HomeDeh Ba DehCharun village – the ‘Punjab’ of Chitral


Charun village – the ‘Punjab’ of Chitral — 12 Comments

  1. Thanks Nasira Kai for bringing the Charun-Punjab to focus and shedding light on its past history. The education in Charun has long history, what I know through family oral tradition is that my grand father Muhammad Hussaini Khan had studied in Madrassah in Bombagh in early 20s, and later on he used to teach at Charun first madrassah (school) Alogol. Many in Charun including Amir Nowroz Miki have been his students. About the administrative history of Hakimi, Hakim Shah Nawaz Khan was actually subedar major in Mehtar bodyguard in the early 20th century while Jalnus Khan (khoshamdatay) was Charwello of the area followed by his son Muhammad Azam Khan, who took part in 1919 third Afghan war (Birkoto Lam). Due to internal intrigue, Muhammad Azam Khan was replaced by Shah Nawaz Khan by Mehtar on recommendation British army officer and the nomenclature of Charvelli was changed to Hakimi.

  2. Some more information about Charun’s history: Charun boasts of being the home of one of the three Buddhist inscriptions found in Chitral. The other two are those of Rayeen in Torkhow and Pakhturidini in Preit.
    In older days a rock bearing the inscription was buried under deposits of alluvia, and only during the 19th century it was rediscovered.  The villagers, either awed by the strange writing and the drawings or due to some very old memories of religious reverence, started treating this stone as a sacred one. The villagers called the rock “Ma’jad”, and offerings were made to it.
    When famous archaeologist Aurel Stein visited the site, he found the stone inside a hut for the purpose of protection. He was the first archaeologist to recognize the Brahmic writing and translate it. The inscription, according to him as well as later archaeologists, read something like: “A humble offering to Buddah by King Jaya Verman.” Along with the writing, the rock also bears a carving of a Buddhist Stupa. Who was this “Jaya Verman”?  Aurel Stein could not tell. But later discovery of large number of similar inscriptions in Gilgit and Chilas showed that small but literate Buddhist principalities existed along the Indus River in the beginning of the Christian era. Jaya Verman of Charun inscription was surely one of these rulers.
    The rock bearing the inscription still stands at the lower edge of the village, where the old road enters Charun from the direction of Kuragh. The general awareness among the people, ironically has posed great threat to this precious remains of the past. Religious awe gone, nobody cares about it. Someone has even tried to hammer it, resulting peeling off of part of the rock, and destroying some letters of the inscription. You can find more details here… http://www.mahraka.com/serindia_aurel_stein.html
    Among the present dwellers of Charun, the local branch of Zondrey clan (called Khershiye) is the oldest. Tradition of these people go back to the legendary ruler Sumalik. They seem to be the earliest off-shoot of the Zondreys. They are somehow related to the Dokeys of Buni, Doqueys of Gohkir and possibly the Loqueys of Booni. One of the two branches of Dokeys were living in Charun till the end of the nineteenth century. A little research into the inter relationship of these clans may render a precious information on the ethnography of Chitrali people.
    Khushamadeys are the largest group in Charun. The Romkely section of the village is probably the earliest abode of this clan. When Khusamad was killed, his son settled here. Other lands now occupied by sections of this clan in Charun and Reshun belonged to his Uncle Rom, and were inherited by the grandsons of Khushamad, when Rom’s grandson died leaving no male heir. Romandur of Charun and Romandur of Reshun came into the possession of Khusamades in this way.  
    Apart from Hakim Shah Nawaz Khan, another eminent personality of Romkely was Ta’ajub Shah Lal. He was considered an authority on the oral traditions, history and ethnography of Chitral. Mehtars of Chitral always kept him in the Darbar for his knowledge.

  3. It is very informative and much appreciation for writer but I think Muhammad Rasool Name (The only National Footballer) should be among people of Charun who give proud not only to charun but for all Chitralis.

  4. This is an excellent write-up, Nasira Kai. I agree that you could not have mentioned all names of people from Charun who have excelled in different fields, in that aspect Charun has surpassed most of the areas in Chitral. Charun is very rich in terms of education and producing successful people. One gentleman we tend to miss mostly is Mr Mohammad Rasool Khan who has represented Pakistan in different countries and is a national colour for Pakistan in football.

  5. Nice write-up Ms Nasira. This is by far the most authentic document on Charun valley. It would be equally good if you translate it into Khowar and send us (of course with the permission of the editor) for ‘Khowar Nama’ to be included in ‘Ma Deh Ma Ziarat’ portion, a series like this page’s ‘Deh ba Deh’, whereby we give an opportunity to people to write about their own villages in their own mother tongue, so that in the long run we get a complete book published on the village-profiles of the district.

  6. What Gul Aman wanted was his own name to be mentioned which NJ just forgot to mention in her article. It was a very good piece which was later tuned into a promotional piece with the subsequent comment followed by Gul Jee in a bid to please a handful of Charnegh, majority of them known for occupying AKDN instituions. The sole contention of Gul Jee which NJ failed to get was that his father and brother Azam’s name was missing. A handful of graduates in 2014 which Charnegh tried to present in such a way as some ‘khalayi makhlooq’ lives this tiny village which is only known for ‘mosquotoes’ beside those playing taash by sitting narby Mastuj road. Another thing which Gul Jee just forgot is ‘Charnegan tong’. Oh Charnegan grow up in which world you’ve been living.

  7. @ Gul Jee
    The names you mentioned are in truth persons of high capability and intellect; of high moral and social values and worth. Their mention ought to be made, you are right but along with these, few other names are also there, including Mr Sharif Ullah ,a renowned doctor, Mr Yosuf Haroon , another reputed doctor, Mr Aziz Ali (my own brother), who has widely explored the world of Botany and is known for his commendable services at the Aga Khan institutions in Pakistan and abroad, Mr Muhammad Hashim is there, a retired Subedar, who has remained a member of district council within Charun UC, Mr Zaheer, the TMO, Mr syed Mansoor and Mr Sharaf ud din, prominent for their able services at the Aga Khan institution, Mr Mazhar Ali Shah, PMS officer of recent years, Mr. Ali Nigah Jan, known for his services in the educational field and few others too would be there whose names can be cherry picked when it comes to skim the villages’ influential people and who have a bulky share in setting the village out as a cradle of education. It is not that they were sent to the farthest corner of oblivion , they were in the mind but the apprehension of ending up with a lengthy and dreary piece, escapes them away and the fact of Charun teeming with other known gentle ladies and men holding govt and non govt offices, was also strong enough to uphold my dread. And inexperienced I am to have put them all down and at the same time come up with a sensible comprehensive piece and so I resorted to the mention of only the very early batch of the villages’ school.

  8. Excellent write-up and Ms Nasira Jabeen has done full justice with her home village. Indeed the beautiful Charun village and its lovely people deserves this. Appreciated.

  9. Nasira Kai really interesting write-up on Charun what is locally called Charun Punjab. It could have been more interesting if you could have explored its history and education even deeply. Before the Hakim, this area was administered by Charvelo Jalnus Khan followed by his son Muhammad Azam Khan who was removed by well-known conspiracy and the charveli was replaced by Hakimi. About the education, it is said there was Madrassah in Bombagh, where my grand father Muhammad Hussaini Khan was student in early 1920s, Later on a school was established in Charun (Alo-gol) where my grand father served as a teacher.

  10. Thank you Ms Jabeen, this is such a good and an informative contribution but I am sorry you missed a very important part of the society. Among the people you did not mention renown politician and ex-member of parliament late Syed Abdul Ghafoor Shah, civil servant and administrator Mr Rahmat Ghazi, a civil society expert and educationist Mr Shah Karaz and Mr Fida Ali Shah. Remember, Charun is famous and will be remembered due to these personalities and their services for the people of whole Chitral particularly for CHARUNIAN.