Kalash Festival – Chilam Joshi Spring
|Festival Dates||13th May – 16th May 2021|
Chilam Joshi Festival is one the most vital Kalash festivals. Kalash Festival of Chilam Joshi is also known as Kalash spring festival. The Kalash people celebrate this four day festival across all three Kalash valleys of Rambur, Bumburet and Birir. A large number of domestic and foreign tourists attend the Chilam Joshi festival every year.
Chilam Joshi begins with “Milk day”. Ten days prior to the festival, The Kalash people store milk from their households. On the day of the festival the people of Kalash offer their libation. The festival reflects their unique cultural richness, the harmony in their society and message of peace to the world. They ask for blessing from the God and pray for a prosperous year of agriculture and health and safety of their herds.
The main objective behind the Kalash festival of Chilam Joshi is that Kalash men and women can find themselves a spouse to get married. The women wear traditional attire with lively colors and hair dressers have patterns of flowers on it. They wear beaded necklaces which compliments their dresses and head gears.
Men wear traditional Shalwar Kameez with a waistcoat made of wool. They dance together and sing in a circle on drum beats. Every year this festival brings smile to the bachelors and spinsters of Kalash Valley tribes as it gives them an opportunity to choose their life partners and announce their names on the last day of the festival.
On the first day of this great adventure we will start by exploring Islamabad in the afternoon. We will visit Heritage Museum to understand and explore the culture of multi nations living in Pakistan. Afterwards we will have lunch and go ahead to explore Pakistan Museum. Later, we will visit Faisal Mosque, the famous landmark of the city and then continue to drive towards the highest view point of Islamabad (Pir Sohawa/Daman e Koh). We will also explore Super Market and after a taste of traditional food we will call it a day after having a scoop of ice cream from a famous ice cream shop.
This day we will set towards Swat which is a beautiful hill station in the Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa Province formerly known as NWFP. We will drive on the newly constructed motorway that has shortened the journey from Islamabad to Swat. Swat was a former princely state and also a center of Buddhist Civilization centuries ago. We will explore the white palace, archaeological sites of ancient Buddhist civilization and the bazar.
Today we will set from Swat to Chitral. We will travel through the Lowari Tunnel which is about 10.4 kms long that connects Dir and Chitral. In the past before the construction of the tunnel the passengers travelled via Lowari Pass and more over the Chitral Region was disconnected from rest of the country for 6 months. We will reach Ayun this day. Ayun is the closest villages to Kalash Tribes and also a beautiful valley to experience and explore the place. Our stay will be in the Ayun Fort that has beautiful biological gardens and its location offers a bird eye view of the valley and river. We will spend the night at the Ayun Fort.
Today we will go to Rambus Valley one of the main villages of Kalash Tribe to experience the Chilam Joshi Festival. It is one of the main festivals of Kalash Tribe and it is celebrated to welcome spring in the region. We will walk to the town center to experience the unique culture of the people of Kalash. Today we will have lunch in a local house and experience the Kalash Food. Later in the evening we will go and stay in Bumburet.
On this day we will start exploring the Bumburet Valley. We will visit the local museum. The Kalash Graveyard and the Town Centre. Later we will join the mega festival as all the tribes will gather in Bumburet. We will dance, do photography and interact with the Kalash Tribe and experience this unique culture firsthand. Later we will travel to Chitral and stay at night in Pamir Hotel alongside the Chitral River.
Today we will explore Chitral Town. We will visit Chitral Fort the capital of ancient kingdom of Chitral. The region was ruled from this fort. Later we will visit Shahi Mosque of Chitral which is in the premises of the fort. We will then travel to Birmoglasht which is on the mountain top. It offers a bird eye view of the valley as well as we might have a sighting of Markhor that are indigenous to this region. We will have lunch at Birmoglasht on this day. If there is an ongoing polo match in Chitral Town we will visit the polo ground and experience the thrilling polo event. Later we will explore Chitral Bazar. We will have dinner in the hotel.
On this day we will travel from Chitral Town to Mastuj. Mastuj is main village of Yarkhud Valley that borders Gilgit-Baltistan on one side and Afghanistan on the other. We will travel passing many villages of Chitral along the river gorge. Once we arrive in Mastuj we will take a walk around the village, meet and greet local village and community. We will stay in Mastuj for the following night.
On this day we will travel from Chitral to Gupis which is also known as Khalti. Khalti is part of Ghizer District of Gilgit – Baltistan Region. We will travel via Shandur Pass and drive through many villages of Laspur. We will make a short stop in Shandur where we will experience the high alpine Shandur Lake and the Shandur Polo Ground which is the highest polo ground on the planet. We will pass through high land pastures and meadows of Barsit, Langar and Teru. We will also make a short stop at Phandar Valley which is lush green and has a very beautiful still lake. Upon arrival at Khalti, we will check in to hotel and after some rest we will go to explore the nearby villages and take some good photographs on the Khalti Lake. We will have Trout Fish as one of our cuisines on this day.
On this day we will travel from Khalti to Gilgit. Gilgit is the capital city of Gilgit-Baltistan Region. Upon arrival we will check in to hotel and have some rest. After the lunch we will go to visit Kargah Nala and the famous Buddha Carving. Later we will go to explore the Gilgit Bazaar and will taste the “Mantu” (Dumplings). We will relax and stay at Gilgit for the night before we start the journey to the “ Land of Legends” – Hunza.
This day will be different and exciting as we will be travelling to Hunza now. Let me tell you that Hunza is a full package that offers beautiful scenery, glaciers, high rising mountains, lakes, culture, heritage, an international border and the 8th wonder of the world that is called the Karakoram Highway. As we start our journey on the Karakoram Highway, we will see the old silk route used for trade which was made centuries ago. We will make a stop at Rakaposhi View Point, enjoy a cup of tea or coffee and feel the breeze coming from the Mother of Mist. As we travel ahead towards Hunza we will have a view of magnificent peaks from the window seat and as we arrive in Karimabad. The view of Rakaposhi will stun every nature lover as this ultra-visible peak will glance over your head. We will visit Baltit Fort and Altit Fort this day and also explore Karimabad Market and later we will visit the famous Eagle’s Nest View Point to experience the sunset over the mighty peaks.
On this day we will travel to Northern Hunza, we will do boating in the Atabad Lake. The pristine glacial water and the color of lake with the barren mountains will leave you stunned. We will continue travelling further passing through many villages of Upper Hunza and enter Khunjerab National Park at Deh. We will experience the amazing journey on the Karakoram Highway. On our return we will stay at Passu.
On this day we will start our day by walking around the Passu Village. We will experience people working in the field we will also visit a local house to experience the architecture and way of living of the Wakhi Community of Pakistan. We will visit Borith Lake another alpine lake with beautiful colors. We will also take a walk on the Hussaini Suspension Bridge to experience the thrill of the mountains. We will further travel to Hopper Valley and get stunned with its beauty. We will hike to Batura Glacier. On this night we will enjoy dances and music of people of Hunza.
On this day we will travel to Besham from Hunza. Besham is another beautiful hill station with beautiful views. We will have short stops on the way.
On this day we will travel to Islamabad from Islamabad. On our way we will visit Taxila Museum and ancient Buddhist sites from Gandhara Civilization. We will then continue to Islamabad which is on a distance of 45 minutes from Taxila and have our farewell dinner at Monal Restaurant.
Everything good thing has to come to an end. This is the day when we finally bid farewell to our guests and fellow members. The tour ends this day. Transfer to airport.