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Kalash Joshi Festival – Chitral

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March 3, 2024

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KALASH VALLEY JOSHI FESTIVAL

Kalash Joshi is a very small ethnic community of mountain people surrounded by Indo-Kush mountains called KafirKalash joshi Kafiristan, non-Muslim Kafir and Kafiristan means non-Muslim land. This small mountain community is non-Muslim. They have a unique religion, language, culture, and dress in the world. The people of these valleys are called Kalash Joshi who live only in three valleys in the eastern Indo-Kush mountains, Birir, Bumbur, and Rumbur. These three valleys are located near the border with Afghanistan (Nuristan), surrounded by high mountains and the number is not nearly 3000, They still follow the ancient religion and some have converted to Islam due to the influence of the surrounding atmosphere.

CHILIMJUST FESTIVAL

Each ceremony is accompanied by a dance rhythm and drums
Women dressed in traditional black dresses, wearing ornate cowls, dance in a circle decorated with headdresses and colorful beads. Then men join, men and women, or men and women on each side in the middle, lovers are free to join.
One hand is placed on the partner’s waist and the other on the shoulder. Tribal chiefs in colorful robes tell stories and events from the past

The Joshi festival takes place in mid-May for four days from May 14 to 16 every year. This spring festival honors fairies, protecting goats and shepherds before they leave for pasture. Before the festival, women and girls gather from different parts of the valley and decorate their houses. Local wine and dairy products are shared inside the house. Then women sprinkle milk on the god “Jestak”, which protects their children and their homes. The festival begins at Rumbur, where shamans (potters) and tribal chiefs travel to the ‘Malosh Altar’ at the top of Grum to sacrifice goats to the gods. The festival then moves to Bumboret and ends.

Kalash Joshi Valley is a 30-35 Km drive from Chitral and around 2 hours by jeep. Chitral (1500m) is the main city of the Indo-Kush mountain valley of Pakistan. The city itself is worth a visit for the colorful bazaars and the Shahi Mosque against the backdrop of Tirchmir 7700m, the highest point of the Indo-Kush range. Chitral is also the gateway to many routes in the Indo-Kush Mountains and is connected by flights to the capital Islamabad and Peshawar, as well as via the Lowari Tunnel through Swat Valley and access to Shandur Pass 3800M, 400 Km from Gilgit. Flight to Chitral is subject to weather conditions (mountain flight) except bad weather.

Step-01:

  • 01: Arrival in Islamabad, overnight stay at hotel
  • 2: Fly to Chitral or drive to Swat Valley overnight at the hotel
  •  03: Proceed to Chitrala / Hotel
  • 04: Overnight at the hotel for Kalash Bomburet
  • 05: Attend Festival / Hotel
  • 06: Festival / Hotel
  • 07: Festival/hotel
  • 08: Attend Festival / Hotel
  • 09: Back to Chitral / Hotel
  • 10: full day visit to Taxila, or Islamabad / arrive at the hotel
  • 11: Depart Islamabad (Drop off at Airport)
ROUTE-02
  • 01: Arrival in Islamabad, transfer to hotel and sightseeing, overnight stay at hotel
  • 02: Fly to Chitral with hotel, city tour, overnight at hotel or Swat Valley, overnight at hotel
  • 03: Trekking in Chitral or proceeding to Chitral from Swat Valley / Hotel
  •  04: Overnight at the hotel for Kalash Bomburet
  •  05: Attend Festival / Hotel
  • 06; Festival/hotel
  • 07: Festival/hotel
  •  08: Attend Festival / Hotel
  • 09: Return to Chitral and proceed to Mastuj / Hotel
  • 10: Proceed to Gilgit / Hotel
  • 11: Drive to Karimabad-Hunza with local sightseeing/hotel
  • 12: Drive to Gilgit and fly to Islamabad or Besham / drive to the hotel
  • 13: Continue by taxi for a full-day tour or drive to Islamabad/hotel
  •  14: Depart Islamabad (Drop off at Airport)