Chitral a region of deep defiles, rugged mountains, flowing rivers and green valley is the most secluded region of the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Pakistan. The region is known throughout the world for its rich cultural heritage and scenic beauty.
In order to preserve and protect the rich cultural heritage of Chitral, the idea of the establishment of Chitral Museum was adopted. The present building of Chitral Museum was a scheme of fifteen million rupees. The museum building has been completed and was inaugurated on 8th July 2010. The museum is housing two galleries:
i. Ethnological Gallery and
ii. Archaeological & Kalash Gallery
The ethnological gallery exhibits the culture and mode of life of Chitral valley. The objects on display include jewelry, weapons, embroidery, ceramics, musical instruments, household objects, hunting tools and furniture. The displayed jewelry represents the cultural trends containing silver and copper bangles, bracelets, necklaces, finger rings, ear rings, pendants, torques, anklets, head ornaments, shoulder ornaments and amulets. The embroidery contains shirts from Nooristan, Swat and Kohistan regions, table mats, pillow covers, caps, waist coats, female purse etc. Chitral Museum has a variety of weapons including swords, daggers, Canons, guns, pistols, and gunpowder containers. These objects shed light on the culture and tradition of Chitral valley during nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. A rich collection of traditional ceramics comprises of wooden and stone cooking pots, bowls, spoons, trays, water pitcher, teapots etc are on display. It also has an extensive collection of decorated silver, brass, bronze and copper objects. The musical instruments include traditional sitar, drums, rabab, beegals, tambourine, banjo and harmonium. An attempt has been made to represent the interior house life of Chitral in the shape of a model house. The model consists of all the utensils related to the routine life. Chairs, bed, prayer chamber, kitchen objects, wooden boxes etc are being displayed in this model.
Archaeological and Kalash Gallery
The second gallery houses the Archaeological antiquities and cultural materials of Kalash valley. Archaeological collection mainly consists of Gandhara Grave antiquities discovered in the recent excavations conducted by the Directorate of Archaeology and Museums Govt. of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa at the sites of Sangoor and Parwak, including jewelry, pendants, finger rings, bangles, arrow heads, spear heads, semi-precious stone beads and pottery.
The gallery also exhibits the profound cultural heritage of the Kalash valley. It displays wooden commemorative effigies, effigies of kalasha goddesses, jewelry, dresses, head dresses, household objects, and architectural elements.