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.