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Clockwise from top: view of Chitral valley and snowcapped peak of Tirich Mir, Chitral's Shahi Qilla, The Shahi Mosque, Chitral Fort
|First mention||325 BC|
|• MNA (NA-32)||Mr. Iftikhar ud Din (APML)|
|• Total||57 km2 (22 sq mi)|
|Elevation||1,517 m (4,977 ft)|
|• Density||350/km2 (910/sq mi)|
|Time zone||PST (UTC+5)|
|PIN||1720 – 0xx|
|Area code(s)||+94 - xx|
Chitral (Urdu: چترال, Khowar: چھترار), also spelled Chetrar, translated as field, is the capital of the Chitral District, situated on the western bank of the Chitral River (also called Kunar River), in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Pakistan. It also served as the capital of the princely state of Chitral until 1969. The town is at the foot of Tirich Mir, the highest peak of the Hindu Kush, which is 25,289 ft (7,708 m) high.The elevation of the valley is 3,700 ft (1,100 m).
Nothing definitive is recorded about the town's first settlers. In the 3rd century, Kanishka, the Buddhist ruler of the Kushan empire, occupied Chitral. In the 4th century, 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 dominion of the Kator Dynasty until 1969.
The entire region that now forms the Chitral District was a fully independent monarchy until 1895, when the British negotiated a subsidiary alliance with its hereditary ruler, the Mehtar, under which Chitral became a princely state, still sovereign but subject to the suzerainty of the British Raj. Chitral retained a similar status even after its accession to Pakistan in 1969, but was completely incorporated into Pakistan and became an administrative district of Pakistan in 1969.
The easiest access to Chitral is via air travel to Chitral Airport.
The Lowari Tunnel, opened in July 2017, offers year round access to the rest of Pakistan by boring through the 3,200-metre (10,500 ft) Lowari Pass, which leads onwards to Peshawar, 365 kilometres (227 mi) away.
Prior to the tunnel's completion, the only year round land access to Pakistan was to follow the Kunar Valley into Afghanistan, before re-entering Pakistan at Torkham. The Lowari Pass is covered in snow for several months per year, forcing locals to rely upon Afghanistan. Afghan-Pakistan border tensions rendered this route unreliable as a corridor to the rest of Pakistan.
There are other routes over the high mountain passes; to the south, In the north, the easiest route during summer runs over the 3,798-metre (12,461 ft) Broghol pass. To the east, there is a 405 kilometres (252 mi) route to Gilgit over the 3,719-metre (12,201 ft) Shandur Pass.
The city has an average elevation of 1,500 m (4,921 ft).
|Climate data for Chitral|
|Average high °C (°F)||8.3
|Daily mean °C (°F)||4.1
|Average low °C (°F)||0.0
|Average precipitation mm (inches)||69
According to 2011 estimates, the population of town 19,700.
Chitral is one of the two major hubs for mountaineering expeditions in the Hindu Kush. Many tourists choose to travel by air, since road travel between Islamabad and Chitral takes 11 hours, whereas air travel takes 30 minutes from Peshawar and 40 minutes from Islamabad.
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 here throughout the year. Chitral has also produced some national players such as Muhammad Rasool who plays for the national football team.
A few number of newspapers are published by Chitral Press
|Wikivoyage has a travel guide for Chitral.|
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Chitral.|
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