Chitral 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. It has a population of 20,000.The elevation of the valley is 3,700 ft (1,100 m).
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.
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.
Geography and access
The City has an average elevation of 1,500 m (4,921 ft). The easiest access to Chitral, other than by air, is from 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 Pakistan. There are other routes over the high mountain passes; to the south, the 3,200-metre (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-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 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.
As of July 2011, the population of the city is above 19,700.
Kohwari, is the most widely spoken language. Other seven spoken languages are; Burushaski, Shina, Yidgha, Tajiki, Pashayi, Pashto, Yidgha, Gojri.
English. Urdu and Pushto, are also spoken