Message from Managing Director Terichmir Travel,
Dear Mountaineers, Climbers, Trekkers, Hikers, Mountain Lovers, Visitors, Kayakers, Gliders and Tour Operators!
As you know Hindukush range is one of the most beautiful mountain systems of Asia with its mesmerizing destinations of adventure tourism. It is 3rd in the density of peaks in the world; many of the highest peaks are still unclimbed. It has, therefore, been the centre of interest of adventure lovers since the arrival of the British in Chitral in 1895 and has attracted scores of expeditions and trekking groups and hikers each year. Many of the world class climbers had started their climbing and mountaineering experience in these mountains for the first time and then they summitted the highest peaks of the world - in all the seven continents.
From 1935 to 1980 the arrival of adventure tourists and climbers in the high Hindukush that is Chitral section of the range, continued with ever increasing number. Dozens of climbing expeditions arrived here via Terich valley to scale the virgin peaks. The leaders of the expeditions also wrote their experiences in book form that still attract adventure lovers. But in the 80s, after the Russian invasion of Afghanistan, the climbing activity slowed down for fear of the war that was being fought in the Afghan territory. The climbers were discouraged and began to think about other destinations. The western Hindukush (which has a few 6000m peaks only) lies inside Afghan area whereas all the > 7000m peaks lie within Pakistani territory and could easily be accessed via Chitral - the north most district of Pakistan. The climbers were mistakenly confused and diverted their attention to other ranges. In fact the High Hindukush which is known as the Eastern Hindukush entirely lies within Chitral-Pakistan and makes a sierra of peaks > 6000m border between Chitral and Wakhan and is, therefore, completely safe, secure and peaceful for adventure tourism. The border wall of high peaks between Chitral and Wakhan makes Chitral absolutely safe and inspite of the disturbances in southern parts of Pakistan this north most mountain region of Chitral is luckily safe and peaceful. There is no risk of any kind. Many visitors come to Chitral in summers and enjoy full security and wonder at the mess of the media reporting against tours to Chitral and return with satisfaction.
The people of this region, especially Chitral are naturally peace loving, sincere, hospitable and friendly. That is why general conditions in Chitral have always remained highly admirable. But the tourism market and especially the western tourism market has been badly affected by media propaganda and it needs to be explained that the common man of the West does not know much about geographical position and the presence of US and NATO forces in Afghanistan does distort his views about the region, particularly about Pakistan and he hesitates to visit this country. It is because of poor info about this region especially about Chitral and the adventure opportunities that are hidden in this part of Hindukush. The virgin peaks > 7000m and > 6000m pose a challenge to the climbers but have remained neglected for a couple of years. Only because of disinformation campaign of western media. If the situation persists then the coming generation of climbers and hikers will not be able to know about Hindukush and the local people of Eastern Hindukush will remain deprived of the benefits of adventure tourism that was an important part of summer part time income and the poverty level will continue to grow rather than decrease.
The Climbers who visited High Hindukush in the past was a link between western market and the communities of Hindukush and that was highly beneficial for both. It was a good bond and friendships had developed and made people closer to each other and reports of the climbers made the men in the West aware of the cultures, life conditions, standard of living etc. that contributed to tourism market.
This region has unique cultures and the presence of Kalash community in Chitral is a living proof of pluralism. This community has four well known festivals in a year and they are very colorful and have been source of attraction for tourists all over the world. Festivals of the other communities of Chitral are also very interesting with their historical roots. These include polo matches - one polo gala at Shandur polo ground at 12500ft height which is the highest polo ground in the world, in July each year. The polo matches played in Chitral and at Shandur are free style matches with their original spirit. Moreover there is another very colorful festival held in April at Kagh Lasht as a welcome to the blooming spring. A very large number of spectators arrive in these festivals and this continues for 3 days. Other local and traditional sports are also played to entertain the visitors. The TV channels tele cast the events direct from the Spot. All these activities have been a source of entertainment for foreign tourists.
I, being a native of the high Hindukush region, request you to choose Chitral as your destination in the next season, enjoy the festivals with us and help promote the cause of adventure tourism. Carry the message of good will from our community and play a role which is important for us.
As a Local Tour Operator I assure you that your visit to Chitral will be an unforgettable experience of your life that you will never regret but will feel proud to have been in Chitral...
Chitral - Pakistan
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