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Kalash Joshi Festival – Chitral

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May 26, 2018

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62
KALASH VALLEY JOSHI FESTIVAL

The Kalash is a very small ethnic community of the mountain people, surrounded by the mountains of Hindu-Kush called the Kafir Kalash or Kafiristan, kafir means non-Muslim and Kafiristan means the land of non-Muslims.This small mountain community is not Muslim by religion. They have their own religion, language, cultural and dress, those are unique in the world. The people of these valleys are called Kalashi, who are inhabited only in three valleys in the eastern Hindu-Kush Mountain Range, Birir, Bumburate and Rumbur. These three valleys lie close to the border with Afghanistan (Nuristan), surrounded by the high peaks and they are hardly 3000 altogether, still practice their ancient religion and some of them already converted into Islam due to influence of the surrounding atmosphere

JOSHI /CHILIMJUST FESTIVAL
Every ceremony is accompanied by dancing and rhythmical chant to a beat of the drum
The women wearing their traditional black robes, ornate cowries shelled head dresses and adorned with colored necklaces, dance in a circle. Then the men join in, it may be a man and a woman or a man in the middle with a woman on each side, lovers being free to intermingle
One hand is held round the waist of the partner and the other round the shoulders. Tribal chiefs in colorful dresses narrate stories of bygone days and events

The Joshi festival, in the middle of May from 14th to 16th May each year for four days. . This spring festival honors the fairies and also safeguards the goats and shepherds before they go to the pastures. Before the festival the women and girls gather from all over the valley and decorate their houses. Inside the houses local wine and milk products are shared. The women then sprinkle milk on Goddess “Jestak “the protector of their children and home. The festival begins at Rumbur where the Shaman (soothsayer) and tribal chiefs lead a procession to the “Malosh altar”, high above Grum, to sacrifice goats to the Gods. Later the festival moves on to Bumboret and ends.

The Kalash Valleys are connected with Chitral by jeep road 30-35 Km and around 2hrs drives by jeep. The Chitral (1500M) is the main town of the Hindu-Kush Mountain Valley of the Pakistan. The town itself very interested and worth to visits its colorful bazaars and Shahi Mosque against the backdrop of the Tirchmir 7700 M, highest peak in the Hindu-Kush Range. Chitral is also gateway of many trekking routes in the Hindu-Kush Mountains and connected to the capital of the country, Islamabad and Peshawar by flight as well as by road via Swat Valley through Lowari tunnel, also accessible from Gilgit 400 Km via Shandur Pass 3800M. The flight to Chitral is subjected to weather condition (mountain flight), if weather is bad does not operate.

ITINERARY- 01:
Day-01: Arrival Islamabad, transfer to the hotel, overnight at hotel
Day-02: Fly to Chitral or drive to Swat Valley, overnight at hotel
Day-03: Continue to Chitral/hotel
Day-04: Continue to Kalash Bomburet, overnight at hotel
Day-05: Festival attending/hotel
Day-06: Festival/hotel
Day-07: Festival /hotel
Day-08: Festival attending/hotel
Day-09: Back to Chitral/hotel
Day-10: Fly or drive to Islamabad/hotel
Day-11: Full day visit to Taxila, or arrival to Islamabad/hotel
Day-12: Departure from Islamabad (drop to the airport)

OPTION:
ITINERARY-02:
Day-01: Arrival Islamabad, transfer to the hotel and sightseeing, overnight hotel
Day-02: Fly to Chitral and transfer to the hotel, sightseeing of the town, overnight at hotel or drive to Swat Valley, overnight at hotel
Day-03: Sightseeing in Chitral or continue to Chitral from Swat Valley/hotel
Day-04: Continue to Kalash Bomburet, overnight at hotel
Day-05: Festival attending/hotel
Day-06; Festival/hotel
Day-07: Festival /hotel
Day-08: Festival attending/hotel
Day-09: Back to Chitral and continue Mastuj/hotel
Day-10: Drive to Phunder via Shandur Pass/hotel
Day-11: Continue to Gilgit /hotel
Day-12: Drive to Karimabad-Hunza and local visits/hotel
Day-13: Full day for local exploration in Karimabad/hotel
Day-14: Drive to Gilgit and fly to Islamabad or drive to Besham/hotel
Day-15: Full day visit to Taxila or continue drive to Islamabad/hotel
Day-16: Departure from Islamabad (drop to the airport)