An amazing Road trip from Lahore to Kalash Valley

Pakistan is the land of beauty, culture, traditions, mountains, valleys and above all the people. If you are born in Pakistan, yes you are a very lucky person. But if you have travelled across the Pakistan and visited its stunning landscapes, pastures, valleys, towering peaks , stunning glacier, and mountains covered with snows, yes, then you are the luckiest person of the world.

We,Human often got exhausted by our surroundings and people around us. Travelling not only quest your soul’s thirst but also makes you more humble, sober, thinker, and philosopher and provides a big opportunity to understand the nature and natural phenomena.

First Travel Article:

While writing this my first ever article on traveling I will try to describe the travel story in a good way and also write my travel experience for the travelers to visit this beautiful land.Please overlook the grammar mistakes , low frequency vocabulary and bizarre and freaky style of writing.

Lahore:

So, it was Sat 14 May 2016 night we started our journey from Lahore to Chitral to be eyewitness of Joshi Festival in Kalash Valley. While we starts our journey from Lahore, we literally had no idea of transport and roads and especially the time to reach Chitral. But, as said the real joy of traveling is in the unplanned and unexpected journeys.

Peshawar to Timergrah:

We Reached at Peshawar early in the morning, after taking breakfast we started searching the transport to Chitral, but everywhere we were told that you will find no transport till night. Though it was disappointing, we kept on struggling.

After all attempts, we decided to cover the road journey by parts. Our first part was from Peshawar to Timergrah. It was about 3 hours’ drive in a hiace wagon with four person in a row. By the way till noon we were at Timergrah.

From Timergrah we continued our journey to upper dir in another Hiace wagon. This time the environment in the wagon relatively better and our road trip on public transport ended up at upper about 4PM.

My travel companion was so upset and angry with me for not having any proper plan and management of this trip. He never traveled in the wagons and little passenger vehicles. I enjoyed every moment from Peshawar till upper dir and tried my best to amuse my travel buddy.

So, the tough and final round of our road trip was too started soon after a lunch break. We, booked a Toyota Wagnor (4 by 4) vehicle to move forward to Darosh. This part of travelling was perfect and great by each and every aspect. The driver was a young Chitrali who was driving crazy on the sloppy, dumpy and zigzagged road.

Upper Dir to Darosh crossing Lowari Top:

Lowari top was the real point where we forgot the tiredness of the lengthy travel from Lahore to Lowari top. The sun was setting while crossing the Lowari top. The yellow light on the snow covered mountains of Lowari were creating a magical scene. I completely lost in the scene and forgot that we were travelling on the 5th most dangerous road of the world. While reached at the top of Lowari it got too cold.

Lowari Top in summer

The Pak Army officers were dutying at the top for the safety of locals and tourists. The road on Lowari top is muddy and gives much jolts and makes your stomach a lot of voices. Even your all joints moving like a pendulum. The road is on zig zag pattern and it takes about 1:30 hour to cover the Lowari top.

The driver of the wagon was so energetic and romantic that he played Pashto, Punjabi and Hindi songs in full volume all the way from Upper Dir to Darosh. He also kept talking to other 3 passengers but my ears were closed by the air pressure.

Snow at Lowari Top

We stayed at Daroah by 8 o clock at night. On the advice of the jeep driver we spent the night at a local hotel in Darosh. It was very economic and righteous disciosion to stay at Darosh overnight.

The body was full of tiredness, muscles were tighten and all joints were stiffened by the hard and long journey.  The night was cold enough to take us blankets overnight. We left Darosh by 12 PM.

It was the last day of Chilam Joshi Festival and we had spent half the day at Darosh. My friend was more concerned in the Festival and so he should be 🙂

A car passing from the stream water at Lowari Top

Darosh to Ayon:

From Darosh we took another local transport and reached Ayoun, the beautiful and green village in Chitral. This was the last station to leave for Bumburet Village (a village of Kalash Valley).

There are three villages of Kalash Tribe namely Birir, Rumbour and Bumburet. We took a jeep from Ayoun bus stand left for Bumburet at 2 PM. As, it was last day of festival, the rush was very less as compared to peak days of festival. Mostly tourists were returning back to Chitral city or their hometowns.

Ayon Village to Kalash Valley (Bumburet Village):

The road from Ayoun to Bumburet was full of danger. Much dumpy,bumpy, muddy and full of dangerous cuts with cliffs. This time though the driver was old in age but high in spirit and full of passion. He took us just in an hour to be eyewitness of the Joshi Festival.

Returning back from Bumburet valley to Ayon on an open air wagon

Kalash Valley:

Kalash valley is so beautiful and eye-catching that one can fully lost in the scenes and the clear crystal water of the river passing by the village makes the environment more romantic and fantasy. While reached at the dancing place, the festival (dance festival) was full on swing.

Celebrations of Chilam Joshi Festival

The Kalasha  women, young girls and little ones were making a specific move with a specific traditional voice. This was all so amazing, pain relieving and all this scene made the bodies and soul to swing with the Kalasha girls. A lot of tourists and travelers were present there.

I did a little bit photography of Kalashi women. The young girls were so much reluctant to cameras and being photographed that they moved or put Dupatta on face while someone tries to take a photograph.All of this situation I succeeded in taking some beautiful photographs.

Kalash Valley

After enjoying the Chilam Joshi Festival, we were free, hungry and thirsty. The river was calling us to be lost for a while in the nature and forgot all the worries, sorrows, hardships, people and everything of the world which caused tears in our eyes. The time spent on the river with echo sounds of river was the best time at Bumburet.

After making ourselves relax and easy we, again wandering the solo bazar of the village for hotel to spend the night. Soon, the room was arranged in one thousand rupee (the last night the minimum charges for the room were 5000). The night spent at Foreign Hotel, main bazar Bumburet was one of the best nights I have ever spender in travelling. The next day we explored the culture, traditions, lifestyle, houses, old graveyard, old museum, the last village of Kalashi Tribe in this valley.

 Kalash Valley is dotted with villages perched high on the side of cliffs or nestled deep in the valleys below.Mostly there are double storey houses built on vintage style. .The black, blue and turquoise dress and ornamental head dress is the identity and centuries old culture of Kalasha women.

The Kalash tribe belongs to the Alexander great. They are non-Muslims believe on their own gods. The Kalash people are the most jolly and traditional nation in the world. They celebrate the moments. They celebrate and worship their gods four time a year (spring, fall, winter and summer).

Dancing is the main and comprehensive thing of their all celebrations. They dance when someone new born, they dance when someone marries, they dance when someone dies.

In early ages they did not bury the dead ones in soil. They simply packed the dead one in coffin and put them on the earth. As you see the pics of old graveyard.

Now they properly bury the dead. We trekked, traveled, explored and enjoyed as much as we could do at Kalash Valley. We observed how they brew red wine at homes and sell openly to tourists just in 700 Rs.per 1.5 liters. The brewing of red wine from grapes is so common practice in Kalash Valley.

80 % tourists must enjoy the wine in the cold and calm air of Kalash. Every tourist, backpacker, traveler , nomad , adventurer,nature enthusiast , life explorer and wanderer at Kalash must do these 10 things during their visit to Kalash valleys.This was our journey from Lahore to Kalash Valley which was full travel experience and also of hoteling, interaction with locals, hospitality of Pashtuns and Chitral and lot more life time experiences.

Our next destination was Chitral, Booni, Shandoor, Shandoor pass and the Pander valley to Gilgit Baltistan. I will write about the rest of the story in another article. Thanks a lot peeps for reading my first travel experience. Please must leave your suggestions, opinions and feedback to improve my travel blogging.

When I wrote this memory of my life , I absolutely had no idea of starting a travel blog for myself.Just sharing this adventurous backpacking from Lahore to Chitral ( Kalash Valleys) to inspire you to come out of your comfort zones and explore the life life like you never did before in a crazy and freaky way.