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Tuesday, May 14, 2019

Festivals of Chitral and Kalash - All set for Chilimjusht festival in Kalash Valley

Festivals of Chitral and Kalash - All set for Chilimjusht festival in Kalash Valley


CHITRAL: The arrival of foreign tourists continues as all arrangements have been finalised to celebrate the Chilimjusht or Joshi festival in the three Kalash valleys from May 13 to 16.

“Though we don’t expect a huge rush of tourists due to the Ramazan, we hope a large number of foreign tourists will visit the three Kalash valleys of Berir, Bamburet and Rambur to enjoy the spring festival,” said a hotelier.

Situated about 45 kilometres from Chitral town, the Kalasha people attract the world for their unique culture and religion. “They are the major tourist attraction in the region despite their dwindling population,” the hotelier said, adding that the hustle and bustle has begun in the valley.

According to the data collected by a non-governmental organisation, Ayun Valley Development Programme (AVDP), the population of Kalash people stands at 4,100. Though the Kalash people observe various festivals, Chilimjusht is the most popular among all. Thousands of tourists throng the valleys every year to enjoy the event. “The relaxation in security-related issues is a good step towards promoting tourism,” said Syed Harir Shah, a tourism promoter. However, he lamented that no steps were taken to repair the roads to Kalash valley, which were in a dilapidated condition. “The authorities used to repair the roads in the past but no such steps are visible this year,” he complained.

Kalash people wear new dresses and prepare various dishes to welcome the spring. The event culminates with the loving couples tying the knot. “It’s good to see the tourism sector again developing after a lean period of decades. The government must announce incentives to the people associated with the sector as they suffered a lot due to terrorism,” said Harir Shah.

Meanwhile, Tourism Corporation Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (TCKP) Managing Director Junaid Khan has said the Chilimjusht festival will be celebrated in a befitting manner to promote tourism and cultural activities in the province.

“Khyber Pakhtunkhwa is blessed with exotic valleys and unique rich culture and traditions. The province is a peaceful destination for foreign and domestic tourists to come and enjoy the beauty of nature it has to offer,” the managing director said while presiding over a meeting in Peshawar.

The MD was told that preparations for the festival were in full swing as the local people have launched the cleanliness drive, while the TCKP authorities have planned to set up a tent village to facilitate the tourists in the scenic Kalash valley in Chitral. Last year, the TCKP had established a tent village for the tourists. The facility attracted a large number of visitors to the festival.




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