The Chitral-Parsan road is one of the most freaking roads of the world. Located in the Parsan valley in Hindukush Chitral of Pakistan, the road is a nightmare for travelers. It’s literally blasted out of the side of the mountain and the smallest error can be fatal.
The surface of the road is gravel. The road is in dreadful condition and requires strong nerves to negotiate it. It’s certainly breathtaking and it has a fearsome reputation. The road runs along the river Lutkho and it runs through a place called Garam Chashma. It links Chitral, the capital of the Chitral District, situated on the western bank of the Chitral River and Parsan, a beautiful valley of tehsil Garam chashma with a population of 350 households. This road tests the skill, and courage, of any driver. It’s definitely not for anyone suffering from vertigo or a fear of landslides.
Oncoming traffic is a nightmare. Do not travel this pass in severe weather conditions. Avalanches, heavy snowfalls and landslides can occur anytime, being extremely dangerous due to frequent patches of ice. The smallest error can be fatal. The road is curvy and steep with little or no chance of error. The unpaved road throughout is so narrow that if a vehicle comes from the opposite side one has to reverse at least 1Km to find passage for the other vehicle to pass through.
The scariest part of the road is dubbed Parsan's tunnel of death by locals. It’s a sections extremely narrow cut straight through the mountain. 4x4 vehicles only. This track can get very muddy and slippery after rain making it challenging to get through. During and after a storm the road may be impassable, even with a four-wheel-drive vehicle. The road becomes narrower and grades get more difficult everytime. Beauty of this track is that it’ll take you from 4k feet to 10k feet in a matter of few miles. So, imagine the inclines.
Pic&video: Ishtiaq Sarwar
Road suggested by: Hugh Wilson