At the elevation of 4,900 feet (1,494 m) above sea level, the town of Chitral is the capital of Lower Chitral District, in north western part of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Province of Pakistan. It is situated on the western bank of Kunar River (also known as the Chitral River). Chital also served as the capital of the princely state of Chitral until 1947. The lofty Tirich Mir Peak (7708m) towers over the landscape of Chitral town and provides it a beautiful backdrop.
Some of the important tourist attractions of Chitral town are as under:-
Shahi Quila of Chitral
At the western bank of River Chitral stands the 18th century Royal Fort (Shahi Qila) of Chitral. Once it was seat of power, which today serves as the residence of the ceremonial Mehtar of Chitral. Old canons stand guard at the entrance courtyard. The fort is not open for general public but with special permission one can visit some parts of this fort.
Shahi Mosque of Chitral
This grand mosque was built in 1924 by Shuja ul Muluk, Mehtar of Chitral. It is intricately worked pink and white domes and minarets are styled in the traditions of Mughal architecture. This mosque is located right in the heart of Chitral town.
Chitral Polo Ground
The Chitralis are fine horsemen and they excel at the game of polo which is played here in its most original form. The main polo ground is near the Chitral Museum. Polo season in Chitral starts in spring and continue till autumn. Polo matches are held from May to July for the preparation of world famous Shandur Polo Festival where best polo teams of Chitral and Gilgit-Baltistan Region play against each other . Other major tournaments in Chitral town are held in June and November but no normal days one can go to Polo ground in Chitral town in the afternoon to see the practices matches.
If you are looking for some traditional accessories like Chitrali cap called Pakol or Chitrali long coat called Choga or a nice waistcoat made of handwoven Chrali woolen fabric called Patti, than Shahi Baazar would be the place to go. In this old Baazar you may also buy variety of other stuff including readymade garments, shoes, dry fruits, and oall other items of daily use. Number of small restaurants and tea stalls are also located in the side lanes of this main Baazar.
The Chitral region is known for its rich cultural heritage and scenic beauty throughout the world. The idea of Chitral Museum came into being in order to preserve and protect the rich cultural heritage of Chitral. This small museum is located next to the polo ground and it has two galleries,
Ethnological Gallery and Archaeological & Kalash Gallery. Antiques, artifacts, weapons and other stuff from the old times of monarchies provide great knowledge about history and culture of Chitral and Kalash people. The museum is open from Saturday to Thursday.
Tushi Markhor Sanctuary
If you are interested to see Pakistan’s national animal Markhor in wild from a close quarter, Tushi Gol Game Reserve is the best place near Chitral town. It is about 12 km (30 minutes drive) from Chitral town on the road to Gram Chashma. While you drive up along the Lotkuh River for few kilometers you reach a point where on the other side of river one can see large herds of Makhors descending down from the mountains to the bank of the river to quench their thirst before sunset. On can take photographs of this sceian from the road, just keep in mind reach there well before sunset and do not make any noise or disturbance. Quietly seats in your vehicles and enjoy this beautiful scean.
Jughoor Trout hatchery
Jughoor is an other interest tourist spot in Chitral town. This is a place where you can visit and trout hatchery and enjoy freshly cooked tasty trout fish.
Birmoghlasht ( Plain of Walnut Trees) is the old summer palace of Chitral Royal Family situated at an elevation of about 9000 feet above sea level in the area of Chitral Gol National Park. It is now in ruins. High above the town of Chitral it is a very scenic location for a picnic or to see the great mountain panorama of Hindu Kush Range. This place is about 15 km from Chitral town and a jeep jeep road which go to Chitral Gol National Park provide access to this site. Those who are interested in hiking can also reach here following an old trekking route which takes about 3 hours. Best time to walk on this trek is early morning as during day time it becomes quite hot and strenuous walk especially during summer months.