Swat Valley, A Gemstone of North
First of all, we consider it necessary to make you have an insight into the brief history of the Swat Valley so that you may have some information about the beautiful areas of Swat before you go there to pay a wonderful visit. History says the Greeks put up a good fight intending to capture the beauty of Swat while the Buddhists populated this valley because they felt captivated by its lasting beauty and peace.
The Mughals were spellbound to see its lush green fields of this valley. But now -a -days the Pathans, the Kohistanies and the Gujars have an ordinate ambition to be possessive of this valley.More than a thousand years back continuously thriving valley of Swat was home to such people who were well established and were used to live in spectacular towns of Swat valley.
It was in 327 B.C that Alexander of Macedonia made a forceful attack on this region causing defeat to the Hindu King and did not stop there but he incessantly did away with guerrilla resistance at that time. It was also in those days that he assaulted fortress at Ora or Aornos, now known as Udegram that was thought impenetrable. He wanted to teach them a lesson and make other kingdoms believe that it was the best policy to stop to resist opponents.
It is believed that Buddhism reached its topmost point in the valley during the Kushan era in the second century AD. A good number of workmates and churches with many stupas built in the valley and a great quantity of Gandhara sculptural work was done. Then it became like Texila a holy place for pilgrims from China and Tibet. This was the time when the whole area was already experiencing a decline.
It saw a dark age due to incessant attacks of uncivilized crowds initiating from the 5th century. It is said that these assaults had a long-lasting effect on the whole area for a long period. Buddhism surrendered to Hinduism which got transformed into Islam in the tenth century. Babar did not succeed to establish his hold over this land and Sikhs after the Babar rule, could only manage to lead the area with much difficulty. When British people came there to rule the area, peace was witnessed by the area.
As a reward for his good supporting role, the Akhund of Swat got the upper half of the valley, Kohistan to administer it. It remained an independent political agency until July 1969. We also like to tell you about Butkara Stupa Excursion having been built in the second century B.C by Mauryan Emperor Ashoka to the house of some of the ashes of Buddha.
It was enlarged five times later on by adding new shells around the original stupa with each stupa completely enclosing the old one inside it. It was also later on that almost 215 stupas were built around the main stupa, furnished with schist columns, loins with curly manes, eagles, lilies, cupids and lotus flowers. Whereas some of the best stone carvings were removed to the museums around the world.
You will find Mingora Bazar 1030 meters above sea level. It is a large town having paved streets, rows of bazaars and shops.You will also see their banks, hotels, restaurants, and an airport. It is the business and commercial center. The town of Mingora is famous for hunting handicrafts such as gemstones, jewelry, waistcoats, belts, embroideries, and weapons.
A Trip To Madyan and Bahrain
If you go towards Kalam and you drive along the Swat River, you will find that the valley is getting narrowed, its continuing green fields are out of your sight and nothing comes into your view except huge walls of mountains and large trees. The road is not difficult with traces of efforts to block it. The females of the area do not draw veils over their faces but when they have to sit in the buses they prioritize to sit in the rear rather than in the front part of the buses.
The former name of the upper Swat is Kohistan. You will find a good number of tribes in this area including Utrot, Ushu, and Kalam who are Bushkaris and the Torwalis living in far off areas in the south part of the region. The latter has sufficient ability to use the sling.
The people of the tribe of Bushkaris did not have forts but they made their villages in such a way that was enough to give them security and protection from the enemy. Their buildings used to have flat rooftops built on the same level as the floor of one above it. There was a maze of passages inside the villages through which a stream would run. Those were the houses that were made of woods and enclosed villages were built without parapets, perhaps for their security.
The Torwalis and the Bushkaris had the same belief as to the ancient Persians and the Minions of Crete according to which the world rested on the horns of a cow that caused earthquakes when it shook its head from time to time because of the sins of its dwellers. The fact is that they are still a believer in such stories that contain the power of prophecy on certain human beings. This is also a belief which people of upper northern highlands hold too.
This region was known as the land of fugitives in the middle ages. Gujar nomads were used to trudging north part of the area while having been loaded with pots and pans, herds of cattle, sheep, goats, chickens, dogs, and horses. Women carry large baskets over their heads while lifting their babies in their arms. They get dressed in fanciful fabrics. They also use heavy jewelry. Their bodies are usually very strong and they look very beautiful.
You will find it alongside the road, diverging it into different paths including Kabul where you will see 18 hole gulf course at 870 meters that is open throughout the year. Further on another road gets cut east to Malam Jabba, 2600 meters above sea level. The government of Australia expressed willingness to offer help in setting up a ski resort here but the rather great plan was renounced recently.
Now Malam Jabba is on the way to get transformed into a hill station for travelers, diplomats, and government officials for their paying visits in those areas. Experts thought that was very small for a ski resort but the mountains were not sufficiently high. The snow was also not in an adequate amount to be visible to people touring the valley.
Khwazakhela is an important town, 26 kilometers away from it. You will find a road from this town to Beshum which is a small village eastward. The main route continues to Madian 26 Kilometer away but ahead of reaching the latter, you come across another road branching east to Miandam that is almost ten kilometers away from the main route.
Miandam is a very beautiful village and is considered a very eye-catching area of Swat. It is in this beautiful area that you find very super hikes up the mountains which are in reality along the stream there. At Miandam the valley becomes very beautiful and at the loftiness of 1320 meters, Madian is a popular town because of its beautiful areas. It is a piece of good news for you that you will get a good variety of hotels giving you accommodations in line with your desires with many facilities. These accommodations will be alongside streams, slopes and ridges and high ups into the mountains. You should observe care while boiling water from Bahrain and Kalam to be away from a troubling situation.
Bahrain is a very developed area which you can find almost at the distance of ten kilometers. You will be particularly aware of the fact that it is there that you will begin to find the road very rougher. On the banks of your road, you see many mountains to the side of the river. We would tell you that this is a very attractive area for tourists who are fond of significant archaeological finds. You will get to see one trail cutting off to the left 13 kilometers away from Bahrain. You will see a rock carving of the Buddha on the cliff here on the high ups of the area. You need 30 minutes to go up to see it. Kohistan is an area ahead of Bahrain where Bushtun tribes give way to Torwalis and Bushkaris.
The valley gets widened when you are close to the area of Kalam when you are 26 kilometers away from Bahrain. Kalam is at 2100 meters and it is portioned into two sections. The upper one contains offices of administrative bodies and police station. This area has expensive dwelling places. This is an area that slopes down gradually while terminating in a sharp drop to the main roadway and river.
Because of its cultural terms, the upper area of Swat belongs to the northern region because the architecture of the old mosques and carvings of wooden pillars, window frames, and doorjambs indicate. You will not find any road from there to Chitral or Gilgit. The high northern cultural influence must have filtered in along the food trails. This region is called a boundary marker for the cultural changes from it south to north parts.
Kalam is an area of Swat that has a serene atmosphere during all day. You will experience coldness during the time of night. If there is a clear day and you are in this area, we would tell you that you have the opportunity to see the high mountain the name of which is Falaksair and the loftiness of which is 5978 meters. In the northern parts of the valley, you will observe snowy upper slopes while the peak is above the green forests of the area. You will see the river flowing just across the old mosque of this town.
The very point where the Swat River gets spilled, the route goes west to the Utrot 2225 meters and east to Ushu. Grabal valley is to be found to the northwest of Utrot that is a very beneficial point for fishing. Towards northwest, you will find the valley of Ushu that is at 2286 meters. This valley also has fishing streams. Going upwards from Ushu, you can catch a glimpse of mountain Falaksair.
Trekking trails begin from right here leading you to Dir, Chitral, and Gilgit.
It is here that you should bear this point in your mind that police and other authorities do not allow you to start trekking until such time that you do not have some guide with you. You will get a bus service between 8 am and 2 pm. There are some hotels in this area but many of them are deficient in many facilities. We would tell you that if you started trekking all alone, this will be just a futile exercise bearing now positive results for you. Because, if you do that, you will have to come back while facing a lot of disappointment.
Things to Do, While You are in the Valley Of Swat
If you have not gone to Swat ever, then we must assume that you are a person who has not seen the spellbinding area of Pakistan as yet. Perhaps you are not aware of the fact that Swat valley is such an area of Pakistan which people depict as Switzer land of East.
The Valley of Swat is a pleasure for tourists in the real sense of the word. This valley is gifted with many beautiful areas to hold the attention of all admirers of natural scenes in the world. Bustling rivers, waterfalls, winding streams, glacial lakes, pine forests, alpines meadows, snowy peaks of Mankial and Falksair, fruit-filled orchards, enormously green fields and water-filled mountain slopes in addition to friendly people full of hospitality for every Tom, Dick, and Harry.
It is a matter of fact that there are many attractions for people in the lands of Swat valley especially Kalam, Mohodand Lake, Malam Jabba, Takht-i-Bahi, Saidu Sharif, White Palace, Ushu Forest, Mingora, and Buddha Stupas are some picnic points holding basic importance in the sight of travelers all over the world.
The Swat Valley with Swat River is found in the area of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. There is a green forest around this Valley. Not only this, but you will also get to see a huge group of Hindu Kush with many streams and waterfalls. Mingora and Saidu Sharif are significant districts in Swat. You should also be mindful of the fact that it is the third-largest city of the province of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.
Important Points to Visit In Swat
There are various places which you must visit at a time when you are in the Valley of Swat. Fiza Gart Park is also the most popular picnic site of the Swat Valley to offer you a lot of amusement. The foods offered to you in Fiza Gart Park are very delicious and you would admire their taste. Milton is also a very beautiful picnic point of the area to hold your attention. It is 11 kilometers away from the Kalam Valley.
You must prepare yourself to pay a visit to some important points of beauty for real amusement. We suggest to you a list of famous places in Swat so that you visit them preferably.
Kalam valley is an important visiting point in the valley of Swat. We suggest to you that you must make up your mind to visit this valley to amuse yourself in an actual manner. Kalam is 99 kilometers north of Mingora and travelers term it as paradise. Profuse and copious green hills, thick forests, natural lakes, and grasslands generally surround the valley of Kalam. Birthplace of Swat River is Kalam valley while two major rivers Gabriel and Ushu. You will find a good number of hotels in this valley to spend your night time. It is here that you can get the opportunity to enjoy the cold weather in the neighborhood of Swat River.
One more eye-catching site of Swat is Malam Jabba. It is the only Ski resort in Pakistan. If you want to go to Malam Jabba from Islamabad then you would have to cover 314 kilometers and if you are desirous to go there from the airport of Saidu Sharif, then it is a must for you to cover 51 kilometers. Malam Jabba is a very popular hill station in the Hindukush area. Spellbinding mountains of Malam Jabba are a great attraction for tourists in addition to its amazing skiers. Malam Jabba Alpine Ski Word Cup is the annual activity of the area. A good number of skiers are participants from all over the world.
The road leading to Malam Jabba is covered with many beautiful scenes. When you will be in Malam Jabba, many facilities in your area are at your disposal and it is for this reason that we suggest to you to visit this area on a priority basis.
Bahrain is one more attractive point of interest of tourists when they are in the valley of Swat. This area is named as Bahrain because of the mingling of the Daral and Swat River. It is famous for its riverside resorts, local handicrafts and views of the Daral and Saidgai Lakes. The travelers usually feel drawn to this place just because there are many awesome lakes in this area of Bahrain. In addition to the numerous lakes, its weather is very pleasant. The winter in Bahrain is enormously cold.
You will find the awesome Kundole Lake in the vast mountains of Hindu Kush. This is a lake that captivates thousands of backpackers. There are many snow-capped mountains around Kundol Lake in the northern Utror Valley, a copious green forest. Tourists have a lot of fun due to the awesome weather at a time when they camp by the lake just due to the presence of many trees. They put the lens to use to capture the night scenes.
Kundol Lake is said to be 9,950 feet above the sea level. We would suggest to you that you should visit this area in the summer because it is just in summer that you will enjoy here a lot and have the option to fish and sail. In winter, the road going to this lake is closed because of enormous snow.
See More : Swat Valley Tour Package