Local Dresses

In routine Chitralies wear Shalwar and Kameez, while in winters they wear traditional items made of local patti. These items include woolen cap (Pakol), waist-coat (Waskat) and long Coat (Shuqa). Chitrali cap became a hit in the fashion world when Princess Diana wore it in 1995 after her visit to Chitral reflects rich art& culture of Chitral.

Lady Diana


The food of Chitral is very similar to the cuisine in neighboring Gilgit-Baltistan and other areas of KPK. Tea is excessively used in different forms in this region. Most of the people still have salt tea with butter. The locals commonly consume green tea and black tea. There is a lot of variety when it comes to bread making. Few are as follows.

Tikki: A thick leavened loaf baked over coals in a special mold. Because of its hard crust it can be stored for weeks. It is popularly eaten at breakfast or in the afternoon.

Khesta: A bread made from a liquid batter which has been allowed to ferment and is cooked on a griddle. It has a slightly sour taste and a spongy texture.

Phulka: The standard South Asian.

Rishiki: Thin pancakes or made of a batter consisting of whole-wheat flour, water and eggs.

Indigenous Dishes

Ghalmandi: A dish of layered flat breads with a filling of cottage cheese, coriander and chives and covered in melted butter and walnut oil. Cheer Aa Shapik Similar to ghalmandi, but with a white sauce, similar to replacing the cottage cheese.

Qalaibat: A dish made by cooking whole wheat flour with lamb fat.

Shroshrp: A type of unsweetened made from germinated wheat grain flour.

Pushur Tikki: A loaf of tikki bread baked with a mince meat filling, a type of meat pie. Other variations include Phhenak Tikki which is filled with cottage cheese and Pandir Tikki filled with matured cheese. A vegetarian version with a spinach filling is Shaakh Mujhzi.


Languages in Chitral

Khowar (Chitrali) is widely spoken in Chitral. There are also numerous other languages being used by the locals and bilingualism is very common. Some 14 languages are being spoken in Chitral like Khowar, Palola, Kalasha, Ursoonwar, Gawarbut, Pashto, Goshti, Dari, Dangariwar,  Sheikhwar, Yadgha, Wakhi, Shina, Balti, Guri and Gujari.


Chitralis love social gatherings; pleasure is doubled by the provision of music. The area has a rich musical tradition particularly playing of musical instrument is very much admired and considered as a beautiful art. Musical concerts can be arranged at any time of the year. Musical parties locally called Istok are an important part of weddings and festivals. Chitrali sitar, gharba, chhang, ormachi, jighikin, daf and flute are the traditional instruments of Chitral. But the dilemma is that the number of people playing these instruments is decreasing and serious efforts are needed for the preservation of the traditional music.



In Chitral, elders are highly respected and young people address elders by a title. A husband will address his wife by calling her “mother of my son/daughter” (often the name of eldest kid). Chitralies are known for their Hospitality. When food is served, the host waits until the guests have started eating. As soon as the dishes are cleared, guests ask permission to leave unless they are spending the night.

When meeting, two men shake hands and then place the right hand on the heart. When someone enters a room, people stand and greet him at length. When they sit down, more greetings are exchanged and long conversations (Gup Shup) are common. To express affection, it is customary to complain, sometimes bitterly, about not having received any news.

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