Kalash Chilam Joshi Festival
Kalash Chilam Joshi Festival
Chilam Joshi is also known as Kalash spring festival. Chilam Joshi festival is held in three Kalash valleys, Bumburet, Birir, and Rumbur where Kalash girls and boys dance to the tune of traditional drum beats.
Chilam Joshi celebrations highlight their cultural richness, the plethora of colors and the underlying message of peace. The women dressed up in traditional clothes of vibrant colors, gold, silver jewelers and elaborate headgear. Men wear traditional shalwar kameez with a woolen waistcoat.
Kalashi festivals are famous throughout the world. Three festivals are more important, celebrated in different months of the year. Chilam Joshi is the most important festival celebrated in May for four days. Uchal festival held in autumn season and Choimos festival in midwinters.
Chilam Joshi festival starts at Rumbur valley and then moves on to other valleys of Kalash. In this festival, Kalashi people pray for the safeguard of their fields and animals before going to their fields and for this purpose they used to spread milk on their Gods. The festival brought smiles on the unmarried Kalasha boys and girls faces who during the festival get an opportunity to choose their life partners. They announce their life partners name on the last day of the festival.
One of the major attractions of Pakistan Cultural Festivals are Kalash Valleys Festivals. The Kalash Valleys of Rumbur, Bunboret, and Birir are within Chitral in the North-West Frontier Province, near Nuristan in Afghanistan. The people here are some of the only non-Muslims for hundreds of miles. The home of kafir Kalash or wearers of the black rose, a primitive pagan tribe. The Kalash are an ancient tribe and have a religion and culture of their own; their culture is unique as well as an amazing one. A legend says that one General Salik Shah, who was called by the Greek as General Sulfurous with five soldiers of the legions of Alexander of MACEDON, settled in Chitral and are the progenitors of the Kafir Kalash. The Kalash are infamous for their festivals; these folks know how to let their hair down in style. There is much dancing where the elders chant legends with drum accompaniment and the women dance around outside. Locally brewed mulberry wine is drunk in copious quantities. The Kalash People celebrate three main festivals in a year.
JOSHIO CHILMJUSHT (14TH -15TH OF MAY)
The function is organized to pay thanks to Almighty. They celebrate the arrival of the spring season with new hopes and aspiration.
Overview Kalash Chilam Joshi Festival
Day-01 Arrive Islamabad airport and transfer to hotel
Day-02 Drive to Swat, 180-km, 4-5 hrs, arrive and transfer to hotel
Day-03 Drive to Chitral 254-km, 7-8 hrs, Overnight at hotel
Day-04 Drive to Kalash valley 60-km, 2-3 hrs, arrive and transfer to hotel,
Day-05/6 Enjoy Chilam Joshi festival in Birir, Bomborat and Rambour
Day-07 Drive to Chitral by Jeeps and continue drive to Mastuj 120-km
Day-08 Trek to Drive to Phander 94-km, overnight at hotel
Day-09 Drive to Karimabad (Hunza) 288-km, overnight at hotel
Day-10 Local visits in Karimabad, overnight at hotel
Day-11 Drive to Khunjerab Pass 4733-m and back to Karimabad
Day-12 Drive to Besham on Karakorum highway 475-km
Day-13 Drive to Islamabad 261-km, overnight at hotel
Day-14 Transfer to Islamabad airport for return flight
In this venture, we assure you a quality time. Hunza Guides is one of the parent tours and trekking companies in Pakistan.
Kalash Chilam Joshi Festival: The annual festival is held in three Kalash valleys of Bumburate, Birir, and Rumbur, where Kalash girls and boys dance to the tune of traditional drum beats.
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Map and Itinerary for Kalash Chilam Joshi Festival
Welcome at Islamabad airport, and transfer to hotel, after refreshment proceed for city tour of Islamabad and Rawalpindi, which includes famous Faisal Mosque, Shakar Parian, Pakistan monument, Damen Koh, Lok Versa, Museum, Rawalpindi old bazaar, Raja Bazaar.
Day-02 Islamabad- Takht-e-Bai-Swat
After breakfast departure for Swat, 245km, 7-8 hrs, en-route visit well-preserved monastery of Takhat-e-Bai.
Driving along the picturesque Malakand Pass you will first visit the magnificent ancient Buddhist monastery Takht-i-Bahi dating back to 1st to 7th Century AD. Takht-e-Bhai consists of numerous chapels and stupas sticking to the high, rocky spurs. Next, continue to the enchanting Swat Valley visiting the famous Churchill’s Picket en route.
The valley of Swat, famous for its scenic beauty, snow capped peaks, countless waterfalls and glaciers, water springs and pastures, streams and rivulets, thick woods, glades and glens, natural parks, lakes and dark forests.
Day-03 Swat- Chitral
Drive to Chitral 254-km, 7-8 hrs, afternoon visit Chitral town. Overnight at hotel
Chitral town is surprisingly large; it is population having swelled by Afghan refugees from across the border. Visit Chitral fort and 100 years old Shahi mosque surrounded by clusters of enormous chinars trees. The impressive fort is the ancestral home of the mehtars of Chitral (The ex-ruling family).
Day-04 Chitral-Kalash Valleys
Drive to Bumburate (Kalash valley) 60-km, 2-3 hrs, arrive and transfer to hotel
Chitral prime attraction is the Kalash valleys, home of 3000 non-Muslim Kafir Kalash (or black infidels) who live in 20 small villages in the valleys of Birir and Rumbur. The Kafir Kalash still follow their own religion, a mixture of animism and ancestor-and fire-worship, and have retained some of their original cultures. They make offerings to several gods: Sajigor, the highest deity, is in charge of everything: Surisan protects the cattle, Goshedoi milk products, and praba fruit. Most of the Kalash are pale skinned, and some of them even have fair hair and blue eyes, all of which give rise to the usual legend that they are descended from the followers of Alexander.
Day-05/06 Kalash Valleys
Enjoy Chilam Joshi Festival in three Kalash valleys of Bumburate, Birir, and Rumbur, Overnight at hotel
The annual festival is held in three Kalash valleys of Bumburate, Birir, and Rumbur where Kalash girls and boys dance to the tune of traditional drum beats. The celebrations would highlight their cultural richness, the plethora of colors and the underlying message of peace.
In the festival, the Kalash people would seek the blessing of their God and pray for the safety of herds and crops of the community.
The women would be dressed up in traditional clothes of vibrant colors, gold and silver jewelers and elaborate headgear.
Men wear traditional shalwar kameez with a woolen waistcoat.
The Kalash women and men dance and sing in a circle on the rhythmical chant of drum beats.
Kalashi festivals are famous throughout the world. Three festivals are more important, celebrated in different months of the year.
Chilam Joshi is the most important festival celebrated in May for four days. Uchal festival held in autumn season and Chomos festival in midwinters.
Chilam Joshi festival starts at Rumbur valley and then moves on to other valleys of Kalash. In this festival, Kalashi people pray for the safeguard of their fields and animals before going to their fields and for this purpose they used to spread milk on their Gods.
The festival brought smiles on the unmarried Kalasha boys and girls faces who during the festival get an opportunity to choose their life partners. They announce their life partners name on the last day of the festival.
According to locals, Kalash people are descendants of the great warrior-king Alexander the Great of Greece.
Drive back to Chitral 60km, after refreshment continue drive to Mastuj 120-m, overnight at hotel
Day-08 Mastuj- Phander
Drive to Phander 94-km via Shandur Pass 3700-m, afternoon visit Phander Lake and Phander valley
Shandur Top (el. 12,200 feet (3,700 m) Shandur is called the ‘Roof of the World’. The top is flat, a plateau and can be crossed between late April and early November. The grade is very gradual, and the area is crossed by plentiful small streams during summer. The boundary line between Ghizer District and Chitral District is also situated in Shandur Top in Punji-Lasht as per the international boundary law division by watershed initially demarcated by Lt. Col AG Durand (also known as Durand boundary line).
Day-09 Phander- Karimabad (Hunza)
Drive to Phander (288-km) (6-7 hrs) arrive and transfer to hotel
The Hunza Valley is a mountainous valley, situated north/west of the Hunza River, at an elevation of around 2,500 m. The territory of Hunza is about 7,900 square km (3,100sq mi). Aliabad is the main town, while Baltit and Altit are popular tourist destination because of the spectacular scenery of the surrounding mountains.
The people are cheerful and friendly, almost all speak Burushaski and in upper Hunza, they speak Wakhi.
The miracle of the Hunzakuts longevity, supposedly resulting from their mostly vegetarian diet of cereals and fruits From Hunza valley, Panoramic views of Rakaposhi 7788m, Diran Peak 7266m, Spantik Peak 7027m, Ultar 7388 Lady Finger 6000m.
Day-10 Karimabad local visits
Morning visit Baltit Fort and Altit Fort, afternoon drive to Duiker valley, arrive and transfer to hotel, after refreshment walk through the village to Holy shrines.
Duiker valley (Roof the world), have a spectacular view down to Karakoram Highway and awesome views of Golden peak 7027m, Rakaposhi 7788m, Ultar Sar 7388m, Diran Peak 7266m, Lady Finger 6000m and Disteghil Sar 7885m.
Day-11 Khunjerab Pass- Karimabad
Full day excursion to Khunjerab Pass 4733m, (Pak- China Border) evening drive back to Karimabad.
Khunjerab Pass elevation 4,733m is a high mountain pass in the Karakoram Mountains in a strategic position on the northern border of Pakistan’s Gilgit-Baltistan region and on the southwest border of the Xinjiang region of China. Its name is derived from Wakhi ‘Khun’ means Home and ‘Jerav’ means spring water/water falling. The Khunjerab Pass is the highest paved international border crossing in the world and the highest point on the Karakoram Highway. The road way across the pass was completed in 1982, and has superseded the unpaved Mintaka and Kilik Passes as the primary passage across the Karakoram.
Day-12 – Karimabad- Besham
Drive to Besham on Karakoram highway 9-10 hrs 435km, overnight at hotel
The Karakoram Highway, The China-Pakistan Friendship Highway) is a 1,300-kilometer (810 mi) national highway which extends from Hasan Abdal in the Punjab province of Pakistan to the Khunjerab Pass in Gilgit-Baltistan, where it crosses into China and becomes China National Highway. The highway connects the Pakistani provinces of Punjab, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Gilgit-Baltistan with China’s Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region. The highway is a popular tourist attraction, and is one of the highest paved roads in the world, passing through the Karakoram mountain range, at at maximum elevation of 4,714 meters (15,466 ft) near Khunjerab pass. Due to its high elevation and the difficult conditions in which it was constructed, it is often referred to as the Eighth Wonder of the World. The highway is also a part of the Asian Highway.
Day-13 Besham- Islamabad
Drive to Islamabad 261-km, 6-7-hrs en-route visit Taxila Museum and historical sites
Taxila: Most of the archaeological sites of Taxila (600 BC to 500 AD) are located around Taxila museum. For over one thousand-year Taxila remained famous as a center of learning Gandhara art of sculpture, architecture, education, and Buddhism in the days of Buddhist glory. There are over 50 archaeological sites scattered in a radius of 30 km around Taxila. In Taxila visit archaeological sites of Jaulian, Mohra Moradu, and Sirkap. Later visit. Taxila museum: A museum comprising various sections with rich archaeological finds of Taxila. It is one of the best and well-maintained site museums of Pakistan.
Transfer to Islamabad airport for international flight
Service details for Kalash Chilam Joshi Festival
- Accommodation and Meals
Accommodation will be provided based on following hotels sharing twin/double occupancy.
Islamabad– Hill View hotel or similar category – Bed & Breakfast only.
Swat: PTDC Motel or guesthouse- Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner.
Chitral- PTDC or Ayun Fort- Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner.
Kalash Valleys- PTDC Motel- Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner.
Mastuj- PTDC Motel- Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner.
Phander- PTDC Motel- Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner.
Hunza- Hill Top or Hunza Embassy hotel – Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner.
Besham- PTDC Motel or Hill Ton- Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner.
Note: Alternate accommodation will be provided if rooms in above-mentioned hotels are not available. Check in before 12:00 pm is subject to previous night charges
Air-condition transport for sightseeing
Air-condition transport for airport pick and drop
Air-condition transport from Islamabad- Chitral, and Hunza to Islamabad
- 4×4 Jeeps
4×4 Jeeps from Chitral to Kalash valleys- Shandur- Gilgit- Hunza
- Taxes and Fees
Fort entrance fees
Museum entrance fee
Professional English Speaking Guide
Assistant Guide as per group size
What's not Included
- International air ticket & airport taxes.
- Visa fee for Pakistan & personal insurance of the clients.
- Tips for drivers, porters and staff
- Single supplement
- Hotel meals in Islamabad (lunch & dinner)
- Transfers to and from airports for participants making individual air arrangements
- Optional excursions or deviations from the scheduled tour
- All personal expenses such as telephone, fax, email charges, liquor or soft drinks,
- Room service, gratuities for personal services, items of a purely
- If group splits due to personal reasons, the cost will be charged additionally.
- Extra hotel nights (if any) will be charged to trekking members.
- Any extra cost due to road blockade or any other unforeseen reason will be charged in addition to normal package offer.Any other service that is not mentioned in the list above.
- If government imposes a fee or new condition resulting extra charges (after the package is submitted) the same will be charged in addition to normal package offer.
Joining Arrangements & Transfers
- All clients arriving on Day 1 will be met at Islamabad Airport by our representative who will arrange the transfer to the group hotel. Similarly, transfers will be provided back to Islamabad Airport on the final day of the itinerary. Full joining instructions together with hotel contact details and an emergency number will be provided with your booking confirmation.
While in Islamabad accommodation is on Bed and breakfast basis and our guide will guide you to different restaurants nearby for lunch and dinner. Rest in all hotels accommodation is based on breakfast, lunch, and dinner.
The accommodation arrangement in Islamabad is of standard hotels. Rooms at our provided hotels will be on twin sharing basis. If any participant is coming alone on this tour he/she will be accommodated with one of the other members for room sharing. Nevertheless, a participant can opt for the separate room as he/she likes, however, the additional cost will be incurred for making the separate arrangement. Any participants seeking separate accommodation must inform our office in advance.
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Kalash Chilam Joshi Festival: The annual festival is held in three Kalash valleys of Bumburate, Birir and Rumbur where Kalash girls and boys dance to the tune of traditional drum beats. The start and end dates in the table above are your dates of arrival and departure from Pakistan We have at least two guaranteed departures for Kalash Chilam Joshi Festival. Our dates for the tour to Kalash valleys are given above.
How the trip will operate?
Upon arrival in Islamabad, one of our representatives will pick you up from the airport and transfer to hotel. Next day we drive over Lowari Pass 3118m to Chitral. After overnight we drive to Kalash valleys on 3rd day. Where we will visit Kalash valleys, Bumburate, Birir and Rumbur to enjoy the Chilam Joshi festival.
After spending 3 nights in Kalash valleys, we depart for Hunza valley via Shandur Pass 3700m, Phandar Lake and Gilgit to Hunza. From Karimabad we visit Baltit Fort, Altit Fort, Passu village, Passu Glacier and Khunjerab Pass (Pak/China Border). Then we drive to Islamabad via Babusar Pass 4173.
What you Carry?
In your daypack, you will need to carry extra warm clothing (depending on the altitude, location, and weather), a rain jacket, water bottle, film and camera gear, valuables and personal items such as sunscreen, lip-Eze etc.
Guidance on tipping?
It is usual to tip the members of your tour crew, including your local guide, if you are happy with the services provided. We estimate that $150 – $200 (in local currency equivalent) will cover this aspect of your trip expenditure.
Towards the end of the tour, the trip leader will help the group to determine an appropriate level of tipping for each crew member, and this is most usually done as a group ‘thank-you’ with a ceremony on the final day of tour.
Vaccinations and medical?
You should obtain professional advice from a travel clinic or your local GP from your home country about which vaccinations to have before you arrive in Pakistan.
How to avoid altitude sickness?
The below notes on altitude sickness is to point out what it is and to note the symptoms. Problems with altitude sickness can usually be avoided if care is taken to prepare properly. Ensure good physical fitness, chose a trip suitable to your level, staged ascents to allow time for acclimatization, drink plenty of liquid and avoid alcohol, be aware of the symptoms of altitude sickness and do not ignore symptoms of altitude sickness if they occur. Normal physiologic changes occur in every person who goes to altitude: hyperventilation (breathing faster, deeper, or both), shortness of breath during exertion, changed breathing pattern at night, awakening frequently at night and increased urination.
By slowly gaining height we reap the benefits of a gradual gain in fitness and acclimatization. We offer advice based on our experience and with the sensible approach we take on all of our treks, anyone who is well prepared, fit and healthy should have few problems, as we are very careful to allow time to acclimatize to the altitude. Even with these precautions, it is still possible for altitude sickness to occur. It is difficult to predict who is likely to suffer from altitude sickness. Sex is not a determinant, nor is age. Your physical condition is important to good altitude adjustment, but sometimes people who are fit ascend too rapidly for their systems to adjust.
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