Historical Importance of Mulkhow   -letter  

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Mulkhow or the Lower Khow originally the name of that area; where the first immigrants from central Asia settled in. The off-shoots of those settlers claim to be aboriginal now spreading over various parts of Chitral district. This tribe (the Arians) entered the valley between 2000-1500 B.C (Tareekh Chitral by Mirza Mohd Ghufran).

Mulkhow, the first abode of human inhabitation subsequently became the capital of the state. Mulkhow remained the capital of the state till the immigration of Kalash tribe from Bashgal (Nooristan) to Chitral during the last decade of 10th century (Tareekh Chitral by Mirza Mohd Ghufran).

The ancient Mulkhow or the original Mulkhow covered the area from Drasun to Muzhgole. Later on with the expansion of inhabited areas, its territory stretched from Nogram to Shagrome. In 1895 with the coronation of a young prince of 13 years old (Shuja ul Mulk) the area under the direct control of his predecessors was decreased and the area from Oweer to Muzhgole was included into Mulkhow forming the boundary of Mulkhow from Oweer to Shagrome (Tareekh Chitral by Mirza Mohd Ghufran).

Mulkhow is said to have been the first inhabited area of Chitral has remained the capital of the state. This fact is further testified by a stretch of fort ruins within a radius of 12 Kilometers. The following are name of these forts.

Krooi Soon Fort.
It was the most ancient fort of pre historic period. It was built on a clay mount near the existing fort of Drasun. Due to torrent rains and soil erosion the fort collapsed and no remains could be seen there. The towers of the fort were painted with red clay; therefore it was named Krooi Soon or the red tower.

Palmati Fort
When the Krui Soon fort fallen down, a new fort was built on the foot of the mount and was named Palmati fort. Remains of the boundary wall of the fort are still sighted. It was one of the most famous forts of pre historic time (Tareekh Chitral by Mirza Mohd Ghufran).

Gumbad Fort
This fort was built during the reign of Raisa dynasty. Though capital of the state was already shifted from Mulkhow to Chitral but the Raisa ruler Shah Akbar always preferred to live in Gumbad fort. He ruled over Chitral from 1491-1520 AD.

Noghore Zome Fort
This fort was built on the hill between Khora Gole and Uchuti. The ruler who first built the fort was Sumalik. Sumalik was the first and last ruler from Khow tribe and his domain was extended up to Kari near Chitral. The reign of Sumalik is said to have been of prosperity and peace (Tareekh Chitral by Mirza Mohd Ghufran).

Muzhgole Fort.
Muzhgole fort is generally called the fort of Bahman Kohistani, who was the governor under Chinese sovereignty, who ruled over Chitral in 7th century. The fort was built on a rocky hill near the river in south of Muzhgole village. As a precautionary step drinking water had been supplied inside the fort from far distance through connecting horns of Markhores. Some remains of the fort were seen till recent years (Tareekh Chitral by Mirza Mohd Ghufran).

Khurasan Fort
This fort also belonged to Bahman Kohistani. It was built on a hill between Kushum and Zezdi called Kooh e Khurasan. Some ruins of the fort can still be seen on the site.

Drasun fort
The only existing fort built by Muhtaram Shah second during his ruling period 1788-1838 AD. The strongest fort was Qilla Alam Kuhoon situated at Kosht, which was destroyed by Khair Ullah a Khoshwakhtay ruler and during the same period Palmati fort was fallen down. So Muhtaram Shah collected the materials of both the forts and built a new one which was named Drasun fort (Tareekh Chitral by Mirza Mohd Ghufran).

Sajjad Ali Shah
Founder ,Mulkhow Cultural and Historical Society (MCHS)

16 Dec 09.