Chitral River

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Not to be confused with Kunhar River.
Kunar River in the Bar Kashkot village, Kuz Kunar District, Nangarhar

The Chitral river also known as Kunar River is about 480 km long, located in northern Pakistan. The river system is fed from melting glaciers and snow of the Hindu Kush mountains. It is part of the Indus / Sindh watershed. It was once called the Kama[1] river.

The river rises in the far north of Chitral District in Pakistan. Downstream as far as Mastuj it is known as the Yarkhun River from there to its confluence with the Lutkho River just north of the important regional centre of Chitral it is called the Mastuj River.[2] It is then called the Chitral River, before flowing south into the upper Kunar Valley At the confluence of the Pech it meets Asadabad, historically Chaga Sarai, The Kunar River empties into the Kabul River just to the east of the city of Jalalabad in Afghanistan. The combined rivers then flow eastwards into Pakistan, roughly following the Grand Trunk Road through the Khyber Pass, and joining the Indus River at the city of Attock.


Ancient Roads between Indus and AmuDarya
Babur, during his second Hindustan campaign, riding a raft in Kunar River back to Atar.

Before the political division of the area divided the Kunar and Chitral Valley between the modern nation states of Afghanistan and Pakistan, it had formed an important trade route, being the easiest way to travel from the Pamir Mountains' passes to the plains of the subcontinent. While navigable in parts by expert kayakers, etc..., it is more precise to say its valley forms a trade route since, like nearly all of the rivers in Africa and Asia, it is not navigable for commerce or transport.

"At about six miles from Jellalabad, we quitted the valley of the Cabul river, and entered that of the Kama or Kooner river. I have not seen so fine a valley as this anywhere. The Kama is a large rapid stream, with about a mile of rich soil on either side, sometimes considerably more. The villages are large and well peopled." - Major - General Augustus Abbott, mid 19th century [1]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b The Afghan War, 1838-1842: From the Journal and Correspondence of the Late Major - General Augustus Abbott - with Charles Rathbone Low, Publisher R. Bentley and son, 1879, Google Books
  2. ^ Pakistan & the Karakoram. Lonely Planet. 2008. p. 233. 

Coordinates: 34°24′08″N 70°32′12″E / 34.4021°N 70.5367°E / 34.4021; 70.5367