Tucked in three stunning Picturesque valleys, the beautiful people of Kalash tribe lives from two hours drive from Chitral District, in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. three valleys are named as Bumburet, Rumbur, and Birir. The valley is surrounded by the humungous and long Hindu Kucsh mountain rangs. Whereever you see around, you’ll see natural beauty Orangish red, yellow green, with dominant black base. And above all the beautiful, kind hearted, hospitable, generous, and simple people of this valley melt your heart anyway. This tribe is the oldest tribe of South Asia, and is famous for its unique culture, beautiful traditions, religion, culture, language and way of living. The Kalash people have many different and beautiful traditions, and celebrate everything.
Well, I was only allowed to take pictures of the women after their permission, and it was worth it. The first thing I observed was beautiful faces shying away and laying hide and seek after seeing the visitors. After few hours of my arrival I went to the small market place of Kalash people where their distinct Kupas (head gear), Pakols (Men’s feathered cap), and other handicrafts were presented to sell. The traditional designs and colors of the Kalash Valley are now being incorporated by the modern designers in their work.
In the evening, I was taken to the graveyard, which was the highlight of my trip other than of course visiting the Kalash festival. The Kalash people take death as freedom of the spirit/soul from the body. So the deceased is given a farewell in a special room, where relatives and loved ones of that person dance in a circle, and this celebration continues for three days, then the body is taken to the graveyard. Surprising thing for me was that the dead are not buried, rather left in the wooden box with their most treasured possessions.
The Kalash people have four festivals each year, which attract many tourist from within Pakistan plus many foreigners. Joshi (for start of spring- in May), Ucaw (Autumn Festival-in August), P’O festival (mid October), and Cawmos (Winter festival). The winter festival lasts till it becomes impossible t reach there for visitors, because land sliding.
On my return I was packed with the beautiful and astonishing memories. There is much more to write about my visit to one of its own kind’s Kalash valley, and some things which can’t be described in words.