Pakistan Institute of Development Economics


The transcendent Kalash valleys

Publication Year : 2021
Explore More : PIDE in Press

Last year in October, I had a chance to travel to Chitral to conduct a training session at the University of Chitral. The first thought I had, even before leaving for the valley up north, was to include a trip to Kalash valleys. How can one miss that, right? It is a must if you are in Chitral.

I have seen many documentaries on the subject and read a lot about the enchanted Kalash valleys, inhabited by people still following an ancient code of conduct. One thing I am very good with is my imagination. I have always imagined living there to be fascinating; in wooden dwellings, constructed in such a manner that scores of abodes appear to be one big house, integrated vertically through connecting staircases and horizontally using tiny bridges. I imagined the dark nights with starry skies, smoky cauldrons, wolves howling, shamanic music, ancient rituals and alien languages.

The fascination of the times before us is not something uncommon. Most of us are captivated by accounts of earlier epochs and wish that we could travel back in time to experience the charms of the days when the people lived like a big family in a tribe or in city states – the times when the human race was not so addicted to technology that human-to-human interaction should required deliberate effort.

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