Katoor dynasty

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The Katoor Dynasty (also spelled Katur and Kator) is a dynasty, which along with its collateral branches ruled the sovereign, later princely state of Chitral and its neighbours in the eastern Hindu Kush region for over 450 years, from around 1570 until 1947.[1][2] At the height its power under Mehtar Aman ul-Mulk the territory controlled by the dynasty extended from Asmar in the Kunar Valley to Sher Qilla in the Gilgit valley.[3] The Mehtar of Chitral was an influential player in the power politics of the region as he acted as an intermediary between the rulers of Badakhshan, the Yousafzai pashtuns, the Maharaja of Kashmir and later the Amir of Afghanistan.[4][5]


The name Katoor is an ancient one and has been in use long before the ancestor of the Katoors settled in Chitral in 1520. According to one theory, Katoor was a Kushan title of nobility.[6] Katoor also means dragon in the archaic Bashgali dialect of Kohistani. The title of Shah Katoor was given to Mohtaram Shah, the first ruler of the house, by a local holy man who claimed that his bravery and integrity were reminiscent of the pre-Islamic Katoor rulers of the region.[7]

Territorial expansion[edit]

When the dynasty was first founded by Shah Katoor, his domains included lower Chitral, Kunar Valley, Lot-Kuh, Torkhow and Mulkhow regions of upper Chitral. Under Shah Katoor the II, Mastuj and the Yasin Valley also came under Katoor domination. The Kati and Kom tribes of Kafiristan, tribes of Dir Kohistan, Swat Kohistan and Kalam paid a yearly tribute to the Mehtar. Shah Katoor the III invaded Wakhan in retaliation for a raid on Chitral from Wakhan, and forced the Mir of Wakhan to pay tribute as well.[8] In 1876, Mehtar Aman ul-Mulk conquered the Ghizer and Puniyal and laid siege to the Dogra Garrison of the Maharaja of Kashmir in the Gilgit fort. During this time the tribes of Darel, Tangir and Kandia and the state of Nagar also paid tribute to the Mehtar of Chitral.[9] The Katoor dynasty's influence reached its peak under Mehtar Aman ul-Mulk, when the Khushwaqt territories of Ghizer, Yasin and Ishkoman were conquered in 1880.[10]


The rulers of the Kator dynasty with the date of their accession [11]

  1. Sangeen Ali The First 1560
  2. Muhtarram Shah Kator The First 1585
  3. Sangeen Ali The Second 1655
  4. Muhammad Ghulam 1691 (after his rule over Chitral he went to Mulkhow there he settled permanently in Zaini Pishalduri.)
  5. Shah Alam 1694
  6. Shah Muhammad Shafi 1696
  7. Shah Faramurd 1717 (Khushwakhte)
  8. Shah Afzal The First 1724
  9. Shah Fazil 1754
  10. Shah Nawaz Khan 1757
  11. Shah Khairullah 1761(Khushwakhte)
  12. Shah Muhtarram Shah Kator The Second 1788
  13. Shah Afzal The Second 1838
  14. Muhtarram Shah Kator The Third 1854
  15. Aman ul-Mulk 1856
  16. Afzal-ul-Mulk 1892
  17. Sher Afzal Khan 1892
  18. Nizam-ul-Mulk 1892
  19. Amir-ul-Mulk 1895
  20. Shuja ul-Mulk 1895
  21. Nasir ul-Mulk 1936
  22. Muzaffar ul-Mulk 1943
  23. Saif-ur-Rehman 1949
  24. Muhammad Saif-ul-Mulk Nasir 1954
  25. Fateh-ul-Mulk Ali Nasir 2011


  1. ^ History of Civilizations of Central Asia (vol.4,part-1). Motilal Banarsidass Publ. 1992-01-01. p. 219. ISBN 9788120815957.
  2. ^ Smithsonian. Smithsonian Associates. 2006-01-01.
  3. ^ Cacopardo, Alberto M.; Cacopardo, Augusto S. (2001-01-01). Gates of Peristan: history, religion and society in the Hindu Kush. IsIAO. p. 54.
  4. ^ Lines, Maureen (1996-01-01). The Kalasha people of North-Western Pakistan. Emjay Books International. p. 10.
  5. ^ (Pakistan), Population Census Organisation (1999-01-01). 1998 District Census Report of [name of District].: Chitral. Population Census Organisation, Statistics Division, Govt. of Pakistan. p. 22.
  6. ^ Khan, Hussain (1996) Proceedings of the Second International Hindukush Cultural conference p. 135
  7. ^ Khan, F. M. (2002-01-01). The story of Gilgit, Baltistan and Chitral: a short history of two millenniums AD 7-1999. Eejaz. p. 20.
  8. ^ Faizi, Inyatullah (1996) Wakhan, A Window Into Central Asia p. 50
  9. ^ Ghufran, Mirza Tareekh-e-Chitral
  10. ^ "Chitral: the Katur Dynasty". Katur Geanology.
  11. ^ Chitral: A Study in Statecraft, 1320-1969. IUCN Pakistan, Sahrhad Programme. 2004-01-01. ISBN 9789698141691.