Chitrali Mythology

 .. by Muhammad Huzaifa Niza

Chitrali mythology developed in the region of Chitral, the tallest portions of the Hindu Kush mountains, where the Chitrali people, at the juncture of South, Central, West, and East Asia, were exposed to many external cultural influences. This mythology developed throughout many millennia during which changes in the region led to the adoption of new sets of cultural beliefs in Chitral. Though not much is known as to what the ancient belief system of the Chitralis was, traditions have preserved the tales of many creatures and entities of the archaic mythology which show a strong synthesis of external influences with the local cultures. The main creatures include fairies and phoenixes, cyclopes and fire giants, ghoul horses and celestial wolves, pixies and giants amongst others. Each creature is unique in its links to creatures of other ancient neighboring mythologies.

Creatures of Chitrali Mythology

Peris (Fairies)

Fairies enjoy the most reverence in Chitrali mythology, and nature is taken as their domain. Most Chitralis consider the 25,000 ft (7,600 m) high Terich Mir (King Of Darkness), the highest mountain of the Hindu Kush Range, to be the famed Koh e Kaaf of eastern mythologies and refer to it as Peristan (Land of the Fairies). This mountain is believed to be the ultimate stronghold of the fairy folk where the fairies reside in a colossal golden palace alongside surrounding smaller mountain peaks which also house fairy folk and their forts.


The most important role that fairies play is as shepherds to the dominant fauna in the region. It was believed that each wild markhor herd is guarded by a fairy and so every hunter had to first make an offering to the guardian shepherd of the herd which would either give its permission or stop the hunter and would even punish hunters if they were to oppose its will.

According to legend, fairies and the Chitralis could intermarry. The most famous story features the fairy princess born to the Mehtar (ruler) of Chitral who was often reported to be seen moving atop her horse in Chitral, even though the supposed father of the oft-seen fairy died 400 years ago. It was believed that whenever calamity struck, many entities belonging to the fairy realm came to the aid of the Chitrali warriors. Every fort had fairy drums which would be beaten at times of war as both humans and the fairies would march on the war tune known as zangwar into battle together.

Khangi (Domestic Fairy)

Khangis are domestic fairies, only found in spacious areas such as forts and large houses where they are considered intrinsically a part of the family and are often spotted moving about the house. They are both protective and take part in household chores, such as picking fruit, and families would prepare separate food for the khangiIf no offering was made, a khangi would create a commotion until fed. Similar domestic fairies can be found in all North European mythologies, such as Puck in English mythology or Hinzelmann in German mythology.  .. Read complete story from Source


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