The easiest land access to Chitral, other than by air, is in the southwest along the Kunar Valley. However the Afghan-Pakistan border (Durand Line) and cross border tensions prevent this from being used as an internal route to the rest of the parts of Pakistan. The other routes are over high mountain passes. To the south, the 3,200 metres (10,500 ft) Lowari Pass leads 365 kilometres (227 mi) to Peshawar. In the north, the easiest route during summer runs over the 3,798 metres (12,461 ft) Broghol pass. To the east, there is a 405 kilometres (252 mi) route to Gilgit over the 3,719 metres (12,201 ft) Shandur Pass. The territory is cut off by snow from the rest of the country for up to six months a year, a problem soon to be relieved by the completion of the Lowari Tunnel.
Nothing definitive is recorded about the town’s first settlers. In the 3rd century AD, Kanishka, the Buddhist ruler of the Kushan empire, occupied Chitral. In the 4th century AD, the Chinese overran the valley. Raees rule over Chitral began in 1320 and came to an end in the 15th century. From 1571 onwards Chitral was the capital of the princely state of Chitral.
In contrast to more southerly areas of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, the town of Chitral has a dry Mediterranean climate (KöppenCsa) with almost no rainfall during summers. Precipitation occurs mainly from spring thunderstorms brought about by western frontal systems. In the winter the night time temperature occasionally drops to −10 C. Winter snowfall in the town can be quite heavy with an accumulation of up to two feet being quite common, at higher elevations snowfall can reach as high as 20 metres (70 ft).The weather is very cold during the winter.
As of July 2014, the Chitral population is above one million. The Chitral culture is Islamic and Women are nearly invisible except to their male relatives and other women. They avoid walking the streets of the town, so men or children do most of the shopping.
Unlike the rest of Pakistan where cricket dominates, polo and soccer are more popular in Chitral. A number of sport festivals and tournaments are held throughout the year. Chitral has also produced some national players such as Muhammad Rasool who plays for the national football team.
^Anna, Cara (23 January 2005). "Crossing the Great Divide: What could an American teaching and living in a remote Pakistani village learn from her students and neighbors? Plenty". Special to The Plain Dealer. Cleveland, Ohio: The Plain Dealer.
^Butt, Muhammad Shoaib; Bandara, Jayatilleke S (2009). Trade liberalization and regional disparity in Pakistan. Routledge studies in the growth economies of Asia 85. London: Routledge. ISBN978-0-415-46595-3. OCLC789423025.
Leitner, G. W. (First Reprint 1978). Dardistan in 1866, 1886 and 1893: Being An Account of the History, Religions, Customs, Legends, Fables and Songs of Gilgit, Chilas, Kandia (Gabrial) Yasin, Chitral, Hunza, Nagyr and other parts of the Hindukush, as also a supplement to the second edition of The Hunza and Nagyr Handbook. And An Epitome of Part III of the author’s The Languages and Races of Dardistan. New Delhi: Manjusri Publishing House.Check date values in: |date= (help)