Chitral District

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Chitral District
Country Pakistan
Province Khyber Pakhtunkhwa
Capital Chitral
Established 1970
 • Total 14,850 km2 (5,730 sq mi)
Population (2014)
 • Total 478,000
 • Density 25/km2 (60/sq mi)
Time zone PST (UTC+5)
Number of Tehsils 6

Chitral (Urdu: ضلع چترال‎) is the largest district in the Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa province of Pakistan, covering an area of 14,850 km². It is the northernmost district of Pakistan.[1] It shares a border with Gilgit-Baltistan to the east, with Kunar, Badakshan and Nuristan provinces to the north and west, and with Swat and Dir to the south.[2] A narrow strip of Wakhan Corridor separates Chitral from Tajikistan in the north.[3]


For more details on this topic, see Chitral (princely state).

The entire region that now forms the Chitral District was an independent monarchical state until 1895, when the British negotiated a treaty with its hereditary ruler, the Mehtar, under which Chitral became a semi autonomous state within the Indian Empire. Chitral retained this status even after its accession to Pakistan in 1947, only being made an administrative district of Pakistan in 1969.[4]

Topography and access[edit]

Chitral is counted amongst the highest regions of the world, sweeping from 1,094 meters at Arandu to 7,726 meters at Tirichmir, and packing over 40 peaks more than 6,100 meters in height. The terrain of Chitral is very mountainous and Tirich Mir (25,289 feet) the highest peak of the Hindu Kush, rises in the north of the district.[5] Around 4.8 per cent of the land is covered by forest and 76 per cent is mountains and glaciers.[6]

Chitral is connected to the rest of Pakistan by two road routes, the Lowari Pass (el. 10,230 ft.) from Dir and Shandur Top (el. 12,200 ft.). 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, provide access on foot to Chitral from Ghizer Districts Gilgit-Baltistan.


The district has a population of about 414,000.[7] 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.

Languages of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa

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, Dari and Pashto. Since many of these languages have no written form, letters are usually written in Urdu or Pashto.

Chitral Town[edit]

The town of Chitral is the main town in the district and serves as its capital. It is situated on the west bank of the Chitral River (also known as the Kunar River) at the foot of Tirich Mir which at 7,708 m (25,289 ft) is the highest peak of the Hindu Kush. Until 1969, it served as the capital of the princely state of Chitral.[8]


The district of Chitral is divided into 24 Union Councils and two tehsils [9][10][11]

The district elects by direct popular vote, one member of the National Assembly (MNA) and two members of the Provincial Assembly.[12][13]

See also[edit]


Coordinates: 36°15′N 72°15′E / 36.250°N 72.250°E / 36.250; 72.250