Ayun is the gateway to the three  walnut laden Kalash valleys of Bumboret, Rumbur and Birir.


The Kalash  tribe number around 3500, their myths tell that they originally came from Tsiam, thought to be near Yarkand. The Kalash oral tradition also tells  us that the Kalash are descended from Alexander the Great’s brave general Shalak Shah of Tsiam, to whom Alexander gave Chitral valley as a reward. Around 1500 AD the Kalash were dominant throughout southern Chitral; the Kalash oral tradition mentions eight great Kalash kings. Local people outside the valleys often find remnants of buildings revealing evidence of former Kalash settlements.

 The Kalash finding the Chitralis much more tolerant & peaceful felt themselves protected in Chitral from the mass forcible conversions to Islam carried out by the Afghan king Abdur Rahman in 1896. Groups of Red kafirs fled these conversions into Chitral. The refugees were given land by the Chitrali ruler Aman ul Mulk in the upper parts of the Kalash valleys which they possess to this day.


The Kalash are cheerful people, generous, witty and fond of rejoicing  Every religious ceremony is accompanied by dancing and rhythmical chant to a beat of the drum. The women wearing their traditional black robes, ornate cowries shelled head dresses and adorned with coloured necklaces, dance in a circle.They have an outgoing manner that is disarming, delightful and unexpected. As you see them in their festivities  performing their religious rite you are taken right back into history.


The Kalash have four colourful festivals , to the Kalash these festivals are the culmination’s of religious life and, like the big funerals, they unite the people. For more information on the Kalash Festivals click here


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