Qaqlasht Festival: A Cultural Extravaganza in Upper Chitral

Qaqlasht Festival: A Cultural Extravaganza in Upper Chitral

Upper Chitral – The much-anticipated Qaqlasht Festival has begun, marking the start of a three-day cultural extravaganza in the scenic tourist resort of Qaqlasht. The festival, which started on Thursday, May 2, 2024, was inaugurated by Upper Chitral Deputy Commissioner, Irfanuddin.

The first day of the festival saw a large turnout of locals, tourists, and students from various educational institutions. The attendees were treated to a rendition of the national anthem and national songs performed by the students.

Organized by the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Culture and Tourism Authority (KPCTA) and the district administration of Upper Chitral. The festival is a showcase of diverse sports competitions, traditional food stalls, cultural shows, and music nights. The event is held under the directives of the KP chief minister and CM’s advisor on Tourism and Culture.

A Celebration of Sports and Culture

The festival features a variety of sports competitions including polo, volleyball, cricket, football, and archery. Special sports events for physically challenged persons are also part of the festival. Other activities include buddy dik, quiz competitions, jeep race, mushaira, and paragliding.

DC Irfanuddin, speaking on the occasion, expressed his delight at the revival of the Qaqlasht Festival after a five-year hiatus. He described Chitral as a “paradise for tourists and visitors,” highlighting the district’s rich cultural heritage, natural beauty, and peaceful environment.

An Invitation to Experience Chitral

He extended an invitation to national and international tourists to experience the natural beauty of Chitral’s lush green valleys, snow-capped mountains, rivers, landscapes, springs, streams, and serene spots.

The Qaqlasht committee members briefed the participants about the programs and activities to be held during the gala. They announced that music of reed instrument and pure Chitrali sitar will also be organized, along with folk dances such as ‘chong righishi’, ‘tatali wawali’, and ‘mamashish’.

Preserving the Indigenous Kho Culture

The Jashan-e-Qaqlasht is a 2,000-year-old festival of the people of Chitral. The festival is organized with the objective to protect the indigenous Kho culture and to highlight and market it as a tourism product. The aim is to attract maximum national and international tourists to the region, providing tourism-related job opportunities to the locals, promoting cross-cultural understanding, and fostering harmony.

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