Chitral District

Chitral District
Chitral District
—  District  —
Map of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa with Chitral District highlighted
Country  Pakistan
Province Khyber Pakhtunkhwa
Capital Chitral
Established 1970
 - District Nazim In Abeyance
 - District Naib Nazim In Abeyance
 - Total 14,850 km2 (5,733.6 sq mi)
Population (2004)
 - Total 378,000
 - Density 25/km2 (64.7/sq mi)
Time zone PST (UTC+5)
District Council
Number of Tehsils 6

Chitral (Urdu: ضلع چترال) is a district in the Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa province of Pakistan that contains the town of Chitral. It has an area of 14,850 km² and a population of 318,689 at the 1998 Census, which had subsequently risen to about 378,000 people by 2004. It has one of the highest mountains of the world, Tirich Mir. It is the largest district in Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa covering an area of 14,850 sq. kilometres.



Chitral District is the most northerly district in the Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa province, to the west and north is Afghanistan - in the north the Wakhan Corridor, a narrow strip claimed by Pakistan, it separates Pakistan from Tajikistan. To the east of Chitral are the federally controlled Northern Areas of Pakistan-administered Kashmir and to the south are the Pakistani internal districts of Upper Dir and Swat. Chitral can be accessed by air via the Chitral Airport which is approximately 3 km from the town. Regular flights from Peshawar and Islamabad are run by the PIA.


The terrain of Chitral is quite mountainous, as part of the Pamir Mountains are situated there. Tirich Mir which at 25,289 feet (7,708 metres) is the highest peak of the Hindu Kush, rises in the north of the district.

Chitral is connected to the rest of Pakistan by only two road routes, the Lowari Pass (el. 10,230 ft.) from Dir and Shandur Top (el. 12,200 ft.) from Gilgit. Both routes are closed in winter. The Lowari Tunnel is being constructed under the Lowari Pass. A number of other high passes, including Darkot Pass, Thoi Pass and Zagaran Pass, give access on foot to Chitral from Ghizer District in Gilgit.

It was reported in 2004 that Afghanistan had agreed to allow access from Pakistan to Chitral though Afghan territory and the Kunar Valley, by passing Lowari Pass.[1]

Two passes give access on foot to Chitral from Afghanistan, the Broghol Pass and the Dorah Pass. Both are closed in winter.


The general population is mainly of the Kho people, who speak the Khowar language (or Chitrali), which is also spoken in parts of Yasin, Gilgit and Swat. Chitral is also home to the Kalash tribe, who live in Bumburet and two other remote valleys southwest of Chitral town.

The Norwegian linguist Georg Morgenstierne wrote that Chitral is the area of the greatest linguistic diversity in the world. Although Khowar is the predominant language of Chitral, more than ten other languages are spoken here. These include Kalasha-mun, Palula, Dameli, Gawar-Bati, Nuristani, Yidgha, Burushaski, Gujar, Wakhi, Kyrgyz, Persian and Pashto. Since many of these languages have no written form, letters are usually written in Urdu or Persian.


Until 1969, Chitral was a princely state, within the Malakand Agency. In 1970 Chitral was absorbed into Pakistan as the new Chitral District, until 2000 within Malakand Division.


The district of Chitral is divided into two tehsils[2][3][4]

  • Chitral, including the former tehsils of Drosh and Lutkoh
  • Mastuj, including the former tehsils of Turkoh and Mulkoh

The district is represented in the provincial assembly by two elected MPAs who represent the following constituencies:[5]

  • PF-89 (Chitral-1)
  • PF-90 (Chitral-2)

See also


Coordinates: 36°15′N 72°15′E / 36.25°N 72.25°E / 36.25; 72.25

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