Nagar Fort, Chitral – Photo DR Nagar fort was built in early nineteen hundreds by the order of the then Mehtar of Chitral, HH Sir Shuja Ul Mulk. It was originally constructed as a winter resort by the Mehtar.
Une fois n’est pas coutume, un peu de tourisme 🙂
The estate of Nagar was passed on to the son of HH Mehtar Sir Shuja Ul Mulk, Shahzada Ghaziuddin in 1936.
Nagar Fort was later given in possession of Shahzada Sirajuddin, 1926-1999, the Sarkar of Nagar.
Shahzada Sirajuddin was a highly popular person among the people not only in Chitral but outside Chitral as well, he contributed al lot in beautification of Naghar.
The Sarkar had an avid interest in gardening and his sheer passion is evident in form of the immaculate lawns and lavish plantings seen inside the Fort and surroundings.
His son, Shahzada Salahuddin also enjoys the warmth for this passion his father savoured the most.
The generation who lives there now is the 5th generation.
Most of the property belongs to the Shahzada family and the people who are in it mostly work in their fields.
The name Naghar is taken from a chitrali word Noghor, which means fort in khowar language i.e. the chitrali language. The name is known as Naghar in chitrali and in Urdu as Nagar.
Nagar fort :
Surrounded by water from three sides, its accessible through a suspension bridge that prevails the charm of the Fort.
The Fort has an Outer Gate, houses an Outer Court, Inner Gate and an Inner Courtyard.
There are a number of Gardens and in their maintenance a keen interest is shown.
Shahzada Sirajuddin, (1926 -1999, the Sarkar of Nagar ) loved the flowers so he had collected many kinds.
The fruits are being planted in a natural way, different fruits like oranges, cherries, apples and many more.
Many kinds of flowers and fruits in the forts garden have been brought from European countries.
Nagar fort is quite a big place having four portions and each having gardens.
The fort belongs to the Shahzada family who are living in the fort, it’s possible for tourists to see inside if they want to but they have to take permission.
There is one huge garden that is called bagh in Urdu having
orchards , flowers and huge maple trees.
The garden is very natural and simple therefore its attracts tourists, you can compare it to the simple beautiful English gardens.
Other than that there are beautiful birds which come in different season to the Nagar bagh, and a profusion of roses, daffodils and herbaceous plants scent the air.
The suspension bridge to the Nagar fort ( built in 1944 ) built by the Britishers at that time specially for the fort makes the fort complete.
Nagar Fort, at Nagar is situated near Chitral Valley north of Pakistan, Nagar is a village situated in lower Chitral.
It’s a safe area where u can feel at home and It’s not populated that’s why one can enjoy the calm and soothing nature.
The airport which is nearby is Chitral airport in Chitral town.
Other optional airports nearby Chitral are :
Gilgit airport (229km)
Islamabad airport(279km)Visiting time & seasons
The best time to visit the Nagar fort is from April to mid of October, the weather is quite pleasant from April to September.
Seasons are the summers , winter spring and autumn and every season has its own charm.
Summers are generally pleasant and the winters can be extremely cold.
Chitral is unpredictable during spring with frequent rains, autumn is pleasant with mild temperatures
March, April and May are months when the gardens are full of flowering trees and shrubs, while the other months have many interesting delights to.
Language and culture
The khowar language is spoken mostly , some people speak Pashto to as they are pathans and came to Chitral living there.
Mostly chitralis are educated and literacy rate is high so they speak Urdu and English, if they can’t speak English at least they do understand it.
The Chitrali music & musical instruments are very famous in the region, folk singers and reed instrument players have a special respect in the Khowar society and are a must in their festivities.
The people overall are very friendly, hospitable and helping people.
Traditional foods of Chitral : Kaali, (chitrali soup)
Tikki either of minced meat or cottage cheese, Chir-a shapik.
But more commonly rice. (brown rice) and zah are everyday meals along with some dairy items.
There is a separate resort for tourists in the fort, the resort is attached to the walls of the fort (near the fort)
Its built 50 to 60 years back, even if it’s quite old the rooms are lovely and simple.
When you sleep in them u can hear the music of the river, which carries u away in the world of dreams along with an cold fresh breeze when u open the window.
Tourists have been coming to Nagar since 1927, there is a visitors book which shows all the history of the people who visited.
There are many visitors books old ones and new ones too.
Many famous people came to Nagar and stayed in the fort for e.g. Robert de Niro and Duke from London.
Last march Allama Iqbals family was present there, and recently the general of nato also visited it.
Overall many famous people visited the nagar fort like : politicians, scientists, sportsmen , actors and media people.
It’s a place which is on many people their list to visit.
Tourists can have the amazing view of ibex in Chitral , they can also see snow leopard in Chitral goal national park.
From Nagar you can see the view of the lawari top which shows beautiful ice caps.
There is a garden on the back side of Nagar fort which is only meant for special guests.
Guests who have experienced being there, felt just like sitting on the titanic ship having a beautiful view of the Chitral river.
The top of the river from there seems like it is directly hitting you or coming towards you.
Majestic views of the surrounding mountains can be fully appreciated from the Nagar Fort.
You can go hiking on the nearby mountains.
There is a natural stream where you can swim.
You can go fishing & hunting
If you have a canoe u can go rafting.
Enjoying the beautiful views and meet the nature.
And afcours enjoy the music of the river at night while staying in the room.
Visiting Kalash valleys is definitely an interesting and unique experience.
The Kalash are an indigenous group of the Hindukush, settling in the North-West Frontier Province of Pakistan.
The Kalash are thought to be the direct descendants of either Greek settlers of the Alexander the Great’s army, or even Alexander himself.
The Kalash people live in three mountain valleys: Bumburet (Kalash: Mumuret), Rumbur (Rukmu), and Birir (Biriu).
These valleys are opening towards the Kunar River, some 20 km south (downstream) of Chitral.
Tourism now makes up a large portion of the economic activities of the Kalash. To cater to these new visitors, small stores and guest houses have been erected, providing new luxury for visitors of the valleys. Elevation: 1670-2309 meters (5,476-7,576 feet).
Normally tourists go to the kalash valley on jeeps and it takes 2 and a half hours from Nagar by car.
They are planning something different now, there is a route on the mountain which is right in front of the fort.
Then planning to get horses and ride to kalash valley from Nagar fort.
They have surveyed the tracks and working so tourists can go to the kalash valley on horses.
Which is very adventurous and an amazing way for tourists to make it even more special than it already is.
Shandoor – Polo ground
A famous sport in the area people like playing is polo.
Shandoor (Polo on the Roof Of world above 12,200 feet 3,700 m) is the highest polo ground in the world where matches are held between Chitral and gilgit teams every year in the month of July.
Here for tourists can be guided directly from Nagar fort to see this amazing polo ground.
Mighty Terichmir 7708 m
Hindu Kush, Chitral.
Terichmir is the highest mountain in the Hindu Kush and the highest mountain outside the Himalayan- Karakoram range, located in Chitral, Pakistan. The mountain was first climbed in 1950 by a Norwegian expedition consisting of Arne Næss, P. Kvernberg, H. Berg, and Tony Streather.
Terich Mir overlooks Chitral town, It can easily be seen from
the main bazaar.
It can also be seen from Afghanistan, according to a local legend, it is impossible to climb it, because of all the demons, witches and fairies who live up there.
Locals also believe that Tirich Mir is an abode of fairies.
From all over the Hindu Kush, fairies are said to come here for special meetings, washing and grinding rice.
The last village in Chitral before reaching Terich Mir is Terich, it is located in Mulkhow and the people there speak the Khowar language.
They are also planning to link terichmir with Nagar and take tourists to terichmir by jeeps from Nagar.
Having a trained mountaineer at Nagar fort taking them to see the terichmir.
This is also a way to make it easier for the tourists by taking them directly to terechmir.
Why Nagar fort?
Nagar fort is undoubtedly a very romantic, captivating and enchanting place worthwhile to see and stay.
It is a mountainous area in the extreme north of Pakistan which attracts people a lot.
The landscape is extremely mysterious and It’s a place where u can meet the nature.
It’s an amazing experience for people/tourists to see it once in their lives.
The family who owns this place are very friendly, hospitable and decent people.
They are awaiting tourists with an absolutely warm welcome.
Author : Shahzada Ghaziuddin