Pakistan is an ethnically diverse country, and the Kalasha form what is perhaps its most distinct indigenous group. The Kalash Valleys – Bumburet, Rumbur, and Birir – are a part of Chitral, the largest district in the Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa province of Pakistan, and are ringed by the famed Hindu Kush mountain range. The remoteness of the valleys has helped them preserve their uniqueness over the centuries.
The predominantly light-skinned, blue-eyed Kalasha people are known for their colorful garb and polytheistic religion. This religion, which reportedly subscribes to either a form of animism or ancient Hinduism, is a world apart from that of their Muslim neighbors. They love dancing, brewing their own wine, and playing traditional musical instruments. The best time to visit these valleys is during any of their three annual festivals – Chilam Joshi in May, Uchau in September, and Chawmos around the time of the winter solstice.