Broghil Festival near the legendary Wakhan Corridor culminates with record influx of tourists
Three day long Broghil Festival in the remote Broghil Valley of Chitral has come to an end with revved up hullabaloo from travelers and tourists from all over the country and beyond.
The festival has seen an increased participation from the tourists especially after the completion of the 45km jeep track to the valley built by the Chitral Scouts and the Pakistan Army. The festival was organized under the auspices of Chitral Scouts who are also the guardians of the difficult terrain in the heart of Hindukush.
Like always, the centre of attraction of the festival remained the knee-crushing Yak Polo, which stands as the Hallmark of the Broghil Valley. This Polo Match eventually leads to successful bidding of the strongest yaks which have stood out in the competition. The Broghil Polo team won the match by one goal defeating their rivals the Gilgit Baltistan team.
Other attractions included Horse Polo, buzz kashi, donkey polo, horse race, yak race, horse and cattle show etc. For those less interested in sports, gathered at the various stalls selling traditional Wakhi handicrafts, clothing, gear and other local items. The festival also offered delicious Wakhi cuisine including bar-b-cue, Hareesa, lamb rosh and other local dishes.
The closing ceremony was presided over by General Officer Commanding, Swat Division, Maj-Gen Javed Mehmud Bukhari who announced that the festival will be held every year, bringing more tourists to the valley, thereby elevating the essentials to radically improve the economic conditions of the otherwise remote region in the northern areas of Pakistan. The General later also inaugurated a micro Hydropower station built by utilizing local resources and manpower. He also distributed gifts among the winners and other participants.
The Broghil Festival as is known today got its name only recently, a direct result of the influx of the tourists and travelers but the festival finds its roots in the ancient times and has been the meeting place for the nomads travelling along the legendary Wakhan Corridor into Tajikistan, Kirghizstan and beyond. The exchange of pleasantries between various groups of nomadic traders and herders has been the focal point in the culture and traditions of the Wakhi People of the region.