The homeland of fairies
There is a conflict among historians about the Kalash people. They called themselves the progenies of Alexander the Great. According to a widespread anecdote, when Alexander the Great invaded this area, some wounded soldiers of his army along with their families stopped there while passing by. And this tribe has grown from here.
By a second narrative, these people belonged to the province Nuristan of Afghanistan in the last second century before Christ. The religion of the Kalash people is a combination of many cultures and customs. They believe in many gods, goddesses, charity, idolatry, and superstition. Try to live there as tourists and avoid interacting with their religious activities.
Sections of Kalash
Kalash Valley is basically divided into three sections.
Ayun town is 30km from Chitral city. It is the gateway of the Kalash Valley. This whole town is situated on the bank of the river Chitral. There are routes for the areas of Birir(34km), Rumbur(32km), and Bumburet(40km). Bumburet is the capital of the valley. Most of the Kalash people live here.
Rumbur is on the right side of the Doba or Dobaz Check post while Barir and Bamburet are on the left side. You will have to submit a fee before entering the Kalash valley on the Dobaz check post. The road is wide towards Bumburet. Pehalwanda, Kandesar, and Ahmadabad are Muslim majority areas.
While, most of the residents are Kalash People in Krakal Ansir, Bron, and Tabrek. The populous of Sheikhanda is Muslim. Bumburet has the highest number of hotels and basic necessities of life for tourists.
People rarely turn to Rumbur and Birir because they are not at high altitudes and the weather here is not as cold as in Bumburet. But to understand the Kailash culture, go to all three places for more information.
You can go to Kalash valley from Chitral for one day. It is a better idea to reach Bumburet via Jeep. Stay in a hotel for two to three days. Visit the valley with a guide. The local guide will take you to the houses and worship places of the Kailash people. This will help you to explore more about the Kalash Culture.
Rumbur valley is longer than other valleys. This valley has natural beauty, a beautiful lake, thick woodlands, walnuts, an abundance of grapes, and a Shifa spring. The first-ever Kalash pilot Election Bibi belongs to this area.
In 1974, the prime minister of Greece Papa Nadyo came to Kalash valley and said “Today the memory of Alexander the Great was refreshed”. People can enjoy Kalash dance during the local festival. You can also request your hotel management for a Kalash dance. They will arrange a Kailash dance and you will have to submit charges for it.
The lawn of the hotel is surrounded by fragrant trees, the melodious music of the nearby waterfalls, and the sight of the Kailash dance taking in the cool breeze, what an atmosphere! Just Imagine! The sunrise and sunset, the beautiful night, and the proximity of the cluster of stars are the splendid scenes of Kailash.
Kailashi Culture and Traditions
Most of the Kalash men live out of the town for livelihood. Due to this most of the burden of Kailash rituals has to be borne by most of the women.
The whole village gathered at the place of the deceased. The body of the deceased is brought to the community center. Different kinds of worship and dancing take place. People twirl around the dead body kept in a coffin. Many flocks of sheep and goats are slaughtered.
This continues for many days. In this way, the one who dies goes away but the ones who are left behind are buried under heavy expenses and debts. During their menstrual cycle, the women go to “Bashalini” on the banks of the river. No one can talk to them. Instead of burying their dead, they would put them in a wooden box and leave them with their personal belongings in a nearby forest.
It rots there, stinks, and disappears. When the coffins were broken by the rains and climate change, the bones of their loved ones were desecrated, the Muslims there explained to them, so now they too are burying their dead.
In 1994, Greek Pastor Professor Athanasius established a museum in the Bumburet valley to save the Kalash Culture and Greek civilization.
Wind Up Lines
Kalash Valley is renowned for its spectacular sites, culture, and traditions. People love to visit Kalash because of its natural beauty. Many well-known ministers and personalities visited Kalash and praised it. Prince William and Kate Middleton visited Kalash and enjoyed the Kalahi dance too.