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"Lowari Pass" Chitral by jorgejuansanchez

Chitral Travel Guide: 80 reviews and 174 photos

Starting in Peshawar, the capital of North-West Frontier Province (today known as Khyber Pakhtunkhwa), I headed northwards with the idea to visit the Kafir Kalash people in Kafiristan, lovely Chitral and to enter Afghanistan.
I first reached the valley of Swat, and visited some vestiges of the Gondhara culture, a mixture of Greek and Buddhist art.
Then I travelled to Dir and learnt that Chitral was closed by road owing to the snow, and only on foot could be reached, through the Lowari Pass, with help of Gurjars, or porters from Dir, who make their living carrying in their shoulders the bags, and even people, across the Hindu Kush.
Lowari Pass, at little bit more than 3000 meters, is not the highest Pass in the Hindu Kush, but it is considered the most dangerous, and every year several travelers died crossing it owing to frequent and treacherous snow avalanches.
Together with a group of Pathans businessmen I left at 6PM from my caravanserai in Dir and we all boarded a jeep for some kilometers, until the road was inaccessible by cars, then started to climb upstairs. It was cold and windy.
With us came some Gurjars. One of them, finally, I was forced to contract almost arriving to the Lowari Pass to carry my small bag; otherwise I would have been left the last in the group, what was mortal.
We needed to reach Lowari Pass no later than 2 PM, if not, we might not be able to cross it, and spending the night up there in that pass means death.
At 1 PM we arrived to Lowari Pass. The view from the pass was overwhelming, superb, magical, and supernatural. I felt desires to cry of happiness to have reached that incredible place.
I was told by my Gurjar that descending the Lowari Pass was even more dangerous than getting up.
We walked down very carefully and arrived at 5 PM to Drush, where my Gurjar gave me back my bag, I paid him some rupees, and we separated.
I took a jeep to Chitral, a most exotic town that looked taken from a 1001 night fairy tale, such was its beauty. It was located besides the majestic Tirich Mir, which with its 7700 meters represents the highest peak in the Hindu Kush.
I was lodged in a caravanserai with many Pathans and Afghanis. The next day I traveled to Bumburet Valley and during two days I would live together with the Kafir Kalash, or Kalasha people, with blue eyes, supposed to be the descendants of the troops of Alexander of Macedonia.
Back in Chitral I traveled to Arandu and crossed to Nuristan, Afghanistan.

  • Last visit to Chitral: Dec 1988
  • Intro Updated May 9, 2016
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