely state of Pakistan until 1969. The area of the state now forms the Chitral District of the Malakand Division, Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa, Pakistan.

Chitral District

Chitral District (Urdu: ضِلع چترال‎) is the largest district in the Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa province of Pakistan, covering an area of 14,850 km². Part of the Malakand Division, it is the northernmost district of Pakistan.

It shares a border with Gilgit-Baltistan to the east, with Kunar, Badakshan and Nuristan provinces of Afghanistan to the north and west, and with the Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa districts of Swat and Dir to the south. A narrow strip of Wakhan Corridor separates Chitral from Tajikistan in the north.

Chitral Expedition

The Chitral Expedition (Urdu:چترال فوجی مہم) was a military expedition in 1895 sent by the British authorities to relieve the fort at Chitral which was under siege after a local coup. After the death of the old ruler power changed hands several times. An intervening British force of about 400 men was besieged in the fort until it was relieved by two expeditions, a small one from Gilgit and a larger one from Peshawar.

Chitral National Park

Chitral Gol National Park (Urdu: چترال گول نیشنل پارک‎) is one of the National Parks of Pakistan. It is located in Chitral District in Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa province of Pakistan beside the Chitral River, at a distance of two hours drive from Chitral town. The park is also known as Chitral National Park.

Chitral Tehsil

Chitral is a tehsil located in Chitral District, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Pakistan.

Constituency PK-1 (Chitral-I)

Constituency PK-1 (Chitral) is a constituency (Old PK-89) for the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Assembly of the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province of Pakistan.

Constituency PK-90 (Chitral-II)

Constituency PK-90 (Chitral-II) is a constituency for the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Assembly of the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province of Pakistan.

Dameli language

Dameli is a Dardic language spoken by approximately 5,000 people in the Domel Valley, in the Chitral District of Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa province of Pakistan.

The Domel or Damel Valley is about ten miles south of Drosh on the East Side of the Chitral or Kunar river, on the road from the Mirkhani Fort to the pass of Arandu.

Dameli is still the main language in the villages where it is spoken, and it is regularly learned by children. Most of the men speak Pashto as a second language, and some also speak Khowar and Urdu, but there are no signs of massive language change.

Dardic languages

The Dardic languages (also Dardu or Pisaca) are a sub-group of the Indo-Aryan languages natively spoken in northern Pakistan's Gilgit Baltistan and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, northern India's Jammu and Kashmir, and eastern Afghanistan. Kashmiri/Koshur is the most prominent Dardic language, with an established literary tradition and official recognition as one of the official languages of India.

Gawar-Bati language

Gawar-Bati or Narsati is a Dardic language spoken in Chitral, Pakistan by the Gawar people and across the border in Afghanistan. It is also known as Aranduyiwar in Chitral because it is spoken in Arandu, which is the last village in lower Chitral and is also across the border from Berkot in Afghanistan. There are about 9,000 speakers of Gawar-Bati, with 1,500 in Pakistan, and 7,500 in Afghanistan. The name Gawar-Bati means "speech of the Gawar", a people detailed by the Cacopardos in their study of the Hindu Kush.

Kalash people

The Kalasha (Kalasha: Kaĺaśa; Nuristani: Kasivo; Urdu: کالاش‎), or Kalash, also called Waigali or Wai are a Dardic Indo-Aryan indigenous people residing in the Chitral District of Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa province of Pakistan. They speak the Kalasha language, from the Dardic family of the Indo-Aryan branch. They are considered unique among the peoples of Pakistan. They are also considered to be Pakistan's smallest ethnoreligious group, practising a religion which some scholars characterise as a form of animism, and other academics as "a form of ancient Hinduism".The term is used to refer to many distinct people including the Väi, the Čima-nišei, the Vântä, plus the Ashkun and Tregami-speakers. 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. Some of the Kalash traditions consider the various Kalash people to have been migrants or refugees. They are also considered to have been either descendants of foreign people, Gandhari people and the Indians of eastern Afghanistan. Based on their shared genetic drift, it is considered that they may be an ancient drifted North Eurasian stock.The neighboring Nuristani people of the adjacent Nuristan (historically known as Kafiristan) province of Afghanistan once had the same culture and practised the same faith adhered to by the Kalash though with some distinctions. The first historically recorded Islamic invasions of their lands were by the Ghaznavids in 11th century while they themselves are first attested in 1339 during Timur's invasions. Nuristan had been converted to Islam in 1895—96, although some evidence has shown the people continued to practice their customs. The Kalash of Chitral have maintained their own separate cultural traditions.

Katoor dynasty

The Katoor Dynasty (also spelled Katur and Kator) is a dynasty, which along with its collateral branches ruled the sovereign, later princely state of Chitral and its neighbours in the eastern Hindu Kush region for over 450 years, from around 1570 until 1947. At the height its power under Mehtar Aman ul-Mulk the territory controlled by the dynasty extended from Asmar in the Kunar Valley to Sher Qilla in the Gilgit valley. The Mehtar of Chitral was an influential player in the power politics of the region as he acted as an intermediary between the rulers of Badakhshan, the Yousafzai pashtuns, the Maharaja of Kashmir and later the Amir of Afghanistan.

Kho people

The Kho (, Khowar: کھو‎) are an Indo-Aryan ethnolinguistic group associated with the Dardistan region. They speak Khowar, which is a member of the Dardic subgroup of the Indo-Aryan language family. Many Kho people live in the Chitral District of Pakistan, while others live in Jammu and Kashmir India.

Khowar language

Khowar (کهووار), also known as Chitrali, is an Indo-Aryan language of the Dardic group."Kho" means the people of Chitral, "War" means language. It is spoken by the Kho people in the Chitral District, Ghizer district of Gilgit-Baltistan (including the Yasin Valley, Golaghmuli Valley, Phandar Ishkoman and Gupis) and in parts of Upper Swat (Mateltan Village), Pakistan, as well as in Jammu and Kashmir, India.Speakers of Khowar have also migrated heavily to Pakistan's major urban centres with Peshawar, Islamabad, Lahore and Karachi, having significant populations. It is spoken as a second language in the rest of Gilgit and Hunza. There are believed to be small numbers of Khowar speakers in Afghanistan, China and Tajikistan.

Kunar River

The Kūnaṛ River (Pashto: کونړ سيند‎), also known in its upper reaches as the Mastuj (مستوج سيند), Chitral (چترال سيند; دریائے چترال), or Kama River (کامې سيند), is about 480 km long, located in northern Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Pakistan, and eastern Afghanistan. It emerges just south of the Broghil Pass, in the upper part of Chitral District of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa near the Afghan border. The river system is fed by melting glaciers and snow of the Hindu Kush mountains. The Kunar River is a tributary of the Kabul River, which is in turn a tributary of the Indus River.

Munji language

The Munji language, also known as Munjani, Munjhan and the Munjiwar language, is a Pamir language spoken in Munjan valley in Badakhshan Province in northeast Afghanistan. It is similar to the Yidgha language, which is spoken in the Upper Lotkoh Valley of Chitral, west of Garam Chashma in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Pakistan.Historically, Munji displays the closest possible linguistic affinity with the now-extinct Bactrian language.The Garam Chashma area became important during the Soviet–Afghan War. During the invasion, the Soviets were unable to stop the flow of arms and men back and forth across the Dorah Pass that separates Chitral, in Pakistan, from Badakshan in Afghanistan. The two dialects spoken in the area of Mamalgha Valley and the area of Munjan Valley differed, being the northern and southern dialects. The language has moved to parts of Chitral, after the War in Afghanistan forced the Munji-speaking people to flee to safer areas.

NA-1 (Chitral)

NA-1 (Chitral) (Urdu: این اے-۳۲، چترال‎) is a constituency for the National Assembly of Pakistan. It comprises the whole district of Chitral. It was formerly known as NA-32 (Tribal Areas IV) from 1977 to 2002. In 2002, it was changed to NA-32 (Chitral). The delimitation in 2018 saw the constituency name be changed to NA-1 (Chitral).

Yidgha language

The Yidgha language is an Eastern Iranian language of the Pamir group spoken in the upper Lotkoh Valley (Tehsil Lotkoh) of Chitral in the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province of Pakistan. Yidgha is similar to the Munji language spoken on the Afghan side of the border.

The Garam Chashma area became important during the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan because the Soviets were unable to stop the flow of arms and men back and forth across the Dorah Pass that separates Chitral from Badakshan in Afghanistan. Almost the entire Munji-speaking population of Afghanistan fled across the border to Chitral during the War in Afghanistan.

Climate data for Chitral
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Average high °C (°F) 8.3
Daily mean °C (°F) 4.1
Average low °C (°F) 0.0
Average precipitation mm (inches) 69
Administrative divisions of Chitral District
Union councils

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